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A keen angler who posted a picture of himself with a record-breaking pike has been outed as a hoaxer by the Angling Times.

Jonathan Denny posted the pic on fishing.co.uk's Trophy Room, claiming he had landed the 52lb pike - a UK record. However, the Angling Times grew suspicious when it tried to contact Mr Denny and he would only respond by email.

Having tracked him down to Reading, Jonathan admitted he and his computer-literate friend Max Spenser-Morris has doctored a picture of Jonathan with a 22lb pike using Photoshop. It's a pretty good job although a closer inspection shows it to be a fake.

The fish has been blurred to fit in with the pic but by too much because the fish should be in fairly good focus and only Jonathan's face blurred. However, the damning proof apparently is a speck of pure blue on the fish's head, which came from Jonathan's blue sweater. It has sadly now been removed from the Web site.

Jonathan was repentant: "We didn't mean for it all to go this far. Max made the image as a joke. I certainly never wanted to mislead anyone. I suppose anglers want to believe in myths and monsters."

The British record for a pike is 46lb 13oz and was caught by Roy Lewis in 1992. ®

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