Licence Blunder Costs Captor A British Record

The Environment Agency is keen to remind all freshwater anglers that they need a rod licence to go fishing after it emerged that a British record claim might be rejected because the captor was fishing without a licence.

The news emerged earlier this week when Robert Townsends admitted that he wasn't in possession of a valid rod licence when he caught his 6lb 2oz perch from the Lower Thames.

The news was the latest in a string of blows to Robert's record ambitions.

He initially reported a fish to Angling Times in early January which looked set to break Les Brown's current 5lb 15oz record by three ounces.

But Thames Ditton Marina owners spotted the story in Angling Times and claimed that Robert and his boat partner were seen poaching inside the marina on the day in question, an accusation that Robert strenuously denied. It was also suggested that the fish might have been weighed in the boat.

If either claim was true then it might have endangered his record (the British Record Fish Committee require record claims to be weighed on land and that the fish is caught by 'fair angling' means).

But that all seems immaterial now Robert has admitted to fishing without a licence because the Environment Agency has indicated that it intends to investiage him and he could find himself prosecuted as a result.

All these anomolies surrounding the capture makes it increasingly likely that the BRFC will reject the claim.