A MONSTER brown trout, weighing nearly 24lbs (11kg), was hauled from the waters of Lough Corrib on Saturday afternoon.
The specimen fish, unofficially the second largest on record, was caught by Welsh angler Ceri Jones in deep water near the lake's biggest island, Inish Goill.
If ratified by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee as authentic, the fish will go down as a record for Lough Corrib, and rank as the largest trout caught in Ireland in 118 years.
Mr Jones, who works as a freelance photographer with the British angling magazine Trout Fisherman, was trolling using a “roach deadbait” when he hooked the fish.
“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 46-year-old, from the Rhondda Valley in South Wales, 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.
By the time, he returned to Burke’s Bar in the small village of Clonbur on the Glaway-Mayo border, where he is staying, word of his prize catch had already got out and dozens of people had turned up to catch a glimpse of the fish.
Mr Jones, who last year caught another specimen trout weighing 19 lbs on Lough Corrib, admitted he is something of a fanatic when it comes to chasing big trout, coming every year to fish the same stretch of water.
He plans to have his prize fish stuffed and mounted in the bar.
Lough Corrib, the Republic's largest lake, is renowned as one of the best wild brown trout fisheries in the world, and is known to contain some monster fish.
However, the official Irish trout record, which has stood for more than a century, is held by William Mears who landed a brown trout of 26 lbs 2oz from Lough Ennell in 1894.
In 2003, Cork angler David O'Leary landed a trout of 21 lbs 6oz while trolling at Annabeg Point, on the Glann Shore which was until Saturday the Corrib record.
This text was amended on May 28th, 2012 to replace the original with a longer version.