David Sullivan used the benefit of his 30 years of freshwater eel (Anguilla, Anguilla) fishing to capture his biggest yet - an 8lb 9oz specimen.
Sullivan from Leamington is a member of the National Anguilla Club (NAC), the oldest single species fishing club in the country.
His haul, caught in a Northampton pit on a small, dead roach, was the third largest capture in the NAC’s 50-year history and is also in the top 20 intended captures of all time on rod and line (eels are often caught by anglers fishing for other species).
“I became fascinated with this fish and its incredible life cycle as a young boy,” said Sullivan.
“The natural progression was to get closer to them and I’ve spent many nights on my own on a canal bank.”
Despite a 15-minute struggle to land the eel, Sullivan was quick to return “the fish of a lifetime” to whence it came after a quick snap.
“We put them back alive,” he said. “The club believes in conservation and the European Eel is an endangered species.”