Rob Hales nets ‘record’ common carp for UK waters

(Image credit: Angler's Mail)

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Rob Hales created his own history with a rod when he landed the UK’s first common carp over 65 lb.

He did it with this 65 lb 2 oz fish from his own water, The Avenue.

The RH Fisheries boss has created an amazing series of lakes in Shropshire.

Rob grew on a mirror called Big Rig that topped 70 lb before sadly passing away last year.

Finally ‘fishing time’ for Rob Hales

After finding some rare time to fish himself, businessman Rob Hales got in on the action himself to tempt Tarka, the giant common.

Rob explained: “I’ve managed to find a bit of time recently as my son has started working for me and that’s freed some personal time for me.

“So I managed to do three nights and first of took a new PB mirror of 48 lb 12 oz plus another of 39 lb.

“Then I managed to take Tarka which I’ve seen grow on from 30 lb and then caught at 40 lb by Steve Hall in 2014 and he’s grown steadily since.

“We believe it is a male fish and not much older than 15 years old so there is potential for him to get to 70 lb but the main thing is to keep the fish healthy.

“I used the boilies we make here called The Edge and fed 2 Kg the night before and left the rods out and had the take in bright sunshine the next morning.

“We’re not commercially selling the bait yet or mail order but anglers do come and buy it fresh from us at the tackle shop.

“We sell it for £10 a kilo but the quality of the ingredients would mean if it was sold to other shops they’d have to charge at least £15 a kilo. We can keep overheads down here and make a slight margin on it at £10.

“But it is popular for local anglers and they come and buy it to take to other waters and France as it is such a good quality bait,” concluded the 53-year-old, from Shifnal.

Britain’s biggest carp

71 lb 4 oz (Big Rig)                      October 2016              Robby Harrison

68 lb 5 oz (Captain Jack)              September 2017        ‘Bill’

* 68 lb 1 oz (The Parrot)              January 2016              Dean Fletcher

67 lb 8 oz (Two Tone)              August 2008              Oz Holness

65 lb 2 oz (Tarka)                     September 2018       Rob Hales

* Official British record

Note: a much heavier carp of 83 lb was landed in Kent. It was massively bloated and probably too unhealthy to have been considered for any record claim.

Angler's Mail

Running from 1964 until 2020, Angler's Mail was the UK's leading weekly magazine devoted to coarse fishing, telling readers everything they needed to know about which fish to catch, where to catch them, and what kit they needed to do it. Now, loads of the magazine's expert advice can be found on, as a helpful resource for angling newcomers and experts alike.