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 .


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