TOP piker John Holmes hit a milestone when he notched his 150th 20 lb-plus snapper with this 28 lb 8 oz specimen.

20 lb pike ace John, a 55-year-old builder, from Skegness in Lincolnshire, has caught them all locally from non-trout waters.

John explained: “I had the 28-pounder on a roach livebait with size 4 trebles, 28 lb wire trace and 80 lb braided main line and to be honest, it is just tactics and getting lucky really.

“I’ve since had number 151 with a 20 lb pike from a drain to bring my tally to ten 20s for the season.

“I caught my first 20 lb pike from a gravel pit at Tattershall in 1998.

“Since then I’ve caught 20s from local drains such as he Hobhole, Bellwater, Sibsey Trader, Forty Foot and West Fen.

“But these days I’m finding it more difficult and travelling further afield to the Spalding area in rivers and drains.

“I’ve also had a bit of success from small pits from local areas which sometimes give up a surprise.

“I’ve had eight 30s with the biggest going 34 lb.

“All my 20 lb-plus fish have come within a 50 mile radius of my home.

“I’ve never set a target, I just have the motivation to get the best I can from any situation

“It’s always possible to catch a 40 lb pike but if you did you can count yourself a very lucky person

“Pike fishing locally has really been hammered by poaching.

“For instance, me and a mate once had 360 lb of pike with 19 of them going double-figures in a day on one drain.

“Nowadays, I hardly see anyone fishing there simply because the fishing is so poor.

“Trout venues like Chew sure would be exciting when you get that first run… but, for now, I’ve no plans to go there,” concluded John.

But John is well below the record for 20 lb pike caught with Ireland-based Alistair Rawlings top of the list with over 520 – an awesome achievement.

Well-travelled Angler’s Mail magazie columnist Neville Fickling is right behind on the 20 lb pike charts, having landed or boated some 510 specimens.

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