Lanes Guru Mainline Festival

Saturday off today after competing on the five-day Guru, Mainline and Lanes Tackle Festival excellently ran by Wayne Sharman and Simon Jones and held across three top Midlands fisheries; Meadowlands, Packington and Barston. Was really looking forward to this as it’s spread across three good venues, with good match times, lots of time to set up and faultless pegging and organisation.

Sadly I suffered a very poor Day 1 at Barston on 18 with a few things not right and only managed seven carp and a few incidentals for 70lb, only beating two in the section. Should have just slapped a pellet shallow from start to finish, but I’m not fit enough to do that for five hours at the moment…

Day 2 I was at Meadowlands on peg 61 on the shallows, still suffering from the previous day but had a decent match catching 12 or 13 carp for 126lb. That was enough for 3rd in section, beaten by the two end pegs, 51 and 65. I had three down the edge, one short and the rest shallow. Hot and sunny day so the fish wanted to be up and sunbathing most of the day and I didn’t hear of many people catching on the rods.

I felt considerably better on Day 3 at Little Gearys, but the fishing was mega hard up our end of the lake. I was on peg 21 on a scorching hot day with no ripple and no shade other than the two little holes I’d made down each margin. That was the only place I caught as I weighed 54lb, mostly on worms and casters, which beat the two anglers either side but not many others. Meanwhile, down the other end of the lake, the anglers sat between pegs 3 and 8 shared 700lb of F1s!

Warren Pool at Meadowlands was the destination for Day 4. Really like this lake, but it had been fishing below par after spawning with surprisingly low weights. I drew peg 36 in the near corner which had not been great so far but still fancied it for decent points. Loads of muggers about as I tackled up, so I was ultra stealthy and praying they’d stay there. As I feared, by the time the match started they had all but vanished and any that drifted by were having none of it after four days of being bothered by match anglers! I eventually managed two for 10lb, a few skimmers and one carp shallow on meat, but the bulk of my fish were on the feeder chucked into the corner. I was quite happy with my 62lb, which was 2nd in section and 3rd on the lake.

Fifth and final day I was back on Lambsdown on peg 25. The carp had followed the wind down to the low number section 1-15 which had been throwing up terrific 200lb+ weights. My 17-31 section had been much tougher, so I felt we were all just fishing for a section prize. I never even got the rods out and chose to fish for silvers for four hours and carp the last hour. I must thank Lee Taylor for a bit of info that helped make my mind up. It worked a treat as I managed 35lb of small skimmers, mostly on worm and caster shallow, plus four big warriors late for 51lb. My 86lb total gave me a hard-earned section envelope to end on a high.

I ended up with a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th for 26 points with 27 points making the Top 10 prize list, but there was a lot of us on 26 points in what turned out to be a really tight chasing pack. A great week with some fantastic weights and all three venues were in great form considering the tricky conditions.

Well done to all the framers, especially the top three; Adam Richards, Lee Farmer and Phil Canning, who put in exceptional performances. A huge thanks to Wayne Sharman, Simon Jones and his wife, plus the three fisheries and Lanes Tackle, Mainline and Guru for sponsoring such a terrific festival. This is how it should be done!

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