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Wood and Blacker in grand final.

Local matchmen Neil Blacker and Colin Wood enjoyed a successful visit to Woodland Lakes fishery at Thirsk for an Angling Times/Maver Pairs challenge qualifier.

With 59 pairs taking part they achieved the fourth and final qualifying place with 14 points and will now travel down to Maver Larford Lakes fishery at Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, for the prestigious grand final later in the year.

* The Hoyle Ing Alliance visit the straight mile fishery at Retford, Notts, on Sunday for their next match.

* A fish of 4lb 11oz, claimed to be a true crucian carp, has been caught by Neal Hughes from the Bluebell Lakes complex.

Although it beats the current British record by almost 2oz it is by no means certain that it will eventually make its way into angling's history books.

Confusion over identification of the species has been ongoing since increasing hybridisation left the British Record Fish Committee with little choice but to dismiss several dubious claims and start afresh in 1998.

Since then only one strain of crucian carp, all from the RMC fishery at Yateley Lakes, Surrey, has been accepted by the BRFC while several other possible record breakers from elsewhere have been rejected.

The current record stands at 4lb 9oz and was caught by national angling journalist Martin Bowler in 2003 from Yateley.

The latest capture, however, looks set to test the credibility of BRFC to the limit, with the fish being witnessed by a national angling journalist and the current barbel record holder Tony Gibson, both of whom believe the fish could be a genuine crucian.

The captor said: "I have been fishing for 30 years and I've caught a few around the 1lb mark so I know what one looks like. I have some good photographs and will be claiming it as a record".

Complex owner Tony Bridgefoot believes the specimen could be from original stock that was in the lake when he took over.

"We've had crucians between 1 1/2lb and 2lb caught at Bluebell in the past but nothing on this scale. I hope for the captor's sake it is accepted as a record," he said.

* The intensive check on rod licences by Environment Agency bailiffs at the beginning of last month revealed that anglers in our region - the north east - are the most honest.

Bailiffs asked 2,366 anglers at 136 venues across the region for their licences and found 61 unable to produce the necessary documentation.

This was an impressive 2.6% compared to 6.9% nationwide. This was easily the lowest percentage of defaulters among the eight regions throughout the country. The worst offenders were across the Pennines in the north west region where the percentage of licence dodging anglers was the highest in the country at 12.8%.

The agency's team of bailiffs descended on 868 stillwater fisheries across England and Wales over a three-day period and caught an average of one licence evader per fishery.

With fines of up to pounds 2,500 and a ban from fishing the possible penalty, the simple message is buy a licence. National rod licences cost pounds 23.50 and are available from 15,000 post offices.

* Abingdon, Oxon, angler Richard Devitt has landed the biggest carp recorded anywhere in the world this year.

The enormous 81lb specimen was banked during a torrential rainstorm at Rainbow Lake, the 100-acre venue outside Bordeaux, south west France.

Remarkably, the huge mirror has now been landed on at least four occasions from the same swim, peg 18, in the last three years, increasing its weight during the period by almost 19lb.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 9, 2005
Words:598
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