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A good read indeed.

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Hi peoples this is something that i found on the internet over the weekend , hope i'm not breaking any rules by c&p and reproducing it here.


There is a lot more information available that i cant post because it is a sticky from another forum and is again C.Com rules .

However if anyones interested , then PM me and i'll point you in the right direction , lots of good stuff from a lot of good Anglers past & present.




Contrary to popular belief carp are not native to the United Kingdom or continental Europe either. They are an introduced species. Carp originated in central Asia from the Caspian Sea about 10,000 years ago. During the ending of the last ice age carp migrated into the Black sea area and colonised the Aral system and eastern Asia including China, thus giving some the impression that they originated in China and the Far East. 8,000 years ago carp began to be found in The Danube and quickly spread through that system to many rivers and lakes in continental Europe. The Romans were responsible for the introduction of carp into Italy and many other colonies from the Danube area. The United Kingdom was not included this initial expansion of the carps territory. Following the decline of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Monastic life of the early Christians the carp became a domesticated food fish of the monks. Indeed during this period the first selective breeding took place to try and improve the carp’s growth rate.



The actual date of the introduction of carp into the UK is in some doubt, The Complete Angler written by Izaak Walton in 1653 states “Hops and Turkies, Carps and Beer Came into England all in a year” Hops were introduced into England in approx 1428 but carp may have been introduced as early as the 1300’s the early writings are unclear and even the authorships are in dispute so we can only say that the carp was established in the UK by the end of the 1600’s



All of the early introductions were fully scaled fish, some of these would have been true “wild” fish never selectively bred, though some would even at that early stage have been “King” type fish, bred for weight gain. So the claims for the status of some fish even today to be original wild carp are vexed with problems of identification.



Fish with irregular scale patters or having no scales at all are natural mutations, they occur by genetic modification due to outside forces, notably natural radiation. So it was not unknown for carp to be produced either naturally or by selective breeding with different scale patterns, the deliberate breeding for these scale types started fairly early but not necessarily for any benefits in growth potential. This was a secondary aim, maybe to make the fish easier to clean for the table. Certainly by the late 1800’s mirror and leather carp had been introduced into UK waters. These fish however were still rare until the early 1920’s when mirror and leather carp were on offer by English fish farms for introduction into fishing waters. Some of the earliest of these were stocked into the River Thames, Great Ouze, Crystal Palace Boating Lake and many other waters.



The notable importer and distributor of these fast growing king carp was Donald Leney of the Surrey Trout Farm, These fish imported from Holland originating in the Galicia region of Poland were sold to many angling clubs and introduced into many waters which latterly became famous for the size of the fish they produced.



So begins the story of carp fishing as we know it, the pursuit of these fish and their offspring.






The Waters


There are thousands of carp waters now; however it has not always been so. At one time they were few and far between, and waters that produced carp over 30 lbs rarer still.



Beechmere (Bradmere pool) in Devon was one of the early waters to grab the imagination of the fishing public. Largely brought to light in the writings of “BB” Denys Watkins-Pitchford. His descriptions of fishing the old copper mine and the battles with its residents in Confessions of a Carp Fisher were the essence of 1950’s carp fishing. I am fortunate to have fished Beechmere and it truly is a special place to fish. Never producing really big fish until it was stocked with some Mirrors in the 70’s it still held a reputation as a magical place. If you have not read Confessions then please get hold of a copy. Beechmere carp have the long lean shape of what many would call a “wild” carp. They have been fished for by many of the top names in early carp fishing history.





Other waters of the same period include Hunstrete Lake in Somerset where Richard Walker played a “huge” carp for hours only to find a small cap had wrapped the line round its dorsal fin. Dagenham Lake London which produced many 20+ fish in the 1950’s and 60’s including some close to the then British Record. Woledale, Maurice Ingham’s home water. Mapperly Reservoir where Albert Buckley and others landed big fish on light tackle. And Cheshunt Reservoir the home of the previous record.





The premier water of this era though must go to Redmire (Bernithan Pool), The lake at a little over 3 Acres is the result of the damming the small River Garron This produced a water with a deep centre channel and shallower margins particularly to the north at the opposite end to the Dam. The pool was rich in aquatic food and there was little to eat it apart from eels and a few old trout from the unsuccessful attempt to turn the water into a trout fishery. Following this attempt it was decided to introduce some carp in order to attempt to control the prolific weed growth. So some carp were placed on order by the owner Lt Col Barnardiston with the Surrey trout farm. These 50 1 to 2 year old fish of approx 5 to 8 inches inches in length were introduced in March 1934.


These fish were of the Galician race of carp from Poland, they had the advantage of a long growing life frequently not ceasing to add inches until their 15th year. This meant long fish that could later fill out on the abundance of food at the lake. The situation was ideal for big fish. A water rich in food, with little competition from other species, undisturbed by angling pressure for nearly 20 years and stocked with some of the best carp ever bred. Little wonder then that as soon as the water was first fished the size of the fish astounded the lucky few who gained access.




Bob Richards a Gloucester tobacconist was lucky enough to learn of the fish at Redmire through a friend Harold Boulton, Harold had fished the pool in1949 and had not caught any but seen large fish from the punt. Bob phoned the owners and obtained permission to fish, he did so in late September 1950 and though he caught nothing he did see a monster carp from the boat. Bob fished the pool through 1951 only once on the 10 or so occasions he fished did he get a bite, the fish broke him in the weed. His last trip was to be on October 3rd and prior he managed to get the bailiff’s son to bait a swim for him with egg sized pieces of bread. The day dawned mellow and warm, an “Indian summer” late into autumn. The swim was coloured by feeding fish and Bob eventually after loosing a number of fish, late in the day hooked and played a fish that smashed the record and broke the 30lb barrier for the first time, at 31.04 it held the record for a short time.



This news awakened the interest of Dick Walker who wrote to the owners and gained permission to fish. History tells us that on the 15th of September 1952 he landed a 44lb common carp that was named Clarissa this again smashed the record to splinters and established Redmire forever in the imagination of carp anglers as the “Mecca” of places to fish for huge carp. Over the years from Walker onwards there have been stories of huge uncaught fish in Redmire, These mystery fish fuelled the legend of the place which still in the new century holds a special place in carp fishing history. Following Redmire is no easy thing, though many waters like Ashlea pool in Gloucestershire, Billing Aquadrome in Northants and newer waters like Savay, Wraysbury and Conningbrook have tried, none however have captured the atmosphere of Redmire or the mystery of its inhabitants, maybe it’s fitting that the 4ft long common was never caught though seen by too many to doubt it’s existence.



t just adds another story to share of the uncaught monsters and the guessing game of the ultimate size of the Redmire Fish.




The Fish

It’s not known when anglers first turned their attention to carp as a sporting fish as against a fish cultured for food, the records are just not there to examine. However it’s safe to assume that anglers were fishing for carp in far earlier times than the records from the fishing Gazettes of the 1800’s suggest. The early literature talks about the carp being the “fearfullest of fishes “ written in 1653 so we can say that carp fishing had an early origin in the UK. Because of the lack of early records the weights that these rod caught carp attained is in doubt. The first true lists show fish of 20lb being caught in the 1800’s. Fish netted or found dead were reported as heavier than this the best a 29 lb fish found dead in March 1903 at Wytham Lake Bourne.

The first notable fish recorded as being caught on rod and line is a 20 lb fish caught in 1890 from Diana pool Hampton court . Thought the first fish that caught people’s imagination was the 17 lb fish caught by Otto Overbeck in 1902 from the famous Croxby pond. Quickly followed by the Cheshunt fish of 20.03 (1916) John Andrews,

However the first fish to really cause a stir was the 26 lb monster caught from Mapperly Reservoir by Albert Buckley on the 24th of July 1930. This fish caught on extremely light tackle took over an hour and a half to land, the publicity of this and Buckley’s other carp caught from Mapperley reinforced the general opinion that carp could only be caught on light lines and small hooks, no wonder they gained the reputation of being uncatchable, and even when you did hook one it was almost certain to be lost. Albert Buckley was lucky in that Mapperley is virtually snag free and this allowed him to fight the fish for long periods.



Albert Buckley's record fish stood for many years, only closely challenged by fish from Dagenham Lake in the 1940's, the best of these being the 25.09 of George Draper in October 1947.

It's fitting that the first recorded 30 lb fish came from Redmire ( Bernithan Pool). This fish which weighed 31lb 4 ounces and caught by Bob Richards on October the 3rd 1951 was a revelation at the time. Bob hooked no less than four fish only one of which was landed on his 6lb line. He moved swims and eventually returned to the Willow pitch to try again to land a big carp. Almost immediately his float slipped away into the coloured water as the carp moved away with the honey bread paste. This time all went well and he soon had the big carp rolling in front of him, far too large to fit in his landing net the fish was eventually gaffed in order to land it. Weighed on the Salter scales at the farm the weight was confirmed. This fish made headline news even in the national press and started the Redmire evolution of carp fishing in the 1950’s.

After seeing and setting up this huge fish Richard Walkers interest in the previously unknown water was kindled, he gained permission to fish and landed the first 40+ carp ever taken. This fish possibly the most famous carp in the world weighed 44 lbs and was captured on the 13th of September 1952. This fish was landed alive and spent many years as an exhibit at London zoo’s aquarium. Dick also started the fashion in naming fish, calling this one “Clarissa”.



The first 50 lb carp again came from Redmire in June 1980. This fish at 51.5 was well known and had been caught over the years at weights of 35 to 41 lbs. This time it was caught be Chris Yates on sweetcorn


Another famous 50+ fish and probably the most caught above this weight was Mary the Wraysbury no1 fish that dominated the big fish lists of the mid 90’s. Caught no fewer than 25 times over 50 lbs and at a best weight of 56.06 in September 1998 by Kevin Cummins this fish became the “one” to catch in this period.

Although anglers from Walker to Yates had seen fish described as over 60 lb at Redmire none were caught, though Jack Hilton describes loosing a near 4 foot long fish at the net, he actually had the fish across the arms of the landing net but it refused to fold into the mesh. The first 60+ fish was caught from Mid Kent Fisheries, Conningbrook Lakes, in October 2002, by Gary Bayes. This fish called Two Tone weighed 61 lbs and is a well known fish caught over the years. First recorded at 34 lbs in 1992 this fish still holds the British Record at 64.05 by John Pack in Jan 2004.



Will there ever be a 70+ from the UK, My guess is yes. The weight of fish caught is steadily climbing as the quality and quantity of bait increases. What the eventual size will be is a guess but the world record at over 80 lbs has shown that carp can reach these sort of weights. Time will tell.




just found this on another website hope its of some interest

Edited by newmarket

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Great thread, I could add a few lakes you have never heard off, but decline to do so, there will be a seventy, but it will be interesting to see how long they live, some of us will not be around for that one. Well done Tim, great piece of research.

Do you reckon there has already been a 70?

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That was really good Newmarket. Fascinating. I had a read about the various strains and their physical attributes today too. Bit worried about copy and pasting the descriptions though, straight up plagiarism?


The Galician Carp

The Dinkelsbuehl Carp

The Ropsha Carp

The Italian Carp

The Aischgrund Carp

The Frame Carp

The Royale Carp

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I would love to fish Beechmere, but i think the idea of it would be better than the reality, i think that heyday is best remembered and not relived.... not that i will probably ever be given the pleasure. 


I would bet there are numerous 60lb carp in the uk that have never seen the press, i've heard several stories from lakes up north (from me) but i don't think there are many carp anglers around with the ability to keep secrets, most non-publicity waters, loads of people know exactly whats been out!

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