A carp angler who banked what he thought was a record shaking 4lb 1oz roach has been left disappointed after experts unanimously agreed the specimen was a hybrid.
Hertfordshire’s Andy Uhl was targeting Manor Farm Fishing’s Winters Lake in Bedfordshire’s when the large fish fell for a 15mm pop-up boilie tipped with a piece of white plastic corn.
If genuine, the fish would have fallen just 3oz short of the current UK record for the species of 4lb 4oz caught in Northern Ireland by Keith Berry in 2006. However, after studying the pictures experts at the Environment Agency believe the fish to be a hybrid. A spokesperson said: “The placement of the dorsal fin in relation to the pelvic fin is a key ID feature between roach and rudd and in this fish it is not consistent with what you would expect to see in a true roach. It is most like a cross between a roach and a rudd.”
That was a view shared by species fanatic Mark Wintle who has been at the forefront of identifying true example of the species for decades. “I agree with the conclusion of EA officials,” he said. “There is also an intensity of colour in the fins, especially the anal fin, and that is common in hybrids - roach have much more transparent fins.”
Fishery record books also appear to back up these opinions, with bosses revealing that no big roach had been previously reported from the water.
Upon hearing the news Andy revealed his disappointment at the findings and told Angling Times:
“I initially thought it was a small bream until what looked like a huge roach came over the net. I was staggered at the size of it and weighed it on a pair of Fox Digital scales in a plastic bag to give me an accurate reading.
“I’m a little disheartened by the findings but in truth I’d prepared myself for it as I knew there was a chance it was crossbreed.”
At the time of going to press a similar debate had opened up in Germany where carp angler Klaus Schneiderhan banked a 5lb 5oz specimen from the River Neckar.
If the fish is verified as a true roach it would break the current IGFA record that has stood for almost 40-years.