IT TOOK just an hour of Dean Fletcher's time to bank a prize 68 lb 1 oz carp, The Parrot, after settling into a session… but it took six more months for the catch to be properly sworn in as the official new British carp record.

Dean’s magic moment came back in January 2016, and this is how Angler’s Mail reported it at the time. The British Record Fish Committee accepted Dean’s claim in June 2016, so it now sits top of the tree.. at 68 lb 1 oz.

Like many top carpers, the 53-year-old greengrocer, was wondering exactly how big heavyweight would be on its next capture before he caught it himself.

The giant of Wasing Estate’s Cranwells Lake in Berkshire was previously last caught at 62 lb 5 oz back in August 2015.

But when the magic moment came, an hour after he started fishing, the mighty mirror carp didn’t just nudge but eclipse the British carp record of 67 lb 8 oz caught by Austin ‘Oz’ Holness’ from Mid-Kent Fisheries Conningbrook in 2008.

Dean’s quick-fire capture instantly made the green-fingered carping ace the sport’s hottest potato as he looked set to be catapulted into the record books by 9 oz. And now he is indeed on the list!

Dean’s own British carp record capture story

Dean, from Reading in the same county, exclusively told the Mail after the capture: “With the mild winter we were all guessing that it would be 65, 66 maybe 67 lb at a push so this came as one hell of a surprise.

“I would be lying to say that it put up much of a fight but it did the usual plodding around, using its weight.

“I knew it was a good fish and had a hunch it was the big ‘un.

“Within saying that there was little in the way of fight, I still had to don the ‘chesties’ and get in the drink to land him after he had buried his head in a weedbed.

“This is my third season on Wasing and my 87th fish so far during this time but it smashes my personal best of 47 lb 2 oz with a new British Record – a moment I will never forget.”

British carp record rig and reaction to the achievement

Dean’s set-up consisted of Pete Regan’s Meat 2 pop-up mounted on a size 4 Atomic Tackle Claw hook to a 25 lb Atomic Jel-E-Wyre hooklink.

This was cast 50 yards to an area that shelved-off to 5 feet in depth which Dean had fed with chopped freebies.

Fishery gaffer, Mark Hibbs, told the Mail: “Here it is, The Parrot in all its splendour and to say we are chuffed would be an understatement.

“Can it be the UK’s first ever 70 lb carp? I see no reason why not!”

The Parrot was weighed on two sets of scales and  scales checks were conducted by Weights and Measures, and after paperwork was submitted to the British Record Fish Committee.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dean’s capture and the weight, 68 lb 1 oz, was accepted as a record in June 2016. The British record certificate is pictured below, courtesy of Wasing Estate.

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