ALL-ROUNDER Colin Etherington came within a whisker of the British stickleback record with this 7.89 g whopper.

Colin recently told Angler’s Mail about how he is taking extra safety precautions when fishing, hence the mask in this photograph.

His jumbo three-spined stickleback fell an agonising 0.11 g short of the official 8 g giant caught by Mat Faulkner last summer.

Colin, 51, from Burgess Hill, West Sussex, explained: “I woke up early and decided to use up some maggots that I had in the fridge.

“I grabbed a three-metre whip, a chair and a bucket of bits, then popped down to a Haywards Heath DAS water.

“By presenting a maggot on an 18 hook, I got bites immediately.

“After a few tiny rudd, I swung in a stickleback. I’d caught hundreds as a young boy, but had never seen one this size.

“I quickly Googled the three-spined stickleback record and saw it stood at 8 g.

“I thought that this one must be pushing it, so I rang my mate, who sells gold jewellery, and he popped down with some jewellery scales that weigh to 1/100th of a gram.

Colin's supersized stickleback on the scales.

Colin’s supersized stickleback on the scales.

“To be honest, I thought it was a record, but the scales weighed it just shy, at 7.89 g, a mere 0.12 g light of claiming an outright record.

“I would have claimed the record had it been bigger. I believe that any British record fish with your name alongside it is an awesome thing.

“I’m so glad that I went to the trouble of weighing it correctly, as I know that I didn’t put a record back.

“The Sussex Ouse has some huge minnows in it, and I’m going to have a try for a record once the rivers open,” added Colin.

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Easy-to-use digital scales & weigh sling

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