The main purpose of the Sport & Leisure Fisheries fish farm is to produce carp up to three years of age for (to) clubs and commercial fisheries for both match and pleasure fishing. About 97% of the carp we grow are sold before they are three years old. During the course of harvesting these fish, we skim off the very best fish and grow them on as replacement brood stock and to produce big carp to sell to customers.
It is astonishing that for every few thousand individuals that we catch up there will be a handful of fish that are several times the average weight for the batch. We can’t really explain why they are so much bigger than the rest of the fish in the pond, having been born on the same day from the same parents and grown in the same pond on the same food. I presume they are just genetic exceptions. We treasure them and grow them on as our Fast Growers.
The two fish in the picture were hatched out on the same day from the same parents. The smaller fish is typical of the average for the batch whilst the larger one is clearly a fast growing genetic exception.
We are now growing big carp in substantial numbers. If you are looking for fish to grow on for your own specimen carp fishery or are looking for carp to stock directly into your own lakes, then these carp are the ones for you.
Why the break point at 9 and 19lbs? When we harvest these fish, they tend to lose up to 10% of their weight within the first day or two. So a fish harvested today at ten pounds will weigh something over nine pounds tomorrow. Partly this is because they empty their stomachs and partly because they lose some fluids as a response to the stress of being caught up and handled. To avoid any arguments in the event that a ten pound fish is delivered to you a couple of ounces under that weight, we put the break point at 9 and 19lbs.
Why should you buy these big carp? They are stunningly attractive English fish, literally selected from thousands, from a CEFAS registered and tested farm, grown in our own lakes on a diet that doesn’t rely on trout pellets. This means that you get fish which are strong, healthy, attractive, going to live for a very long time and which have never seen a hook before.
What they are not is illegally (or legally) imported fish, laundered so that they look like indigenous English fish (and please believe me you wouldn’t know). They are not force fed on trout food or grown in tanks with all the attendant risks to their health and longevity. They are not fish that were stocked into intensive match fisheries and have outgrown their welcome during which time they will have been caught and mauled around a hundred times with all the scars to prove it. And they are not fish that have been harvested from the wild and are already twenty years old. For any of the above, you will need to speak to a dealer!
We have a limited supply of these big fish and only move then when the water is very cold, usually between November and January.
Dorset Carp Farm
Whilst we have always graded off some of the best carp to grow on for brood stock replacement and for sale as double figure fish, we never seem to have enough. So in late 2017 we decided to expand our production and purchased a Fish Farm in Dorset. This site was originally built as a trout and carp farm, whilst we are not very interested in trout the ponds are ideal for growing more carp in a controlled environment.
Clearly, growing bigger carp is a slow business and requires a degree of patience (and deep pockets) but we expect our first harvest in the Autumn of 2018 when we should have fish in the size classes 6-9lbs and 9-14lb. Bigger doubles will follow the year after.
If you’re interested in these fish or planning a big project then give us a call on 01952 585002.