An angler rammed a lead bar down the throat of a live pike in an attempt to win a match and cheat his fellow competitors out of €100 prize money, it has been revealed.
The shocking incident took place during the Midland Pike Angling competition in Ireland last week, where the truth only came to light the day after the match had finished when local club officials found a dead pike at the venue.
On inspecting the fish, they could feel a hard object in its stomach and, after dissecting the unfortunate creature, discovered it contained a 6ins long bar of lead weighing roughly 1lb.
Speaking on the Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs’ forum, chairman John Chambers explained how the situation unfolded: “The guy presented the pike to a steward who weighed it, but would not credit him with the catch as the pike was on its last legs. It was then returned to the lake by the ‘angler’.
“There was talk about it later on in the pub after the results were announced, and some officers became suspicious and decided to visit the location the next morning. After a while, they found the pike and felt something hard in its stomach. They opened it up and found the lead bar.
“There is a suspicion that the pike wasn’t actually caught at the venue, and that the guy had at least one other person working with him,” he said.
Unfortunately, because the fish was found the day after the competition had finished, no official action can be taken against the individual suspected of the despicable act. For legal reasons, his name, and that of the venue, must also be withheld, although the suspect is believed to have been ‘advised’ by locals to stay away from all pike fishing competitions in the future.
“Local guys know who weighed in a fish almost the same size, and he has been told quietly never to appear at a club competition again. Other clubs in the area have been informed and will take the same view.
“Word is that the angler has sold all his gear in the last few days. What sort of idiot would go so far to try to win a prize? It’s cruel for starters, and the money was only small,” added John.