British Carp Record

Who holds the British carp record and what are the criteria? Click here to learn all about British carp record claims.

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Section 0: Currently, it’s widely agreed that Dean Fletcher holds the record for the heaviest carp ever caught in the UK. The Wasing ‘Parrot’ weighed 68 lb 1oz when Fletcher landed it.

While there were multiple record-breaking carp claims in the past few years, only one of them was officially recognised by the British Record Fish Committee (BRFC).

Some anglers don’t bother making a claim, while others invest the effort into it, only to get it rejected later on.

Here, we’ll explore some of the most interesting British record claims for carp fish, including unofficially recognised ones.

Vinny Parker’s Claim Rejected in September 2018

Vinny Parker's Claim Rejected in September 2018

The British Record Fish Committee denied a record claim for the biggest carp in the UK in 2018. Vinny Parker caught the carp known as Captain Jack in Holme Fen, and it weighed 69lb 10oz, slightly larger than the existing record in the UK.

Basically, there are two reasons why the committee rejected the claim: artificial feeding and importing.

The fishery where the carp lived was artificially fed with large amounts of pellets, reaching up to 150KG a week, an obvious violation of the committee’s criteria that insists on naturally-fed carps.

The second reason is that the carp fish was imported from Israel at a high weight. As a result, it can’t be recognised as a “British” record, even though a Briton caught the carp.

However, it was said that the carp was imported at a weight that didn’t exceed 3lb, but the BRFC’s sources stated that Captain Jack was imported at 41lb when it was held in a tank for disease check.

Unlike other fish importers, Holme Fen imports fish at a considerably higher weight, typically between 10 and 41lb. This is due to the quarantine period that the imported fish go through.

According to the BRFC, a record-breaking carp claim is only accepted if the imported specimen was imported at 25% of its full weight when caught.

“[Martin Dawson said] Captain Jack was imported and stocked directly within a few weeks after being temporarily held in a holding tank to check for disease and parasites. Captain Jack was stocked on November 22, 2013, at 41lb,” said Nick Simmonds, BRFC’s secretary.

“When contacted, Martin Dawson told Carpfeed: “I think the facts have been muddled over time,” he added.

“Generally, Mike Hawes (Premium Carp) used to import fish at around 4lb-plus and grow them on in a stock pond for resale at a later date. However, fish for Holme Fen (and other lakes) were imported between 10 and 41lb and put in the Holme Fen complex after a suitable quarantine period,” said Nick.

14-Year-Old Guy Breaks the Claim Record

14-Year-Old Guy Breaks the Claim Record

14-year-old Jensen Price caught Britain’s Biggest carp, a 73lb 8oz carp from The Meadows Lake on the Holme Fen complex. This carp was around 4 lbs larger than Captain Jack, a carp that was previously landed from the same complex. He managed the feat by utilising a Tails Up Baits pop-up hookbait and a big rig.

The 14-year-old didn’t try to claim the record. It’s not exactly known why the youngster didn’t try to formalise his achievement, but many believe that it’s because of the BRFC’s criteria that previously denied a record claim from the same waters.

“I saw it come up on its side on the surface, and I thought my eyes were messing with me. Despite already being an accomplished angler at such a young age, the fish shatters what was already an impressive 51lb personal best for the youngster. It was nothing like I’d ever seen before – I didn’t think it was real,” said Jensen.

On a side note, keep in mind that minors aren’t allowed to fish in The Meadows Lake. Jensen was only given special permission because he and his father are members of the other syndicate waters of the owner.

Wayne Mansford’s Colossal 72lb 2oz Carp

Wayne Mansford's Colossal 72lb 2oz Carp

38-year-old Wayne Mansford caught a 72lb 2oz carp, nicknamed Marshall, at the Holme Fen Fishery.

“It’s an amazing carp, and I celebrated with a hot cross bun and a cup of tea at the end of the day,” said Wayne.

He used pellet and sweetcorn bait to catch it, but he was discouraged from making a record claim. Traditionalist anglers around Wayne were saying that imported fish shouldn’t be considered in BRFC’s records. He discussed the situation with his friends, but ultimately, he didn’t claim the record.

He said that he received negative feedback and didn’t want to go through all the controversy that surrounds submitting a British record claim from Cambridgeshire’s Holme Fen Fishery, despite believing that there’s nothing wrong with making claims with imported fish.

‘People get very angry about imported fish, and I think a lot of it is probably just jealousy. All carps are imported at some point, but I’ll have some discussions with people and see what we decide,” said Mansford.

“Another artificial fish! Unnatural bred in a carp factory, and people pay anything up to £200 to catch these,” posted Fran Rice on social media.

Many had compared this story to angler Tom Doherty’s record claim in 2016 that was also exposed to backlash fears when he landed a 70lb carp. He shied away from formalising his record amid fears of death threats from traditionalist anglers that protested against imported fish record claims.

The Bishop: An Older Record Carp Fish

Another carp fish record that was denied was The Bishop. Chris Yates landed the 51lb 8oz carp back in 1980, but the record was rejected because the fish hadn’t been killed. However, later on, the committee withdrew their decision, and the record was accepted. This meant that anglers who caught the biggest fish no longer needed to consider the body of the fish.


So that was a brief overview of the British carp fishing records.

To recap, the current official British record is Dean Fletcher’s 86lb 1oz carp, but there are other candidates that may have deserved to break it, give or take.

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