Tony Curd at the Milo Festival

Every spring I make the trip from London to Cornwall to fish the brilliant festivals at White Acres, these festivals attract the highest quality anglers that the country has to offer so doing well is always a big ask!

I’d been down the week previous to the Milo Festival competing in the Dynamite, all going well and 8th place on the 3rd day until a couple of Cornwall’s finest duff pegs reared their ugly heads to ruin my week, it was still enough to qualify for the Parkdean Festival in October but disappointing all the same so obviously I would be hoping for more on the Milo week.

Day 1 – Pollawyn
Continuing from last week, the rain poured as I set up on peg 27 on the high bank, I was pleased to draw this peg but I’d drawn it in a match this qualifier on the Saturday and really struggled! That said it was a different day with the wind in a different direction and it was looking quite good.

I set up a method feeder to fish to the point, with micros and Special G Gold around the feeder with an 8mm method boilie red on the hook. A bomb rod and waggler to fish three quarters of the way across over catapulted 8mms and a 14 and 5m pole line where I’d look to fish Boosted Meat in 6 and 8mm sizes.

The match couldn’t have gone better really, I started on the method and only a couple of small skimmers showed, going out on the waggler set 4ft deep with 8mm pellet feeding 2 or 3 of the same every cast I managed to catch carp and the odd F1 regularly throughout the match, with Bait-Tech’s own Jon Whincup next door I had some stiff opposition but a strong start saw me through and a match win with 120lb was a brilliant start to my week!

Day 2 – Trelawney
Peg 29 appeared from the draw bag this time, I’d fished the lake on the Dynamite and struggled until later in the day I felt this peg gave me more options than my previous match though, with this is mind I based my attack around 4 pole lines after a brief start on the method feeder which didn’t produce!

Going out to 14m with a 6mm Xpand pellet over 6mm Premium feed pellets I managed to catch F1s and a couple of carp in the first hour, but a long way behind Alan Scotthorne in the section and the end peg was producing so I needed to make something happen to keep in the top 3 in section. I caught some more carp by fishing shallow at 16m but knew I needed to catch either in the edge or at 5m.

In the last hour and half I potted in 3 big pots of Special G Green down the edge and tried it shortly after but nothing appeared so a pinned my faith in the 5m line with Boosted meat, feeding 6mm and fishing an 8mm cube on the hook I managed to catch 4 big carp in the last 45mins to get me a section 2nd with 78lb which also got me 3rd in the match, beaten by the end peg in the section which had 92lb.

Day 3 – Canal
I must admit to not being very happy about drawing on Canal as my record on here isn’t the best but I was doing well in the festival so it was time to dig in and get the best from it.

Peg 4 was my location for the day, a peg that had struggled every day so far so things were looking grim. I set up to fish several areas of my swim, mainly 4m on two lines, a 6m line shallow and deep and right across to some reeds, but being very weedy it was going to be a real scrap if I hooked any bonus fish! Starting short feeding 4mms fishing 4 and 6mm Xpand pellets on the hook I had a steady start but the swims didn’t last, I’d been throwing some 6mm Premium pellets at 6m, and went out over this with my shallow rig constantly slapping it in, I caught 30 fish in the next hour, great stuff!

Unfortunately it started to die and following the fish out only produced a few more so I fed some micros dusted in Special G Green across to the reeds and went straight over, with an expander on the hook, this worked well and I caught until the end of the match Including 9 small carp. My 80 fish weighed 87lb 2oz good enough for 2nd again which was a great result from a below par peg. Alan Scotthorne showed why he is a 5x World Champ and took the section with 96lb.

Day 4 – Porth
Going into the match 3rd overall I was keen to carry on producing good results, or avoid any disasters with regard to a dropped result. I was to be on peg 19 today and the fishing had been really hard to say the least so putting fish in the net regularly would be key to doing well today. I had 3 kilos of Groundbait mixed for the pole and feeder, 2 kilos of Omen and a bag of Mantra mixed in to make the mix sticker as the venue is deep.

Two pole rigs for fishing at 13m were set up a 1g and a 2g and a .4g for fishing at 5m with maggots. I started out on the feeder and one small skimmer after 30 mins was enough of that! The short pole line produced a few small fish but it soon became apparent that it was going to be a very hard day, probably the hardest day I’ve ever had there too! The long pole threw up a few fish but nothing was regular enough to settle on, a few anglers had caught big perch and I needed a couple to catch them up for decent points so I roughly chopped a few worms and put them on the long line with a piece on the hook, luckily two showed up for me the best about a pound in the last 15mins which took me up to 4lb 6oz for 4th in the section which was won by Bait-Tech’s Jon Whincup with 10lb of roach on the short pole. I needed a win on day 5 for a Top 10 finish in the overall money!

Day 5 – Bolingey
I was really hoping for a nice easy draw on the last day when it really mattered so when Peg 22 stuck to my hand I wasn’t too pleased, under normal circumstances the peg can be good but the weather has really taken its toll on the lake and its fishing difficult, making the best pegs even better so I’d need to be on the ball and make good decisions to win from here today! Starting out on the method feeder with a white boilie, nothing happened after 40 mins which was a bit concerning as others had opened their account on the good pegs.

I put the feeder down and tried my 5m line with a 6mm expander on the hook which can be a good way to get a few early fish. I hooked a fish after a couple of mins and although foul hooked managed to get it right to the net before it came off, the air went blue! I honestly thought my chance had gone, as these moments do come back to haunt you in festivals.

Two hours in and I’ve not had any other bites, going out to 16m on the deck with a 6mm Xpand pellet on the hook I caught an F1, shipped out again and missed 3 bites on the trot, with this I picked up my shallow rig and banded an 8mm prem pellet and by slapping the rig in I had a 7lb carp straight away followed by a 10lber things were getting interesting, by just slapping the rig and feeding a few 6mm pellets I caught 20 big F1s for around 45lb and 5 carp before the rain ruined the shallow line, I’d been feeding 6mm Boosted Meat at 5m and came in on this line for the last hour with 8mm meat on the hook adding another 3 carp.

My final weight of 98lb 8oz was enough for the section win I needed just ahead of Bait-Tech’s Jason Le Bosquet who fished a great match on an off form bridge peg. This gave me 34 points dropping 6 points which was a great score, but being such a high scoring festival I wasn’t sure if I’d make the top 10.

Luckily I did and 9th place was where I ended up which was a good end to a great couple of weeks fishing, let’s hope the weather is nicer in October!

Tight Lines

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