This is the shocking scene that greeted a passionate club angler walking along a popular Fenland river this week.
The gruesome discovery of a head belonging to a pike that would have weighed well in excess of 20lb was made by Chatteris Working Mens AC member Derek Leek when he visited a stretch of the Forty Foot Drain in Cabridgeshire.
Derek, who stumbled across the macabre sight while attempting to find a suitable swim, is adamant it was a deliberate attempt by Eastern Europan poachers to taunt law-abiding anglers.
“I was walking along when I spotted something unusual in the distance. As I got closer, my worst fears were confirmed when I saw that it was the head of a huge pike rammed on top of a concrete post. I couldn’t believe my eyes ¬ the body was nowhere to be seen and I’m sure that it was a malicious act of defiance by non-national poachers. They’ve clearly done it to provoke everyday anglers like me,” said Derek.
“I have been fishing the venue for several years and had pike to 18lb in that time. This unfortunate creature ha teeth measuring over an inch long and it was bigger than anything we’ve seen in over a decade. It would have been an amazing specimen, and deserved a better ending than to have its head sawn off,” he added.
Club officials have backed Derek’s theory on how the fish met its shocking death.
Secretary John Roper said: “We know Eastern Europeans poach our waters and I’m pretty sure they are responsible for this incendiary incident. We have seven and a half miles of water to patrol, and for a small club like us it is impossible to police it on a 24/7 basis.”
Predator fishing experts have already begun to debate among themselves just how big the slaughtered pike could have been. Angling Times editor and keen piker Richard Lee said: “It’s clearly a very large fish - definitely well over 20lb and maybe even approaching 30lb. It’s disgusting that a creature of such a size could meet its end in such a deplorable manner.”