Shocked Stephen hooks monster pike to join angling's most elite club
Armagh angler Stephen McGarvey was the envy of every pike angler in the country last weekend when he landed a 32lb 2oz beast of a fish.
After hours and hours of piking over the years, thousands of miles driven, and numerous early morning starts, Stephen finally enjoyed an epic pike trip that made it all worthwhile.
Stephen's monster 32lb 2oz fish not only puts him among the chosen few of piking's elite 30lb club but is also by a long way his personal best.
He said: "When I saw the size of the fish as I got it into my net, it was just heart stopping and I'm still in shock!"
Not surprisingly, Stephen is keeping the water where he caught the big fish a closely guarded secret!
Meanwhile, although match day was a perfect autumn/winter day with cold but dry and sunny conditions, the recent poor weather took its toll on the 21 anglers fishing the fourth round of the East Belfast CAC Winter League on the Lower Bann at Portglenone.
The river was very high with all gates at Toome fully open and floats of 25grams and 60gram feeders were the order of the day. Unfortunately for those fishing the whip and pole the fish were definitely not on the inside line and very little was caught on these methods and it was left to the feeder anglers to fill the top spots.
Eddie Campbell on Peg 45 was the pick of the bunch netting over 60 roach for a winning weight of 4.970Kgs. He held off a late challenge from Mark Alcock who ran Eddie close with 4.800Kgs from Peg17 and Raymond McAleese was third with 3.600Kgs.
It's very tight at the top where Paul Hutchman leads the League on weight from Jocaughnny Keith, both have 23 points with Robert Buick third, 27 points; Phil Harton fourth, 32 points and Derek Buckley fifth, on 35 points.