A WOMAN has fished her way into the record books after she landed the largest pike ever caught by a female angler in the UK.

Lyn Baker, 32, made the 39lb 8oz catch during a fishing trip to central Scotland at the weekend.

She had entered a draw to take part in the session on the Lake of Menteith, and her name was drawn out of the hat, along with 80 other anglers.

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Mrs Baker, from Burnopfield, County Durham, had caught a pike weighing 21lb 5oz and was ready to go home, but then struck lucky.

Her husband, Neil, said: "Her previous best pike was 10lb 8oz and I said if we go to Menteith, you have got a great chance of beating it.

"Her first fish after half an hour was 21lb 5oz, and she was absolutely over the moon; she would have happily gone home then.

"I said 'It will take you a while to beat that', then she struck into this thing. It came out of the water and I have never seen anything like it.'"

After reeling in the giant pike with a sardine deadbait, Mrs Baker said: "I am still shaking now, I was so excited.

"It fought really hard, it was really fit. We did not see it for five minutes after I hooked it, and when I did, I just thought 'oh my God'."

Mrs Baker became interested in angling three years ago. Previously dedicated Newcastle United football fans, the couple stopped buying season tickets and bought a boat instead.

She said: "Neil got me into it; he fishes all the time.

"We used to do a lot of fly fishing for trout, then he got into pike fishing and got me to try that."

The North-East once lay claim to Britain's biggest pike, but the story was a red herring.

The fish, which became known as the Fatfield Pike, was reputed to have attacked and killed a dog.

The terrier was floating in the water in James Steel Park, Fatfield, Washington, Wearside, in 1989, with three of its legs torn off.

Children were warned to stay away from the pond, which anglers said could have contained a colony of huge pike weighing more than 20lb each.

Other visitors reported seeing ducks and coots swallowed by fish in the pond, and the reports attracted an army of anglers desperate to catch one.

None of the fish rose to the bait, and it is now thought the story was an urban myth.