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Czech Lukas Matejka’s catch is considered by many anglers – but not all – to now be the World record pike.
He caught the 133 cm-long predator, which weighed 26.7 kg (58 lb 14 oz), from a water in the Czech Republic.
It beats the previous IGFA official World record pike set by Lothar Luis, in October 1986. Lothar caught a 25 kg (55 lb 1 oz) specimen on a spoon at Lake of Greffern, in Germany.
Early this year that World record pike was beaten by Bulgarian Petar Filipov. He lured a specimen claimed to be 140 cm long with a weight of 25.3 kg.
Some UK anglers on social media thought Lukas’s immense fish might have been Photoshopped or killed.
But Lukas has a video on his Facebook page that shows the immense size of the specimen, before he returned it unharmed.
Ceske Budejovice-based Lukas said: “It was a perfect morning for big fish, as it was overcast and rainy.
“I cast a rubber lure into a deeper area of the lake, and received a ‘blunt chop’ that made the rod crack.
“I could feel that it was a big fish, but I never imagined that it would pull the scales round to 26.7 kg. I was totally shocked.
“The fish was caught from a water in the Czech Bohemia region, and was released immediately after ‘documentation’.
“The greatest joy is, of course, that the ‘queen’ still lives in a beautiful environment. I wish every fishermen this feeling,” added Lukas.
Reactions to 'world record pike'
Pike historian Neville Fickling isn’t surprised by such a World record pike claim.
Neville said: “Quite a few pike of over 50 lb have been recorded, though some have been fakes.
“It is hard to tell with this one, but it looks a very big fish, so you never know.
“Big pike are always interesting. I don’t know much about the Czech Republic, but I doubt many anglers will make the journey from the UK, especially if there’s just one big fish to target.
“I’m expecting the UK to produce a big pike out of the blue soon, as there hasn’t been one around the 45-46 lb mark for a few years now. It wouldn’t surprise me if it came from a commercial carp water.
“A lake stuffed with 2-4 lb fish is ideal feeding ground for pike, just like trout lakes.
“Besides, commercial fisheries have got a history of producing big pike, including the two 40s from Boddington Reservoir and one from Gold Valley,” concluded Neville.
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