Old Hough fisheries , Big Max

May 24th , peg 29


As i needed to go down to Old hough fisheries to pick up my deposit for the recently cancelled festival i decided to kill two birds with one stone and see if any matches where taking place because it would be pretty pointless travelling all that way and not fishing , unfortunately there wasn’t any open matches on but after ringing round my friends i found that one of them had a clubbie on Big Max and he managed to book me on as a guest . I had never fished this water or even seen it before but i knew a few people who had fished it recently so after getting in touch i found out that it was a 32 peg water with an island about 25m away and the main species to target are carp + skimmers + f1s but there is also lots of little bits in too , also the main lines to fish would be a feeder to the island and long pole at 14m where their was a shallower bar to fish on with all this information i had time to make a plan on how best to target it .

After Saturday’s sunny weather i had heard they had caught some good weights by fishing shallow on Big Max and i quite fancied a bit of that but when i woke to find damp blustery conditions i doubted that would be a worth well tactic , on arrival at the complex after my forty minute drive i met up with the rest of the anglers on the car-park at the side of the lake and as per usual i was one of the first to arrive but it gave me the chance to have a walk around the lake. At 9 o’clock it was time for the draw and after doing my usual trick of waiting for the dodgy pegs to go before taking my chance i pulled out peg 29 which may come as no surprise to my regular readers it was only two away from were a tonne came from on the previous days open match .


On arriving at my peg it was the same as most on the lake with a good feeder chuck to the island plus a nice reed lined margin and it did look really fishy although the wind was blowing smack bang into my face but thankfully at least the drizzle had relented , obviously my tactics for todays match revolved around the information that i had received so i set up ;

Tip rod 9ft Matrix carpmaster with a 25 gram Matrix pellet feeder and my main line was 6lb which had a short six-inch hooklength with a size 18 guru LWG hook.

14m line i plumbed up to find 5ft deep and used a size 0.3 Matrix series three float with 0.14 garbo main line which had a short six-inch hook length of 0.12 garbo and attached was a size 18 hook with a micro bait band attached .

5m deck line i found this to be only six-inch deeper than my 14m line and used exactly the same rig as the above one .

Shallow rig set at 2ft deep with a size 0.3 Matrix series one float with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 18 hook which had a micro bait band attached .


After being told of all the small fish present i decided to use a more resilient bait taking with me ;

3 pints soaked 4mm pellets

2 pints hard 6mm pellets

tin of corn

mixed tub of hard pellets for the hook

At ten o’clock i was ready to go and my plan for the match would be to start on the feeder while priming both my pole lines , i had intended to loose feed pellets on to my 14m line but with it being so windy i doubted that i would be able to fish it properly and in fact never even ventured on that swim preferring to concentrate on my top five swim which was i lot more manageable i fed this line every twenty minutes with half a cupping kit full of pellets . I cast my pellet feeder towards the island where i had earlier clipped up so that it landed 2ft away from the far-bank , i didn’t want to chuck it too close because i had heard that it was quite snaggy plus with lots of cold rain going in over night i felt the fish would be in slightly deeper water . I planned to cast every couple of minutes at first to get some bait in although my accuracy could have been a lot better , after fifteen minutes my tip shot round and i was attached to a 5lb carp which put up a spirited fight before it hit the net a further fifteen minutes past before my tip went round again with another carp of similar size coming to the bank .


Upto now i hadn’t seen many other people catch much and i was also unsure of my target weight but if they was all going to be this big they would be worth waiting for , it was noticeable that i didn’t get any liners before i had a proper pull round so i decided to re-clip up a bit further down the shelf incase they were in slightly deeper water this worked a treat as i soon began getting liners before i had a run of eight big f1s hitting the net in an hour spell before it showed signs of slowing down and to be honest i was eager to try my five meter pole line which i had primed since the match started .

My first drop resulted in a small f1 heading my way but i was getting plenty indications and a few liners to so i decided to begin cattying in pellets around my float to try to get them up in the water but after a twenty-minute spell without a bite i gave up on the idea , i began feeding heavier to keep the f1s on the deck which would make them easier to catch this worked well with a fish coming every five minutes but they were smaller than those on the feeder and i decided to increase my hook bait to an 8mm pellet which was what i had used across to the far-bank . This slowed my bite frequency at first but the f1s were twice as big and by continued feeding the peg got gradually stronger in the last two hours i added a further 21 f1s plus the odd big carp it was all going extremely well that was until i hooked something a bit bigger or was foul hooked because it shot off at a rate of knots breaking my 0.14 main line , this broke my routine and my new rig never performed the same which was strange as it was identical to the previous one .


My catch rate virtually stopped in the last twenty minutes but just before the all out i managed another big f1 and i didn’t even get chance to try my margin swim which i had fed since start this might have been a mistake as a few big lumps had been caught down the side in the last hour , after packing up i managed to catch up with the weigh in with the best weight from the first few pegs was 60lb but when we got round to the opposite side it was like a totally different lake with it being flat calm plus what felt like a couple of degrees warmer and the best weight was 83lb that stayed until they came to my peg . The first net went 48lb which i caught in the final two hours and my second net went just over 40lb this was enough for my best match catch of the year plus i also had the win which was a nice bonus although i was kicking myself for not getting the tonne as it was more than possible if i had made a few quicker decisions during the match .


I am back at Partridge lakes for the next few weeks starting with a double-header this weekend because i have my Fisho qualifier on there in June so i need to improve the results i am getting on the coveys plus i have the Pole Fishing Masters at Tunnel Barn farm soon which is my first attempt at a festival which i am obviously really looking forward too .



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