Old Hough winter league

November 27th . peg 16 goose lake

Goose lake

Today was the fifth round of my winter league at Old Hough fishery and after missing the last round plus the next round as i had other commitments fishing the teams of four at Partridge lakes so i needed a top three finish in the remaining matches if i wanted to stay towards the head of the table , as you would expect for the time of year it was rather cold with lots of lakes near me suffering a freeze so to be honest i wasnt expecting a great deal from the day’s fishing but as we would be targeting mainly silvers i hoped that i would still get the odd bite or too . After my journey down the M6 where there was still plenty of restricted zones which showed no sign of ending any time soon , i arrived with plenty time to spare and i was surprised to find that the road into the fishery had been finished so at least that should cut some time off my next trip down to Old Hough, when i got to the car park near the lake i was glad that the waters wasnt frozen but all the talk was of how bad they had fished during the week with anglers struggling to get into double figures .

Unsurprisingly in the conditions a few anglers had decided not to attend which meant we all had a bit of room and usually i would think this would be a bad thing as the fish often back away into the space but as we was fishing for silvers i didn’t expect it to be a problem especially as they had put the pegs in which had a bit of cover along the far bank , as the draw started i broke my ritual of hanging back and went for an early dip in the bag of doom , i managed to get peg 16 on Goose lake which was in one of the better areas on the water although i wasnt that far away from where i struggled on my last visit and it’s weird how the fish like to be in this corner of the lake .


After settling in at my home for the next few hours i was pleased with the amount of options that i had ;

Dead reed bed along both margins

A few over hanging reeds along the far bank

A point of the island to my left

Plenty open water to my left as well .

So as you can tell i had plenty of areas to target but in the cold conditions i didn’t want to be spreading bait all over my peg and after plumbing up i decided to fish ;

Four foot rig , i used this for fishing in front of both margin reed beds plus across on the far bank slope and as i would be using maggots i set up a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk+two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i started on a six-inch 010 garbo hook length but was prepared to drop down if i was struggling for bites .

Channel pellet rig six meters to my left , i used a 4×14 roob float it had an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 010 garbo hook length so a nice positive rig which should show up the slightest indication .

Channel maggot rig six meters to my right , i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk+two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i started on a six-inch 010 garbo hook length but was prepared to drop down if i was struggling for bites .

Bait for the day was ;

Two pints of red and white maggots .

One pint of soaked micros .

One pint of crushed expanders although i would have liked to have used my usual ground-bait but had left it at home .

Small tub of 4mm expanders .


When the all in sounded i began on my pellet swim in the deep water and i was pretty confident that this would produce for me even in these wintry conditions because there was plenty of hand sized skimmers in this lake , as i was uncertain of what weight to target today i just wanted to start putting something in the net until i knew how bad the lake was going to fish , after tapping in a nugget of groundbait i lowered my rig in over the top of keeping my float really still and i didn’t have to wait too long before i began getting indications , i was soon putting the odd skimmer or crucian in the net although they was only small i was doing a lot better than those anglers within eye shot and out of the blue i landed a nice chunky f1 just over a pound i had hoped there might be a few of them settled on my feed but it was just a loner .


After an hour i began to trickle in maggots on my two margin swims and right hand channel line i planned on rotating the three swims as i hoped this would keep me adding to my net , starting on my channel swim i had four half pound ide in quick succession before indications slowed and as i originally figured the fish didn’t want to settle in the clear water so i dropped onto my left hand margin this produced a  couple of hand sized crucians , i kept tapping in half a dozen maggots on each swim and even though i was targeting silvers i didn’t want to feed too much incase the fish backed off , by swapping+changing between the three lines i was adding fish too my net it wasnt hectic by any means but it kept topping up my net .


With ninety minutes remaining i went across for the first time and i began catching straight away although they was smaller than on my other swims, i found it best to tap some maggots in then drag my rig up the shelf a bit by doing this it helped to keep my float still because i had a bit of a side wind to contest with and i kept getting the odd bite from ide+chub , after a while my elastic shot out from the pole and i had a short fight with a near 2lb barbel which certainly boosted my weight but this killed the swim so i replumbed up a new line towards the point of the island , this wasnt as good as my original swim but by rotating between the both of them i kept adding the occasional fish but in the last thirty minutes it went really cold and bites just stopped for everybody .

When the all out sounded i was unsure on how i had got on because I’m still getting used to estimating my weight when silver fishing but i admitted to about ten pounds and reckoned that i had beaten the lads within eye shot but couldn’t see a couple who was round the other side , when the scales arrived i followed it around the lake because i was one of the last to weigh in and there was a few low weights around the 5lb mark but the lad on peg five had a mainly all carp net which went 18lb  i knew that i would struggle to beat that as i didn’t have enough bonus fish , as i feared by net only went 14lb it was still a good net of silvers and it also meant that i had finished second on the lake which i was made up with i felt that i had fished a good match catching from all over the peg .


I’m back at Partridge lakes for the winter league teams of four next Sunday and looking at the results from the opens during the week it could be really hard work , so it could be all over at the draw bag but it will be the same for everybody i suppose .



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