This year’s annual Maver festival held at White Acres, Cornwall proved just as popular as ever with one hundred and seventy seven (177) anglers taking part, including some of the UK’s most talented commercial anglers. The event takes place over five days with anglers fishing in sections of nine divided across Pollawyn, Jenny’s, Trewaters, Twin Oaks, Trelawney, Porth and Bolingey. Anglers compete for section points with their worst score from the week being dropped meaning only four section results count towards their cumulative total.
The 2018 Maver Festival saw England International Bradley Gibbons, former England International Callum Dicks and in-form Northern match ace, Dale Shepherd go head to head for the £3,000 winners purse and the Maver Festival winner’s trophy.
Below, Dale Shepherd reflects on what was a difficult but ultimately successful five days, which saw him amass a perfect score and top this year’s Maver Festival.
Day 1, Twin Oaks, Peg 29
“The opening day of this year’s Maver Festival at White Acres saw me placed on peg 29 on Twin Oaks. I opted to start the match fishing worm over micro pellets short on just a top kit plus one to try and get a good start and put as many fish in the net early on as I could. Whilst fishing my short line, I also primed a long pole line with pellet ready for when my short line stopped producing bites. After an hour fishing short, I’d managed around 30lb of silvers with some F1s before the peg started to fade“.
“At this point in the match, I had a look on my long pole line and was instantly rewarded with more silvers as well as some carp, which accounted for another 40lb or so before I found myself needing to change tactics again to keep the fish coming“.
“For the final third of the match, I opted to go down my edge again with worm, but this time I fed casters over the top. I managed to catch steadily for the remainder of the match down my inside to finish the opening day of the competition with 138lbs, which won my nine (9) peg section as well as the lake overall, so I was off to a great start“.
Day 2, Porth, Peg 16
“The second day of the festival saw me on peg 16 on Porth. Porth can be quite difficult at the best of times and, with conditions on the day not exactly being the best, I thought I was in for a tough day“.
“I decided to keep things simple and opted for just two main lines of attack. These being a short maggot line on the pole, where I was hoping to catch quickly and a longer line with groundbait, which I was hopeful of some better fish from as the day progressed“.
“I found that I needed to keep alternating between these two lines for most of the match to maintain a steady catch rate and ended the match with 13lb of small roach. This was enough to win my section and, much to my surprise, put me in second place overall on the lake – testament to just how hard Porth can be sometimes“!
Day 3, Bolingey, Peg 33
“The midway point of the festival saw me on peg 33 on Bolingey and in with a chance of some proper carp. I decided to start the match short on meat whilst priming a long pole and pellet line ready for when the short line started to die off“.
“I caught well on the short line before going long, which didn’t produce as I’d hoped so, for the final hour or so of the match, I decided to have a look down my edge where I managed a few late on“.
“I managed to end the day with 209lbs, which was enough for my third section win in as many days and also saw me finish second on the lake on the day as well“.
Day 4, Pollawyn, Peg 34
“Day 4 and the penultimate day of this year’s festival. Things were looking good after three days with three section wins out of three. Peg 34 on Pollawyn, or the match lakes as it’s also known, was my home for the day on day four“.
“I started the match on the long pole pinging a few pellets, which produced just two carp before things went quiet. I then switched to the method feeder, but quickly abandoned that with just one more carp coming to the net. During the final throws of the match I tried a short line, which again, produced just one lone carp. I did, however, manage around 15lb of silvers inbetween the quiet spells, which saw me finish the day with 46lbs“.
“This was enough to earn me another section win and finish fourth overall on the lake“.
Day 5, Jenny’s, Peg 5
“Going into the final day, I was top of the leaderboard and needed another section win to guarantee staying there“.
“I drew peg 6 on Jenny’s, which is not a great draw. Again, like the day before, I started on the long pole with pellets before coming short later on in the day with worm and caster. I managed to find both carassio and roach in good enough numbers to end the day with 67lb, which gave me that all important section win“!
“I managed to win the festival overall with five section wins out of five, so I was really pleased with that. In total, I weighed in 474lbs over the week, which was good enough for the £3,000 first place prize, plus I managed an additional £550 in section and lake winnings. The fishing was quite hard to be honest with a lot of chopping and changing needed to keep fish coming to the net. The nights and early mornings were cold, which probably didn’t help, but the main part of each day, apart from day two, was quite sunny“.
“On to the Preston festival now“.
Dale’s latest festival main frame finish brings his total this year to nine (9) top three finishes and marks his third overall festival victory this year. An impressive year by anyone’s standards!