White Acres Guru Festival 2024

Just had a really nice week down at White Acres on the Guru Festival… apart from the rather fresh and bloody windy weather!

I usually draw a bit rubbish on Day One so was over the moon to finally get a flyer in the shape of peg 17 on Twin Oaks. The right end of the lake and slightly more fishable than all the pegs to my left in the 40mph gusts. I’ve had an epic day catching 210lb to blitz the lake and the biggest weight of the week. 

About 90lb on the method feeder with maggots and Bandum wafters, two on meat short and the rest down the edge on maggots over micros and Match Method Mix. Had some right hippos up to about 18lb! Lovely getting the Horizon Pro 10ft Feeder bent double and 18-20 Slik stretching. Even if I did rubbish the rest of the week I’d got this match to remember… 

Day Two I was on a very very windy Trelawney peg 31 and it’s fished a bit rubbish. After two hours I’d got 2lb in the net! Could just about hold 13m at times and had five little fish here on 4mm pellet but wasn’t going anywhere. The wind was hitting the far bank horribly so I wasn’t surprised my tip never trembled, but it changed slightly mid match and I suddenly had an 8lb carp and three nice f1s in as many casts on a little feeder and dead maggot over there. As soon as they came they sadly vanished and new swims yielded nothing. 

Nothing came down the edges and my caster shallow line which I fed all day at 10m produced just roach. Last hour I’ve had a few carp and F1s on meat short. 

Ended up with 47lb which was only good enough for 3rd in section as peg 2 and peg 5, on the opposite bank, had 55lb and a lake winning 80lb. So that would have to be my dropper… 

Day Three and a lovely short walk from my lakeside lodge to end peg 1 on Jennys! My target weight was 80lb and I’ve had a dream start catching 40lb in the first hour on the method, chucking up the bank! 

After that the fish have totally vanished. Can’t believe it! Regularly potting meat short I’ve only caught skimmers. Started to feed corn with it as it was towing like the Trent. Even double corn down the side produced more skimmers. Was going nowhere so swapped to paste and had 25lb of small carp and F1s on that. 

Ended up with 75lb for 2nd in section behind Sam Powell’s 99lb off peg 7. Great effort from a great angler on what seemed to be the boss area in that section all week, so not sure I could’ve done much more. 

Day Four was the dreaded Python which had been fishing poor and felt there was six pegs worth drawing: end pegs 2, 18, 20 and 36, plus maybe 3 or 35 as all the fish seemed to be up that end. I was therefore gutted to draw Peg 21… but the weather was tonnes better and gave me a glimmer of hope…

I went from wearing extra layers and my Sherpa fleece the last three days to fishing in a T-shirt and popping the factor 50 sun cream on! 

Before the start I could see fish cruising around making the most of the rare Cornish sunshine and no wind, so kicked off mugging. After 90 minutes I’d got about nine carp for 25lb for a great start as just 40lb was the optimistic target! 

I’ve then just fished meat to the island all day for a lovely days fishing, ending up with 77lb, comfortably winning my end of the lake and 3rd overall on the day. Great day. Definitely wasn’t expecting that! Just shows anything can happen on these festivals. 

Day Five I was desperately in need of a section win and a good draw, so was a bit deflated to have peg 42 on Pollawyn drawn for me. On paper I felt it was the worst of the four end pegs in that section, up against pegs 36, 7 and boss peg 48, which had won the match the previous day. It’s also 20m wide while pegs 7 and 48 can comfortably get across. 

Kicked off long 16m with meat and had seven carp in seven drops, but only 2-3lb in weight as they were tiny. Next drop a 4lb carp on the drop and that was the last fish I had here. One 1lb carp on the feeder, then hooked and lost four F1s long down the side tapping in meat. Not ideal! Mugged two 5lb carp that drifted by and finally had a run of small carp and F1s tighter in to the bank on worms over Match Method Mix. Pricked another mugger and lost another carp that threw the hook in the lilies to my right. Last 10 minutes the edge went totally dead, but I managed a last-gasp 5lb carp short. 

Never felt things went my way at all today and my head dropped as I only thought I’d got about 38lb in my net. So when I lifted my one keepnet out and realised they’d gone 56lb on the scales I was shocked and gutted in equal measure. Peg 48 won the section with 68lb and I’d actually had more than enough on the hook to have won the section, but alas it wasn’t to be. I’ve come 2nd in section and 4th on the lake. A good effort on a hard day, but I’d let myself down on not getting a section win that was well within grasp. 

So I’ve ended up with two 1sts, two 2nds and a 3rd, plus a lake 1st, 3rd and 4th. That put me on 22 points and 13th overall out of 116 anglers. If I’d won my section on the last day I’d have only moved up to 9th overall as you needed 23 points to make the top 10, which is pretty remarkable. Fun fact, if it was on total weight I’d have won the festival ha ha… but points is the truer mark of consistency of course.

A massive well done to Brad Hancock winning with five straight section wins and I think four lake wins. A very worthy champ with that effort. And of course Guru for sponsoring the festival and the White Acres team for putting on a great week. Felt more like winter than spring most of the week, but I’ve got home to a rather long lawn that might need mowing soonish. Having a well-deserved weekend off. Have a good one y’all! 

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1 Response

  1. Stephen pyner says:

    Despite all your hard work Jon sorry to read that you missed out on even getting into the top ten by the end of the festival.????