UK

Biggest fish in the UK weighing 101lb can’t break the record because of rule change 

Something fishy is going on! Tipping the scales at 101lb, meet the biggest fish in the UK… but it can’t break the record because of rule change

  • Goliath has piled on 39lb since he was last caught in Withy Pool in Bedfordshire
  • But the British Record Fish Committee has changed its rules to exclude catfish 
  • Grandfather-of-four Steve Stewart said missing out on record was ‘frustrating’


A quarter of a century after he smashed the British record, an 8ft-long catfish called Goliath has been hooked again.

And since Goliath had piled on even more pounds in the meantime, angler Steve Stewart thought he had a good chance of entering the record books.

But there was a catch – despite his considerable increase in size since 1997, Goliath won’t count as a new British record for largest species caught because of a change to the rules.

Grandfather-of-four Mr Stewart was told the British Record Fish Committee’s (BRFC) rules have changed to exclude catfish.

Back in 1997, when Goliath was caught from Withy Pool in Bedfordshire by Richard Garner, he weighed 62lb and was put back alive into the lake. 

Since Goliath (pictured) had piled on many more pounds since 1997, angler Steve Stewart (far right) thought he had a good chance of entering the record books – but he missed out due to a change in the rules 

Back in 1997, when Goliath was caught from Withy Pool in Bedfordshire by Richard Garner (pictured), he weighed 62lb and was put back alive into the lake

Back in 1997, when Goliath was caught from Withy Pool in Bedfordshire by Richard Garner (pictured), he weighed 62lb and was put back alive into the lake

He was accepted by the BRFC as the biggest caught in the UK and was named after the biblical giant.

When Mr Stewart caught Goliath in the same spot after a fierce tussle, this time he weighed a massive 101lb. 

Yet it won’t count as a new record as the BRFC changed its rules in 2000 to no longer include catfish in British record books, insisting they must now be classed a non-native species.

It has proved controversial with some critics arguing that since catfish were introduced in 1800, the species should now be accepted as British. 

Mr Stewart, who put Goliath back in the lake alive and unharmed, said the rule change was ‘a bit frustrating’.

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