Whiteacres Maver Festival 2015. Hi all of fishing lovers, Today’s post is “Whiteacres Maver Festival 2015”. Hopefully this article is a good choice for you, all fishing lovers.
Whiteacres Maver Festival 2015
My first attempt at a Whiteacres festival. For anyone that doesn’t know it, Whiteacres is a caravan/lodge holiday park in Cornwall just outside Newquay. It has 16 lakes on site and the festivals use three other lakes offsite. The site runs a number of four and five day festivals through the year, some with qualifying criteria, others totally open.
180 anglers fish and are split into five 36 angler rotations, each rotation fishing a different lake(s) each day. So over five days you fish five lakes. The 36 is split into sections of 9. So each day you are effectively only fishing against 8 others. There are daily prizes for the overall lake top 3 and then section wins by default. The overall festival placings are decided on the best four results points wise (max. 36) and then on weight. The winner usually has a perfect 36 (four, 9 peg section wins).
The 36 angler rotation I was drawn in didn’t contain too many top names so I was hopeful that given a good draw, no “names” in my 9 peg section and a good day’s fishing I may do OK. But my lack of knowledge of the venues would prove a handicap I couldn’t overcome.
There is also a limit on bait, 8 pints, of which no more than four can be maggot/caster and four of meat. You can also have 1 kilo of worm, two kilo of groundbait and a small tub of mini boilies. Knowing how to complete your 8 pint limit is vital and will, I discovered, vary from lake to lake and on the lake from swim to swim. Its often said that matches at Whiteacres are won and lost in the car park when you choose your bait for the day. Hookbait is included in your 8 pint limit.
Given my experience of doing OK on carp dominated venues as I thought these would be I decided on 2 pints of meat (6mm cubes), 2 pints of 2mm pellet, 2 pints of 6mm pellet and 1.5 pints of corn leaving me 1/2 pint for hookbait (expender pellet, hard pellet and 9mm meat cubes). My small tub of boilies would contain white and yellow 8 & 10mm boilies plus some Band-Ums in various flavours/colours.
To be honest I never got near using up any of my baits. The limit plays on your mind more than it needs to. And with big weights being the exception it shouldn’t worry you.
Day 1, Trelawney, peg 10
This day the 36 were split over two lakes with 18 fishing Twin Oaks and 18 on Trelawney. My peg had a cast of around 25 yards to an island, not an outstanding peg and I was told that I would probably not compete with pegs 14, 16 & 18 that were round the end of the lake, the rest of us in a straight line.
I set up a pellet feeder for the island and then pole lines at 2+2 and margins. I had also been told that shallow at 5m can produce. Despite feeding it regularly while fishing the feeder it didn’t work for me. Had a small F1 after 15 minutes on the feeder but no other bites for a while then spent time trying the pole lines with no luck. Meanwhile the three pegs round the corner were catching regularly. Back on the feeder and I had two fish, F1 and a carp of 5lb.
Stuck with the feeder for a while and picked off the occasional fish with strawberry Band-Um on the hook. But my cast had to be spot on and brush the overhanging vegetation as it landed otherwise I wouldn’t get a bite.
The feeder line went quiet around halfway through the match and I switched to the 2+2 and took a run of fish on meat. This too went quiet and so the last hour or so was spent struggling picking up the odd fish.
There were five weighed in before me, top weight 28lb, I had 43 so was leading the lake until the three better pegs weighed 67, 61 59.
I hadn’t disgraced myself and was fairly happy with fourth in section. At least I had beaten everyone on my bank.
End of day 1 and I was 71st overall and ahead of some much better anglers. Pride comes before a fall. I didn’t check my overall position again until after the last match.
Day 2 Porth, peg 22
Porth is a reservoir a couple of miles from Whiteacres. As a “natural” venue it is dominated by skimmers, bream and roach. Peg 22 is on the car park bank and entails a walk of roughly half a mile. If you draw the pegs on the far side (2 sections on either bank) your gear is loaded on a boat and landed between the two sections.
Having pretty much specialised in commercial carp fishing over recent years I had worried about this lake and how to approach it. I was also concerned about the potential long walk and my ability, given my recent health issues, to get all my gear to my peg. I therefore decided on an out and out feeder approach. Taking just two rods and looking to cast two different lengths, roughly 20 and 40 yards with a Method feeder. Bait would be a couple of kilo of groundbait plus corn and boilies for the hook.
The lake had been won the day before with six bream totalling 38lb. But crucially as it turned out, not from my area.
The lake is quite shallow in the edges but shelves off steeply. I therefore decided to stand in the water as far out as my waders would allow. This was about five yards from the bank. The first two and a half hours produced just a couple of line bites then eventually the tip went round and I was just reaching for the landing net when the 8oz skimmer slipped the hook. Still it looked as if the fish had arrived. twenty minutes later and I landed a small skimmer of about six ounces. The next two fish hooked found a snag around ten metres out and came off. Then landed a skimmer of around 1 1/2lb. The next fish also found the snag but after coming off I hooked the snag which turned out to be a spool of line obviously blown in the water some time ago that had unravelled leaving line across my peg.
Having got rid of the line I had two more small skimmers before the fish moved off and I was biteless for the last hour. Eventually weighed just over three pound for last in section.
Day 3, Bolingey, peg 21
I had heard loads about this lake, how it produced big weights of big fish. It was the one venue I was really looking forward to out of the whole week. The draw bag was not kind to me.
It turned out that 21 never sees the sun. Described by one of the guys weighing in as the coldest peg in Cornwall. While I was wearing three layers to keep warm others in the sun were shirtless.
As a consequence of the resulting cooler water there are few fish in the swim, as I proved. I had a cast to an island bank that was in the sun so it was obvious that this had to be fished. I also set up margin rigs and a 2+1 rig at the foot of the margin slope. Due to the dense and high vegetation just a couple of yards behind me it was impossible to fish a long pole.
Most of the day on the feeder I cast well, unusual for me, and was getting close to the island. But this produced just one F1/carassio all day. I had a few skimmers from the +1 line feeding and fishing meat and a carp from one of the margins on meat over micros. With 90 seconds to go I had an estimated 6lb while I had watched two lads in the sun amass over 100lb. Huge line bite and I reeled in, repacked the feeder and in my haste fluffed the cast and dropped it 15 ft short of the island. Oh well, no time to re-cast so I left it. A minute later and the tip went round and on the whistle I landed a 6lb carp. 13lb 4oz put me probably last in section.
Day 4, Pollawyn, peg 52
Another peg that would see me all day in the shade. This peg is at the end of one of the arms of this lake and again as a consequence sees very few carp. In fact out of over fifty pegs on this lake I would say that only ten are carp pegs and capable of winning the lake. The rest, as I worked out, are silvers pegs with the possibility of the odd carp turning up.
As a consequence of not knowing this lake I had totally the wrong baits. Also knowing my peg produced 9lb the day before didn’t fill me with confidence
Started on a pellet feeder to the end of the island, no tip movement at all which to me signifies no carp in the area. Tried the pole at topkit +2 and had a couple of roach on meat. After a couple of hours sruggling I added two sections to the pole and fed meat closer to the middle of the track. This produced an immediate skimmer and four roach. I later picked off a hybrid of around a pound plus a small skimmer. For the last hour I concentrated on the margin just this side of the next platform at 13m. Foulhooked two carp and didn’t land either. Ended the match with 5lb and last in section.
Day 5 Jenny’s, peg 17
This was supposed to be a flier peg. When I asked a Whiteacres regular how to fish it I was told feeder to the island and meat at 4metres plus a 13m line with pellet.
Regular readers will know that my feeder casting is not the best. Today it would be tested as the cast to the island was at least 40m and to me seemed more like 50. But I impressed myself and regularly landed within what looked like a foot of the bank. This lake is next to Trelawney and so I assumed it would fish the same and casting close to the island would work. It didn’t and all I had was one skimmer and an F1 late on. It was after the match that my neighbour on peg 16 told me I should have been dropping at least a metre short. So much for impressive casting.
The short meat line produced nothing all day. I had also fed the margins and managed to pick up a reasonable skimmer from the left. With two hours to go I saw clouds of silt in the right margin and so threw my all into fishing this line. Despite plenty of indications I only foulhooked one fish.
Ended the day with 6lb of skimmers and the solitary F1. Probably last in section.
Finished the week 8th from last out of the 180 fishing. I know I’m a better angler than that. What with my lack of knowledge of the waters and drawing two of the worst pegs in the festival (Steve Ringer’s words, not mine) I was distraught by the end of Friday’s match.
Having had time to reflect I have decided I would like to return but with a different approach.
What Would I Do Different Next Time?
In other posts on this blog I have spoken about what I think are three fundamentals that you have to get right before you even consider your tackle – location, presentation and feeding/bait. What I got wrong here was mainly bait.
Let’s take each lake in turn and I’ll explain what I would do next time.
I probably wouldn’t change much. Perhaps feed less, certainly improve my casting to the island and stay on that longer before chasing fish on the pole.
One tactic that might get a couple of extra fish on this and other lakes is not to put your keepnets in at the start. Something I had been told of but didn’t do. The angler on peg 16 did. Apparently you look to mug a couple of fish from the margins before they realise that there is a match on, signalled by the keepnets going in. You take a fish from the left, put a net in gently down the edge and fish the right margin for a second fish. Once these have been caught stretch the net out and put in the second.
The important thing to know here is where the big bream have been caught from earlier in the week. That is of course unless you are drawn on it on day 1. If you draw in the right area then it is worth fishing for the bream. if not then you are looking to build a weight with smaller fish. This can be done on the pole or the feeder. Problem with the pole is that there is a large head of pike and they can destroy your pole line, particularly on the opposite, high numbers bank.
On the day I fished it the lake was won with 21lb of smaller fish taken on the cage feeder just past the
pole line with worm ort maggot on the hook.
So if not drawn on the big bream I would adopt this approach, possibly also using caster on the hook. Basically looking for the bigger roach and skimmers than you may catch on the pole. I would take worm & caster to mix in with the groundbait.
Obviously I need to draw better. but then after that there were a couple of things I picked up on. Lake second fished 16m short of the island in full depth and had carp all day for a near 150lb. So that would have to be a line to fish either with pole or feeder. My own experience of my best fish coming to the worst cast seemed to confirm that.
I also noticed that when fishing the bottom of the margin slope, the guy on peg 19 (111lb) ended up fishing two spots at 45 degrees to the bank left & right. He was feeding meat sparingly, just 3-4 cubes at a time and landing some decent sized fish. I think I overfed with 10 cubes at a time. He did his 11lb in a little over 3 hours.
This lake you truly have to know whether you are on a carp or silvers peg and adjust your bait accordingly. Any pegs not on the middle section and you have to go for silvers (roach, skimmers and big perch). I watched Tom Edwards on peg 55 land 66lb of fish on chopped worm and caster from a peg that on the previous day produced just 12lb. He got third on the lake with that. He fished 16m to the island feeding worm & caster and also down the middle cupping in worm and throwing casters over the top.
His weight was helped by a 15lb carp hooked in the margin with ten seconds of the match remaining. He had three other carp but importantly a lot of decent perch.
In future I would have to make sure I took at least 1 pint of caster and a kilo of worm if drawn up one of the arms. If on the main body of the lake then I would have to target the carp with pellet waggler thus some 6 mil pellets and meat for the close line.
Another lake that you can be fooled into thinking you will need a carp catch to do well. In part this is true but you also have to back that up with a decent net of silvers and F1s. This is another lake where I noticed successful anglers only feeding meat close in by throwing one or two cubes at a time over their float. Late on the bigger carp will come into the margins but can be difficult to catch.
Again I would have to have worm & caster with me for the poorer pegs.
Another “mistake” I made was with elastics. My normal attack is by using heavy elastics, minimum 16 solid without a pulla. I have rarely needed anything lighter on most of the venues I fish. I can now see why light hollows and pullas are useful.
When you are targeting silvers for between 50 and 80% of your weight but need to cope with the occasional carp then the pulla set up is ideal.
This is a well run venue, it has to be. But it is not the carp dominated type of venue I am used to. Hence my approach was wrong. If/when I return it will be with lighter elastics and with casters on order, worms in the car from my local shop.
One final word of warning. Regularly tackle is stolen from vehicles, particularly it seems on Friday night. Two vehicles were done in our car park and only a few yards from my lodge. Luckily my gear was in an enclosed van with no access from the passenger compartment. I would suggest not storing gear in vehicles, particularly on the Friday.
Unfortunately the conclusion has to be that it is other anglers who are carrying out these thefts and using their vans to transport the stolen items offsite on the Saturday.
Security on the site is non-existent.
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