Record Catch Inspires Death Threats

Photo of Common Carp by Ingrid Taylar via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A British angler has received death threats after landing Britain’s biggest carp.

Recently, investment banker Tom Doherty landed Big Rig, an enormous carp weighing in at 70lb 4oz. Doherty hails from Basildon in Essex but caught the carp at The Avenue Fisheries which is located in Shifnal near Telford in Shropshire. The catch beats the previous record of 68lb 1oz which was set in January of this year when Dean Fletcher caught The Parrot.

Unfortunately Doherty is now wishing that he hadn’t caught the fish because he and his family have received death threats. This might sound like the plot of a terrible low budget movie but it is really happening!

Questionable Origins

Emotions are running high because some anglers believe that Big Rig was not originally a British carp but was instead farmed elsewhere before being placed in the lake. They believe that the fish should not be considered a record breaker because the honour should only be bestowed upon a native fish. Rob Hales who runs the fishing lake has denied that the fish was brought over from France. He says that Big Rig was purchased from a British fish farmer when it weighed 39lbs and has been reared at The Avenue Fisheries ever since.

The Angling Community Goes Social

Within 24 hours of landing the fish Doherty began to receive numerous threats via social media. One angler commented “Imported carp ….. Means nothing … Go catch yourself a true English fish not a bloated tourist.” Even Doherty’s sponsors, PB fishing products has received calls.

Other anglers rallied in support of Doherty and congratulated him on his achievement. Many have observed that even if the origin of the carp was questionable, Doherty should still be allowed to celebrate catching it and that he was not responsible for importing the fish.

The somewhat ridiculous overreaction on the part of some anglers smacks of jealousy. The Avenue Fisheries is an invitation only lake and it is this fact which could be behind any such feelings.

Tom Doherty is bemused by the backlash. He said “I don’t understand the mentality. All I did was cast a bait in a lake. Contentious issues come out in carp fishing.

The Record

Whatever the truth of the situation, it may take some time for the new record to be officially ratified. When Dean Fletcher caught the Parrot it took six months for his record to be confirmed. Since Big Rig was caught its official weight has been adjusted to 69lbs 13oz after the scales used were calibrated. But Big Rig remains a record breaking fish unless certain rather unpleasant individuals manage to get their way.

 

  • Header image – Photo of Common Carp by Ingrid Taylar via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)