My first visit to Whiteacres, the Bait Tech festival, having just moved the Friday before was used to find my tackle, rather than any actual preparation, although I did check all the elastics and change a couple that were starting to rot.
Travelled down on Saturday morning, meeting up with Paul Faiers, Glenn ‘Faitheey’ Calvert and Chips, Pauls Father-in-law . We meet at Hilltops, had a decent enough breakfast and got on the road, the journey was nice and straight forward, we arrived at Whiteacres just as the Spurs game kicked off . Faierzy being a Spurs fan went straight to the bar to watch it and we intended to then go and look round then the lakes. As anyone who knows us, will suspect, it didn’t go to plan and we were still in the bar at 23.30 – not the wisest move.
Thankfully Sunday wasn’t the first day, so the resulting hangover didn’t infringe on the serious fishing. It took us a while to get going and we did get to Pollawyn for a pleasure session on Sunday afternoon, I fished peg 421 and had a pleasant afternoon catching skimmers, tench and bream to 5lb on corn over groundbait. A much quieter evening in the bar, although we did need a restorative cordial or two, especially to help us get over the brutal rape and gangbang we witnessed on Sunday afternoon, one single duck being ravaged by a long line of rampant mallards.
I was drawn in E section, so Monday was Bolingey day, peg 9 was stuck to my hand in the drawbag, not the best I was informed. I set up a lead rod, a waggler and a couple of pole rigs to fish meat. At the all in most anglers chucked a lead or feeder towards the island, I followed suit and 40 minutes later that went up the bank, as every had had a fish or two (and some 6 or 7), whilst I hadn’t had as much as a liner. The pole line proved to be equally as fruitless and I was now 8 or 10 fish behind some of the pegs further round the lake.
I could see some fish up in the water, the waggler was difficult to control, but was the only method I could get a bite on, I had a couple of decent carp, then they seemed to disappear and I managed some decent sized F1’s by casting tight to the island. Reverting back to the lead brought another couple of fish on 8mm meat, but I just couldn’t catch at a rate or size, that the guys further up the lake, thus rendering my first day section challenge a disaster.
The pole line stayed seemingly devoid of fish until 4 o’clock, when a lone carp took the meat on the 5m line, it proved to be the only bite of the day on the pole. I managed 70lb, but the lake was won with 240lb (although it was estimated the winner had in excess of 300lb, but only had 4 nets). I managed to beat the pegs either side, but we were at the wrong end of the lake today, had the wind been more favourable I might have cracked the ton though.
Tuesday saw me on Pollawyn, after a quieter night in the bar Monday, although the Mallard porn show was fast becoming one of the features worked into conversations, as Faitheey spent his 3rd on Pollawyn money on beer. I drew peg 17, 40lb had come off it on Monday, but it was well beaten either side. The plan was to fish 6mm meat, starting on the bottom, then coming up as the fish come up, I actually followed the plan I had in my head, starting on the feeder across, whilst the meat lines settled. Most anglers along my bank managed a carp or two on the feeder, but I didn’t. In fact I didn’t manage a bite in the first 40 minutes, not good in a 5 hour match.
Switching to the pole line at 14m I had a couple of skimmers on the 6mm meat before once again becoming biteless. I was once again watching anglers further along the bank catching whilst I struggled. I swapped between the 5m line and the 14m line and took a very occasional fish.
I fed a line with chopped worm and caster, this produced 3 skimmers and I thought I’d sussed it, but that was the end of the action over that line. Had it not been a requisite of the festival to stay and weigh in, I wouldn’t have been at my peg come the end. I reckoned I had about 10lb of skimmers with 15 minutes to go and my one and only carp was hooked with 15 mins to go, a 10lb ghostie doubled my weight, but still couldn’t lift my pathetic weight off the bottom of the section. Chatting to those that did catch carp and more skimmers than me, I’m not sure what it was I did wrong – if anything too much – this has been a very frustrating festival so far, hopefully tomorrow will bring a change of fortunes.