A potentially record-busting double figure eel has been found dead at a fishery in the Midlands.
The huge specimen, which almost certainly would have broken Steve Terry’s 30-year-old 11lb 2oz best, had become trapped in a pump at Lakeside Fishery in Nottingham.
The owners discovered the incredible fish when a heavy-duty machine used for oxygenation and transferring water failed to work, and were forced to behead the leviathan in order to remove it from mechanics. The decapitated fish, which measured 3ft long and had a circumference of 6ins, was then weighed, with owner Lynda Kelley claiming it went ‘well over the 10lb barrier’.
The news is sure to come as a shock to the big fish community – and looks set to go down in history as another of the sport’s great mysteries like the Endrick pike and the uncaught monster of Redmire.
“This massive creature jammed the pump and burned out the motor, but you can imagine our surprise when we saw the huge tail sticking out when we hauled out the machine,” said Lynda.
“It was jammed solid and the only way we could get the fish out was to cut its head off, which was a tough job because it was over 6ins thick and solid muscle.
“I’ve been at this fishery for over 20 years and never even seen or heard of an eel being caught, which just goes to show that you never know what can be in a fishery no matter how well you monitor or manage it.”
News of such huge specimens lurking at popular commercial fisheries might come as a surprise to many people, but not to Barry McConnell who is a specimen eel expert and committee member of the Anguilla Club of Great Britain.
He’s banked more big eels than most and is adamant that the discovery of such a huge fish at Lakeside is by no means a freak occurrence.
“This doesn’t surprise me – I’ve caught eels over 5lb at commercial fisheries and they’ve all been tempted around pumps and aeration systems,” said Barry.
“But this is a really special fish as it must have been between 50 and 60 years old, which makes you wonder what lurks beneath the surface of UK stillwaters.”