I am aware that commercial fisheries are not everyone’s cup of tea, and indeed I would not consider going there every week myself, but having said that, two or three hours now and again with my car three yards away, and my faithful lab Max at my side, is definitely good fun. Having a few hours to spare, I arrived there recently at 1pm to find (unusually) only one other angler there. Even more surprising was the fact that he hadn’t caught anything, despite having fished for a couple of hours.
[Above: a typical Holmes Farm carp]
Although the wind was probably in the region of Force 6 to 7 in strength, with my car parked strategically and my brolly anchored down, I felt quite comfortable, and Max was soon tucked in behind me – and fast asleep. All was well. I was fishing with the most simple rig – a paternostered cage feeder containing groundbait mixed with a few mini pellets and a 6ml banded pellet on a size 12 barbless hook. Having tossed several swimfeeders of groundbait only six or seven metres out into the lake, I clipped a pellet onto the hook, and cast out. It was then time to attack the exquisite sandwich, and lemon butter cake my lovely wife Sally had packed for me. (Two of my friends have requested my wife to be bequeathed to them in the event of my death!)
There was no rush. Other than the movement of the rod-tip caused by the fierce wind, nothing happened for just over an hour, and I was starting to contemplate a move to the windy corner of the lake where the warm wind was blowing when, without warning, the rod nearly disappeared into the water, and the first carp was on.
To cut a long story short, for the next two hours my rod-tip was never still for more than a minute before sweeping around positively, and my arms started to ache with the almost constant playing of Holmes Farm’s lovely strong fish. At times I didn’t even have time to put the rod in its rest, before it was away!
The score mounted at a great rate, and I decided that if I managed fifty, I would call it a day. This happened by 4pm, and considering that the carp I was catching were almost certainly averaging 4lbs, it follows that I must have had something like 200lbs of fish in a couple of hours – almost unbelievable.
Considering that I was home before 5pm, having filled up with diesel en-route, I would say that was a pretty good three quids-worth – wouldn’t you?
All weekends are fully-booked there for matches for the foreseeable future, but in the week all you have to do is turn up and fish, and I would suggest that you could do a lot worse!
P.S. I was very pleased that two chaps I met recently at Holmes Farm came up to say hello. When we were chatting, one of them asked me if I was the ‘Drowning Worms man’. Of course I was proud to confirm. I must say, it’s very gratifying to know that this site is reaching my fellow anglers and that it’s helping places like Holmes Farm to attract new visitors. I’ll keep up the writing and will point out new venues to try whenever I find them. I hope that next time it might be you I bump into! All the best, Mike.