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 .





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