Sunday 23rd , peg 27 covey 2
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 .