The British carp record has been smashed by a mirror weighing a colossal 68lb 1oz.
The fish – known as ‘The Parrot’ – eclipses Oz Holness’s capture of Two Tone at 67lb 8oz in 2008.
Dean Fletcher caught the huge specimen from Cranwells Lake on the Wasing Estate in Berkshire just an hour after setting up.
Speaking to Angling Times with the fish still in the retaining sling awaiting photos, the 53-year-old greengrocer said: “It’s a bit surreal!”
Mark Hibbs, the fisheries manager and head gamekeeper at Wasing, said: “We weighed it on two sets of scales – Reuben Heaton digitals and traditional dial scales – and they both read 68lb 1oz.”
The Parrot is a well-known fish that has been caught a number of times over 60lb and up to 64lb 8oz.
New unofficial record-holder Dean told Angling Times: “I’ve been on here for three seasons and I’ve been after this fish in particular because I’ve caught everything else in here.
“I didn’t care how big it was going to be, I just wanted to catch it. To have it at over 68lb is something else!
“I’d witnessed it on the bank before. My friend Roy Allen caught it in the spring at 63lb and another friend had it in the summer at 64lb.”
The fish was caught January 13 just after dusk. Dean baited lightly with Pete Regan Meat Two boilies and presented a matching pop-up over the top.
The Reading resident, who runs the Tippings Lane syndicate in Woodley, said: “I baited with just a few chops, it being January, and fished about 50 yards out. My rig featured a size 4 Atomic Claw hook, Atomic Jel-e-Wyre and a 4oz lead.
“I had only been here about an hour when I got a couple of bleeps and then it slowly tugged line off. I bent into it and it didn’t feel all that big, it was just kiting.
“There’s a sunken tree in my swim so I got my waders on and in the water to get round it. It was coming straight in and then all of a sudden the fish started bubbling and buried into the bottom.
“That’s when my knees started going a bit and I thought maybe it could be a big one.
“It came in with a bit of weed over it and I said to my mate it could be one of two fish, either Floppy Tail (a mid-forty mirror), which I’ve already caught, or the Parrot. When we got it in it did look bigger than its previous captures.
“This is my third season on the venue and I’ve had 87 captures.”