Sycamore fisheries

October 26th , peg 29

Rowans canal

Rowans canal

After not being able to get on the bank last weekend i was understandably eager to go fishing again and after my near ton on the last visit to sycamore fisheries that is where i headed , with the clocks going back over night i was sure that it would have a bearing on how it would fish and coupled with the extremely big turn out it certainly did in fact it was the largest amount of anglers to grace its banks this year with 37 in attendance . It is a venue which usually attracts lots of extra people when the club season finishes and in my opinion another canal will be needed soon because like any venue it fishes a lot better when you get some room , the fish are growing at a fast rate too which could get problematic when you are fishing side by side .

When i got to the fishery i booked on to the match and had a look at the results from weds open were only eight people fished with 50lb winning from peg 37 and it looked like the high numbered pegs on the twenties side was the place you didn’t want to be with lots of anglers not weighing in from that area , so it was with some disappointment when i pulled out ball 29 my drawing arm had let me down today but in the past two months i have framed from pegs 28 and won from 27 so i had an idea how best to fish it but conditions where a lot different today with a recent drop in temperature and gusty wind to contend with .


As there was no fish showing shallow i felt that it would also rule both far-bank and margin out too , so i just set up three rigs which were ;

3ft , malmans benny float 4×10 with 0.12 garbo line and a 0.10 hook length which had a size 20 gamma pellet hook elastic was red matrix .

4ft , malmans benny float 4×12 with 0.12 garbo line and a 0.10 hook length which had a size 20 gamma pellet hook elastic was red matrix .

channel , malmans benny float 4×14 with 0.12 garbo line and a 0.10 hook length which had a size 18 guru lwg hook elastic was red matrix .

My bait today was the usual maggot attack but surely it must be nearly pellet time so i brought a few with me just in case ;

2 pints red and white maggots

1 pint micro and ground-bait

small tub of mixed expanders


When the all in sounded i went on to my 3 meter line and began kinder potting maggots every five minutes , going from past experience on these pegs i knew it would take a while before the carp moved in but thirty minutes without an indication wasn’t what i had expected even the little crucians-tench were not in my peg . I was on the verge of changing lines but i decided to change shotting patterns first as i was adamant that they would turn up on this line because it had worked so well for me in the last couple of months , i changed to loose feeding just six maggots instead of kinder potting but a further ten minutes past before my float finally dipped and carp number one hit the net quickly followed by its bigger brother i knew it would be a struggle here as i have found out loose feeding usually brings them up of the deck but i didn’t even have a single line bite .

Strangely today there was a definite lack of fish in this area and with an hour gone i only had two carp in the net which was about the same as all those around me , it was time for my next line to see if i could find any fish they’re so i shipped out to the far-bank at 11 meters where i had earlier plumbed up to find a depth of 3ft and this time i decided to give pellets a whirl and with a 4mm expander on the hook i tapped in a few micros before lowering my rig in among it . I  refed every five minutes hopping to attract some fish on to this line but thirty minutes without a sign had me scratching my head , may be they was in the deep water in the channel which i had been big kinder potting maggots every fifteen minutes at six meters since the start of the match but another half an hour with no indications and it was going to be a long day as half the match had already past with still only two fish gracing the net .


I set up another line at 11 meters towards my right hand side as this was where the odd fish had come out , this time i choose to fish maggots and after a couple of feeds every five minutes i had a slight dink on the float which resulted in another carp , quickly followed by another but no more indications followed and it looked like a pattern was emerging . Another rotation of my swims failed to produce anything other than a lost carp on the three meter line which after not playing a fish for over an hour i took it to easy with the hook pulling out at the net and as we was fast approaching the last hour i decided to concentrate all my efforts here .

I kept flicking six maggots at my float before laying my rig through it and finally i had an indication which of course i missed but it did give me some encouragement to continue , it wasn’t long before i finally had a run of carp with four coming my way in the last forty minutes and i did notice that a couple where deep hooked which was strange as i was fishing at dead depth they must have just been sitting there not moving enough to register on the float .


When the all out sounded i had a grand total of eight carp in the net for 14lb and i was one of only a couple to weigh in on my side of the canal , peg forty won the match with 75lb but after that two low twenty pound weights got the framing positions so it fished extremely hard but with only one empty peg on rowans it was understandably . The carp that i did see get caught near me where with corn or bread and no feed so it looked like the fish down this end were not in a feeding mood today and strangely no f1s turned up , well my winning run came to a crashing halt but i have put that down to my draw and you can only catch what is in front of you . I will be back for another try next weekend and i might even get on the open match at Partridge lakes on Saturday although my wife might have other ideas .

Balmoral AC presentation evening

Well it has soon come round to the end of the 2014 season and that means another presentation evening and so off we headed to our local pub which was the Ellesmere inn , i was unsure on just who was going to attend because yet again i had minimum responses from the texts that i had sent it isn’t hard to send a message back saying your coming or not and it is one of the things i will not miss as this will be my last season in the club due to other commitments .

On arrival at the pub i was the first one there and it was with a bit of trepidation i wondered if anyone would actually turn up but finally a few club members did , after hanging around for a bit to see if anyone else would turn up which they didn’t and in the end only seven could be bothered a pretty lousy turn out from the twenty anglers in the club . We decided to start the meeting and at least the main trophy winners were in attendance first we gave the medals out to the match winners ;

Partridge spey canal-Terry belshaw

Blundells pine canal-Aidy hardman

Hall lane gwens canal-Bob haggerty

Sycamore rowans canal-Gary matthews

Widdows pool- Dave benson

Hall lane merlins – Dave benson

Blundells ash pool -Terry belshaw

Orrcherton lake – Allen knob head holmes

Partridge lakes ribbon – Kenny baxter

Lathom lake one – Joey scott

The next and most important was the overall club winner plus runner-up , it was a close run thing this year and unluckily i just missed out on consecutive wins by just two points the couple of matches which i couldn’t attend cost me but i knew before the season it would be tough to retain it although a few better results or extra fish would have swung it my way but that’s just the way it goes sometimes , i think that my fishing has improved a lot this year and in the end i was happy with my second place .

First Dave benson 62 points

Runner up Gary matthews 60 points

Third Tony barton 52 points

Fourth Aidy hardman 49 points

Fifth Joey scott 45 points

So that was that presentation over and so was my time at the club , all i had left to do was pass the reigns over to the next unfortunate soul who was taking over and i hope he gets a better crack of the whip than i did as it can be a thankless task at times with a few members in the club serial moaners , all in all i have enjoyed my four years at Balmoral AC with only one season going past where i didn’t pick up a trophy and i think it has improved my fishing a great deal i would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the social side of fishing with banter flowing on every match . So that’s my club fishing career over with and i am looking forward to seeing if i can cut the mustard on the open scene which has gone well so far lets hope i can keep improving my results .

Matrix super box upgrade

After having had my Matrix super box for over 18 months and it was beginning to look a bit tired with a few rips on the seat , so with me not having the money to replace it i decided to give it a bit of a makeover , the first thing i wanted to do was recover the seat and this was a lot easier than i first imagined ;


1, I ordered some heavy-duty leatherette material of the internet and i decided on a blue colour so that it would match my Matrix ethos luggage but i am sure you could find almost any colour that you would like .


2, The seat itself was attached to the Matrix frame by just four screws and when these are removed it is a reasonably easy job to recover it .

3, You will need a heavy-duty staple gun , material scissors and a flat screw driver .


4, The pole butt plate will need to be removed and you do this by easing the staples out with the screw driver , this separates it from the seat by doing this it makes it easier for you to cover it .

5, Cut a piece of your leatherette material one meter square is more than enough , i left this bit for my wife to do but there is plenty instructional videos on you tube showing how to do it and over all it is pretty easy to do its all about getting the folds right on the corners .

6, Using your heavy-duty stapler attach the material and the pole butt plate to the wooden base of the seat , then re attach it to the frame with the four screws and jobs a good’un .

7, To totally re-make the seat doesn’t look that hard either as it is just a piece of MDF plus sponge and then cover in the same way but getting the right type of foam could be an issue .


With the seat now being covered i decided to get the frame of the box and legs sprayed , i didn’t think that having it done at a car body work shop would last especially on the legs which can take a bit of a battering with your box attachments going on and off it . So i had a look on the internet and stumbled upon powder coating which was similar with the stuff coating your radiators but more hard-wearing , the only trouble was that it needed to go in an oven so all the plastic pieces would be needed to be removed , the main bits are riveted in place so these would be needed to be drilled out and the other pieces can be easily eased out with a screw driver .


After a few days i got my box frame back i needed to put it all together most off it could be gently tapped back on , but you will need a rivet gun and some 4mm rivets to attach the pieces to the main frame which is a lot easier than you would think and if i can do it i am sure anyone can .



As you can see it makes a big difference to how it looks and if you’re a proper tackle tart like me then you can personalise it just how you like regarding colours etc , all for less than eighty pounds .