Partridge lakes winter league

November 6th , peg 119 covey five

Today was the first round of the teams of four at Partridge lakes and it was to take place on the old lakes plus covey 5+6 which was the waters that i dont normally fish because the opens usually take place on covey 1+4 so it would make a nice change to go on these , the weather leading up to today’s contest had been quite cold a sure sign that winter was on its way and as a consquence the fishing had been rather tough but it was the same for everyone . After the short drive to the fishery i met up with the rest of 2+2 team and we had a good chat about what we expected from today’s contest , before we knew it the rolling draw had started so the team captain went to have a go in the bag of doom and when he came back i was on peg 119 covey five , he was on peg 20 ribbon and the other two lads was on spey + covey six i can not remember the exact numbers , we had a couple of reasonable areas but no flyers so with it being the first round we wanted a nice steady match and not to blow out completely like we did last year .

On arriving at my home for the next few hours i was up against some good pegs in my section with 115+117 having the wind blowing there way and 121 was a meter or so wider than my peg with a nice reed bed across that usually holds plenty of fish , as usual on these big competitions i had my mossella nemesis not far away on peg 123 although he wasnt in my section thankfully ,i had a dead reed bed towards my left which looked promising with the odd little silver swirling at the side of it but on the down side it was less than eleven meters wide so i would have to be careful not to put lots of swims in splitting any fish in front of me and with that in mind i decided to set up ;

4ft maggot rig this would cover multiple areas of my peg and i used a 4×12 maggie float that had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , i had my usual 014 garbo main line which had a six inch 010 hook length and my hook was a size 18 f1 maggot hook .

3ft maggot rig for fishing further up the far shelf and i didnt expect to go any shallower in the conditions , i used a 4×12 maggie float that had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , i had my usual 014 garbo main line which had a six inch 010 hook length and my hook was a size 18 f1 maggot hook .

Channel maggot swim and i expected this to be my main swim so i put it six meters too my right , i used a 4×14 maggie float that had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , i had my usual 014 garbo main line which had a six inch 010 hook length and my hook was a size 18 f1 maggot hook .

4ft pellet swim like the same depth maggot rig i could use this all other my peg if the f1s decided to feed on pellets today and i used a 4×14 roob float with an inch spread bulk above the short four inch 010 garbo hook length.

3ft dobbing rig i used a 0.2 matrix series three float with my bulk under my float with just two size eleven stotz down the 014 garbo main line and i had a six inch 010 garbo hook length with a size 16 f1 pellet hook attached .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints red and white maggots

1 pint of soaked micros

1 pint of crushed expander

1 slice of bread

When the all in sounded i began by dobbing a 7mm punch of bread along the edge of the left hand reed bed but even going in to every nook and cranny i couldnt get a single indication even though the lad on 121 was picking up the odd small f1 doing it towards the far bank reeds , so after a bite less twenty minutes i decided to change it to a maggot swim and after tapping in half a dozen maggots i laid my rig in keeping a tight line so my hook bait would fall slowly , it took a couple of feeds before i began getting any bites at first all i could catch were gudgeon but i hoped that they might grab the attention of any passing f1s and to some extent it worked because i managed to catch a couple of 2lb carp in between the gudgeon , i think that i might have got a bit giddy with the amount of maggots i was feeding because after thirty minutes i failed to get any sort of indication so with an hour of the contest gone i had about 5lb in the net which wasnt to bad in the cold conditions .

My next swim was 4ft across to the far bank i started on my pellet rig first and i tapped in a nugget of crushed expander then lowered my hook bait slowly over the top of it , the gusty wind was making keeping the rig still hard work but when i managed to stop the pole from moving about i managed the odd indication and i put two or three small f1s in the net , strangely i found if i fed any micros i would just get liners and after foul hooking a couple of fish they backed off out of the swim , thinking about it now i should have gone a bit further up the slope into three foot which might have got me a few more f1s but instead i tried to turn it into a maggot line which didnt really work as i struggled for indications , even after putting in a few different lines across i couldn’t add to my net and it was only when i went into three foot that i started picking up the odd fish again although most of them were small chub .

Another look at the side of the reed bed produced a quick f1 and a chub but nothing else , i was really struggling to put a run of fish together from anywhere and i had an hour where i couldnt get a bite from any part of my peg , i wanted to leave my channel swim for as long as i could so that hopefully a few fish could settle on it but with nowhere else producing i had no other option , i managed a couple of quick f1s then it just died on me and yet again thinking about it after the match i definitely over fed it as i was putting in about fifty maggots every half an hour , i did try putting on a couple more sections going further towards my right and being really negative but i think the damage had already been done especially as the lad on 117 was catching well from his channel swim .

With thirty minutes of the match remaining i went on to my left hand swim but plumbed up another line towards the back of the reed bed , i trickled in a couple of maggots every few minutes to try to interest some fish and after awhile my float shot under which took me by surprise after the long spell of inactivity , i then managed a little run of f1s right up to the all out and i was kicking myself for not going on it sooner but thats fishing for you . I ended up with a dozen f1s plus a few bits and pieces which i felt wasnt good enough to be anywhere near the top half of the section as it turned out i was correct because my net put me 4th with just 20lb , although i was fairly confident that i couldn’t challenge for 1st as peg 115 had 38lb , 2nd was peg 121 with 31lb who seemed to be catching for most of the match and i thought that he would have a lot more than that weight , but i was disappointed with myself on not beating  117 who had just over 21lb this meant i was only a couple of f1 short and as a few things didnt work out for me today i felt i was a tad unlucky but thats the way it goes sometimes , on the team front we ended up with 14 points as we had two 4th in section and two second in section so not a bad start as we ended up about 8th out of the twenty teams taking part .

Im off to Old Hough next weekend for the third round of the winter league which is going to take place on Lucky dip + Prospect not my favorite lakes on the complex but i will be trying my best as i need a good result after the last round where i ended up fifth .

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