This is the incredible image of what is believed to be the biggest zander ever caught.
The colossal 25lb 6oz specimen, which beats the current world record by 4oz, was boated by big-fish specialist Marco Turrini from the River Po in Italy.
The predator measured more than 3ft long. It fell to the 38-year-old Italian when he worked a 6ins rubber Kopyto Shad on a 30g jig head from a boat on a fast-flowing stretch of the river in the northern province of Cremona.
The zander took more than 30 minutes to land, and if Marco decides to submit an official claim to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) it could beat the current world record of 25lb 2oz, a fish caught by Harry Tennison in Sweden back in 1986.
“I have fished this river since I was a child and got to know the sort of places they like to hide and seek out prey fish like bream,” said Marco.
“With this in mind, I cast my lure right into the roots of a submerged tree. I had a great feeling that this could be a winning spot, but I never expected anything this big to take my lure.
“The fight was absolutely incredible and something I will never forget.”
The UK zander record is currently held by James Benfield, with a 21lb 5oz fish from the River Severn in 2007.
Predator fishing legend and former pike British record-holder Neville Fickling believes that with relatively few anglers targeting zander, the possibility of a fish the size of Marco’s lurking in UK waters is a real one.
“This is an incredible specimen and just shows what these rivers – which also hold some of the biggest catfish on the planet – are capable of,” he said.
“While the Continental venues tend to be more prolific than those over here, there are still some huge fish to be had in our own rivers.
“Waterways like the Thames and Trent have some underfished tidal stretches which are off the radar and could possibly hold fish of record size.
“The truth is that we are yet to realise the full potential of our own waters,” Neville said.