Preserved and cased head of a male Pike fish, caught by AE Hobbs in the River Thames on the 13th December 1895. Weight 20.5lbs.
Preserved and mounted by J Cooper & Sons of London.
Hobbs was born in New Street, Henley in 1871 and lived in Henley all his life. Whilst working as an architect for Brakspear brewery in the 1930's he was responsible for designing many local pubs.
Hobbs claimed to have caught almost 900 Thames Trout, each over 3 lbs in weight, in 55 years of fishing. He fished in the non-tidal reaches of the Thames.
Latin name - Esox lucius
Colour - Its greeny brown with paler sides (flanks).
Size - A pike can grow up to 1m (3½ feet) and weight between 4 - 20 kg (9 - 45lb). The biggest pike ever caught was 34kg (75lb).
Charcteristics - It has a stream lined, elongated (long) body with a powerful tail. It has a wide mouth with three rows of hooked teeth. Male pikes, known as Jacks, are smaller than the females.
Habitat - The pike likes slow flowing or still water which is high in oxygen and dense plant cover.
Diet - A pike feeds on all fish. Larger pike also eat small mammals, frogs and water fowl.
How fished for - Anglers use live or dead fish such as sprats, makeral or artificial baits called lures. Spinning is the technique used to catch pike. Spinning involves drawing back the bait or lures through the water to imitate the movement of natural prey.
Interesting fact - Pikes have been known to eat seagulls and rats!.
British Record - 44lbs 14oz - 3.74kg