Northern Ireland has stunned the big fish world by producing a new British roach record at 4lb 4oz.

The online big fish grapevine was buzzing with rumours of the magical fish yesterday, and the story has been confirmed by Angling Times today, who have exclusive pictures.

It was caught by County Down based Tenchfishers members Keith Berry, who had spotted a shoal of huge fish he thought to be roach while pike fishing this winter. Unsurprisingly he has not named the venue.

The fish is an ounce over Ray Clarke’s long standing British record, caught from the Dorset Stour in 1990.

Pictures in the angling weekly show it to be certainly a true roach and it looks every ounce the weight. It was weighed on Avon scales and witnessed. The scales are currentliy being checked.

Experienced specialist Keith (42) caught the massive roach on maggot feeder tactics using a swingtip set-up and it came from his only bite of the day.

He told Angling Times that he spotted a fish rolling away from where he’d been fishing, wound in, unclipped and then cast to it. He said that if he had not unclipped the fish would certainly have broken him.

Normally publicity shy, Keith says he is only reporting it because of its historic significance.

Fish caught from Northern Ireland qualify for the British record lists. Fish caught from Eire do not.

The pictures in AT are excellent and well worth seeing.