Simply Pole Fishing

 Steven 'Doc' Holliday 

 My Biggest Match Weight 

An angler asked me the other day what my biggest match weight was, and it wasn't that long ago that I caught it. I had 56.720 Kg - 125 lb 1 oz - which was 30 Bream in a 5-hour match on the Voorne Canal at Hellevoetsluis. 

I fished permanent peg 33 and caught them all on the feeder about 2/3 across the canal. I don't fish commercial venues, so my matches are always on natural waters.

I used Preston competition Pro 12' medium and 13' heavy rods loaded with 5 lb mono reel line on the old PCR reels. I still use the same rods today, but have updated the reels. The fish were spread between two 4 metre keepnets with 15 Bream in each net.

The canal is not now as prolific as it once was, but there are still plenty of Bream to be caught, especially on the pegs in the low 30's

 2021 and Corona 

Little did I know before the start that this peg would bring me 30 good Bream for second in the match - one more would have got me the win. Still, it was a great days' fishing on the tip.

The past year was not good for anyone with the Corona virus sweeping over the world and sending us into several lockdowns. Even today we are still in a lockdown that may last until most of the population has been inoculated. Let's hope we see an end to the pandemic soon and that we can restart our lives. Nothing will ever quite be the same, but we have to make the best of it. I wish you all good health and tight lines when you eventually get back out on the bank. Steve.

 Favourite Fish Species 

A few Skimmers from C Section on the Twente Canal

I have been asked a few times what kind of fishing methods I prefer and which species of fish I prefer catching.

I enjoy fishing all methods - long pole with short line, waggler and feeder - but I would rather be fishing the long pole, or casting a fixed waggler on the match rod, more than any other methods. I grew up fishing the waggler, so it will always be one of my favourite methods. Catching fish on the pole using the internal elastic is so enjoyable - and if you get the setup right, you'll enjoy it too.

Of all the fish there are to catch, I love catching Roach, and catching Roach on the long pole is especially enjoyable. Tench are a lovely fish, and I'm always pleased to catch one. There are also many Perch in Holland now and they are great to catch on the pole as well - and they put up a great fight.

I have never fished a commercial fishery before, as I prefer natural venues. I prefer to target 'wild' fish that have probably never been caught before.

 A Quiet 2018 but with a big match win  

I have done a lot more fishing the past few months, and have really started to enjoy myself again. The Stippevent was successful and I was lucky enough to win the 75-peg match with 3,700 grams of Rudd, Roach and Perch. I'm eagerly looking forward to 2019!

 Update 10.08.2018 

Steven 'Doc' Holliday

Work has drastically curtailed my fishing in 2018, but from the middle of September I hope to start getting out on the bank more often.

 Einfachstippen - until 2021  

I fished with Roger and Theo for a couple of years, and the Einfachstippen group then expanded to include Bruno and Nico. Then later a few more anglers. The goal for Roger was to have a team, but that never really got off the ground. 

 Fishing for Fun - and the odd match here and there 

I'm enjoying my fishing, just as much as when I was younger. Slowly but surely, my angling skills are returning to me the more and more that I practice.

I expect 2017 to be the best year so far with many things planned throughout the year.

My plan is to continue to improve my skills and catch more big bags of those famous Dutch Roach & Bream. So, off we go to fish some more...

 My Fishing 

I just love fishing. I am always thinking about the next fishing trip and what I need to do to prepare for it. Fishing is in my blood and, together with my family, it completes my life. In 2014, I returned to match angling after a 12-year break. During this break, I fished for Carp, and was lucky enough to catch a few nice fish. I fished in the World Carp Classic four times at Lac Amance, although unfortunately a Carp never graced my net.  

My largest Common Carp from France - 36 lb 4 oz

My angling started back in 1970 when my Aunt bought me a fishing rod for Christmas. On Boxing Day, after a 2-mile hike with my gear, I was on the ‘Bonny Hale’ stretch of the Stainforth & Keadby canal catching my first ever Roach – and I took the Roach home and put it in our pond.

Over the next 7 years, I developed my angling skills on the ‘Stainy’ and was fortunate enough to get help from some of the best. You can learn so much by just sitting behind someone and watching, and when eventually they start talking to you, just listen!

On the Bonny Hale stretch in the early 70’s, you had to cast a waggler inches from the reeds on the far bank to get a fish, and large catches were possible when you got it right. To stop getting caught in the reeds on the cast, a size 18 hook buried inside a caster did the trick – lovely venue. Hopefully, I will be back there with Roger and Theo in 2016!

The Bonny Hale stretch of the Stainforth & Keadby Canal is where I started fishing and served my angling apprenticeship.

In 1978, I joined the RAF and my match fishing career really began. In the 24 years that I was in the RAF, I fished in Denmark, Germany, Holland and England, winning many matches, challenges and small festivals. I fished five NFA Division 1 Nationals for the RAF team on the Leeds-Liverpool canal, Stainforth & Keadby canal, Gloucester Canal, Cam & Ouse and Witham. I had my best National section result on the Witham in 1997 with a 3rd place for 78 points.

I was also in the winning RAF Inter-Services team many times. I’ve won many RAF summer league and winter league matches in Germany and the UK, and I won the Wyton Open in 1993 – one of my favourite annual matches. I’ve also had several ‘open match’ and Festival successes over the years, including being second in the then NFA's Eastern Region Shield on the River Cam.

RAF AA Inter-Services Team 1996 - every one a legend!

All-in-all, my RAF fishing career was very enjoyable, and I had the honour to fish with many great RAF anglers like Chris Cooper, Martin Hallford, Phil Foster, Pete Holland, Andy Johnstone, Matt Hall, Pete Lambdin, Steve Harper, Mick Smith, Pete Swan, Graham Welton, Dave Woodbridge – the list goes on.

Now I am looking forward to getting on the bank and catching those big Dutch Roach and Bream.

Tight Lines

Steven Holliday