FL09June - Page 167



Best of British
by high levels of natural food that
supplement the carp’s diet as they are
given more space to grow. At close to
five acres, my largest dedicated growing-on water has an abundant supply
of natural food. This is also helped
along by a constant turnover of pure
spring water, yearly drain downs, and
regular manure and chalking applications. These all go to creating ideal
growing conditions for the carp and
the organisms that form the carp's
natural diet.
In an effort to achieve the best
results, I feed my fish myself by hand.
This allows for me to make constant
assessments of feeding conditions,
and take into consideration factors
s uc h a s w a te r te mpe ra ture a nd
weather conditions, making any
adjustments accordingly on a feedby-feed basis, not to mention the fact
that the carp angler in me just never
tires of watching them feeding! It's
just fascinating watching them taking
feed on the drop, then rolling over the
feed areas once they've really got
their heads down; it's the next best
thing to being out there fishing, and I
wouldn't miss it for the world.
One of the most eye-opening
observations to most people were
they to see fish in this environment
would be the sheer quantity of feed
they can get through in a short space
of time. Yet no matter how many
times you feed them in the same area,
a fresh new wind blowing to the
opposite bank will soon see them
heading that way regardless of the
usual feeding areas. They just follow
their natural instincts – good reason
therefore to feed them by hand to
ensure it goes into the correct areas
every day.
One frequently asked question is
how much growth per year can be
expected. Well, 3-6lb is a healthy sustainable increase, but it’s not all down
to the fish – active fishery management, good water quality, food availability and stocking densities all play
their part, therefore I would expect
those gains to be comfortably achievable in most well managed specimen
carp fisheries.
Simon Mullins at Braxted Park
estate fishery actively manages his
exclusive estate lake syndicate, and
he has recently received his first
batch of superb scaly mirrors. He
came to me as he was looking for fish
that would conform to his ideal of
"classic English fish" that would
complement and add to his already
impressive stock. The lake itself dates
FREE LINE 167

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