OFFICIAL: Holme Fen carp denied British record

OFFICIAL: Holme Fen carp denied British record

The British Record Fish Committee has turned down a submission for a new biggest UK carp.

A 69lb 10oz mirror known as Captain Jack was caught in September from Holme Fen, but Dean Fletcher’s capture of the Parrot from Wasing at 68lb 1oz in 2016 will remain the official best.

The BRFC committee met at London’s Natural History Museum yesterday [Nov 22] and decided against ratifying the claim for two reasons.

BRFC secretary Nick Simmonds told Carpfeed this morning: “We cannot consider this a British record, and that word British is important, because it was imported from Israel at such a high weight and stocked into the fishery at a high weight.

“The second consideration is that for several months the fishery was artificially fed with 150kg of pellets a week, and that goes against the criteria we set [following the denial of the Big Rig record claim].”

It had previously been reported that Captain Jack was imported at a low weight of 2lb-3lb and grown on in the UK before stocking, but an email to the BRFC by fishery boss Martin Dawson appears to suggest otherwise.

Reading from the email, Nick added: “[Martin Dawson said] Captain Jack was imported and stocked directly within a few weeks after being temporarily held in a holding tank to check for disease and parasites. Captain Jack was stocked on November 22, 2013 at 41lb.”

When contacted, Martin Dawson told Carpfeed: “I think the facts have been muddled over time.

“Generally, Mike Hawes (Premium Carp) used to import fish at around 4lb-plus and grow them on in a stock pond for resale at a later date.

“However, fish for Holme Fen (and other lakes) were imported between 10 and 41lb and put in the Holme Fen complex after a suitable quarantine period.

“Captain Jack was the largest of the batch at a little under 41lb and was stocked during 2013.”

The fish was caught by Vinny Parker from Meadows Lake at Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire in September this year.

British Record carp

Vinny told Carpfeed today: “All the way through, this was an exercise in trying to get the rules clarified, but they [the BRFC] still don’t seem to have done that, and that’s the disappointing thing.”

The painter and decorator added on the ruling itself: “I totally agree with them, to be honest.

”But this was their chance to say that record fish have to be bred in this country, which I suppose they have said, and that they have to be stocked at less than 10lb, less than 20lb, or a certain percentage of the record, but they haven’t.

“I know it’s a controversial fish and I wasn’t totally concerned about the record one way or the other, but it was an opportunity to get some rules. That’s what it needs, or the carp record will go the way of the catfish record and the trout record."

When asked whether this decision precludes Holme Fen fish from being future records, Nick Simmonds said the committee had not set any policy but would likely look at the matter again.

He told Carpfeed: “Something I thought about myself on the train home is that, to be realistic, carp waters are going to be stocked with fish that originated in fish farms and these fish are going to be grown to a significant size before being purchased and stocked into fisheries.

“It occurred to me, and this is just me talking, maybe we accept that these fish can be records if they are stocked at, say, no more than 25 per cent of the then-record weight.”

 Vinny Parker caught Captain Jack at 69lb 10oz in September 2018

Vinny Parker caught Captain Jack at 69lb 10oz in September 2018