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British record fish accepted at latest BRFC meeting

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SEVERAL British record-breaking fish have been accepted into the official hall of fame.

The long-standing grayling record was amongst those officially being confirmed as being beaten at the latest British Record Fish Committee meeting.

As Angler’s Mail exclusively reported in March, Simon Ellis smashed the British record by nearly 4 oz. He did it with a 4 lb 8 oz fly-caught specimen from a secret Wessex river.

Very careful scales testing was required. And Wadhurst, Kent-based Simon had his record accepted by the BRFC at London’s Natural History Museum.

Simon’s British record fish therefore takes the spot of Paul Mildred’s ten-year-old record of 4 lb 4 oz 8 dr, also from a Wessex river.

The full behind-the-scenes story is only in Angler’s Mail magazine this week ,in John Bailey’s column.

John was closely involved, having witnessed the catch, and his column is a hugely revealing insight into the British record fish processes.

Other new British record fish

Four sea fish record were also accepted at the latest BRFC meeting, including a totally new UK species with a 214 gram derbio.

Jeff Fisk caught the Mediterranean species last October from Chesil Beach in Dorset.

Chesil Beach at Abbotsbury also produced an 8 lb 3 oz shore-caught brill record for Ray Edwards to add nearly 13 oz to the 39-year-old previous best.

Ray Edwards is now the brill record holder.

Kevin Copeland’s boat-caught almaco jack was ratified at 2 lb 2 oz. It was caught from a reef off Milford Haven in Wales.

The specimen had to be identified by X-ray of a vital bone structure at the Natural History Museum.

And Gary Mitchell added over 5 lb to the spurdog record with a 23 lb 2 oz giant caught from a south Devon shore mark.

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Record numbers of wet wipes are affecting fish stocks

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THE huge increase in wet wipes is building up plastic waste in rivers and even altering the shape of river spawning beds.

Thames21 have been cleaning up the River Thames around London.
Thames21 have been cleaning up the River Thames around London.

Charity Thames21 recently removed a record 23,000 wipes, filling 473 bin bags in just two hours, from the River Thames near Hammersmith Bridge in South West London.

Alice Hall, of Thames21, explained: “The growing wet wipe market is damaging our capital’s river, turning stretches of it into a Frankenstein foreshore, part plastic part natural.

“Our rivers are becoming plastic rubbish dumps: millions of wet wipes, which often contain plastic, being flushed down loos and then discharged into our rivers when the sewers can’t cope. We’ve seen the mounds growing very fast over the past few years.

“Three things need to happen: we all need to Bin Don’t Flush, no matter what it says on the packet; politicians need to ban inaccurate wet wipe labelling and we can all start choosing reusable alternatives where possible.”

Anglers’ reactions to Thames21 findings

Environmental campaigner and former barbel record holder Ray Walton said: “Plastics and baby wipes will be in all rivers in the UK that have water company sewage effluent dumped into them.

“These will turn into microplastics and will affect all fish and every creature along the food chain.

“The Environment Agency, Government and water companies have known about the problem for many years but never address or correct the problem, or even want to.

“If these wipes are building up on the river shoreline, they will be forming on the river bottom including spawning beds and just won’t rot away so will stay there,” fumed Ray.

And Matt Marlow, chairman of the River Anglers Conservation Group, said: “Wet wipes in rivers can be a nuisance when you are fishing.

“I often get them wrapped round my line especially when there is a flow on, but more than that they are clearly a menace to the environment.

“As most contain plastic, they can build up on the river bed. This will eventually break down into micro plastic. And, as we have seen in recent research, this can be absorbed by fish and even invertebrates.

“No one knows the long-term effects to river life.

“Companies should be forced to label their products clearly and we should all cut down on the use of those that aren’t genuinely biodegradable, and ensure we bin any we do use rather than flush them down the toilet,” Matt concluded.

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Not one but two giant roach from day ticket lake

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SPESSY ace Lee Cowen smashed his roach personal best twice in one day with these beauties of 3 lb 2 oz and 2 lb 15 oz.

Lee Cowen shows the biggest of his Oxlease roach, scaling 3 lb 2 oz.
Lee Cowen shows the biggest of his Oxlease roach, scaling 3 lb 2 oz.

Lee was on day ticket Oxlease Lake at Oxford’s Linear Fisheries when he took the amazing brace of redfins.

Stock, Essex-based Lee explained: “Both fish were caught on feeder fished worm at around 30 yards over a very light spodded area.

“The spod mix contained hemp, chopped worm, 2 mm pellets and fishmeal groundbait. The rig used was a very light helicopter set up.

“These are truly the fish of a lifetime. I have previously had five roach over the magical 2 lb barrier, the biggest of which was 2 lb 5 oz.

“To smash my PB twice in one day was an unexpected dream,” concluded Lee.

One slight hurdle to negotiate on 26-acre Oxlease is the hordes of big carp …with over 1,600 fish, including at least 60 30-pounders.

It also holds a good head of tench to 11 lb plus pike to 22 lb.

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Massive 12 lb 8 oz tench smashes rod

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TIM WOOLVEN set a new personal best tench this gigantic 12 lb 8 oz tinca – but it broke his beloved float rod.

Tim Woolven was sad to see his Shimano rod smashed but very happy with this 12 lb 8 oz tench.
Tim Woolven was sad to see his Shimano rod smashed but very happy with this 12 lb 8 oz tench.

The 38-year-old caught it from a local lake but as he was landing the fish it snapped his 12 ft Shimano rod.

Brighton, East Sussex-based Tim explained: “It absolutely obliterated my 6 lb 8 oz previous PB which stood for over ten years.

“But it came at a cost as it snapped the tip of my old Shimano float rod.

“This was the only catch of the session.

“I had a couple of rods out for carp, but it was slow so I thought I would rest the swim and do a spot of tench fishing on the float.

“I knew there was some sizeable tench in there and that they were rarely fished for, which is great and confusing in equal measure.

“I was using a size 10 barbless hook on 6 lb Maxima line with double corn 4 in. overdepth on the lift method under a hand crafted peacock quill float.

“This is a fish of a lifetime.

Tim’s new rod brought him luck with this grass carp.

“The float rod is a goner, served a good ten years so went out with a bang (or crack) and gave me a good excuse to update it.

“Incidentally, my new Greys float rod had its maiden voyage two nights ago.

“I christened it with a stunner, an 11 lb grass carp, probably the most pristine fish I’ve caught in 28 years of trying,” concluded the surveyor.

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Top carp water produces massive scales-slamming 130 lb UK catfish

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CARPER Nick Royce had the battle of his life when he landed this lake record catfish estimated at over 130 lb.

Worth getting wet for - the massive 130 lb Fryerning catfish.
Worth getting wet for – the massive 130 lb Fryerning catfish.

Nick was on the £750-a-year Main Lake at Essex’s prolific Fryerning Fisheries when he hooked the giant just before dawn.

The builder and landscaper from London said: “I’d already had two smaller catfish from The Chocolate Finger swim when this one roared off at 4am.

“It was a solid hour of fighting before I could land the beast and all this happened while dawn was breaking.

“I’ve got to say it really is an impressive fish and is bigger than me. It was great getting in the water with it for the photographs.

“It fell to a Dynamite Baits Monster Tiger Nut boilie so this fish is obviously hovering up as much bait as possible as it’s not a fishy flavour,” added Nick.

Reaction of Fryerning boss

Fryerning fishery co-owner Charlie Knowles said: “The fish bottomed out the 120 lb scales he had but has been out at 124 lb in the past and we estimated at over 130 lb now.

“There is another catfish of similar size and you never know, they could grow on and go over the 140 even 150 lb mark as there’s a lot of bait going.

“And the carp are growing with five different 50-pounders and at least 17 over 40 lb,” added Charlie.

The Fryerning catfish ranks high on the list of wels catfish caught in the UK.

The unofficial British record catfish is awidely reckoned to be a 145 lb giant that fell to Matthew Smith in January from Oak Lakes in Essex.

The same water produced a 144 lb cat in 2012 to James Jones that previously held the UK best.

Catfish were struck from the official British Record Fish Committee list in 2007 due to a wave of illegal imports in the 1990s and early 2000s.

A bid to overturn the ban last year by Devon’s Zyg Gregorek of Anglers Paradise was turned down.

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Mahseer double is one of greatest catches of the modern era

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FORMER Angler’s Mail reporter Gary Newman rates this 62 lb redfin mahseer as his best-ever fish and he caught it in consecutive cast brace with a 45 lb golden mahseer.

Gary Newman displays his 62 lb redfin mahseer.
Gary Newman displays his 62 lb redfin mahseer.

The 42-year-old specimen ace took the amazing mahseer catch from the Saryu River on the India/Nepal border.

Gary said: “I’ve fished extensively in India for mahseer for the last 15 years or so, but they have never been a species that I’ve been particularly lucky with.

“I’ve caught them to 52 lb from the Cauvery River in the south, but have lost several very big fish as well.

“I had always fancied a trip to the Saryu, where it joins the Kali River, as it has a reputation for producing some big mahseer.

“I went with the target of catching one in excess of 30 lb if I was very lucky – my previous best from northern India stood at 22 lb, caught over a decade ago.

“I arrived to find the river was low and very clear, and was praying for a little bit of rain to colour it slightly.

“Otherwise, I knew that it was going to be almost impossible to tempt a big fish on a lure, as they are so wary.

“Unfortunately, no rain came, and other than a few small mahseer to around a couple of kilos, I had little to show for my efforts.

“A decision was made to switch over to fishing with bait.

“This consisted of whatever live and dead fish baits our guides could obtain for us, as it isn’t something that is in plentiful supply on these rivers.

Gary made it a magic brace with this 45 lb golden mahseer.

“On my second session fishing with bait, I had a very powerful take during the early afternoon, when the sun was beating down. As soon as I connected with the fish I knew that it was a big one.

“It ran downstream and I stumbled across the rocks trying to keep up with it and luckily it came to a halt just before it got out into the main flow of the Kali.

“Gradually it started coming back towards me but at times my line was grating on rocks – I was thankful I was using mono and not braid.

“And when I saw the fish surface for the first time and saw the size of it, I took it very easy until my guide, Bobby, was finally able to land it for me.

“I could see that it was big and was thinking that it might be over 50 (lb), but Bobby said that it was much bigger.

“He was right as it bottomed out the 60 lb scales we initially tried to weigh it on, and I was in a daze as we put it on my bigger set and the needle settled on 62 lb.”

Second mahseer makes it classic brace

Gary continued: “After that I didn’t cast out for a few hours, and finally put a bait back out just before dark.

“I couldn’t believe it when not long afterwards I found myself attached to another big fish.

“And luckily I also managed to land this one – not to mention avoiding breaking any bones running across the rocks in the dark.

“This fish weighed in at 45 lb and I couldn’t believe how lucky I had been to land two Himalayan mahseer in two casts for a total of 107 lb.

“It’s probably one of the biggest ever braces, certainly in modern times.

“I’ve caught a lot of big fish over the years, from all over the world, but the 62-pounder probably rates as the best fish that I’ve ever caught.

“I doubt I will be lucky enough to ever see another of that size from northern India, let alone catch one.

“I landed it on two size 8/0 Owner SSW singles fished in tandem on 50 lb mono to 30 lb Big Game main line, with a 2-6 oz uptide rod,” concluded the Korda TV production manager, from Chesham, Buckinghamshire.

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Monster 12 lb 8 oz tench shows that effort equals reward

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SPECIMEN ace Matthew Fernandez knew he’d caught something very special when this 12 lb 8 oz tench went into the same net a pre-weighed eight-pounder – and totally dwarfed it.

Matthew Fernandez shows his giant 12 lb 8 oz tench.
Matthew Fernandez shows his giant 12 lb 8 oz tench.

The 32-year-old from Southampton, Hampshire, said: “Effort equals rewards.

“I’ve been pre baiting the estate lake twice a week after work from the start of April.

“Although my times limited by pre baiting it allowed me to maximise my chances when I could fish.

“And on my third trip of the season my luck came in.

“Just after first light the carp moved in then thankfully the tench.

“They started off small and they got bigger and bigger.

“I weighed an eight-pounder and I was about to do photos of that when one of my rods churned off.

“The tench pulled me several weed beds before I began to regain line.

“I knew this tench was big but I didn’t know how big but once I scooped the tench up which was covered in weed I looked down into the net and I was gob smacked.

“The eight-pounder was in the net resting and this tench against that absolutely dwarfed it. I then knew I had something special.

“Three years of fishing this estate lake I’d dreamt of landing such a special tench and finally my day had come.

“I knew there were monsters in this lake but I didn’t expect on catching a 12 lb 8 oz monster.

“The previous spring I had tench to 10 lb 8 oz and I was happy with that result but this capture blew my mind.

“I pre baited with Dynamite Frenzied Hemp, liquid worm extract, 6 mm halibut pellets and 14 mm Source boilies heavily glugged in Source liquids.

“In the session I used open-end feeders fished helicopter style with 3 inch braided hooklinks with a size 10 hook with a hardened Source heavily glugged boilie,” concluded the precision engineer.

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Record rudd brace puts carp lake firmly on the map for UK record

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CARPER Tom Jacklin landed the best-ever brace of rudd with giants of 4 lb 8 oz (main pic) and 4 lb.

This 4 lb 8 oz rudd was the biggest of a mega Manton brace.
This 4 lb 8 oz rudd was the biggest of a mega Manton brace.

Tom landed the fish from the Daiwa Manton carp syndicate in north Lincolnshire.

Scunthorpe-based Tom, who works in marketing, said: “At around 9 pm I had a brace of 4 lb rudd, the best one 4 lb 8 oz and another of exactly 4 lb.

“I was over the moon with the once in a lifetime catch and I very much doubt I will ever catch one bigger.

“I have been fishing since my dad got me into it from a very young age.

“I started out as an all rounder then went into match fishing and eventually started targeting specimen fish mainly carp.

“My PB rudd before this brace was around the 2 lb mark many years ago.

“I knew the lake at Manton held big rudd and it is common knowledge there could be a potential British record in there.

“I was fishing to a clear spot amongst weed at around 40 yards using a simple hair rig with a 15 mm DNA Baits Secret 7 wafter boilie, fished over whole and chopped freebies.

“The second rudd came around ten minutes after putting the rod back out after the first specimen at 4 lb 8 oz and it was 4 lb on the nose.

“I was on a 48-hour trip fishing for carp but I didn’t manage to catch anything else that trip but that didn’t matter as this was a catch of a lifetime,” concluded the 30-year-old.

Manton catch equals English record

Tom’s biggest 4 lb 8 oz rudd from  Manton equals the official English best. That was caught by the Reverend Edward Alston at Norfolk’s Ringmere way back in 1933.

Reverend Alston’s fish remained the British record until Simon Parry caught two rudd at 4 lb 10 oz in Northern Ireland in 2001.

But a gigantic rudd of 5 lb 2 oz was caught on opening day in June 2012 from a Whittlesey AA drain in Cambridgeshire.

Captor Adrian Cannon only had stepson Ollie Bottomley to witness it so got the nine-year-old to hold the fish in the picture. But with no independent witnesses he couldn’t claim a record.

Since then, the water which many fancied to beat the record was Buckland in Kent. It gave a number of 3 lb-plus fish, the best just hitting 4 lb.

Manton insight from Mail columnist

Now all eyes are on Manton, run by top piker and Angler’s Mail magazine columnist Neville Fickling.

Neville said: “I stocked the fishery with rudd back in 2000 after the lake flooded but only two or three anglers target them.

“The previous authenticated lake record was 3 lb 11 oz, but many others in the 3 lb-plus class are caught by carp anglers.

“They see them as nuisance fish and return them without weighing or photographs.

“The rudd are full of spawn at the moment so will soon drop back in weight but by next season a record is certainly a possibility,” Nev added.

There is currently a waiting list for the syndicate, which costs £470 a year to fish three lakes.

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Iron Maiden rock star tempts huge tench in his tour break

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HEAVY metal legend Adrian Smith smashed his PB tench with this 10 lb 8 oz tinca after a ten-year quest.

the impressive tench caught by Iron Maiden star Adrian Smith.
the impressive tench caught by Iron Maiden star Adrian Smith.

The Iron Maiden guitarist is a former Angler’s Mail front cover star but he doesn’t normally have the opportunities to target tench in late spring.

This year he made the most of some spare time when he slid the net under the huge tench..

The 62-year-old told Angler’s Mail: “It was caught on worm over caster, hemp, pellet and groundbait.

“It was my only bite of a three-day session on a lake in south Buckinghamshire.

“I’ve been trying to get a double for almost ten years, but don’t often get a chance to fish in the spring, as I’m usually preparing for a tour.

“Catching a double-figure tench has been a bit of an obsession.

“I recently spent a week trying to track down the big tench in Lac d’Orient in France, to no avail.

“It is 6,000 acres but I’ve heard stories of 17–pounders. The lake was high, right up in the forest.

“I had a small boat, and did a lot of looking among the trees. The water’s gin clear. I only saw tench on one occasion, plenty of carp though.”

Iron Maiden star’s angling pedigree

Adrian first caught the eye of the Angler’s Mail newsdesk nearly two decades ago when he sent in a picture and an old Fish of the Week form.

On the form, he noted his occupation as simply: guitarist (Iron Maiden).

He has impressed us with carp, and various other freshwater species too.

And Adrian’s current list of best catches ranks highly on the UK specialist angling scene, all coarse fish being targeted with specific tactics and very carefully returned.

Adrian revealed: “My PBs are barbel 15 lb 8 oz, chub 7 lb 14 oz, bream 13 lb 6 oz, carp 42 lb 12 oz, perch 3 lb and roach 2 lb.

“I’ll spend the next few weeks trying for barbel, and maybe tench also but then on tour again,” he added.

Adrian is in the middle of Iron Maiden’s two-year Legacy Of The Beast World Tour.

It involves a an epic and gruelling stretch of 44 gigs in North and South America from July 18 to October 25.

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Beast’s capture helps solve lake tench damage mystery

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THE mystery why tench were missing their tails was solved when the culprit was caught taking a stroll alongside the lake.

This huge turtle is thought to have damaged tench at Mesters Lake.
This huge turtle is thought to have damaged tench at Mesters Lake.

Villain of the piece at Mesters Lake was a huge common snapping turtle from North America.

It was found by the four-year-old son of a carp syndicate member as it wandered along taking the air.

Myrtle the turtle, as she has been named, weighed in at a stonking 11 lb 2 oz.

And after the story of its capture was first reported in Angler’s Mail print magazine, other parts of the media rushed to cover the story.

The mega turtle has now been re-homed out of harm’s way from Mesters Lake, near Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.

Mesters Lake chief Mark Gregory explained: “We have no otters here so we were baffled by why tench in the 3-4 lb bracket were being landed with part of their tail missing.

“Then little Connor Brocklesby, son of member Richard, saw the turtle walking along a path and fetched his dad.

“One of our members used to run a reptile shop and he identified it – they are fearsome, aggressive and cantankerous creatures which can take a nip out of anything passing by.

“Nobody had ever reported seeing it before although since the report went on social media one member says he spotted one three years ago.

“It must have been put in as an unwanted pet and it grew bigger – it happens occasionally with other species like the koi carp we had a while back.

“Hopefully Myrtle will be happy in her new home and the tench will now be safe from losing any body parts,” Mark concluded.

Views on Mesters Lake giant

Associate professor and roach ace Dr Mark Everard, told Angler’s Mail: “It certainly looks like a common snapping turtle to me.

“I know this as I caught a 17 lb sample once in upstate New York when fishing with a worm.

“They can easily take a finger off, also readily adapt to our climate.”

Snapping turtles are native North America and can grow 80 lb.

They are slow to mature and long lived with a lifespan of up to 100 years.

They are not often seen as they can bury themselves in silt and are more commonly spotted when they sometimes leave the water.

No breeding populations have been found in Britain.

But there is concern that they have bred in Italy where a 44 lb specimen was found in a canal near Rome.

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You may also like to read these Angler’s Mail stories…

Giant asp in UK?

MYSTERY surround what species this 10 lb silver stunner is – but it could be Britain’s first ever asp! Schoolboy…

Jellyfish alert!

EXTREMELY rare jellyfish have been spotted living in a coarse fishery. The find was made by builder Ian Carter who…




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