Captain Jack has NOT beaten the British-record carp weight, tests on the scales have revealed.
The Holme Fen fish was weighed on the bank at 68lb 8oz – 7oz above the current record – but a bombshell calibration of the scales says they were 8oz out.
However, captor Nigel Ludbrook is seeking a second opinion from manufacturer Reuben Heaton before giving up his claim for a new record.
His scales, which weigh in 4oz divisions, were just weeks old and used for the first time to weigh the huge Cambridgeshire mirror. They indicated the fish had beaten the 68lb 1oz record held by Dean Fletcher’s capture of the Parrot from Wasing.
As we exclusively reported last month, Nigel decided to claim the fish – which was stocked at a weight of around 39lb in 2011 – but a test by Norfolk Calibration Services found his scales to be weighing 8oz heavy.
Nigel told carpfeed.com: “I just think it’s worth getting a second opinion, just to see what it says. If that comes back saying they were out then so be it, I can’t do anything about it.
“I think being that close to the record I would kick myself if I didn’t get a second opinion on them.
“I sent an email to Reuben Heaton last night [15/11] because I wasn’t happy that they were that far out, and they said they will do me a full test at their factory,”
The current official record was also weighed on Reuben Heaton scales, which were found to be spot on when tested by Cambridgeshire Trading Standards.
“I was really surprised that they were 8oz out,” added Nigel, “They were brand new and that was the very first time they had any fish weighed on them.
“Reubens are the best scales money can buy, so we’ll see what happens.”
British Record Fish Committee chairman Mike Heylin told carpfeed.com there is nothing stopping Nigel from seeking a second opinion and submitting a test certificate from another source.
He said: “In all honesty, if Reuben say they want to test the scales then we would be happy to accept their results.
“They have always been up front and honest with us. If they say the scales are 2oz light, then they are 2oz light.”
Mike also stated that official scales tests are now done in metric, so a calculation error with the conversion to imperial could have occurred.
He added: “Nigel is just a proper fisherman. He’s had a fish of a lifetime, and it’ll still be a fish of a lifetime whether it’s a record or not.”
Reuben Heaton confirmed to Carpfeed it was expecting the scales on Monday [20/11] and would issue a certificate of conformity. The company said its scales leave the factory with a tolerance of plus or minus one division, which in this case would be 4oz.
UPDATE: In an interesting bit of symmetry, Captain Jack was caught again today [16/11] by Dave Smedley at 67lb 4oz (see below)