Clarissa the carp estimated to fetch £35k at Shropshire auction

Chloe Hughes,BBC News, West Midlands

Mullock Jones Auctioneers  A preserved carp in a frame, in front of fake pond weedsMullock Jones Auctioneers

Clarissa the carp was caught in Bernithan Pool, now known as Redmire Pool, near Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

A carp that was caught more than 70 years ago in a pond near Ross-on-Wye is predicted to fetch between £35-40,000 at a Shropshire auction house.

Clarissa the carp was caught by angler and author Richard Walker in 1952, and is largely credited with changing the world of angling.

The 44lb (19.9kg) fish was preserved and kept at London Zoo, but will be auctioned at Telford-based Mullock Jones Auctioneers in July.

“Carp were considered impossible to catch, and were mythical monsters, “said Ben Jones, from the auctioneers.

Mullock Jones Auctioneers Two men standing in front of a large preserved fish in a glass caseMullock Jones Auctioneers

Clarissa was preserved and displayed at London Zoo for many years, and it is hoped she will return on loan

“People looking for carp were considered obscure and eccentric,” he told BBC Radio Shropshire.

“He (Walker) believed they existed, he was laughed at a bit, and told he was bit daft. Lo and behold he goes and catches one.” he added.

“They really only thought they were up to 25lb (11.3kg), so when Clarissa was landed it was a bit of a shock.”

“It changed carp angling and angling forever, really.”

The catch prompted Richard Walker to design the Richard Walker Mark IV rod, which is still collected today.

Larger nets were made, and bite alarms were commercially produced.

“It kickstarted a whole new way of fishing.” said Mr Jones.

Clarissa’s stay at London Zoo means she is well-known in fishing circles.

“She’s got a huge following already without us,” said Mr Jones.

He added that the auctioneers had already had interest from people wanting to buy her, despite the catalogue for her auction not yet being completed.

The zoo is keen to get in touch with the new buyers, with a view to borrowing Clarissa to appear in its 200th birthday celebrations.

The auction is due to take place on 24 and 25 July.

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