PAC member Nigel Greaves nailed this 40lb Lough Mask pike on a recent trip to Ireland.

The brute took a spoon retrieved fast over weed – a technique Nigel, 49, and his 20-year-old son Nick have perfected on recent visits to the Emerald Isle.

“We normally just drift the boat and fish over the weed, they seem to just come up for it,” said Nigel, who hails from Boston, Lincs.

“Especially on an overcast day with a bit of sunshine.

“You have to retrieve quite fast, I just saw a massive swirl, it came half way out of the water and took me by surprise.”

Nigel and Nick had to take the boat to the fish to free it, after it crash-dived into a weedbed.

As soon as he saw it, he knew he had beaten his previous PB of 21lbs 9oz. The scales went round to an ounce over 40lbs when the fish was boated.

Heavy braid, an ABU 6501C and a 10-year-old Dave Lumb Raider lure rod didn’t let him down.

Preston-based rod builder Lumb said Nigel’s fish was the second 40lbs-plus pike to be reported on one of his rods.

“I’ll have to do a stock take one of these days and work out how many big fish have been caught on them,” he said.

Civil engineer Nigel said: “I’m still in shock.”