Mammoth cased pike goes on display in Staffordshire

Few fish come shrouded in more mystery and intrigue than large pike.
Specimens over the magical 40lb mark particularly fire the angler’s imagination with images of huge teeth, epic battles and dreams of breaking Roy Lewis’ long-standing, Llandegfedd-caught British record.
Being so rare however, seeing, let alone catching, a pike of these monstrous proportions is only ever experienced by a handful of lucky anglers - until now.
Following the washing up of a dead 40lb 8oz fish at a private Midlands trout fishery, tackle shop owner Vernon Leadbetter has now given every angler the chance to see such an impressive specimen.
Stuffed and mounted by master taxidermist Barry Williams ¬ who is also working on the famous carp Benson ¬ the mammoth pike is displayed at
Vernon’s shop, Archline Angling, in Cannock, Staffordshire. It measures 48ins with a 28ins girth and will give anglers the chance to see just how big a ‘big’ pike really is.
“A friend of mine was fishing a trout lake that I’m a member of and came across a dead pike floating near the shore,” Vernon told Angling Times.
“When he moved the fish he had the shock of his life at how big it was. He broke his net getting it out and then called me to have a look.
“It’s not every day you find a fish like this. It was very fresh and was leaking spawn, which makes me think it died during spawning. I thought I can either bury it or do something with it, which is when I had the idea of getting it mounted for the shop.
“It’s a rare thing to be able to do this with a fish nowadays. I’d never kill a pike to have it stuffed, it was just luck that my friend found it when he did ¬ now people can see it for themselves, instead of it just rotting away on the bank.”