Brothers Lake was a life long ambition and a dream come true, however once a suitable carp lake had been purchased there were no funds left to do anything else!
The lake was bought completely empty of stock, so I used the lack of money and no fish to my advantage. I had a clean slate so my idea was to source my fish very small. By doing so not only would it cost me a lot less, but I could hand pick, grade and sort through thousands of small carp to try and achieve a stunning scaley stock.
Most fisheries have a handful of 'Wow' fish that everyone would like to catch but I thought that if I could make the bulk of my stock 'Wow' fish, then I'd have a unique selling point for carp fishing in France. I love scaley carp and very few commercial fisheries in France have many of them in their stocks. There, the idea was born and I began sourcing my scaleys!
Believe it or not over half my fish were hand picked at just a few inches long, weighing only a few ounces! Choosing fish this small for a future lake stock was daunting and fraught with potential problems but the ball was in motion and I began growing my babies.
Once the fish were big enough to survive Cormorants they were transferred from the stock pond to the carp lake where feeding began in earnest. The fish have been raised on a high quality pellet diet, fed all year round, and are really starting to benefit.
The first two years have shown us growth rates up to an astonishing 13lbs in one year and 20lbs over two years. Some of the more scaley fish although slower growers, have been averaging 3.5lbs to 4lbs per year. Even though I expect growth rates to slow down over the next two years I believe the fish have the potential to continue increasing in size steadily and healthily.