Partridge lakes , winter league round two

November 20th , peg 22 piper lake


Today was the second round of the winter league at Partridge which was going to take place on the old lakes plus coveys 5+6 , the weather had taken a turn for the worse with a severe drop in temperature which had a big impact on the weights from the open matches taking place during the week so i wasnt expecting it to be great especially with twenty teams of four fishing . On the morning of the match it was forecast to be dry but cold so i made sure that i dug the thermals out for the first time this year because i reckoned that it could be a very long day if you didn’t draw on a few fish , i arrived at the fishery just after eight and i let the 2+2 team captain to get on with the rolling draw while i grabbed a pint of maggots plus a handful of pinkies from the on site tackle shop for when it was really tough going , on meeting back up with the rest of the team we seemed to have a decent draw for a change as we came out with peg 2 willow , peg 21 marsh , a peg in the 160s on covey six and i was on peg 22 piper this was one of the few lakes on the complex that i had never fished before , although i was on the right side of the lake i also had plenty info on how best to fish it and when i arrived at my peg i was quite pleased as i had plenty open water , a dead reed bed on both my margins and i had the gap on my left which joined piper to willow, that was until two of the top partridge lakes anglers sat on the end pegs towards my right so it looked like i would be fishing for third place today but you never know if i fished a good match i might have a chance of getting a better place on the lake .


I felt that my best option would be to keep things simple today so i decided to set up ;

3ft rig for fishing long down my left hand margin towards the inlet between the two lakes and as i would be using maggots here i used a 4×12 maggie float with 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length with a size twenty guru maggot hook attached my elastic was matrix yellow size eight .

5ft rig for fishing on my 6m swim yet again i would be using maggots and with the conditions rather still i used a 4×12 maggie float with 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length with a size twenty guru maggot hook attached my elastic was matrix yellow size eight .

14m line where it was just under 4ft on top of the bar and after plumbing up i found that it sloped down towards my right going a few inch deeper so i decided to start straight in front of me then go either right or left depending on where the fish wanted to be , as i was going to be using pellets on this swim i set up a positive 4×14 roob float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 010 garbo hook length which had a size 18 guru pellet hook attached and as i had to do a bit of work with the pole when shipping back through some trees i opted for a lighter map 6-8 dual core elastic .

Bait for the day couldn’t be simpler as i only had ;

one pint of red maggots with a handful of fluro pinkies mixed in

half pint of soaked micros

half pint of crushed expanders


I also had some corn and bread in my bag but didn’t feel the need to be using them today well i hoped not anyway .

When the all in sounded i began on my 14m swim and taped in a small ball of crushed expander threw my kinder pot before lowering my 4mm expander over the top , i had to hold my rig really still because even though it was quite calm my rig was slightly towing threw towards my right and it isn’t ideal laying line on the deck when pellet fishing , as the water was still cold i decided to be a bit careful with the feed because i didn’t want to kill the peg before it going and it took about twenty minutes before i had my first fish which was a small hand sized skimmer , i sprinkled in a dozen micros after my first fish hoping to attract one of the big f1s into the peg but it seemed to have the opposite effect as all i could catch where small skimmers and on looking around nearly everyone was struggling apart from flyer peg 24 which had won the first round quite convincingly with over 90lb he was picking up some nice f1s+carp by dobbing bread all along his reed lined margin .

I decided to put in another swim towards my left because the guy on that side seemed to be picking up a bigger stamp of skimmer and i hoped that i might be able to draw some of them over to me,after plumbing up i found that it was the same depth but it at least allowed me a bit of room and i would have preferred going towards my right in the slightly deeper water but the lad opposite was fishing that way on top of the bar at 14m , which would have made our swims really close together in fact i could even see his bristle quite clearly although it gave me a chance to see how he was getting on . My new swim didn’t really produce how i would have planned and after two hours i had about 5lb in the net but apart from the lad to my right everybody was struggling , so i tried my top six line hoping to put some nice roach in the net just in case the f1s didn’t want to play ball and yet again i did not want to over feed the swim so began drip feeding maggots through a kinder pot until i knew how the fish would respond , i began picking up a mixture of 8oz silvers and i would often get a bite just as my float settled i was on the verge of increasing the amount of maggots going in when i hooked a big f1 , this put me in a bit of a quandary because i knew i would catch more silvers if i fed more but really needed some more f1s to have a better chance of winning the section  , i decided to keep my feeding pattern the same for the time being and just see how things panned out .


After about forty minutes the bites just stopped so i gave my two swims at 14m another try and i did manage a couple of small skimmers on my right hand one , then my left hand swim produced a foul hooked carp which dragged me all over the top of the bar killing both of them and while it settled back down again i plumbed up another line at six meters this towards my right it was a couple of inch deeper there but i was still able to use the same rig , yet again i began drip feeding the maggots in through a kinder pot and i started putting the odd big roach in the net before a couple of f1s put in an appearance but no sooner had they turned up then they went , i added on another section incase they had backed off a bit and this produced a few more f1s and silvers the only trouble was that i had nowhere else to go unless i put another rig on but as there was only forty minutes left i decided to just rotate my six meter swims hoping to add a couple more f1s before the all out but could only manage a chub , the lad opposite had a good run of f1s+carp from on top of the bar right up to the all out and i was kicking myself for not doing it myself but you live and learn .


The lad on the other bank put 22lb on the scales he was leading all the way round to me and my net went just under 21lb , predictably the guy on peg 24 won my section with 32lb so i ended up third which i would have taken at the start of the match but i couldn’t help thinking what might have been as a couple of bad decisions no doubt cost me today . The team did really well today with the lad on covey six winning his section , marsh coming second , willow coming third just missing out by 2oz on a better place and i finished third as well getting beat by just over a pound , this left us on nine points for joint third with seven points winning the day and with two rounds of the winter league gone we are sixth out of the twenty teams contesting the event but there’s still a long way to go yet .


Next Sunday I’m back at Old Hough for the fifth round of my winter league and after missing the last round to fish partridge team match today , i need another good result especially as im going to miss one more with another clash of winter leagues but i knew that would happen when i signed up for both competitions .



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