A potential world record pike has been caught in Holland. But, like most large predators captured on the Continent, the catch is surrounded by mystery.
Taken from a boat by German angler Uli Beyer in the south west of the country, the huge specimen went unweighed, but was guessed at the time of capture to be a monstrous 57lb (26kg) - a full 2lb heavier than the current official world record. With details so sketchy and this being the only image AT has of the fish, it’s difficult to judge the accuracy of the estimate.
However, based on the size of the Zalt lure that tempted the fish, a rough and conservative estimate can be made at the specimen’s length, putting it at about 140cm - a measurement that definitely places the fish in the ‘monster pike’ category.
“It’s difficult to judge the size of the fish because you can’t see how thick it is, but I’d say it was over 40lb,” said predator expert and veteran of many mainland Europe pike campaigns Neville Fickling.
“If it’s come from the water I think, then it does have a track record of producing large fish. And if it is the claimed 26kg, then it’s a very big specimen indeed.
“Fish like this seem to come out every 10 years or so, so for an English angler to catch one it would take lots of money, lots of time and a load of determination.
There are a few places that can produce them to this size though, the mountain lakes of Italy, the deep glacial lakes of Switzerland and the famous River Lossen in Sweden.” Well-respected pike angler Mick Brown also spoke to AT about the capture.
“It’s definitely a very big pike,” he said, “but you have to be careful when looking at Dutch photos as they like to use wide-angle lenses. Comparing it to the lad’s legs, I reckon that the fish might only be around 44ins long, which wouldn’t make it the estimated weight, but still a very large pike.
“I’d have to say it’s definitely over 30lb, which is a fish of a lifetime here, but over in mainland Europe they’re more common.
“I can understand why he looks happy, too. I’ve had five 30lb-plus UK pike and the satisfaction you feel when you get them over the lip of the net is immense ¬ although playing one that big really focuses your mind!” he added.