I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
Dynamite Baits 2012
The White Acres Dynamite week started well for me when I called Adam Richards by mistake at 8am on the Saturday morning, I really must put my reading glasses on as I meant to call my son Alex! It was clear that I had disturbed his slumber but soon found out that he was not fishing but going to watch the Grand National at Aintree, I asked him to put a bet on for me with whoever he fancied. I later found I was a couple of quid better off as ‘our horse’ Sea Bass came in third at 8/1. That evening I invested a couple more hard earned pounds on the National lottery and won a tenner, perhaps it was going to be my week!
To say my section of 36 looked tough would be an understatement and on arrival at White Acres all the talk was on B section. To be honest I have given up worrying who is in my section as the simple fact is that you have to draw your own peg and fish it to the best of your ability, its best to just get on with it and try to enjoy the whole experience. With the weather forecast for the week looking like we were in the middle of January, it certainly was going to be hard work and if the torrential rain we experienced on Saturday was anything to go by, it was going to be a very tricky week to say the least!
This year I was sharing accommodation with the King of handmade floats Gareth Malman, his words not mine you understand! But I must admit he does make and exceedingly good float! I have known Gareth for a few years and we always have a giggle, we were joined by Gareth’s travelling partner Tony Watson who was a White Acres virgin, he was really up for the week.
Last but not least was Tyrone Hull who left Cornwall around 10 months ago for the big City where he now works as chef at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant, I couldn’t help but call him ‘Three Star’ It really was the perfect name as he cooked a couple of meals that his boss would have been proud off. On Sunday we were treated to Eggs Benedict for breakfast, it was the perfect start to the day, they were superb! Well Gaz and I thought they were perfect; Tony wasn’t having any of that ‘fancy sauce rubbish’ so he tucked into a three star ham roll!
Here we go
The queue for the bag of dreams on Monday morning was soon with us and my dip found me on peg 20 on Jennies, I was happy enough with it but once again really fancied a trip down to the farm. As I arrived at the lake I came across Dynamite Baits Mick Hall aka Ginger who had drawn end peg 21 at least I was in for a laugh during the day. Andy Lloyd was to my left on peg 19 and I couldn’t help but recall the last time I drew this peg, on that day Steve Ringer drew 19 and broke the lake record, I had over a ton for second so I wouldn’t be too upset if that happened again! The morning had a nice feel to it the sun was out and I was soon removing some layers, it was not too windy and the lake looked great I couldn’t wait to get on with the match. It was a method feeder for me towards the island and long pole with worms and pellet hopefully catching Carp and Tench.
Feeding the long pole line with a big pot of worms and pellet I was soon out on the method feeder and before long realised that I was in trouble as Lee Kerry on peg 18 was immediately into Carp on his side of the island, he was getting one a bung, my tip moved occasionally but it was an F1, Ginger also opened his account with a couple of Carp. I had an obvious liner and glanced up from the tip, I saw a vortex over where I had fed so guessed that was where I got the liner. I was out on the long pole pronto and loved it as the float slid away; I was immediately attached to Mr Angry which turned out to be a Mirror of around 9 – 10lb try as I might I just could not find another carp on the pole. I managed a few Tench and Skimmers but it was hard going. I did find small carp on the method but overall it was a waiting game for an F1 which was no good. As the match drew on it got colder and colder and I honestly say I never felt that chilly during the whole of winter!
Ginger had a nice day on the end peg landing an nice lump caught from the edge on the whistle but apart from his weight of 51lb the section in the main got better as it went to the left with Lee winning the lake with 125lb I was well off pace with 39lb for a disappointing 3 points, it looked like I used all my luck on Saturday!
My lodge mates had fared much better with Gareth becoming the King of Porth winning the match with two Bream and a couple of skimmers on the method for 11lb 10oz and Three Star winning the Lodge £ pile. Oh well I really must try harder on Tuesday!
Twin Oaks bound
It was a dip in the BOD’s for a peg on Trelawney or Twin Oaks and when peg 10 Twin Oaks stuck to my mitt I was happy enough with the peg, I went to the lake feeling confident even if I did prefer any of the pegs to my right but don’t get me wrong I wasn’t grumbling. It really is‘method’ water, so I set up two rods to fish the far side, also an edge rig and a 4 x 16 J8S float to fish at 5m with meat. When the whistle went I saw everybody around me feed and go out on the method, I personally picked up my edge rig and swung out a large piece of meat into the margins without feeding anything. Within 30 seconds the float buried and I saw a satisfying amount of black lastix come out of my pole, just as I thought that was the perfect start the lastix retreated as the hook lost its hold, obviously foul hooked. Re baiting with another piece I was soon back in the margin again and the float buried once again. This time it was hooked properly and after a spirited fight a nice 8lb plus fish was in the net. This was not lost on the anglers to my right and I soon saw Andy Nelson on peg 12 and Jon Arthur on peg 14 change tactics and fish their margins, what’s more, they soon started catching and frustratingly I just could not get another bite, I know I mustn’t grumble, but I did!
On the thod
I had a run of two small Carp and an F1 on the method before the bites dried up and it seemed the same for Ginger who I had once again drawn next to. The wind was horrendous and made casting difficult but I thought generally my casting was ok; obviously the fish didn’t like it. I tried different hook sizes and line diameters Along with different hook baits, I managed a few more fish and on one occasion thought I had sorted it when I had two on the spin but alas it wasn’t the case. I did catch some nice silvers on the 5m line, big skimmers in great condition along with a couple of Carp and some F1’s. The match left me feeling a little frustrated and I do wish I had fished the 5m line longer maybe with 6mm meat rather than the 8mm I used, I think a big weight would have been possible, maybe not enough to win the section but it would have got me well up rather than the 4 points I did get. Young Andy Nelson won the section from peg 12 with around 120lb to give him two section wins.
It was tales of woe in the Kings Palace that evening; Gareth had draw peg 23 at Bolingey and before the match had even started a fifth and sixth section of his pole had blown into the middle of the lake and sunk like stones. Later in the match more sections followed into the watery grave to make it a very expensive day for the NE star. To make matters worse he was christened ‘Plummet’ by his NE mates – Something to do with his ability of going from the top of the leader board to the bottom so quickly! Was that cruel? Yes, I suppose it was but it certainly was hilarious and Gareth can certainly take a joke, he took it well aided by a good glug from a bottle of whiskey!
However the best part of the day was moving some of the £ coins over onto my pile as I was top of the lodge sweep, it is only small thing but boy is it important and gives the person with the biggest pile bragging rights.
I used to call the festival match at Porth the ‘The Headless Chicken Day’ as I always seemed to be running around changing kit over, mixing groundbait, finding platforms and waders etc but these days it’s just not the same. For a start its fishing terrible and if you draw in two of the four sections it’s a sit it out and hope day on the tip. Not my style at all and not really what I want to be doing fishing a method feeder on a once fantastic reservoir that was full of Roach and Skimmers. My draw put me on peg 20 and it was where Mark Harris won the match from the day before fishing at 50 turns and weighing in 20lb so that was my mind made up. I was straight into the White Acres food shop and buying a couple of packs of sweets to help me concentrate on what I consider a chuck and chance days fishing!
In need of a bivvy
The weather was forecast as the worst day of the week and they were not wrong, it was nearly blowing me off my box which is some feat I can tell you! It didn’t take long to get ready, two feeder rods with braid and a mono shock leader both clipped up at around 45 turns, the feeders were some that I bought in Northern Ireland 30 gram distance jobbies that hold a lot of feed and cast accurately which would be helpful in the wind. A hair rig completed the setup and a boilie was going to be the hook bait. Personally I don’t think the method feeder is the right way to fish in deep water, and much prefer my setup I just hoped the fish do as well. Feed was 3 pints of micro pellets and some fishmeal groundbait very much different from how I used to fish Porth.
My plan was to cast and fish for 1 minute and then re cast and fish for another minute I was going to do this for the first 15 minutes to build up a bed of feed at least I had a chance of an early fish doing this rather than just casting out feederfulls of bait. After 15 minutes I would then leave the bait in the water for 5 minutes, simple plan, I hoped it would work. All my efforts were going into ‘hitting the clip’ In the wind it would be difficult to hit the same spot twice but if I hit the clip every time I would be in the general area.
Everything went well with the exception of a bite that is! The sweets were gone after an hour and half and then it happened the tip actually moved around two inches, I hit the bite and felt that fantastic feeling you get when a big Bream is on the other end, that big nodmas it shakes its head. I stood up to play the fish with the rod held high I didn’t want to let the fish snag on the sunken wall that is near this peg. Within a couple of minutes I had it in the net it was over 4lb, great feeling I must admit. I don’t think anybody saw me land it and I planned to keep it quiet, I didn’t want everybody thinking that’s it I have to also fish for Bream all day. But after 5 minutes I just could not keep it to myself and told Russ Grimes who was to my left and then we all fished for Bream for the rest of the match! Ten minutes later my tip went again and I definitely had an adrenalin rush as I was into another big fish. After carefully playing into the net I just could not believe my eyes when a 7lb Pike surfaced with my white boilie just protruding out of its mouth, the Pike was perfectly lip hooked! Oh Man you just could not make it up.
Later I think I actually fell asleep on my box as I remember looking at the time and seeing 15.48 the next thing I felt my head shake as it dropped towards my shoulders, I looked at the watch and it was 16.02 I definitely lost a few minutes. That was my match, no more bites, not even a liner to get excited about!
The Bream weighed 4lb 10oz which was good enough for third in section Neil Machin won the section and the match with two Bream on the tip and a couple of Perch on the pole, weighing 12lb I think Neil caught one around the same time as me and another seconds before the final whistle. Not my favourite match but my best points so far of the week!
Three Star picked up the £ pile to keep the South West / East domination of this important event but Gareth did remind us all that he was the only match winner of the week!
I had to miss the Thursday draw but Gareth volunteered to have a dip for me and I just couldn’t believe it when he called me at 9.30 saying I was on peg 6 the very same peg that I had on the previous festival. Now it’s not often that you get the chance to try again on the same peg and I was itching to get started. It was another all or nothing day for me and it was going to be three lines, long shallow, 5 metres and down the edge. I did consider the method feeder but felt that I didn’t want to be wasting time on that as previous experience told me that fished in the open water resulted in smaller fish, and more to the point I really had enough of it staring at a tip for five hours yesterday!
After 30 minutes I knew it wasn’t going to be a repeat of the previous week as I had not caught a fish. I missed some fast bites and presumed that they were F1’s or carp mouthing my bait. Eventually I got one but it was foul hooked, it took ages to get in but it was around 6lb. Just after the 90 minute mark I hit one of those fast bites and saw a tiny Roach come flying out of the water! I tried slapping with pellet instead of feeding casters but that didn’t work. I figured the fish would come to me as James Dent was catching well on peg 3, there was slightly less wind in his peg so maybe that is what they preferred. I did eventually manage a couple shallow, the 5m line was not working properly but at least I caught a couple of fish there. In the end I had 4 nice mirrors down the edge on double worm which boosted my weight to 67lb which just was not enough, and I think I only beat three in the section. Oh man, what a difference a couple of weeks makes. Just shows you have to not only draw the right peg but also draw it on the right day! Still my weight saw me move some more £ coins over on the mantelpiece albeit to the sound of Plummet saying he was still the biggest winner.
It is unbelievable how quickly these festival weeks go last day already. I was near the back of the queue and pulled out peg 15 from the BOD’s and as it is one of the first on the High Bank I was delighted with the draw. I had the festival leader Andy Nelson to my right and he was in great form so I knew I was in for a good scrap and with some Carp crashing around I think we were both feeling confident. I had previously had a chat with Ritchie Hull and he mentioned fishing meat on the deck at 14.5m as opposed to fishing at 5 or 6m where I was thinking of fishing it. As the Carp were moving halfway over and close to the island I decided to concentrate long. Tackle was a .75 Cralusso Capri float for the long line, a 4 x 12 J15 for the edge and a 3ssg pellet waggler along with a pellet feeder.
The match started and I dumped a big pot of meat on my long pole line and started fishing on the pellet feeder. Andy drew the first blood with a good sized Carp caught on the pellet feeder but before long I also opened my account. I had another around 10 minutes later. I noticed Andy on the waggler and he was fishing a crystal float as opposed to a pellet waggler but he had a couple of fish before I had to follow suit. I had a nice Roach / Bream Hybrid first cast on an 8mm pellet and next cast caught what I wanted a big Mirror Carp! I was really pleased that I chose to use the SPRO power pellet rod along with a Red Arc Reel as they were big fish. I really was enjoying myself, catching on the float its brilliant. It wasn’t fast and furious but it was nice working the float, continually casting. I found that it was better not to feed and even changed to a 4SSG float so that I could get a bigger splash when it hit the water, which I felt was important. I think I caught around 6 or 7 on the float but the wind was getting up making it difficult. Maybe the bulk of the fish drifted out of my swim as Chris Kitchin on peg 24 started to catch on the waggler. I had been feeding my meat line throughout and had a go but all I could find was Skimmers, nice fish but I didn’t want them so I fed bigger pot full’s of bait. I had a quiet spell for 40 minutes without adding anything but the last hour I managed four more Carp on the pole which really finished the match off nicely for me.
The scales arrived having started on peg 7 so I was one of the first to weigh, my two nets totalled 107lb 8oz Andy was next and he weighed 86lb so it looked like I may have cost him winning the festival, I felt sorry for him but he is a great sport with a big future in the game so I know he will get over it and win one before too long. It was a long wait though as the scale went around the lake. Eventually they finished and I was really chuffed to find that I had top weight on the lake from Lee Kerry with 91lb and Andy Nelson.
Andy Geldart won his section at Twin Oaks and that gave him the title of Dynamite Bait champion 2012 a great result for a very popular young angler he was followed by Andy Nelson , Tom Wallis and Steve Cooke who all finished with 35 points separated by their dropped section.
I would just like to extend my personal thanks for a great festival to all the staff at White Acres in particular the fishery team along with the lads and lasses at Bolingey and Porth who did a great job once again. Many thanks to Dynamite baits who gave all anglers a nice bag full of their products, they will certainly come in useful.