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White Acres Day One

Editor Jon Arthur's first day of competition in the White Acres Garbolino Winter Festival 2011.

Day One – Pollawyn/Sycamore

Peg 19 on Pollawyn was my destination on Monday. These are on the 'points' and with three anglers on each you almost have to share pole rollers! It was an ok draw but I was a bit concerned that peg 20 would give me a sore neck as that peg has a sunken bar and I found out the day before that theres a massive ball of F1s on it. If he could get them lined up on there it'd be game over as I didn't think they'd budge. I also knew that peg 21 and 24 normally throw up big weights of perch down the edge on Day One before they back off the rest of the week. My peg was still fancied though and I was told there was a chance of skimmers and barbel on it.

I ended up having a reasonable match catching mostly barbel averaging 1lb at 14.5 metres fished left and right with a few skimmers on groundbait in between. Barbel tend to be particle feeders rather than groundbait lovers but it was tough working out the feed. They never responded that well to big pots of hemp, maggots and casters and my idea of fishing tiny cubes of meat didn't really work. If I fed too little however I got roached out. Two live reds also attracted roach so I settled on double dead red maggot or double caster. The right elastic was also tricky as a No6 was perfect for the skimmers etc but not ideal for the barbel, even with a puller kit. I settled on 9 Hollo instead but did pull out of a few skimmers.

I only hooked one big carp all day and had a busy session catching all manner of species but mostly barbel for a fairly satisfying 33lb 10oz. Peg 20 weighed in less than 20lb while Andy Dare on 21 had an all-perch 31lb. The only angler to beat me was England ace Steve Hemingray on Peg 22 on the other 'point' who had a mix of roach, big perch and skimmers for 39lb. I picked up £40 for my efforts and more importantly had a decent start for section points. Even more importantly I won the first lodge sweep, so a couple of shiny £1 coins also came my way. Let's hope Day Two is just as profitable!

Jon Arthur

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