Weston pools , open match on clay pit

September 4th , peg 24 Clay pit


After yesterdays eventful match at Partridge lakes were i got properly soaked i was really looking forward to drying my gear out at the always impressive Weston pools and with the open being spread out over Weir , Stretton and Clay pit you always had a chance of catching a good net of fish but with the recent weather i doubt that many people would manage to catch over a ton . I slightly misjudged the time it took to get to the fishery and only just arrived in time for booking on at 930 which meant that i would be one of the last to have a go in the bag of doom but before i had to worry about that , i grabbed a bacon buttie then had a quick look at the lakes and i really fancied a draw on Weir pool or Stretton but my luck was out yet again as you will find out later . As i got back to the cabin it was time for the draw and with over fifty anglers present it took some time before it got round to my turn and after a bit of a wait i had my pick with peg 24 on Clay pit sticking to my hand , now in all my time coming to Weston pools i had not even seen this lake because it was situated a mile of sight so after getting some directions i headed of to the pit and to be honest it was a lot closer+easier to find than i imagined .

On arrival i parked up before getting a glimpse of the lake and it was quite large with the pegs well apart from each other , it was also in a bit of a dip surrounded by trees which meant that the wind was more swirling around and not blowing in a certain direction , after making my way to the peg i had a bit of a platform so i could fish back on myself if i wanted to do and after settling in at my home for the next few hours i was a bit unsure on how best to target it because i had heard it was deep , really deep in places and i decided to set up ;

Margin tight to the bank towards my right where i was going to feed maggots and after plumbing up i found about 2ft so used a 0.4 ruddy float as this would allow me to keep my rig still if any of the carp came in to feed , my main line was 016 garbo with a 014 garbo hook length which had a size 14 hook attached .

Margin at the side of the reed cover towards my left and i would feed micros+corn there as it was about four-foot deep this heavier bait would hopefully keep them pinned to the deck , my rig was a 4×12 speedy float which was a robust float that would stand up to be dragged through any vegetation and  my main line was 016 garbo with a 014 garbo hook length which had a size 14 hook attached .

Top three-line and i would have put this in further out but after finding six-foot here i felt that if i put it in any deeper water i would struggle with line bites and foul hooked fish , as i would be fishing hard pellets here i decided to use a 4×16 malman roob with an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Shallow line i set up two rigs to cover my options on this line but with it being so deep and very few fish showing on the surface plus the overnight rain i decided that i would kick of with a 3ft+4ft rig , i used a 0.2 series two matrix float on both and had an on the drop shotting pattern .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints maggots

1 pint micros

2 pints 4mm pellets

2 tins of corn


I started my match on the top three towards my right and with the water being so deep i didn’t want to begin loose feeding so put half a cupping kit full of micros in before dropping my rig in over the top of it , i didn’t have to wait long before i had my first fish which was a hand sized carp and i then had a little run of f1s but even though i was feeding tightly squeezed balls of soaked micros i began foul hooking fish , i didn’t really know how best to solve the problem and i altered my shotting on the rig for a bulk plus two droppers this enabled me to catch a few more but it wasnt that prolific so i decided to put in a full pot of micros to see if i could get them back on the deck but as i feared doing this kind of killed the swim .

It was now an hour into the match and i had about 15lb in the net which was not to bad but i had fed my shallow swim which is where i hopped that most of my fish would come from , i went onto my 3ft deep rig first i began firing in a dozen 4mm pellets every few minutes this got the fish competing , i caught a quick six fish but I’m not sure i feed heavy enough because they kept drifting in and out of the swim i noticed that every fish i hooked pulled the pole straight down and maybe it was the clear water but they definitely wanted to be deeper , so i changed to my 4ft rig this got me catching but it wasnt long before they backed off again and i had a long spell of inactivity .

I dropped back onto my top three-line while i pondered on what to do next and i did pick up a few more fish but it wasnt right , i remembered that i had read somewhere on the internet that they had caught in six-foot when fishing shallow in the previous weeks on here and with nothing else happening i hadn’t got anything to lose , so i butchered my top three rig then gave it ago and surprisingly i was soon getting indications again but this is where my problems started because i kept pulling out of fish as i was about to net them or getting broke , i put this down to the fact that i was fishing so deep and i had to pull the elastic really tight so i could try to net the fish . A change to a heavier elastic just kept me breaking hook lengths and a lighter elastic had them running me under my platform , i finally found something in between the two and also trying to land the fish about two foot down soon had me back catching , but when i hooked a carp about six pounds i had to net it with three joints of pole in the air which wasnt an ideal situation to be in .


With ninety minutes of the match remaining i had a look on my margin swims my shallower maggot right hand one produced plenty bite but only from small silvers where as my left hand deeper line gave me lots of liners without anything proper so i gave it another pot of feed , before going on to my shallow line a go and i added a couple more f1s but it was definitely fading because i hadn’t got another swim where i could catch a few fish which would help me rest the shallow line , dropping back onto my margin i had a proper gazunder straight away with the elastic streaming out of pole tip and i couldn’t get the right angle to enable me to add the other sections of my pole so all i could do was hang on but it wasnt long before the inevitable happened as my hook length snapped . I then had a forty minute spell where i couldn’t add anything too my net and i felt that any chance of a top three finish on the lake had gone but with a couple of pints of maggots sat on my side tray i decided to see what response this got me , i started feeding them quite heavily  too my surprise i began catching again after a while i was even getting swirls on the top so i swapped to my three-foot rig and i then went 1ft deep with a longer lash flicking my float away from the pole tip . I added about a dozen f1s in the remaining forty minutes so i was kicking myself for not doing it sooner but as i was still learning about the lake i knew that i would make a few mistakes , i had thirty fish on my clicker for about 50lb but i didn’t bother weighing in as when the scales arrived to me you needed 70lb to get in the top three and i knew that i had not got that .

Yet again it was an enjoyable if rather frustrating match which seems to be a common theme for my matches this year and i need to have a review about what I’m going to do next year , but before that i have a trip back to Partridge lakes on Sunday for the open before the North vs South 200 pegger at Tunnel barn , then the natural bait festival back at Weston pools and then i have a couple of winter leagues to target so my fishing shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon .



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