After another breakfast we finally made it to White Acres, we picked up the keys and headed down to the tackle shop to pick up our permits for the week and find out about matches. We’d booked some knock up matches between the ten of us so that we only had to pleasure fish 1 days in the week but Gwinear was closed due to disease so we now had to pleasure it 3 days! I don’t hate pleasure fishing but I do prefer a challenge instead of dropping fish straight back in the water.
Our first pleasure session saw us fish on Pollawyn, mainly because it was a short walk and we only needed to entertain ourselves for a couple of hours before the pub opened! Gordon (the Pensioners Pin Up) went on 9, I was on 10 and Stu went on 11. We had a van pool for the week which only counted in matches and basically it was a three way quid, just for a bit of fun. We decided when we were setting up that who ever caught the first carp would be the proud owner of a free pint off the other two. Unbeknown to us the pegs we picked are quite frankly, crap! I managed three bream and a few roach, Stu managed some skimmers and roach, Gordon caught a few roach on 11mm pellet and a Crucian which took the prize by default. In my opinion if a Crucian is classed as a carp then so is a roach, they are both members of the carp family!
So grudgingly Stu and I got Gordon the first couple of pints for the holiday. We drank into the night after an excellent meal at the onsite restaurant and by the end of the night I was pretty drunk and ready for bed! Apparently I’d said I would only stay for a bit longer but would only drink soft drinks, ‘double Jack Daniels and Coke please!’ was my apparent reply, how much truth is behind this is unbeknown to me!
We were to draw at 10 and fish 11-4pm, the lady read out the rules and told us that we all had two keepnets, a landing net and a towel on our peg, this was to cut down on cross contamination of different venues, not a bad idea but the landing nets held so much water your were drenched all day and the towel was smaller than a flannel, cheers!
This is very much for me a novelty fishery, once you’ve fished it there’s not much point in going again, especially not on an open as I’ll explain later. Basically you fish your top kit all day literally hauling the carp out. There only 12oz-1lb in size but they aint half fit, I used a 14 solid latex and still got run ragged all day, lesson learnt. I started off fishing a 6mm expander and dripping in 4mm pellets, after 4 fish in as many put ins the bites became silly as there were too many loose offerings making them dart about, a quick switch to paste and no loose feed saw me bag up for the rest of the match. You definitely need duplicate rigs at this place as after 50 or 60 fish your rig is looking a bit worse for wear, my silicone tubing split and instead of putting a new rig on which would take time I crudely taped it on with some black insulation tape, the bites still came thick and fast so the presentation certainly wasn’t a must have! I ended up realising the best way to fish the paste was a piece the size of thumbnail and holding a tight line to the float. I could then make up a ball of paste for the next put in without looking at my float as the laccy would simply stream out. A lot of my fish were quite small, 6-8oz but I still had perhaps 200 fish split between the nets. After packing up, which takes literally minutes seeing as you don’t need to get the rest of your pole out the owner came around and weighed us all in. I lifted my first net out which went dead on 50lb. I thought to myself if I’ve the same in the next one then I’ve done my first ton! Due to the rings getting stuck on the boards I couldn’t lift the net out properly but once I received help from a spectator the net was out and I knew I had done my ton, the second net weighed 69lb 4oz so I had a total of 119lb 40z, so I’d done my first ton it was just a shame we were only paying out top two. James Clay weighed a staggering 196lb so just missed out on getting on the board in the hut and Otley Rob weighed 143lb which was also his best ever match weight! After a tiring day we went for a meal at the nearby Two Clomes and then headed back for a few beers!
Rob and Tony arrived late Saturday night, early Sunday morning because Rob had fished the Kamasan final; he won his section so well done to him, picking up a nice medal and a few bits of tackle for his efforts. Seeing as I’d had a few it took them a while to wake me up and unlock the door to the caravan, oops!
Monday was the Gold Match and it was to be on Trelawney and Nelsons. I wasn’t too sure on where I wanted to be but 19 and 20 Trelawney looked ok with the big reed lined bay and 18 also didn’t look too bad as you could reach the island. So after breakfast we did the draw and I got 18 so I was pretty pleased. Gordon was on 19 so at least we could have chat. I set up a couple of lines on the far bank at 14m, a line to my left margin and a paste line at 7m. At the all in I cupped in some corn and some pellets down the margin and a big pot also went out to 7m for later. I then shipped across to the far side with a 6mm expander and tipped half a kinder pot of 4mm pellets over the top. My float sat motionless for the first half an hour until I started to get the odd liner. I changed to a banded 6mm pellet and started to feed pellets of the same size but could only manage 5 small roach. Strange how back at home you wouldn’t even dream of a roach taking a 6mm hard pellet?! I decided to have a look down into the margin and managed to snare one carp of about 2lb and then a further nothing. I went out on the paste line but as with a lot of the lakes at White Acres the tow is very strong due to the constant aerators so I was finding it hard to present the bait properly. Whilst I was trying to get my paste line going my carp jumped out of the keepnet and back into the lake, could this day get any worse! Well I didn’t catch another fish for the rest of the day and tipped back my 5 roach.
Gordon had fished well and caught a fair few carp from down the margins and put 34lb 5oz on the scales which just beat Otley Dave’s 34lb 4oz. Back up at the pub for the presentation and Stu, Gordon and Otley Rob had all won their sections and Robbie had come 2nd overall off Nelsons 11 with 74lb odd, he fished at 17 to the island all day and because of this borrowed Stu’s Middy arm rest for the rest of the week!
Tuesday came and we had booked onto Bolingey for the day. We walked down to the bank furthest from the car park and decided to all fish next to each other so we could have some good banter and it meant people wouldn’t sit between us. We did a mini draw and I ended up on peg 19 with Stu on 18, Rob on 17, Gord on 20 and Tony on 21. I thought I’d set the bomb rod up, chuck it out and then that would give me chance to set the pole up. I fished a 3/4oz bomb, on 0.20 Ultima mainline with an 0.18 trace to a size 14 PR36; a hair rigged band completed the set up. I put an 8mm pellet in the band cast tight to the island and fired half a dozen 8mm pellets around it. Put it this way, it was solid; I had 8 carp all around 5-6lb before I even got the pole out my holdall!
I decided to leave the bomb for a bit and set up the pole. I setup a line to fish at around 7m in 7-8ft of water on paste. I had a 0.5g BGT paste float on 0.18 direct to a big Mustad size 12. I made some paste up out of some micros, potted in a big pot of 6mm pellets and sat over it. I had 3 fish in 3 put ins, all around the same stamp as on the bomb. Robbie and Stu were fishing shallow on the pole at about 13m and getting a carp a chuck by feeding, slapping the rig in 2 or 3 times and then waiting for the pole to bury under the surface. I’ve never tried shallow fishing properly before and thought this would be an ideal opportunity to gain some confidence in it.
I set up a small Dick Clegg dibber on 0.18 straight through to a size 16 PR36 with a hair rigged band. I put one number 8 stotz about 3 inch from the hook; this would give a third splash including the pellet and the float. I’d put a big pot of 6mm pellets out at 10m to get the fish in the area then started firing pellets over the top little and often, slapping the rig in. It took 5-10mins before the first fish succumbed to the 8mm banded pellet but after that there was no looking back. I managed to get 21 carp on this method to take my tally to 32 for the day and around 170lb, Robbie must have had 4-500lb of fish in the day, an awesome achievement, he had half a dozen that were between 10-15lb. Rob and Stu were both fishing shallow at 13m+ and picking up better fish, smallest of around 8lb but my fish at 10m averaged at 6 probably, so maybe fishing further out would have got me a few bigger fish, but I wasn’t complaining! This must have been the best days fishing I’ve ever had and certainly one of the best venues! I’ll definitely be going back!
Wednesday and we were back at Mawgan Porth were earlier in the week I’d done my first ton but with only 8 of us on the lake. This time around it was the open with around 20 of us including 3 venue experts including one of them who did an article for match fishing a few months back. Now I don’t want to label people cheats but there is certainly something suspect that the experts can manage to draw the ‘flyer peg’ week after week after week. Rumours were bounding around that the old guy who holds the tub with the pegs in holds the flyer between his fingers and the experts grab that off him instead of from the bucket. Other suggestions were going round that the owner only rings the experts when us newbie’s have booked on so it gives them some pools to play for, if we weren’t there then there would only have been about six of them, some open match! If I ever fish there again it will certainly be on one of our knock ups rather than an open as with more people on the match it also didn’t fish to half its previous capabilities. I drew peg 47 on the island which is meant to be a very good peg and only managed to put 25lb 4oz in the net, the match was won by one of the experts with just over 100lb. We had booked onto another open on the Friday but after the match we all booked off it due to the poor performance.
Thursday saw us all on the Rover match, on the previous night we had walked around the lakes with the lake guide and marked on pegs that we fancied. I fancied either peg 19 on Trelawney or 38 on Pollawyn. Stu was an absolute bag of nerves before the match and couldn’t make his mind up where to fish for the day so when he drew out peg 1, this unsettled him even further. He ended up going on the same peg he drew in gold, peg 23 on Trelawney and he did well getting just over 60lb. I managed number 15 but when I went into the tent I remembered peg 4 on Sycamore and decided to go here, even though the pegs I wanted were still free! What was I thinking! Lesson learnt for next time! By the time I got to my peg I realised there were 4 of us in a line which would make things difficult as I fancied fishing bomb and hard pellet to the island where as the lads either side were both on the pellet waggler so the pellets were flying all over the place all day! I fished another poor match and with an hour and a half to go I packed up and took everyone a cuppa, I’m good like that! Robbie came 2nd again using the same tactics and the same peg from the Rover, this time weighing in 124lb for another 2nd overall and Alan managed 135lb off Eery peg 5, fishing bomb onto the sand bar, so well done to those two. We all told Robbie he should have pulled his finger out as we all wanted a free holiday but he wasn’t biting!
All in all i think we all had a very good week and learnt a lot for the next time we go. Next time ideally we’ll have a match everyday, know what lakes and pegs to fish and take EVEN BIGGER pellets to avoid the roach. Hopefully we’ll have all learnt the lyrics to the Benny Hill song Ernie by then too so we can sing a long with Gordon in the van!