The biggest fish at Bluebell Lakes in Northamptonshire has today [10/8] been found dead.
The Z Fish, which lived in Swan Lake and has weighed over 55lb and regularly topped 50lb, was one of five 50s that the complex produced in 2017.
Site owner Tony Bridgefoot told Carpfeed: "I'm shattered as it's my biggest fish.
"I came back from a week in Norfolk and the first phone call I got when I came through the door was telling me the Z was dead.
"It was most definitely natural causes and spawning, there wasn't a mark on the body."
Tony said the fish had clearly been dragged up the bank by its tail and attacked "probably by rats", but did not exhibit any signs of typical otter damage around its gills or throat.
He added: "The fish only come out once a year, so when it came out twice in a fortnight recently I knew things weren't good. The same thing happened with Benson [the venue's 64lb common] before it died."
The fish was last caught on August 2, and before that on July 25.
Tony added: "It was an old fish. I think we stocked it in about 1994 or 1995, maybe 1996."
The Z Fish has been buried round the back of Swan Lake.