MARTIN ALLEN smashed his pike PB with this fantastic 39 lb giant... after a wise switch of baits.

The huge pike meant the Oxford-based angler obliterated his old best of 30 lb 4 oz.

And it came just a few days after he boated a 28-pounder, also at Somerset mecca, Chew Valley Lake.

Martin said: “My boat partner Chris Parry put us over one of our marks on Thursday and that resulted in a beautiful 28-pounder for me. It was my only run of the day.

“We were blown off Friday and Saturday but were able to get back on Tuesday. We decided to go back over our mark again, which was 22 ft deep.

“As we passed over it, Chris spotted a big shadow on the screen of his fish finder. ‘That’s a big pike down there,’ he said.

“We dropped the anchor about 100 ft upwind then gently drifted back over the spot and dropped the back anchor.”

Huge pike sniffed out smelt

Martin revealed: “Herrings usually do well for us on Chew so that was the choice of baits, fished hard on the bottom.

“A few hours later I hard a run and got excited only for the bait to be dropped.

“Checking the bait, I could see tell tale signs of pike teeth marks.

“Chris reeled in his bait to have another cast and noticed teeth marks also on his herring but had had no bite indication. Perhaps the pike were being finicky?

“I decided to change from size 2 hooks down to size 4 and put a smelt on.

“A little while later Chris said ‘your smelt has come to life’ and we watched the float slide under.”

‘Heart-pumping’ quick fight

Martin explained his battle with the huge pike…

“I hit into it straight away – and at first I thought it was a jack,” he admitted.

“But I soon realised this was something special. My heart was pumping.

“I reeled in quite quickly as I like to get the pike into the landing net before they realise what is happening, and this one obliged and came in quite easily.

“We looked into the landing net and both Chris and I said look at the size of that! It was massive.

“With barbless hooks, the unhooking was done quite quickly.

“It’s a matter of luck in reality as either of us could have caught the biggie. But it was the pointy end of the boat this time that was lucky for me. Happy days,” added Martin.

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