A monster brown trout has smashed records in Galway – much to the delight of Welsh angler and freelance photographer Ceri Jones.
The tourist landed the 24 lb trout on Lough Corrib last weekend and the photo of his giant catch has attracted worldwide interest.
The specimen fish, already unofficially recognised as the second largest on record, was caught in deep water near the lake’s largest island Inish Goill according to the Irish Times.
The Irish Specimen Fish Committee are in the process of ratifying the fish with experts believing it will go down as a record for Lough Corrib and rank as the largest trout caught in Ireland in 118 years.
Jones, who works as a freelance photographer with the British angling magazine Trout Fisherman, told the paper he was trolling using a ‘roach deadbait’ when he hooked the fish.
He said: “When I hooked it first, I knew instantly it was big fish. It was like hooking a car, the line just streamed off the reel.
“Using this type of big bait, you’re either going to get nothing or a big fish.”
The Welshman said he played the fish for over an hour before he managed to land it.
The trout was weighed by another angler at the water’s edge at 25 lbs 2 oz but was later weighed at 23 lbs 12 oz, using a butcher’s scale.
A crowd was already waiting for Jones and his catch by the time he returned to Burke’s Bar in the village of Clonbur on the Galway-Mayo border.
Last year Jones caught another specimen trout weighing 19 lbs on Lough Corrib.
“I am something of a fanatic when it comes to chasing big trout, coming every year to fish the same stretch of water,” he added before revealing he plans to have his prize fish stuffed and mounted in the bar.
The official Irish trout record has stood for more than a century and is held by William Mears who landed a brown trout of 26 lbs 2oz from Lough Ennell in 1894.
Cork angler David O’Leary landed a trout of 21 lbs 6oz in 2003 while trolling at Annabeg Point, on the Glann Shore which was until Saturday the Corrib record.