Matt Herbert is €1,300 richer after winning Ireland’s Carrick On Shannon Festival.
Unlike many festivals on the Emerald Isle, this event is decided on section points rather than accumulated weight and, after an excellent week’s angling, the Drennan Oxford team man was crowned the overall champion.
This event demands all-round ability with five different venues being fished each day and Matt got off to a great start with an opening-day section win on the River Shannon’s ‘Mud Flats’ where he bagged 11.45kg from peg 6.
He started by fishing with a 20g Drennan Groundbait Feeder, casting to 30 turns of his reel, then gradually went further out as the day wore on, finishing at 50 turns. Matt began with worm on the hook and later changed to double caster on a 5ft 0.14mm Drennan Supplex hooklength for a quality net of hybrids.
Day Two put him on Lough Scur Rocks, where he concentrated on the pole at 12 metres after cupping in three 250ml pots of casters and worm. By loose feeding more casters over the top and swapping between 0.8g and 1.5g floats with a 0.10mm hooklength and size 18 hook he ended up with 8.5kg of roach and hybrids for another section win.
Day Three was again a similar story, fishing exactly the same tactics at Scur Pump House. This time he found 10.5kg of skimmer bream on a 12m pole and single caster.
Matt’s luck at the draw bag evaporated on Day Four. Although he drew end Peg 1 at the car park end at Kiltybardan, all the fish seemed to have moved to the the other end of the section! However, Matt still stuck to his tried and tested 12m pole line to take a hard-earned 4kg of roach and small hybrids for 5th in the section. He now required a section win on the last day at Cloonahee Lake to win.
On the final day Matt drew Peg 2 on Cloonahee Lake. Kicking off with 10 large balls of groundbait at 12 metres with loose fed casters was the tactic once again. He started on a light 0.8g rig and then changed to 1.5g once the fish arrived. This produced roach to 4oz every chuck, plus a much-needed bonus in the shape of a 1lb 8oz perch.
At the weigh in Matt weighed 6.8kg for that all-important section win and 4 points overall.
1st M Herbert (Drennan Oxford) 4pts
2nd D Stones (Peterborough) 5pts
3rd I Young (Selby) 5pts