Is this the rarest carp in Britain?

(Image credit: Angler's Mail)

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Blue carp are also called black or snail carp, with the Latin name Mylopharyngodon piceus. They come from China and can reach 77 lb in weight.

Bandan Pizzy had a shock when he caught the 36 lb non-native blue carp from the £100-a-year Hawkhurst Specimen Lake in Kent.

Hawkhurst also have a second blue carp in the lake at around 40 lb from an historic stocking. They are thought to be the only two in England.

The venue can legally keep them as they have an ornamental fish licence and there’s no chance of the fish escaping into a river system.

‘Honoured’ to catch rare blue carp

Bandan, 27, from Redhill, Surrey, said: “It was my first time fishing this lake and I landed one of the rarest carp in Britain.

“It was a real beauty and what a lucky fish to have caught – I feel very honoured.

“It is the first time I’ve caught something as special as this.

“I also had a 64 lb catfish and a 26 lb common carp in the same session.

“I was fishing about two rod lengths of the bank to my left using a 18 mm Robin Red pellet with a few handfuls of mixed pellet scattered around it.”

Alien species here in the UK

Blue carp aren’t the only non-native carp in this country.

In 2011 a 30 lb silver carp was caught by Chris Johnson East Yorkshire’s day ticket Greaves End Fishery.

And a second silver carp was reported from an unnamed water.

The Environment Agency revealed they had removed some silver carp from around the country as they are the highest ILFA Risk Category (5).

This means they can’t be legally kept anywhere, even in indoor aquaria.

Topmouth gudgeon also come under this category and all populations of this mini menace are destroyed by the EA.

Angler's Mail

Running from 1964 until 2020, Angler's Mail was the UK's leading weekly magazine devoted to coarse fishing, telling readers everything they needed to know about which fish to catch, where to catch them, and what kit they needed to do it. Now, loads of the magazine's expert advice can be found on, as a helpful resource for angling newcomers and experts alike.