Belvedere peg 18 , June 25th
With all my big matches over till September where i had very limited success it was time to start going to places that i enjoy fishing for a couple of months to get some confidence back and top of my list was the impressive Weston pools fishery in Oswestry which is only sixty miles from my home , i had fished it a handful of times last year and every time that i went i really enjoyed it because the fishing is totally different to anything we have in the North West as it is all lake fishing compared to canal style waters with f1s the dominate fish , here there is a variety of species to be caught including very hard fighting barbel in fact every fish you catch gives a really good account of themselves probably due to the aerators being left on all the time and on some of the waters when contesting the match it is like you are fishing on your own as there is ample vegetation separating you from the other anglers , the pegs are also a reasonable distance apart which is something that i feel makes this fishery different from lots of others especially when you have taken part in fisho qualifiers where everybody is on top of each other .
Weston pools has a late draw during the summer months so there was no need for an early start which made a refreshing change and on arrival at 830am i saw a few lads that i know so had a quick chat about how things would go today , i then grabbed a bacon buttie before having a wander around to see where i fancied going because todays match was a rover and to be honest every where that i went looked appealing but if i had a choice then i would go on Belvedere as it was the water which i had most experience of , just as i got back to the cabin it absolutely bounced it down for about ten minutes although when the draw started the sun came out and the rain never returned for the rest of the day .
As i was one of the first people to book on for the open match i had an early dip in the draw bag to see which order i would be in to choose a peg and would you believe it i only pulled out number one so first choice would be mine because i hadn’t been here for some time i was a bit unsure on where to go , i settled on Belvedere peg 18 this gave me plenty of options including a bed of lily pads at eleven meters which in the bright conditions i felt the fish would back off into as the match progressed . On settling in at my home for the next few hours i decided to set up ;
Margin four meters towards my left because there was nobody down that side of the lake , it was around three-foot deep so i used a 4×12 speedy float which had a split bulk above the 0.12 garbo hook length which had a size 16 lwg hook attached .
Top three straight in front of me this is usually a good place to start on here and i choose to kick off with pellets so used a 4×14 roob float as it was over four-foot deep which had a staggered bulk shotting pattern ,my main line was the usual 0.14 garbo which had a four-inch hook length of 0.12 garbo .
Eleven meters at the side of the pads where i was going to be fishing worm+caster after plumbing up i found five foot so used a 0.4 jadz float which had a wire stem for a bit of extra stability and my shotting pattern was a bulk+dropper , my main line was 0.14 garbo and i had a six-inch length of 0.12 garbo hook length that had a size 16 lwg hook attached .
Shallow for the side of the lily pads i set up two identical rigs one at two foot the other a foot , my float was a matrix series three float in 0.10 and i used 0.14 garbo main line which had an 0.12 garbo hook length attached .
A kilo of worms
Two pints of casters
Two tins of corn
Two pints of fishery 4mm pellets
Small tub of 4mm expanders
When the all in sounded i fed two pots of worm+casters at the side of the pads and then went on to my pellet swim so i taped in half a dozen 4mms before lowering my rig in over the top , i didn’t have to wait long before my float shot under a sharp lift resulted in yards of elastic streaming from my pole tip and after a spirited fight i netted a nice mirror carp which was a good start to proceedings i hoped that a few more similar sized fish would be mooching about , but with nothing much happening on my top three-line when using my kinder pot i decided to began feeding heavier by hand to try to draw something into my swim and to some extent it worked as i went on a run of hand sized crucians not really what i wanted to be catching today .
With things not working how i would have liked on my top three swim i decided to go and see if anything had settled on my initial feed at the side of the lily pads , my rig had only just settled with half a worm on the hook when the float slide under i guided the fish into open water before shipping back and it all went swimmingly until i got it on to my top kit when it started fighting like a demon , it was definitely a barbel and it tried its darndest to get under my platform i was a bit out of practice in catching these fish but i finally had it in the net at around five pounds it was one of the biggest i had caught . My next bite resulted in an ide of around 10oz i had to be really careful when shipping this fish back because it was splashing about on the top due to the strong elastic , i then had a little run of alternating between barbel+ide before bites began to tail off so i had another refeed and added all the bits of worm i had remaining from the hook baits , i felt that by doing this i might keep the barbel in the swim a bit longer but it seemed to have the opposite effect because my next six fish were all ide and i decided to put in another cup of bait but this time with a lot more particles caster+corn along with the worms .
I then had a quite fifteen minutes i was beginning to think that i had made a mistake with my last feed but after a while the fish returned and this time they were barbel although i did lose my next two under my nets which was all down to me not being aggressive enough with them , i did begin to get to grips with them and had another little run of fish but with bites slowing yet again i had to put some more bait in this strangely didn’t have the desired effect although on looking around everybody seemed to be in the same boat .With a few fish milling about under the pads i decided to give shallow a try and began pinging half a dozen casters at my float , at first all i could catch were hand sized silvers but slowly i began adding a few ide then the odd f1 and i even had a barbel up in the water but i never managed a proper run of fish , i tried back on the deck but this time with double caster on the hook and i had three f1s on the trot then a barbel i thought i might have finally sorted it but yet again the ide returned in numbers .
We was now approaching the final two hours of the match and it was time to start fishing the margin as this is normally a very good option for on here , i dropped my rig in tight against the reeds with half a worm on the hook and i began getting little dinks on the float but with it being so deep i didn’t want to strike unless it was a proper gazunder this should hopefully keep the foul hookers to a minimum , it didn’t take long before i had a proper bite a little lift resulted in yards of elastic coming out of the pole tip and just as i was guiding it around to the front of me the hook pulled this happened a couple more times which did my head in a bit .
I put in a full cup of particles on my margin swim to try to get the fish settled on the deck and i then went back on my long line but all i could manage was ide , i kept dropping on to my margin swim but for some reason it failed to get going as i could only manage a barbel+small tench and i spent the rest of my match just picking up ide on the deck at the side of the pads . The all out called time on a confusing but still enjoyable match as i could only catch ide+barbel in any numbers and it’s usually prolific with carp+f1 , it was definitely down to the bright still conditions at the top end of the lake because in the bowl at the over end where it was more shaded by the trees and had some ripple produced a 140lb+135lb weight , my nets went just short of sixty pounds which included nearly twenty pounds of silvers and i even lost a dozen barbel due to angler error but it wouldn’t have made a great deal of difference in the overall scheme of things , the other two lakes fished about the same with the winner coming from Weir 150lb and on Stretton every angler had over a ton with most fishing shallow with pellets catching all f1s .
I am off somewhere new at the weekend as i am going to Blundells fishery in Warrington to contest the rover match and i hope to be able to get on Trio lake as it has thrown up some nice weights recently on the weds just gone 270lb won the match so i am understandably looking forward to giving it a go .