FL09June - Page 166



Best of British
By Paul Middleton
E
nglish Carp Fisheries
is based in the southeast of the country; in
fact the farm is situated in an area of the
English countryside
that consistently sees the highest
yearly average temperatures for the
whole of the UK. The site is fed by
high quality natural springs, feeding
directly into the ponds at their source
with no interference from any previous use of the water. It’s clear to see
that it's a prime place to be growing
English carp. All my fish are entirely
outdoor reared, relying solely on the
English summers to warm the water
to a temperature suitable for the carp
to grow. I specialise in producing
double-figure common and mirror
carp in the 10-20lb bracket, with a
limited number of 20lb-plus fish available, and not just any old carp mind;
my fish are classic, beautiful and well
proportioned English fish, and in my
opinion, second to none!
Originally English Carp Fisheries
was set up to produce high quality
doubles for the purpose of stocking
into my own fisheries. However, since
then the site has expanded rapidly,
and each year that has passed has
seen new growing-on ponds and
lakes being created, allowing for a
higher number of fish to be produced.
The most recent ponds, and those
that are soon to be added, are now
only used to give the same number of
carp more space to grow within. I'm
looking to provide my customers with
the very best quality, fully health certified fish, grown in as natural and
stress-free an environment as possible, and delivered to them in the very
peak of condition – for me it’s all
about producing carp of the very
highest quality.
I'm a keen carp angler myself, having fished for them exclusively for the
last 20 years or so, gradually progressing through various different waters
to the stage I'm at now, which is fishing the likes of Fen Drayton, The
Manor, and more recently the mighty
Good stocking turnout at Sunridge Lake in Kent.
166 FREE LINE
River Thames. I like to think fishing
these kinds of waters keeps me in
touch with what it is that the modern
day carp anglers want from their target fisheries in terms of stock, and
that's what I'm trying to replicate
with the carp that I supply.
As you can see from the photos
here, my fish are stunning, well proportioned, very typically English carp,
full of character and individuality that
would add depth to any existing fisheries stock, and will undoubtedly go
on to become some of the most highly
desirable target fish for future generations of carp anglers in this country.
With this in mind the balanced diet on
which I feed my stock is aimed at laying the foundations for healthy, realistic and sustainable growth, and
longevity throughout the carp's life.
It's not about growth at all costs; I
want my fish to be swimming around
in thirty or forty years’ time, all dark,
gnarly and chestnut in colour, with
broad backs, deep, plated flanks and
thick powerful tail roots, the Marys
and Bazils of the future.
That's why I rely on a very low oil
carp pellet in rotation with rolled barley to form the basis of the feed for my
stock, so as to give my fish the diet
they need in these all important early
growing years, and not to load them
up with potentially harmful levels of
fatty oils. This is also complemented

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