The predator fishing history books have been turned upside down this week after pictures of a potential new world record pike weighing in at an astronomical 63lb 14oz came to light.
Measuring 156cm, or 61ins, from tip to tail, it is thought that the huge fish was taken last winter from an undisclosed venue in Poland. The pictures were sent in on an email lacking any detail, apart from the weight and length of the mighty creature, which is seen being held for trophy shots by two different ‘anglers’.
The names of those in the shot are unknown at this stage, but one thing is certain: if authenticated, the fish would obliterate the current world benchmark for a rod-caught pike - a 55lb 1oz specimen taken by Lothar Louis from the Lake of Grefeern in Germany back in October 1986.
In recent years, huge pike have been reported from a number of expansive waters across Europe, including Holland, France and Italy. While Poland has no discernible track record for producing fish of such proportions, experts have maintained such an occurrence is possible.
Former UK pike record-holder Neville Fickling knows more than most about the European pike scene and, while ever wary of the hoaxes that have been known to blight the sport, is well aware of the potential of neglected waters on the continent.
“Obviously with such scant detail regarding the capture, we can’t take this fish seriously until all the boxes have been ticked. That said, it’s a fascinating development. We know that pike can occasionally grow to over 60lb, and in a place like Poland where anglers kill a lot of what they catch, there’s the possibility that this monster could have escaped their attention. Left alone in a lake for 15 years, with little competition for food from other pike, there’s every chance it could thrive on the neglect and grow to such a size.”
European pike heavyweights
1 The official world record: 55lb 1oz, Lake of Grefeern, Germany, October 1986. Captor Lothar Louis.
2 Big Dutch pike: Estimated at 45lb-50lb, Volkerak Lake, Holland, December 2005. Captor unknown.
3 French giant: Estimated at 55lb, Lac D’Annecy in Haute Savoie, France, May 209. Captor Sylvain Legendre.
4 Italian monster: Estimated at 51lb, Lake Magiore, northern Italy, winter 2006/2007. Captor unknown.
5 UK record: 46lb 13oz, Llandegfedd Reservoir, Wales,October 1992. Captor Roy Lewis.