Guru Festival – Phil Canning

Day 1: Porth Peg 36: The first day of the rotation had seen me on porth 36, in the middle of the section and I was a little unsure how it would fish with the week before having weights up to 50lb and I was thinking it was going to be a big weight or a very little weight and turn out to be a struggle all over the lake.

2lb of roach at 6m in the first 4o mins, so a great start and I seemed to be doing well for it to then just slow right up. I then moved to 13m with worms over GB hoping to catch skimmers and bream, but this only produced a small skimmer. I then made a big decision to chuck the method at 50m where at the start I fed this line with 2pints of GB corn and micro pellets. After 5 chucks in 40mins it had seen me catch nothing and felt I had made a major mistake, for me to then snare a 3lb bream out of the blue and my confidence picked up

I then spent another long spell with nothing to show and moving into the last hour the rod went round and this was at 4 pm with a 6lb bream and now thought it was game on because it was very close in the section from what I could see around me, but that was the only bream to catch to finish with 11lb 11oz to finish 3rd in section so that was my dropper for the week and I knew I had to win 4 sections to do well in festival from now on.

Day 2: Bolingey Peg 31: This is my favourite venue of the week and I have been very consistent in past years on this lake, this peg is in the middle of the lake with some lovely long margins.

The weather was glorious, with many of the resident carp sunning themselves on top of the lake, so I thought a few mug fish would be caught and I should catch them shallow and finish down the margins. I managed to mug a few early carp before they moved out of my reach and fed my long line with hard 6m pellets. I caught a few here flicking my rug into the feed and had a good hour catching 5 or 6 bug carp, but this line again slowed down and I started chasing them about with nothing much to show for it.

My banker line was the margins, and here I had fed dead maggots and as soon as I moved onto it it was game on. I stayed here until the end of the match fishing a bunch of maggots on a size 14 hook putting 20 odd carp to 16ln in the net and managed to finish with a fantastic 21lb and the important section win.

Day 3: Match Lake Peg 48: This lake hasn’t been my favourite over the last couple of festivals but has been fishing well leading up to this festival so felt there was a few fish to be caught. My peg is down one of the arms on this lake and it is 14 to 16m wide to an island which has around a 2ft depth. I used a medium soft pot here and fed 6m pellets and the same on the hook and caught small f1’s and the odd carp for the first couple of hours, so a steady start.

The middle part of the match went a little iffy as when the across line slowed down, I moved into the deep water, but felt myself chasing them around. I then fed crushed expander groundbait tight over down the side of the island with a few dead red maggots mixed in. I left this for around 10 minutes and then noticed some movement so went straight on this line. In the space of 20 minutes, I had 3 carp for close to 35lb with the best being a beast of a common carp around 17lb. It was short lived as after these 3 big carp, I spent an hour with nothing to show. Luckily my 77lb was enough to win the section.

Day 4: Trelawney Peg 25: Today was make or break day, with pegs 31 and 32 dominating the section all week I felt I was up against in on peg 25 as every peg is in together from 22 to 26 so the room was very tight.

I had a busy day though, catching 1 carp early on the method feeder to the island. I had started to feed 6mms close to the island and fished a waggler tight against it, and this line had seen me produce 4 small carp and I felt I was doing okay but 31 and 32 were catching well. I had been feeding 4mm hard pellets on my shallow pole line and made the decision to go early on this as I needed something to happen. I had a great run though on this line and spent the rest of the match here catching a mix of carrassios and the odd f1 up to 2lb.

I fished light lines and hooks here due to the size of the fish I was catching on a size 20 to 0.12 bottom. I finished the match with around 140 fish and managed to snatch the section and 3rd in the match with 104lb.

Day 5: Treewaters 31: I knew that if I could manage a section win today, I would finish in the top 3 overall for the festival. On arriving at the lake a very strong wind was blowing towards peg 33 and 35 and I had expected these pegs would be hard to be beaten.

As it turned out it was similar to how my matches had gone through the week, catching steadily on the pole at 13m fishing hard pellets with regular bites of the smaller fish. Suddenly it was like a light switch my bites just dried up and I spent 2 hours with nothing to show for my efforts. Peg 33 was catching well fishing long down his margin and I felt the fish had moved further down the lake. It was now make or break time and I had to go and attack the margins. 4pm seen my first bite for some time fishing corn over corn, phew, then it just went crazy, I started to catch really well and was catching the chap up on 33 who had a good lead on me.

I managed 12 good carp in the last hour from 4-8lb and finished with 95lb and felt 33 would easily have had a ton, but to my amazement he had a very honest 89lb and he told me he had 88lb on his clicker great estimation I thought, but more importantly it was a section win, just what I needed.

This had seen me win the festival overall so I was absolutely chuffed to bits to get the festival win at White Acres.