STAFFORDSHIRE trout water Blithfield Reservoir has revealed one of her secrets in the shape of a magnificent pike weighing 39lb 4oz.

The fish fell to the rod of Tring, Herts angler Jason Messanger, who tempted her from the 800-acre venue using a trolled Rapala lure.

Jason says he had lost count of the number of twenties he’s had in a decade of pike fishing, but that the thirty had always eluded him.

He had fished Blithfield for the last three years for pike for 14 fish, but all had been under his personal best of 27lb 4oz, until the big one struck. In fact Jason’s excellent run continued because only days after landing the near 40-pounder, he fished a water near his home and banked a fine female pike of 29lb 10oz.

This year’s Blithfield pike trail has got off to a fine start. In addition to Jason’s fish, Selby, Yorks angler Mark Ackerley has banked a pike of 37lb 8oz.