Opinion divided over mammoth five-hour haul from Arran’s Lake in Essex

The British five-hour match record has been smashed with a colossal 1,140lb haul of carp.

Burt Baits boss Tony Wynnick achieved the feat at Arran’s Lake in Essex, the same water where Nick Darke last year set the previous record with 936lb.

That catch was blown out of the water, though, when Tony took more than 140 carp averaging 8lb each.

He told Angling Times: “It was one of those days when everything fell into place – it was the right peg with a big stamp of fish in it.

“All matches at Arran’s are split in half with a midway weigh-in and in the first part I landed 519lb and then 621lb for a 1,140lb total.

“I broke limits on a couple of nets and I was knocked back 150lb for that. All the fish were caught on a banded pellet presented shallow in the margins over red Burt Baits Glow groundbait slop.”

The mammoth weight has divided opinion, with some anglers claiming that such extreme catches are ruining match fishing and painting the sport in a bad light. Tony doesn’t share that view.

“As soon as you raise the bar someone will try to shoot you down. If someone catches 200 small F1s it is seen as an achievement, but when they catch 143 fish for a much bigger weight they get hammered,” he said. “The owners take steps to protect their fish and I see no problem with the big weights Arran’s is capable of.”

Leading fisheries consultant Andrew Ellis is one of many who warn of caution when it comes to waters that are capable of producing such giant catches.

The AE Fisheries boss said: “There is no problem with waters that can produce weights like this, but they need very careful management or there’s a disaster waiting to happen.

“If a certain percentage of fish aren’t removed from time to time to make extra room, then it can cause problems and a fishery can be wiped out by one big fish kill.

“Anglers might think that these venues are stuffed with fish, but sometimes 75 per cent of the stock will get caught in a match just because they are so hungry.”