Emperor carp reaching the magical 50lb mark in South Hams
Such is the water quality and availability of food at Emperor Fishery situated in the South Hams of Devon, it will not be long before at least three of the resident common carp will achieve a weight of 50lb, which is closing in on the British record.
However, it is unlikely that a UK water can ever produce fish in the class of the world record common carp, which is currently a massive 75lb 11oz taken by a Dutch angler at Lac de St Cassien, which is virtually an 'inland sea' some five miles in length and almost as wide.
Simon Thomas and Gwyn Tucker show off their sizeable cod
The availability of food in such a stretch of water is the key to fish attaining immense weight. The latest report received from Emperor Lakes is that it is full of top-line catches like the 41lb mirror recorded by Roy Mercer. Many commons over 30lb to a leading weight of 36½lb were also banked on the season-ticket lake by Nigel Rogers.
The venue's day-ticket water was productive, though, and Simon Burns recorded a catfish of 45lb 4oz as well as a mirror carp of 33lb 6oz. The best of the sturgeon was a fish of 41lb by Mark Owen and he also had catfish of 43½lb and 43lb. Wife Jayne was able to enter a personal best catfish of 45lb 8oz in her log-book.
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A run of mirror carp all over 21lb and including a matched pair of 27 pounders satisfied Guy Warwick, who was fishing the Specimen Lake at Zyggy Gregorek's Anglers Paradise at Holsworthy. This exciting fishery is also giving large catfish, tench and bream.
The tackle shop at Paignton's Town Parks Fishery was robbed and trashed in the night hours recently and enthusiasts are being encouraged to keep an eye out for people offering good tackle at a cheap price.
If you do encounter anything suspicious, report it back to Jerry at the Fishery, whose contact number is 01803 523133. He will pass the information on to Devon & Cornwall Police.
In all the mayhem the fishery's report was lost, but one catch that was remembered was a personal best common carp of 22lb 8oz tempted to strike a monster crab boilie that had been put out from Peg Ten by Keira Cole.
Her boyfriend Brett Palmer, who was at the next peg, banked five carp, all of good size, during the session. Another success was a personal best mirror carp of 19lb 8oz; the second in the session to achieve that status for Kevin Longhurst, who was enjoying the open air as he serves on one of Her Majesty's submarines.
On the sea angling front, the mystery of who caught the very large plaice at the Skerries Banks was resolved when its captor, Steve Lynch of Teignmouth Sea Angling Society, conveyed the details when he realised the level of interest that existed.
The flattie was a magnificent specimen of 5lb 12oz which set a seasonal bench mark. Plaice seem fairly widespread around the region, to the point of a 2lb 8oz example being taken at the most unlikely area of West Hoe Pier in Plymouth by Alan Hobbs of the city's Roving Rods SAC. Fellow club member Steve Wilkinson was fully engaged catching plenty of pollack to 3½lb at a shoreline mark just outside Plymouth Sound.
A superb bull huss of 16lb 12oz 5drm caught by Wayne Butler, who was boat fishing in the Start Point area, was easily the leading fish in a Paignton SAA Competition, while Simon Mitchell recorded a huss of 14lb 0oz 5drm.
Marks on and off the Bristol Channel coast are providing very good sport with smoothounds, and the best of a number reported weighed 14lb 8oz for Nigel Foord of Torbay & Babbacombe ASA.