The truth of the matter is that this is not a record Northern Pike, although it is huge--coming in at 54". The monster pike was caught in Holland and was written up in an article in Esox Angler Magazine by noted Dutch pike authority Jan Eggers.
The internet being what it is, the photos soon made there way to hundreds of chat boards, often attached to fabricated stories. These photos were sometimes bundled with the following amazing picture:
So although this was not a record Northern, it was a true monster in its own right. For the record, the current World Record Northern Pike was caught by Lothar Louis of Germany in 1986 and weighed 55 pounds.
Rumors of much larger Northerns have swirled for years. A fine article dispelling some of these rumors can be found here. But it is clear this is a record waiting to fall.
-- Dr. Todd