A NEW British record-busting crucian carp weighing a staggering 4lb 14oz has been landed.
The impressive catch, made by Julian Barnes during a session on a Surrey lake, tops a highly productive 12 months for fans of the iconic species, during which the current national best of 4lb 10oz was equalled with a fish from a water in Dorset.
When it comes to our smaller coarse fish, new record contenders normally raise the bar by the odd ounce, making Julian’s fish – if officially ratified – all the more remarkable because it would be a full 4oz heavier than any other crucian caught in the UK.
Julian, a 55-year-old from St Neots, Cambridgeshire, revealed how he’s spent the last three springs searching for a monster ‘cruey’, and that he’s always had a British best in his sights.
His reward finally came on what he described as ‘an unseasonably cold day’, when not content with catching one huge crucian, Julian added other heavyweights of 4lb 6oz and 4lb 3oz in the same trip, alongside a few tench just for good measure.
“I was stunned,” he told Angling Times.
“The fish looked huge – so much bigger than the others I’d had up till then.
“My fishing partner and the other three people there to witness it were so excited so see such an incredible fish.
“Spring is a great time to target crucians, as they’re at their top weight. With lockdown restrictions easing, I was able to visit the lake in Surrey I’d been targeting in previous years, and although conditions weren’t great, with very cold and frosty nights, I felt daytime temperatures were warm enough to encourage the fish to feed.”
Arriving in the evening and finding his fancied swim free, Julian set his kit up so that he was ready to begin fishing at first light the next day.
“I managed to get in the swim I wanted, and knowing a new wind was on the way that would be blowing into my bank, I was full of anticipation,” he said.
“Come dawn, I introduced five Spombs full of hemp and caster to a small feature 40 yards out from the bank. Over the top of this I decided to use Method feeder tactics, with 35g inline feeders carrying my special groundbait mix, and short hooklinks with fake caster hookbaits. I recast the rods every hour to keep the swim topped up and, hopefully, the fish feeding.
“My first bite came at midday, and was from a stunning crucian weighing 4lb 6oz, followed shortly by a 6lb 5oz tench, then an hour later by another crucian of 4lb 3oz.
“Two ‘fours’ in a day is dreamland stuff. At 5pm, I topped up with another five Spombs of bait and had two more tench to round off a great day.”
Julian could have gone home there and then a happy man, but he decided to give it another day and will be eternally grateful he did so if his name enters the record books.
“At dawn the next day I baited up again, and at 10.30am I had a bite from what turned out to be this most incredible fish – a new British Record crucian!
“I’ve started the process of submitting a claim with the BRFC and will be keeping my fingers crossed that it all goes to plan!”