Carp record remains with ‘Parrot’

UK fisheries are believed to contain several carp that would be contenders for the British record, and one has just been caught weighing 4-oz more than the record-breaking late ‘Parrot’, which was found dead some weeks ago.

The privacy demands of the angler involved have led to no details, other than the fish’s weight, being released.

It also means, of course, that the fish will not become the British record; at least, for now. However, such is the carp’s growth rate that the next time it is caught, it could weigh 70-lb-plus and, unless it is the same angler, it could then be crowned as the new record holder.

Two UK fish bigger than the record of 68-lb 1-oz were caught last year but the record fish committee refused to ratify the first of these, a fish of 69-lb 13-oz, due to the extreme weight at which it was stocked, so the second angler decided it was pointless to put in a claim at a weight of 71-lb 4-oz.

Carp are long-livers and being fed in captivity clearly produces fish of immense weight.

It does, therefore, beg the question of how long a fish needs to be in residence at a fishery open to anglers, before it is acceptable to the rod caught record fish committee – six months, a year, perhaps even two years? A time-line decision is needed if a farce is to be avoided.

The International Game Fish Association lists the European and World record as 75-lb 11-oz for a fish taken at the famous and immense Lac De St Cassien in France.

The world record for that of the grass variety is 87-lb 10-oz – a Bulgarian fish caught in 2009. In America there is a species known, unimaginatively perhaps, as the ‘Big-head carp’ for which the record is 90-lb set at a lake in Tennessee in 2005.

The UK carp record that has a history stretching back to 1902 and has been broken many times, on eight occasions by the same fish known as ‘Two-tone’ that was a resident of Conningbrook Fishery in Cambridgeshire until its death a few years ago.

The ‘Parrot’ that began its residency at Cranwell’s Lake at a mere 12-lb in 1994 was the next incumbent.

The carp is the life-blood of UK freshwater fishing and more is written and reported about it than any other species. And, although here in the South West there are no known record contenders, stocked fisheries provide a very high level of activity. Among those at the forefront is Creedy Manor on the outskirts of Crediton where huge aggregates rather than giant individuals are the feature.

Fishing the surface at Creedy Manor regular Ian Grimes again had the week’s best bag, this time a total of 16 commons, all in double figures, to 20-lb 1-oz for a total aggregate of 213-lb.

Steve Oliver had a remarkable session in which he banked 11 com- mons, all heavier than 14-lb 6-oz to a personal best fish, the last of the day, that weighed 21-lb 5-oz. Ben Weston had a catch of five commons, all but one in double figures, and a first Creedy visit for Aiden Turner (not he of Poldark fame), down from Taunton, had a personal best in the number of fish more than five; a very good score without knowing the water.

Tiverton’s Andy Shute had a total of five commons and a green tench with the best two almost a matched pair at 21-lb 14-oz and 21-8.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.