‘I can’t breed F1 carp quick enough to meet demand for what is the best fish money can buy’.
These are the words of outspoken fish farmer and former fishery boss Simon Hughes, who this week revealed that he’s sold out of the popular, yet controversial, species after shifting 150 tonnes of F1 hybrids in just six months.
A cross between crucian and common carp, F1s vastly outsell other popular species, such as barbel, tench and bream and now account for over 60 per cent of orders at Riverfield Fish Farm in Kent.
More than 600 commercial fisheries in the UK have taken delivery of the hard-fighting fish since they were first bred 12 years ago, and it’s a trend that shows no signs of slowing down, with Simon revealing that orders are currently growing by 20 per cent a year.
“F1s have revolutionised fishing ¬ I can’t grow them quick enough,” said Simon.
“They are the perfect fish for commercials ¬ they feed all year round, don’t grow too big and can’t contract KHV. Some people call them ‘Frankenstein carp’ but they have helped to make many commercials what they are today.”
One such fishery is Lindholme Lakes, in North Lincs, which is home to a vibrant match scene. Owner Neil Grantham believes the popularity of his complex is largely down to the stocking of F1 carp.
He said: “This fish helped to make Lindholme. Anglers can get a bite-a-chuck all year round, and I’d encourage all fishery owners to get their orders in. I haven’t lost a fish in six years.”
However, not all fishery bosses are fans of F1s. Phil Briscoe, owner of Maver Larford Lakes in Worcs, believes that he’s found a chink in their armour.
“There’s no doubt that F1s helped Larford establish itself, but I’ve suffered a lot of fatalities so have decided to stick to the normal strains of carp which, in my opinion, are much more hardy and reliable.