Partridge Lakes Fish’O Qualifier

31st May 2014 – Peg 133 Covey 6


I can’t believe that it has been almost a year since my last attempt at a Fish’O Mania qualifier at Partridge Lakes and with all the lakes here requiring different baits-methods it took quite some time preparing for it, so I hoped to make a better go of it this time because last time I made a real mess of it, by giving myself too many options and confusing myself!

On arrival at the complex there as was expected a lot of anglers there, including the usual scattering of top names and a couple even managed to get tickets from Balmoral Fishing Club, so at least I had some friendly faces to talk to whilst we queued for the draw. When it came to my turn I pulled out peg 133 on Covey 6, not really where I wanted to be but it made it on the list of the fancied pegs shown on Tight Lines twitter feed, so no pressure then!!!

Draw Highlights

When I got to my peg it looked really promising with an empty peg either side and a slight breeze blowing into my bank, it was around 13m across with a nice mud bank but because it’s a relatively new lake on the complex the fish were of a smaller stamp than the others and wasn’t a great deal of bank side vegetation. I had fished this Covey just once before which helped me with the choice of bait to take to my peg and which area of it to target, plus I had plenty of info from friends off Twitter. I decided not to fall into the trap of setting too many rigs to cover everything like last time I fished a qualifier on here and felt it would be better to concentrate on just three main areas.



2.5ft deep rig , malmams diamond float 4×12 with 0.12 garbo main line and a 0.10 garbo 6 inch hook length which had a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

1ft deep rig , 0.3 matrix series 3 float with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 20 gamma pellet hook .


Because it is a strict 6pt limit plus 1 kilo bag of groundbait I took.



3 pints red and white maggots

1 pint micro

1 pint 4mm pellets

1 pint corn

0.5 kilo of ground bait

small tub 4mm expanders

I plumbed up in front of the empty platform where I found 2 1/2 feet depth and I also used this rig down the other margin, plus across which was half way up the far bank slope where I had managed to find a flat spot, my other rig was for fishing really tight across on the mud line where I had been told it was the best area to target and I could also use this set up for fishing shallow if I needed to, although not many people can get it to work on this water.

My match plan could not have been simpler, start on my 2 1/2 foot line across pick up some F1’s before setting up a new swim a metre away when they back off, then after 90 minutes to go on to my mud line when the sun had warmed the water up enough for the fish to settle there, and then finally to plunder the margin in the last hour, but things don’t always go to plan.

Gary Fish'O 2014IMG-20140319-00119

As the all in sounded I shipped out to 11 meters where I had found the flat spot when plumbing up, I fed a cad pot full of micro – groundbait and lowered my 4ml expander amongst it. The first 2 hours went extremely well for me anyway, with 34 fish coming my way for about 30lb and I hadn’t even gone onto my mud line which was supposed to be the best area of my swim, I wasn’t doing well enough to even contemplate challenging for the win because I expected a mid 100lb weight would be needed, but it looked like I was doing enough for the lake.

It was at this point that I got informed that Partridge Lakes Fish’O was being a lot harder than I expected it to, but it also coincided with me having my worst spell of the match and no matter where I chose to fish I just couldn’t buy a bite, I had been loose feeding maggots on to my left hand margin for the past 30 minutes so decided to give that a whirl, and first put in I hit something large which bottomed my elastic out, next drop I landed a big F1 then a slightly smaller one before I began foul hooking fish, thinking about it when I got home I came to the conclusion I fished too far down the slope and should have gone really tight to the near bank.


Anyway… Back to the match. After a poor last hour I decided to go back onto my most prolific rig, but instead of putting a new swim further towards the widest stretch of the lake like I had done before, I went more towards the corner, where there was less disturbance and this is where I finally found some fish. In the last hour I was really flying with fish, after fish coming into the net and I really didn’t want the final whistle to sound, but all too soon it did. As I was waiting for the weigh in I went to talk to my nearest angler who turned out to be Gaz Malman who’s floats I had used today, it’s surprising just who you can be fishing alongside in these sort of matches.

I was the last to weigh in on Covey 6 and needed 64lb to win the lake, but unfortunately my net only went to 57lb, which was good enough for 2nd and the mid match blip cost me any chance today. Worst news was to follow when I got to the cabin for the presentation and found out just 75lb was enough to finish in the top 6! I think that my peg was well worth that today if I had fished it a bit better, but you live and learn! On the plus side I managed to finish in the top 20 from the 180 that fished, which is my best result by a long shot.

Well done to Shaun Cooke on winning the Fish’O qualifier with 111lb from Marsh Canal which was the last place I had expected it to come from, and yet again the Covey’s failed to throw up the winner in a major competition on here. It’s nice for one of the venue regulars to get through, so let’s hope he can do the business in the final, and I’m sure he’ll be well supported.



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