Guru Festival – Whinny

Day 1: Porth peg 23: My favourite Day of the week but with lots of bream showing the week before it wasn’t going to be an out and out Roach match, which is what I’d rather do, so I had to cover my options by feeding along Pole line and long feeder line for bream/skimmers.

After feeding all my lines I decided I would go straight on my short Roach line and just keep an eye and ear out for any bream being caught or not. After an hour at 6 joints and about 40 Roach and a few Pike attacks, my peg was properly slowing down so I thought it was time to go long on the Pole. This wasn’t Good either with only a couple of small skimmers and odd Roach, time to go back short. No bream had been caught at this stage so I kept switching between my 2 Pole lines to keep myself ticking over, the fish settled again on my short line and the last 2 hours was decent again.

I ended the match with 212 fish of all sizes to weigh 13lb 3oz and with only one small bream being caught I had won the section and surprisingly came 2nd on the lake, nice start. After all the bream the week before and hardly any today we were all surprised and it caught a lot of people out.

Day 2: Bolingey peg 26
Another lake we all look forward to fishing as it’s out and out carp fishing and I’ve had some fantastic days on there but it can also be a bit tricky to work out so you have to be on your toes. I’ve started short on pellet for only 1 carassio and was soon on my long pinging line.

I went straight out shallow as I had seen quite a few signs of fish and it wasn’t long before I had one. I stayed on this line until I started to see some bubbles on my short meat line, a dead giveaway they have arrived. After about 2 hours of the match fellow frenzee angler, Phil Canning opposite started to bag up down his edges with some huge fish, I needed something to happen on my short or edge lines early.

About 3 hours in I noticed some bubbles short, it was time for a look and it was solid. I had a brilliant hour and a quarter where I must’ve caught about 70lb. I then had a very annoying last 45 minutes, the fish just vanished on me, and all this time Phil was emptying it. I managed just 2 more fish right at the death but I knew Phil was well ahead.

Another angler had also caught well so I wasn’t sure where I would end up in my section. Phil weighed a massive 216lb and the other angler, Sam Powell, had 128lb then I weighed 136lb, I was 2nd in the section just with an 11lber netted after the whistle. Phil beating me though was going to cost me dearly later on in the week.

Day 3: Pollawyn (match lake) peg 14
This is a peg I have never drawn as it’s never in but they put it in this week to stop peg 13 dominating the first section. It’s just leading onto the famous high bank and anyone that knows me I have a bit of a reputation for drawing it, it just so happens to be the best part of the lake.

I decided on a deep shallow pellet approach at 16m and I also set up a waggler to cast to the aerator but with the lines being not too far apart I thought I would concentrate on shallow. I mugged a 10lber within seconds of the match starting and then caught 3 Good carp shallow all in the first half hour, but then I had a bit of nightmare spell. I missed 3 Good mugging chances where the float buried met with an air strike plus I also lost 3 carp that all just pinged off for no reason. All this time Mikey Williams opposite was starting to motor on his shallow line with some huge carp. The high bank to me is all about big carp normally so I just carried on doing what I was doing but I was missing a few bites and catching “accidental “F1’s and carassios.

With about an hour and a half left and me trailing Mikey by quite a long way I decided to scale everything down to see what would happen, it was like a light switch. I was now connecting with most bites, decent F1’s and carassios, odd big skimmer and I even caught 2 Good carp on my new lighter set up. I was basically bagging and couldn’t believe I hadn’t twigged it earlier, I even had thoughts of catching up Mikey even though he was miles ahead, but he nicked 2 more huge carp on his shallow line late and I knew he couldn’t be beaten, and so it proved. Mikey weighed 102lb to my 82lb and we were 1st and 2nd in the section and lake but I knew it was a chance missed and probably a costly one.

Day 4: Twin Oaks peg 30
This was a strange Day as no matter what I did for the first 2 hours I couldn’t get a bite on anything, all I had was a few Roach down the edge and 2 of the new ghostie F1 things, a species that must be the spookiest fish ever.

After 2 hours and watching either end of my section catching, I finally decided to Chuck a waggler across and I was just taking a bit of line of my clip when I felt my rod being pulled around, that’s one way to do it, that was an 8lber. I then had 4 carp in the next half hour and I was suddenly back in the race. I fished this till the end, with an odd look down the edge for only 1 more spooky F1, and at the end, I knew I was in contention for the section.

Gary Webber on the end peg weighed 76lb and I knew it was close but I weighed 84lb and with a couple of more 70’s at the other end I had pulled off a miracle. It’s at times like this in festivals where you start thinking “maybe, just maybe”

Day 5: Jennies peg 16
Going into the final Day I was lying 3rd overall but I only had 2 section wins and there were 5 anglers on 3 wins so whichever ones of those won their sections they would beat me, it’s best 4 results then your dropper in the event of a tie.

Jennies 16 is quite a famous peg at White Acres as it’s won the parkdean final on numerous occasions but you never quite know how it’s going to fish, I actually drew it last year and won the section with 82lb of feeder caught carassios so I was quietly confident. I started the match as I had caught previous and I was soon catching an odd carassio plus a 3lb carp but it was nothing like it was the last time and after an hour they had gone.

I had been feeding 4mm pellets at 13m with an aim to catch shallow there and when I went on it there was a few fish there. It was never solid but it was steady away with carassios and I also caught 2 carp on it but lost one grrrrr. I stuck with until the last hour when I decided to try my short meat line and this was ok as well. The first look resulted in 3 Good skimmers but the next time I looked with 20 minutes to go I had a nice little flurry of fish, a carp of 6lb, a tench and 6 or 7 skimmers to end a very enjoyable Day.

The end peg had some nice carp on bomb and pellet to weigh 61lb and I knew it was close, but my late flurry had pushed my weight to 69lb and I had won the section, it was now squeaky bum time. The first 2 results to come back were fellow frenzee anglers Phil Canning and Francis Oreilly with Phil winning and Fran 3rd, incidentally if Fran had won his section he couldn’t be beaten but he had some Good anglers on better pegs so he was up against it. The next hour or so all the other results filtered through and it was soon confirmed that Phil had won the Festival, myself 2nd and Fran 3rd, a frenzee clean sweep.

Obviously I would have loved to have won the Festival again, I was lucky enough to win it in 2016, but huge congratulations to Phil as he Has had some proper near misses down there so I was chuffed to bits for him and Fran on coming 3rd to make it a frenzee 1,2,3, a proud moment for all of us and everyone at frenzee.