You studied it. You debated it. You drooled over it. But you never quite believed it, did you? No pike picture in history blazed through the Internet faster or more often than this photo. Most e-mail chains claimed the fish came from Rainy Lake, Ontario, and was caught when it attacked a 36-inch pike that had already been hooked.
The monster fish, which weighed an amazing 42.9 pounds, was caught in 2004 on a lake in southern Holland by Dutch angler Ewout Blom.
He was trolling a perch-patterned Rapala Super Shad Rap when he noticed his rod bend slightly. It straightened, then bent completely. He set the hook and battled for five full minutes, including a few tense moments when the giant thrashed at the surface. The pike measured 50 inches (127 centimeters if you're Dutch).
"The mystery is over," says NAFC Executive Director Steve Pennaz. "You can tell by its coloring and the shape of its fins that it's a European pike."
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