Anglers throughout the UK are mourning the death of Benson, believed to be the UK's biggest carp, who has died at the age of 25 weighing 64lb 2oz.
A favourite with regulars at Northamptonshire's Bluebell Lakes at Oundle near Peterborough, in 2005 Benson was voted Britain's Favourite Carp by readers of Angler's Mail.
Bluebell Lakes owner Tony Bridgefoot said: "We are all rocked by Benson's death. She was an iconic carp. Money could not have bought Benson, she had celebrity status and all anglers wanted to catch her. It was not only the size of the fish but also the fact that she was scale perfect. It looked as if the scales had been painted on her."
Believed to have been caught no less than 60 times in her life, Benson had a reputation as being a greedy fish and had been at Bluebell Lakes since 1995 when she was introduced as a five-year-old 24lbs fish. She was allegedly named after a hole the shape of a cigarette burn in her dorsal fin and arrived at the fishery with a companion called Hedges who disappeared down the River Nene after the flood of 1998.
Although there was early speculation that Benson could have died after gorging herself on nuts discarded by anglers at the end of their fishing session, leading fishery consultant Dr Bruno Broughton said it was more likely that she had simply died. "All fish and animals die eventually and it had been reported several times recently that she was not looking here usual healthy self. I would have thought she died a natural death."
Benson was found floating on the surface of Kingfisher Lake at the venue and although she was described as 'priceless' by Tony Bridgefoot, it is likely a fish of that size would cost in the region of £20,000 to replace.
The record for the biggest mirror carp in the UK is held by Two Tone which weighed 67lb when he was last caught at Mid Kent Fisheries in April 2008.