An open-access venue has produced a fish bigger than the official British record.
Holme Fen’s Meadows Lake – which contains an incredible five different 60s and can be fished by anyone on a pre-booking system – gave up this 69lb 10oz mirror known as Captain Jack to Vinny Parker.
Speaking exclusively to Carpfeed this afternoon, he said: “I’m considering claiming it.
“Obviously we are just going to be plagued by haters, but I would like to claim it for the simple reason that I’ve been fishing since 1982 for carp and I’m no spring chicken - this is my five minutes of fame I’ve been dreaming of for 36 years.”
Learn more about Britain’s biggest carp:
The monster mirror is bigger than the current official record of 68lb 1oz, which was set by Dean Fletcher’s capture of the now-deceased Parrot from Wasing.
A claim was submitted to the British Record Fish Committee when Tom Doherty caught Big Rig from the Avenue at 69lb 3oz, but that was denied. An 83lb 4oz carp was caught from Wingham in Kent, but no record was claimed and the fish, like Big Rig, is now dead.
It was Vinny’s fifth session at Holme Fen but his first fish landed.
Incredibly, he had lost a fish to a cut off just five minutes before he hooked Captain Jack. Later that day, Vinny’s friend Jess Lamont landed a 55lb 5oz fish over the other side of the lake that was trailing his rig.
Vinny, who baited a “centre-circle-sized area” in front of the Reeds swim with 10kg of Mainline Cell, said: “At 8.15am on Friday I had a take. As soon as I lifted into it I knew it was a good fish.
“It wallowed off and I couldn’t do anything with it. It weeded me and cut me off on the mussels.
“I sat there on my bedchair nearly in tears thinking this lake just conspires against me.
“I was just considering tying another rig when I had two bleeps on my middle rod. I dived out of my bivvy and my rod tip was just knocking very slightly. It hadn’t even pulled out of the clip but I thought it must be a fish just shaking its head trying to get rid of the rig.
“As I picked it up the rod bent double and I initially thought I was snagged.”
The 54-year-old painter and decorator said the fish did most of its fighting close in, powering around for at least 10 minutes at close quarters, before friend Robert ‘Nobby’ Allsop netted it.
Vinny said: “Nobby shouted ‘Captain Jack!’ so everyone knew. I just couldn’t believe it, I was shaking like jelly. Everything was just a blur after that.”
The Cambridgeshire angler admitted Captain Jack was only lightly hooked and must have been on the spot at the same time as the 55-pounder he lost.
“I’ve been reflecting on that and thinking that if I hadn’t had the take from Captain Jack I would have known I lost a 55-pounder. I was actually happy that I lost a 55lb carp. How does that sound?!”
Vinny fished Ronnie rigs made with Korda IQ2 and Gardner Mugga hooks tipped with Proper Job Condensed Milk pop-ups.
The capture came during a social session for members of the Earith Lakes Woodpecker syndicate which also produced a different fish of 65lb 3oz to venue boss Martin Dawson, three fifties and three forties.
Martin confirmed to Carpfeed that Holme Fen now contains five different sixties and “about 30 different fifties”.
The same social session also saw Jess Lamont catch a brace of 50s and Graham Canham a 58lb 5oz mirror.
The fish in Meadows were stocked by Fenland Fisheries and are of the Israeli Dor-70 strain. They were imported into the country at 2-3lb and grown on.
In 2011, the lake was stocked with 170 of these fish, of which 155 were under 23lb while the remaining 15 weighed between 23lb and 39lb.
Captain Jack was one of two of the largest fish stocked around that top weight. The other fish died a year later after spawning.