IT HAS yet to be recognised as Britain's official record carp, but ‘Big Rig’, the controversial biggest carp in the country, has come out for the second time, now at 71 lb 4 oz (pictured). That's over 2 lb more than its weight a month ago
Whether it is recognised as the British record carp or not, Robby Harrison was delighted to be the lucky captor.
The catch came on his sixth visit to The Avenue, RH Fisheries’ syndicate lake. It smashed his former PB caught 20 years ago by a mighty 30 lb!
Robby, a 58-year-old postal worker from Liverpool, Merseyside, told Angler’s Mail: “This is my first season on the lake and the fishing has been tough.
“I went for a weekend session and set up in the far corner of the lake where I saw signs of a few fish fizzing.
“As I was tackling up I saw a fish roll to my right not far out in front of a vacant swim and cast a single boilie there.
“I knew owner Rob Hales had baited up the lake the day before, so decided to fire out only ten boilies which I managed to get very tight to the hookbait.”
Screaming take in pitch darkness
Robby continued: “The next morning I had a really nice 37 lb fish, so decided to persevere in that area, and at 5.45 am I had a screaming take.
“I managed to get the fish in reasonably quickly but an angler who came to help me net the fish caught it with the drawstring and it just shot off again.
“It was pitch black but I could tell it was huge by the size of the mouth and shoulders. I got it back in but couldn’t believe it when the same thing happened again.
“Off it went with me cursing but fortunately it was third time lucky. In fairness to the other guy the fish was so long and broad he hadn’t realised in the dark how deep he had to sink the net before trying to scoop it out.”
Robby used a Mainline Hybrid balanced boilie for what could be listed as the nation’s record carp.
The bait was fished on what he describes as an ‘ugly rig’. It’s of his own invention – a kind of reverse combi rig using Korda Mouthtrap and braid to 15 lb Gardner GR60 line.
Record carp was ‘truly massive’
Robby told Angler’s Mail: “At first I wasn’t sure it was ‘Big Rig’ but a mate had some pictures of it on his phone and it was then easy to identify. So we went to wake Rob (Hales) up to come to accurately weigh the fish and take photos.
“It was truly massive and went 10 to 11 inches across the back and I just couldn’t stop looking at the fish in awe and amazement.
“I was like a kid again who, when he first goes fishing, can’t resist lifting the keepnet out of the water all the time to admire what he has caught.
“I was of course aware of the controversy surrounding the record and, discussing it on the bank beforehand. One or two said if they had it they would just put it back without any fuss, but I am just delighted to have landed such a giant.
“I will claim the record if Rob wants me to, but whether it’s accepted or not, nobody can take away the fact I have caught the UK’s biggest carp.”
“When I went into work after getting back home I was still so made up with it all I couldn’t wait to tell the lads but sadly none are fishermen.
“So when I said I had caught the country’s biggest carp all they said was: ‘that’s good, did you manage to see Saturday’s match?’
“And I didn’t have any good pics to show them as they were all taken on other people’s cameras!” Robby added.
The record carp that may or may not be recognised
RH Fisheries boss Rob Hales bought the fish at 39 lb three years ago. He then hand-fed it up on a diet of high protein boilies and pellets until it was around the 70 lb mark. Rob stocked it in September.
The fish had previously been grown on by a fish farm in England. It was brought here legally from Israel in 2009.
Investment banker Tom Doherty caught Big Rig soon after it was put into The Avenue. It weighed 69 lb 3 oz. That made it the British record carp in some people’s eyes – but not others.
Tom’s catch of Big Rig beat the British record carp, Parrot, caught earlier this year at Wasing Estate . The Parrot was born in Britain and has lived all its life in Britain.
Big Rig has yet to be officially recognised by the BRFC as the record carp on their coarse fish list.
There has been much talk about what happens next, but the BRFC has given no clear indication yet. A new ‘cultivated’ category has been considered for the carp record, similar to that used for trout on the BRFC’s game fish list.
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