Could this be the world's best match fishing venue?

A group of English anglers reckon they have found the world’s best match venue after a recent festival saw some competitors averaging 400lb of carp per day!

The Spanish Carp Festival held on Lake Arcos, in Jerez, saw the 21 anglers put a staggering 32,433lb of fish on to the scales in just six days’ fishing, with individual day catches to 504lb, a result which would have set a new world match record had it been a continuous match and not split with a break in the middle.

It was Garbolino Banstead man Terry Molloy who recorded that huge 500lb bag, incredibly consisting of carp averaging 1lb to 3lb, taken on a short pole with sweetcorn, and helping him to win the first week’s contest.

“I can only describe the fishing as mental!,” said Terry. “We were into carp within minutes of starting, fishing just our top kits in front of us, but we had to feed plenty of bait to keep the fish there. On each day I fed on average of five 2kg tins of sweetcorn and 3-5kg of groundbait. Pellets don’t work in Spain because the fish have never seen them and the fish are certainly not tackle shy. This was also a new Spanish record, the Spanish don’t catch as many because they always fish 13m out with maggots, not close in like we do!”

Big-weight specialist Terry caught most of his fish using just 3m to 4m of pole on the deck, or further out up in the water, fishing 9lb mainline, 7lb hooklengths, size 12 and 14 hooks and red Hydrolastic to subdue the hard-fighting fish. That saw him amass a staggering 2,387lb of fish over the two three-day festivals, an average of 398lb per day. It was a feat also equalled by England international Steve Gardener, who triumphed on the second week with catches to 453lb.

“This could well be the best match water in the world, it’s certainly the most prolific that I’ve ever fished,” said Steve. “If it’s like this again next year you could catch 100lb per hour, and 600lb is possible. It’s incredible, we put pegs in a line with anglers just 10m apart, and it doesn’t make any difference to the catch rate. What’s happened is that in floods last year, loads of fish were let down through the dam in the Bornos reservoir above it, so now Arcos is absolute full of small carp averaging 2lb each,” said Steve.