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The One That Didn’t Get Away

A tale of Britain's largest freshwater catch

They say that the best things come to those who wait. Dean Fletcher certainly had to wait a while to land his record breaking catch. He had been targeting the fish for ten years before he finally caught the 68lb mirror carp.

Cranwells Lake

Dean Fletcher had set his heart on catching the fish in 2006. It resided at . Unfortunately the enthusiastic angler spent the next 7 years on the waiting list to become a member at the fishery. He then spent three more years fishing every week trying to hook the carp. You can't fault him for determination!

The Parrot

This particular fish is known as The Parrot because it has a mouth which looks a little like a bird's beak. At 68lbs 1oz it set the record for Britain's largest freshwater fish. It beat the previous record by 9oz. That was set by a carp dubbed Two Tone! This fish was caught and broke the record six times between 2001 and 2008 but died aged 45 in 2010.

Record Breaker

The Parrot took half an hour to reel in and at one stage Mr Fletcher had to wade into the water as the carp had made its way behind a sunken tree. He had a friend with him who weighed the fish and was shocked to see the scales showing a weight beyond the existing record. The head game keeper was summoned to verify the weight with digital scales. The record had stood for 8 years since Oz Holness had landed Two Tone.

Carp Fishing

Having become a member at the lake specifically to pursue The Parrot, this was a fabulous moment. Although The Parrot had not been such a substantial fish when Dean Fletcher had first targeted it. He reported that he suspected that he might have hooked this particular fish as soon as he felt the weight at the end of his line. After three years carp fishing at Cranwells Lake he believed that he had caught every fish in it except the one that he really wanted. Mind you he had been carp fishing for a total of 37 years so he knew what he was doing.


Oz Holness was kind enough to Tweet his congratulations following reports of the catch which was celebrated with a cup of tea and a steak dinner! The Parrot was released back into the lake.

Big up my man Dean Fletcher ... Big Carp , Big Buzz ... congratulations mate! 🐋👌

— Oz Holness (@ozholness)

Mark Hibbs, manager of the fishery has said how proud they are to have such a fish in their waters. They thought that The Parrot would break the record for someone, they just didn't know who.

Dean Fletcher has just Wasing's "The parrot" at a huge 68 lb 1oz and an unofficial new uk record!

— Wasing Sporting (@WasingSporting)

The record will be ratified in June but it is safe to say that this will happen as there were enough witnesses present. Until then, The Parrot has only set an interim record, but hey! The British carp record dates back to 1902 and is amongst the most sought after. Who will be the next record holder? It could be you!


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