Paul Holland triumphed at Cornish complex White Acres with a new record winning weight for the Parkdean Masters.
Fishing on Jenny’s Lake among 24 qualifiers from festivals and residents’ matches throughout the summer and early autumn, Berkshire-based Paul weighed in 105-12-0 from peg 19 to cruise to the £15,000 top prize, ending the four-hour match well over 40lb clear of Luke Sears in second on 59-6-0. Adam Palmer completed the top three with 57-8-0.
Paul’s first win in his nine Parkdean final appearances came about after a mid-match decision to change to fishing shallow for carassio. He takes up the story...
“I had a number of pegs I’d be happy to draw, but peg 19 wasn’t one of them. However, that end of the lake had the wind blowing down to it all week and there were signs of fish. From what I could see and how I’d drawn, I reckoned I’d be best off fishing for carp, casting the Method feeder to the point of the island and then fishing long and short pole lines with worms and meat.”
Not the best of starts
“I kicked off on the Method feeder with dead maggots on the hook, casting to the point of the island. After 10 minutes I’d not had a sign, but I could see some fizzing on the 14m pole line where I’d fed 150ml of micro pellets at the start, so I had to have a look. A whole worm makes a big bait that the carp can easily find, and I dropped in at 14m and caught a carp immediately.
“Feeding micros again, I then had another, but felt as though the fish weren’t really feeding properly on the bottom. Back on the feeder I had nothing, and was in a quandary.
“In a four-hour match you must make quick decisions, and after about 90 minutes I felt I needed to get more fish into the peg by loosefeeding 6mm pellets on the feeder line and the long pole line with 4mms. The fish weren’t on the bottom on the pole, so perhaps I’d catch them shallow?
“It worked to a degree on the feeder, as I had a little run of carp firing pellets over the top, but as quickly as the fish arrived, they went again. My hopes now rested on the long pole.
“Two hours in I saw a tiny vortex on the surface at 14m where I’d been feeding pellets. Switching to a dibber rig fished 12ins deep with a 6mm pellet on the hook, I slapped the rig over once and caught a carassio. From then on it was steady fishing, catching carassio and two rogue carp.”
The scales arrive
“I was confident I’d won, and to be the first angler to win the Parkdean with 100lb-plus is a nice thing to be able to say. I always think on this final that there are only ever a few pegs capable of winning and, if you draw one, you have to make the right choices to do it. Getting the fish in front of you is the hardest part.
“To finally win is brilliant. The Parkdean hasn’t been kind to me down the years, and I was choked how happy everyone seemed to be for me. I was especially pleased for the wife, as she puts up with a lot from me and sees the good and bad that fishing brings.
“From a more selfish point of view, it’s done me a power of good in showing me that I’m capable of winning these big finals. When you keep missing out or doing no good, you do begin to doubt your ability!”
For more info on how Paul won the Parkdean, visit the website www.matchfocus.co.uk