Angling: Cas-based Catterall has lots to carp about

Steve Catterall with the first ever authenticated fifty pound carp from a British river.
Steve Catterall with the first ever authenticated fifty pound carp from a British river.
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A feat that can now only be copied was accomplished last week as Castleford’s Steve Catterall stunned the carp fishing world by setting a new benchmark for all serious river carp anglers with a new British record.

His carp weighed an incredible 50lb 1oz and would be regarded as a magnificent fish from any of the best carp waters around the world.

Catching one within a bus ride of home just makes it even better.

Spotting cruising fish while walking his dog and pre-baiting through the last few days of the closed season showed local knowledge, time on the bank and a gut feeling to be top of the list when targeting big fish.

Missing out on a first-day start and arriving after work the following day, both rods were cast to his baited area just past the margins.

And after only three hours, a screaming run that was about to make history, a further 20-minute heart pumping fight, and a few more taking deep breaths trying to grasp what they were seeing cradled in the net.

Successful rig was a DNA Baits Secret 7 bottom bait combined with a small pop-up presented on a wide gape size 8 to a 20lb hook-length and a 3oz lead to a safe clip.

Steve would like to thank Michael Sheridan for all his work making sure the fish was carefully handled during the weighing process and photographs before returning the amazing fish safely to the river.

Speculation over the origins of these carp is easy to fathom.

With the lower Aire Valley known for severe flooding and also running close to one of the country’s best specimen lakes stocked with the distinctive strain, it was inevitable that flood escapees would eventually become part of the river’s stock – and a challenge for those trying something different.

Hoping to relieve the pressure that will undoubtedly hit the Aire south of Leeds, and doubting the 50 can be bettered, I can give an accurate account that other lengths should not to be written off for producing another surprise.

Growing up on the banks of the Aire and being a regular trying to prove fish were back in numbers, I was asked to do a feature “A Breath Of Fresh Aire” for one of the popular angling weeklies and surprised myself and the cameras with a near 30lb of roach and hybrids from the warm water at Stourton Grange (date: September 1989).

The same day, a number of carp were spotted in steady water at the outflow from the canal, and within hours the late Kenny Kendall had banked a mirror of 16lb and backed it up with a pristine common of 12lb – both in the same session.

It was also around this time that the river was diverted and the weir removed under what is now the A1M flyover at Rothwell.

We filmed the Rivers Authority fish rescue after the drain down and, years later, Environment Agency management, who were young guys at the time, still talk of the tonnes of fish that were saved.

This included a good number of carp to low doubles.

Steve Catterall’s fish at 50-01 easily beats the UK’s previous best of 48-8 from Stratford on the Warwickshire Avon.

I still wonder how big those carp we witnessed all those years ago will be today.

And, with very few specimen lakes around at the time, just where did those carp come from?

****

Results

Leeds & District, Sykes Cup, Ulleskelf: 1, Tony Hewson 13-10; 2, Martin Thorpe 9-06; 3, Clinton Hughes 8-10.

Bradford No 1 Juniors, Raskelf: 1, Nick Michael 66-01; 2, Peter Burton 18-08; 3, Harry Sandham 14-02; 4, Sam Taylor 4-08; Tiddlers, Under-11s: 1, Harry Michael 34-01; 2, Reilly O’Hara 10-00; 3, Jasmine Jones 5-08; 4, Harry Hammer 3-00.

Bradford No 1, Committees, Raskelf: 1, Howard Foster 56-06; 2, Andy Fox 52-14; 3, Matt Foster 43-10; 4, Geoff Bass 38-08.

Birkwood Farm, Oscar’s: 1, M Baily 65-04; 2, A Rymer 65-02; 3, B Rymer 59-06.

Birkwood Farm, Oscar’s, Midweek: 1, A Rymer 60-04; 2, T Davies 37-03; 3, B Rymer 35-03.

Moor Monkton Pools, Front Lake: 1, Lee Smith 123-01; 2, Ken Priestly 75-13; 3, Dave Wright 75-04; 4, Lee Myers 73-11.

Moor Monkton Pools, Cyprio: 1, Paul Gallagher 99-06; 2, Neil Whittaker 90-08; 3, Louis Missud 59-00.

JT Rodgers, Worsborough Reservoir, Round 12: 1, S Burley 13-10; 2, A Smith 8-04; 3, S Biggins 7-14.

South Leeds, Tollerton, Heron: 1, A Longbottom 91-13; 2, D Richardson 64-07; 3, M Ally 49-02; 4, B Stanley 47-07; 5, M Jackson 46-15.

Colton sports, Forest Lane, Square: 1, I Asquith 47-08; 2, K Gale 45-00; 3, A Senior 37-11; 4, D Stainthorpe 33-07.

Whitehorse AC, Pudsey Angling, Raker: 1, A Day 38-08; 2, G Raper 35-08; 3, P Robinson 34-08; 4, G Brier 32-09.

Listerhills AA, Newton on Ouse: 1, E Harrison 8-02; 2, D Jackson 2-04; 3, M Webster 1-12.

Dragon AC at Candy Corner: 1, Barry Turner 75-02; 2, Dale Evans 75-01; 3, Les Parsons 63-11; 4, Kevin Legg 61-05.

Armley AC at Raker High Bank: 1, D Fish 93-12; 2, P Howard 71-04; 3, J Lavery 63-06; 4, R Varty 49-04.

Colton Sports AC, Oaks – Cedar: 1, A Senior 65-08; 2, G Sewell 61-05; 3, K Gale 51-04; 4, M Durkin 49-09.

Viking Saturday Open (Deer Pond): 1, J Marshall 61-06; 2, S Bean 40-13; 3, T Bullass 40-06; 4, R Scott 36-00.

East Leeds AC (Viking Fox): 1, M Murgatroyd 48-15; 2, A Stewart 39-05; 3, C Wrightman 35-02.

Oaks AC (Viking Deer): 1, J Batley 53-01; 2, R Truelove 41-11; 3, C Wardle 32-11.

Harehills WM (Viking Hawk): 1, C Dunn 37-03; 2, R Smith 36-08; 3, D Robinson 34-06.

Bobco Shadwell AC, Poppleton: 1, S Buttrill 62-05; 2, D Allan 57-09; 3, P Cowling 54-04; 4, P Limbert 43-06.

Bobco Shadwell AC, Lindholme: 1, J Silver 69-10; 2, P Limbert 67-08; 3, D Wood 55-08; 4, A Thornton 54-02.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout: 1, John Nelson 69-09; 2, John Dryden 48-04; 3, Alan McGuire 39-09; 4, Andrew Meadows 36-10.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout: 1, John Foster 88-09; 2, Peter Wilson 59-03; 3, Ray Laing 54-11.

Angel Lakes, Open Bowes: 1, John Foster 64-12; 2, Alan McGuire 58-01; 3, Martin Craig 51-13.

Match Diary

Saturday

Kippax Park: 27 pegs, tickets £20, contact 07967000746.

Feeder Master Qualifier: River Aire, Beal, contact Angling Trust 0115 906 1301.

Poppleton Saturday Open: pools, £15, draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Moorfields Farm: 54 pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Viking Saturday Open: Deer Pond, 24 pegs, £16, contact 0781 3824270.

Tollerton Ponds: Open Match all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs), contact 01347 838115.

Sunday

Leeds & Liverpool: Kirkstall, contact Roger Movley 01132 772215.

Listerhills: Leeds & Liverpool Canal ,contact Eddie Harrison 07518721051.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Leeds DASA: Moor Monkton Pools, contact 07967000746.

Poppleton Sunday Open: 50 pegs, draw 11am cafe, contact 07425 146677.

Monday

Woodlands over-50s: 30 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes over-60s: 30 pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds over-50s: tickets £16, contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park over-50s: draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Leeds & District: Moor Monkton Pools, draw 10am, contact 07967000746.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: open match, all ages, contact 01347 83811.

Thursday

Poppleton Lakes: 3-hour evening opens, contact Roger 07425 146677.

Junior angler, Liam Matley, aged 10. PIC: Steve Fearnley

Angling: Leeds and District initiative puts junior anglers at forefront and challenges other societies to follow its lead