Could this be the picture of the next British record carp? That’s the question being asked after fishery bosses predicted that angling’s history books will be rewritten by commercially-run waters that are open to everyone.
Following the recent death of the previous UK best - Two Tone which weighed 67lb 14 oz at its peak - it’s thought that stock from fast-growing strains such as this huge 49lb 4oz lake record hold the key to the future of specimen carp fishing.
The fish, caught from The Avenue, in Shropshire, piled on over 9lb in only two months and is just one of many huge specimens that reside in a group of managed big-fish waters owned by angling entrepreneur Rob Hales. His massive growth rates are being achieved by both careful management and controversial growing-on techniques that include the constant feeding of high-protein baits through timed machines.
Rob’s is just one of a growing number of accessible fisheries that boast potential record-breakers.
“I believe that a managed water will produce a record fish very soon,” said Rob.
“Managed fisheries like mine offer much more than just a ‘named’ individual specimen that’s only available to angling’s elite.” Another water that could soon contain one or more fish over 60lb is Pavyotts Mill Fishery in Yeovil, Somerset.
This day-ticket complex currently boasts a venue record named Sylvia that has reached a top weight of 52lb 8oz ¬ having put on an incredible 20lb in just 18 months.
“I will put money that one if not more of my fish top the 60lb mark,” said Steve Couch, owner of Pavyotts.
“The aim of this fishery is to bring carp fishing back to the average man and we now have a handful of fish that are around the 50lb mark.” However there are some anglers who believe this type of managed fishery is ‘immoral’. They argue that the high stocking densities, coupled with lack of natural food, will allow fish in natural waters to outgrow those in manufactured fisheries.
“Fishing at these waters has become so artificial that catching the fish in them is meaningless,” said Ian Chillcott, top carp angler and co-founder of the English Carp Heritage Organisation.
“Two Tone dominated history for so long because it lived in a huge, natural water with very few other fish and plenty of natural food.”