Fish­eries hit top form for roach – dis­cover the tricks you need for suc­cess

Lat­est Bri­tish best falls from Rob Hales’ Av­enue fishery

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

THIS is the pic­ture of the colos­sal 69lb 13oz carp that smashes the cur­rent Bri­tish record.

The fish, known as Big Rig, was banked by Es­sex rod Tom Do­herty just a few hours af­ter he’d cast out into the Av­enue Fishery in Shrop­shire, and it suc­ceeds the cur­rent Bri­tish best that stands at 68lb 1oz, caught by Dean Fletcher in Jan­uary this year.

Fish­ing a Main­line Baits pro­to­type boilie from a swim called Pete’s Point, the 33-year-old not only smashed his per­sonal best of 44lb, but came ag­o­nis­ingly close to break­ing the 70lb bar­rier.

He did it with a rig con­structed from rig com­po­nents made by PB Prod­ucts.

“It was only my sec­ond time on the fishery and now I’ve caught this gi­ant. It still hasn’t sunk in,” Tom told An­gling Times.

“Rob was with me when I was play­ing the fish, and the fact that we knew it was Big Rig made the fight the most tense that I’ve ever ex­pe­ri­enced.

“The sight of those huge shoul­ders com­ing over the net is some­thing I will never for­get. It’s the big­gest fish I’ve ever seen.”

The other side to the in­cred­i­ble story is that of Av­enue owner and boss of RH Fish­eries, Rob Hales.

Ever since he be­gan mak­ing UK an­glers’ big-fish dreams come true at venues that reg­u­larly pro­duce fish over 50lb, he’s been adamant that he would ‘grow’ a Bri­tish record carp.

And the fruits of his labours have come in the form of the in­cred­i­ble Big Rig – a fish that has ben­e­fited from be­ing reared in a reser­voir fit­ted with float­ing au­to­matic feed­ing sys­tems. Rob also hand-fed the gi­ant with boilies and pel­lets at his state-of-the-art fish farm to make his record-break­ing bid a re­al­ity.

“My­self and ev­ery­one at RH Fish­eries would like to con­grat­u­late Tom on his amaz­ing cap­ture,” said Rob.

“I al­ways knew that it was pos­si­ble to grow a Bri­tish record carp, so it was never a case of ‘if’, but ‘when’.

“This fish was in the fish farm ear­lier this year, and I’d feed her two ki­los of boilies and a cou­ple of big scoops of pel­lets every morn­ing – but I’m blown away by the fact that she weighed in at 58lb back in March and now she’s

“I al­ways knew it was pos­si­ble to grow a Bri­tish record carp”

fast ap­proach­ing 70lb.

“There are many out there who crit­i­cise what I do, but I don’t care be­cause most of these peo­ple don’t know the time, ded­i­ca­tion, com­mit­ment and pas­sion it takes to rear these fish and grow them on to reach the weights they do.

“I chal­lenge them to come to my fa­cil­i­ties and see what it takes, and they might change their minds.

“An­glers used to have to pay lots of money and travel to France in or­der to catch fish like this, but now you can catch them here in the UK.

“That’s great for our sport and the an­gling in­dus­try as a whole. More and more an­glers want to catch carp, the big­ger the bet­ter. That’s a fact.”

Rob is now nur­tur­ing thou­sands of Big Rig’s off­spring, some of which he in­tends to grow on and stock into his own day-ticket fish­eries. Oth­ers will be sold to carp fish­eries across the UK.

“Grow­ing big fish is very un­pre­dictable, but to get stock from an in­cred­i­ble spec­i­men like this is very ex­cit­ing,” said Rob.

“Who knows how big she will grow in the fu­ture? The same goes for her off­spring.”

The fish was weighed on two sets of scales, and has been ver­i­fied at 69lb 13oz. A record claim is be­ing sub­mit­ted.

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