Britain’s largest carp will not be ratified as an official record because it is a “cultivated fish”.
That is the ruling of the British Record Fish Committee after the mirror known as Big Rig was caught at 69lb 3oz by Tom Doherty at the Avenue in Shropshire.
The committee decided the fish had been “grown under an artificial feeding regime close to a weight close to or exceeding the existing species record”. It has subsequently been caught at 71lb 4oz and that weight will not take the record either.
Avenue boss Rob Hales told Angling Times this morning it is a “very uneducated decision”.
He said: “It’s very predictable and I’m not at all surprised. I think that they (BRFC) don’t fully understand the carp-fishing/fishery/growing-fish business. It’s a very uneducated decision. All big carp in this country and elsewhere only get to those weights because they eat high-protein boilies.
“I gather they (BRFC) say it wouldn’t have reached this weight in the natural environment – but the fish is a fish, not a robot.”
BRFC chairman Mike Heylin told Angling Times the fish may still be able to break the record in future.
He said: “I don’t think it’s ruled out forever. If it came out at 85lb and had put on a significant weight in the fishery itself – assuming the fishery isn’t being regularly fed huge amounts of bait – I don’t see why we would be necessarily excluding it forever.”
Rob Hales said: “That’s very interesting. I actually think Big Rig will make 85lb, so it’s a challenge I’m willing to accept. I feed my fish to stop them getting hungry, you can’t force food down their throats.
“In my opinion, whilst it was a predictable decision, I think they’re only delaying the inevitable.”
Mike Heylin confirmed the carp record still exists and would not be split into cultivated and un-cultivated lists. He added: “I’m happy with the outcome, happy we did all we could to look at all the evidence to see if it could be accepted under our terms of reference.
“It’s an awesome piece of fishing, Tom must be over the moon to catch it – I know I would be.”