Well I wasn't one of the lucky few this year, my name wasn't pulled from the hat in the most exciting draw of the pike anglers calendar. But like a lot (most) pike fishermen I've been following the catches in the angling press, forums and anywhere else I can find any info. And what a year it's turning out to be.
There is a chain of thought that it's shooting fish in a barrel, but it's a bloody big barrel. It's fair to say that the skills acquired through thousands of hours on the bank count for very little here, but the pike are big and everyone with a golden ticket has a chance!
And having been lucky enough to fish Chew once before, I can say it's the most exciting place I've ever fished. You know that feeling when the pike-float bobs and slides under - it's like that, all day.
This week has been hailed as the best-ever week of UK pike fishing, with a string of 20 and 30lb pike, topped off with two 40lb plus fish from the venue.
And I love this story in the Angler's Mail about a guy named Mark Even. Mark turned up at Chew with a PB of 14lb, his first fish of the day upped it to 17lb, and by the end of the day his new PB was 41lb 8oz - now that's a days fishing!
Will I be applying again next year? My letter is already written...