"One of my best runs of form ever!" Andy Bennett's Blog!

Last week saw Tackle Guru’s Andy Bennett enjoy one of the most successful runs of angling he’s ever had. He first obliterated the Maver Match This qualifier at Westwood Lakes on the Saturday with 235lb!

Staying at Westwood for the following week to fish the festival resulted in more good fortune for Andy, as he went on the smash the Daiwa Spring Classic Festival with three perfect section wins in three days, and an astonishing weight of 775lb.

Here’s a blog written by the man himself – over to you Andy!

“Well what a week I’ve just had at the wonderful Westwood Lakes for the Daiwa Spring Classic Festival. I was lucky enough to win this event last year and was keen to do well again. I’ve not fished here much at all, maybe nine matches in total, but it’s been a really lucky venue for me.

“As I said I managed to win the festival last year and also won the bonus ball on the open before the festival. This year there was no open though as the Match This Qualifier took place on the Sunday before the festival started, so I booked myself on that, after I recently just missed out by 3lb on qualifying for the Golden Reel Final worth 50k there…ouch!

“I drew peg 30 on Skylark on the Match This and this was the same peg Paul Holland drew when we went up for the Golden Reel qualifier. That day Falcon Lake dominated the top three places but Paul managed to win his lake comfortably that day with 167lb and we had a good chat on the way back about how he would of approached it if he went back. Once I’d drawn I give him a quick ring and he told me where he caught in the edges. I started the match across and had six quick fish but they were a smaller stamp than the edge fish being caught around me so after half an hour I decided to look in the edge.

“I slowly but surely picked them off, bigger fish too instead of 2-3lb across they were 3-6lb in the edges and I caught steady all day. I didn't expect to win for one minute as I expected big weights from Falcon and there was also a 210lb from Skylark already weighed. I pulled my first net out and it went 80lb, before the second net went 75lb. I must have miss-judged my nets I thought until I lifted it up and it was heavy. Another 80lb and I finished with 235lb which was enough to win the match and qualify for a crack at the 70k Maver Match This Final!

“I was over the moon after two near misses in both Fish ‘O’ Mania and Golden Reel qualifiers both within the last four weeks, plus runner-up spot at White Acres in the Guru Festival! I was starting to think my luck was out. This was the start of some good luck though and I had a brilliant week managing to win the festival the following week again for the 2nd time too!”

Day 1 - Skylark Peg 23

“This was one off the end peg and the wind was going down our end of the lake too so I really fancied it for a few. Soon as I plumbed up I really began to fancy it more as it plumbed up, with a perfect 12-inch deep touching the bank across. I fished here all day with pellets, feeding micros and fishing a 4mm expander to finish with around 80 fish for 217lb and a section and lake win so a great start.”

If you could find 12-inches of water tight to the far bank, you were onto a winner!

Andy used a cut-down Super LWG Banded Ready Rig, three inches long!

Day 2 – Falcon Peg 27

“This lake is stuffed with small carp and F1s but there is a lot of end pegs with big gaps which makes it a bit peggy. There can be four to five people in a line and three to four spare pegs, not ideal unless you draw one as I would much rather see it pegged with even space but luckily today I drew myself one of them and soon as I got there I was confident of a big weight. Shallow fishing with pellets is the best way to catch a big weight and other than a few edge fish in-between that is what I fished for most of the day, catching around 350-400 fish for 293lb for another section and lake win.”

Day 3 - Osprey Peg 9

“This was a split section between Osprey and Hawk. I was hoping for anywhere on Osprey as end pegs really dominated Hawk, and luckily I drew Osprey. Not an end peg, but in fact smack in the middle of the section. However, there’s so many fish in these lakes everyone had bites to work with. I had a mega start to the match catching two to three fish a minute at times for the first two hours catching probably around 240 fish for 200lb. I was on for a massive weight, then just like that the lake switched off. Incredible really, the only thing I can put it down too is the fish get full. They feed so aggressively to start that you must either thin out the fish or they just get full up and it slows up. I still picked fish off the last three hours but it was very slow by the first two hours standard. I managed around another 60 fish to finish with around 300 fish 265lb which was enough to win the section and match overall to cap a brilliant weeks fishing.

“I ended the week with three wins and a weight of 774lb which is nearly 258lb per day average, that's pretty good fishing considering the fish average around 1lb. The fishing was quite simple in terms of bait, and all I used was 2mm and 4mm fishery pellets for feed and some expanders and hard pellets for the hook.

“Gear wise again it dead simple. For shallow fishing I use a little 0.1g F1 Shalla float or a tiny dibber for when fishing six-inches deep, and RW Muddies for all my across and edge fishing. All these with tied up on 0.17mm N-Gauge to three-inch hooklentghs which were the new ready tied SLWGs in 0.13mm to a 16 hook. All I do with these is chop them down from six inch to three inch and pop them straight into a small Rig Case. It’s important to have robust durable gear when catching so many fish and making sure your set up is spot on.

“Elastic wise I used orange or white hydro through a short kit. This means you have the perfect amount of elastic through the kit to help land fish easier as they come up closer within netting range. It’s all simple stuff but being efficient is the most important part when catching big weights, it’s not about rushing. Lastly a big thanks to Alan and his team at Westwood for their hospitality as always, and to Daiwa for supporting the event again donating some great tackle vouchers for all of the top ten. I can’t wait to get back in November now for the Autumn classic!”

Five hours fishing, 400 fish!

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