January 8th , peg 167 covey six
Today was the first round of the individual winter league at Partridge lakes and after having to miss it last year due to other fishing commitments i was really looking forward to it , even if it meant i would be at the same venue till the beginning of April and i think that it is the longest i have stayed at one place in years but at least i would be local for a change , it would give me an opportunity to stay in touch with the moods of the fish and as the matches would be spread over the old lakes i shouldnt get too bored sitting on the same lakes .
After missing the last couple of weeks i was eager to get back on the bank and just hoped that i could draw a peg with a chance of a few bites because it had fished a bit iffy in places but it is winter after all , no doubt so did the other eighty anglers fishing the match and after my short drive to the complex i arrived just after 830 which put me towards the front of the rolling draw queue , when it came for my turn in the bag of doom i pulled out peg 167 on covey six which was the first one over the split and i had mixed views on it because the last time i fished Partridge lakes on the winter league team match i was on 169 were we all struggled for bites although the previous days open match a framing weight had been caught on 133 so there might be a few f1s in the area .
Before i began setting up i had a look at my peg to see if there was any signs of fish and although i didn’t see anything topping i did notice a few bubbles coming from the bottom of the far slope as i was sitting there it was like a who’s who of top Partridge anglers going past me into my section so i thought that i would be up against it getting good points today so i decided to have a nice uncomplicated match deciding to set up ;
Channel swim at eleven meters to my left near the start of the bowl because i was informed when i began plumbing up that i couldn’t go past the point of the island and as it was a touch over six-foot i used a 4×12 RW maggie float with a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line attached to it was a six-inch hook length of 010 garbo with a size 18 guru maggot hook .
Four foot rig for fishing two lines across half way up the far slope and also towards the reeds to my left , i used a 4×10 preston maggot float with a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line attached to it was a six-inch hook length of 010 garbo with a size 18 guru maggot hook .
Dobbing rig set at three-foot to start but i also had a three-foot length of line between pole tip+float so i could go deeper or shallower if required during the match , i used a 4×12 wire stemmed float which had a bulk at half depth then a couple of small droppers along my 014 garbo main line attached to it was a six-inch length of 010 garbo which had a size 16 guru maggot hook .
Bait for the day was ;
One pint of red maggots and handful of pinkies
One slice of bread for dobbin
A few micros
A bit off crushed expander ground-bait
A handful of 4mm expanders
I started the match by tapping in six maggots on both of my far bank swims and as i had felt a few fish knocking about while plumbing up in this area i hopped that i might be able to get the odd bite or two but i didn’t quite expect the start that i had although i didn’t add a great deal to my net , within ten seconds of my float settling i had an indication and a nice sized f1 in the net although it was hooked in the nose but in the next thirty minutes i lost four more fish , two of them with a hook pull at the net then a couple more also took me under the platform i put this down to the fact that i had recently changed to the short f1 kits and the fish were coming up a lot closer to me than i expected i was still trying to get the balance right when playing fish .
Unsurprisingly after losing those fish my bites stopped on my original swim and i had to replumb further to the left towards the point of the island at 14m , it took a couple of feeds before i began getting indications and not long after i had another f1 in the net by leaving my short number four on when playing the fish i seemed to have more control over what was happening , i managed a further four f1s on this line before they backed off and this was about the time the lad on peg 135 started fishing to the same point of the island . For the next hour i set up multiple swims towards my right in four-foot but strangely i never managed another sign going that way , i didn’t feel like the fish wanted to be in any shallower water so i went on to my top four line towards the left hand point of my margin and after tapping in half a dozen maggots i began getting a few indications , not long after i had a run of four f1s all of which were a nice stamp but no sooner had they turned up then they went and for the next forty minutes i was bite less after trying everywhere in my peg
As a last resort i picked up my dobbin rig and to be honest i didn’t expect this to work too well because i had talked to a few Partridge lakes regulars and they informed me that unless you was on a stack of fish then it would be a waste of time but anyway i decided to give it a go , i started at the point of the island and worked my way along the far bank a foot of the deck on my 4ft line but i didn’t have an indication until i got directly in front of me , in the next forty minutes i added five more fish to my net including a couple of small carp all of which were from the same area of my peg after catching those fish i struggled for bites and a change of punch or depth didn’t make any difference , i worked my way all along the far bank to both extremes without success and i put this down to the bright sunshine as it finally made its way out from behind the clouds .
I dropped onto my channel swim for a while without any signs and another rotation of my maggot lines also didn’t produce an indication but with thirty minutes of the match remaining it went cloudy again , so out came the dobbing rig but i had to resort to going tight to the far bank cover in two foot to get any bites and this produced a decent f1 plus a couple of big chub before the all out sounded , it called time on a rather confusing match and i feel like i got a bit lucky because there was definitely a few fish in the area so after a bit of a bad start i finally managed to add a few fish on maggots before catching a few more by dobbing bread , overall i managed second in my section with 23lb getting beat predictably by peg 171 who also finished second overall , i got my default section as well and so i started my winter league with two points lets hope i can keep the good draws coming to the end .
Going to be back at Partridge lakes for the next round of the teams of four winter league and i think it might be a bit of a grueller with the forecast drop in temperature so icebreakers at the ready .