Angler reels in record-breaking 'fish of a lifetime' at Chew Valley Lake

Lloyd Watson reeled in the pike at Chew Valley Lake in Somerset. Credit: Lloyd Watson

An angler has spoken of his "total disbelief" after landing a potentially record-breaking catch at a lake in Somerset.

Lloyd Watson said he has been inundated with messages from all over the world after catching the whopping 47lb 5oz pike at Chew Valley Lake.

Subject to confirmation by the British Record Fish Committee, he is set to beat the previous British pike record of 46lb 13oz, which was set by Roy Lewis at Welsh reservoir Llandegfedd in 1992.

Lloyd, who was visiting from his home in Manchester, caught the pike during his first-ever trip to the lake on Tuesday 13 February.

He said he had always dreamt about fishing there but never got the opportunity.

For a few days in February and October, the area is opened up for pike anglers.

A friend managed to secure two tickets and Lloyd said it "took him a second to decide" he was going.

He explained: "From that moment all I could think about was Chew and this session that was coming up. I've been a pike angler for more than 30 years so I knew everything had to be spot on."

Lloyd planned for the trip by studying photos of the background and landscapes at Chew Valley Lake.

He said: "Before I had even seen the lake I had pretty much fished it 100 times in my head in all weathers."

Lloyd said he could not believe the weight of the fish. Credit: Lloyd Watson

"Within five minutes of getting there, I recognised a bush, everything was screaming we needed to be there."

Chew Valley is Bristol Water's largest reservoir, and several fish weighing 30lb and 40lb have also been caught there in recent months.

The lake is also an important site for wildlife and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Lloyd had no idea how big the fish was until they lifted it onto the mat and put his hand against it.

He says his friend said "surely that can't be right" when looking at the weight on the scales.

In line with welfare rules, once weighed and photographed the massive fish was carefully released back into the water.

Lloyd says he's received a lot of praise from other anglers.

He said: "The pike community have just absolutely overwhelmed me with the response.

"Because there's guys there who, like me, are trying all their lives to get the fish of a lifetime.

"They're taking the time to message me, somebody they've never met before, to give me their congratulations."