THIS 14lb channel catfish wouldn’t raise an eyebrow if it was caught in its native home of North America, but it gave Luke Pike a big surprise when he landed it in Billericay, Essex.
Of all the American catfish, channel cats are the most popular, with around eight million anglers estimated to target them each year. The world record stands at 58lb, and while Luke’s isn’t anywhere near that size, it’s an unusual capture in British waters.
He was targeting the carp in Lake Meadows Park when his left-hand rod went into meltdown. A powerful scrap followed, but Luke only realised what he’d caught after peering into the net.
“I was fishing with the bailiff, and he told me it’s the only one in the lake and hasn’t been caught for a while,” he said. “I had it on a pop-up boilie tipped with a few dendrobaena worms and managed a few nice carp as well.”