The offspring of the country’s biggest ever carp are being grown on to create the next super strain of fish with the potential to reach record-breaking sizes in double-quick time.
The carp known as ‘Big Rig’ hit the headlines in 2016 when the British Record Fish Committee would not recognise The Avenue fish as the record, following its capture by Tom Doherty from the Shropshire lake at a weight of 69lb 3oz. The carp was subsequently caught at 71lb 4oz, but again did not take the record, before its death in the summer of 2017.
Before it died, the carp – reared at Fenland Fisheries, Cambs – was successfully spawned with two big males from the popular RH Fisheries Avenue Syndicate water in a bid to create a super strain.
RH Fisheries boss Rob Hales told Angling Times: “We got approximately 4,000 babies from her. The biggest of 800 were graded to be sold on, but we have had to postpone plans and orders for them to make the venture more financially viable.
“We have just invested £100,000 in building a new home for 400 of these fast growers which will be held there until they are over 20lb – which we expect them to be in late 2020. At that point they will be sold to fisheries around the country, and we know they will be very popular.
“We have already stocked some into our own waters at The Monument, The Avenue and Acton Burnell, and they are showing exceptional growth. Stocked at two years and four months old, most of these fish were 7lb-plus with the biggest being 8lb 2oz. Any fish farmer will tell you these weights are quite exceptional at this age.
“They are quite long fish with big frames. Without a doubt they have the potential to become future record fish – after all, they have the same genetics as their mother, who reached over 70lb.
“It’s going to be fascinating watching these fish develop.”
These aren’t the only monsters RH Fisheries is growing, Angling Times can reveal. The popular ‘Super Freaks’ have also shown remarkable growth. Rob said: “The ‘Freaks’ are offspring of fish from our renowned Monument Fishery. These much shorter fish have shown astonishing weight gains and sell really well.
“Our best example is a fish stocked last year into the Avenue at 16lb and recently caught at 29lb.”
For the first time these two super strains will be living alongside each other with RH Fisheries’ recent purchase of the Top Lake at Acton Burnell, which has been stocked with both bloodlines.
“There has already been substantial work done on this beautiful lake, with over 1.7 miles of otter fencing erected to protect these special fish,” Rob said.
With both these strains now living together, we asked Rob if we could potentially see a new super strain emerge in the future.
“We keep both strains separate on the fish farm to keep the bloodlines pure. Now they are in the fishery at Acton Burnell together, though, of course there is a chance they will breed naturally. They are two strong fast growing strains so the combined result could be incredible.
“Maybe that’s something we shall think of in the future, but who knows what the fishery may eventually produce?” Rob said.