A SHOP owner smelled something fishy after discovering a trout with a cigarette in its mouth had been posted through his letterbox.

Darren Burns, who owns Safercigs in Blandford, fell hook, line and sinker for the “practical joke gone wrong”.

He opened up shop on Sunday morning to be greeted by the strange sight – and smell – and was initially concerned it was a red herring for something more sinister.

“I had absolutely no idea what it was all about," he said.

"I first of all checked the CCTV and the more I watched the footage, the more sinister it looked.

"The guy who posted the trout was checking around before he did it, almost like he was targeting us.”

After posting the CCTV images to social media, Darren was able to find out who was responsible and why they carried out the bizarre prank.

He also spoke to police about the incident, although no further action was taken as they had bigger fish to fry.

“When the guy spoke to me, he seemed totally genuine and was very apologetic. It was a practical joke gone wrong. His son was going to switch to vaping, but is still smoking.

"They had been fishing that morning and thought it would be funny to put a trout in my letterbox and take a picture. However, the trout ended up through my letterbox,” he said.

“The smell of rotten fish in the shop didn’t do us any favours, but he came into the shop and gave my wife some flowers and a bottle of wine – and £200 to cover the cost of cleaning."