Tuesday, 25 June 2013

25 June 2013, Canal (White Acres)

Following yesterday’s fortunate sub-section win on Twin Oaks it was soon time for the all important day 2 draw – especially significant today as A section would be split across two very different lakes in Acorn and Canal!!!

Day 2 pre-draw nerves effected many!!!

Whilst I have fished Canal a dozen times previously and had some decent results I’ve also had some real shockers – a last in section 2-1-0 in the 2008 edition of this festival certainly springs to mind!!! (This result was doubly disappointing as it was the first day in my first White Acres festival.)

So whilst I was prepared for a draw on Canal my preference was certainly for Acorn – I’d fished there twice in the previous week and the successful methods (feeder tight to the central island and down the edge later on) suit my style of fishing.

Sub-section pegging

Of course having expressed a preference for Acorn the bag of dreams duly presented me with the chance to spend the day on Canal – peg 14 to be precise!

Canal is a unique lake as the anglers cross a spit to reach a central island and basically fish from the inside out – I tend to think of it as a 16m wide strip bent into a circle. The stocking has changed over the years but currently the lake is full of decent sized F1s with the odd rogue proper carp. Despite normally having the far bank within 16m pole range I’ve had most of my recent successes fishing up in the water at 10 or 11.5m, and as the weather today was pretty warm and sunny that approach formed the basis of my pre-match tactical thinking.

Canal, White Acres

Prior to the draw I’d prepared two very different sets of bait (one for Acorn, another for Canal), but having drawn Canal today’s bait allowance was made-up of the following:
  • 2mm pellets (1 pint)
  • 4mm pellets (2 pints)
  • 6mm pellets (2 pints)
  • Corn (1 pint)
  • Red maggots (live, but bagged so dormant) (1 pint)
  • Worms (approx. 0.5kg)
  • Sonubaits 50:50 groundbait (2kg)
  • Boilies (tub)

The weighting towards 4 and 6mm pellets reflected my intention to fish the long pole shallow – the other bait was only really there if I had to fish the near or far margin as a plan B.

All the gear …

Prior to the start I set myself a target of 50 fish – normally enough for 50-60lb and good section points. Simple – all I had to do know was catch 10 F1s an hour for 5 hours …

The first hour went well and I actually managed to put 11 nice F1s in the net, all taken on the pole shallow at 11.5m at a slight angle to the left – the rig was a very simple combination of a self-cocking KC Carp Slap on 0.15 mainline to a 15cm 0.13 hooklength with a size 18 Kamasan B911 with a hair-rigged pellet band. (Elastic was white Hydro.) The float was generally set at a depth of 18” and there was also an 18” lash – I’ve found this to be the ideal length of line between the pole tip and float when fishing the very fashionable slapping method!

Looking right from peg 14

Despite being within my target of 10 fish an hour at the start of the second hour I could already sense the anglers to my left (Paul Hardman and the legendary Colin Ellaway) pulling ahead of me. At this point I should’ve kept my head down and stuck to feeding 4/6mm pellets and regularly slapping my float onto the surface of the water, but instead I switched to a rig with a spade end hook (for a section of worm) and started feeding a mixture of sloppy groundbait and Perfect Peach Goo at 11.5m slightly to the right.

Now whilst this did have an immediate effect of sorts (on feeding my second drop of bait from my pole pot 2 F1s stuck their heads out of the water right in the middle of the cloud) I basically had only a solitary foul-hooked F1 as a return for 30 minutes fishing!!!

When I finally returned to my senses and started fishing the original line and rig again I managed 13 more F1s in the next 90 minutes, leaving me on 25 after 3 hours (5 behind my pre-match target).

Components of the edge rig

I’d love to be able to say that in the final 2 hours I stuck to my guns, made-up my shortfall and ended-up with exactly 50 fish and a close section win – however it is my duty to report that once again I lost my head and only managed a total of 36 fish!!!

Ultimately my undoing was trying to catch the fish that I could clearly see moving over the groundbait I fed down the edge. Not for the first time I suffered badly with foul-hooked fished and lost a lot of fish in the Canadian pond weed that has started to grown in certain areas of the lake – however the longer I fished down the edge the longer I had to fish down the edge as the stamp there was much better than those I was catching shallow – and was the only was I could pull back a decent section placing.

Unfortunately the scales could only confirm my worst fears – my 41-0-0 only being enough for fourth in sub-section behind Ian Carley’s whopping 102-13-0, Colin Ellaway’s 51-13-0 and Paul Hardman’s 50-0-0. (If I could’ve stuck to my original approach and target I would probably have had enough for second.)

Well and truly battered!!!

Day 2 A section, sub-section winners:
  • Reg Barras, Acorn peg 8, 53-13-0
  • Ian Turner, Acorn peg 15, 59-4-0
  • Rob Frost, Canal peg 10, 59-6-0
  • Ian Carley, Canal peg 20, 102-13-0

Overall top 10 after day 2:
  1. Danny Edwards, 10 points, 124-7-0
  2. Jon Cook, 10 points, 123-2-0
  3. Will Sweeney, 10 points, 121-11-0
  4. Maurice Brown, 10 points, 105-12-0
  5. Bradley Hancock, 10 points, 104-14-0
  6. Rick Broadway, 10 points, 56-11-0
  7. Ian Carley, 9 points, 188-13-0
  8. Robert Judson, 9 points, 123-8-0
  9. Rob Frost, 9 points, 119-8-0
  10. Ian Turner, 9 points, 99-14-0

So after 2 rounds we are left with only six anglers on perfect scores and less than three pounds separating the top 3’s total weight! How many will be able to maintain their perfect record tomorrow? (Interestingly 3 of the top 4 (Jon, Danny and Mo) are all in the same section but have managed to avoid being in the same sub-section so far – will that pattern continue?)

On a personal note I’ve dropped like a stone from 8th to 24th place with 7 points – my only hope now is that I can finish with 2 section wins and 17 points for an outside chance of the eighth and final overall prize.

Until day 3 (Python) …

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