I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
Having fished one of the spring festivals back in March at Whiteacres, I was keen to get back down there to learn and find out a bit more about the place so when the opportunity rose to book a friends van at a very reasonable rate, I jumped at the chance to go back down there.
The Saturday prior to leaving I had an important date at Rolfs, having seen the weights from the previous matches, I was quielty looking forward to it. On my way up there, me and Andy (pelletking) were discussing what pegs we wanted and the weight you would be looking at to win it. We fancied pegs 4,6, and 8 and we reckoned you would be looking at a weight in excess of 250lb to win the match.
Come the draw, I pulled out peg 26 which is a decent peg and Andy had drawn peg 11 in the corner of the lake right next to the big bush that sits in the water. Peg 26 has always been kind to me and I hoped it would continue to be but I had some good anglers in my section mainly Phil Powel sat on peg 16 which is another decent peg. I planned to fish 3 lines at 14.5 metres, one shallow, one through the top 4ft of the water and one on the deck and also another line to fish banded 8mm pellet/paste at 5 metres as it seamed like a lot of big fish showed on this line late on.
On the all in, I fed 2 large pots of pellet onto each line, and before I had finished cupping in, my £1 was in danger as I could see Andy netting his first fish. After 15 minutes I had my first bite which I missed and the next put in we were off. Next put in, I was starting to get indications that the fish were shallow, and the next four put ins fishing banded 6mm pellet on a hair rig and we had another four fish in the net.
Visions of doing a huge weight disappeared as quick as they arrived as for the next four hours, I didn’t get another bite, not even a liner. It had fished rock hard, I weighed in 32lb, which believe it or not was good enough to win the section with 15lb second. The match was won with 104lb from peg 4, at least we had predicted the winning peg, it was just a shame we were miles out in needed winning weight. Oh yes and I did win my £1 side bet for a change !!!!
Whiteacres here we come
We arrived at Whiteacres at 9.30 am, having left Reading at 6am that morning. On arriving I had a walk round the lakes and everyone seamed to be catching a few fish. I had booked myself in for the gold match the next day, and it was to be on Twin Oaks and Acorn.
For the Dynamite Baits festival, it seamed the front lake was the lake to be on mainly pegs 10 to 18, with the weights from the rear lake being a lot less. This to me seamed to be the lake I needed to be on, so I wasn’t disappointed when I drew peg 13. Reading various fishing forums, you needed to be able to cast the method feeder within 2 inches of the far bank, this is not my forte but I was determined to compete so I was going to give it my best go. Also for me bait selection is critical at Whiteacres, get it wrong and you could struggle. For this match, I took 2 units of micros, for the feeder, 2 units of 6mm’s 2 units of meat, 1 unit of corn and 1 unit of maggots and also a bit of groundbait to bind the pellets together and also a few Ringers white shell fish boilies
I had decided to fish 4 lines, the method as tight to the far bank as I could get it, a line at 14.5 metres on the deck, one at 6 metres and a margin line to my left. On the all in I fed half a pot of 6mm’s on the long pole line, and some meat on both the 6 metre line and margin line and then I was out on the method. Looking along the bank to my left, a couple of the anglers were in straight away, and after 10 minutes we were off, a fish of about 3lb caught on the pellet method on a white boilie. I managed another couple of fish pretty much straight away, but this line died of death as quick as it started. Onto the 14.5 metre line, I was getting bites straight away and I foul hooked a couple which I lost. I was getting indications that the fish had come shallow so I quickly set up a shallow rig and first put in I had a 4lb er, I thought I had cracked it, but I only managed another one fish shallow. For the rest of the match, I tried pretty much each line over and over again, all I could get in my margins and on my 6 metre line were 2 oz roach and for the rest of the match I only had one more carp on the method. For me it had fished very hard, 32lb won the section, and I was second in section with 26lb, the top 3 were of the lake behind me.
The day after the gold match I decided I’d go and have a practice on Pollawyn, and plumped for peg 21. Pleasure fishing doesn’t really do it for me but I wanted to try a few things in preparation for the rover on Thursday with my main aim being what was the best way to catch the skimmers as they go to a fair old size in the match lake and it doesn’t take long to put a decent weight together of them. I did get a few of them and caught most of them fishing either banded 6mm pellet on a hair or meat fished shallow. At the end of my practice, I had a walk round most of the lakes writing down the pegs I fancied to do well off in preparation for the rover on Thursday, all I needed to do was to draw an early number and hope the pegs I had chosen weren’t already taken by pleasure anglers.
The day of the rover
There were about 130 of us booked in for this match, and having walked round the lakes before the draw, deleting my fancied pegs from my list, I was just hoping for an early draw as there didn’t seam a lot of decent pegs left. For once my drawing arm didn’t let me down, I drew eighth away out of the 130 anglers fishing. Naturally I was pleased with this and plumped for peg 22 on Pollawyn which was the opposite side of the point to the peg I had practiced on Tuesday. There were pleasure anglers in 23 and 24 to my right and in 19,20 and 21 the other side of the point. I planned to fish 4 lines here, I must admit I thought I could reach the point of the island to my right with a 16m pole but I was somewhat short, so I decided to fish a line short of this, one to the point of the island to my left, a line on top of the underwater bar at 16 metres at 10 oclock and a method feeder to the island right out in front of me. Baitwise it was pellet and meat only, I had 2 units of micros for the method, 2 units of 6mm pellets and 4 units of diced meat with some assorted Ringer’s boilies for the method. I also had a bit of groundbait to add to my micros to bind them together and to bulk the soaked micros out a little bit.
On the all in I fed a large pot of meat on the 10 oclock line and a mixture of pellet and meat on the two other pole lines and then I started on the method with a white boilie. First put in and the tip went round and the first fish of the day was in the net, a carp of about 5lb. No more bites were forthcoming on the method so I went over on the pole to the island to my left. Straight away I was getting bites, which I thought were roach, but on lifting the pole to be met with solid resistance, this was no roach. I played the fish carefully and as I got it into netting range, the hook pulled followed by some foul language. No more bites were forthcoming on this line so I went back out on the method. I had another 2 fish in 2 chucks and looking round at the pegs I could see, I hadn’t really seen anyone catch. The fish backed of again after these 2 fish, so it was time to try the other lines.
These lines were slow as well, you would get one decent skimmer and then they would disappear, but by rotating lines, I managed to keep a few fish coming to the end. I also managed to catch another 4 carp on the method, the biggest going 8lb, and I also lost another 2 on the method with one of them coming off as the ‘all out’ was shouted.
I estimated I had 40lb though the guy on peg 14 had caught well fishing shallow towards the end. Apart from him I hadn’t seen a lot caught. Come the weigh in, I recorded 44lb 15oz, the guy on peg 14 had won the lake with 71lb, with my weight being the 3rd best on the lake. The top 3 come off Twin Oaks, my weight was good enough for 12th overall.
Rather than have another day pleasure fishing, I booked into the Friday open at Gwinear as I had seen good reports about it on the different fishing forums. I have never been to Gwinear before and was pleasantly suprised to see there were 24 booked in and these were split between the 3 lakes. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but having had a quick chat with Andy when I booked in on what baits I would need, after getting a quick translation from my other half, I decided my approach would be all pellet with some maggots just incase it was really tough.
At the draw I pulled out peg 37 on phase 2. I asked a couple of anglers what it was like and was encouraged by what they told me. Still determined to give it my best shot, I set up 3 lines, one at 14.5 metres to fish on top of the submerged island where I had about 4ft of water, I was going to use the same rig to fish short at 6 metres. I also set a rig to fish away to my right in the deeper water with my target being the large head of skimmers in the lake and lastly a rig to fish shallow just incase they decided to come shallow. Baitwise I had some micros, hard 4mm and 6mm pellet, some 4 and 6mm Ringer expanders and some maggots.
Come the all in, as I wasn’t sure what to expect, I would feed it gently and take it from there, so I cupped about 20 4 mm pellets onto the long and short line where I had the same depth of water, and a small ball of squeezed micros onto my skimmer line. It was a slow start for most of us on my side of the lake, every time I looked up Harry on the opoosite side seamed to be netting another another fish.
Eventually I started to get bites, and by rotating lines I managed to get a few though the stamp were quite small compared to Mark’s fish who was pegged to my right. About mid match I seamed to be plagued by foul hookers, the hook pulled on one as I went to net another fish which consequently put my rig up the tree above my head. This was promptly followed by 23 men cheering and telling me to leave the squirrels alone !!!!!!
On the all out, I wasn’t sure what I had, Mark was convinced I had beat him but I wasn’t sure as his fish were alot bigger. When he weighed in before me and recorded 49lb with no silvers in his second net, I have to admit I was worried as I didn’t want to have broken the net limit of 50lb per net on my first ever visit. I just hoped that Mark was wrong in his estimations that I had beaten him. I weighed in 37lb, this was good enough for 3rd on my lake, with the winner coming from the corner where the wind was blowing into. Overall I really enjoyed the match and would really recommend it to anyone thinking of going there.