25th June 2021

Lee Wheeler had his dream come to fruition in the form of one of Carthagena’s most wanted, the beautiful Holly!

The largest fish in any lake always captures the headlines, it’s the way of the world, but often, behind those fish there are a few other special ones. Carthagena is fortunate to have a tremendous stock of fish, and as such has several impressive specimens that anglers come to target, and few are prettier than Holly. Right up there on every member’s list, Holly is rather elusive, and only a lucky few have been fortunate enough to add her to their album. One such angler, is Lee Wheeler, who was happy to add Holly to his growing number of captures from the exclusive, historic syndicate venue.

The Manilla is the ultimate in year-round boilies; using not only nuts but refined milk proteins and birdfoods.

Lee told us:

“With the new moon phase approaching, I headed up to Cartha’ for what was to be my last trip before spawning. On arrival I had a walk about and decided on a swim. I spoke to my mate Kev nearby and made sure I wasn’t going to interfere with his angling at all and then went back and got set up.

“I hadn’t even got rods out, when something just didn’t feel right, so I decided to pack up and move to the other end of the lake. I chose a swim I was very familiar with and that I know has a lot of fish traffic in the build-up to spawning. Targeting the drop off from the shallow reed fringed margin, just in front of some low-lying silk weed, I baited lightly with a mixture of particles and crushed Manilla boilies. Over the top, I fished a small 12mm Manilla pop-up, drilled out and plugged with putty to create a wafter.

“The carp have the same pattern of showing just on dark, not all the time but more often than not. Upon nightfall, I started to see the odd head slide out just beyond my spot. The night passed uneventfully but I had a lovely old common the following morning. Another friend, Ben, had one that morning also, so a trip up to the cafe was imminent!

“I proceeded to bait the spot exactly the same throughout the course of the trip, which clearly worked as the next night was pretty hectic. I had three bites in 10 hours! Unfortunately, I lost one due to a hook pull, the 2nd was a small mirror and then at 8:30am, I had a bite from the carp of my dreams!

“Upon hooking the fish, it hit the surface right above the spot and then proceeded to take a bit of line. After the initial run, it basically came in on the surface most of the way. Every now and then a spikey dorsal poked up, I could see it was a long fish but it was still 50 odd yards out when it began to kite left. Off came the joggers and trainers and I jumped straight in to get the right line angle to try and stop it taking me into the snags. I was chest deep and eventually it turned and swung back around into open water and by then it was a matter of rod lengths away. When I saw it turn on the surface, I knew exactly which one it was, it was Holly. There was no messing about from then on and I basically surged towards it bundling it into the net! I staked the net down and just had to take a minute to compose myself. I was literally pumped full of adrenaline! A quick phone call to Ben and he was round like a shot to do the honours, and what a job he did!

“It was a truly special end to what was a thoroughly enjoyable spring campaign. Cartha’ really is a special place, I’ve had some great laughs, made some good memories and caught some mega carp. I’m very much looking forward to getting back and seeing how the rest of the year unfolds!”