If you haven't been to Holgan Farm before it is a fishery in West Wales that was created and managed by Ian Heaps
This particular festival that is sponsored by the Angling Bait Club, was one dedicated to purely worm, caster and groundbait. The venue itself is predominantly a pellet and corn venue so it would be interesting to see how the resident Carp react to a different approach.
On the first morning after collecting my bait of Denzil the draw was made. It was a random draw on day one which dictated your section for the second day. I drew Match lake peg 29 which I was pretty happy with as had a lovely corner to fish into which hopefully would come good late in the day.
There was also a good number of fishing cruising so I decided to set up four rigs, all on the pole. The first one was a shallow rig, the second a long pole on the deck as when plumbing up I found the sunken island at 13m to my left and the other two were duplicate edge rigs.
Bait wise I had a kilo of worm, 5 pints of caster and a groundbait mix of Grandprix Match "Sand" which is new out mixed with DNA method mix.
The groundbait was primarily for down the edge and I kicked off on the shallow rig at 10m spraying casters over the top. It wasn't long before the white hydro was streamin out and I was into a fish. These fish in here are like nothing else you would have seen. They fight like their lives depend on it and far from the normal commercial carp. They are also big and it is rare to catch a fish under 4lb so strong gear is required! Having total faith however in my Z12 with power 3 section with balanced elastic, I had no problems with subduing them......all be it taking my time!
In total I had about 6 fish shallow in the first couple of hours before having a look on the long line on the sunken Island. Strangely however this didn't even result in a bite so I started to feed the edge line.
First chuck in the edge resulted in a fantail, then a goldfish! So I shipped a bit further down the edge feeding groundbait and chopped worm. It wasn't long before the swim came to life and I had another 9 fish before the all out was called at 5.30pm.
The match was won with 164lb, then there was a 120lb, a 100lb Ian Heaps next to me weighed 94lb and I weighed 93lb so he'd done my by a 1lb for an envelope!
We'd swap lakes on the second day so this time it was the Carp lake that we were heading for. I drew peg 9 which was disappointed about as its not in a good area. When I got to the peg though there were plenty of fish cruising around a wide bay area in front of me so today I opted for a waggler shallow to try and mug a few then top 2 +2 and two edge rigs. The bait was exactly the same as yesterday except on the 2+2 line I was using a lot more liquid detonator with my worm and caster.
The match started well and I was into a fish within 10 minutes on the waggler, but it was slow. The boy on peg 3 who had the island was catching regularly and I could see that it could be a long day!
I was feeding the 2+2 line regularly with caster and ground bait so was expecting good things when I went for my first drop on it. But nothing!
So back on the waggler and mugged another cruiser, before trying the 2+2 line again. Nothing again!
Back on the waggler and foul hooked a cruiser, before trying the 2+2 line again. This time a bite!
A small carp of about 4lb but at least it was a bite! I thought to myself, right I've had a bite there, lets just fish this out, stick to it and see what happens. In the last hour the line came alive with me landing a 6 more carp and losing 4! It was a million miles off what was needed to win but at least it gave me a few more fish.
I weighed in just under 50lb which wasn't good, but if I was to fish that match over again I do think I should have concentrated on that 2+2 line from an hour into the match and just stuck on that instead of chasing a few cruise liners that were plodding about. Interesting lesson learned for the future!
All in all it was a good festival, I learnt quite a lot about the venue and will definitely be back there soon for another crack at it.
Congratulations to Tony for winning it after two faultless lake wins.
Will update this post with the results when I see them.
P.S if your wondering why I have got a different set of keep nets on day 2 to day 1 it is because the fishery supply all the nets!