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