British record carp found dead

British record carp found dead

The current British-record carp has been found dead.

The Parrot, which holds the official record at 68lb 1oz, was found by an angler at the Wasing Estate today.

It is the second monster carp to die in recent weeks, following the death of Big Rig from the Avenue. That fish weighed over 70lb but was never officially ratified as a record.

Wasing fishery manager Mark Hibbs told Carpfeed: “One of our members phoned me at 6am.

“We’ve already had it autopsied and it looks like natural causes. I’d say it’s only been dead a day – it was seen and photographed swimming around at the weekend.”

 Craig Runham caught the Parrot earlier this year

Craig Runham caught the Parrot earlier this year

The long mirror, which lived in Cranwells Lake on the Berkshire complex, had been caught by a number of top anglers including Terry Hearn.

It was last caught earlier this summer by Tom Last at 61lb 8oz, but when Dean Fletcher banked it in January 2016 at a top weight of 68lb 1oz it set a new British record.

The Parrot was stocked at 12lb in 1997 and had packed on weight ever since. When Bernie Loftus caught it at 64lb 8oz in 2014 he measured the fish at nearly 41ins to the fork of its tail.

 Terry Hearn caught the famous fish

Terry Hearn caught the famous fish

Mark Hibbs added: “We test our waters regularly and the only one we do have trouble with has been fine, and so is Cranwells.

“I went out in the boat a couple of weeks ago and the Parrot always comes and says hello. He was looking very good, apart from a bit of sun burn on his back.”

Mark said the fishery was looking into getting the Parrot, which was a male fish, stuffed.

He said the mood at the lake, which only re-opened to anglers after a month break yesterday, was very low. “All the guys fishing down there have packed up and gone home. A couple of them looked close to tears.

“It’s a piece of history that they’ve spent a long time trying to catch.”

Craig Runham was the last-but-one angler to catch the famous fish, at 64lb.

He told Carpfeed: “I was fishing the lake next door and got a phone call at first light to come and see it.

“It looked natural – no marks, nothing to say it was hooked or tethered.”

The Berkshire angler added: “It was an amazing creature to look at, and I’m so glad to have caught it. That memory will live with me forever.”

The Parrot had been caught five times this year and was once caught twice in under 48 hours, but Craig strongly denied it was a ‘mug fish’.

He said: “The lake is around 20 acres and is fished by some of the best anglers around 24/7. There’s never a day in the week when it’s not nearly full.

“Most of the fishing is via bait boats, so every rig is presented.

“It’s the biggest fish in the lake and it’s got to eat – and it does love its food.

“It’s not down to being a mug fish, or it needing a break, it’s down to the amount of rod hours on that lake. It took Terry Hearn two years to catch it and some lads have fished there for 10 years or more and not had it.

“It’s a very sad day but the reason it came out five times [this year] is down to the calibre of anglers fishing for it.”