Record-breaking Clarrisa the carp to be sold at auction

Clarrisa the carp weighed a record-breaking 44lbs when she was caught by renowned angler and author Richard Walker on September 12, 1952.

The capture is considered the single most important event in carp-fishing history which paved the way for modern day angling.

Clarrisa broke the previous record by nearly 13lbs and went on to live at ZSL London Zoo Aquarium until 1972.

Her record stood for 28 years until a fish weighing 51½ lbs was caught in 1980 at the same pond, Bernithan Pool, near Ross-on-Wye.

Now, the original skin mount of Clarrisa is set to go under the hammer at Mullock Jones Auctioneers in Shropshire with an estimate of £35,000-£40,000.

Ben Jones, from the auctioneers, said: “This is a unique opportunity to obtain arguably the most important preserved specimen carp.

“The capture of Clarissa the record-breaking 44lb carp in 1952 propelled Richard Walker into the record books and carp fishing royalty for life.”

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The fish is mounted in a glazed bow-fronted case, with gilt writing and border, set in a naturalistic reed and gravel setting and has been kept at a fishing tackle shop in Coventry, which has now decided to part with it at an auction to be held on July 24 and 25.

Walker believed a 40lb carp could exist in British waters but was ridiculed by both anglers and the press at the time.

He caught the fish on a one-inch, two-piece split cane rod he made in his garden shed.

On that day in 1952, Walker fished with no float, knots or lead and the bait was a homemade mix of paste and bread crust.

“Sometime about 9am or thereabouts the next morning I went up to big house and asked if I could use the phone,” he said at the time.

“I rang the London Zoo and said, ‘Do you want a forty-pound carp?’ They said, ‘We’ve got a fourteen-pound carp.’

“And then I said, ‘Not a fourteen-pound carp – a forty-pound carp!’

“The man at the other end made some terse comments about how he did wish hoaxers would think of something better to do on a Saturday morning.”

But, a little persuasion later, a van was sent to collect the carp.

“About six hours later a van arrived with a tub and two obviously unbelieving people who thought it was going to be a hoax,” Mr Walker said.

“They were quite surprised to find it wasn’t and drove off with the thing.”

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