CHEW Valley in Somerset has produced a new British record pike in the shape of this amazing 47lb 5oz fish to Lloyd Watson, on his very first session on the 1,200 acre water.

The fish came from the shore too, at the noted Brambles on Woodford Bank, and fell for a large smelt bait that Lloyd decided to reposition at the crucial catching time, early morning. It beats the existing Chew Valley best of 44lb 7oz, and when accepted by the British Record Fish Committee, which seems a given, will take over from Ray Lewis’ 46lb 13oz fish, landed from Llandegfedd Reservoir in Wales in October 1992.

Lloyd picks up the story on the day of capture, Tuesday February 13th, 2024. Speaking to Matt Hayes, who was one of his inspirations for getting into pike fishing, Lloyd said: “I’ve been planning this trip with my friend Nick Skirrow for months. It’s my first time on the water and Nick has only fished it briefly. Honestly, I have hardly slept over the past weeks and me and Nick have put in a lot of homework. We studied recent captures of big fish and tried to identify areas that the big fish were coming from. The bush I’m standing next to right now is one of those spots.

“Anyway, we both slept in the van last night and we were first out of the blocks this morning, just in front of Ben Humber from Fox.

“Tackling up in the dark took a while and we could not clearly see the lake. We are using bait boats to drop the baits off in areas that are likely to attract pike. Bait was a smelt and I added a few chopped herring pieces for extra attraction.
“Getting the bait positioned was tricky. It was blowing a gale with big waves and as I sat down to sip a brew, dawn just minutes from breaking, I just knew I had to reposition the second bait. It would mean, I knew, sacrificing valuable minutes of fishing at the absolute peak time for these big Chew pike – just after dawn.

“I risked it anyway, got the bait in the right place and a few minutes later, the re-positioned rod started jumping and I found myself playing a huge pike.

“When we got it to the bank I thought that I was looking at an alligator gar! I have been pike fishing for more than 30 years and I have never seen a pike anything like this!”

“Craziest day of my life,” added Lloyd on Facebook, where there are more pictures. “Thanks for the invite Nick Skirrow. You’ve made my dreams come true brother.”

Matt Hayes said: “Lloyd went on to tell me that it was me and the Duke that got him into pike fishing. Indeed, Lloyd is one of the many anglers who shared my recent posts to help us raise the funds for Ultimate Rod Race. What a wonderful story. I spoke to Lloyd just half an hour ago and his whole world is upside down now! With his partner in tears of joy on the phone and the world got going nuts around him, he is still on the bank with Nick hoping that lightning might strike twice!

List of British Pike Over 40lb (not including Lloyd’s fish at the time of publishing)


Lloyd Watson at the noted spot where he caught his British Record Pike Chew Valley Reservoir pike weighing 47lb 5oz.

About Chew Valley Lake

Chew Valley Lake in Chew Stoke, Chew Valley, Somerset, is the fifth-largest artificial lake in the UK, with an area of 1,200 acres (4.9 km2). Created in the early 1950s, and opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1956, t provides much of the drinking water for the city of Bristol and surrounding area, taking its supply from the Mendip Hills. Some of the lake water is used to maintain the flow in the River Chew. Before the lake was created, archaeological investigations were carried out that showed evidence of occupation since Neolithic times and included Roman artefacts. The lake is an important site for wildlife and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area (SPA). It is a national centre for birdwatching, with over 260 species recorded. The lake has indigenous and migrant water birds throughout the year, and two nature trails have been created. Source: Wiki