SPECIMEN fish ace Ian Petch knew that a lake had produced a big eel a few years ago, and he finally hit his target with this 6 lb 7 oz specimen.

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Horsham, West Sussex-based Ian fished overnight hoping that a big eel would take his small roach head offered on free-running rig.

And his plan was rewarded with the specimen of his dreams… after a tricky battle.

Ian, 51, a hard landscaper, told Angler’s Mail: “It was hard initially to shift the fish, and once I managed to get her moving there was a worrying moment when everything went slack and I thought it had come off.

“I wound as fast as I could and suddenly reconnected near the bank, as the fish had obviously swum fast towards me.

“To my right was a big bed of lilies, and the fish headed deep into those.

“I managed to play it back out into open water and got my first glimpse of the eel in the light of my headtorch as it shot across in front of me. By now, my brother Andy was there with the net.

“Knowing that it was a big fish just added to the tension, but after several attempts to land it, and with the eel constantly reversing back over the draw cord, we managed to finally get it in the net.

“I knew when I peered into the water that my years of chasing a big eel had finally come good.

“I think everyone at the lake knew that I was happy at that moment, from my shouts of joy,” he added.

Specimen Fishing UK group member Ian used a Kryston Synx Dark hook link and popped up a small roach head on a size 6 Drennan Super Specialist barbless hook.

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