We look back to 1995 and the controversy that followed the capture of what was at the time Britain’s biggest carp from running water…
When Jeff Day spent a month stalking a huge carp he had seen in Suffolk’s tiny River Gipping, there is no way he could have foreseen the controversy that would follow his eventual capture of the 42lb 4oz giant.
When he did indeed tempt the big mirror to take his floating dog biscuit after days of pain-staking near misses, the Ipswich specialist became the first angler to catch an authenticated 40lb carp from a British River.
Initially, he tried to keep the capture under wraps, but once word got out he published the picture in Angling Times on 9 August 1995.
Almost immediately, the phone on AT’s newsdesk started ringing as a group of irate carp anglers from the south east region called to say the fish was in fact the same mirror that was stolen two years previously from the private ICI stillwater located not far from the river.
One of those anglers was Aaron Scott, who had fished the ICI pit for 13 years and explained how the carp had got into the river.
He said: “The river runs along the back of the Barham complex where the ICI water is. But it’s impossible for the fish to have escaped from the lake into the river directly – it’s 15ft below the river and 200yds away.
"We think that the fish (nicknamed ‘Dippy’) was stolen by anglers who can’t fish our lake and was put into Barham B pit next door, where it was seen swimming around. From there it has got into the river from the outfall, which floods regularly.
"We had lots of big carp stolen from our lake in the close season on 1993-94 and only six or seven fish from the original stock of 35 fish remain.”
The news came as a complete shock to captor Geoff, who told AT “I’ve seen the fish in the river for two years and thought it was just a natural river fish.”
Geoff went on to add that he had also seen one carp ‘at least 10lb bigger’ than Dippy in the River Gipping, although as far as we know, it was never caught or reported to the press.