The on going saga surrounding the capture of the Biggest carp in the UK is finally resolved. The fish known as “Big Rig” was caught at a record weight of 69lb 3oz from RH Fisheries Avenue syndicate, by Essex angler Tom Doherty. The previous record is held by Dean Fletcher’s capture of the 68lb 1oz fish named “The Parrot” from Wasing Estate’s Cranwells Lake in Berkshire.
Controversy plagues the latest record contender as it was only recently stocked by the fishery owner Rob Hales, earlier in the season. The fish had been grown on in a nearby stock pond, feeding heavily on a highly nutritious pellet diet. When the fish was over record weight it was transferred into the Avenue Lake ready to be fished for. After Tom announced the capture and the fish was published the bitter and sinister side of the industry got a hold. Tom has been badgered by the menacing trolls that patrol the social media outlets and mixed with the vile comments he has even received death threats! Tom said “I don’t understand the mentality. All I did was cast a bait in a lake. Contentious issues come out in carp fishing.” He added: “Part of me regrets catching it.”
After weeks of wrangling the British Record Fish Committee have decided that it will not be ratified as an official record because it is a “cultivated fish”. The committee decided the fish had been “grown under an artificial feeding regime close to a weight close to or exceeding the existing species record”.
Avenue boss Rob Hales told Angling Times it is a “very uneducated decision”.
He said: “It’s very predictable and I’m not at all surprised. I think that they (BRFC) don’t fully understand the carp-fishing/fishery/growing-fish business. It’s a very uneducated decision. All big carp in this country and elsewhere only get to those weights because they eat high-protein boilies.
“I gather they (BRFC) say it wouldn’t have reached this weight in the natural environment – but the fish is a fish, not a robot.”
The fish has has subsequently been caught at 71lb 4oz and that weight will not take the record either. Although BRFC chairman Mike Heylin has told Angling Times the fish may still be able to break the record in future. He said: “I don’t think it’s ruled out forever. If it came out at 85lb and had put on a significant weight in the fishery itself – assuming the fishery isn’t being regularly fed huge amounts of bait – I don’t see why we would be necessarily excluding it forever.”
The suggestion that an 85lb fish would be valid has thrown the gauntlet down to Rob Hales, who suggested “That’s very interesting. I actually think Big Rig will make 85lb, so it’s a challenge I’m willing to accept. I feed my fish to stop them getting hungry, you can’t force food down their throats.”
As far as Tom Doherty is concerned however, he is glad that the saga is all over and has moved on with the whole debate. At the end of the day any of the syndicate members could have caught the fish, but he was unlucky enough to be lucky in this instance!