Fresh from winning last week’s White Acres Milo Festival, Alan Scotthorne passes on some really useful tips that are sure to help your fishing.
After coming 2nd overall at White Acres a couple of weeks ago I really felt in tune with my fishing. So, when I had the chance to go back and fish the White Acres Milo Festival I jumped at the chance! This time I again scored a maximum 36 points (four section wins) and my dropped result was a 2nd in section, so this time I went one better and was the winner.
To say I was happy was an understatement. Missing out on practice on carp lakes through the summer due to my international commitments, I always feel I am just behind the leading carp match regulars, putting me at a slight disadvantage. To win these festivals you often need things to go for you and I did have the ‘rub of the green’ a couple of times, but still felt I had fished reasonably well throughout the week.
Here are a couple of small adjustments I made during the week that made a big difference to the end result…
On Day Three of the festival I found myself on peg 25 on Trelawney Lake. With a 1st and a 2nd on Bolingey and Pollawyn lakes already under my belt I couldn’t afford any mistakes. For company on peg 23 I was next to Jake Gallagher. He’s an up-and-coming young gun and at just 21 years old he can certainly fish well. He caught from the off by fishing pellets up and down on a long pole, catching mainly carp. At the halfway stage he was miles ahead.
I couldn’t catch on the pole long and apart from a couple of carp on the waggler across to the far bank island I was in big trouble. If I was to win the section I needed to change what I was doing. Skimmers and roach had been spawning in the margins and lots of carp had been moving across, probably eating the spawn, so I decided to start pinging pellets right across at 25 metres, tight to the bank. I sacked off my long pole swim but continued to feed a shorter line at five metres with meat by hand for the latter part of the match.
The swim across was very shallow at just 18 inches deep and casting a 4g Glow Tip Carp Waggler into this shallow water I felt I was spooking the fish as the float landed. After a quick look in my box I found some plastic ‘dive discs’ from a Drennan XL Pellet Waggler. By removing the loaded base from my Glow Tip float I could fit it with a dive disc. The difference was incredible! By feeding nearly a pint of 8mm pellets through the day and fishing a banded 8mm to a size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed hook I caught carp well to the end of the match.
The disc prevented the float from plunging in the water and the small 4g float plopped in like a pellet. I caught the majority of fish as the float hit the water and feel I have missed a trick not trying this before on shallow swims.
I still thought Jake had beaten me, but the scales revealed otherwise and my 108lb 8oz to his 105lb 6oz meant I had clawed back the section win. This lad I am sure will be a star of the future so watch this space.
Skimmers On The Feeder
With another section win the following day and my last match at Porth Reservoir I felt that given a decent draw I was in with a good chance to make the top three overall. On the previous festival I managed to win at Porth from peg 37, so when my draw hand came out with peg 38 I was pretty pleased!
This venue is a large reservoir dominated by roach and skimmers plus a few big bream. I won last time on the feeder but this day was a different ball game and I knew with the warmer conditions at some stage I was going to have to catch on the pole to win the section.
Again, I started the match fishing for skimmers on the feeder. It is important to have a good sinking reel line for this and I use 4lb Feeder & Method Mono. Just as important is the weight on the feeder; it must be sufficient to help sink the line quickly in the deep water. A small green Drennan Groundbait Feeder taking 20 grams makes sinking the line easy. This is a must when most of my bites from the small skimmers came on the drop using a long hooklength of 0.12mm Supplex Fluorocarbon. I am sure a lot of anglers get this slightly wrong and can end up sitting and waiting for bites.
While most struggled around me I fished just chopped worms and groundbait (Sensas IM8 with a bit of extra fishmeal) through the feeder with a couple of pieces of redworm on the hook to catch 40 skimmers in the first two hours. This gave me an important lead in the section.
As expected, I also caught on the long pole in the last two hours and my 22lb once again won the lake, topping off a great week’s fishing, plus my third White Acres festival win that I am very pleased with.
Thanks must go out to White Acres and also Milo for sponsoring this event. I am already looking forward to my next trip to Cornwall.