Sycamore fishery — Rowans

March 23rd , peg 23 Rowans


After managing to get the day of work as we was having some units fitted i decided to spend a few hours on the bank of Sycamore fishery and reacquaint myself to the f1+stockies in their , i had to stay local because i needed to drop and pick up my little lad from school as it was only a ten minute drive it was the perfect place to go . I arrived at the fishery around 930 as i was the only angler on the complex i had the tricky job of picking the right peg and i decided to go on Rowans because it had been the one in form recently because you can’t learn anything if you ain’t catching .


As the wind and rain was blowing towards Davids pool i settled on peg 23 as this would enable me to use my bait brolly which would protect everything on my side tray from the elements although it was forecast to improve by dinner time , i was only having a short three-hour session i decided to use it to try a few new things out and when i was sorting my fishing gear out i noticed that there was some muddy patches along the far-bank shelf no doubt caused from feeding fish eating the remaining bait from yesterdays match , from previous experience on the venue i figured it would be at the depth of 3ft so i set up a positive+negative rig to cover my options this was something i had only recently started doing and i needed to spend a few hours getting it right .


I had also seen recently that the new trend for f1 fishing was to leave plenty bristle showing about 5mm and also have a longish leader between pole +float so i decided to give that a try but i didn’t want to put to many different things into the equation so i could get a better representation of how the two rigs compared and i choose to keep it simple with the bait with just micro-4mm pellets – expanders plus a few grains of corn being on my side tray . At ten o’clock i was ready to get started i put on my negative rig first and with a 4mm expander on the hook micros in the small cad pot , i shipped out to 12m deposited it in the swim then lowered my hook bait amongst it no sooner had it settled when it shot under and carp number one hit the net a couple more quickly followed but i think i had either overdone it with the feed or not fed enough because i went on to foul hook my next two fish which understandably killed my peg .


In the next hour i set up multiple swims at 3ft tried both my rigs but could only add a couple more carp the drizzle finally started to ease and finally i could see a touch of blue sky , i then had a light bulb moment !!! the last carp that i caught had swam towards me and not left or right , as you all know the f1s+carp usually head back towards their shoal when you hook them so maybe they had dropped further down the slope as the cold rain had gone in . I  replumbed up just six-inch deeper this also reduced the line between pole+float and i also began feeding every five minutes to try to make something happen , after a while my float slowly slid under this time a crucian hit the net and i started on a little run of them but the bites where only little dinks so i added another stotz to dimple it right down and by doing this it really magnified any little indication .


I don’t know whether it was by dotting the float down , the constant feeding or the better conditions but i suddenly began getting among the fish again and by the end i was getting a fish nearly every few minutes . All too soon the time caught up with me and i had to call it a day with 15 carp+f1s plus half a dozen crucians hitting the bank for about 25lb in just three hours , i feel that i have learned a lot today about rigs and feeding but i need to put a few more hours in before i get to the bottom of it .

I did find today that;

Feeding every five minutes was best

My positive rig produced more bites maybe due to the windy conditions

A dimpled down float showed up bites a lot better

Sitting on one line and working the rig seemed the way to go , rather than chasing them all over your peg .

Open Match on Bradshaw Fishery (Lakes 8 and 9)

Venue – Bradshaw Hall Fishery, Slack Lane, Bolton, BL2 4JW

Date of visit – Sunday 15th February 2015

Weather – Overcast and dry with light easterly wind

Fishery Website –


Tackle used

Daiwa G8 pole, 3 top kits with Preston Innovations dura hollo elastic (sizes 10 and 8)


Jeff’s floats 0.05g F1 wire patterns tied directly to 0.12 Silstar with a size 18 silverfish pellet hook for the 2 far bank rigs

Jeff’s floats 0.3g F1 carbon tied to 0.14 mainline with a 5 inch 0.10 hook length and a Kasaman B510 size 18 hook for the maggot swim

F1 wire


1 pint soaked micro pellet

½ pint soaked 4mm pellet

1 ½ pints mixed maggot

4mm Sensas expanders

The Session

It’s been a while since I contested an open match and even longer since I had the pleasure of fishing with my travelling buddy Neil, as team…

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Sycamore fishery– Rowans canal

March 15th , peg 28


After yesterdays fishing trip to Hall lane where i went to practice for the up and coming super cup match where i caught some big carp , i fancied a change of pace today and decided to go for some f1s so a trip to Sycamore fisheries was in order somewhere that i hadn’t been for a good few months because it was only ten minutes drive down the road i had a later than usual start but of course i still arrived their first . So i decided to have a quick walk around to reacquaint myself to the match canals , my mate had fished Silver birch canal on Weds and said that it had fished quite hard so i didn’t fancy drawing on their especially as the weather hadn’t got any better since then with an easterly wind , cold temps and overnight rain Will spring ever arrive .


When i got back at the cabin i went to book on their was a couple of people knocking about all the usual faces plus a few new ones , when it came to draw time i pulled out my usual flyer or is it i just the fact that i make them look good anyway off i headed to peg 28 Rowans canal and after making my way through the sluch i finally arrived at my home for the day , it was just your run of the mill peg on here 13m wide two far-bank reed beds which had a mud bank in between and the only different thing it had was a bush in between my peg and 27 which was a good area to target in summer but I’m not to sure it will have a bearing on things today so after looking at my peg i decided to fish three areas ;

Bottom near slope at 4ft – 4×12 malman roob float with 012 garbo main line which had a 010 garbo hook length and a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

Channel at 6m – 4×14 malman roob float with 012 garbo main line which had a 010 garbo hook length and a size 18 gamma pellet hook .

Far slope at 3ft – i set up two rigs for this line a 4×10 and a 4×14 malman roob  my main line was 012 garbo which had a 010 garbo hook length and a size 20 gamma pellet hook .


My bait was ;

Micro pellets

4mm expanders normal + white

1 pint red + white maggots

At ten o’clock it was time to get started so i shipped out to my far-bank marker with a few micros in the cad pot and a 4mm expander on the hook , after working my rig for nearly ten minutes my float dipped and f1 number one made its way to the net at nearly 1lb they had certainly packed the weight on since my last visit . For the next hour i was having my own little duel with the f1s and i was winning with six of them coming my way , in the second hour the stockie carp had muscled their way into my swim and although they were bigger they seemed to be coming into the peg in pairs with long waits between bites .


I had been loose feeding maggots on to my near slope since the match started and as it would also allow me to rest the far-bank i decided to give it a try but a bite less twenty minutes wasn’t what i expected because this line has worked really well for me on here in the past , the middle part of the match was a complete non event for me as i didn’t put a single fish in the net during a ninety minute spell despite rotating my swims and even set up a new one at 4ft across in case they had dropped further down the far-bank slope but this didn’t work for me either .


In the later stages of the match the cold easterly wind dropped a little with the sun finally showing itself and this seemed to spark a response in the fish as my seemingly lifeless far-bank began producing a few bites , by swapping between the three swims i had earlier set up across i finally started putting some fish in the net again and i felt that i was clawing my way back into contention of a framing place . The final whistle soon sounded and not for a long time had i not wanted to hear it as an extra thirty minutes would have given me chance to get the couple more fish required for a better finishing position .

I knew that corner peg 31 had caught well and so had the guy opposite me so i would just have to wait and see what the scales had to say  , when they arrived at my peg i needed to beat 33lb to take the lead and although i had only caught twenty fish i felt it could be close but unfortunately my net fell a bit short with the scales showing 29lb , i followed the weighers up the remaining pegs on Rowans canal and it turned out that i had done enough to get second on the canal plus third overall which wasn’t to bad on my first visit here in a while . Although i know that i did a few things wrong or failed to try today and if i fished it again i would have done better but that is why we keep going back because we are always learning especially when targeting those pesky f1s.

This week i will be mainly preparing for Sundays squad practise at Hall lane merlins pool where the first round of the super cup will be taking place and i then have the fun job of picking the team which will get us through . On a lighter note i have just watched the new Des Shipp e magazine which is all about winter_spring f1 fishing on tunnel barn and the fifty minute video is well worth watching because i haven’t seen that much about this subject on the screen although their has been a great deal written about it .


Partridge Lakes, Open Match, 07.03.15


Weather: Sunny, 12C, 25mph SW wind, Air pressure 1018

Peg; Covey 53

64 fished

The weather had warmed up this week and it looks like spring has arrived with temperatures into double figures.  There had been some warmish winds a couple of days before this match and today was to be the same with a strong south-westerly, 13C wind hitting the water.  Considering this my approach and preparation had changed a little for this match and the ice breaker and thermal wellies were left at home and my summer shallow rigs, pellets and a third keep net (wishful thinking) were packed into the car.  I had decided on a positive approach to this match and if I was to get a peg with a good breeze on the water I fancied I could catch shallow on hard pellet and I would also fancy them at 5ft on my top 2 with maggot.


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Hall lane fishery , Merlins pool

14th March , peg 11


With my up and coming Super cup match taking place on here and seeing as though i hadn’t been here since my club match last year i thought that it was about time i went down for a practise and try to get a feel for the place  before we had our match on their . I few of the squad had intended to turn up but most had prior engagements so it ended up just me and another lad , when we got to the complex we decided not to fish the better pegs which would also save on the very long walk to the bottom of the pool and went on the middle of the second island , the weather leading up to today had been a bit cold with a lot of overnight rain but now we had a light easterly wind with an overcast sky with temperatures around the five degree mark .


As we were practising for the match with both choose different tactics and bait , i decided to use meat and corn plus pellet if i was struggling and choose to fish top four bottom of near shelf and at 13m bottom of far shelf this was at about 5 or 6 foot deep . My mate decided to fish top four line with maggot and 14m tight to the island with pellet , so we felt this would give us a good way to decipher what would be the best tactics to use .


At ten o’clock we was ready to get started , i fed a small cupping kit on to my top four line which i planned on doing every thirty minutes for at least two hours before going onto it and i then went out too my 13m line with a large kinder pot full of meat+corn and a piece of meat on the hook i fished a float length over depth to present a static bait just incase the wind got any stronger . My rig was in the water for less than five minutes before it shoot under and i was briefly attached to a carp because for some reason it came off when i got it on to my top four line , this might have been down to the fact i needed to break down twice when shipping the pole back as their was a wire fence preventing me shipping back in one piece .


At least it showed that their was some fish in the area , i went back out with another kinder pot full of feed and lowered my rig in among it and i had to wait at least 15 mins before my next indication i also lost this one too and the next one as well .I decided to lay less line on the bottom to see if this would solve the problem and put corn on the hook this seemed to work well as in the next half hour i had a carp around the 4lb mark , a large skimmer and another carp around 8lb .


I then had a long wait before i got any more indications so i decided to feed it with a small cupping kit full of corn+meat because i figured that i wasn’t putting in enough feed to keep the bigger fish there and then went to give my top four line a try but after twenty minutes this failed to produce a single bite , the 13m line had benefited from the rest though as i had a couple of quick carp before bites tailed off again . My mate was catching the odd carp and skimmer fishing tight across so i decided to put in a line there myself because i felt that i needed somewhere to go when the bites began tailing off at 13m , i originally intended to continue fishing meat and corn their but this failed to produce a single bite so a quickly changed it to a pellet line the difference was remarkable because on my first drop with a 4mm expander on the hook produced a carp and a couple more quickly followed before i had a quiet spell of thirty minutes and a pattern was certainly emerging in my mind .


I set up another line at the same depth four meters further to my right and started again this also produced a few quick carp before it went quiet on me again , so i decided to alternate between the two swims picking a couple of carp off before changing swims this definitely seemed to be the way to go and i even put a swim in four meters to my left strangely this line only produced skimmers including a bream of nearly 5lb i put this down to the fact there was no bank side cover for the carp to feel comfortable in .


At 3 o’clock i decided to call an end to the session and ended up with between 40+50lb but could have added another 15 to 20lb on top with the carp that i had lost during the day , my mate ended up with about 20lb but tended to stay on just the one line across although he did have a few silvers on his top four with maggots . All in all it was a good day and we learned quite a lot which i hope to be putting to good use on the next two matches on here first to pick the team and then the actual super cup itself of course i will be spreading the information out among the squad members before hand .

Tomorrow i will be off to Sycamore fisheries to do a bit of f1 fishing its been a good few months since my last visit their , lets hope i can get back too my good results on their and better start polishing my drawing arm .



Widdows flash

March 10th , peg 26


After managing to get off work a bit earlier than usual i decided to have a few hours fishing to practice my short-range tip work , i had planned on going to Sycamore fishery which had shown signs of improvement looking at the weekends match results but i decided to go on Widdows flash because my mate text me earlier in the day saying that he was going their .

On arrival at the venue i was surprised to see half a dozen anglers fishing with most of them congregating towards the pegs in the thirties which usually through up plenty of carp in the colder months , i decided to sit on peg 26 which was near the board pegs another good area plus it was only a short walk from the rear car-park .As i had decided to only fish the tip rod i was set up in no time and at 3 o’clock i was ready to start , with only pellets on my side tray it should be a fairly straight forward and just needed to keep my casting tight .

I decided to cast every five minutes for the first half hour to put a bit of bait down before leaving it a while longer after that and would the regularity of bites-liners tell me how long to wait , i was casting a couple of feet off the far-bank in the slightly deeper water and it didn’t take long before i began getting twitches on the rod tip nothing positive though , when these disappeared i had to begin casting with more regularity because i noticed that i would get indications almost as soon as the feeder landed . I tried changing hook baits to a semi buoyant band-um but this didn’t work neither did a smaller 4mm pellet .


My mate was also struggling to catch fishing in the channel and from where i was sitting i could only see one person catch he was on the flyer peg 36 fishing 17m under the aerator , so you could say it was going to be a tough one but after an hour my tip finally pulled round proper and i was attached to a nice 1lb plus skimmer . I hopped that this was the first of many but i wasnt that lucky as it signaled the end of any more liners or bites . The lad that i was with started putting a run of tiny silvers together plus the odd one around 8oz , so with nothing happening across i decided to start a new swim casting in the channel towards peg 25 and just like at the beginning of my session i was getting plenty liners but still no proper indications i’m pretty sure that these were from the tiny silvers my mate was catching .

After another bitless hour i decided to go back across but casting a lot closer to the far-bank i was even contemplating changing from my pellet feeder to a small banjo but kept things the same , i thought that maybe i was casting a bit too frequent and that was the reason the small silvers moved in .So i decided to leave it up to twenty minutes before re-casting and i don’t know if by doing this or the light beginning to fade but i had a proper pull round which saw me attached to a big carp this unfortunately broke my 014 hook length as i was struggling to free the line from behind the line clip on the reel .


On my next cast the feeder was only in for five minutes before my next bite which nearly dragged the rod in and this time i managed to get in with no bother i soon had a near 6lb carp nestling in the net , the light was fading fast and i had just began packing up a few bits when my last cast of the session produced another carp but much smaller than my previous one . So lots for me to think about after today’s session it wasn’t exactly as hectic as i had planned and no doubt i would have caught a lot more at Sycamore fishery but on the plus side i was more than happy with my casting and the way that my rod coped with the big carp .

I’m off to Hall lane fishery on saturday for a practise on our first round supercup venue merlins canal so lets hope the carp are in a feeding mood , not sure yet about Sunday yet either Sycamore fisheries or Partridge lakes .


Old Hough fishery , upper benbo

Saturday 7th March , peg 18 upper benbo


After hearing about the festival that Old Hough fishery were holding at the end of May i decided to head down and have a look at the complex as i had only seen the place once before which was over two years ago , i rang up in the week to see how it had been fishing and what i would be expecting to find during the festival some how i ended up booking on to the open match which was to be held on upper+lower benbo canals and if i was travelling all that way i might as well try it in match conditions (if i’m lucky i could even pick up a few quid in the process)

When i rang up in the week i got told it was mainly pellet+corn , the depths of the canal and that carp+f1s where the main target species , so i was all prepared before i set off on the forty mile trip to the fishery . After making good time on the way down their i arrived at 750am and seeing as though i was the only person present i had a walk round to the canals that the match was taking place on , i noticed that upper benbo was between 14m+16m wide and lower benbo 16m+17m it was blowing a hoolie today which could make fishing  across a bit more difficult  , not surprisingly the vegetation was hardly blooming seeing as though we where just heading out of a very cold winter but it was really well looked after and i imagined that it would look very fishy in summer .


As i got back to the cabin i was glad to see a good number of cars present and i went to book on to the match it looked like thirty five would be fishing today , it was always a bit nerve wracking fishing against a different set of anglers although i had been talking to a few of the regulars on facebook . It soon got round to draw time and i joined the queue near the back when it came for my turn i was on peg 18 upper benbo which didn’t mean a great deal to me although i did find out after the match it was the worst area to be in . On arriving at my home for the day i found it bang in the middle of the straight it was just over 14m across but the strong wind blowing from right to left would make fishing this distance really awkward .

I decided to set up three rigs plus my feeder rod ;

2.5ft across , 4×12 malman roob float with staggered bulk starting above the short 6 inch hook length , my line was 012 garbo and hook was size 20 gamma pellet

3ft margin , 0.3 matrix series three float and my line was 014 garbo with the hook being a size 16 guru lwg

5ft channel , 4×14 malman roob with a bulk and dropper shotting pattern and my line was 012 garbo with a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

maggot feeder , 8ft matrix carpmaster rod with 6lb maver genesis main line and a small maggot feeder , my hook length was 012 garbo which had a size 18 lwg hook attached .

My bait for the day was ;

2 pints red and white maggots

1/2 pint micro

1/2 pint 4mm pellets

1/2 pint corn

tub normal and white 4mm expanders

As the all in sounded i went onto my 5ft rig at the bottom of my near shelf at 4m towards my left and i tapped in a cad pot full of micro+4mm pellets then lowered my expander in amongst it , i began working my rig to try to entice a bite i was also flicking a couple of 4mm pellets at my float which i hoped would attract some inquisitive carp . After 15 minutes i had my first indication which resulted in a near 1lb tench but it was really hard going not helped by my float towing through the peg even after going six inch over depth and a change of hook bait to a heavier piece of corn this produced my next bite which was from a nice stamp of f1 .


The guy on my right was catching small fish quite regularly by fishing at the bottom of the far slope on pellet , so i put in a small cupping kit of micro+4mm pellets in this area and left it to settle for twenty minutes , while i waited i continued on my near slope this produced a much smaller f1 at about 2 oz and then i hooked a lump which i couldn’t get up off the bottom but by pulling to hard on my orange matrix elastic my small hook pulled out of it . With all the disruption on the near line i decided it was time to go across on to the area i had potted the pellets in earlier , it didn’t take long before i was back amongst the f1s but at 2oz a piece i didn’t think that these where what i needed to catch, i persevered for an hour on this line but my biggest fish was only 8oz and with half the match gone i had about 4lb in the net not great .

I noticed that the few people which had caught carp on the opposite bank where able to fish across , so i decided yo chuck the maggot feeder tight over to the far-bank in forty minutes this only produced the odd small silver with little in the way of liners and i was going nowhere fast . I noticed that the wind had relented a little so i had no option but to bite the bullet and risk fishing across with the pole because i hoped to be targeting just carp on this line i only feed 4mm pellets with a few grains of corn , i was struggling to keep the rig still even with a long lash between pole and float which had a couple of number eight stotz as back shot . After about ten minutes without an indication i was wondering if it was worth fighting the wind , when at last my float shot under and i was finally attached to a carp of about 3lb , in the next hour i caught three more of similar size but also lost two when the pole got took by the wind and pulled the hook out of them .

2 lb mirror carp

I felt that i was on the verge of putting a run of decent fish together when the conditions conspired against me because the wind got considerably stronger blowing my pole off the rollers and with me fearing breakages i decided against continuing to fish across . My next move was to try loose feeding maggots between the keepnets this produced a bite a chuck from small silvers and thinking back i should have kept catching them as i was only a few pound away from getting my section but i felt that i needed a big carp so stuck it out on my margin swim with two grains of corn and never had a bite .

After packing up i walked round while they were doing the weigh in and on lower benbo the high number section was won with 34lb , lown number section was won with 24lb and it seemed this canal had a bigger head of f1s although still on the small side . On upper benbo the high numbers section  was won with 16lb i think  and the low number section fished really well with the top three weights coming from that side all with over 40lb , i didn’t stick around to get the exact details because i had a phone call from home telling me my 86 year old dad had fallen and been taken to hospital .

As i had now fished most of the match canals which would be in the festival i feel that i have learned a great deal and will be looking forward to giving them another go before it starts especially when it gets warmer , first i have the supercup against Firtree AC at Hall lane merlins to contend with and in the next few days i am planning a few hours on Sycamore fisheries practising my short range feeder work .