Hall lane fishery , Merlins pool

April 23rd , peg 34 Merlin’s pool


With the weekend weather being a tad unsettled again after a glorious week with temps reaching the high teens i choose to fish on the Saturday as it looked like it would at least be dry although the winds was due to be pretty strong , i had originally planned on visiting Wrightington fishery but on arrival it was fully matched out and i will have to wait a little longer before i grace its banks so i was in a bit of a quandary on where to go as i had been informed the day before that there was a big contest on Hall lane Bessie’s which i would have liked to fish but had not seen any info about it on the social media sites so i decided to risk it hoping that the other lakes wouldn’t have club matches on them . As i reached the fishery there was cars everywhere because not only was there a sixty pegger on Bessie’s but also a club match on Gwen’s and another on the low numbered pegs of Merlin’s , luckily they had left the higher numbered pegs for the pleasure anglers but even then there was over a dozen along that side and i had a fair trek towards the bottom end before i could find somewhere that gave me a couple of empty pegs either side .

When i settled in at my home for the next few hours i decided to set up a couple of rigs one of which would cover two areas of my peg these where ;

14m line this was situated about two foot from the far-bank as the drop in temperature would have pushed the fish further down the slope , on plumbing up i was surprised to find it nearly four-foot in-depth so i used a 4×12 maggie float and as i would be using meat i used a staggered bulk with two droppers because this would give me a slower fall in the final third of the water , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i had stepped up my hook-length to 012 garbo and a size 16 lwg hook as the stamp of carp in here was a lot bigger than on the other waters at the fishery .

Eight meter channel swim it was around six-foot deep here so i used a 4×14 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shooting pattern for the same reason as above , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i had stepped up my hook-length to 012 garbo and a size 16 lwg hook as the stamp of carp in here was a lot bigger than on the other waters at the fishery , i also used this rig on my top three-line as the near side shelf dropped away quite sharply and i would loose feed a few bits of meat here hoping that some big carp would be patrolling this area .

Bait for the day couldn’t have been simpler ;

One tin of corn

One tin of hemp

Two tins of meat

With the wind forecast to get stronger during the day i began my session by putting in two pots of hemp+corn onto my channel swim which i would top up every thirty minutes before going on it after a couple of hours , i then shipped out to 14m and kinder potted a few cubes of meat before lowering my rig over the top of it , it didn’t take to long until i had my first fish which was a carp around four pounds not a bad start and for the next forty minutes i had a good run catching a proper mixed bag of fish with carp,f1s,chub,ide and barbel hitting the net . After a while the wind increased and i was finding it harder+harder to keep my rig still so i set up a 4×14 float with a longer lash , i hoped would give me better presentation which it did but it was still hard going holding the pole still so i decided to give it a rest and went on my channel swim.

I had fed my channel swim for the past ninety minutes so i was looking for an immediate response which is what i got with another carp virtually straight away and i had a little run of fish before things died down a bit , i made the decision to start feeding with a kinder pot which turned out to be a mistake as it drawed in loads of ide of course these were nice to catch at ten ounce apiece but i was struggling to get my rig to the deck , so i decided to put in two cups of feed which would hopefully get them back on the deck making them easier to catch . While it settled i gave my top three-line a whirl as i had flicked a few pieces of meat there every five minutes and it didn’t take to long before i had my first fish which was a barbel nearly 4lb , i found it best to flick my rig out directly in front of me and drag it up the shelf a bit when it had settled this helped me to present a static bait and i would often get a bite as soon as i did it .

Going back onto my channel swim i was pleased to see that the fish had settled back on the deck and i picked up a couple more carp+barbel , it became obvious to me that if i just left my bait static on the deck it would take a lot longer to attract a bite which was totally the opposite to my top three swim , if i lifted my rig out of the water around a foot i would often get an indication as soon as it settled and this accounted for a little run of three fish for twenty pounds in a twenty-minute spell consisting of a near ten pound carp , a big barbel and a five-pound f1 . I then hooked into something a bit bigger as the elastic just shot out from the pole tip and kept on going resulting in a broken hook length which was some doing when using 012 garbo , this obviously unsettled the swim so i refeed it with another pot of hemp+corn+meat before going onto my top three-line and for the next hour i just rotated between them both picking up some nice fish from each .

With the sky getting darker as some threatening rain clouds appeared in the horizon i decided to increase my feed going in to see what response this got me , i was beginning to think that i had made a big mistake and was on the verge of packing up when my float shot under for the final time , yet again i was attached to something a bit big and as headed off into the distance i managed to add some sections to my pole which helped me get back in control , after about five minutes i had it on to my top kit but i was still struggling to get it up off the deck and i was thinking that it might have been a barbel , another couple of minutes past before i managed a glimpse of it and judging by the tail pattern it was a big carp , a few more minutes past before i finally had it in the net well i had three-quarters of it in any way and it was one of the biggest carp i had captured in a long time at a very big double nearly touching twenty pounds i don’t think the picture does it justice as it had a very broad back and a fat belly it was just a shame that my video camera had run out of battery .


I have got a few extra days of work next weekend so will hopefully get in a couple of fishing trips i might even contest a match or two because it’s been awhile and i have some big events coming up , although to be honest I’m really enjoying fishing without any pressure so we will just wait and see .

Hope you enjoy reading my blogs and watching the videos .


Hall lane fishery , Bessies pool

April 17th , peg 34 Bessie’s pool

After yesterdays long day trip out to Derbyshire with the Mrs and little George I didn’t fancy booking on anywhere for the Sunday because we was up very early and to be honest, I really wasnt in the mood to contest a match preferring a nice leisurely day just catching a few fish so I decided on a couple of extra hours in bed  before heading to Hall lane fishery near Parbold at around dinner time, I choose to go here as it was somewhere that I had not visited for nearly 12 months and I always like visiting as many fisheries as I can for my blog it is also very similar in style as Herronbrook so I could try out a few things before my first Fisho qualifier in the middle of May. I had originally fancied going on Merlin’s lake but when I arrived at the venue there was a couple of club matches taking place which is unsurprising with it being a Sunday and it has always been a very popular fishery, so I settled on Bessie’s pool which is the biggest on the complex with it holding over sixty anglers it is a snake lake style water with the far bank being around 14m on majority of pegs. There was about a dozen other people scattered all over this lake and as I wanted to have a play around with my camera while I was here so I settled on peg 34 which gave me plenty of space it was half way down the long straight with your back to the field it also had a gap between the islands were the two sections of water join together and looked like it should hold a few fish but I had not been down this section before so I wasnt too sure on how things would go today.

As i would be only here for a few hours I decided to set up just two rigs ;

Far-bank swim at 14m were i managed to find a nice flat spot at 3.5ft deep and i used a 4×12 maggie float with a strung out shotting pattern along the bottom half of the rig , my line was the usual 014 garbo which i us on ninety per cent of my rigs and my six-inch hook length was 010 garbo which had a size 18 lwg hook attached .

Top three swim i found quite a big flat area near the reeds towards my right were it was about 4ft deep and i used a 4×14 malman roob float which had an inch spread bulk starting above the four inch 010 hook length , my hook was a size 18 lwg and on both rigs i used NG green 10-12 amber core elastic .

As it was a short session i decided to try something a bit different with the bait settling on ;

Two pints of 6mm cubes of meat and corn

Two pints of micros

Small tub of 4mm expanders

Small tub of white hooker pellets

The weather in the morning when I woke was very cold with frost on the windscreen and cat ice on a few puddles in the front garden but as I headed to the fishery it had warmed up a little with blue skies plus light winds although it never rose above eight degrees all day, so with this in mind i decided to take it easy with the feed and feel myself into the session until i knew just how the fish would respond, I fed half a small cupping kit of micros onto my short line and would top this up every thirty minutes before going on it later in the day, I began by fishing long with a cube of 6mm meat on the hook and half a dozen samples in the kinder pot . It took a couple of feeds before i had my first indication and not long after my first fish hit the net which was a carp around two pounds a couple more of similar size quickly followed before things went quiet, so I made the decision to increase the amount of bait I was feeding this worked very well and i was soon back catching the carp which were all like peas in a pod pristine commons around the two pound mark. In my first hour I had ten carp all caught using meat but with the wind increasing and towing my rig out of position I choose to try a piece of corn hoping this would give me a static bait which it did but surprisingly I failed to get any positive indications when using it, with the increase of feed working previously I decided to put in half a cupping kit of meat & corn onto my long line and give my top three swim a try until the wind dropped enough for me to go back on it.

I tapped in some micros through a small kinder pot then lowered my rig in among it and no sooner had my float settled then it dipped under, a sharp lift of the pole resulted in a hand sized skimmer coming to the bank six more similar samples quickly followed before it went quiet and I was wondering what I had done wrong but I soon found out when I began a run of f1s all around the pound mark , when this swim died a little i decided to rest it and try my far-bank line as the wind had subsided enough for me to present a bait properly, the rest had worked wonders as I was back among the carp again including a couple touching 4lb and when the bites tailed off I would just re-feed with half a cupping kit then I would be back catching. Every so often I would catch a couple of skimmers across and when this happened I would put in a full cup to try to feed them off I then rested it for twenty minutes, while I went on my short line for a couple more f1s and I even managed a nice bream about 4lb on it as well, before i knew it I was almost out of bait and only a couple of carp away from the forty mark so I dragged out my session until I hit this mark but it was noticeable that it took longer for me to get a bite without the feed going in.

All in all I had a really enjoyable four hour session catching forty carp between 2 & 4lb, about a dozen f1s around the 1lb mark and a lot of hand sized skimmers for about 120lb, I felt that I learned a few things that will help on other venues and also on how I played the fish which I could do with the practise on as I haven’t caught a great deal so far this year, not sure where i’m going at the weekend just yet I will probably decide on Weds hope you have enjoyed reading the blog and watching the videos.

Angling times Supercup round one , Goose green fishery

Goose green fishery match lake peg 7 , April 9th

Today was the first round of the Angling times supercup and my mate  had  asked me to fish for the Stockton Heath team although, after last years debacle when things really didn’t go to plan I was a bit unsure about accepting the offer however I decided to throw caution to the wind as it was with a totally different group of lads. For those of you who don’t know anything about The Angling Times Supercup competition you have to enter a team of six lads and each of us would be in a section of two or three depending on how many teams you was fishing against, so basically you only needed to beat the lad at the side of you to gain a point for your squad and if both teams tied on points it would then go down to cumulative weight this was the fourth time I had fished this event with three different groups of lads, individually I had quite a good record in this competition winning my section on all bar one of the matches in the first round and on the other it was a three-way tie where I finished second in section so still picked up good points, on the team front though it was a different story as I had only gone past the first round once and last year I got beat on weight which is always a kick in the teeth , I always wondered why they never do teams of five so things like that do not happen in the future.

We had been for a practise match a couple of weeks previously where the weather was atrocious but at least we had managed to sort a few things out and came up with a game plan so we was pretty confident of holding our own against Trafford Angling even though they had home advantage and been fishing a winter league for the past month or two so obviously had some tricks up their sleeves, after my thirty mile trip to the venue which took over an hour with all the roadworks, then restricted speed zones on the motorway near Manchester I finally arrived at the fishery and met up with the rest of the squad , we was all in an upbeat mood although a couple were understandably a bit nervous as it was their first attempt in the competition.

Before the draw had taken place it was agreed that certain areas of the lake we were not allowed to use tip rods because it would limit the distance people could fish, I was put on peg seven which was on the far side of the lake where the boards are and on our practise match we didn’t fish this part of the lake as it was a very poor area but like I mentioned earlier you only needed to beat the angler at the side of you and I was quite confident of doing just that because I tend to do better on places that you need to scratch around for bites.

On settling in at my home for the next few hours i decided to set up three rigs ;

Long line at 14m were after plumbing up i found it to be 10ft deep so i used a 4×16 malman roob which had a bulk plus two droppers as a shotting pattern and my main line was 014 garbo which had a six-inch hook length of 010 with a size 18 silver fish-hook .

Six meter line i really would have liked to fish this line closer in but in this area the peg was all over the place sloping badly from right to left and i had to go that far out to find a flat spot , as it was 6ft here i used a 4×14 maggie float with a bulk two foot away from my hook and then two droppers which would allow for a slow fall in the final third ,my main line was 014 garbo which had a six-inch hook length of 010 garbo with a size 18 silver fish hook .

Shallow rig which was set at four-foot deep but i would alter this as the match progressed , my float was a 4×12 maggie which had a strung out shotting pattern along the 014 garbo which had a six-inch hook length of 010 garbo with a size 20 silver fish-hook .

Bait for the day was rather simple ;

Three pints of casters

Three pints of soaked micros

Small tub of 4mm expanders

Small tub of white hooker pellets

When the all in sounded I put a small cup of casters onto my six meter line and two cups of pellets on my fourteen meter swim, my reasons for doing it was that I wanted to keep the fish on the deck because this was where the bigger silvers had been caught plus, you would also get chance to catch a bonus skimmer although there wasnt that many caught in the practice match, I left my far swim to settle and went onto the six meter line hoping to get a quick couple of pounds of silvers which is what I did although, they were a lot smaller than i wanted to be catching. After a while I began getting into a nice routine and it was all going well, I started double feeding a dozen casters every five minutes over my float but even this heavy feeding brought them up of the deck and when I had a few liners I picked up my shallow rig this improved my catch rate to one every two minutes, I saw a few skimmers come out on the noted flyers but as mentioned earlier you only had to beat the lad to your left and, I was catching twice as fast as he was although only small silvers so I just kept putting fish in the net unsurprisingly my catch rate slowed and I needed to really work at it changing shotting patterns & depths to keep the roach coming.

Every hour I decided to spend ten minutes on my far swim, to see if I could pick up a bonus skimmer which would have boosted my weight considerably, however all I could manage were small roach so I re-fed it with a ball of micros and then went back on to the shallow rig, after the rest I always seemed to pick up a few better stamp roach on it before I was back into the two ounce roach this is basically how my match went and i could only catch small silvers on all of my lines so i spent most of my match fishing shallow , although strangely i would pick up a bigger stamp of fish by letting my hook bait just hang there mid-depth and I only really had one moment of worry when my neighbour managed to catch a small skimmer but it turned out to be a loner and as the all out sounded I was pretty confident of winning my section.

After packing up I went round to see the other lads in the team and it looked like we had got properly beat on two sections & won two sections, the remaining sections would be pretty close and this is how it panned out. Unfortunately the two sections which we felt would be close went the way of Trafford AC but only by the odd pound so we ended up getting beat 4-2 so well done to them and I hope they go far in the competition, on a personal note I kept up my record of winning my section comfortably this time with my hundred roach weighing 15lb compared to my neighbours 6lb but I still have only made the second round once so that needs improving on and now that that’s over with for another year I’m going to have a couple of weeks of to recharge my batteries before i am back on the match scene.