27th December , peg ten Ribbon
Well today was my last match of the year and i couldn’t think of a better place to fish than Partridge lakes especially as it was their annual Xmas contest and today they had over two hundred anglers in attendance , this was even more impressive due to the weather the previous day resembling the great floods of years past with rivers all over the place bursting their banks causing roads closed everywhere you turned and i had to wait till the morning of the match before making a decision whether to travel to the venue or not , as you can probably guess my the post i did decide to go although i had to make a major detour through Leigh in aid for me to get there and as the draw was due to start at 830 i left my house around 710 and after making good time with the roads being empty which wasn’t that surprising as most people would still be in bed , on arrival the car-park was choka and i had to park all the way down near Holbar which meant a bit of a trek to the cabin were i picked up some discounted maggots before joining the queue for the draw and it was almost an hour later before i got a chance to pick , when i pulled out peg ten on Ribbon i was reasonably pleased as it had a bit of form although it wasn’t the best on the lake it should give me a chance for at least the section if not the lake win .
I felt that i would be better of leaving my car where it was and trolley my gear across the car-park on arriving to my home for the next few hours i was quite pleased as it had a far-bank reed bed , a mud bank which i remembered from the only time i fished this water had a big cut out underneath it plus another reed bed towards my left hand margin . As i began setting up one by one all the other anglers began to turn up which included a few Partridge lakes regulars along with some lads i hadn’t seen before which wasn’t surprising with the big turnout today , on settling in at my peg i had a think on which areas i felt would get me a few fish and these were ;
Obviously i figured my main line of attack would be in front of the dead reed bed across and i plumbed up to find it to be four-foot deep , with this lake being flat calm with the trees offering a nice wind break i decided that i could use a lighter more delicate float which should allow for better presentation giving a more natural fall of the bait . I used a 4×12 malman roob float which had 014 garbo main line and as i would be using pellets my hook length was three-inch 010 garbo that had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached my shotting pattern was your standard one centimeter spread bulk above the hook length .
My next area was in front of the hole in the mud bank on plumbing up i found just a touch over two foot and i wasn’t sure this would be a depth that the fish would feel comfortable sitting in today although i just couldn’t ignore it in case a couple of carp were hiding in it . i used the same 4×12 malman roob float as this would help me keep the rig still in the shallow water i had 014 garbo main line and as i would be using maggots my hook length was a longer six-inch 010 garbo that had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached my shotting pattern was your standard one inch spread bulk above the hook length .
The other rig i set up was for the channel and i had a quick plumb around to find the deepest part of my peg it seemed to level out at four meters where it was a touch over five foot so i decided to put it at a comfortable six meters this lined up handily with a reflection of a tree in the water allowing me to be pretty accurate with my feeding , here i used a 4×14 RW maggie float as it had the carbon stem which allowed the float to settle at the same time as your bait fell my shotting pattern was the usual bulk plus two droppers and my main line was 014 garbo with an 009 garbo six-inch hook length that had a size twenty matrix silver fish-hook attached .
My other rig was one that i set up in the spur of the moment as it was a shallow one set at two foot deep i only choose to use it because i saw a couple of fish top in front of me as i was setting up and i used a 4×8 chianti float with 010 garbo direct to a size twenty matrix silver fish pattern .
I had all sorts of bait in my bag because of the amount of different lakes in the draw bag but as Ribbon was one of your more standard f1+ide waters i took to my peg the standard ;
Two pints of red and white maggots
One pint of soaked micros
One pint of four mm pellets
Small tub of expander pellets
Small tub of white hooker pellets
As the all out sounded in the distance i put half a small cupping kit of maggots on to my channel swim and i would continue doing this every twenty minutes which would hopefully allow a few fish to settle on it before i had a good final ninety minutes fishing it , i then shipped out to where i had earlier plumbed up at the right hand side of the dead reed bed and i tapped in a small kinder pot full of micros then proceeded to hold my rig still over the top of it , in the next ten minutes not a great deal happened so i shipped back in to refill my pot but this time i changed the lid for a sprinkle pot as i hopped that the fall of a few micro pellets might attract a few f1s into the swim but thirty minutes in i was still fish less with only a couple of slight indications to show for it . A replumb a bit further to my left and i was back fishing again this time i cut right back on the feed only tapping in six micros at a time just incase the initial amount of bait on my other swim had caused the fish to not settle , after only ten minutes of being ultra negative i finally had my first fish which was a hand sized stockie and i was glad to get off the mark because it was looking like it could be a very hard day , slowly my swim began to get a bit better as in the next half hour produced two stockies plus a proper f1 around the 1lb mark and i missed a couple of indications as well .
I don’t think that i had over fed the swim but it did began to tail off so yet again i had to replumb a bit further towards my left and all three of them were only one a couple of feet apart so it seemed a bit strange that the new one produced indications from the off it just goes to show how finicky the f1s were today no doubt to all the cold rain going in recently , by following the same feeding regime i managed another couple of stockies plus a bigger f1 in the next thirty minutes but yet again after almost exactly the same amount of feeds the fish backed off . Another swim was called for but this strangely did not produce a bite and neither did any of my earlier ones so with two hours of the match gone i had only six fish in the net ! ! I had been loose feeding a dozen maggots on my top three-line which was at the bottom of the slope to my left for the past forty minutes so i hopped that a few fish had settled there but twenty minutes of laying my rig through the water produced absolutely nothing not even a little silver fish and thinking about it after the match it was probably to close to the bottom of my keep net
My next port of call was going tight across to the mud bank a choose to use double maggot on the hook i put in a kinder pot full of them before working my rig among them but yet again this failed to produce an indication and i had gone nearly an hour without seeing a fish , i had no option other than to go on my channel swim a bit earlier than i would have liked it looked that this wasn’t going to produce either until out of the blue my float dipped under and a big ide was added to my net , another bite less ten minutes had me reaching for my shallow rig which i used along the dead reed bed but this also failed to produce an indication even though i worked it in between all the reed stems and even along the mud bank .
With just forty minutes of the match remaining i decided to spend it fishing my top six line as this is where i had caught my biggest fish and if they turned up i could still be able to put a weight together as from what i had seen so far twenty pounds would be a good weight from this lake today , i changed from feeding through a cupping kit to using a kinder pot every five minutes by doing this it seemed to provoke a response as i managed two more stamp f1s and another big Ide before the all out although i did notice that the f1s i caught weren’t hooked neatly which in my mind meant the rig wasn’t working correctly which could have resulted in indications that i hadn’t seen .
I didn’t bother weighing in because the lads in my section to the left had caught more than me as i guessed my weight to be around 12-14lb not the best days fishing and it was a shame to finish my year on such a low , back on the winter league trail at Old Hough in January with just three matches remaining so i could do with an improvement in form and pick some better pegs to help keep me towards the top of the table .