Crucian Could Break British Best

This crucian carp could prove to be bigger than Martin Bowler's present British record of 4lb 9oz 9dr.

The huge specimen, weighed at 4lb 8oz, was caught by Chris Gadsden on a pleasure session fishing a Colne Valley gravel pit during which he also caught a common carp of 13lb 7oz and a 6lb 2oz tench.

Uxbridge, Middlesex-based barber Chris has fished for the species for years and often travels to Godalming-controlled crucian hotspot Marsh Farm to deliberately target specimens.

Chris is convinced his latest capture is a genuine crucian and not a hybrid. More importantly rough checks have suggested his scales are weighing 2oz or 3oz light.

If that is verified as fact by an official Weights and Measures scales check, then Chris would be in line to beat Martin's record, assuming the British Record Fish Committee were to judge his fish  a true strain crucian carp.

“This is as much a crucian as any Yately Summer Pit or Marsh Farm fish. I have fished for crucians for over 50 years and I know good genes when I see them,” claimed Chris, who is secretary of Uxbridge Rovers AC.


Initial checks of Chris' photographs reveal that the lateral line scale count is correct, as are the ray counts on the fins, and there are no suspect barbules around the mouth that would indicate it were a king carp hybrid.


Indeed, initial glances have left many convinced that the fish is a genuine crucian and a big one at that.


The only doubts so far raised are that the lateral line of Chris' fish is very distinct along its entire length, whereas crucians usually display a very indistinct line that almost entirely fades away towards the tail.


"This is a classic case of where a scale taken from the fish to help provide a conclusive DNA sample may be the only fool proof way of determining whether or not this particular fish is a hybrid or the real deal," said Specialist Anglers' Alliance BRFC representative Andy Nellist.


More than any other species crucian carp have always provided the BRFC with problems of accurate identification. The species is prone to hybridising with common and mirror carp and with illegally released brown goldfish.


But with the BRFC meeting next week and Chris looking to get his local Trading Standards Office to check his scales, it seems certain that the question of crucian record claims could increase the pressure on the committee to adopt modern technological method like DNA testing in their record verification procedures.