Sycamore fishery

Silver birch canal , peg 4 . 21st Jan


After managing to finish work at dinner time and with the weather forecast to be pretty reasonable for the time of year , i decided to have a trip to Sycamore fishery for a bit of f1 fishing and practice the far slope line which has worked well at Partridge lakes also my mate wanted to fish the open their on Sunday so it would give him some idea on how it was fishing now .

I arrived at the venue at 12 pm and was surprised to see three anglers on Rowans canal because after looking on the internet i saw that on recent form it wasn’t fishing that great so i decided to settle on peg 4 at Silver birch and as i had remembered from my previous visits here that you were targeting small 8 oz f1s and slightly bigger stockies , the bait that was doing the damage recently seemed to be pellet .


It was nearly 14 meter across but i had planned on finding that all important 4 ft depth and on plumbing up i found this at both 11 meter and 4 meter so with the limited time that i had available i decided to use just one rig which would cover multiple swims .

winter wire

winter wire


As i was only fishing at 4 ft i choice to use a 4×14 malman winter wires with a spread bulk an inch apart starting 6 inch from the hook  and my main line was 0.12 garbo attached to a size 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma maggot hook .


I still had a bit of bait left over from the week ends match so it was going to be a pretty cheap day .

1/4 pint red and white maggots

1/4 pint fluro pinkies

1/4 pint soaked micros

1/4 pint crushed expander

small tub 4 mm expanders both normal and white

My first line of attack was 11 meters which was 2 ft away from the island towards the left hand of my swim and here i started off with pellet , i put a 4 mm normal expander on the hook and kinder potted in some micros dusted with some crushed expander . I began lift-dropping to try to entice my first bite of the day , but after ten minutes i was still waiting so i decided to try a change of hook bait to my favourite white 4 mm expander and on my very next drop the float buried and i was attached to a small 8 oz f1 , coincidence or had the fish just turned up and found the feed or was it the hook bait ?


I then started a run of fish and they seemed bigger than i remembered from my last visit about 4 months ago and wasn’t far away from the stamp of Rowans , after catching 8 in the first hour the bites began getting iffy so i decided to rest the swim for a while . I set up a new line 2 ft to my left but choose to use maggots here which would give me a contrast of the two baits and i found that maggot gave me a quicker more positive indication , another ten fish followed in the next hour including a surprise mirror of around 3 lb which i managed to hit with the landing net and break my hook length .

It wasn’t long before the wind got up which made presenting a nice hook bait difficult and it can be a problem on here with it being so open , for my last hour a decided to fish my top 3 line to my left which was half way up the near slope . I had fed this area for two hours so expected an immediate response and i wasn’t disappointed with a fish on my first drop .


My peg was getting stronger and stronger , i couldn’t get in quick enough they was all putting up a spirited fight on the light orange size ten matrix elastic and i even began to forget about the cold but with some dark clouds fast approaching it looked like the fore cast rain would soon be here so i reluctantly decided to pack up with my final total being 35 f1s + stockies in just over three hours .

Not bad for the time of year and although i was on my own on the Silver birch canal today it did give me some idea of how well it was fishing at present but will be a lot harder on a match and when i got back to the car the heavens opened which was good timing !!!

Back to Partridge Sunday weather permitting of course , lets see if i can get the extra few fish i need to get my section . So keep coming back to see how i get on .


Partridge lakes

peg 89 Covey 4 , 19th Jan

After last weeks section win on Partridge lakes i was eager on a return and today was my chance to get back , i woke up to find light drizzle after two days of heavy showers but the forecast for the rest of the day was going to be very nice with a light breeze and warmish for the time of year .

These conditions brought the anglers out in force with the open match being full with 65 attending and they where also turning anglers away because they hadn’t booked on which was a surprise because it had been fishing hard on their at present and four of the top six weights on Saturdays match had come from covey 5 which wasn’t in the open match today . The Leigh tackle winter league was also taking place and in mid January it resembled a fisho qualifier with 145 people knocking about .


When it got round to my turn for the draw i really fancied a return to covey 3 were i always seem to do well but i pulled out peg 89 on covey four , not my favourite lake and also a new area to contend with . As i arrived at my peg i noticed that i was probably on the worst one in the section but im not using that as an excuse for a bad days fishing .

I felt that after last week that i was beginning to finally get my head around the venue and had worked on a plan to get the best from most pegs on the complex , this was to target the 4 ft line for most of the match because that is the area i had most success with and i also had a channel swim as a back up plan .

malmams winter wire

malmams winter wire


4 ft rig for pellets was 0.10 garbo line straight through to a size 20 gamma pellet hook , my shotting pattern was a strung bulk a cm apart and starting 6 inch from the hook .

4 ft rig for maggots was 0.1o garbo line straight through to a size 20 gamma black hook , my shotting pattern was a strung bulk an inch apart starting 6 inch from the hook .

6 ft channel rig was 0.12 garbo main line to a 0.10 6 inch hook length of 0.10 garbo with a size 20 gamma pellet hook attached , it had a strung bulk starting just above the short hook length .

all rigs were used with size 10 orange matrix which i have found to be perfect for the f1s and carp on here , using a preston pulla bung .



1/4 pint fluro pinkies

1/4 pint red and white maggots

1/4 pint soaked micros

1/4 pint crushed expander

small tub 4 mm expanders normal and white

As the all in sounded i went across to the left hand part of my peg about 2 ft away from the far bank with a white 4 mm expander on the hook and a dozen micros in the cad pot , i was hopping to get an early carp like last time i was on this lake . After lifting-dropping for five minutes before a little dip saw me attached to a carp that bottomed out my orange matrix elastic out and just kept on going , not the start i was looking for worse was to follow when on my next put in saw me loose a big f1 at the net .

Thirty minutes in and i finally managed to start putting a few f1s in the net , they seemed to be a lot bigger stamp on covey four than in the other coveys and all the bites where just tiny dips on the float but my malmam winter wires was working extremely well , by slowly pushing my rig up the slope i managed to get my expander registering on the float which showed all the finicky f1 bites .

I had been extremely careful not to over feed so it was a surprise when my swim died on me but that seems to be the norm for on here , i wasn’t that entirely bothered though because i had what i felt was my best bait to use now and i made another line 2 ft to my right still at 4 ft depth though . I shipped out with a single maggot on the hook and six maggots in the kinder pot , but un-fortunately this only resulted in small rudd and i noticed other anglers being plagued by silvers using this bait so i made the bold decision to forget maggots which had won me my previous sections and concentrate on just pellets .

I went back out with a pellet on the hook with a bit of crushed expander in the pot and this resulted in another run of big f1s , so they must have been their all the time but couldn’t get to the bait before the greedy rudd which doesn’t happen on the other coveys . Suddenly my swim died and i didn’t get any sort of indication i was just going to set up another swim when my float buried and i was attached to a carp and this time i managed to get it in with out too much bother , but on my next put in i lost an f1 at the net which un-settled my 4 ft line so i decided to try else were in my peg .

My next two hours was a complete disaster , first i tried my channel swim at 11 meter to my right with out a bite in thirty minutes , then i tried my 4 foot rig along the near slope for thirty minutes with out a bite and finally i work my far bank lines again without success . This mid match quiet spell happens to me every time that i fish on here and i need to sort it out because today it definitely cost me a chance for my section .

In the last hour i finally found some fish at six meters mid channel to my right , i had upped my feed to a full medium kinder pot of micros and crushed expander to try and make some thing happen which it fortunately did and i began a run of f1s with another carp mixed in but i knew that i was at least six fish behind so i began rushing to get them in quicker and this resulted in me pulling the hook out of a couple .

When the all out sounded i knew that i hadn’t done enough to compete in my section this week with my 14 f1s and 2 carp not being enough against the 21 and 24 f1s caught either side of me , if i had found the fish in the channel quicker or found a couple in the quiet spell it could have been all so different and so for the first time in an age i decided not to weigh in but i think i have learned a lot again today and really need to start putting it all together in a match .

Widdows fishery

15th Jan , peg 24


With my job being a little quiet at the moment i took the opportunity for a short afternoon session and after last weeks good silver fish catch their was only one place that i wanted to go , so after a little detour to pick up some maggots me and John headed off to Widdows fishery .

On arrival there weren’t a soul about which wasn’t a surprise in the recent rainy weather but today it isn’t that bad with it being quite mild and only a light breeze , so we had the choice of pegs and after last weeks good show on the low numbers we decided to try the other bank and see how that side fishes , we settled on pegs 24+25 just at the side of the wooden boards .


After the recent heavy rain it was noticeable that the water level were quite high and after plumbing up i found that last weeks rig was a good 4 inch to shallow even at 13 meters where the shelf would normally be , so a new rig was called for . After plumbing up a few different areas i found that their was only a few inch difference so only one rig would be called for today .


0.3 maver float with a thin tip to show any delicate bites from the roach , main line was 0.10 garbo with a 0.07 garbo hook length and a size 20 gamma black hook .


1/2 pint red maggots

1/2 pint pinkes

Because of what i learned from last weeks visit i decided too only take maggots-pinkies and that turned out to be a mistake as you will find out later .

At 12 i was ready to get started so i shipped out to 13 meters and began catapulting in half a dozen maggots every minute , it didn’t take long before i was into some nice stamp roach and in the first hour it was all so easy with a dozen fish coming my way . After that it went a bit harder as they got a bit un-settled but with a change of shotting pattern i could keep them coming before all of a sudden it died on me and at first i thought that a carp might have scared them off .


All the first hour while i was catching well my mate was struggling on pellet he was also fishing at 13 meters the same as me , but when i stopped catching it coincided with a shoal of skimmers settling on his swim and he began eating into my lead . I set up a new line in the channel were it was slightly deeper and here i decided to feed with a kinder pot to try to keep the fish on the deck making them easier to catch but apart from a few quick fish this also died on me STRANGE .

I had flicked a few maggots to the side of some reeds on my right hand margin were it was 4 ft deep and after ten minutes my float buried and elastic shoot off , but after a few seconds the small hook pulled out and no doubt it would have been a carp which would have only broke my light hook length so i wasn’t too down heartened .

My mate John was still bagging up on the skimmers using pellet and his secret additive for his micros , so with nothing else working i reluctantly decided to follow suit and soaked some micros i also pinched a hand full of his expanders . I plumbed up a new swim at six meters which was in the middle of the channel well away from where i had fed any maggots in case they had put the fish off .

We was now into the last hour so it was now or never if i was going to try to catch my mate up , it took me a good ten minutes before the fish found my kinder pot of micros and i was finally into my first skimmer of the session and it was slow going at the start but it was starting to build up nicely and just before we called it a day at 4 pm i had the biggest fish of the session with a nice 3 lb bream .


I ended up with 32 fish mainly roach and my mate had over 40 fish nearly all skimmers which would have weighed a lot more than my catch , it seems strange that last week i couldn’t get a bite on pellet on the low numbered pegs and this week on the high numbers that’s all they wanted , it might be the in consistent weather or just that the skimmers are in certain pegs and at least i know how to tackle a winter match situation on here because their maybe one taking place next Sunday .

Partridge lakes

Jan 12th , peg 73 covey three

covey three

covey three

After having had a few successful weekends silver fishing , i thought it was about time for my first match of the year and my destination of choice was to be Partridge lakes where on my last few visits had done well picking up the odd section and getting a couple of fifths , i just hope i can get back in to the f1 groove .

As i was travelling on my own to the match today i decided on a later start than usual because last time i went i was stood about for ages waiting for my friends to arrive , when i woke on Sunday i was faced with a frozen car which took me a lot longer than i planned on getting ready to go and as a result meant i only got their just on time to pay .

The frost on the ground wasn’t as bad as i thought it would be but as it was the first proper one of the year this meant it would fish hard today but no doubt some one would be sat on a ball of f1s and be in for a good days fishing Hope its me . We had forty people who decided to brave the elements so as their was no winter league this weekend they decided to use all six coveys and spread the anglers about , not to sure if this would be a good idea because it would allow the f1s too back off into the quieter areas of the lakes .

As i was waiting towards the back of the draw queue i was thinking about where i didn’t fancy drawing and coveys 2 + 5 was high on the list as was being in the split because i cant get my head round fishing them and it was also prone to getting a lot of wind and with my pole being quite old it gets blown around a lot .


When it got round for my turn to pick i pulled out peg 73 on covey 3 which to be honest was my preferred destination and its funny how i always tend to end up on covey 3 all the time , good job i like it on their .The peg number seemed very familiar and its only when i got their that i remembered it was the same peg that i fished on the fisho qualifier the previous year and it wasn’t far from where i had won my section a few weeks ago .The only down side was the fact it was on the split but i had only one other angler to contend with on their and i was also on the windward side which was another positive because as you all know the f1s prefer a ripple above their heads on here .

My peg was only 10 meters wide so i would have to make use of all the extra space i had to my left if i was going to do any good today , i decided on 4 rigs today but expected to catch the best at four-foot because that’s what has worked well for me recently .

winter wire

winter wire


3 ft deep rig , 4×12 malmams winter wire with spread bulk starting above the 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

4ft deep rig , 4×14 malmams winter wire with a 1 cm spread bulk starting above the 0.09 supplex hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook and this rig was for pellets .

4 ft deep rig , 4×14 malmams winter wire with a 1 inch spread bulk starting above the 0.09 supplex hook length with a size 20 gamma black hook and this was for maggots .

channel rig , 4×16 malmams winter wire with a 1 inch spread bulk starting above the 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 18 gamma pellet hook .



1/2 pint red maggots

1/2 pint fluro pinkies

1/2 pint micros dusted in crushed expanders

small tub 4mm expanders normal and white

Because i had expected the fishing to be hard i decided on taking some fluro pinkies with me today although in my rush to get ready this morning i forgot my bread .

As the all in sounded i went out to my 4 ft rig swim which was 2 ft away from the far bank rushes , with a single red maggot on the hook and deposited six maggots capped of with a few micros dusted with crushed expander because i expected it to fish hard i was using the firenzee micro pole pots today being careful not to over feed . I lowered my rig in with the feed and just as it settled my float slowly slid under , a quick lift resulted into me being attached to some thing heavy and after about five seconds my small hook got dislodged , when i got my rig in it had a scale the size of a ten pence attached to it Not the best of starts .

I shipped straight back out and re feed hopping that the disturbance wouldn’t have scared the f1s away , ten minutes of working my rig resulted in a little dink and i was on my way with my first f1 of the day . Another quickly followed before it went quiet on me and i was now in a quandary on whether to re-feed or not because i couldn’t see many other people catching , i made the decision to risk it but twenty minutes of in activity saw me reaching for my pellet rig and another swim was plumbed up two feet to my right .

In this swim i would only be feeding micros i shipped out with a white expander on the hook and after another quick f1 before it went quiet but this time i decided not to re-feed after it , another twenty minutes past before my float lifted a few mm and i was attached to another fish  , after this one i decided to put some bait in because i hadn’t feed this line for thirty minutes .

After the first hour my four f1s had me well on the way to catching the twenty fish i felt would be needed to get the section today but after my decent start this is where i began to struggle with the next two hours seeing me put nothing in the net and i was also going through my rigs to try to find the fish , i had fed my channel swim at 6 m to my left with a dozen maggots every twenty minutes for two hours and this didn’t produce a single bite neither did my 4 ft margin swim in front of the empty platform .

So for the last two hours i decided to concentrate on my only line that produced any fish even though the wind had got up and would make presenting a good rig very difficult . I had read some were that triple fluro pinkie can get you bites from f1s when all else fails because i hadn’t feed this line with any feed for two hours i decided to try feeding and fishing pinkie , this resulted in me getting back among the f1s but it was noticeable that you would get two bites in quick succession before a long quiet spell , so i kept setting up new swims further and further too my left and at 13 meters i was really struggling to see the float and i resorted into taking a shot from my rig and lifting at any thing that resembled a bite .

In the last two hours i put a further ten f1s in the net and only lost a foul hooked carp , but i got a feeling that the fish didn’t want to be at this depth because normally they would pull the elastic left or right when you hooked them but today they was pulling the elastic towards me and really bending the pole tip down . Funny thing was i couldn’t get a bite in the channel on the deck and i cant see them being shallow or could they be ?

At the all out i was un sure how well i had done in the section because the anglers to the right of the bridge had caught similar to me but luckily they wasn’t in my section and in fact the lake was won from the side of the bridge with 22 lb he also had 14 fish too , the guy either side of me had five fish each and the aerator peg didn’t produce today and for the third time in four matches on here i had won my section with 17lb . If i had concentrated more on the 4 ft far bank line i would have caught considerably more but im learning all the time on here and not bad for a noddy who can’t catch on Fleetwood fish market !!!


Un fortunately there is not catch shots today because i couldn’t feel my fingers during the match and didn’t want to drop my phone in the lake and i have to find a way of keeping my hands warm because that’s all that’s preventing me from enjoying my self fishing in the cold conditions .









Fishing tight across to islands


Because i have concentrated a lot recently on fishing snake lakes especially tight across towards the far bank which is often called mud line fishing and there is lots of different rigs and bait that works on specific venues . This is a little piece on how i go about tackling them and if you do it right you can be on for a really good day .

Choosing the right time of year to fish this method is essential and it really comes in to play after the first spell of warm weather because the shallow water against the far bank stays warmer for longer which of course attracts the fish .


Where to fish

Fishing against the far bank on lots of snake lakes are usually reed lined and over grown , so the first thing i do is look for 2 or 3 areas where i can get as tight to it as possible and i would then be able to rotate them by taking a few fish from each which could also prolong the catch rate . Maybe a gap in the reeds or a little cut-back area were i would ideally find around 18 inch which i have found to be the perfect depth and with a gentle slope away from the mud bank because if it is to steep then your feed would roll away down the hill .

The advantage with getting tight across as possible is that is where the carp want to be , a good idea at the start of the session is to start in the slightly deeper water at about 2 ft deep before following them up to the mud bank when liners or foul hookers become a problem , as you can usually have a good first hour before later in the session bagging up with carp and f1s .

Nice stamp f1

Nice stamp f1


There is two ways that you can go regarding rigs one is the more delicate style were the fish can follow the bait down in a natural way which works better in slightly colder weather and by working the lighter rig the hook bait mimics the bait falling through the water all the time , bites will normally come just as the hook bait hits the bottom .

The other way seems to be the one in the vogue at the moment which is using heavier than normal rigs tight across in the shallow water because the disturbance that feeding fish make under the water can some times cause the lighter rig to be dragged out of the swim and by using the heavier rig greatly increases the amount of time that you can be fishing .

By positioning the shot close to the hook about 2 or 3 inch away makes for more stability and you need a float that is stable because it helps you to distinguish between proper bites and line bites which can be a problem when fishing in such shallow water , also it makes it quicker for you to see the bite but they are really positive when using this rig when the fish are having it .

Fishing across can be a time in motion exercise with plenty of fish coming your way , so you need to make sure that every thing is at hand and more importantly the roller placement makes shipping in-out a bit quicker . Also the rig line needs to be stronger to with stand a lot of punishment with it rubbing against the far bank all the time and fishing this method gives you the chance of a bonus carp , also there is no need to go over board with your elastic strength because soft elastic allows the fish to swim out of the peg and not bolt in to the reeds .


Lighter rig

I have used a small matrix number 3 float which is a 0.10 gram and the shotting is equally spread down the line this is the rig that i usually start with but when a lot of fish are present then it can be easily wafted out of the swim before the fish manage to find the hook bait .

Heavy rig

This doesn’t look right for fishing in such shallow water but if the island was 30 meters away you would think nothing of casting a 30 gram method feeder to it and expect to bring back a fish every cast .But by using a matrix number three float in a 0.4 weight this allows me to keep the float more stable and stability is the key to catching big nets of fish , i put all my shot just above the short four inch hook length which works like a bolt rig and the first thing you see is your elastic streaming out of your pole tip .

Just a quick thing for you to think about is because you are fishing in such shallow water by using a long length of line between float and pole tip , can stop you spooking the fish or you could paint the top part of your top kit white so it blends in with the sky so the fish can not see it when they look up .



A lot of fisheries go through spells on the in bait to use when fishing and the mud line is no different , so it would be a good idea to find as much info as you can before attending the match but if the info isn’t as forth coming as you would like then a good starting bait to use is maggots because they attract all sizes of fish and work on lots of different venues .

Another good thing to try is big potting up to the mud line with ground-bait , start the swim with a 250 ml cup with 40% ground-bait 60% maggots and then feel your way into the match , by either continuing big potting or kinder potting after every fish to do this you fill it 3/4 full of maggots then cap it with ground-bait and this has the extra benefit of preventing you spilling your pot as you are shipping out .

Using a big target bait like three maggots will hope fully help you avoid the attention of the silvers and when proper fish are in the area the small fish activity will completely stop before the float gets buried properly and your attached to a nice fish .


By feeding after every fish you can usually keep them coming all day but if you are struggling for bites then i trick for you to try is reached for your catty because loose feeding can some times transform your peg by attracting fish into your swim and a way to cut out line bites is when you are tapping out your kinder pot keep it low to the water because even in this shallow water the fish rise to intercept it , to get around this feed balls of pellets or ground-bait almost level to the water to get them to the deck in one piece kind of like trying to sneak the bait in un-noticed .


By doing what i have described above will hopefully get you among the fish and if you can get the fish slurping against the far bank you can be on for a massive weight because you can catch the better fish closer to the island and plenty of them too . hope this helps a view people .

Widdows fishery

peg 6 , January 8th

widdows fishery

widdows fishery

With the weather being a bit un-settled recently i decided to make the most of a fore-cast dry day and sneak a few hours fishing after dinner when i had finished work . Widdows fishery is some where that i don’t visit that often even though it is right on my door step , in fact i haven’t been since the club match in June when i came second with 40 lb of skimmers on worm and caster .

The water its self has thirty pegs all of which are suitable for the disabled with a ramp going to them and you can also drive round to every one to drop your tackle off , it is in the shape of an elongated doughnut with it being 16 meter to the island and it has a healthy head of carp and more importantly silvers which i intended to target today .

After ringing around to find out which pegs to sit on i got told that the low numbers where better for the skimmers because they are in a bay and it is also a bit deeper their , when i arrived the cabin was all locked up so i went to find a peg and settled on peg six because it was near where i fished the club match and i always like a contrast of summer-winter on venues .


On getting my gear together i decided to fish at 11 meter which was at the bottom of the far shelf and decided on two swims four meters apart , one was to be fed with fishery micros which i had left from my last trip for the skimmers and the other was for the roach so i fed only maggots .



After plumbing up i found a touch over four-foot so i used a 4×14 malmams speedy float with a bulk and dropper shotting pattern , my main line was 0.12 garbo with a 0.10 hook length with a size 18 gamma pellet hook and it would seem a bit heavy a set up for silvers but there is always a chance of a carp or too .



1/2 pint red maggots

1/2 pint soaked fishery pellets

small tub 4mm expanders normal and white

At 1 pm i was ready to start fishing and i began by feeding my skimmer line with a medium kinder pot of micros squeezed into a ball so they would go straight to the bottom and i would keep doing this every ten minutes , leaving it for at least an hour before going on to it giving the skimmers every chance to settle when hopefully i could bag up .  I started off on my roach line and began by kinder potting maggots before later in the session i would catty them in because they had moved up in the water .


It took all of ten minutes before a 10 oz skimmer took a liking to my double red maggot hook bait which was a nice surprise , it slowed down a touch but i was confident of catching on my pellet line later and of course i wanted to catch some thing while i was waiting for them to arrive .I began flicking a few maggots at the float to try to get some roach interested and this worked to some extent with the odd nice stamp silver coming my way , in the first hour i had six roach and skimmers .

I decided to give this line a rest and go on to my pellet swim and i went in with an expander on the hook 15 minutes past with out a single indication not what i was expecting , i decided to change my hook bait for a maggot and this resulted in me catching a small roach so i had a decision to make and with it only being a short session i decided to leave my pellet line and concentrate only on my maggot swim because i was catching quicker there .


With the fish all being of similar stamp to those at Heskin i decided to swap rigs to the one i used on their , to see if i could get more bites using it and if by chance i did hook a carp i would have to be ultra careful .


Maver 0.3 float with a thin nylon bristle to show up any little indication the shotting pattern was the same bulk and dropper style , my main line was 0.10 garbo with a 1 ft long 0.07 hook length attached to a size 20 gamma black hook .

This rig worked a treat and i was getting more and more bites , the tiny dinks i was getting before were now more positive indications and this resulted in my catch rate doubling but they was all nice sized roach . I was still flicking six maggots every few minutes and this brought them up in the water so another change of shotting pattern for an on the drop one , resulted in my catch rate continuing along the same line and surprisingly i never had a bite on the drop but they all came as soon as the float settled .


I was enjoying my self catching the pristine looking roach but with time running out i wanted to see if i could get the bigger stamp of skimmer feeding , so i changed back to a bulk-dropper shotting pattern and began kinder potting loose micros . I decided to sit it out with an expander on the hook and after a 15 minute wait my float slid under which resulted in my biggest fish of the day a nice 2 lb skimmer ., but bites were few and far between and a change of hook bait back to maggot only resulted in more roach . So i decided to get my head down and see how many fish i could catch in the remaining thirty minutes and at 4 pm it began getting dark so i decided to call it a day with me catching 39 fish mostly roach in three hours , which is a good catch rate by any ones standard and i doubt that i would have caught that much if i hadn’t changed my rig .

Heskin hall

Pond one , Jan 5th

Heskin hall pond 1

Heskin hall pond 1

With the weather being forecast to be a bit dodgy after dinner time today , i didn’t really fancy sitting in the cold wind and rain for a match because i was just getting over the effects of a cold so i decided on a bit of silver fish action. I wasn’t sure on just where to go so i had a quick look through my past blogs and saw that Heskin hall pond one had fished ok this time last year so that’s where i decided to go .

It is mainly a silver fish water with a big head of roach – skimmers and the odd carp which tend to stay in certain pegs so hopefully i wont be bothered by them too much today , there is about 15 pegs on the lake and is covered by conifers on three sides plus on the remaining side the pegs are cut into the banking so the wind usually blows over the top of you on that side .

As i was only going to be fishing a short session because of the forecast heavy rain due to arrive at dinner time i wanted to make the most of it and set my alarm for 7 am , which of course meant it was still dark when i woke but when i would arrive at the venue the sun should just be rising . The trouble was i didn’t expect the car to be frozen over which would make the fishing harder than i planned early in the session , as i arrived at the venue i was obviously the first one there and made my way over the muddy field to the pond .


The wind was blowing into the more favoured pegs and i didn’t fancy sitting in a head wind so i chose one on the opposite bank which was a bit more sheltered , i plumbed up to find 4 ft depth at 6 meter and i didn’t expect to fish much further out and would only need one rig today .


I used a 0.3 maver float which had a 1 mm nylon bristle which would show up any delicate bites , i had 0.10 garbo main line and a 0.07 garbo hook length attached to a size 20 gamma black hook , my shooting pattern was a bulk and two droppers .



1/2 pint red maggots with a few pinkies mixed in .

1/2 pint soaked micros with a touch of fish meal ground-bait .

small tub 4 mm expanders normal and white .

At 9 am i was ready to start fishing and shipped out with a maggot on the hook and half a medium kinder pot of micros squeezed in to a ball which got it straight to the bottom and six maggots . I dropped my hook bait down with the feed and began working my rig to try to entice a bite , after finally managing to sort the my shotting on my rig so that it just held up in the surface layer and i had first bite which was from a nice 10 oz skimmer .


thirty minutes ensued before i had my next bite and i couldn’t work out why because there is a healthy head of small 2 oz skimmers in here which can be a pain in summer , i tried both sorts of pellets but couldn’t tempt a bite . My next run of bites coincided with two other anglers arriving so maybe the fish had been settled in a certain area of the pond and had now decided to move and found my feed .

For the next two hours the fishing was relatively easy with skimmers – roach coming regularly to the net and i was feeding a small nugget of micro-fish meal and six maggots after every fish , i began catching the odd one on the drop so i moved my bulk higher up and spread my dropper shot which resulted in more nice roach and increased the stamp of skimmer when it reached the deck .


I was enjoying my self catching the big silvers with the roach making a spirited fight on the light size six preston slip elastic and i also found that i got a quicker bite with a red maggot tipped with a pinkie , but all good things must come to an end with the fore-cast rain arriving at 12 and i did try fishing for another thirty minutes in the rain but didn’t have a single indications which i put down to the colder water un-settling the fish in this shallow water .


I ended up with forty roach-skimmers and most were caught in a two-hour spell when i was catching one a chuck , i learned a few things today and will be giving it another try in the next few weeks when hope fully the weather should be a bit better for fishing because today when i set off this morning was minus one degrees and on the way home it only rose to a high of two degrees and a sure sign of things to come i am afraid so role on spring .