It seems that every landowner with a spare field is digging a carp lake these days. With such a large population of anglers wishing to dip their carp tackle every weekend and prepared to pay for the privilege it is not surprising. But is the trend for stocking artificially reared carp of record breaking proportions really good sport?
The carp will only grow naturally to around 40lb or so in UK waters. Richard Walker was the first angler in Britain to catch a carp over 40lb and for many years it was kept in the aquarium house at London Zoo. Under exceptional conditions a prime specimen may reach around 50lb.The British record is now some 67lb. It seems that the record keeps on rising!
The common carp of baitcaster with braided line will grow much larger in the warmer climes of Europe. The world record now stands at some 91lb landed by Andy Komomicki from The Graviers near Dijon, narrowly beating the previous record caught by Graham Slaughter at 88lb from Rainbow Lakes near Bordeaux again in France.
One reason for the swiftly increasing size of the UK record fish is that foreign fish are being secretly imported to the UK. No longer do we have to make the pilgrimage across the channel to hunt the 50 or 60lb fish, there are venues in the UK advertising these fish by name and charging us for the privilege to fish for them. But before I upgrade the strength of my carp tackle and double the breaking strain of my reel line, I must pause to think about the impact of such imports on our sport.