Did you catch a record fish and not even realise?

Have you put back a potential British record fish and missed out on a place in the record books?

A string of specimen-sized fish taken in the last few months would have set new benchmarks for the recently-created DNA list if their captors had claimed them. That means the records for roach, rudd and crucian carp are still up for grabs because the British Record Fish Committee (BRFC) are yet to receive any applications.

The new DNA record list was created in 2013 specifically for the above mentioned species which are notorious for hybridising with other fish. Any angler catching a roach or rudd of at least 3lb 12oz, or a 4lb 8oz-plus crucian carp, can claim a new record, provided a scale sample is supplied explained Mike Heylin, chairman of the BRFC.

“Crossing is very prevalent in these three fish and the DNA record list came about because several questions were asked of the current roach record of 4lb 4oz. Unfortunately there was no scale sample so we could only go on photographs and scale counts, and the latter are very similar to rudd.  The DNA list was created to find pure lines of fish and it’s also a move forward to save stocks of true crucians,” he said.

Rudd of 4lb 1oz, 4lb and 3lb 15oz 8dr, a 4lb 1oz roach and a 4lb 8oz crucian have been reported to Angling Times since July 2014 -  all of which would have qualified as DNA records if a scale had been taken. The original record list is very much still running, albeit separately to the DNA version, which the BRFC deems as the fairest way of singling out a true roach, rudd or crucian with modern technology, according to Mike.

“Crucians most commonly hybridise with brown goldfish but I’ve even seen a crucian-chub hybrid before. Roach and rudd tend to breed with each other or bream, but almost any fish can hybridise with each other if the circumstances are right. In the past anglers have haven’t sent record claims in to us because of the grief they’ve received from others, especially keyboard warriors on social media websites. DNA tests will hopefully put a stop to that as they determine whether a fish is a true example of its species or not, there can be no arguing with one,” he added.

How to claim a record
1) Take several good quality photographs of the fish for identification purposes and to help the panel decide whether the fish is the claimed weight.
2) Check that your scales are accurate. Being inaccurate by just 1oz could be the difference between claiming a record and having it rejected.
3) If the fish is a roach, rudd or crucian, carefully take a scale from it. This will not cause any distress and can easily be achieved with your fingers. Once home, slice the scale in half with a clean blade. Keep half for your records and send the rest off for analysis.

For a full list of procedures visit  www.anglingtrust.net

Click here for more angling news...