Jon Whincup Wins Guru Festival!

Jon Whincup won his first White Acres Festival back in October and ever since he has been counting down the days to get back to Cornwall for the 2016 Spring Festivals here is Jon’s account of an extraordinary week on the Guru Festival.

After a very frustrating Bait-Tech Festival the week before where I had FIVE 2nd’in sections 4 of which were either ounces or just a few Pounds off winning with Andy Geldart winning on 4 wins and a 3rd with a little bit of luck things could’ve been so different! My luck though was just about to change…I can’t start this blog without mentioning my first slice of luck where after our now ritual Saturday afternoon light beverage session I somehow managed to leave my phone in the back of a taxi in Newquay – we all know we can’t live without our phones these days! Only to be reunited with it a few hours later when young Sam Powell who I had been out with recognised it in the same taxi several hours later what are the chances!?

Anyway onto the fishing –

Day One – Bolingey Peg 7- I was obviously happy with this draw as it’s a good peg on the left hand arm a peg I’ve JONactually won the lake off before. The start of the match didn’t exactly go to plan though I tapped in 10 cubes of Bait-Tech Boosted Luncheon Meat on a short pole line and proceeded to foul hook 3 fish only to lose all 3.Steve Sanders next door meanwhile was steadily putting fish in his net. I finally got off the mark when I shipped across to my long bank line at 14m, where I had been pinging 6mm pellets with a 5lber. I had a frustrating couple of hours on this line with foul hookers and fish swirling in the shallow water but only putting odd fish in the net but at least I was catching something. Steve next door was steadily pulling away all the time. I had a couple of fish shallow and on the deck long in front but never really got this line to work. I could keep going back on my bank line after a rest and nick 2 or 3 quick fish but nowhere was ever brilliant. I also had 3 short and a flurry of 5 against the bank in a frantic last hour plus 1 more short literally hooked 1 second before the final whistle but I was convinced I hadn’t done enough. When Steve plonked 105lb 5oz onto the scales I suddenly had a ray of hope this will be close I thought to myself. When my 3 nets registered 105lb 11oz I had only gone and snuck the win with Steve 2nd and understandably gutted I had known that feeling from the week before.

Day 2 – Pollawyn Peg 41 – .Not a very good section peg really as you’re stuck down an arm with a few other pegs whilst 3 or 4 of the other 9 are just on the end of the high bank o well job to do. I started the match at 16m across to the island with an FP700.2 float .16 loaded line to a size 16 1420 hook hoping for an early bonus or two and I was instantly rewarded with an F1 and 2 Carp a very nice start! Now these arm pegs normally go something like nick an early bonus or 2 top up with Silvers then try and sneak a late bonus. The trouble was I couldn’t catch a silver fish anywhere so it was back to the island where to my surprise I could catch an odd F1 or Carp and it was this line I pretty much stayed on till the end. I even had a 9lber on the whistle just like the previous day and it was this fish that won me the section as I weighed 49lb to just beat a couple of other 40s.

Day 3 – Trewaters Peg 45 – I actually really fancied this peg even though pegs 53 and 37 normally dominate The lake I was at the windward end. I kicked the match off on bomb and bread and I didn’t even have time to sink my line when the tip was round and this was followed by a good hour catching about 30lb.The next 2 hours were really slow though and Scott Russell at the next peg had clawed it back catching some proper lumps down the edge. I followed suit and actually had a nice little spell of my own catching 5 nice Carp. I also had 3 at 5m and also an odd fish or 2 back on the bomb I even had my now obligatory fish on the whistle to just nick the section off Scott, although at 2lb it wasn’t actually crucial. My weight of 79lb beat Scott by 4lb.

Day 4 – Trelawney Peg 22 – The fish on all the lakes at white acres really do like following the wind so when I drew this peg my head went down! All the fish had been down at the windward end all week and that wasn’t my end. I said at the start that if I could manage a 3rd or 4th from here then I would be more than happy. I kicked off on the bread again but only caught a small Carp and an F1 in about 45 minutes so it was time for a change. I dropped onto my long pinging line and was instantly rewarded with a 5lber followed by a little run of carp to get to put about 35lb in the net quite quickly when all of a sudden it all went quiet! I experienced a bit of strange activity on my float so it was time to try shallow, slapping my FO2 .3 float on the surface I missed a bite straight away then had one on that managed to do me under my nets, this was followed by 2 more Carp and 3 small F1s and I was just starting to think I might just pull it off when the fish deserted me. I spent the last hour and half trying my short and edge lines, all to no avail and just about catching an odd fish long on the deck. At the final whistle the win was gone as end peg caught all day to win the section with 117lb and I just managed to pinch 2nd with 79lb with 72lb 3rd ‘that’ll do I remember thinking’.

Day 5 – Porth Peg 34 – After the previous days exploits I Had actually taken the lead in the festival by 1 point and it also meant if I could now win my section I couldn’t be beat – No pressure then! I was actually feeling very confident going to Porth as there hadn’t been many bream to worry about and I also have a very good record on the venue. I started the match on a short feeder chuck with Bait-Tech Special G Gold worms and a few pinkies inside to be met with instant bites off small skimmers and Roach but all the while I was itching to get on the pole. I finally tried my short pole line which I fed with 4 balls of Bait-Tech Pro Natural Dark and first drop I caught an 8oz Roach – ‘here we go’ I thought to myself! .The next 10 minutes I only had 1 more fish so it was time to try my longer line. This was better, not solid but at least I could get a few bites mostly Roach with an odd small skimmer or hybrid. I actually never came off this line until the end of the match as I thought if I could just keep ticking over with small Roach and odd netters I should make my way towards double figures a weight that I thought should win the section or even the lake the way it was fishing! By the end of the match I had no idea what had been caught in my section as I hardly ever looked along thinking that an odd missed bite or lost fish could be crucial and I don’t mind admitting that through the match I kept having the odd thought that if I beat 8 anglers I will win the festival but then I would have a word with myself to just concentrate on the float and the job in hand. When the Scales finally got over to our section from the other side of the lake most anglers in my section were admitting to not a lot so when Aidan Mansfield plonked 10lb of feeder caught skimmers onto the scales my heart sank! Had he just cost me winning the festival?

The answer came not long after when I just pipped him with 11lb of mostly Roach which as I pulled them out of the water it looked nowhere near enough I think my emotions were clouding my judgement. Anyway that was it job done with a 4th section win to go with a 2nd I now knew I couldn’t be beat! Having won my first White Acres Festival back in October I didn’t think I would get another one this soon but I’ll take it and hope it’s not the end yet! Congratulations go to everyone in the top ten as that is the main aim of the week really and like I say to actually win you just need a little bit of the “rub” along the way.
Tight Lines

Jon Whincup

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