A HOBBY fisherman has described hooking a giant 21lb pike from a lake as one of the “greatest moments” of his life.

Chris Garlinge, from Whitchurch, visited Anton Lakes in Andover last month, determined to land his first pike. But just like his prized catch, Chris ended up biting off more than he bargained for.

The engineer was eagerly watching his float when he was thrust into an intense 10 minute battle with the prodigious pike.

The amateur angler described the fight as one of the toughest he’s ever had.

But eventually, after much struggle, he pulled in the feisty fish.

Luckily for Chris, who was on his own at the time, he was joined by a passer-by.

The dog-walker then took a picture of Chris and his prize debut catch, which was later put back into the water.

Chris said: “It was definitely one of the best moments of my life.

“When I pulled it towards the bank I thought it was about 10 lbs but as a I reeled it in I could see it was more like 20 lbs.

“I sent a photograph to my uncle who is really into his fishing. He said I should be proud.”

Chris says he has been hooked on fishing from an early age and has so far caught all manner of watery wonders including breach, carp and roach.

However the 22-year-old admits he was a little out of his depth during his first pike expedition, which ended without a catch.

A defiant Chris refused to give up on his ambition of catching a pike and so took to the waters of Anton Lakes for a second bite.

His determination paid off when he netted his first pike, pictured, before catching a smaller 10lb pike later in the day.

Despite being an impressive size for his first pike, Chris’ fish was just half the size of the British record catch.

The largest pike ever snared from a British lake weighed a staggering 46 lb 13 oz, caught by Roy Lewis in 1992.

But Chris still remains proud of his 21 lb haul.

He said:”A lot of people would give anything to get a pike like that so to get it as my first catch was great.

“It was definitely a moment to remember.”

Now he has landed a pike, the electrical assembler says he will turn his attention to netting his dream catch, a wels catfish.

The scaleless species are the largest freshwater fish in Europe and have been known to grow up to over 2.5 metres long and weigh more than 100kg. Asked why, he said: “Catching them is a challenge, they are hard to catch.

“It’s certainly another fish on my wish list.”