If anything in the world of angling could be described as ungentlemanly behaviour it is the practice of depositing a specially bred fish into a lake so it can later be claimed as a record-breaking catch.
But the habit is in danger of becoming so widespread that the British Record Fish Committee (BRFC) is to introduce a strict new set of rules to ensure any fish submitted for an attempt on the official records was in fact born and raised in the lake where it was hooked.
The move follows a bid to register a 69lb 3oz carp – a pound heavier than the then current national record – as a new record, after angler Tom Doherty legitimately caught the fish, named Big Rig, at a Shropshire lake in September 2016.
It later emerged that Rob Hales, the owner of RH Fisheries’ The Avenue lake, had bought the fish from a farm at a weight of 40lb, before hand-rearing it to near the record weight, and placing it into the lake.
As a result the BRFC has warned it may now require anglers to provide proof of the fish’s “provenance” before accepting any claim of a new record being set.