Tunnel barn Friday flyer , club pool

August 28th , peg 11


With the subscriber classic run by pole+match fishing magazine in a few weeks time i decided to have a trip to Tunnel barn farm and see how things had changed since my last visit a couple of months ago , i also wanted to try a few of the waters that i hadn’t fished before especially Jenny’s which is a prolific match water with some big carp + f1s .After ringing up during the week to see what lakes would be free i got told the Friday flyer would be on canal pool and although i had fished it before it was water that i liked so i decided that i would fish that if i got to the venue on time  i then wanted to have a few hours on Jenny’s after it because hopefully that would mean i should miss the rush hour traffic .

After waking up pretty early on the morning of my trip to Tunnel barn i grabbed some breakfast before packing the car with my fishing gear the weather was forecast to a bit breezy with scattered showers but looked quite nice when i set off at 6am with blue skies between the grey clouds it was also reasonably warm at 12 degrees , the drive down went well apart from the usually 50mph zones and getting through Birmingham i finally arrived at the complex around 830 which was just in time to book on the open before the 9am draw .


I ended up on peg 11 which was your usually end peg flyer with the wind blowing my way i just hope that i dont mess this peg up like i usually do , i wanted a nice easy match and decided to fish a few areas which would give me plenty options these were ;

Margin 0.4 jeff’s ruddy float with 0.16 garbo main line with 0.14 garbo hook length which had a size 14 matrix bagger hook i also used yellow size 14 matrix elastic .

Top kit 4×12 malman roob float with 0.14 garbo main line with 0.12 garbo hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook i also used red size 12 matrix elastic .

Six meter channel line 4×14 malman roob float with 0.14  garbo main line with 0.12 garbo hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook i also used red size 12 matrix elastic .

Shallow over my channel swim , 4×8 preston chianti float with 0.12 garbo main line with 0.10 garbo hook length which had a size 20 matrix bagger hook i also used orange size 10 matrix elastic .

Far-bank 4×10 malman roob i later changed to a 4×14 when the wind got a bit stronger with 0.14  garbo main line with 0.12 garbo hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook i also used red size 12 matrix elastic .IMG-20150828-00730

With no bait limits at Tunnel barn i decided to take with me ;

4 pints fishery 4mm pellets

2 pints corn

2 pints mixed maggots

tub 4+6mm expanders

I was set up well before the start of the match which gave me time to have a good look at my peg and give me a plan on how i would hopefully get the most out of it , the all in soon sounded and i kicked off on my top kit between my nets this didn’t work on my last visit here so i was keen not to waste too much time fishing it if it wasn’t producing after depositing a large kinder pot full of 4mm pellets then lowered my expander hook bait among it , a couple of lift+drops off my rig and my float dipped a firm strike resulted in a few yards of elastic streaming from my pole tip before i netted a near 5lb mirror carp . A couple more slightly smaller carp followed and after an hour i had 20lb on my clicker and if i kept up my catch rate i should be on for a ton , predictably my starting line began to die on me but i had been loose feeding maggots at six meters which gave me somewhere to go although i hadn’t seen anything swirling i decided to have a quick look shallow but as i expected i never caught anything apart from small silvers , i didn’t waste too much time before going on the deck and time management is something that I’m trying to improve on recently as i feel this is costing me from catching bigger weights .


On my channel line i began getting plenty indications but not from carp or f1s but small silvers yet again and i felt that maggots just wasnt right today so i began kinder potting a mixture of pellets and corn , with a piece of corn on the hook i started picking up the odd carp again but halfway through the match and i still had not caught an f1 or gone across to the island but i did have nearly 40lb on my clicker a bit of my target and i still had my main lines to fish . With the wind getting increasingly stronger it probably wasn’t the best time to go across but i was itching to give it ago plus my other lines had dried up on me although i did keep feeding them in case things didn’t go to plan i also began putting cups of corn+pellets onto my margin at the side of the reeds , luckily i hadn’t decided to fish really tight to the far-bank so i could leave a longish lash between pole and float by adding a couple of back shots this helped me keep the rig steady enough to hopefully attract a few bites .

By feeding a large kinder pot full of pellets then working my rig over the top i began attracting a few fish into my swim and i soon began catching f1s plus the odd carp i had a good spell of catching one every few minute but after a while i began foul hooking fish losing six on the bounce even changing to a bigger hook didn’t solve the problem so i decided to set up a new swim a couple of feet to my right at the side of some reeds but this time i used maggots , first drop on my new line with double maggot on the hook produced a big carp which was a good start but apart from another f1 that was it from there other than small silvers taking the hook bait on the drop .IMG-20150828-00736

With ninety minutes remaining it was time for my banker margin line this worked extremely well when i last fished it i hadn’t seen any fish movement but the water where i had potted bait in had got a bit cloudier so i expected a few fish to be present and there was but i had a hell of a job getting them on the hook in fact i only managed two , i lowered my rig in with a 6mm expander on the hook and i was getting plenty liners but no proper bites when my float eventually dipped under a firm strike resulted in a small f1 hitting the net not what i wanted , a change of hook bait to a heavier double hook bait which nailed it to the bottom as i felt the carp were wafting the bait of the bottom this kind of worked as my next fish was another mirror carp but i then had trouble with carp hitting my line then bolting out of the swim and i decided to waste anymore time on this line preferring to go back across as the wind had dropped a little .

Luckily my original swim had settled down a bit and i had another good spell of catching f1s including a mirror carp right on the whistle for the all out , i knew that i hadn’t done enough to trouble the leaders because the lad too my right had bagged up in the last half of the match fishing paste on his top kit catching mainly mirror carp and the lad on the opposite corner peg 12 had also done well using paste by alternating both his margin swims, there was also a few other big weights towards the other end of the lake . I was a bit disappointed on how my match went but i felt that i had learned a great deal which was the main reason that i had gone in the first place and with every lake being in the draw bag I’m really looking forward to fishing the 180 pegger there in a few weeks time , before that im off back to Weston pools to contest the rover match on bank holiday monday so i better start checking the recent results to find out the hot pegs .


Volunteer Angling club , Wallsuches long lodge

August 22nd , peg four


With the weather for the weekend forecast to be very wet and stormy i decided not to tie myself into fishing a match then i could choose at what time i would go out depending on the conditions , my mate had asked me to fish his club water for some time so we made plans to fish that on Saturday morning hopefully we would be home before the heavy rain hit us , it had lashed it down for the last 24 hours but on the morning it was dry with the odd patch of blue sky in between some rather threatening grey clouds . I hadn’t been to the lodge before so i met my mate at mcds at the Macron stadium we then grabbed a bacon roll and had a chat about how best to target it we settled on a pellet approach which would suit me as i hadn’t done a lot of expander fishing so far this year .

After a short ten minute drive we arrived at long lodge it didn’t look like your typical sixteen peg canal with it being twenty meters wide with lots of overhanging trees along the far-bank and near side rushes but the water was down at least 2ft meaning we had to sit at the water’s edge just like the old days when there was no platforms on fisheries , after getting my box level then sorting my gear out i decided to fish at the bottom of the near slope which was found at four meters and i also put a line in at eleven meters because the trees behind me would make it hard to fish any further out both lines were the same depth so at least i didn’t have to set up multiple rigs although i did set up two which were ;IMG-20150822-00713

4×10 malman roob

4×14 malman roob

As i mentioned earlier my bait revolved around pellets ;

1 pint soaked micros

1 pint soaked 4mm pellets

1 pint ground-bait

small tub 4mm expanders

I mixed some micros , 4mm and ground-bait together so i could feed balls of bait .


At ten o’clock we was ready to get started we both began out long but with different feeding patterns i decided to kinder pot balls of feed in easing my way into the session , where my mate put in a cupping kit full of pellets then another one with loose ground-bait and this would give us an idea on how best to target it . My mate had an almost instant response netting three f1s before i caught my first one but by slowly building up the feed the peg got stronger and we was fish for fish during the next ninety minutes that was even after losing a few due to having to wait for people to pass before shipping back it felt like i was back on the canals at one point with so much traffic behind me my peg began to fizz due to being a bit eager with the feed causing me to miss lots of bites and also fearing that i might damage my pole i went onto my four meter line this was an inspired move as i began catching a lot quicker they was also a bigger stamp of f1 plus more of the stockie carp .IMG-20150822-00715

After 2 1/2 hours fishing the lodge just switched off with both of us struggling for bites apart from gudgeon or small silvers it was really strange as everything was identical apart from a short rain shower and apparently it was always the same on here between 12+1 usually lasting around forty minutes i think the person which can find away of putting fish in the net during this spell will do the best in matches on here , after a while the fish began feeding again although the bites were now very finicky and i needed to keep working the rig by changing shotting patterns , the way i was laying my rig in etc to keep them coming my mate kept rotating his lines long, short, shallow , margin and was picking the odd fish from each of them .IMG-20150822-00716

When four hours had passed i had 70 on my clicker only a few in front of my mate and with the forecast showers not materializing yet we decided to have a one hour sprint match to see who could catch the most fish not including silvers , i decided to go back on the long pole as the fizzing had subsided my mate went on the four meter swim and if he got them feeding he could catch really quickly from there . After a slow start we both began catching well but i was slightly in front my mate had to resort to fishing shallow long which helped force his way ahead we was catching that quickly a small crowd stood behind us watching , my mate could not handle the pressure and lost four on the trot but i couldn’t get my nose back in front when time was called it was 17-15 to my mate so we settled on a respectable draw .IMG-20150822-00717

It was a nice fun days fishing catching a lot of f1s+stockies it isn’t really something that i would like to do every day as they was all the same stamp around the pound mark although there is bigger carp in it and i saw a few dark shapes cruise along the far-bank and it would be a good place to learn a new method or get your confidence back after a couple of bad results , i found that my lighter more delicate rig worked better than my more positive rig today probably due to the calm conditions and i would no doubt have caught a lot quicker fishing shallow but was enjoying my soft pellet fishing .IMG-20150824-00729

Hopefully i will be back at Weston at the weekend on the bank holiday match which i think is going to be a rover before that i am going for a trip to Tunnel barn on Friday to see if anything has changed because i have the 100 pegger Pole+match fishing subscriber classic there at the beginning of September .

Wrightington fishery

Peg seven Rivi – view , August 18th


After booking a few days off work and with the weather still being nice i decided on a day’s fishing i didn’t fancy doing a match because i don’t tend to do that well mid-week so choose to have a few hours at Wrightington fisheries with Rivi-view my first choice if there was any half decent pegs left as it is a popular venue for pleasure anglers , yet again i had a crap nights sleep and woke up at the crack of sparrows so i decided to head off a bit earlier than i had originally planned wishing the fresh air might help clear my head the weather was forecast to be warm with blue skies but it didn’t look like that when i began packing my gear into the car as it was overcast+misty i just hoped that it would get better as the day wore on .


As i expected on arriving at the venue there was plenty cars knocking about even at 9 o’clock on a Tuesday and after looking at Rivi – view i could see eight other anglers scattered about but there was a bit of room along the narrower island side so i settled on peg seven and my plan was to have a nice easy day setting up just three rigs to cover my options ;

Margin which was 2ft deep at the side of both sets of reeds i used an 0.4 Jeff’s Ruddy float with 0.16 garbo main line and 0.14 garbo hook length which had a size 14 LWG hook my elastic was Matrix 14 yellow elastic .

Shallow which was 2ft deep i used an 0.2 scone zone pea float with 0.12 garbo direct to a size 18 Matrix rigger hook which had a micro bait band attached to it , my elastic was red size 12 Matrix .

Six meter line which was 5ft deep i used a 4×14 Malman Roob with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern my main line was 0.14 garbo and 0.12 garbo hook length which had a size 18 matrix rigger hook that had a micro bait band attached elastic was red size 12 matrix .


My bait today was ;

tub of mixed hard pellets for the hook

2 tins of corn

2 pints 4mm pellets

1 pint 6mm pellets

1 pint micros

3 pints of margin ground-bait


I mixed and riddled the ground-bait before adding the micros plus one tin of corn and a handful of 4mm pellets . all in all it cost less than a fiver which wasn’t too bad , i decided to start my session at six meters where i had earlier plumbed up to find a flattish area and it got gradually deeper the further out you went , i purposely left a longish lash with a couple of back shots to help counteract the strong cross wind it would also give me the option of putting in a new swim at 13m underneath my shallow line if required . I put in a cupping kit full of 4mm pellets then a ball of my ground-bait mix and i then lowered my rig in down the same hole with a hard 6mm pellet on the hook it didn’t take to long before my float dipped a firm strike resulted in the elastic streaming out of the pole tip after a spirited fight i had a 5lb carp in the net , i then started getting the dreaded fizzing as a shoal of skimmers settled on my feed and i began missing lots of bites it just wasn’t working for me upon looking around everyone seemed to be fishing the same way as me they were also struggling to get a steady run of fish so i decided to try something a bit different by going out to 13m and began pinging 6mm pellets at the float so i wouldn’t overfeed my peg thus hopefully stopping the fizzing .



I began firing half a dozen pellets at my float every five minutes if i started getting liners i would obviously pick up my shallow rig but i hoped to keep them on the deck , it didn’t take too long before i began getting indications and i was soon into a stream of barbel averaging 2lb but strangely no carp or f1s  , i was really enjoying catching them as they are a very hard fighting fish IMG-20150818-00708although it was noticeable that i did get the odd indication on the float a few seconds after i pinged the pellets in so i picked up my shallow rig and i began getting bites straight away although i missed more than i hit but as they were only from silvers so i decided to go back on to the deck altering my feeding to keep them there , but it seemed that all the disturbance of slapping+tapping had disrupted the barbel shoal although a few carp up to 5lb had taken their place and i decided to begin feeding both my margin swims for later in the session with the ground-bait mix .I started picking up the odd skimmer among the carp which wasn’t a good sign i occasionally tried my margin swims but only for a couple of minutes at a time because if there was any fish in the vicinity i would get some sort of indication straight away , i had nothing on my left hand side but on my other side i began missing lots of bites so i tried using the smallest piece of corn i could find which resulted in me getting a big fan tail carp then a few of the recently stocked hand sized carp .



By keeping feeding and rotating my lines i kept fish coming but it was only when i saw a swirl on my left hand margin that it really kicked off as my first drop saw me catch a bream around 4lb which did its best dolphin impressionIMG-20150818-00710 before the carp moved in and although i was waiting longer for a bite every fish was over 5lb some approaching double figures and even when a guy came talking too me standing just 2ft from where i was fishing i was still getting bites , i was enjoying myself that much i decided on an extra thirty minutes while i used up my remaining bait but when i hit something a bit bigger which bottomed my elastic out before snapping my hook length trashing my rig in the process so i reluctantly called it a day and i had nearly 150lb on my clicker plus a sore shoulder but more importantly i had really enjoyed my day’s fishing i am having a weekend away from match fishing but hope to get out for a pleasure session some were before the bank holiday open at Weston pools plus my ticket for the subscriber classic at Tunnel barn farm has turned up so it looks like i have a busy September planned .



Weston pools , open match

Belvedere peg seven , August 16th


Well another Sunday soon came around and i had really been enjoying the fishing at Weston pools and couldn’t wait to get back for another try at the open because it is totally different to the waters we find around here with them being mainly lakes and it isn’t all about BB tangling as a variety of methods can catch you lots of fish . The match was taking place on three different waters this week which where Weir , Clay pit , Belvedere and the only one that i had fished before was the latter which was a month ago although it was only a pleasure session but i did catch extremely well my mate The Big Dipper had been in the week leading up to the match and also done really well fishing shallow so i fancied drawing on their today .


My day didn’t start particularly well with my van failing to start in the morning which i put down to the damp conditions in the previous few days also i hadn’t used it on the Saturday , i think a new battery might be needed as after a jump-start it worked fine and off i headed on the sixty mile trip to the fishery a bit later than i had planned but i made good time arriving there at 920 . After booking on for the match i saw a few lads from Leigh tackle and we are bringing quite a few people from up our way as they hadn’t been here before  we had a walk around two of the lakes not surprisingly they was really impressed with them both especially Weir as every peg was the same with plenty open water to target plus six meters of reed lined margins on both sides in my opinion it would back a good replacement for the Fisho final if it was ever to leave Cudmore Arena, the one thing that gets a bit of getting used to is the fact the aerator are left on all summer this makes the fish fight extremely hard but also causes a bad undertow so heavier floats than usual are needed to keep a static bait .

It soon came round to draw time and i was about halfway down the list to get my name called and it seemed most of the anglers before me was heading to Clay pit but i managed to draw peg 7 on Belvedere only a few away from where i fished the last time i was on it and at first i was quite happy with my draw although i got told as i was walking to my peg i was just off the better pegs and was in a poor area not what i wanted to hear although as the saying goes fish have fins so can be anywhere and i would target it just the same as any match that i had fished on here ;

Shallow , 0.1 preston chianti float taking two number 11 stotz my line was 012 garbo direct to a size 20 matrix bagger hook and i had two rigs set up one at 2ft the other 1ft , elastic was orange size 10 matrix .

Margin 4ft deep , 0.4 sconezone doubledeez float with a spread bulk of number 8 stotz above the 014 garbo hook length and my main line was 016 garbo , elastic was yellow size 14 matrix .

Top kit 4ft deep , 0.6 malman roob float with an olivette plus a dropper shotting pattern my main line was 014 garbo with an 012 garbo hook length attached was a size 16 matrix bagger hook , elastic was red size 12 matrix .

Last time i fished Belvidere i caught well using pellet and should really have taken some with me today but as i was fishing the natural bait festival on here i wanted to use the same bait i would be using then but i did sneak a few 4mm pellets on my side tray for when i needed them ;

2 pints casters

2 pints corn + hemp

1 pint fishery 4mm pellets

With the match only starting at 1130 i was ready well before the all in and was eager to get started after hearing the hooter in the distance i proceeded to put a cup full of corn+hemp on my top kit line before going on it with a piece of corn on the hook , i was getting the odd indication on my float but no proper bites it took thirty minutes before i had my first fish which was a pound F1 and although i had heard it fished hard on the club match the day before plus there was 16 on the lake i still expected to catch a few . In the first hour i only had 4 fish in the net using my top kit all the time i had thrown a few casters on to my shallow line i hadn’t seen any swirls but i had nothing to lose by giving it  a try so i started with my deeper rig and began laying my rig in through the falling bait by doing this i started getting a few bites it didn’t take long before i had a run of Ide all over the pound mark when i began getting liners i changed my shallower rig and only fed when my rig wasn’t in the water this kept me in touch with the fish but after an hour they disappeared and i really should have followed them out but the fence behind made doing this a bit problematic .


I had another look on my top kit line which i had topped up every twenty minutes with a kinder pot full of corn+hemp while i was fishing shallow this gave me another run of F1s but it was very slow going and i needed my margin to work other wise i was screwed , i fed my left hand side with a small cupping kit full of corn+hemp and the other side with casters i deposited it about six-inch away from the bank then went over it with a piece of corn on the hook pulling my rig right to the side of the reeds . It didn’t take long before i had my first fish which was a nice size mirror carp and they were coming quite sporadically but at least i started putting some weight in the net i was even pulling back on those around me , i really struggled to get a bite on my caster margin strangely so i decided to increase the feed on that line but i went through a spell of foul hooking fish on my corn line and felt that i had too many fish in the swim .


While i let my left hand margin settle a bit i went back shallow and picked up a few more Ide but the F1s were not really feeding but at around 2lb a piece they was worth catching yet again they began to back off , with ninety minutes of the match remaining i decided to concentrate on my margins and i had to resort to using corn skin with my shotting pattern a bulk with a dropper so it would flutter down through the water this was totally against what i thought would work as i was sure a heavier more static hook bait to counteract the under tow should be best . I began catching the odd carp averaging around 5lb on my corn line my clicker was ticking over nicely but it was too little too late and this seemed to be the pattern for my matches on here which i need to sort out if i want to contend for a framing place , when the all out sounded i had 50lb on my clicker plus my silver net and i didn’t have long to find out my exact weight  as the scales man arrived my three nets went 60lb that was a bit more than i had thought .

It turned out that 100lb won Belvedere from peg three then two mid 80lb weights which were facing each other with a lily bed in between i think it was pegs nine and 23 most of the other anglers on the lake had around 50lb so it fished reasonably well just not how i expected it too , the other lakes fished about the same with 117lb winning Weir and 103lb winning Clay pit . So although it fished hard it was a lot better than most of the venues around here and it is turning into one of my favorite venues as i enjoy the variety of species+tactics needed to compete even if it takes an hour to get there i would recommend it to anybody so go give it a whirl .

weston pools , open match

August 9th , Canal peg ten


After last weeks enjoyable match at Weston pols i was really keen to get back so i booked on for the open which would take place on just two lakes those are Weir+Canal and i really fancied another try on the latter , word had got round on how well it had fished lately as there was a big turn out of forty anglers including a few familiar faces from round my way .At 730 i began packing the car for the sixty mile trip to the fishery and the weather was forecast to be warm+sunny but yet again it ended up being a bit breezy later in the day , the only real downside was the change in air pressure which could make the fishing a bit harder especially shallow .

On arrival at the complex i booked on for the open and also for the two-day natural bait festival at the end of September which will be run in conjunction with Pole fishing magazine , i then spotted a couple of lads i know from Leigh tackle who hadn’t been here before so we had a quick walk round the lakes in the draw bag . Getting back to the cabin it was nearly time to start queuing for the draw this week they called out your names in the order of when you booked on to the match similar to how they do it at Sycamore fishery and as i only rang on Friday i was right down towards the bottom of the list , when it came for my turn i pulled out peg ten on Canal this didn’t mean a great deal which is something i like about fishing here because you don’t know if you’re on a flyer or not but at least i was on the lake that i wanted to be on .


Before i got my gear out i had a quick walk round to find where i would be sitting for the next few hours as it turned out it wasn’t far from where i was last week although it was on the opposite bank with my back to the campsite , i had some open water to fish shallow in , a lilly pad bed to my right at about eight meters out and some well established margins there was also some dense fir trees separating each peg and it meant you could only see a couple of anglers this was something i really like about the place because you can just concentrate on your own match not getting pressured into changing what you are doing to keep in contention .

Yet again i decided to keep things simple and i tackled it the same as i did last week ;

Margin , it was 4ft deep so i used a 0.4 malman speedy float with 0.16 garbo main line to a 0.14 garbo hook length and hook was a size 14s gamma power .

Top four towards the aerator to my right , i plumbed up to find it 5ft deep and with the stronger under tow i used a 0.6 malman roob float with 0.14 garbo main line with a 0.12 garbo hook length and my hook was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Shallow , i had 3 rigs set up covering 1ft , 2ft , and 3ft i used a 0.1 matrix series 3 float with 0.12 garbo direct to a size 20 matrix bagger hook .

As i was fishing the natural bait two dayer i choose to revolve my bait around what i would be using in the festival ;

2 pints maggots

2 pints corn+hemp

1 pint fishery 4mm pellets just in case things went a bit pear-shaped

When the hooter sounded for the all in i put a cup of maggots onto my top four line and one of corn+hemp in my left hand margin i then had a quick look over the top of it with a piece of corn on the hook just to see if any carp had followed the breeze into the peg but a bite less ten minutes put paid to that , so i changed tactics going on my five meter swim with double maggots on the hook it didn’t take long before i began picking the odd fish up a mixture of carp+f1s+barbel and with the aerator being left on all the fish thought like stink which must have something to do with the added oxygen in the water .

After ninety minutes bites started to slow down even though i topped up with a cup of maggots every few fish and i made the decision to start kinder potting every five minutes but all this did was bring them up off the deck which resulted in me foul hooking f1 after f1 so i decided to feed some corn+hemp which i later found out wasn’t the way to go because it killed my peg , luckily i had been loose feeding maggots on to my shallow swim since the match had started and even though i hadn’t seen any swirls i still expected a good response because the f1s can often be found just inches under the surface without giving themselves away .


I  had a quick couple of fish before they backed off i tried all sorts of different things but struggled to get bites and the ones i did get i kept missing , before i knew it i had wasted ninety minutes putting just ten pounds in the net exactly the same thing happened last week and as you can imagine it cost me because you can not lose that amount of time in opens and expect to compete . With two hours remaining i decided to concentrate on both my margin swim which i had kept topped up every thirty minutes with corn+hemp while i was fishing shallow and my first try on my left hand side with corn resulted in a barbel then a carp , i remembered that last week i caught three fish before it went quiet so i choose to refeed hoping this would settle them down and while i rested it i swopped sides which got me another couple of fish .


By rotating the two margin swims i kept putting fish in the net and in the occasional bite less spells i went back on my five meter maggot line which i had topped up with a cupping kit full of maggots this produced f1s+carp around the 2lb mark before i foul hooked a big carp which i played for nearly five minutes and just as i was guiding it over the net the hook pulled , i then went back on to my left hand margin nearly straight away my elastic got ripped out and i was attached to a bigger than average barbel but for some reason i played it a bit more gingerly this gave it chance to dive straight between my nets . The last thirty minutes were a complete right off apart from catching two small carp on my top four line both margins were devoid of fish this might have been down too ;

1, the disturbance of losing that barbel

2, the conditions had got a lot brighter meaning both margins had got no shade

3, the fish had moved up in the water but i wasn’t getting any liners

4 , i had began to run out of bait and had started adding pellets to my corn+hemp although that worked well last week

A bit sooner than i had wanted the all out sounded and called time on a confusing but enjoyable match with the middle part still causing me trouble and i need to make fishing shallow my main swim or ignore it all together because my feeding isn’t working at present so maybe concentrating more on the top four line could be a better tactic , i had 72lb on my clicker plus my silver net which i thought would be good enough to challenge for my section although the end peg 13 had caught well plus i had venue expert Matty Dawes on the other end peg and when they came round to do the weigh in i learned that they was paying top three on each lake rather than sections with it being a new venue i should really have asked about the pay out instead of  just presuming it would be the same as last weeks bigger open match .

My nets weighed 77lb which would have got me a default section but in the end i finished 5th on the lake which wasn’t to bad as it had fished a lot harder than i expected which wasn’t surprising with so many anglers on the lake , two lads that i know won both lakes so we had a drink to celebrate in the clubhouse before we set off home and we was made to feel really welcome even the owner came over for a chat although i didn’t particularly enjoy his choice of happy hard-core dance music but each to his own . I have already booked on for next Sunday were the open will take place on Weir , Stretton plus Clay pit all three of them i haven’t fished yet so i am really looking forward to the challenge and if i can sort out my mid match quiet spell i might be able to get a framing position catching a ton in the process .

Weston pools fishery

Canal peg twenty , August 2nd


After a couple of weeks of feeling rather disheartened with the way my fishing was going i decided to try a change of scenery to see if that would help get my spark back and out of the blue i got an invite to contest a big eighty pegger at Weston pols which is a place that i have heard great things about so i jumped at the chance especially after my first visit there a month ago when i caught a shedfull and a real mixed bag as well .

The draw was due to take place at ten o’clock which meant that i didn’t have to set off that early which i was pleased about and in fact i only left the house at 730 which is when i would normally set off to Partridge lakes the sixty mile trip to the fishery went really well and i was glad to leave the grim weather conditions of Wigan for the sunny if rather blustery Oswestry, i arrived just before nine o’clock this gave me plenty of time to book on the match then check out all five of the waters in the draw bag apart from the Clay pit which is situated a mile off the complex this was also the one i didn’t fancy drawing mainly because i hadn’t have a clue on how to get there .


At ten o’clock they started the draw which went really smoothly and i picked out canal twenty this didn’t mean a great deal but no doubt it will be a flyer if previous experiences where to go by , when i finally located were i would be fishing it was found on the end of the split and like majority of the pegs on here i had a really nice margin on either side with the far-bank being nearly thirty meters away which would be ideal for a feeder chuck if i hadn’t left it at home a novice mistake but to be honest i didn’t expect to use it after my last visit here .

Upon settling in at my peg i decided not to over complicate things and target just three areas which were ;

Shallow , i had three rigs set up to cover the upper layers which were 1ft , 2ft, 3ft and i used an 0.1 Matrix series one float with 012 Matrix line to a 010 garbo hook length which had a size twenty matrix bagger hook elastic was orange size 10 matrix ..

Top kit , i used a 4×14 malman speedy float with 014 matrix line and a 012 garbo hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook elastic was red size 12 matrix .

Margin , i used a 4×12 malman speedy float with 016 matrix line and a 014 garbo hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook elastic was yellow size 14 matrix .


With the fishery having a strict five pint limit i was in a bit of a quandary on what to take with me but i finally settled on ;

2 pints of casters

2 pints corn+hemp

1 pint fishery 4mm pellets

As the all in sounded in the distance i cupped in some corn+hemp on to my top kit line and went over the top of it with a piece of corn on the hook , with the aerators always being left on while the match took place my rig was towing through and i had to lay six-inch of line on the deck to keep it still long enough to attract a bite and i should really have changed it for a heavier float but as I’m still getting used to the venue i will know for next time . On my last visit when i fished Belvidere the top kit was quite prolific for a wide variety of fish today though it was slow with only the odd crucian+barbel and i think it was a mistake not feeding pellets , in the first hour i had 15lb on my clicker not really what i expected and all the time i had fished i was pinging half a dozen casters on to my six meter shallow line this was usually a banker method at this time of year on here but yet again it was slow going and i had to work extremely hard to attract bites ;

changing depths

changing shotting patterns

constantly laying my rig through the falling bait

I found the 3ft rig was the best depth and letting it hang at full depth for ten seconds sometimes got you a bite from a bigger f1 but most of the time i was getting ide upto the 2lb mark , after two hours i had thirty pounds on the clicker plus the silvers net which i didn’t count  and i could only see a couple of other anglers due to the bank side vegetation i was keeping up with their catch rate but i had noticed that both of them were already fishing in the margin catching the odd carp+barbel i thought it was a bit early in the match to be doing it but as my other lines were not really producing so i decided to follow suit and put in two cups of corn+hemp+pellets on to my left hand swim leaving what i would hope to be the better right hand swim towards the point of the island for later in the match .


After spending another twenty minutes shallow with just the odd fish to show for it so i decided to have a look on my margin almost straight away i was getting indications and it didn’t take long before my float shot under after a spirited fight i had a pristine five-pound common in the net , a couple of smaller ones followed before i began catching crucians around the pound mark so i refed with two more cups of bait and normally i would feed after every fish but the five pint limit had me a bit concerned . While i had been fishing my margin i had fed my top four line quite heavily with casters by hand to see what response i got when i saw a few swirls plus some dark shapes under the surface so i grabbed my shallowest rig and began laying it through the falling casters , it didn’t take too long before i was picking up some nice ide but they began to back off and as we was approaching the final ninety minutes i decided to concentrate on my margins .


I mixed all my remaining bait together which gave me just over two pints of particles perfect for the carp+barbel and i put in one cupful on each side before topping up with a kinder pot after every fish , this worked really well as i went on a run of carp on my left hand swim before swapping swims to my right hand side with the same result and my clicker was ticking along nicely . In the last thirty minutes i thought that i could be approaching the ton but i then had a dreadful spell of bumping off four decent carp none of which i felt was foul hooked and where no doubt down to me being a bit eager with the side puller although i don’t think i was overly aggressive , i did manage to catch a couple before the all out sounded including one right on the whistle which called time on a very enjoyable match in pleasant surroundings .


When the scales arrived i felt that i would be just short of the magical ton and unfortunately that was the case when after three weighs it was added up to 96lb i followed the scales down my section and was still in front until the last person had 103lb so near yet again but on my first try at a match on here i was really happy learning a great deal . overall the match was won with 150lb and 16 tons in total from the eighty anglers which were spread all over the complex although Weir + Clay pit seemed to have fished the best and my weight put me in the top 25 .

After speaking to a few of the locals after the match plus looking at the results on the internet it seems that the method feeder across , fishing the top four and margins was the best tactic on canal and i cant wait to get back there again which will hopefully be next weekend either the rover on Saturday as i quite fancy trying Canal twenty again or the open on Sunday i am going to find out which lakes are in the draw bag before i decide .