A fishery which offered anglers £1,000 if they caught its first 40-pounder has paid out.
Aiden Hodge was the grateful recipient of the new personal best – and the wedge of cash – when he netted this 40lb 2oz mirror at Lakeside View in Devon.
“I’m completely blown away,” said the 27-year-old, “to not only catch my first UK 40 but to win the prize pot of £1,000.
“The feeling of the fish alone was too much to take in, without the £1000 cash. It was a dream session!”
The landmark fish, known as Susie, is just nine years old. It came from peg 13 on a CC Moore Pacific Tuna wafter on a German rig over bloodworm pellets.
Fishery boss Peter Grandfield said: “We run the venue very much like a fish farm and give our fish plenty of feed on top of what the anglers give them.
“We don’t stock too high and this has meant the fish have plenty of room to grow. This fish is only nine years old and as you can see we pick the cream of the crop.
“At the moment one in three of the fish getting caught from the 10-acre lake are over 30lb.
“Our prize pots for target fish are very popular with anglers paying £1 with their day ticket to buy into the target-fish pots which max out at £1,000.
“We always pick challenging targets so the pot grows to its full amount.
“I’d say on average we pay out £3,000 to £4,000 a year through the prize-pot scheme.”