Perch record holder Neill Stephen has caught the fish of the winter; an unknown 42lb pike from a mystery Essex lake.

Neil was fishing with pal Dave Lambert at the venue, which is believed to be a 15 acre trout lake. It’s believed the potential of the lake was uncovered by Angler’s Mail columnist John Bailey after a chance conversation with his accountant. The fish is pictured on the cover of this week’s Angler’s Mail.

John put together a team of anglers to test the potential of the venue and they hit it off big time. As well as Neill’s giant, Phil Harvey banked a fish of 36lb 5oz, John Bailey a 32lb 15oz fish with Dave Lambert catching predators over 20lb as well. Neill’s fish fell to a 2lb trout deadbait.

You can read the full account and see pictures exclusively in this week’s Angler’s Mail magazine which also includes:

Insight into ITV’s new coarse fishing show

Brilliant barbel and roach

How a crayfish versus carp battle was won

UK’s lure league champ crowned

John Bailey’s behind the scenes account of incredible pike sessions

Colin Davidson goes from fish farm to fishery… unique insight into carp!

Gary Newman shows how a tweaked rig produced superb perch action

Mixed bag advice from England ace Steve Hemingray

All The Answers – the best Q&A solves readers’ problems

Essential Knowledge shows the two-turn water knot

Product News reveals a new bait

First Trial examines commercial pools rods

Tom Pickering’s Matchman of the Month is revealed

See who caught what, where in the match results service