Captain Jack could be officially accepted as a new British-record carp tomorrow [Tuesday] after a second opinion on the accuracy of the scales used to weigh it.
However, in yet another twist in the tale, time is running out for the fish to be officially ratified at the British Record Fish Committee’s (BRFC) bi-annual meeting tomorrow [28/11/17].
Nigel Ludbrook caught the mirror from Holme Fen at an on-the-bank weight of 68lb 8oz last month, but a calibration of his two-week-old scales showed them to be weighing 8oz heavy.
The Suffolk angler sought a second test from manufacturer Reuben Heaton, which last week indicated the scales were only 4oz (one division) out, making the fish 68lb 4oz and potentially a new record by 3oz.
However, the British Record Fish Committee only meets twice a year to ratify record fish and it still hasn’t received the paperwork from Nigel ahead of its meeting in London tomorrow.
The paperwork was sent special delivery on Friday, but Royal Mail had still yet to deliver the claim by 5pm this afternoon.
BRFC secretary Nick Simmonds told Carpfeed: “We are still waiting for the paperwork from Nigel.
“I spoke to him this morning and he posted it special delivery on Friday, so it should have been with us by 1pm today.”
Nick confirmed to Carpfeed that it had not arrived at the Angling Trust’s Herefordshire office by 5pm this afternoon, but if it arrives tomorrow morning there is a chance the paperwork could be scanned and sent on electronically to the meeting in London.
Nick said: “If I get the paperwork the committee will discuss Nigel’s claim. If we don’t get the paperwork I will talk to the committee about how we will try to reconvene without having to wait six months for the next get-together.”
Whenever the paperwork arrives, the capture is not guaranteed to be accepted as a record.
Nick added: “I hope Nigel is going to send me both scales-test results. I think it would be remiss to accept the more favourable test without being able to see the bigger picture.
“If there’s any question that the scales are recording heavy, BRFC protocol is to record a weight one whole scale division lower [Nigel’s scales weighed in 4oz divisions].”
Nigel told us last week: “I just wanted a second opinion as I was surprised that the scales, which were knew, were so far out.
“I will now send off the paperwork to the BRFC and we’ll see what happens. What will be, will be.”
Tomorrow’s BRFC meeting is also expected to discuss the validity of the fish, which was stocked into Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire at 41lb. [Carpfeed has seen stocking records showing the initial publicised stocking weight of 39lb was not correct].
The BRFC is also likely to discuss the current state of the carp record in general and whether claim requirements need to be amended or changed.
The current official British-record carp is the Parrot, a 68lb 1oz mirror caught by Dean Fletcher from Wasing in Berkshire in 2016. That fish has since died.
Another now-deceased fish, Big Rig from the Avenue in Shropshire, was caught at 71lb 4oz but no claim was made after the BRFC rejected its 69lb 3oz capture.
Last week, a heavily spawnbound mirror of 83lb 4oz was caught from Wingham in Kent, but the anonymous captor has decided against claiming a record.