A carp weighing more than the current British record has been banked – and this time it will be claimed.
The fish, Captain Jack from Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire, weighed in 68lb 8oz and was caught by Suffolk angler Nigel Ludbrook.
The same fish was caught at 68lb 5oz – 4oz above the current British record held by the now-deceased Parrot from Wasing in Berkshire – in September but the captor decided to remain anonymous and not claim it as a record.
Self-employed bricklayer Nigel caught the giant mirror halfway through a 48-hour session on the open-access venue.
Speaking exclusively to Carpfeed he said: “I was shaking like a leaf, I didn’t know what to say or do.
“It still hasn’t sunk in that it’s the largest carp in the land.”
The 49-year-old was fishing with pal Richard Read on a trip to celebrate the pair turning 50 this year.
“It was the session of a lifetime,” said Nigel, who also saw Richard land a 53lb 2oz mirror.
Recalling the moment Captain Jack took his hookbait placed 50yds out from the Beach Double swim, he added: “It was a typical big-fish bite, really.
"It just pulled the bobbin up about an inch and a half, then the rod tip started to shake a little before it ripped off.
“It felt a good fish right from the off, but there are lots of 40s and 50s in there so I didn’t know what it would be.
“It’s like tap water over there, so we could see it was a big fish 20 or 30yds out, but again it was hard to tell if it was that fish.”
The fish went through Nigel’s other two lines on its way in, but was eventually netted by Richard and witnessed by fellow anglers Alan Smith and William Woodfield.
“It didn’t quite hit us when we saw him in the net,” said Nigel. “I’ve seen pics of the fish and I knew he had a big set of shoulders on him, but I wasn’t sure.
“I said to Richard, ‘I don’t know if it is or not’, but we realised when we lifted him into the sling in the water – that was a real struggle and it took two of us.”
Nigel, who regularly fishes in France and had a UK pb of 35lb 6oz, had fortunately purchased a pair of 120lb Reuben Heaton scales just a fortnight before the trip, and they pulled round to 68lb 8oz.
When asked whether he would claim the record, he told Carpfeed: “For me, it’s a fish of a lifetime and I think I will [claim it].
“It’s an Israeli strain of fish and a lot of people don’t really treat it as a British record. I think it went in the lake at 39lb, and you’re always going to get people saying it’s not a true British fish, but I think I probably will do that [submit a record claim].”
The British Record Fish Committee will have to consider the claim after the scales are checked.
The BRFC has previously rejected a claim for the mirror known as Big Rig, which topped 71lb 4oz, because it had been ‘grown under an artificial feeding regime to a weight close to or exceeding the species record'. Big Rig died this summer.
RIG AND BAIT
- Blowback snowman rig
- Hookbait: Sticky Krill bottom bait and 10mm Sticky White Chocolate pop-up
- Loosefeed: Sticky Krill boilies scattered with a throwing stick
- Hook: Size 6 Fox Arma Point Wide Gape
- Hooklink: Fox Camotex Semi Stiff
- Lead: 3.5oz on a clip