The current British Carp Record stands at an impressive 68lb 1oz. The gigantic mirror carp, otherwise known as The Wasing Parrot, was banked by Dean Fletcher in January 2016.
Prior to it’s death a year later, The Parrot was one of the most sought after carp in the UK.
Legendary anglers such as Terry Hearn have pit their wits against the wary carp of Wasing, catching The Parrot but never at a weight higher than 68lb 1oz.
But since it’s largest capture, there have been numerous controversies regarding the British carp record.
At least three carp have been caught in the UK over 68lb, however their records have not been accepted by the British Record Fish Committee (BRFC).
In this article, we’ll be providing more details on the current British Record, why larger carp have been rejected in recent years, and what you should do if you catch the biggest carp in the UK!
When was the British record carp caught, and how?
The heaviest carp in the UK, the Parrot, was caught on a cold night in January 2016 by Dean Fletcher.
Dean, a relatively unknown angler at the time, was into his third season on Cranwells lake when he started to really catch carp on a regular basis.
On the session in question, Dean arrived to find carp boshing at long range whilst chatting to his mate a few pegs down.
Keeping his rigs simple and fishing his trusty Meat One Boilies by Pete Regan, Dean dispatched a few rods in the vicinity of the showing carp.
As we often experience when ‘on the fish’, it wasn’t long before Dean’s bobbin pulled up tight. Attached to an angry carp, it wasn’t until he got it into the shallow edge that he realised he was attached to one of the biggest residents in the lake.
Upon netting it and removing the weed, Dean was astounded to find that he’d actually caught the Parrot. As you can imagine, he went into full celebratory mode ahead of weighing it at a confirmed weight of 68lb 1oz.
British carp records denied
With the proliferation of fish farming and commercial carp lakes in the UK, a number of potential records have been denied by the British Record Fish Committee.
In fact, this is becoming such as sensitive topic, that some anglers are catching huge carp and not bothering to try to claim a record.
According to the BRFC, record carp are only approved if they are reared in a naturally fed environment, rather than a fishery with. struct feeding program in place.
The committee appears to have no time for those who are trying to rear carp wit excessive growth weights, only for the purpose of breaking the British record.
There have been a few attempts at recording the biggest carp via the BRFC in recent years, but to no avail. Here are the most talked about entrants:
Fourteen-year-old Jensen Price has British Record Carp Rejected
The BRFC broke a teenagers dream after he thought he had legitimately caught the biggest carp in the UK.
Jensen Price was lucky enough to catch a fish known as ‘The Marshall’ from the well-known big fish water, Holme Fen.
In a formal letter to the would-be record holder, the British Record Fish Committee stated that he could not claim the fish due to the venue it had been caught from.
With a strict feeding program in place, the BRFC deemed that Holme Fen are undertaking unnatural fishery management practices, designed to grow carp specifically for record weights.
It was a bitter blow for Jensen Price who was set to see his name etched in UK carp fishing history with a fish weighing 73lb 8oz. That’s a whopping 5lb heavier than the official current record carp!
Tom Doherty Denied British Record with The Avenue’s ‘Big Rig’
It’s not just Holme Fen that the BRFC has rejected claims against. It seems that they also have their eyes on Rob Hales and his Avenue Fishery in Shropshire.
Rob is known for his strict feeding programs that have led to enormous weigh gains in his own strain of Monument Carp.
It was one of those carp, aptly named Big Rig that was rejected as the British Record after being caught by Tom Dobherty.
As with Jensen Price’s attempted record, the BRFC ruled that Big Rig was in fact a cultivated fish from an unnatural environment.
The news was officially responded to by Rob Hales himself, who claimed that the BRFC don’t fully understand carp fishing and the fish growing business.
But it’s not just Rob that was gaining attention. Tom himself made headline news after it was reported he was receiving death threats for catching the biggest UK carp.
Now, regardless of whether you agree with the decision or not, in my opinion that’s taking things a bit too far. Anyone within the carp fishing community dishing out such abuse should be ashamed of themselves.
How to claim a carp british record
If we haven’t put you off wanting to claim a British Record Carp, here’s everything you need to do.
First and foremost, you need to be fishing a UK lake with a potential record. That could be Holme Fen, Wasing or The Approach Fisheries in Yorkshire (Their larger fish regularly go on the missing list and turn up at enormous weights!).
If you are lucky enough to bag one of the biggies, here is the strict process to follow:
- The weighing needs to be witnessed by two people where possible, so retain the carp and call your friends or have reliable people on the lake join you.
- Hold the carp correctly and take good quality photos of the fish. These should include photos of the fish next to an identifiable object to give size context.
- Your scales must weigh in appropriate divisions which is typically pounds and ounces when judging UK records. Following the capture, these will need to be fully calibrated by a weights and measures team to ensure their accuracy.
- Hope and pray that the BRFC accepts your record based on the water that it was caught from!
Notable past record fish
I wanted to finish this article by taking a look down memory lane at some of the most notable captures in British record history. And whilst these were eventually recorded as official, they weren’t far away from controversy amongst the angling community.
Lee Jackson with Two Tone
Kent angler Lee Jackson was the first to claim a record carp over 60lb. The enormous carp, called Two Tone, was a resident of Conningbrook Lake.
Despite numeous photos of the fish growing in the lake over the years, it wasn’t always considered ‘pure’ by many anglers who claimed that was was imported into the UK.
Either way, a monumental carp that made many anglers happy over the years.
Terry Hearn with Mary’s Mate
Probably one of the most influential captures in carp record history. Terry banked the much sought-after Mary’s Mate from Wraysbury at a record weight of 55lb 13oz in 1995
It was the first record since Chris Yate’s 51lb 8oz carp from Redmire Pool in 1980. The mid nineties were an exciting time for carp fishing and this capture is known for sparking multiple new British record captures between Mary’s Mate and Two Tone.
The Bishop: A UK carp record denied and then reinstated
Despite Chris Yates holding the carp record with The Bishop for over 15 years, it wasn’t actually considered a record in the first instance. In true BRFC sense, they denied Chris’ record attempt because the carp hadn’t been killed when it was captured.
Luckily, the committee later reconsidered and Chris was eventually given his crown of catching the biggest carp fish on UK soil.