I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
preston festival 2009
Its been that time of the year again when we make the trek down to sunny cornwall to fish the preston innovations festival in the hope of making the park dean masters final. This is the pinnacle of match carp fishing in my opinion as every single angler in the festival is more than capable of making the final given the right pegs during the week. Its important be on the ball with methods for this one as the one week lads have a bit of a disadvantage over the long stint two weekers who fish the maver fest the week before. But it can also play into your hands cos some of em get a bit narked with the way things are going!!!!
For this festival I was staying with lee kerry, ben fisk and james dent in our luxurious lodge/ tackle shop and the usual team north tribe was also down for the week, what was apparent was how hard the lakes where fishing, and when we arrived the weather was dismal but we where keen to get a few hours fishing so we went for a few hours on pollawyn and snared a few silvers and had a nice few hours fishing. I was also keen to try my new guru feeders so popped down to jennys with a rod and a landing net before tea and managed to get amongst a few small carp on the smallest pellet feeders which was a nice confidence booster.
Most of us had managed to draw in the same section for the week with me and james travelling together we where in the same section along with lee and bollingey was out first day destination. We where greeted by some awesome weather and it was flat calm and bright sunshine. We where full of anticipation for the draw and we where first 3 in the queue so when lee pulled peg 3, james peg one and myself peg 9 we must have looked like a right miserable set as these are some of the worst pegs in cornwall. Now peg 9 is one I drew in the spring and its pants, I can imagine with some wind blowing in it might be good but with the flat calm conditions I didn’t expect it to be. Anyway 5 hours and 7 bites later I managed a measly 26lb for last in the section, not the start I needed. James and lee had both had brilliant days fishing and james got the upper hand with his 90lb weight to lee’s 78lb, which was much better than expected!!!!
Day 2 and we where headed for pollawyn and it was fishing pants!!!! A flier was definatly required in the shocking conditions and when I drew peg 16 I nearly fell to the floor!!! My only concern was Nathan Watson on peg 15 as the fish seemed to be on these two pegs. On arrival I also had fellow dynamite baits angler sean huggins to my right so I definitely had a match on. I decided to rig a large guru method feeder up with 8lb drag line, an 0.18 hook length and 16 qm1 hook with a bayonet that I could mount a boilie on. I also set a bomb up with a 1oz guru square design and a 0.20 hook length and a size 12 qm1 on and a hair rig that was big enough to mount 2 big pellets on it. My only other line was at 14.5m where
I was gonna fish meat on the pole and feed with a big pot to encourage the fish down to the bottom. At the all in I potted some meat in and quickly cast my ‘thod’ out and within a minute a 10lb mirror laid in the landing net!!!! Sweet, I had 3 more good fish in the first hour and probs had 22lb before it died. I decided a drop on the bomb where id been firing 8mms ¾’s of the way across as Nathan had started catching regularly on this. I couldn’t get a sign on this and the fish that where boshing in front of me where now boshing in Nathans peg and it seemed they had moved!!!! I decided I needed to gamble and fish the pole as my rod and line rigs where not gonna catch me enough. After ten minutes of fishing and several skimmers and a couple more feeds I finally snared a carp of about 6lb followed by 4 more. I found that after every fish I needed to dump it again and every bite was a lovely dink on the float. Going into the last hour and me and Nathan where neck and neck but I was running out of bait fast and was losing ground and he pulled 4 fish in front and with 15minutes to go I had nothing!!!! No meat left. I tried dumping pellets but that made thing worse so with 5 minutes to go I just chucked the mthod out and consolidate a second in section. The tip flew round 30 seconds before time and I had a last gasp 4lber. I weighed 75lb for 3rd on the lake but Nathans 90lb was enough for the lake win. But at least id got some points, but with such a bad 1st day score I couldn’t afford any slip ups.
Day 3 and Trelawney and twin oaks was the destination and I fancied a day on Trelawney as its been kind to me in the past and is a bit fairer than the uber peggy twin oaks. I was pleased to draw peg 25 although I was gutted to find adam Richards on end peg 20 and jamie wilde on the other end. Nathan was again next to me on flier peg 23 in the big bay. James had drawn next to me on 26 and adam Wakelin next to him………section of death. I decided id probs need to catch the bulk of my weigh on the feeder as everyone else seemed to be going to concentrate on the pole shallow so I was hoping to have it to myself. I set up a small guru method with an 0.16 hook length and 16 qm1 hook, I also set up a rod with a small guru pellet feeder with the same line and hook combo as I fancied that more than the method as the fish where backing of it a little. I did set up a few pole rigs, I decided to fish pellets in front of me at 14m, dump corn in at 16m to my right, feed a 5m line with corn and also the margins. Both me and james kicked off on the thod and by this time the rain was torrential and I snared a 4lb mirror first chuck follwed by another next chuck, james had managed a roach and I couldn’t see Nathan catching and everyone was coming off the feeder already!!!! Happy days. I had an f1 and 2 more stockies in the first hour and was going well, then it just died completely, so a drop on the pole was needed I foul hooked a 4lb first chuck and managed to get it out then next chuck I hooked a right beast when disaster struck and my elastic snapped!!!! Crap. That was the end of the pole line as no more bites where forthcoming. James was really struggling but adam Richards was catching and so was Nathan so I decided to plod on, on the feeder and nick the odd fish. I decided to fish 3 feeder swims and nick a fish off each and move about. I ended with 12 and wasn’t sure how that would do as I was sure adam would have emptied it. Adam weighed 39lb in and Nathan 30lb so I was pleased with my 41lb with james weighing 13lb, jamie wilde however had other plans and beat me into second again with 46lb. I got the section by default so all was not lost and I was still in the running.
Day 4 and trewaters beckoned and a beautiful clear sunny morning greeted us but I was freezing and in some shady areas there was also a touch of frost. I drew 43 which was next to last the day before but it’s a venue that suits me and as it was a corner I really fancied doing well off it. I had carp bagging legend dean smith for company on 44 so I had a match in store. Ive sorted out an ultra negative and ultra postive match out for trewaters if that makes sense and I fish really negative on the pole then fill the waggler line in late on for some waggler heaven. I kicked off on my 5m line and was soon into a run of fish, everyone else went long straight away and where catching as quickly but I knew they would soon run out cos they back off, so starting short allows you to chase em a little longer and keep catching em. At the 3 hour mark I was doing well in the section with only jamie wilde beating me with some better fish on the method. I was still nicking odd fish on the pole but it was getting worse so I decided to chuck the mthod and I snuck out a few better fish before that too dies so I decided so fish the waggler for the remainder then look down the edge for the last half hour. Every fish on the wag was a better one and when I went down the side that was solid too. At the all out id done all I could and felt id fished a good match from a hard area. I weighed 25lb and was winning the section right the way round until paul Holland weighed 27lb in. another 2nd in section and another default section. This meant that I needed a top 3 in my section on the last day to scroe 31 points which was rumoured to be enough to make the final.
Day 5 and we where heading to fishing heaven a.k.a porth res!!! Now I have a love hate relationship with porth as I adore the place and the fishing but always make a mess of it but as I needed a top 3 I was determined not to let this happen again, I got up nice and early to get my ground bait mixed, for the day I mixed up 2 bags of dynamites green swim stim, 1 silver x bream natural, and a bag of rich brown crumb this produced a lovely fine mix, green in colour but the fishmeal wasn’t too strong which I felt would be perfect. I decided to take a unit of hemp, 2 of casters 2 of maggots, a kilo of worms and a tin of corn altho I knew I wouldn’t be needing that.
I drew peg 34 which is in the section in the shallows which had got better and better as the week went on after ben fisk blanked there the first day!!!! My peg was nearly last the day before but I didn’t want to let that bother me. When I arrived at my peg after the long walk I realised I was in a section of death, with gary webber and simon gould on the 2 end pegs, dean smith and adam Wakelin either side of me, chris vandervleit further up aswell as jamie wilde and 2 other festival regulars!!!!! This was gonna be tough. The venue had a nice ripple on it and I really fancied the pole even tho they hadn’t caught on it the daty before. I rigged up a feeder rod with a small nisa feeder on and an 18inch 0.10 hook length to a 14 b560 and 0.08 braid mainline, just incase I also set up a wag rod altho I didn’t want to pick it up. My pole rigs where 1gr and 1.5gr versuions for 14.5m and a .6gr for the 6m swim, these where all matched to a 6-8 elastic thru 3 sections 0.08 hook lengths and 18 B957 hooks. At the all in I cupped 5 balls in at 14.5m laced with worms and casters, then fed a full pint of hemp at 6m before going onto the feeder.
By this point adam and dean where already catching and luckily for me my tip went straight round and we where all catching small skimmers very regularly. At the hour mark it slowed for everyone but I managed to keep my catch rate ticking over by putting a tiny feeder on and ringing the changes with hook baits. I did try the long pole but it was hard work as the fish where very small on this line so I decided to abandon it. Another hour on the feeder and I was definatly ahead of adam and dean but nick(flask thief) was starting to motor on the feeder so I decided to drop on the short pole 2 1/2lb in ten minutes was encouraging but I didn’t feel it was quite ready for the extraction just yet so put it down and plodded on, on the feeder hoping that I could bag in the last 30 mins on the short pole. Going into the last hour and everyone was catching fish on the feeder again and I felt me and nick where very close now so with 30 mins to go I went for broke on the short pole and absolutely clattered em!!!! I was catching a dumpy roach every drop and must have put 4-5lb in the net in the last 25-30mins to forge ahead again. At the all out I was finally pleased with how id fished a porth match!!!!!! And felt confident of a top 3. I followed the scales and 12lb was winning rhe section up to me which was jamie wilde, I plonked 17lb on the scales which got me that precious section win but also won me the lake!!!! Happy days. This left me on 33 points which we knew got me into the final and I was so buzzing!!!!
PARKDEAN MASTERS and I must admit I woke up a little nervous!!! Its definatly no bad thing as I always get butterflies before big matches and it seems to get ya in the zone a bit!!!! Me lee, ben and james all decided to have a walk around jenny’s just after it got light and one of the first things we noticed was how the roach where at the surface gasping, strange we thought. Anyway on arrival at peg 15 and behind the aerator was what can only be described as carp soup!!!! With algae dying off in the lake it caused a drop in oxygen levels and every carp in the lake seemed to be on this peg with the aerator!!!!! Anyway after a bit of controversy we finally all got ready for the draw, as I finished 14th in the festival I was 14th to draw. I don’t think anybody was shocked when alan scotthorne pulled out peg 15 and everyone proceeded to clap as if he’d already won!!!! My time came to draw and I pulled out peg 9, now I didn’t know whether I liked it or not but I was fairly happy as I had an island chuck and a bit of open water to go at.
When I got set up lee and james brought me a bit of breakfast and they both said that the only thing that could hamper me was the lack of ripple as where grant was he had a lovely ripple. I had darren cox and alan Rutherford either side of me for company and could also see fellow team north member paul burton opposite me. I decided on a simple plan of a method feeder and pellet feeder for the island, a long pole shallow and deep line with 6mm pellets and also a worm line. I alaso fed a margin but the 4hr match meant I couldn’t give it long. At the all in I potted a few pellets long a bit of worm on my worm line then cast a ground bait method and dead maggots out. After 5 minutes that seemed like an eternity with no indications she finally went round and a lively 2-3lb mirror was safely netted, no more indications followed so I dropped on my worm line and that failed to move and I knew it was gonna be a hard day. I had a quick look shallow and had no bites so went back on the thod and had 3 little f1s and a skimmer and realised that the only way I was gonna win was to make the pole work so I went back shallow and had 2 straight away then had one about 4lb and all of a sudden I felt things might just happen. But then the fish started backing off as a result of the flat calm conditions a quick look on the deck brought a few moe fish but I just knew it wasn’t gonna happen as I was grafting my back off for very little reward, I went to 16m and slapped my rig in like a man possessed but it just came to nothing. I was catching odd fish which was more than the lads at the other end where doing, but I knew I just had to enjoy the match now. At the all out I weighed 28lb which was good enough for 4th. A massive well done to 2009 park dean master grant albutt. Its been a really hard weeks fishing at white acres but one I loved every minute of and to get the chance to fish the final topped off what was a brilliant week!!!!