Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Laurence hooks a monster pike

Bangor fly fisherman Laurence Gibb says he's still shaking after catching a record-breaking pike which he claims weighed 41 pounds at Lough Cowey on the Ards Peninsula

Fly fisherman Laurence Gibb says he's still shaking more than a week after catching what he claims is a record-breaking pike.

The Bangor man says he caught a 41-pound pike - which would make it the biggest ever fly-caught in Northern Ireland - at Lough Cowey, north of Portaferry.

"The head on this thing is like an Alsatian - it could nearly swallow a football," he said.

It completes a successful run over the last three weeks, in which he has also caught 34lb and 37.5lb pike at the same location.

Mr Gibb was with a friend when he caught the massive fish. He has been fly fishing for years and does some guiding for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

"I took up pike fly fishing about a year ago - it's a different technique, different flies, heavier gear," he said.

"I'd been experimenting with different flies and things and I came up with my own patterns and it started to work. I am still shaking - it's not often you get a fish like that. It's a brute"

Friends back at Lough Cowey Fishing Lodge were amazed, he said.

But while the catch was verified by independent witnesses and recorded for posterity in photographs, it wasn't destined to end up mounted on a wall.

Under an agreement with DCAL to pilot pike fishing, all pike at Lough Cowey have to be returned to the waters where they were caught.

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