What makes a 'specimen'?

Zerkalo

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Partially nicked this from a facebook post my dad was showing me earlier, was a question 'how big is a specimen Bream?'.

He asked me and I said 10lb but a lot of the answers were saying 6lb. Maybe depending on venue 6lb is a specimen. I almost count the 6lber I caught from the weir near my house as a specimen but not quite. What do people reckon?

So what makes a specimen for different species?

10lb for a Barbel?
2lb Roach?
3lb Perch?
8lb Tench?
30lb Carp?

and so on...
 

Silverfisher

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Guess it depends on the water a bit. All I know for sure is that I haven’t caught many if any! That said I’d probably say something along the lines of the following though for the main coarse species

Dace 1lb
Roach, Rudd, silver bream, 2lb
Crucian, grayling 3lb
Perch maybe 3lb probably 4lb these days
Chub 6lb
Tench 8lb
Bream, barbel, trout 10lb
Pike, carp 30lb
 

PJG

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There are two ways of looking at this:

1/ Half the record weight is a specimen.

2/ Being a specimen depends on whether it is twice the average size for that particular water.
 

Silver fan 82

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Good question! I tend to agree with @mickthechippy though. For me it's more of a personal thing. For ages I've been trying to catch the larger tench in a venue near me. They go to 8 or 9 lb but to some of the serious tench anglers a fish of this size would be pretty standard.
I also think it depends on the particular water, especially stillwaters. If they ain't in there you ain't going to catch them? So if a 2lb roach is a specimen but said lake only has small, stunted roach then maybe a12oz fish would be a whopper?
As said in the OP with regard to Bream I would say a 6lb fish is definitely a specimen but a 10lb Bream a fish of a lifetime.
Same kind of thing with Carp, to many anything over 30 lb is a good fish but to alot that would be a fish of a lifetime.
Interesting thread!
 

squimp

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I’d say it is water dependent- you can’t catch an 8lb tench (For example) if the biggest one in your lake is only 6lb.

25 years ago there were few big (by National standards) tench or carp in Yorkshire, for example. So the specimen hunters who lived up that end of the country had to come south to catch bigger fish....

these days you can catch big fish of both species up north - but still only on the right waters.
 

rudd

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There are two ways of looking at this:

1/ Half the record weight is a specimen.

2/ Being a specimen depends on whether it is twice the average size for that particular water.
Whats the current bleak or Gudgeon record?
 

spanky

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1/ Half the record weight is a specimen.

This is what I've always gone with. Whilst this is not attainable for most species in most waters, it is a universal standard that can be used by all.

This is not in any way meant to denigrate other outstanding local catches - largest tench from a water etc. which might still be a tremendous achievement, purely a yardstick that can be used across the UK.
 

Silverfisher

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Have had the odd whopping gudgeon, bleak and Ruffe in my time. Probably pushing 3oz with the first two certainly over with the latter had one so big out of the Bure that I almost went back into the holiday rental to see if there were any kitchen scales lol
 

Robwooly

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I always love the fact that the old imperial weights seem to align with the 'magic' fish weights perfectly, 1lb Dace, 2lb Roach, 3lb Perch etc it seems to fit so right with most if not all the species. Put it this way I'm not after a 0.8kg Roach or a 453grm Dace this season

Like others say it's down to the venue in many cases as on some rivers I'm delighted with a 2 or a 3lb chub or a 1lb Roach - it's all relative

I'd also go as far as saying it's down to the angler too, If you catch something much bigger than anything previously don't worry if it's not deemed a specimen by others, it's your game after all, from small acorns big oaks grow and it's often best to see those records grow in stages
 

Lee Richards

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Absolutely Rob, it can be whatever you want it to be.
And of course how many ounces you "are prepared to add" to achieve it ☺
 

Robwooly

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There will be quite a few on here who have caught a 2lb roach or a 3lb perch. But a 1lb dace is in a different league; an incredible fish.

I’ve never even seen one, let alone caught one.
I had two in one evening just before dark, sorry to boast but it took a few years to realise what a catch that was, the thing with big dace is they have to be (lets put it bluntly) fat! Lots of rivers do what we used to call 'Tonker' dace which are big long fish but when you weigh them they usually go 12oz or so. The Fat ones are usually on smaller rivers that see a lot of bait or carriers of larger rivers, not always but they always seem to do good fish, a big dace can also take a 6mm pellet no problem, also they pack on weight late winter and I suppose those fish I caught were spawn filled females. When you hook a massive dace it looks like a roach in the water as they are of similar depth and have a 'pigeon' chest but they are probably the same length of those Tonkers on other rivers. Feb or March is the best time for these fish although you can get the odd biggie in summer if really lucky
 

davepellet

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Only specimen I’ve ever caught by that reckoning is a dace of 1lb 2oz from the Hampshire Avon, closest after that is a tench of 7lb 12oz. At the time I’d have put that down as a venue record but the fishery owner didn’t keep track of anything except carp. Still never heard of a bigger one from there though, but not fished it for 2years
 

Silverfisher

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Some good catches there lads. A 1lb dace is certainly the sort of fish you could try for a whole life time for and not catch.
 

JayD

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I believe that a 'specimen' is dependant on the venue, the area, and the person themselves. I've never caught my particular 'Holy Grail' of a 2lb roach in 60 years of fishing. I've had a couple at 1lb 13oz, and a few around 1lb 8oz, and that's despite spending more time than I should have, fishing a place that I knew held them. It became almost an obsession for a few years, and during that time, I weighed a few for other people, and also saw many 2lb roach that miraculously shrank considerably when the scales appeared. I then began to realise that there were few places that held a realistic chance of me catching one, and the year class on that particular water had probably died, so I took a more relaxed approach to my fishing.
I remember as a kid, fishing the local canal, and catching a 'massive' chub, I weighed it at the lock keepers house, and it weighed all of 1lb 12oz! I started fishing further afield and it took a while to get a 2lber. I then took plenty between 2 and 2lb 8oz, but it took a while to get my 3lber. It went on like this, a bit at a time, and when one 'goal' had been reached it was as if a door had opened, and fish between that and the next 'goal' poured in. This continued well into my late teens, and I like to think that it served as a kind of apprenticeship in my fishing. I feel a bit sorry for some of the kids starting now, who catch 'ready made' specimens stocked artificially just for their 'pleasure'.

John.
 
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