Lathom pond one

24th August , peg 11


Well it has soon come round to the last club match of the season and my final one with Balmoral AC , i have enjoyed my four years there and had a little bit of success along the way with me winning ;

Division three winner in 2011

Overall club winner in 2013

Runner up in 2014

But there has also been a few disagreements to sort out over the years and its been quite stressful running the club on your own ,so i would recommend to who ever decides to take over that they nominate a couple of people to help with everything to make it a bit easier. Back to todays match i had wanted everything to go well but the harder you try the more it usually goes wrong , but it never really happened like that today and without going into too much detail , it wasn’t how i would have liked to finish my time at the club .

Today we only had a dozen anglers fishing because a few members of the club was on a fishing holiday and with us having most of the lake i was able to peg one miss one which will make the fishing better hopefully , i had been up for a practise the previous week and done extremely well so i was expecting some big weights and one lad who had been on a few times in the week decided he would try to break the long-standing club record which stood at 99lb and to be fair he did just that so well done to him .

After the draw i ended up on peg eleven which was in the middle of the bay which also had the benefit of the bit of breeze blowing in to it , but the last few matches we have fished on here this area never usually throws up decent weights and we also had a couple of good anglers on the better pegs plus my section was the hardest of the three so i could be up against it today .

When i got to my peg i had already decided on how i would like to target it and i was really happy with my margin swim too , the areas i wanted to fish where ;

Shallow 1ft+2ft , i used a matrix series three float with 0.12 garbo line direct to a guru LWG hook which had a micro band attached , elastic was size 12 preston durro

Pellet deck 6 meter ,i used a 4×14 malmams speedy float with 0.12 garbo main line with a 0.10 hook length which had a size 18 gamma pellet hook attached and my elastic was matrix 12s red .

Paste  meter , i used a 0.3 scone float with 0.14 garbo line direct to a turbertini 808 hook and my elastic was matrix 12s red ,

Margin ,  i used a 0.2 scone float with 0.14 garbo direct to a guru size 16 LWG hook and my elastic was matrix 14s yellow

I had found it best to feed quite heavy on here to keep the fish in the peg so i brought with me ;

1 pint paste

3 pint of 4mm pellets

2 tins of corn

1 tin of hemp

1 tub of hard hook pellets

1 tub of mixed expanders

When the all in sounded i went on to my four meter line and cupped in a full pot of 4mm pellets before proceeding to drop a pea sized piece of paste over the top i decided to use a piece this size because i had expected to be mainly targeting f1s and i would also cut out the pellet feed if it brought the fish up in the water which was a problem on my last visit here .It took a few attempts to get my float set right but it all went towards feeding the peg and i was soon getting indications but not from the f1s though but from proper carp averaging over 2lb a piece so i increased the paste to the size of a conker which helped attract the better stamp of fish .


In the first couple of hours i had thirty fish in the net and seemed to be doing better than all but one other angler , my swim was starting to struggle though and i needed another part of my peg to produce to keep on catching . I had been loose feeding pellets on to my six meter line since the match started but strangely i had only seen the odd one top where when i practised the week before it was black with fish shallow , maybe the recent cold weather had pushed them lower in the water so i decided to start on my deeper shallow rig first to see what response i got but it wasn’t great with only a few line bites so i tried increasing the feed to try to force the fish up in the water but this didn’t work either .

I figured with the amount of pellets going in that their must be some fish in the area so i tried my deck rig with an expander on the hook but this did not produce a bite either and maybe the water was a bit too deep at six meters but i do know that i had just wasted forty minutes without putting a fish in the net not what i wanted .

With two hours remaining of the match i decided to start feeding the left hand margin with four big pots of hemp plus corn , i also made the bold or stupid decision to put my second net in and while i left my margin to settle so went back on to my paste swim which took a while to get going again after being neglected for an hour , i was relieved to finally start getting indications again but the fish i began catching now were f1s instead of carp so i reduced the paste size again which increased the amount of bites that i hit .


I noticed a swirl from a big carp at the side of the reeds where i had potted in the bait so i took the opportunity to give my margin rig a go with double corn on the hook , i had purposely left all the float bristle showing so i wouldn’t be tempted to strike at any little dinks which would have only resulted in foul hooked fish . My first proper bite resulted in yards of yellow 14s matrix elastic streaming from the pole tip , after struggling to get it under control for about five minutes i had a near double figured carp in the net which was a bonus and another smaller one followed before i started getting bites from silvers so a couple more pots of feed went in before i returned to my paste rig .


A few more f1s came to my four meter line before after about twenty minutes the fish were back in the margin , so a quick change of rig resulted in a couple more carp before i hooked something heavy which just plodded about then headed off into open water before the hook pulled and i felt that it must have been foul hooked , a few more cups went in and by rotating between the two swims i kept fish coming for the rest of the match apart from in the last ten minutes when i had run out of corn+hemp so i decided to feed pellets which strangely killed my margin .

When the all out sounded i was unsure if i had done enough to end my time at Balmoral AC with a win but i had certainly caught a few fish , as it turned out it was probably the best club match that i had been involved in with lots of weights around the 50lb mark . It was between me and one other lad for the match win , he had caught constantly all day where i had a bigger stamp but the quiet hour would most certainly cost me and it did with my 53 fish going 94lb but he put 106lb on the scales for the match win and new club record , So well done you fished a great match . 

It was a closer result than a few people in the club had thought and it was a fitting result to end my time at the club because i have lost count on the amount of matches that i had just fell short of winning in my four years with them ,it was just a real shame that it ended up the way it did  but to be honest i didn’t expect any less from some members in the club .

I hope you have all enjoyed reading about my club fishing exploits and i have booked some good matches for Balmoral AC next year i just hope that they find someone good enough to take over from me . I think that you will like my open match blogs that i will be doing from now on and i know it is going to be a real step up for me , i have no doubt it will be a steep learning curve but i am looking forward to it .

Sycamore fishery

4th August , peg 25 Rowans


With the weather still being nice i decided to grab a few hours after work on Sycamore fishery to have a practise fishing ground-bait along the far bank , after reading an article in the pole fishing magazine by Tony Curd i decided to replicate it and see if it would work on here , i set up three rigs to cover my options ;

1, At the side of the reeds i plumbed up to find 2.5ft deep and i would kick off my session here by pinging maggots there before continuously laying my rig through them , my rig was a 0.2 scone float and my main line was 0.12 garbo with a 0.10 hook length which had a size 20 drennon silver fish-hook.

2, Far bank 1ft deep i would start my far bank swim at this depth before going tight across to the mud bank and i used a matrix series1 float 0.3 with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 18 guru lwg hook .

3, Mud bank six-inch deep , i would use this line if i started getting line bites on my deeper rig and i used a matrix series 1 float 0.1 with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 18 guru lwg hook.

My bait was;

1 pint red and white maggots

2 pints ground-bait

I started fishing at three and began flicking maggots towards the far bank reeds , i was constantly laying my rig through the failing bait trying to entice a bite, it wasn’t long before i started picking up the odd fish a mixture of f1s+carp and i had a dozen in the first hour but you could hear the fish slurpping under the far bank reeds due to the sunny weather so i decided that the time was right to try the mud line .

I proceeded to pot two big cupping kits full of soaked ground-bait and it didn’t take long before you could see backs out of the water , i began catching fish almost straight away and they seemed to be a bigger stamp too but it wasn’t long before i started with the dreaded foul hookers .So i picked up my shallower rig and pushed it tight against the far-bank mud line ,i was feeding a large kinder pot after every fish being careful not to feed right near the bank because i really wanted the fish to stay in the slightly deeper water were they would be hopefully easier to catch and less foul hookers .


This worked ok for me but i wasn’t catching as quick as i would have liked,so i decided to take a risk and put in another two big pots of ground-bait in but i felt that this may have drawn too many fish into my peg because i really began suffering with foul hooked fish , to try to get round the problem i picked up my deeper far bank rig and this would enable me to push it up the slope using the stotz on the line to nail it onto the deck which would hopefully cut out the liners-foul hookers because i had some weight on the bottom i had quite a bit of tip showing on the float and the bites now was really positive with most just ripping the elastic out .


After three hours fishing i decided to call time on my session with nearly forty f1s-carp coming my way including one approaching 3lb it was very long and might touch 5lb if it had a bit of a belly , all in all i had a very good session and felt that i learned a great deal as it isn’t something that i do a great deal off but i will need to add it to my armory for when i hit the open trail next season .


ULC Match 7, 13.07.14, Lathom Fisheries – Pond 1


Weather: 18c Sunny Intervals, NW 15mph, Air Pressure 1010

I had a chance to fish Lathom the day before the match as there was no match on it.  I got to the fishery about noon on the Saturday and found that Timmy, who I had arranged to meet there, was already set up on peg 10 so I decided to set up on peg 12.  It was basically fish after fish and we probably could have caught over 200lb each if we settled on catching F1’s but we were both experimenting and trying to get through the F1’s and catch some of the bigger carp, but what ever we did the F1’s would be straight on the feed.  The wind had been lightly blowing towards peg 1 for that last couple of days but was due to change and blow towards the opposite corner for the day of the match. What…

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ULC Match 9, 09.08.14, Sycamore Fisheries


Weather: 20C, Mainly sunny, 15mph SW wind, Air Pressure 1008

After a poor performance in the open match at Sycamore a few weeks ago I decided a practice on this water was needed to figure out my feeding and also whether to target the F1’s or the carp. I managed to get up there the Sunday before the our club match and with there being the usual weekly open on it, I had to wait until they had weighed in and I would be able to fish from about 4.30pm – 8.30pm. I set up rigs to fish 4ml pellet on a lasso and paste tight against the near bank. It was a shame I didn’t have maggots and groundbait as this would be one of the lines I would fish on the match. The carp came thick and fast on my top 2 lines and even though I was…

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Gorses farm fishery , formerly Nicks farm

August 12th , peg five

Gorses farm

This was my last chance to get back on to the bank before my wife goes away for a fortnight with work , i had planned on going to Sycamore fishery but after speaking to my mate he informed me that Nicks farm in Aspull was fishing really well at the moment and as i hadn’t been there for nearly four years so i decided a return was in order .

The weather during the day while i was at work wasn’t the best with strong winds and the occasional heavy shower but it was forecast to be hopefully a bit better in the afternoon , i arrived at the venue around three and it is your basic style of water with it being square in shape it also has twenty pegs with a very small island in the middle , from what i remembered on my last visit it had a big stocking of carp mainly mirrors and a few skimmers-silvers . Their was five other anglers on the lake so i thought it must be fishing well although i didn’t see anyone catch while i was setting up and you are always a bit apprehensive when visiting somewhere new or a place you haven’t been for a while , i decided to target it the same as i did at Lathom last week so i could practise my paste fishing because i do struggle using it for small stamp f1s-carp .

peg five

My to rigs  today was ;

Paste-5 ft deep and used a 0.4 scone jadz float with two size eight stotz half way down the 0.12 garbo line my hook was a turbertini 808 with 12s preston duro elastic .

Shallow-2ft deep i used a 0,3 matrix series three float with a bulk of size ten stotz under the float with one dropper , my 0.12 garbo line was direct to a size 18 kamasan f1 hook and elastic was 12s preston duro .

My bait was your basic ;

1 pint green swim-stim

2 pints 4mm pellets

Small tub mixed hard pellets

bait table

At 330 i was ready to get started and shipped out to four meter i didn’t really want to go further out because of the wind which might make controlling the float a bit problematic i had plumbed up to find a reasonably flat bottom anyway , i deposited my ball of paste plus some 4mm pellets and surprisingly my float settled just right the first time , i waited a few minutes with no indications so i shipped back in and re-fed the same amount as at the start but this time my float slid straight away and fish number one made a spirited fight before hitting the net which was a nice little mirror carp around 8 oz and was the smallest of the day .

8 oz mirror carp

I was soon getting into a steady rhythm with a fish or missed bite coming every time i shipped out and they was gradually getting bigger with the average stamp now approaching nearly 2 lb all bar one was a mirror carp , in the first hour i had twenty fish and i had begun getting a few liners with the odd carp taking the paste as it fell , which was my sign to pick up the shallow rig and i started at 2ft deep because their was nothing showing on the surface .

2 lb mirror carp

I began getting line bites straight away so i had plenty fish in front of me but i needed to go shallower to find them and when i did get the correct depth it was a fish a chuck , still all mirrors though and like all good shallow anglers i got into a routine ;

feed before i shipped out

slap my rig a couple of times to mimic the loose feed

hook a fish re-feed then ship back in

By doing this i had thirty fish in the middle hour and it looked like showing no signs of stopping but i was running out of pellets so i decided to go back on to my paste line for the last hour , as i thought it would it took a few drops to get them back on the deck and cut out the 4mm pellets to try to concentrate them back on the bottom , they was soon back feeding confidently and yet again i was catching or missing a bite every time i went in . With thirty minutes left it started going dark with some nasty rain clouds making their way over the hill , i hoped that it might pass over me but i wasnt that lucky and it began lashing it down so for the second time in two fishing trips i got soaked , the fish was still feeding well so i decided to stick it out and pack up when it had passed by .

biggest mirror carp of the day

When i called time on my session i had caught nearly 70 fish in three hours for between 80-90 lb all mirror carp except for a solitary common carp and a surprise barbel which i didn’t even know was in the lake but a lot has probably changed since my last visit here the fish have certainly grown too , it was a good practise for my last club match at Lathom fishery and i would recommend coming to Gorses farm to anyone that fancies a good days fishing or wanting to try out a new method because it’s stuffed with fish although a bit of variety would have been nice and next time i think my tip rod might get a workout casting towards the island .

little barbel


Partridge lakes Ribbon

10th August , peg 15


Today was the next to the last round of Balmoral angling clubs season and we headed off to Partridge lakes Ribbon it is a twenty peg donut style water which is between 12-14 meters to the central island , every peg has a 1ft wooden fence around it to prevent you from falling in and there are trees close behind you which can make shipping back a bit problematic . The lake has a good record on big matches+open matches but they only tend to put half the pegs in and in my opinion they do seem to be a bit close together , the fish in here are mainly f1s up to 2lb , ide around the 1.5lb with a sprinkling of skimmers and carp .

The weather leading up to the match had been nice and sunny but a bit blustery , when i woke up in the morning though we had caught the back-end of hurricane Bertha and was greeted with it persisting it down with rain which lasted all day plus a really strong wind , luckily on Ribbon it was very sheltered so at least you could shelter under the brolly which most of the club choose to do whereas the fool hardy me and kenny made do with just the water proofs although i did have my bait brolly to keep my essentials dry .

I was half expecting a lot of dropouts due to the conditions , so i was pleasantly surprised when we had sixteen anglers attending todays match which meant four sections of four and as a result we could also leave a few pegs out , i hoped that this might ease the pressure a bit as a few in the club had been up to see the weigh in on the earlier Saturday where only 20lb had won and a few had even blanked on the high teen numbered pegs which i wasn’t expecting to hear from water on Partridge lakes in summer but i am sure it wont fish that hard surely .

As it was still lashing it down with rain we did the draw from the dryness of the cabin , when everyone had finished picking i ended up on peg 15 not really the area i wanted to be in especially when i got to it i found that i was in the middle of six of the best anglers in the club and i also had two of the clubs moaners to my right so it was lucky that i had my earphones today .The peg itself was 13 meters tight to the island were it was only six-inch deep near the mud bank and i felt that was too shallow in the conditions, i was happy to find 2ft at the side of the reed bed and 3ft flat area down the far slope , i had also been told not to bother with the channel or margin so i just had three rigs to set up today ;

1, Pellet rig 3ft deep on the far slope i used a 0.3 scone float which had a spread bulk of number ten stotz with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 18 gamma pellet hook .

2, Maggot rig 2ft deep near reeds i used a 4×8 maver float with a n on the drop shotting pattern with 0.10 garbo direct to a size 20 drennon silver fish-hook .

3, Maggot shallow rig 1ft deep , i used a 0.1 scone float with an on the drop shotting pattern with 0.10 garbo line direct to a size 20 drennon silver fish-hook .

My bait today was going to revolve around just maggots but after seeking some advice on the internet about the venue it came to my attention that soft pellet would be worth starting on .

2 pints red+white maggots

1 pint micro dusted with ground-bait

small tub 4mm expanders

As the all in sounded and with the rain still lashing down i decided to take it a bit easier on the feed until i knew what mood the f1s are in plus i needed to find out if any fish was in the area , i kinder potted in some micros then lowered my expander amongst it and i had shotted my float so the weight of the pellet would pull my float under which meant that i needed to push my rig up the slope slightly until just a pimple was on the surface , it took a couple of feeds before i enticed my first bite and the f1 or carp proceeded to take me round the corner of the island through the next peg before the hook pulled out .

I was unsure at the start of the match on how to set up my elastic today because i had expected to catch ide which have really soft mouths and you can suffer lots of hook pulls if its set too tight , but while i was fishing pellet i tightened it up a bit which offered me some control over the fish but my next two f1s also came off ,the  first was when on shipping back my pole through the undergrowth i managed to hit a tree and off it popped , the other was when the hook pulled as i was guiding it to the net because their was quite a steep drop from the peg to the water and i couldn’t get the pole tip low enough because their was a safety fence in front of every peg ,thinking about it i should have moved my box to the right a meter as i lost a few ide later in the match due to hook pulls which along with the f1s cost me a better finishing position .

After managing to sort out my elastic situation i finally began putting the odd fish in the net with no more dramas , my peg was gradually getting stronger and i wax feeding half a kinder pot after every fish but the bites were very hard to hit and it seemed they wasn’t very happy in that area , so it came as no surprise when the f1s drifted off to the other end of the lake and they was replaced with a nice stamp of skimmer but when one did its best dolphin impression it seemed to unsettle the shoal and after half the match i had about twenty pounds in the net which if i continued going the same way then i might have a chance of framing but as the rain eased and it warmed up slightly my peg died on me .

I had fired half a dozen maggots at the reed bed every couple of minutes for the past hour so this is where i hoped their might be a few ide waiting and i could continue building my weight again , but my first few fish where 4oz silvers not really what i wanted and for about an hour i didn’t catch a great deal . I had used my stronger pellet rig against the rushes because with the stamp of f1s i had caught i was reluctant to use my lighter silver fish rig which had the solid 8 elastic so would have meant controlling them a nightmare but when i tangled this rig after yet another hook pull i had no other option but to change .

But after changing it i began getting the odd ide and when i started kinder potting maggots and not using the catty i managed to concentrate them on the deck which made them easier to catch plus i also picked up the odd f1 too , with thirty minutes to go the heavens opened again just in time to soak everyone’s gear but it had a good effect on the fishing as the ide began to feed in earnest with a few of us playing fish at the same time .

All too soon it was the time for the final whistle and it fished remarkably well in the conditions but only in patches with certain areas struggling especially on the more fancied pegs , it seemed that many different baits worked today but the best weights came from fishing tight across . We started the weigh in on peg one and they were pretty dismal until we got to peg nine who had 45lb , peg ten had 60lb then a couple more bad weights before my 26 fish went 34lb on peg 15 and peg 18-19 had 35lb + 38 lb .

So overall i finished fifth and lost enough fish for at least third due to angling error but that’s the way it goes sometimes in match fishing , i did manage to beat my main challenger for the club leadership but not by enough places to make it last to the final match , so well done Dave Benson you fished really well this season winning two matches on the way to the top of the table but the second place is still up for grabs at Lathom fishery so lets hope i can finish my time at Balmoral AC on a high .

1st Kenny Baxter 60lb

2nd John Unsworth 45lb

3rd Aidy Hardman 38lb


Lathom fisheries pond one

Peg 2 , 7th August

With the weather still being nice i decided to have a few hours fishing and wanted to go somewhere a bit different so with our last match taking place at Lathom that is where i choose to go , i had planned on fishing the normal match hours and got to the venue for 9 am but i was still surprised to find that most lakes were nearly full especially on pond one which is where i wanted to fish it just proves how well Lathom is fishing now .

In my opinion i have found that the early pegs on the pond aren’t usually the best but other than plonk myself in between two anglers i had no option and settled on peg two , i had decided to keep things a little simple so a choose just a couple of lines and bait these where ;

Shallow 1ft+2ft 0.3 series three matrix float with 0.12 garbo direct to a kamasam size 18 f1 hook which had a micro bait band , i choose to fish at 6 meters and would loose feed six pellets every couple of minutes for the first hour before upping the feed when i went on it mid-match .

Paste 4ft deep on top four line , i used a 0.4 scone jadz float with 0.14 garbo line direct to a turbertini 808 hook and i decided to fish that at 4 meters so would feed half a cup of 4mm pellets and a nugget of swim stim paste , i fished this line for the first and last hour of the match .

Bait today was just your basic ;

3 pints 4mm pellets

1 pint swim stim paste

4+6mm hard pellets

At 10 am i was ready to start and began on my paste line it took me a few attempts to get my float to settle correctly and the bottom was rather uneven but it all went towards feeding the peg , it didn’t take long before i began getting indications and at first they was easy to hit with some nice sized f1s coming to the net i also had a run of tench including one approaching the 4lb mark which is my biggest of the season so far , but with me feeding pellets on my paste line i began getting lots of line bites from the fish up in the water and with me catching about twenty in the first hour i decided to let my paste line settle before going on to my shallow swim .

I started on my 2ft rig and upped my feed , by constantly laying my rig through the feed i began getting bites , it didn’t take long before the fish were swirling on the surface and i swapped rigs for my shallower one . This increased my catch rate considerably i did notice that slapping worked better than tapping which i thought was strange because i find the former is usually best for f1s , feeding while i was unhooking the fish rather than when my rig was in the water cut down on foul hookers considerably but apart from that it was all pretty straight forward although the paste fish were a bit bigger and in the middle three hours i added another forty f1s .

It was approaching the last hour and with me still having some paste left i decided to give it another go but this time i cut out the pellets and reduced the ball of paste to the size of a pea , this increased my catch rate too which included some nice skimmers and finally i managed to get among some proper carp including some around the 5lb mark . As i called time on my practise match i ended up with nearly 80 fish over 1lb plus a few around 3-5lb and i even had one take my bare hook from the margin while i was packing up my gear , so all in all i had a good days fishing and it looks like the match on their will be a fitting end to my days at Balmoral Angling Club .