It was caught by chance, just like the British record perch taken only a few weeks ago. And like that historic fish, it was taken by a shoolboy.
Stories like the capture of a magnificent 9lb 8oz eel from day ticket water Swan Lake near Skegness are all that’s needed to remind us just how unpredictable, and inspiring, angling can still be.
Captor Kyle Baldwin is happy to admit that the lobworm he’d baited up with was intended for carp. But who cares? He certainly doesn’t.
What is important is that it’s the biggest eel taken from UK waters for many a year, almost certainly among the top ten for the species ever taken from our waters, and less than 2lb behind the 24-year-old record of 11lb 2oz many thought to be untouchable.
The weight is not in doubt. The captor has clear pictures and the weighing was witnessed by NFA coach Chris Watkins.
Our understanding is that the water concerned is an old brick pit that is run as a fishing lake as part of a caravan park. We are told it does have ‘form’ when it comes to big eels, having throwin up several over 5lb over the years.
Some experts have estimated that the eel may be a staggering 50 years old. A 7lb 2oz eel caught by the late John Sidley and given to a museum to study was found to be 68!