July 12th , peg six Belvedere lake
A new venue for me to visit today which was Weston pools in Oswestry I just hoped that it would live up to all the hype surrounding it which mainly revolved around the specimen barbel , I decided to head off on the sixty mile journey at around 9am so that I could hopefully avoid the rush hour traffic and after a bit of a detour through the town centre I arrived at the venue around 10am which was good going . I bought my day ticket and some fishery pellets from the cabin before having a walk around looking at all the waters every one of them was well established and picturesque , I was really struggling on which lake to choose and finally settled on Belvidere peg six which wasn’t far from where Les Thompson filmed a dvd for Matrix , it offered me some open water in between the beds of Lilly pads along with reed lined margins just like every other peg on the lake .
As I mentioned earlier that it was a new place for me to fish so I decided to target it just like I would a normal venue around here and although I don’t usually fish lakes I was quite looking forward to the challenge ;
Top kit , I choose to fish the first hour on this line after plumbing up I found a depth of 4ft and decided to use a new float which The Big Dippers dad makes it was a Jeff’s float Joof similar in design to the Malman Roob but a bit slimmer in body , it was 4×14 in size with a bulk just above the six-inch hook length because I wanted to get the bait straight to the bottom which should in theory encourage more bites and as I was unsure of the size of the fish in here I decided to set up quite strong using 014 Matrix main line with a size 18 Matrix rigger hook which had a micro bait band attached .
All the time I had been setting up I had thrown a few pellets onto my top kit line so I was expecting some sort of response but you just never know what will happen on a new venue and I was full of anticipation waiting for my float to slide under which it soon did with the culprit being a nice sized crucian quickly followed by a tench it had been awhile since I caught fish like this because they don’t seem to be in most commercials and I was quite happy catching these although I had noticed that I was getting liners soon after feeding as the constant stream of pellets failing through the water had brought them up of the deck making them harder to catch . I decided to rectify the problem by feeding with a small cupping kit full of pellets this had the desired effect and I was back catching again then it suddenly went quiet I wondered if I had over done it with the feed but it wasn’t long before I found out why when my elastic shot out at a rate of knots after a spirited fight I finally landed the culprit a carp of nearly 8lb , all the disturbance seemed to have dragged in the F1s as I went on a nice run of fish all around the pound mark and the bites where proper indications not the little dinks you get round here either a 6mm or 8mm pellet was the best hook bait .
All the time that I had fished short I was loose feeding my shallow line with a dozen maggots I needed to do this by using a catty because although the wind wasn’t particularly strong it was swirling around one minute being in my face the other off my back also the constant drizzle meant I had to wear my water proof jacket which restricted my arm movements , I had two rigs set up to use both of which where an 02 Drennen AS 3 float with 012 Matrix main line direct to a size twenty Matrix Rigger hook which had a pellet band attached which I used to fish a dead maggot I felt that by using this hook bait it would offer me a more natural fall plus with more hook point showing it should provide a better hook hold and one rig was set at 3ft the other 2ft so I could work through the water layers to find out where the fish would be most comfortable . I began on the deeper of the two rigs because even after the constant feeding of maggots I still hadn’t seen any fish swirling but on my first drop the rig had only just settled to the full three-foot depth when my float dipped under , a sharp lift resulted in a couple of meters of my orange Matrix elastic being ripped from my pole while the fish had departed the swim I took the opportunity too feed again and I fed also when I had the fish on my top kit it took a bit of getting used too it but the more often that I fed the better my swim became the fish were soon moving further up the water levels so a change to my shallower rig was required this had me on one a chuck all of which were good-sized f1s with the odd ide mixed in between and after an hour the bites started to become less frequent this coincided with the weather improving and the sun coming out which I though should have made the fishing better so I decided to put another section of pole on to see if they had backed further out in the lake which thankfully was the case and I was soon bagging again following two hours of fishing shallow I had caught about fifty f1s for around 80lb it showed no signs of slowing but I wanted to try the margins to see if I could catch any of the big barbel Weston pools was renowned for .
My margin swims were both relatively deep at nearly three-foot so I used another of Jeff’s floats an 04 Ruddy with 016 Matrix main line which had a Matrix hook length and a size 16 Matrix rigger hook that had a bait band attached , I choose to feed my left hand swim quite heavily with pellets using a cupping kit the other side I would be using a kinder pot being a bit negative so I could have a good comparison between them both . I started on my left hand swim which I had prepared for the past hour with a cup full of pellets every twenty minutes so with an 8mm pellet on the bait band I lowered my rig in among the side of the reeds and I began getting liners almost instantly , when I lifted into a proper indication my elastic was ripped out and my pole bent double when I finally managed to get it under some sort of control it made a consorted effort to get under the platform and after what felt like an age up popped a barbel of around the 5lb mark which only just fitted in my net they certainly fight well in here . After catching a mixture of carp+f1s+barbel from my left hand margin I re fed with a cup of pellets and then swopped to my right hand swim it was a bit slower on this side but the bites I did get were from a bigger stamp of fish including one carp approaching 10lb , by swapping sides I managed to keep the fish coming for the final ninety minutes I did manage a few more big gudgeon that only just fitted into the landing net but none of the double figure ones that Belvidere lake is famed for .
All in all I really enjoyed the fishing at Weston pools it is a really nice looking venue that is rammed with fish in perfect condition which is no doubt down to the aerators being left on all of the time and I cant wait to get back again hopefully for a try on a couple of the opens in the coming weeks but before that I am going to have another try on the Sycamore evening match before my final big contest for a while the Maver Match This at Partridge lakes on the Saturday .