Jamie Harrison on Holbar

Written By
Dave Williams.


Sunday 14th August, Holbar Lake, Partridge Lakes Complex, (Bait Tech Silvers Day).

Now and again the Team at Fishing in the Northwest are very fortunate to be joined on the bank by very special anglers. On our latest review we were lucky to be joined on the bank again by Jamie Harrison, Angling consultant with Matrix and also a fully sponsored angler with Bait-Tech, also joining the team for the day was Paul Roberts, Media Director at Maver Match-Aid, and also a Sponsored angler with Bait-Tech.

Our plan today was to fish Holbar at Partridge Lakes, but instead of just trying for a massive net of Carp, we had Silvers on our mind. If you have ever fished Holbar, you know it is well known for its vast stocks of Carp, but we thought with having Jamie and Paul with us for the day it would be a great review if we just targeted the silvers in the lake which to our knowledge never get fished for.

Arriving on-site to the gates opening, we had the nod off the bailiffs to use the fishery keep nets for the feature day. Deciding to fish on the far side of the lake with pegs in the 40s, the weather was going to be nice with Sun, and a nice breeze forecast.

With Silvers in mind,the lads decided the fishing was going to be very simple on the day, with Groundbait feeder, Old school Waggler with maggots, and simple Pole tactics for most of us.

Pauls Tactics on the day.

3lb main line running to 2.5lb  3" hook length.

2gram adjustable insert float, using two float stops above and three below ( to reduce the chance of movement with constant sticking and moving through the water )

Number 6 shot at the base of float and  four number 8, spaced equally distance (6-7 inches) down to hook length. To ensure a smooth drop through the water.

Fishing at 4 & 4.5 ft

Red maggot single and double, casters over the top, feeding around 6-8 and keeping the feed going. Fishing at 20m  right hand side- 12 meters left side. Also feeding small tight balls of Special G wetted down Micros through the day.

Changed over to caster on the hook, which brought about an increase in size per fish but slowed the rate down from every 50-60 sec to around 1.5 -2 min. With not fishing that long, Paul managed to put a few Roach,Perch and skimmers using this old School tactic.

Adams Tactics on the day.

 2+2 on the deck, double red maggot on size 18 B911 F1, fished over red maggot, 0.09 Guru N-Guage hooklength, to 0.11 Guru N-Guage mainline. Fished to 0.4 Dino Chi Chi.
10m line, 4mm Bait-Tech Xpands over 2mm Bait-Tech Special G pellets mixed with Bait-Tech pro Natural. B911 F1 size 16, same line as 2+2 set up, to an 0.6 Dino Chi Chi. Lots of Roach, Skimmers, Perch, Barbel and a few Carp fell to the tactics with maggot being the best bait on the day.

Dave's Tactics on the day.

2+2 on the deck, Single Red maggot on size 18 B911, dropping hard balls of Bait-Tech Pro Natural over the top, and fishing 0.11 main line to a 0.10  hook link and a Dino 0.3g Dino Merus Float with number 10s down the line shirt button style to create a slow fall through the water layers.
10m Line, again on the deck over by an inch, using Bait-Tech Tutti Frutti corn on a 16s B911 hook to 0.13 mainline to 0.11 hook link and using a Dino 0.6g Chi Chi Float.

20g Groundbait feeder, using Bait-Tech Pro Natural with a 2ft hooklink of 0.13 to a 16s B911 hook and using a mix of double red maggots on the hook and also dead reds too. Again, lots of Roach, Perch, Skimmers, and a few Carp fell on all tactics, but close in Pole had more of the fish on single maggot.

Jamie has done a small write up too.

Firstly I’ve got to admit that I didn’t really realise we were going to be targeting ‘Silvers’ and as I wasn’t home from a match at Barston Lakes until 9pm the previous evening my kit was rather ‘Carp’ orientated! The peg I was faced with had loads of options and on hearing about the large head of Skimmers in the lake and the bait I had available I decided to fish a 15g Matrix Method feeder with groundbait and either a 4mm or 6mm hard banded pellet. I chose not to use pellet in the feeder as I didn’t want to attract the attentions of Carp.

My chosen line was just over half way to the island at 14m but when I found out what depth the lake was my concerns quickly switched to weather the feeder would even work! It was really mild and when faced with a swim approximately 6ft deep I could see right from the off that most of the fish were up in the water. After just 5 casts on the Method I hadn’t had a real sign but I was getting liners from fish up in the water. This made me switch immediately to a cage feeder with a conventional 50cm hooklength. The reason for this was that I felt that if the fish were up in the water and the odd one was going to follow the feeder there would be more likely to pick off a bit falling over 50cm rather than then diving straight into the groundbait around the Method in order to find the hookbait! This worked to an extent with two Skimmers and two Roach in the first four casts but it never really felt right so another change was in order.

My next change was made to target the fish exactly where they wanted to be and that was in shallow water. I re-clipped up at 24 metres which was close up to the island in shallow water. Whilst this looked perfect I was concerned however that as I was now fishing so close to cover that Carp could be a problem. It’s worth mentioning here that whilst my preferred rod for fishing at this range for silver fish is the 3.3m Matrix Legend Slim I actually chose the 3.3m S-Class for this job because this has a much tippier action and back-bone just in case I started hooking Carp and needed to keep them away from the reed lined island. Within 10 casts I started to get indications but they were obviously when Carp and I soon hooked and landed one about 6lb but most of the time the indications were liners from carp cruising around the reeds. The silvers just didn’t want to play ball, weather this was because they weren’t in that shallow water or weather they wouldn’t settle because of the Carp I guess we’ll never know but it wasn’t working.

The final change saw me basically bite the bullet and switch to maggots! As I hadn’t taken any with me it was a quick visit to the well-stocked fishery tackle shop and with a pint of red maggots, a kilo of Bait-Tech F1 groundbait I was raring to go, again! This time I switched back to the 14m line, a 3-hole plastic cage feeder, a 50cm 0.145 Power Micron hooklength to a size 16 Matrix Silver barbless hook I began to get bites by the third cast. The approach was to have 60 second casts and catch fish as soon as the feeder hit bottom as the fish followed it down. By casting regularly it kept bites (and fish) coming for an hour and whilst double red maggot got the most bites I found that a single maggot helped me hit more bites from Roach and small Skimmers.
I think the F1 groundbait was spot-on for this lake and the target species but I was surprised we didn’t catch more Skimmers. Kit wise, the Matrix Aquos 4000 was perfect on all rods and these were loaded with 6lb Carp Master reel line. The cage feeder rig was a simple free running rig which complies with the rules of all the fisheries we fish.

All in all, to say Holbar is a ‘specimen’ lake it’s clear to see that it’s absolutely stuffed with fish and whilst I’m sure the feeder is spot-on for the Carp, I got the distinct impression that float and pole fishing is the best way to target the silver fish. I’ve got to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the lads at Fishing in the Northwest for the invite and I love the work there doing it’s a pleasure to be involved. Thanks you to the guys at Partridge lakes for letting us use out nets and of course to Hayley Goldsmith and Bait-Tech for sponsoring the session.
Once again Fishing on a Commercial Lake is not all about Carp, there is a lot more fish to target and if you are like a lot of the lads from the team who love silver fishing then get yourself down to Holbar and give our tactics a go.

Big thanks to Mel from the bailiff team, and Partridge lakes for their hospitality, a very big thank you too Jamie Harrison and his dad, Paul Roberts, and also a thank you to Nathan Vero and Roy Chiocchi who came along for the day too and catching two impressive nets of Carp on the session with the team.
See you on the Bank soon, if you see the team about pop over and say Hello.

Tight lines, Dave, Fishing in The Northwest.