A pike session on the little known Sheffield and Tinsley canal produced one of the shock captures of the year when Jamie Redfearn landed this huge 8lb eel.
Sheffield-based Jamie was targeting a shaded area underneath a suspension bridge at Tinsley Marina when the specimen, which could be up to 80 years old, picked up his 4ins brown trout deadbait shortly after 10.30am.
It marked the start of a dogged battle lasting 25 minutes, during which Jamie was forced to pile on the pressure with his 2.5lb test curve rod.
“It was a screaming take and when I looked over the rod-tip was banging away as the fish shook its head violently in a bid to throw the hook. I knew it wasn’t a pike even at that stage because bites from those tend to be quite sensitive. When I picked up the rod and struck into the fish it was like hitting a dead weight ¬ it refused to budge off the bottom,” said the 19-year-old.
Although he was well aware of the predator potential of the canal, having witnessed a 30lb pike when a section of the waterway was drained several years ago, Jamie was nevertheless surprised by the size of the eel which finally surfaced in front of him.
“I said to my mate that it felt like an eel because it was shaking its head and sending thumps down the line as only big eels do, but I’d never heard of any this big being caught here before,” said Jamie.
“When the eel finally came up, entangled in the trace, I was shocked ¬ it was huge!
“Usually I prefer to fish smelt deadbaits but my tackle shop had run out so I thought I’d try a trout for the first time and look what happened!
“I’m still buzzing because it’s the first real specimen-sized fish that I’ve ever caught!”.
Jamie presented his deadbait on size 6 trebles, a 15lb wire trace and 15lb braided mainline.