The British rudd record has been smashed by a giant specimen weighing 5lb 2oz.
It fell to lucky carper Chris Moule during a day session on a secret pit in deepest Cambridgeshire - beating the old best of 4lb 10oz out of sight.
But it was far from classic rudd tactics that proved the downfall of the shock monster as Chris had cast out an 18mm pop-up tiger nut boilie in a bid to escape the ‘nuisance’ bites from the species!
“I’d started the day on my normal boilies that I’d been prebaiting with, but every time I cast out they were whittled away by rudd. I’d landed a few to over a pound when I decided to put out a bigger, harder bait just to give me a chance of catching a carp,” explained the 26-year-old electrician, from March.
“At about 3pm, the rod roared off through a set of lily pads and I knew straight away it wasn’t a mirror or a common - but I wasn’t sure exactly what was on the end.”
When the fish eventually surfaced Chris initially believed it was a small crucian but quickly changed his mind when eagle-eyed fishing buddy Jason Stokes declared it an enormous rudd.
“It was just so big, could it have been a hybrid? That was the question on our lips. We texted the picture to local fishing expert Joan Cole and she immediately identified it as pure rudd. It’s incredible!” The fish was beaten on a size 8 hook, to a braided hooklink, and 15lb line.
The weighing procedure was witnessed and carried out in accordance to national record claim guidelines and the Fox Digital Stalker scales must now be sent to Weights and Measures for accuracy tests.
The question of hybridization still remains and images will be scrutinized for cross-breeding with species such as bream and roach by members of the British Record Fish Committee.
But despite the red tape, Moule still looks a certainty to get his place on the record lists.
Chris added: “I’m just glad my mate was there - if I was alone I might have put it back without ever getting a picture and the record would never have stood.”
If Chris Moule’s fish does make history it will replace Simon Parry’s 4lb 10oz giant that was caught in 2001.
Parry’s specimen - which the same angler equalled later in the same year - caused controversy when it was banked because it came from a water in County Armagh in Northern Ireland - the first time the rudd record had fallen to a fish outside of England.
Before that, it had been the Rev E C Alston, with a specimen of 4lb 8oz, who had sat on top of the pile - a place he had occupied for an incredible
68 years after capturing the creature in 1933.
If sanctioned by officials, this latest rudd will be the first to ever break 5lb, just at a time when many experts believed the species was in decline.
Martin Bowler has been responsible for some of the best catches of rudd in the modern era and although shocked at the size, was not surprised at the venue - a Cambs pit.
“Cambridgeshire does seem to be only the county in country that still holds big rudd,” said Martin.
“The further west you travel the rarer the species becomes in specimen size and I don’t know of any other place in the UK where I can target them.
“They’ve never been particularly widespread but problems with cormorants have only added to their demise.”