This week’s Angler’s Mail HQ blog is by sub editor Ben Hervey-Murray.
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What records will be broken in 2014?
With plenty of big fish dominating the news pages of the current issue, Mail man Ben Hervey-Murray takes a look at what records might fall in 2014 and how they might be broken…
The race is on between 60 lb-plus The Parrot mirror, Elphick’s Big Girl and the Emperor common from Kevin Nash’s Copse Lake to beat the 67 lb 8 oz record set by Two Tone a few years ago. Any of the trio could smash the sought-after record with a warm winter behind them and a bellyful of bait.
The outsider is the elusive Emperor, but with masses of natural food in the Copse and a huge frame, it might become the UK’s first 70 lb carp in the not too distant future. But there’s always the chance of a relatively unknown fish taking the crown with plenty of young 50-pounders still packing on weight. The record has been untouched since 2008 but with favourable conditions in 2014, this could all change…
Rainbow Lake will continue to produce the bulk of the European giants but the new kid on the block is Euro Aqua Lake in Hungary. With Brits just discovering this big carp paradise, and having produced the World record carp at 101 lb 4 oz, it’s hard not to believe that it’ll throw up another giant 100 lb-plus mirror soon, beating its own record in the process. The Rainbow fish seem to have peaked in the last couple of years but it could always throw up a surprise monster.
The River Po in Italy holds the World record for wels at 297 lb but the Ebro fish are creeping ever closer to the 300 lb mark too and 2014 might well see the first authenticated 300 lb-plus wels caught on rod and line in Europe. Zebco Black Cat’s Stefan Seuß catches 200-pounders for fun on the Po, as does Italy’s Yuri Grisendi, so either could break the mark soon.
A certain Midlands river – barring otter attacks or pollution – could be the one to watch in 2014, having produced a truly monster 20 lb barbel in late 2013. The record Traveller fish is long-dead, sadly, so it’d be great to see a new generation of giant barbel take the crown.
Three rivers are in the frame for this one: Lea, Coln and Thames. All have produced 9 lb-plus monsters, any of which could tip the scales over the 9 lb 5 oz best. The Lea, with its resident stock of huge, outside chub, has to be the odds-on favourite for a record year.
Was the 5 lb-plus giant from the Fens a one-off fish? Maybe, but it was caught by pure fluke, and with increasing numbers of specimen hunters targeting the big rudd on a number of secret squirrel Fenland waterways, the giant only needs to slip up once more and it’ll probably smash the 4 lb 10 oz best from 2001.
It’s an outside bet, but what angler wouldn’t like to see a 5 lb rudd correctly photographed and returned safely to claim the record. Having said that, it’s a record more likely to be broken by an overfed carp lake rudd caught on a boilie. Rumours of huge 4 lb-plus rudd persist on numerous carp waters.
PIKE, ZANDER & PERCH
Predators are always a tough one to predict due to their wilder nature than, say, a carp in a syndicate late, but venues like Chew, Grafham and half-a-dozen other big reservoirs – both trout-related and coarse – could chuck up a huge zed or near-50 lb pike.
Chew is the obvious favourite with several known 40s in its depths. Catch one with a couple of trout in its belly or spawned up and you’ll be a very, very happy angler. Tring Reservoir (and its associated waters), the River Thames and a number of commercials could all produce a perch to better the current 6 lb 3 oz best. Indeed, the Thames has already done so but the record claim was thrown out due to the angler fishing illegally.
A record eel would be an amazing capture, but the world of eel fishing is so secretive and underground it’s impossible to predict anything other than the usual handful of 7-9 lb-plus eels that come out every year. Who knows if one of these will better the 11 lb 2 oz record from 1978.
Roach appear to be in decline, sadly, but Loch Naw in Scotland might just produce that mythical 4lb-plus giant redfin.
I also hear of monster gudgeon, returned unweighed, being caught from the River Lea too…! Izaak would be proud.
If you catch a monster fish, or know a mate who’s had something special, contact Angler’s Mail exclusively on 0208 148 4160 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LIKE OF THE WEEK
With temperatures in the teens during the day and no frosts to speak of, it’s like spring in the South East…
Apart from the rain, which has been torrential on a near daily basis, making the rivers unfishable and wet pack-ups the norm… Please stop!