Q&A with Tom Scholey

Article published June 2015

Here Tom Scholey; a regular on the White Acres festival scene and editor of Pole Fishing magazine, talks about his experience of White Acres.

Favourite lake and why?
Definitely Pollawyn. The sport on offer is so varied – you can find yourself fishing for roach, skimmers, carp or F1s on tactics as varied as fishin on a top kit, to long pole shallow, or even on the bomb and waggler! It’s a proper ‘anglers water’, where the person who works out the correct tactic to be doing at the right time, is rewarded. There are some very special fish to be had from the lake too! I personally have had carp to 15lb+, perch to 3lb, bream to 4lb, roach to over 1lb and hybrids to well over 2lb. Awesome fishing!

Q&A with Tom Scholey

Q&A with Tom Scholey

Most memorable fishing experience at White Acres?
Probably qualifying for the £50,000 Maver Match This Final back in 2013. With the match being split over Twin Oaks and Trelawney, most people seemed to think that Twin Oaks would be the lake that produced the winner. Despite their reservations, Fishery Manager, Clint Elliott assured me that peg 15 on Trelawney, where I had drawn, had a decent chance of success.

Action wasn’t hectic, but I did manage to keep picking off the occasional big carp fishing up in the water on hard pellet for the first four and a half hours of the match. The fish must have deciced to switch on half an hour before the end, as for the last 30 minutes, I literally couldn’t get in quick enough, and added six good fish to my tally! I ended up with 132lb, which was enough to win the match and give me a place in the final!

What keeps you coming back to White Acres?
Being a match angler, I love the competitions. There is no other commercial fishery in the country that runs as many well attended, big money events as White Acres.

The fishing is very varied, fair and interesting too – it is no coincidence that certain star names like Des Shipp and Steve Ringer do well so consistently, it is because they have worked out how to win, and are able to do so from most of the pegs in the draw bag. A truly fair match venue.

What would you say to someone thinking about fishing their first festival?
Cover your options. White Acres doesn’t seem to suit anglers who like to go and fish just one or two methods. Prepare well, and set up several different lines and rigs to cater for the different species in each lake. You may not need them, but the number of times I have seen sections won by anglers who have, say, added 20lb of roach to their net by fishing casters for an hour in the middle of the match, is quite considerable.

What piece of equipment or product would you not be without on a trip to White Acres?
My catapult! Whether it be pellets shallow for carp, casters down the edge for F1s, or meat shallow for skimmers White Acres fish seem to luuuurrrvvvv the loosefeed! I always take several catapults of differing strengths to my peg.

Your top tip for fishing at White Acres?
The last fifteen minutes of every match are golden. The bigger carp at White Acres are exceptionally clever fish, and know by the light levels the times of day to feed – which is why they often can be seen colouring up the margins after matches have finished! Often the only time these bigger fish drop their guard is the last few minutes of the match. Be sure to have some ‘riot tackle’ set up, so you can plunder each edge, or your short pole line and land what you hook quickly in these crucial late stages. How your match goes in the closing minutes can often be the difference between winning the section or even the match, and finishing nowhere.

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