White Acres Frenzee Festival
Just had a nice week down at White Acres for the Frenzee Festival. Great weather other than strong winds for a couple of days, but high pressure and surprisingly clear water meant the fishing was tricky and the better fish definitely followed the wind or spooked into the gaps. Although I had my fishing head on I was also down with the family, so just trying to have an enjoyable time as much as anything.
Day 1 I was on peg 16 on Bolingey. Possibly the weirdest section I’ve ever drawn with Richie Hull on peg 19 on my lake, the angler in between us not in our section, and then four anglers on a different lake with a big gap in the middle! I couldn’t actually see any other anglers in my section, so just got my head down.
Had a nice day catching a few short on pellet early, then a few on a short feeder chuck to the point and then some nice fish down the edge on pellets. They weren’t coming in numbers, so I had to wait for bites but they were decent fish. I weighed 138lb for a great day’s fishing and the 6th best weight on the day, but sadly only good enough for 3rd in section. Richie had a massive 192lb all on the feeder and Nigel Rhodes on 25 had 197lb to win the match. I just pipped Andy Leathers on end peg 28 but don’t think I could’ve caught 200lb from my peg on the day, so a section 3rd was all I could realistically muster.
Day 2 and peg 18 on Pollawyn. This is a pretty fair section with us all in a line on the High Bank. I caught 47lb for another 6th on the lake and 2nd in section behind Richie who fished a great feeder match on peg 26 for 70lb. I caught half on a little method feeder tight to the island and half on the bomb 3/4 across. Never saw anyone catch on the pole, but not surprised with the wind being so strong. The gusts of wind were so scary that I packed my pole away with an hour to go! Lots of stockies, plus one old mirror, so a really busy and enjoyable match. I fished pretty well, but Richie fished better!
Day 3 I was on peg 33 on Twin Oaks, which is a peg I don’t particularly like. Needed a section win but that seemed unlikely with Andy Leathers on end peg 36 with the wind blowing that way. I’ve never seen this lake switch off so much. The opposite end struggled to break 10lb and it wasn’t much better down our windward end. Really clear water and high pressure saw the F1s zip their mouths up.
Andy, as expected, won the lake with 53lb. I was doing ok til the last hour but then got totally tatered! Andy Lloyd to my left had a great last hour on the bomb and meat to catch 36lb of carp. Richie Hull had a blistering run of big F1s in the last 20 minutes to rocket his weight up to 49lb! I limped to 4th with 26lb. Not the best of days for me!
Day 4 and Trelawney peg 22 was my destination. No wind and red hot, so loads of fish were on top sulking in the corners, especially between end pegs 19 and 20 where Callum Dicks would be hard to beat. Steve Waters also had loads of room on peg 16, as peg 14 had not been drawn. He fished a blinder down the edge to win the lake with 121lb and Callum was 2nd with 101lb with peg 20 having 59lb.
I felt I fished a half tidy match to catch 48lb for another section 4th. Definitely could have scored another point but no way in the world anyone was going to catch 100lb on the day without a long margin, so again not a lot else I could do. I caught best on a little groundbait method to the island and a few short down the side on maggots. Also managed to mug six ‘blondie F1s’ which I was quite proud of as they’re tricky little critters and lovely to catch.
By far my best achievement on the day, however, was catching two fish on one feeder! After a slow, pondering fight I slid the net under a 2lb F1, properly hooked, and inches from that was a 1lb+ skimmer that I had somehow lassoed!?!?
Day 5 I finally drew a good peg in the shape of Python 36, although by now my enthusiasm had waned a bit. This is a nice looking corner swim and even with the wind hacking down the opposite end holds a few fish. I had 38lb for 2nd in section with Nigel directly opposite on peg 2 having 40lb, so close but no cigar. Finally managed to beat Richie in my section though!
Loads of bites from four-to-the-pound carp and carassio with very few better ones. I caught on meat down the middle, maggots down the side, three chunkier fish on maggot across and lots of tiny carp on casters shallow 15-16m down the snaggy reeds. Busy day, lots of bites but a bit of a nursery peg in hindsight. The fish were noticeably bigger in the section down the other end of the lake with four 60lb weights.
So that was the end of my festival. I’d had plenty of bites all week, caught 295lb, but very disappointing pointswise, ending 47th out of 115. You get festivals like that sometimes but still come away having a learnt plenty. A very well done to Adam Richards on winning the festival, plus Brad Hancock and Doug Wright on 2nd and 3rd. Four-hour journey back, then two hours to Weston Pools the next day for the first Fishomania qualifier, which I’ll report back on soon!