IN ONE of the most controversial British Record Fish Committee meeting of recent times, two of the biggest claims - for record carp and trout - were rejected on the grounds they were regarded as cultivated fish!

The claim for the record carp known as Big Rig at 69 lb 3oz from RH Fisheries’ The Avenue in Shropshire was made by Tom Doherty. The fish was later caught at an even bigger weight.

And the rainbow trout record claim of 34 lb 12 oz from Glasgow’s Micky Mitchell was rejected also on the grounds that it should be regarded as a cultivated fish – despite him catching it on maggots in the wild and having a policeman witness it.

The committee concluded that the carp had been deliberately grown to around the record weight in a stock pond before being released into the Avenue Lake where it was caught shortly after.

The record trout that wasn’t accepted as a record.

British Record Fish Committee views

BRFC secretary Nick Simmonds of the Angling Trust said: “The fish was regarded as artificially grown to record size, before being released into the fishery and as such wasn’t considered as a valid claim on the record which isn’t for cultivated fish.

“We have however included it in our list of ‘Top 50’ specimens of each species reported in the media and recorded on our website. There is little prospect that we will ever have a cultivated carp record though.

“The committee used to run a list of best cultivated game fish but we stopped this in 2014 as we didn’t want to be seen to be encouraging the cultivation of fish to ever bigger sizes,” he concluded.

Fishery owner Rob Hales’ views

Fishery owner Rob Hales told Angler’s Mail: “To be honest the decision wasn’t totally unexpected although personally I think the Committee is naive and behind the times.

“What counts as a naturally grown fish in the modern era when anglers are piling in pellets and boilies on commercial fisheries and syndicate waters and owners also feed up the fish?

“You can’t force a fish to feed, and they put on weight differently. I bought a few fish in the 40 lb range to grow on and this was the only one to really pack on the weight.

“We have bred from the fish and will be taking out the fry which are now around 10 oz in February.

“Although it is disappointing to not be granted the record, all the publicity has been great for business and our fish sales have rocketed,” he exclaimed.

Former record carp title holder Lee Jackson observed: “It is an understandable decision but at the end of the day it’s the biggest carp ever caught on rod and line and deserves that recognition.”

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