Sometimes making a big catch is not so lucky. One angler who recently caught a 70 pound carp reportedly breaking the British carp record found out just how personal the sport can be.
When photos and the report of Tom Doherty’s supposed record-breaking carp, detractors took to Facebook with an onslaught of criticism, insults and even death threats. At issue is whether the carp was actually raised in Britain, and apparently it was not.
Doherty, who is sponsored by several gear companies including PB Products, caught the fish at RH Fisheries, which calls itself the “premium UK venue for big carp.” But some who called foul on the record catch claim it’s a ploy for publicity.
In an interview with The Sun, fisheries owner Rob Hales admits to placing the fish in the 60-acre lake about two months ago after it was “hand-reared.” He said the fish was “slightly bigger” when he bought it from a UK fish farm.
“Because it was being cared for and fed in a relaxed environment it grew to a phenomenal weight. She was going to get caught,” he told the newspaper.
It’s this admission that set many in the carp fishing world on fire, who have seen this type of stunt before.
Doherty told The Sun the controversy has been so intense he is keeping a low profile and in the end really wishes he didn’t catch the fish after all. Some of the comments have been really vicious.
“I don’t know whether I am happy or disappointed. The people who are outraged are the same every time contentious issues come out in carp fishing. I was expecting it, to be honest,” Doherty told The Sun. “I am not thinking about going to police unless the threats come directly at me, then I will consider it… All I did was cast a bait in a lake. You can only catch what is in front of you.”
Paul Meehan, managing director of PB fishing products, which sponsors Doherty, said they have received threatening telephone calls to their business.
“There have been death threats and accusations of him not being able to be left alone with children, and threats to his girlfriend and child,” Meehan said. “It is unreal, it is someone doing his hobby.”