Highfield fishery

Oaks pool peg 8 , 29 th March

Oaks lake

Oaks lake

With the up and coming Super cup match taking place at Highfield fishery Oaks pool and with me not having seen the venue before i thought it was about time that i went to wet a line so after booking on for the open match off we went . It was a good forty minute drive from my house so an early start was in order and surprisingly for me i managed to find it quite easily because it was only a ten minute drive off the motorway , when we arrived at the complex it looked really well maintained with three lakes and Oaks pool where the open was to take place had forty pegs and two islands one of which you can fish from . All the pegs had been given plenty room which makes a refreshing change these days and you had an island to chuck the feeder too which was about 30 meters on most pegs , handily they had given each peg a designated area to cast too .

The weather was forecast to be warm sunny with a slight breeze but because we was situated near the coast that had been magnified too a fierce gusty wind blowing towards the cabin , after booking on for the match where their was 25 due to fish and not the hustle+bustle of a Partridge match which would make a nice change .We grabbed a sandwich and went for a walk round too have a look , stopping to speak to the regulars some of them we would be fishing against in the Super cup so obviously they didn’t want to give much away other than it had been hard going recently with silvers and the odd bonus carp coming out . A few from Farnworth tackle had fished the previous two matches which had given us an idea on what areas to target+species but it’s always nice to do your own thing which your comfortable at doing and work your way into the peg .


Come draw time we was towards the bottom of the queue and i ended up on peg 8 which i had heard was a good one , it was situated in between the two islands with a buoy about 13 meters away and i had decided on a couple of areas to target ;


4 meter line , 0.3 scone float because it was 4 ft deep with 0.12 garbo main line a long 12 inch 0.10 hook length and it had a size 20 gamma pellet hook . I started with a bulk and 2 droppers but by continued loose feeding with maggot by hand it brought the fish up in the water so i changed to an on the drop rig and because it was a 6 hour match i thought this would be a good way to start the match while my other lines settled and i put about 3lb of fish in the net in the first hour .


13 meter line , 0.4 malmams speedy float because it was 5 ft deep here and the wind was strong but their didn’t seem to be much tow on here , my main line was 0.12 garbo with a long 0.10 hook length and a size 18 gamma pellet hook . My shotting pattern was a bulk and dropper the reason behind this was because i hopped to get the skimmers here and that is why i decided to cup in 2 small cupping kits full of micro+4 mm pellets , i topped this up with one ball every twenty minutes and went on it after one hour but by then the wind had got noticeably stronger since the start which resulted in me getting bad presentation on this line and there for i only picked up a few fish from here although they was of a slightly bigger stamp , i still think it was the right thing to do but maybe use a bigger float or put more line on the deck to give me a more static bait .


Margin line , this rig was a bit of an after thought but it turned out to be the best line on the day with 10lb of my catch coming from it including a 6 lb mirror carp and used a 0.3 middy float showing plenty of bristle to allow for line bites , my main line was 0.14 garbo with a size 16 Lwg hook so i could put a big bait on which was 4 red maggots and i fished this for the last two hours . Originally i only planned on giving it ten minute bursts but it was so good here that i finished my match their and in the last thirty minutes when i began cupping in my remaining maggots it produced bigger silvers including a nice chub , but because i was using heavy elastic i bumped a lot of fish off which cost me at the end .

With me not being able to fish my 13 meter line due to the conditions i decided to convert it to 6 meters where it was only two-inch shallower but this didn’t work for me and surprisingly my rig wouldn’t settle properly and it seemed like their was an under water obstacle like a branch but when i dragged the plumbet through i couldn’t find anything which was strange .


1 pint red maggots

1 pint micro

1 pint 4mm

1/2pint sweetcorn

tub expanders normal and white

I had been told that it was a pellet dominated water so that is what i based my attack around but i found maggot the best for the silvers although i didn’t catch many skimmers today and i found it was necessary to feed heavy to keep the size of the fish bigger and by not taking more maggots cost me today .


As the all in sounded i cupped in two small pots of pellets at 13 meters then began loose feeding my 4 meter line i caught well on this although the fish where mainly 2oz-4oz silvers and it seemed that their was only me catching but as i was new to the venue i didn’t know if these fish where of a big enough stamp to compete also in the back of my mind i knew that i hadn’t enough maggots to last six hours .

I then spent two hours trying to make the 13 meter pellet line work and i did manage about 3lb with a few small skimmers + f1s , but the wind and missed bites was a problem so i decided to set up a new 6 meter line which didn’t work on the day for me and with two hours remaining i dropped onto my right hand margin which turned out to be the best decision of the day because the first fish was a 6lb mirror carp and the last a near 1lb chub with plenty silvers in between although i did bump a few off because of the strong elastic .


As the all out sounded i was unsure how i had got on but it was only to be used as a practice match and i had learned a hell of a lot which will help me form a plan for my next couple of visits , it turned out that my catch went 16lb 7oz which was good enough for 4th and a section win by default because third was in my section catching 16lb 12oz and i wasn’t far off the pace on my first visit here , lost fish would have given me an extra 4lb at least but i am sure that other anglers on the day would have suffered just the same as me . I am going back again on Thursday for another practice with the team before the Super cup match on the fifth of April and hopefully i will do enough to make the eight man team for it because it is my first experience of fishing one .




What I learned from Winter F1 fishing (Observations/Tips)

After taking a while to digest the Winter league I have decided to end my blog with a list of my top 10 observations/tips on what I learned from fishing for F1 during the colder months.

1) Fish as light as possible in every aspect of your rig. Use the lightest line, float, hook, elastic etc. you can get away with in the weather conditions. The weather wasn’t kind on the winter league and looking back I think I fished too light in the conditions on many occasions.

2) Don’t over complicate things. Fish to your strengths and keep everything simple.

3) Never bank on an approach working. I thought I had cracked F1 fishing at Partridge with maggot early in the league then things changed, changed and changed again. Have back up ideas on how you will attack your peg if things don’t go to plan.

4) Always dot…

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Partridge Lakes

Sunday 23rd , peg 27 covey 2

Covey two

Covey two

After having to endure another weekend away from fishing the previous week due to illness yet again and i cant believe how many times i have been to the doctors since turning forty Must Be Getting Old . Anyway today i was feeling over the worst of it and was eager to get back on the bank and a return to Partridge lakes was in order , a nice easy 80 peg match to blow away the cobwebs and they definitely where with the weatherman getting it right for once i had 30 mph gusts of wind to contend with and it was bloody freezing but at least it was mainly blue skies with only the odd hail storm thrown in .

On arrival at the venue we was greeted to the usual big Sunday crowd of anglers but one person who wasn’t attending today was the new Kamasam match man of the year Andy Bennett who was out busy spending his 5 grand winnings , it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke who always has time to answer your questions and on my last match here on covey 6 he had even aloud a few people to sit behind him when he fished and still managed second .It seems that every weekend more and more people are attending which shows how well Partridge lakes is and i cant understand how some people have a dig at the place without having ever fished there .

Anyway as me and John was early yet again we decided on a walk round to see just how bad the conditions where that we would be contending with today , to be honest it was pretty bad a bit like Holbar last Wednesday and with the wind ripping through from right to left , so i really didn’t fancy sitting in a head wind today .

When we arrived back at the cabin we saw one of our Balmoral club anglers Branny who hadn’t been out for a while Bit Of A Fair Weather Angler but because he had booked yet another coaching session with Andy May for the following Friday he wanted to get back in the grove before then and hopefully he will write it all down so i can put it up on my blog site .


When it came to draw time i pulled out peg 27 on covey 2 and i had only fished this covey once which was over 18 months ago when i had blanked so i didn’t really know how best to fish it , John drew a really good peg on covey 4 and i was glad for him when he did the business winning his lake and got 6th catching 52lb of carp plus f1s from in front of the empty platform something he is getting really good at and will hopefully work all summer for him .  My match didn’t work out any where as good as you will find out later .

On arrival at my peg i was on probably the worst one in the section with it being just off the bend and with the wind ripping round it and my keep net even kept getting blown out it was that bad , with this also being a new area to fish i decided to target it like i would on any peg on covey 1 to 4 .



4×12 and 4×14 set at 3 ft deep with 0.12 garbo main line with a 0.10 garbo 6 inch hook length attached was a size 20 gamma pellet hook , my shotting pattern on both rigs was a spread bulk of size 10 stotz  spread an inch apart . My reason for having two rigs at the same depth was that i wanted to see which would work best in the conditions , i used these rigs at both my far bank at 10 meters and on my top kit .

4×16 set 6 foot deep for the channel , i had 0.12 garbo main line with a 0.10 garbo 6 inch hook length attached was a size 18 gamma pellet hook , my shotting pattern was a spread bulk of size 9 stotz spread an inch apart .

After thinking about my earlier matches on here about feeding i came to the conclusion that maybe my lowish weights of around 30-40lb was because i wasn’t being aggressive enough and not targeting the 60-80lb needed to frame so today i made a conscious effort to up my feed today and make sure i fed regularly at least every five minutes but i didn’t up my kinder pot size just yet remaining at a medium size due to the recent cold weather , i had contemplated feeding just hard 4 mm pellets with a banded 6 mm on the hook but with the recent drop in temperature i decided to leave this for another warmer day and i had my usual expander-micro-crushed expander combination as back up .


2 pints red and white maggots

1 pint hard 4 mm pellets

1 pint soaked micro pellets

1 pint crushed expanders

small tub white and normal 4 mm expanders

At 1015 the all in sounded and i shipped out to 10 meters with a full kinder pot of maggots with a single red on the hook , i began trickling in the maggots over the top of my float about six every minute or so . No indications where forth coming after five minutes so i shipped back in and repeated the process , this time i had an f1 almost instantly .A further 3 or 4 followed in quick succession but the gusty wind was playing havoc with my presentation and my float kept towing the opposite way to it , so i had to push my rig up the slope using the last dropper to anchor it and this brought me a couple more but when i lifted into one that didn’t even register on the float then i deep hooked one slightly i knew this wasn’t working for me .


I went back to my original line a bit deeper and picked up a few more fish , in the first hour i had eight nice sized f1s for around 10lb and i was well on my way to my 40 lb target but as usual this was where my match fell to pieces yet again because as i was continuing with my positive feeding plan and the fact that only me was fishing along the far bank which seemed strange to me at the time but my pole was coping well in the conditions and i found out after the match that covey 2 was performing well on top three recently .

I think that i drew too many fish into the area i began foul hooking fish and bumping them off at the net plus i latched into a lump which broke my 0.10 hook length some thing that has never happened to me on here before . I decided to leave my maggot line to give it a rest to see if that improves things for later in the match , i set up a new swim one meter to the left but this time i chose to fish pellet but continued with the positive feeding regime with micros this time and i began picking up the odd f1 but it was no way as prolific as the maggot line .


My back up plan was the channel swim at 6 meters to the left where i had fed with a small cupping kit full of maggots every thirty minutes since the start but no matter how many times i try doing this i can never get it to work for me and i don’t think that this tactic i will be pursuing in the future , so i will be looking for something else because i feel that on here you need two swims to get the best from your peg and their fore challenge for a framing place .

So with just 90 minutes remaining and i was well down in my section so i went back across and re-plumbed up a new swim 2 ft away from my original maggot line , it only took a couple of feeds to get the f1s lined up again but after catching another five fish the same problem as before re-occurred with me missing bites and bumping fish . This time i managed to solve the problem by increasing the hook size to an 18 with double maggot on the hook and taking a size 13 stotz from the rig to show slightly more bristle which in turn would give the f1 a bit longer to take the bait before i struck and i was kicking my self for not trying this sooner .


When the all out sounded it was the end of a very frustrating days fishing where only a few things working for me , the positive feeding approach really opened my eyes and i will be looking forward to re-trying it in the next few weeks . Some thing that i will also be looking at is giving my swims more time to produce because at the moment i am too keen to change when really i should be more patient because i think the f1s at Partridge come along in groups and i think you need to catch as many as possible before waiting for the next group to arrive .

For the record my 19 f1s weighed 22 lb for last in my five peg section , where their was three low 40 lb and a 30 lb net so i was in an area that held some fish but didn’t make the most of it as usual . I am going to my local Hewlit fishery for a few hours tomorrow for a bit of shallow fishing and haven’t been for a while , it might be good practice for the up and coming matches at High field fishery one of which will be in the Super cup . So it will be a fortnight before a return to Partridge lakes for the start of the Balmoral club season with a match on Spey canal .

well today is m…

well today is my one year anniversary of writing my blog page and it has taken a lot of time , but enjoyable all the same and 58000 views proves that people like what i have to say and only a few negative comments . So would like to thank everyone that has taken time to read them and they will continue for a long time yet .

Partridge lakes

peg 14 Holbar lake , March 19th

Holbar lake

Holbar lake

After having managed to book the day off from work to do some family errands which fortunately for me i got done in record time and their fore i decided to have a few hours fishing in the afternoon .So off i headed to Partridge lakes i had planned on trying my hand at the f1s on covey 5 or 6 but the balief had informed me that they was resting these waters for the time being and only using them for the open matches , he also told me that peg 15+16 was fishing well on Holbar so i decided to try their and maybe get among the plentiful head of big carp and f1s .

I had only fished Holbar twice since they had changed it from two lakes too one and done some re modelling on it by putting some new islands in it , both times i fished it i chose peg 36 once in the Maver match this qualifier last year and this peg was towards the wider area of the lake , so today i was in a new part of the lake to try which was over the bridge and facing the road to covey 6 .When i arrived at the complex the weather was warmish with blue skies but the wind looked like it could be problematic later in the day and with this in mind i decided not to fish the form pegs and settled on peg 14 which offered me more protection from the wind .

peg 14 Holbar

peg 14 Holbar

I had decided on three areas to target ;

Pellet feeder . towards the far bank which was a good 30 meter chuck , i used a 10 foot Maver reactorlite tip rod with 6 lb Maver genisis main line and a 30 gram pellet feeder which had a short 4 inch hook length with a size 18 guru Mwg hook and micro bait band .

11 meter pole line , Where after plumbing up i found 6 ft and because of the depth plus wind i decided to use a 0.6 scone float with 0.14 garbo main line and 0.12 garbo hook length with a size 18 guru Lwg hook attached was a micro bait band , my shotting pattern was a bulk and two droppers .

Paste 4 meter line . Where it was 4 ft deep and i used a 0.4 scone paste float , my main line was garbo 0.14 straight through to a size 14 Turbetini 808 .

My bait for the day was ;

2 pints of hard 4 mm tiger nut flavor pellets

1 pint soaked micros with tiger nut flavoring

Tiger nut paste

small tub 6 mm hard pellets for the hook

small tub multi coloured pop up boilies

small tub semi bouyant tiger nut bandums

At 12 o’clock i was ready to get going and started on the pellet feeder which was clipped up a meter away from the far bank because i wasn’t sure that with all the cold over night rain they would be in the margins and i chose a suitable far bank marker , i decided to re-cast every five minutes to build up the swim . After thirty minutes i still haven’t had a sign of a bite but i continued with the regular casting ,it took another ten minutes before i started getting liners and finally a drop back bite resulted in a small barbel not the species i was after but it was a start .

Small barbel on tip rod

Small barbel on tip rod

My next cast resulted in me attached to a large f1 but i hadn’t even seen the bite!!! Things wasn’t going that well with the pellet feeder , so i decided to change to a method feeder which was a lighter 15 gram and would their fore make less of a splash when hitting the water . This seemed to work a lot better with five f1s and two barbel coming to the net but it was noticeable to me that the bites where becoming less frequent , maybe i was putting too much pellets in and a change to a smaller method feeder would have been better ?

average stamp f1

average stamp f1

So i decided to rest it and go on to my 11 meter pole line where i had initially cupped in three medium pots full off 4 mm pellets at the start and then topped it up every thirty minutes with a single cup full . I began getting the odd sign and f1 but they didn’t seem to want to settle on this line , i had topped up with half a medium pot after every fourth fish and thinking about it now maybe i had over done it at the start but i was expecting to catch a bigger than average stamp of fish , also with it being a big lake i felt that they would need a large amount to enable them to find it .

Golden f1

Golden f1

I worked out that if i topped up after every fourth fish it would take thirty minutes for them to settle so in this quiet spell i would have a few chucks on the method feeder , keeping this far bank area re-fed and picking up the odd fish in the process . I decided to give my paste line a go but it just didn’t work with the wind constantly pulling the float out of the paste and it just didn’t feel right with the fish seemingly being in the deeper water so i scrapped this idea and concentrated on making the most of the two lines that was producing fish .

Mirror carp

Mirror carp

The wind was getting stronger as the session progressed and i had to make the most of the spells when i could fish the pole , on one of these spells i managed to catch my biggest fish of the day a nice 6 lb mirror carp but un-fortunately it was on its own . I did have a run of big skimmers when i went back on the tip rod but it was strange that when i had run out of my tiger nut flavoured micros and used my mates green swim stim ones i didn’t catch another f1 on this line only skimmers .

2lb skimmer

2lb skimmer

For the last thirty minutes i concentrated on my pole line and had a run of small 8oz barbel , but because i had run out of 4mm pellets i couldn’t feed them off so i decided to call it a day . I ended up with twenty f1s around the 2lb mark-six barbel – four nice sized skimmers and the solitary carp of around six pound , so not a bad days fishing but it was a shame that the wind was so strong because it prevented me from fishing the pole longer which i am sure would have helped the fish settle better but at least it gave me chance to have a few hours on the tip rod which i don’t do enough off and i was happy with my accuracy in casting today but need more practise on feathering the feeder when it hits the water .


Off to Partridge lakes on Sunday to contest the open match , so lets hope for some better weather and i have heard a rumour that they could be linking up with Preston innovations .


Match 10 – 16th March

The final round of the Leigh Tackle and Bait Winter League at Partridge lakes arrived, Matt’s Dodgers were ready for one last hurrah and not surprisingly we were greeted with very strong winds and overcast conditions. Our first shot at the league had been a real eye opener in which we produced a mixed bag of results, certainly drawing our fair share of poorer areas in the process.

Arriving at the venue feeling a little under the weather I decided against food and settled for a bit of banter between the lads, Captain Matt went into the draw bag for the final time and pulled me out peg 139. A new peg for me on the back straight of the water which was an OK draw.

With the weather really blowing a hooley I decided on a 3 rig attack as usual but stepped up the float size to…

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No fishing for …

No fishing for me this weekend because i have been suffering with a chest infection for the last 5 weeks and really need to get it sorted before it gets any worse . Although im itching to get back on the bank and the weather conditions don’t look to bad . But at least im earning some brownie points for later in the season .