Winter league 2018 ,Bradshaws fishery lake three

Today was the first round of my winter league at Bradshaw’s fishery and old hough but with a few thing’s going on at home I really wasn’t in the right frame of mind, but I forced myself to go because the longer you put thing’s of the harder they become.

My day didn’t start that well because I was late up so no time for breakfast, on arrival at Bradshaw’s I made my way round to lake five and had a quick look at the pegs in the draw because I hadn’t seen this lake before.

At the draw I pulled out peg 22 which I got told was ok but I was up against the better pegs on the split , yet again my expanders had split and as this was my main bait it was going to be a long arse day but it was my fault because I knew they were dodgy.

Started my match by picking the decent expanders out of the mush and tapping in micros at 6m, I began catching the odd f1 and skimmer but the bait just wasn’t right as I kept missing bites plus constantly shipping in and out when the hook bait fell off.

After an hour I put in a new swim at 8m towards my right and this time used banded 4mm pellets but I knew it wouldn’t be right for the small f1’s, unsurprisingly I was struggling to connect with the indicators and after a couple of hours I was on the verge of packing up and going home.

I decided to fish my long 16m swim towards the reed’s and I began tapping in 4mm pellets with a hard 4mm on the hook, this produced a few better stamp fish and when I began getting liners I tried shallow which I didn’t really expect to work at this time of year and it really turned my match around because for 90 minutes I was getting one a chuck even though I had to fight against the blustery wind.

With 90 minutes remaining the bites tailed off and the fish got smaller and I should have switched swims straight away but spent another 30 minutes on it putting next to nothing in the net and it was only when I trashed my rig did I change lines.

I went back on my original 6m swim and my expanders had dried out enough for me to hook them properly, I then had a really good last hour of the match catching some big f1’s and 3lb carp.

At the all out I ended up with 58lb for 4th in the match but with only 72lb winning I should have comfortably had that if I had done a few things better, but as it was my first match since April I was always going to be a bit rusty and I’m still not sure if I can get my spark back.


Hewlitt pit

14th September

hewlit pit

After managing to book a couple of days off work i decided to go for a few hours fishing on my local water trying to reignite my passion for the sport before my winter league starts in a few weeks but to be honest my heart still isn’t in it especially at this time of year leading up to my birthday which will be the first without my dad but anyway i forced myself to go and i could always come home after a few hours with the fishery being right on my doorstep . I planned on just using pellets today so hopefully it would be a nice easy day catching a few f1s but because i had not been here i couldn’t be certain how it would fish , it used to be a very good water for fishing shallow because it was quite deep but with the recent drop in temperature plus plenty rain going in i hoped this would keep the fish on the deck and i would not suffer with liners too much .

On arrival at the venue i was surprised to see three anglers already there and they was all fishing the far bank so i settled on my favorite peg six although this meant i had the wind blowing in my face and with the forecast rain it looked like i meant be getting wet but at least it wasnt cold , i plumbed up a rig at five meters out at a slight angle towards my left so i could play the fish in front of me without disturbing the shoal and i found it to be nearly six-foot deep so i used a positive 4×16 malman roob which is my favorite float when soft pellet fishing because it sits really well in the water with a slightly thicker tip so you can shot it to a pimple which helps to magnify the little dinks from the finicky f1s .

I began my session just after ten and began feeding a large kinder pot full of micros every couple of minutes to try to draw some fish into the peg , i would just tap the pellets in letting them fall slowly through the water to hopefully catch the attention of the f1s and i kept my rig really still once it had settled directly over where i had put the bait in setting a little trap . It took about 15 minutes before i had my first fish which was an f1 about 1.5lb and it was the slightest indication on the float which i could have quite easily mistaken for a line bite , it didn’t take long before i had the fish lined up and i even switched to a small kinder pot because i was getting that many indications but even though i had been carefully with the feed the bottom was soon fizzing like mad , i tried changing to feeding hard 4mm pellets but that just slowed the amount of indications that i was getting and when i started foul hooking the odd fish plus getting liners i decided to put in a new swim in shallower water .

My new swim was in five foot deep and only a couple of feet from my original one so i was pretty confident that i could move the shoal of fish , it took only ten minutes before i was back catching again and by clumping the micros in with a few hard 4mm pellets mixed in my catch rate was soon up to speed again . After a couple of hours of catching my expander pellets had started to break up because i had made the rookie mistake of leaving them soaking in the water for too long and i had not brought any more with me so i had to try using a banded pellet , 6mm pellets was to big making me miss too many indications and the 4mm ones meant i was waiting a lot longer for a bite than i did before , taking a shot off my rig which lifted my float bristle a touch and waiting for a proper pull under helped me hit more indications but it definitely wasnt as good as using expanders but it’s nice to try to make things work on these pleasure sessions .

When the bailiff came round to collect the money he told me that the fishing had dropped of a touch recently with most of the locals choosing to target the bigger carp in the edge on mussels and also that the matches had been stopped due to a lack of people turning up because one lad had won them all , this was a real shame because when i was just starting on the match scene this was one of my favorite venues because you was guaranteed a dozen competent anglers every week and it was an important stepping stone for me before a ventured onto the bigger contests but i suppose some people just like spoiling it for others .

my solitary skimmer in my catch full of f1s

Anyway back to the fishing and i was still getting an indication everytime i put my rig in but even though i had been very careful with the feed it was back fizzing up again , so it was time for another new swim but this time i really struggled to find a good area because there was a big snag where i ideally wanted to put it plus with the shelf being rather stoney it didn’t plumb up that well and i ended up putting another section on to try to find a flattish area . It took me about thirty minutes of constant feeding before i was getting any indications which was only to be expected with it being so far away from my original swim and i was now getting drastically low on expander pellets plus i was getting a bit bored of catching f1s because every one of them was nearly identical in size . So i decided to see if i could catch any of the big carp in here and i set up a margin rig with heavier elastic in because i had been told they are up to twenty pounds in size , i plumbed up on my top kit plus one near an overhanging reed bed were it was relatively flat and i could easily throw hard 4mm pellets around my float to attract some fish into the swim , i cupped in by remaining micros and expander mush before going over the top of it with my rig which had a hard 6mm pellet on the bait band and it didn’t take too long before i was getting indications but not from the fish i wanted because i was back catching the f1s , it was strange because i could the boil from big carp every time i hooked an f1 but they didn’t want a hard pellet today and after around four hours fishing i had managed nearly 50 f1s plus a solitary skimmer so you could say it was a good days fishing but to be honest i didn’t really feel it , maybe it was the time of year and i had other things on my mind or maybe i need the challenge of match fishing im not to sure but i hope to find out in the next few weeks after my opening winter league match on Bradshaw’s lake three .

Thanks for reading Matthews580.

Gone fishing , Spring view

August 27th

With nothing planned for the long bank holiday weekend i decided to get back on the bank for a few hours to see if I can get the buzz back like I used to have and with the weather not being the best with heavy overnight rain plus a strong easterly wind I choose to stay local going on gone fishing in Spring view which is somewhere that I hadn’t been for a couple of years even though it was only ten minutes from my house .

When I got to the fishery at 9 o’clock most of the pegs were taken which I hoped meant that it was fishing well and after looking at my options I settled on peg one because  this gave me a bit of room although I had the worst of the wind to contend with and wouldn’t be fishing longer than six meters due to the conditions .

As I was planning on just using paste today I only needed to set up one rig which would cover my top four were it was 4ft deep and long down my right hand margin although it was only just over 3 ft deep because i didn’t think the carp would be in any shallower water plus the path ran right along side it and any bank side disturbance would no doubt put the fish off .

At ten o’clock i was ready to get going and i started directly in front of me i was feeding some 4mm pellets along with a nugget of swim stim paste in my cupping kit before going over the top of it with my paste rig , it took me an age to get any sort of indication on my float and my first few fish were hand sized roach plus the odd pound skimmer not exactly what I was planning on catching.

Then out of the blue I had a couple of big carp around the 8lb mark before it went quite and i was back catching silvers with long periods of inactivity it just seemed that there wasnt many fish present , that’s how it went for the next few hour no indications at all or a skimmer then a couple of carp and no matter what I did I couldn’t get them to settle , although on looking around nobody that i could see was catching in any numbers so i just kept plodding along changing feeding patterns i even tried pinging pellets over my float to try to draw some fish into the swim and i also altered the consistency of my paste with sloppy being the best but it was all hard work .

For the final couple of hours I decided to concentrate down my right hand margin at five meters towards an overhanging tree and slowly but surely this produced a run of fish which included a couple of near double figure carp plus a few smaller 5lb fish , this swim was my most consistent but i still had long periods of inactivity between fish although this might have been due to the bank side walkers plus i lost a couple of carp which shot off into the reeds about eight meters away .

With it looking like rain I decided to call time on my session and I probably had over 70lb of fish which consisted of a dozen carp and a few silvers , but I can’t really say that I enjoyed the fishing today because I was spending too long without any bites and struggled to get the fish settled in the shallow water although after speaking to the balief it seemed like i was the only one catching a great deal but i still feel that i could have done better although i was using a bait that is still a bit new to me .

Deep pit Hindley ,July 20th

After having taken a break from match fishing I decided to have a pleasure session on deep pit in Hindley where I learned to fish and I hoped that this would give me the impetus to get on the bank a bit more often.

I hadn’t seen the lake for nearly five years so had no idea what to expect especially as it was a natural venue although I did expect the crucians and tench to still be there in abundance, after having made the long trek from the car park were I had to load and unload the trolley a few times due to the uneven ground.

I decided to go on my favourite peg at the side of an overhanging tree with your back to the golf course, I set up two rigs one at 4ft on top of the near slope the other at 6m and bait was maggots + ground bait.

Started by feeding a couple of balls on my long swims and started short kinder potting in maggots , I thought this would be my best swim in the warm conditions but after half an hour all I had was a small perch.

I noticed that there was bubbles coming up from my long swims so gave that a go and never really had a bad spell rotating between two swims , I then had a fish a chuck for four hours a proper mixed bag of fish I lost quite a few due to an under water snag but that’s only to be expected on these natural venue’s.

When the forecast rains turned up I decided to call it a day and had over 30lb of fish which was mainly crucians but I didn’t get anything over a pound, I really enjoyed my fishing today and if I can work out an easier way to get there I think I will be going more often.

Commercial national at Lindholme lakes


Went to lindholme lakes to contest the commercial national with ten of the Leigh tackle match group and to be honest if i could of got a stand in then i would because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to fish a match as big as this but I had already committed to doing it and didn’t want to let the squad down.

After being chauffeured down to the venue which made a nice change thanks Ben Harrison , we arrived at 830 and the team draw had already been made and I was on peg seven bonsai which was a lake I had always fancied fishing.

On settling in at my home for the next few hours it was very tightly pegged and I had very little room, I decided to keep things simple with just three rigs a margin, an across and a top three swim but I was a bit disappointed to find a maximum depth of just three feet.

I decided to fish worm across and in the margin, with hard pellets on the other rig which I could chase fish all over the peg in the open water, well that was the plan anyway but thing’s are never that simple.

When the all in sounded I began at 8m tapping in some hard 4mm pellets, after a couple of feeds I began getting some indications which I struggled to connect with and I then foul hooked a decent f1 , playing around with my shotting pattern helped me add a few more fish but it didn’t feel right.

I went on my top three line were I had been throwing a few pellets but yet again I was missing more bites than I hit, thing’s wasn’t going to well and I made the descion to swop one swim to worms so I put a small ball of feed in, I then went across to the island while it settled.

This produced a quick carp and a few small chub but they was never lined up, I had to keep switching swims to put fish in the net but I never felt in control of the peg at any point of the match , which was a major disappointment for me and at the all out I ended up with around 30lb which only beat one in my 13 peg section so not a good performance on my part.

Thinking about it after the contest and looking at the results I got my tactics majorly wrong , I should have just fished a negative match tapping in micros waiting for a bite from the f1’s but on the plus side I still managed to beat a 100 angler’s which just goes to show that there was a few fish in the area.

I have decided to take a step back from match fishing for the time being until I get my head back in the right frame of mind and just going to concentrate on trying to enjoy my time on the bank without the pressure of team fishing and as a consequence i have left the Leigh tackle match group .

Horns dam fishery

April 25th

Today was the first round of the angling times supercup at horns dam fishery near Preston and as we had been drawn away to St Antony’s A team which hadn’t been beat for seven years in the knockout rounds , so we was always up against it but after having had a good practice match and a few decent pleasure sessions we had sorted a plan out and  was confident of putting up a good showing.

On the day of the match it was really nice weather for a change with it being nice and sunny the first time this year we was sat in t shirts , the improved conditions meant we had seriously got our tactics wrong with carp playing a big part for the opposition were we targeted the skimmers and apart from a couple of sections were we was close to winning the others were a complete mismatch and unfortunately we got beat 6-0.

Personally I was drawn on peg thirty which was just outside of the main bowl at the start of the arm and I had fished this peg before in winter were it was dire because of the shallower water but in the warmer conditions i expected a few fish to be settled nearby , i had a nice steady match catching skimmers at 6m + 14m with pellets and corn, I ended up with 44lb which is a great net of silvers but I needed a couple of bonus fish as I got beat by 6lb which included a carp at the all out and to be honest I felt that I was well out of contention for the section with the lad opposite catching a couple of early carp on the tip but i still felt that i could have done a few things differently today but you life and learn .

Well fished St Antonys A team and we all hope you go far in the competition.


Partridge lakes individual winter league

February  5th

I have been to partridge lakes today to contest the third round of the individual winter league and after a couple of bad results on it I needed a good draw to have any chance of making the top twenty ,on arrival to the fishery I wasn’t surprised to see that most of the lakes had frozen overnight as the temps dropped to minus four although it was only cat ice in places , but I still expected it to be hard going as the open match held on covey 5+6 yesterday was only won with 30lb and lots of anglers struggled to break double figures .

With it being a rolling draw most of the pegs had been taken by the time i arrived at 830 and when i had a dip in the bag of doom I managed to pull out peg 133 on covey six which I was quite happy with because it was a good area so hopefully i could get a few bites but when I got to my peg I was disappointed to find that it was one of the few places on the lake that was still covered in ice plus nobody had turned up on peg 132 which would give the fish plenty of room to back off into.

I set up the usual winter rigs ;

4ft on both far and near slopes , i used a 4×10 Md slim float with a staggered bulk shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line and attached to it was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru maggot hook attached .

track rig for under the aerator where it was nearly six-foot deep , i used a 4×12 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line and attached to it was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru maggot hook attached .

dobbin rig for all along the far bank and near the aerator , i used a 4×12 Md diamond float which had all the bulk under the float with just a couple of number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line and attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 16 guru pellet hook attached .

Bait for the day ;

1 pint of red and white maggots

1 pint of micros and black swim stim

1 slice of bread


After breaking a channel in the ice directly in front of me and towards the aerator to my right it was all a bit of a rush to get ready before the hooter sounded , I began the match by dobbin bread towards the aerator and I missed a bite straight away which was a good sign , I then had a carp + f1 in the first ten minutes and I really felt that I could be on for a good day even thinking that i might be able to win the lake but as I feared after i missed a couple of indications the fish backed off into the empty water towards my right and for the next couple of hours I could see them topping but I couldn’t get to them because of the aerator rope ,with the ice beginning to melt it  gave me the option to dob some bread all along the far bank but despite working from the side of the bridge to the point of the island i never had an indication , so i decided to switch to feeding maggots in this area but despite setting up multiple lines across in 4ft i never had a bite if I put any feed in .

After nearly ninety minutes of inactivity I finally managed to dob a fish at the point of the island towards my right next to the rope and I thought that I might have found them again when someone on the split decided to pack up early going over the bridge , that was the end of that because the f1s are finicky at this time of year due to the cold clear conditions .I had seen a fish top in the bay towards my left and I quickly went to it with my dobbin rig which resulted in another fish in the net but nothing else followed , so I decided to tap in a few maggots and would go on it later I went searching for the fish again with by bread rig ,  then i tried in front of the empty platform towards my left without any success but when i went long down my right hand margin still dobbin bread and i finally found a couple more fish before the backed off under the rope yet again.

I was soon into the last hour and I went on my track swims hoping that a few fish had settled on them , i kept rotating between the aerator and the bay but all this produced was a couple of gudgeon before I managed an f1 right on the whistle , which called time on another frustrating match as i spent most of it watching the fish waving at me in the safe water and I think that I’m suffering by not fishing the open matches on here every week , as im struggling to catch any numbers of fish and i ended up third in section with 7lb behind a 13lb + 16lb but don’t feel like I could have done much more from there because i could only get indications by dobbin .