DICK WALKER: Orig­i­nal Carp Record

Angling Times (UK) - - 50 GREATEST CATCHES -

9NO fresh­wa­ter fish will ever cre­ate the same kind of earth­quake that Clarissa did when Dick Walker caught her back in 1952.

The iconic im­age of Walker cradling the huge com­mon is widely con­sid­ered as sig­ni­fy­ing the birth of the mod­ern carp scene, and al­though in sub­se­quent years the record for the species has grown by over 20lb to 68lb 1oz, Walker’s catch is still ar­guably the most im­por­tant in carp fish­ing his­tory.

Landed from the in­ti­mate and mys­te­ri­ous Red­mire Pool, the fish stunned the angling world, as Chris Yates ex­plained when he spoke to Angling Times on the catch’s 60th an­niver­sary back in 2012.

“I re­mem­ber read­ing ar­ti­cles printed in the me­dia at the time lead­ing up to this cap­ture and peo­ple thought Dick was mad to sug­gest that carp could grow in ex­cess of 40lb. It was great when he si­lenced his crit­ics in such fine style. There was a real in­no­cence and mys­tery about carp fish­ing in those days which is no longer there.

“This wasn’t just the cap­ture of Bri­tain’s big­gest carp, but a mo­ment in fish­ing that in­spired gen­er­a­tions to come,” he added.

Clarissa kept the ti­tle as the coun­try’s big­gest carp for al­most 30 years un­til Chris him­self landed a 51lb 5oz mir­ror from the same Here­ford­shire venue in 1980. It is this lengthy gap that Terry Hearn, who held the carp record be­tween 1996 and 1998, be­lieves makes Dick’s cap­ture so spe­cial.

“It was made well be­fore my time but look­ing back it was ob­vi­ously a very spe­cial fish,” he said.

“In those days there were very few carp an­glers about and it’s not like to­day, when peo­ple know pretty much what fish are in which lake and what size they are likely to be. Al­though for­ties are rel­a­tively com­mon now, the fact that it took nearly 30 years for the record to be bro­ken again – the long­est-ever gap be­tween records – shows how big the fish was in its day.”

Iconic pic­ture – Dick and the 44lb Clarissa.

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