A record fish?

Details of the British Record (Rod caught) Fish Committee’s claims procedure are given below. We thank the National Anglers’ Council for permission to reproduce them. 1.1a) The claimant should contact the Com-mittee Secretary. (b) Advice will then be given concerning preservation, identification and claims procedure. 2. Claims must be made in writing to the Sec retary stating – (I) the species of fish and the weight. (ii) the date and place of capture and the tackle used, and whether Shore or Boat caught in the case of sea fish, and (iii) the names and addresses of reliable wit-nesses both as to the capture by the claimant and the weight, who will be required to sign the forms supporting the claim.

If no witnesses to the capture are available, the claimant must verify his claim by affidavit. 3. No claim will be accepted unless the Com-mittee is satisfied as to species, method of capture and weight. The Committee reserves the right to reject any claim if not satisfied on any matter which the Committee may think in the particular circumstances to be material.

Identification of Species (a) To ensure correct identification, it is essential that claimants should retain the fish and immediately contact the Secretary of the Committee who will advise as to production of the fish for inspection on behalf of the Committee. (b) No claim will be considered unless the fish in its natural state dead or alive is available for inspection. (c) All carriage costs incurred in production of the fish for inspection by the Committee must be borne by the claimant. 5. Method of Capture (a) Fish caught at sea will be eligible for consideration as records if the boat used has set out from a port in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or The Channel Islands and returns to the same port without having called at any port outside the United Kingdom. Fish caught in the territorial waters of other countries will not be eligible. (b) Claims can only be accepted in respect of fish which are caught by fair angling with rod and line. Fair angling is defined by the fish taking the baited hook or lure into its mouth. (c) Shore fishing shall mean fishing from any land mass or fixed man-made structure. In cases of doubt the Committee will classify a claim on the information provided. 6. Weight (a) The fish must be weighed as soon as pos- sible on scales or steelyards which can be tested on behalf of the Committee. Where possible commercial or trade scales which are checked regularly by the Weights and Measures Department should be used. The sensitivity of the scales should be appropriate to the size of the fish, I.e. small fish should be weighed on finely graduated scales and the weight claimed for the fish should be to a division of weight (ounce, dram, gramme) not less than the smallest division shown on the scales. (b) A Weights and Measures Certificate must be produced certifying the accuracy of the scales used and indicating testing at the claimed weight.

In the case of species weighing less than one pound the claimed weight must be submitted in grammes.

The weight must be verified by two independent witnesses who, for example, should not be relations of the claimant or a member of his club or party.

Claims can be made for species not included in the Committee’s Record Fish List. 7. The Committee will issue at least once a year its lists of British Record (rod-caught) Fish.

No fish caught out of season shall be accepted as a new record. 9. A fish for which a record is claimed must be normal and not obviously suffering from any disease by which the weight could be enhanced.

If you catch a record fish

Medium sized fish can be preserved for considerable periods by refrigeration (deep freeze) or immersion in formalin. If a fish is to be sent by post or rail it is best immersed in a solution of one tablespoon of formalin (40 per cent solution of formaldehyde) to a pint of water. For despatch, the fish should be wrapped in a cloth wrung out in the solution, placed in a plastic bag sealed as far as possible, and wrapped in stout brown paper: please enclose the name and address of the sender and whether the fish should be returned – if so the postage. The fish should be weighed before being placed in preserving liquids.

Though the British Record (Rod Caught) Fish Committee is responsible for British records, other groups also operate to assess fish caught in areas covered in this Guide.

The Scottish Record Sea Rsh Com-mittee

Operated by the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers since 1974, this body offers a special badge to anglers catching a fish adjudged a record for Scottish waters. Details of their scheme and claim forms for records may be obtained by writing to Dr D Burkel, 62 Lauderdale Gardens, Glasgow G12 9QU.