Paul Carnwell’s Preston Festival Blog

I was really looking forward to White Acres this year, I’ve been very lucky the last couple of years in this Preston Festival/Parkdean Masters getting through to the 25k final, finished 10th 2015, 2016 finished 12th this gives you a pass to the following years Festival, not having to qualify in any of the spring festivals which is always pressure off come the Autumn!

Here we go Bolingey first day great chance of a good days fishing love this venue it has been very kind to me last year off peg 14 with 238lb a day like that makes the long drive worthwhile! Peg 29 stuck to my hand this time, with 36/38 in my section the other end of the lake I was targeting 2nd or third. Rigs set up edge 0.20 and 0.16 with a lighter blue Garbolino elastic set up as best let the big lads turn round with the softer elastic rather than bolting out with heavier gear! Pellet rigs were set up for long and short 0.14 for up and down. This was a new start for me on Bolingey using the V2 Test Glug dropping in a few grains of gluged up corn I could not believe what happened next a swirl after a couple of minutes next thing elastic  pouring out of the pole great start I thought 3 fish for 16lb first hour kept me in the race, 36 had 25lb. The last three hours flew by unreal fishing and my 4 nets weighed in 205lb for a section win, once the fish turned up they never! Great start!

Day 2 Pollawyn this has been a water that the draw selects your target fish be it roach/perch skimmers, or if your luck is in carp, 48 stuck to my hand and my heart sunk, 8lb off it the day before, your in with a few better carp pegs, getting to my peg up the arm I set up some silver fish rigs for mid match tied up to 0.10/12. Two edge rigs 10 inch shallower to my right at about 2.6ft this is where I fancied a bonus fish coming from very late. Last rig was
corn rig for across finding the shallowest part of my swim and my starting line 0.14 in 18 inches of water no bites for 45mins dropping in a few holes float shot under, roach, oh dear! Back across, next bite carp on before I had a chance it had shot back under the undergrowth 2mins later it has done me gutted. One more go a chub then down to the silvers well hard was an understatement desperate  fed my left edge with pinkies hopefully catching few bonus big perch not a bite. Match flown by for the wrong reasons and its now last hour and I have about 5lb in net, I fed my edge with corn glugged in the V2 again and my float shot under which I missed missed next bite I connected with a carp knees shaking as I played  it to the net about 16lb, how pleased I was to see this bruiser in my net I couldn’t tell you! Two smaller fish followed giving me 29lb and 2nd in the section game on!

Day 3 Twin Oaks 31 quite pleased with that until Andy Bennett told me that we are at the wrong end of the section no carp just f1’s here, my target was 70lb setting up caster rigs for the edges from 2.6 to 4ft depth feeding this with a few worms soil and caster, half heartedly I set a few shallow rigs from 1st to 4ft. Also the method rod was set up with hybrid feeder 24g. Nothing on this not a liner first 30 mins, Andy had 1 carp, time for short pole plenty of perch 2 f1’s it just felt to slow and long made the decision to go casters shallow with only 2 1/2 pints of casters not a blasting match 18 inches deep with the new Garbolino grey short top kits set up I had an F1 first put then a bream 5lb this was nearly the biggest fish of the day, plodding along all day with a Hemp Oiled up pellet 4mm the best hook bait by far (looks like a caster with the oil seeping out) I ended the day with 3 small carp 30 f1’s hoping for 85lb this would be 3/4 to my surprise I weighed 100lb which was 2nd in the section result which left me 4th overall in the festival. This was going well!

Day 4 working out that I need a 4th in section from the next 2 days to make the final you needed to draw Trewaters to win the match however, stuck to my hand was 15 acorn what a draw love this little pool! Tip rod and waggler rods setup this is the widest part of the lake nothing moving which was worrying, setting up long pole for pellets up and down same as Bolingey, and my short rigs dia 0.16. Starting off nobody on the lake caught for an hour, we had slight relief as a hunt was going on an a few hounds got lost on our lake, big daft dogs everywhere! One bite on the tip 5lb, nothing on the waggler feeding pellets very gingerly, short pole corn this started to produce a few signs fish coming in and out but not really feeding picking up odd f1’s, fishing a very nervy match got broke stepping up got no more bites so back down few more fish but lost a few match flew by thought I had around  50lb so when the scales came around the best weight was 43lb mine went 53lb lake win! Done it pressure off 34 points 2nd overall in the festival with a day to go.

Day 5 Porth I was looking forward to a good day roach fishing, 33 stuck to my hand funny section this best pegs seem to be in the middle, although 40 can throw up winning weights it was going to be a case of head down fishing for skimmers on the tip, until fish move on to the pole line 5 rigs set up with 3s elastic floats .2g to 1.5g dia 0.08 depth rig 6 elastic  0.10. Starting on the tip at 32 turns oh dear nothing 38 turns a roach not what I needed, unclipped a bit further out first skimmer after 1 hour here we go… but it only produced three skimmers, I could hear 15 and 18 skimmers further up, panic setting in and I just couldn’t catch skimmers, I ended up catching roach very late on pole over some Pro Natural Dark but the day was a blow out finishing 5th with less than 8lb long slow walk back!

It wasn’t all bad though as I had finished 7th in the Festival and qualified for the following days £25,000 Final. Great festival well done to Andy Geldart, and our very own Tony Curd!

Now to the final drawing in 7th place 15 stuck to my hand! Set a plan probably the worst of the week but fishing to win only pole at 13/14.5mtr fish where here and more fish showing in front of 16 so great chance best yet 6x deck  rigs set up pellet, worms, corn and a shallow rig not that deep and quite silty. My tip chuck looked great end of the island setting up a hybrid feeder and a lead rig if they drifted off the point, well plan set… now I very quickly found out rods would not work, for me anyway! Kevin next to me was connected to a few lumps really big fish fishing paste, oh dear! I had a couple of carp and a few f1’s and a tench for 20lb Kevin Wadge had 50lb 1st hour losing a few 30lb second hour lost a few again we thought he had just lost the match but the scales revealed he had done it, massive well done to Kevin! Got it right on the day!

Already looking forward to next year!

Tight Lines

Paul Carnwell

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