16th October , peg 13 Boulders lake
Well it has soon come round again i can not believe how quick the past 12 months has gone as it was the start off my winter league at Old Hough + Bradshaws and after managing joint third the previous year when i hadn’t even seen the place before i was eager for a better finishing position this time round , with it being mainly silvers plus the odd carp i was quite looking forward to mixing my winter fishing up as i will also be taking part in the team match at Partridge lakes and as you all know that is heavily biased towards f1s . We was forecast to have some pretty heavy rain during the morning but as i started my thirty mile trip to the fishery it looked quite nice with the odd blue patch in the sky , although when i got off the motorway it started bouncing it down which lasted until the second hour of the match but at least it would give me chance to test my new water proofs , as i got to the fishery i made my way round to boulders+goose which is the lakes that my contest will be on when i got there i was the last to arrive and they was waiting for me before they could do the draw although they weren’t that impressed when i told them that my mate wasnt coming meaning they had to rejig the pegs a bit .
I did my usual trick of hanging towards the rear of the queue for the draw and when it came round for my turn in the bag of doom i pulled out 13 on boulders which is an area of the lake that i had been on before in last years competition where i struggled for less than 15lb , to be honest i wasnt that impressed as a trudged off towards my home for the next few hours although on looking at the results from the club matches here it did seem that it held a few fish so i suppose all was not lost just yet . My peg was just over 14m wide with lots of far-bank cover and i also had a patch of lily pads to my right so with that in mind i decided to set up ;
Top four at the side of the pads were after plumbing up i found just over four-foot and as i would be using maggots i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached and my hook was a size twenty f1 guru maggot hook .
My far-bank swim was around 3ft tight to the over hanging cover so i used the same rig as above .
I had a plumb around down the channel and i struggled to find anything deeper than 5ft and with the wind forecast to get stronger during the day i decided to position it at six meters a bit towards my left where i hoped the trees might help take the brunt of it , i used a 4×14 maggie float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached and my hook was a size 16 f1 guru maggot hook .
I also set up a one foot deep shallow rig because i am mainly going to be catching silvers today and as i would be pinging maggots across i figured they might come up in the water , i used a 0.1 float with three number 11 stotz in a little bulk above the six-inch length of 010 garbo .
Bait for the day was ;
3 pints of red+white maggots
3 pints of sonu bait maggot groundbait
1 pint micro
small tub 4mm expanders
When the all in sounded i started on my top four line and with the cold rain going in i wasnt sure how the fish were going to respond so i decided to take things easy with the bait , i began trickling in some maggots through a kinder pot and i did not have to wait long before i had my first fish which was a small silver that took my bait on the drop another fish of similar size followed , i decided to swap to my heavier channel rig on this line because i hoped that the extra weight would get my hook bait to the deck quicker so that i could hopefully avoid the nuisance fish and i also began feeding a full kinder pot so i knew that some maggots where getting to the bottom , this worked really well as i now began catching some nice ide+chub and i would get an indication as soon as my bait settled , it also seemed the more i fed the more fish i attracted into my peg and i had a really good run for the first hour putting about ten pounds into the net but when the rain gradually began to ease in the second hour the bites began to tail off , i was anxious to not plunder this line for too long and decided to feed my channel swim with a small cupping kit of groundbait+maggots i choose to stay away from pellets as there is a lot of small skimmers in here so i was taking a bit of a risk putting the groundbait in but i wanted to give it a try plus i had not brought enough maggots to keep three lines fed all match . I had a couple of big ide+chub on my first few drops and i felt that i might have got away with it but the skimmers soon got in on the act , although at 4oz a piece they had packed on a bit of weight since my last visit and were worth catching for a while as i primed my far bank swim by cattying in a dozen maggots every five minutes , i even managed two big skimmers about 1.5lb among the smaller ones and this kept me ticking over for the next hour .
After about forty minutes i went onto my far bank swim and i had a couple more chub+ide before i hooked a small carp which put up a spirited fight on my solid five elastic , i began catching some small silvers which was a bit of a pain when having to ship back 14m but i did manage the odd bigger one in between so i persevered with it for the time being , as i hoped that the increasing amount of feed going in would attract a better stamp of fish and i did start catching a few more chub+ide but it wasnt really quick enough for me to compete with the lad to my left who i heard say he had caught ten carp . So i had no other option but to try to make my four meter line work like at the start of the match as this would make it easier for me to do a better weight and with two hours remaining i chose to feed a bit heavier by hand , it didn’t take to long before i began catching again and i had another really good spell as every fish i caught was nearly 10oz although i was running low on maggots so i decided to begin feeding a nugget of ground-bait , this turned out to be a bad decision because the ide+chub did a disappearing act and I’m not sure if it was the different bait going in or the fact that some bigger fish had moved into the swim because i did manage a nice carp plus a couple of barbel , but after that all i could manage was some crucians plus the odd big skimmer so i decided to spend the remaining forty minutes rotating between my three swims and i kept putting the odd fish in the net right up to the all out .
I had managed to keep catching for most of the match which made a nice change and i had fifty fish on my clicker over 8oz along with the bigger ones , so i reckoned that i might have around the forty pound mark but as you probably know i don’t do a great deal of silver fishing so wasnt really that sure and when i caught up with the scales there was a couple of twenty pound weights from the high numbers , then peg six that i fancied to win the lake before the draw managed 40lb all caught from down the side on maggots which is something to bear in mind for my next visit in a couple of weeks , the lad who was on the left of my peg ended up with twenty carp all caught dobbing bread to the point of the island and this is something i struggled with last year , to be honest i had totally disregarded it for the winter league this year and yet again it was something for me to think about his nets went a total of 41lb which just took the lead , but when they arrived at my peg i had a bit of a problem lifting the net out and it looked like i might have under estimated the weight of my fish because when i tipped them on the scales they went a couple of ounce under 49lb , which was good enough to win the lake and began the series of matches with the perfect start but i did that last year then followed it up with two 4ths so i hoped i didn’t replicate that this time round , the other lake Goose fished extremely hard with a low twenty pound winning and majority of the anglers struggled to get over 12lb but i always felt that it would improve with the more bait going in as i do not think it gets fished a great deal .
Next weekend i am back at Partridge lakes to try my hand at some f1 fishing although looking at the recent results it has been very hard going with the recent unsettled weather , but my winter league on here is starting soon so i need to get to grips with the place again and to be honest i like working for bites as it makes things a bit better for the thinking angler .