'Glad it's dead': Anglers carp at owner over death of freak 71lb fish in row over 'forcefeeding'

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A row has erupted among anglers after the largest freshwater fish ever caught in Britain died. 

Some say the female carp known as Big Rig, imported from Israel in 2009, was fed to death after owner Rob Hales grew it from a weight of 39lb when he bought it in 2014 to 71lb 4oz when it was caught from a lake in Shropshire last year.

But others say it should have been given a place in the official record books. Judges refused to award it a place because they claimed it had been “grown under an artificial feeding regime”.

Big Rig was 3lb 3oz heavier than the official record holder, a 68lb 1oz carp caught in Berkshire in 2016.

“Glad it’s dead. It made a mockery out of our sport,” wrote one man on the Facebook page of magazine Carp Talk.

“What was expected to happen a fish of that size from a complete different climate and conditions?” wrote another.

Big Rig, which died last week during egg spawning, was the largest freshwater fish in the UK to be snagged by an angler – yet never found a way into record books.

When an application was made to the British Record Fish Committee by Tom Doherty, 33, who was reported to have caught Big Rig at a weight of 70lb 4oz last October, he was told it did not qualify as it was a “cultivated fish”.

Mr Hales has denied that the fish died because of its weight, telling the Times: “Big Rig’s death was definitely spawning related.”


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