I can think of waters, mainly holes in the ground, where an eight pound tench can be caught fairly readily, yet in a small local estate lake a four pound fish is an achievement. Each fish is a specimen for its location, but I would value the smaller fish more highly due to the effort needed to bank it. Size isn't everything, it's relative!
Sam, you are most probably right, although i have a sneaking suspicion (based on snippets of information) that the Trent will take the angling world by storm in the next two years with a near record barbel. Wouldnt that make great news and help put the northern rivers back in the frame. Berties days are numbered. That said, a 14lb Northern Barbel is a staggering fish and i agree that the weeklies have got it all wrong when it comes to dishing out awards, however, i also know that the berties are not as easy to catch as the weeklies will have you believe.
Did anyone see the recent factfiles in the Anglers Mail. Life histories of various Carp, who they had been caught by, sexual orientation and which political party they would probably vote for. Fair enough, carping is a positive dimension for the sport, but I think the magazines should try to expand their horizons in terms of contributions to angling etc.
I'll throw my tuppemce in here.
Who cares what a fish weighs?
Do you fish for yourself or for the glory?
If we weren't so obsessed with the weight of fish then the weeklies wouldn't pander to us.
When you weigh and photograph fish or catches who are you showing the photo's to who are you bragging about the weight to?
I used to weigh and photograph all my carp and then I became obsessed in the weight game, only chasing known forties and almost completely lost the plot.(I did lose my job and fiance along the way)
Then I sat back and realised what I really wanted from my fishing, that little thing called 'pleasure'.
Remember why you fish and who you are fishing for.
Weight isn't important.
The pleasure you get from fishing should always come first, but there is nothing wrong with keeping tabs on the weight of the fish you catch providing the weight of the fish doesn't become the one and only reason you go fishing.
A sensible reply Graham (though I would expect nothing less from your good self).
Although you have a vested interest in weighing and photographing your catches, I would suspect that if the pleasure aspect disappeared you would need to review your 'career'. Like we mere mortals when we become despondent in our own 'jobs'.
I just consider myself very lucky indeed that a pastime I've followed with extreme passion for over 50 years has also provided my living for the past eight years. What I think about fishing, and the enjoyment I get from it after all these years, means more to me now than it ever has. The older you get the more you appreciate the finer things of life, and fishing is the finest thing I have ever experienced outside of my family. And that applies regardless of earning my living from the sport. Whether you weigh fish or not, for whatever reason, the thing to remember most of all is to still smell the flowers.
As a specimen hunter myself can I just say that any fish you catch wether it be a carp or roach, is a specimen if when sliding the landing net under it and seeing it for the first time, you experience a more than normal sense of achievement. All fish are worthy of catching, so ignore the comments "it's only a 7lb tench", when you know there are 10lb fish in there. If you felt it was a worthwhile catch, then it is a specimen to you.
I kept my own personal diary for years and always used 50% or above of the current record as a limit for a specimen fish. I do realised this is not ideal because of regional variation and it does not stop me enjoying catching non specimen fish. The problem is it make me look like I am a brilliant chub fisherman and a hopeless carp/pike fisherman even thought 75% of my time is spent fishing for carp and pike. It does give me an extra thrill thou if I do catch something over 50% of the record!
As a fairly inexperienced angler, my largest fish have been under 1lb. But i have a habit of catching 6 4-6oz roach or perch inside 15 minutes. its happened three times now, but none of the fish have exceeded 6oz in weight. I still love angling, and go whenever i possibly can, and i dont mind that the fish i catch are small because they are also good fun to land, maybe not as much fun as a big barbel or chub, or even a medium sized carp, but fun none the less. I feel that far too much emphasis in the sport goes on size, when what matters is enjoyment.
Nick, I've had carp and catfish to over 50lb, but I would have given an arm and a leg for a 6oz roach in a club match I fished last week. It's all relative mate. If you're achieving what you set out to achieve and, more to the point, enjoying trying, it doesn't matter a damn what size fish you're catching.
Here Here Graham, over the years i have been privilaged to catch afew nice fish. But one of my most prized memories is screeming at my 8yr old son to stop realing as a 6oz roach is about to fit through the rod rings!!!!!! I am sure that moment will live with me as long as any P.B.
Everyone talks about size when referring to specimen fish. I have caught pike and carp into the twenty's, but the fish I most treasure and one that I would call a real specimen was a fully scaled mirror that weighed in at 15lbs 8 1/2 ounces, which was caught on a cold February morning. It was a beautiful fish. One I am proud to have caught and one I will always call a specimen. If you think its a specimen then a specimen it is.