Sunday 17th May , peg 5 Lake 7
I had been invited to fish Bradshaw hall fisheries in Bolton as a guest on a friends club match and even though it is only a twenty-minute drive from my house i have never seen the place before but it was some where that i always fancied trying so i jumped at the chance the match was to take place on lakes six and seven , on arrival at the venue i was quite surprised at how well established the venue was with lots of groups of anglers knocking about somewhere waiting to contest the open but most where clubs and this was a bit problematic for me because i only knew a couple of the anglers that i was fishing with but after texting them to find out where they was i found that they were running late so it took me awhile to find the correct group of lads .
At 930 we got the draw underway as per usual for me a hung towards the back of the queue letting all the bad pegs go first and when it came to my turn i picked out peg five on lake seven this didn’t mean much to me as i hadn’t even got round to seeing the waters yet ,after a bit of a trek i finally found where i would be fishing i was a tad disappointed when i got there because it was rather small for a sixteen peg water and it had an island which was reachable at 14m on every one of them but it had very little in the way of vegetation to be honest it looked a bit like a bomb site nothing at all like the other waters on the complex .
Before i began setting up i had a quick chat with one of my mates who had fished this water a lot in the past and he was really upbeat about my prospects saying that it was a proper mixed venue with the top three being my main line of attack and over 40lb being my target weight , so after hearing that news i was really looking forward to the match now and decided to feed quite heavy to see how i would get on as i felt that i had been a bit negative on my previous few matches getting through less than two pints of bait i think that i would struggle to catch over my target weight using just that amount of bait.
I had three main lines of attack ;
Top three which was at the bottom of the near slope at 4ft deep i used a Malman Roob float size 4×12 with 012 garbo main line which had an 010 garbo hook length and size 18 gamma pellet hook .
13m line where i had found a relatively flat spot opposite one of the many bricks along the far-bank , i used a Malman Roob float size 4×10 with 012 garbo main line which had an 012 garbo hook length and a size 18 LWG guru hook with a bait band attached .
Margin swim top 3 towards the empty peg to my right this was about 2ft deep and i used a Matrix series three float in 03 size my main line was 014 garbo to a 012 garbo hook length which had a size 16 LWG guru hook .
As i mentioned earlier i had decided to up my feeding today and brought with me ;
2 pints meat cubed in both 4mm and 6mm
2 pints soaked 4mm pellets
tin of hemp
tin of corn
tub of mixed hard pellets
After a rather confusing start with a few matches taking place at the same time we eventually got going at 1015 i potted some hemp plus meat on my top three-line in front of me and then proceeded to lose feed cubes of meat every few minutes to try to draw some fish into the area maybe even getting them shallow , within five minutes my float dipped and a nice 2lb F1 hit the net i would be more than happy if they was all going to be of this size i had enough indications on this line to keep me interested but i just couldn’t hit any of them , the swim was fizzing away like mad and i tried all sorts of different shotting patterns to no avail before i knew it i had wasted the first forty minutes of the match .
The other anglers which were within eye shot had caught the odd fish by going across on what looked like pellet so i decided to follow suit and went on to my 3ft swim which i had earlier plumbed up to find a flat spot , i tapped out half a dozen 4mm pellets before lowering my banded pellet among it and after a couple of feeds i was into some fish at first they was F1s then some nice tench + skimmers . For the next ninety minutes i was catching a mixed bag of fish fairly regularly but for some reason it began to slow down and i needed somewhere else to go while i rested it , luckily i had potted in meat + hemp on my top kit plus one to the right of me and this produced a run of carp and barbel before i kept getting snagged up losing a few hook lengths plus a full rig .
I had no option other than to set up another swim even further to my right and cupped in some bait and while it rested i went back across to my original far-bank swim this had slowed considerably with the rest not working out how i had planned , thinking back i should have just put in another line and kept on doing that every time it showed signs of fading bad judgement on my part I’m afraid . After 30 minutes of struggling across i went on to my new margin swim and began getting a few fish but yet again i kept getting snagged up so i had to resort to fishing six-inch of the deck this seemed to solve the problem but slowed my catch rate down as i was no longer getting the barbel .
By chopping and changing between the two swims i kept picking up the odd fish until the five-hour mark which i thought would have been the end of the match and i had even forced the peg to try to extract a few extra fish , but then i found out we was fishing an extra hour but by now i had properly ruined my peg and struggled to get more than a couple of fish in the time before the all out . When the whistle finally sounded it called time on a rather puzzling but enjoyable match and i ended up catching a 48lb mixed bag of fish which only put me 4th on my lake with just 62lb needed to win and the first+last hour cost me dearly , it’s always nice after the event but if i had my time again i would have ;
1, found out how long we would be fishing before the match started .
2, should have concentrated on fishing pellet rather than trying to be clever fishing meat which they did not want
3, i should have set up a few lines across or maybe gone further up the far-bank shelf when the bites slowed down .
Well you live and learn that’s why we all go fishing to try to improve , I’m looking forward to my long weekend off work with a pleasure session planned for the Friday which is either going to be at Wrightington Rivi view which is somewhere that i don’t get to visit that often or Hall lane Bessie’s which is a snake lake style water with mainly stockies in it and then I’m off to Old Hough Big Max for a bit of feeder fishing plus long pole depending on the wind as a guest on another club match .