Partridge lakes winter league


March 26th

Today was the last round of the winter league at Partridge lakes and it has been a very long series which was probably down to the fact that we wasnt in contention since Christmas after a lot of poor draws and also poor displays by all of us in the squad but that’s the way it goes sometimes , anyway on to the match and on arriving at the fishery we was greeted with blue skies , hardly any wind but a significant drop in overnight temperature and i even had to defrost the car before i set off which i figured would make the fishing a bit difficult .

After meeting up with the rest of the team it was my turn to do the draw and i joined the queue around the middle , it soon came round for my turn in the bag of doom and yet again we had a fairly average set of pegs which wasnt surprising to be honest as we had all got used to sitting in dodgy areas ;

Willow peg 18

Covey five peg 107

Covey six peg 141

Marsh peg 11

The later of them was my home for the next few hours and i had fished both peg twelve and fourteen over the winter managing second in section both times , so i had a good idea on how to fish it but it was going to be a low weight affair which is usually something that i am quite good at but today is a different day and we will see how things pan out .On arriving at my home for the next few hours it was nearly 14m to the far bank where i had a mixture of bare bank and reed beds which was good but i also had the big hill behind meaning i had to break down twice , i decided to set up a few rigs to cover my options ;

Margin top four towards the empty peg to my right were it was nearly four-foot deep and i was going to feed 4mm pellets here by hand so i used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length that had a size 18 guru pellet hook .

Top four directly in front of me which i was going to lose feed maggots by hand it was nearly five foot here so i used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length that had a size 18 guru maggot hook .

I used the same rig for fishing down the track at nine meters towards my left and i would pot in pellets on this line .

Far bank swim were it was about four-foot deep and i set up two rigs on this line because i was unsure on what bait they wanted today , i had a 4×14 roob float for my pellet fishing which had an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 010 garbo hook length and my other rig for maggots was a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk and dropper shotting pattern along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 hook length

Bait for the day was a bit of a mixture on my side tray as i had ;

1 pint of red maggots

1 pint of hard 4mm pellets

1 pint of soaked micros

small tub of 2+4mm expanders

When the all in sounded i fed my margin with half a dozen 4mm pellets and through the same amount of maggots on to my top four swim i was going to do the same every ten minutes to hopefully build them up for later in the match , i then shipped out to my marker at the left hand side of the reed bed with my pellet rig and after tapping in a few micros i lowered my float over the top of it , it took about 15 minutes and three feeds before i even had an indication a similar amount of time passed before i had my first fish which was a nice stamp f1 which put up a good fight on my 6-8 map hollow elastic and i think it’s about time i stepped it up a touch before my next match .

Another 15 minutes passed before i had my next fish but i had noticed that i would get indications on my float every time that i tapped in a few micros and even in this early stage of the match i made the decision to plumb up into some shallower water and i found around three-foot towards the right of the far bank reed bed  , while it settled down i gave my maggot rig a try over my original pellet swim i had a 4mm expander on the hook which would allow for a slow fall of the hook bait  and i hoped this might grab the attention of any passing fish but unfortunately this didn’t work for me . It was now time to try my new pellet swim and it took some time to build up the line but after a while i managed another f1 plus a bonus carp about 3lb , a bite less thirty minutes had me scratching my head but on looking around it was noticeable that everybody was struggling for bites and i decided to give my other swims a try , i had a quick look on my margin swim but apart from a few gudgeon it was a waste of time and i made the decision to up the amount that i was feeding here , my next swim to try was my top four maggot and i had a good run of fish here the only trouble was that they were two ounce silvers not exactly what i wanted to catch , dropping onto my channel swim didn’t produce a single indication for the next two hours + thirty minutes i rotated my near swims set up multiple far bank lines and i failed to catch anything other than small silvers .

Things wasnt looking good but with just forty minutes of the match remaining and the wind changed around a touch meaning that i now had a ripple in front of me , it’s surprising how such little things can make a big impact because with in ten minutes of going back to the far bank with my pellet rig i missed my first indication in ages this focused my attention and i soon had another f1 in the net , then another quickly followed but after that little flurry of bites i had a ten minute wait before my bristle lifted up a touch i was just going to re set my float when it shot under and i had a spirited fight with another bonus carp then just before the all out i managed another f1 .

So that was the end of the match and a rather frustrating one it was too as i had a good start and end but the middle of the match was just plain awful , although after speaking to the other anglers it was the same for every one apart from the lad to my left who managed to sneak in a few fish by dobbing corn all along the far bank , which is something that i should have done to because i knew that on the previous days open match on the coveys a lot of people had caught doing it , when the scales arrived at the lake i walked down to watch the lads in my section weigh in and the lad on the end peg managed 23lb most of which he caught in the last hour when the wind pushed the fish his way , the others had a similar match to me i had 13lb to beat for the section second my net went nearly 17lb so a pretty standard two points yet again but I’m not sure i could have done much different today and to show how bad marsh canal fished i somehow managed to finish third on the lake .

When i met up with the rest of the lads we had yet another shocker of a day ending up with 15 points and we was all a bit deflated as we finished sixteenth overall a bit of a come down from last year when we finished sixth , personally i have had an up and down series ;

Round two piper lake for third in section and the team ended up with nine points .

Round three covey six for forth in section and the team ended up with twelve points .

Round four covey five for last in section and the team had a proper shocker with nineteen points .

Round five marsh canal for second in section and the team had fifteen points .

Round seven willow pool for a section win and the team ended up with nine points for joint second on the day .

Round eight willow pool last in section and team ended up with sixteen points .

Round nine covey six for third in section and team ended up with seventeen points .

Round ten marsh canal for second in section and team ended up with fifteen points .

So that’s the Partridge winter league over for another year and on to my new venture with Daiwa Adlington where i will be contesting the teams of three spring league at Cunneries fishery which i am really looking forward too .

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Cunneries fishery charity match


Today i was contesting the Memorial Charity Fishing Match held at The Cunneries Fishery in Eccleston with all proceeds going towards the Golborne Colliery ex Miners in memory of 10 young miners who were taken from us as a result of an explosion at Golborne Colliery on the 18th March 1979 and although the weather was forecast to be pretty awful with a strong easterly wind plus constant rain which might have put a few people off but it was all for a good cause , so even in those conditions i was quite looking forward to it especially as it was going to be spread all over the complex which would give us a bit of room and to be honest i needed the practice on here before the teams of three starts in April which is my first proper venture with the Team Daiwa Adlington angling squad and as i hadn’t fished the Cunneries fishery in well over a year i could do with the heads up , although i had done plenty f1 fishing at Partridge lakes during the last few months so i didn’t expect things to be that different today .

Cunneries S canal

On arrival to the complex i was quite surprised on how things had changed since my last visit the new lakes had come along well and the parking situation had improved a lot too , so after parking up i made my way round to the cabin and booked on to the match even a couple of hours before the start there was a lot of people milling around , for a change there wasnt many anglers that i knew although it was only to be expected as i had not been on here that much but i didn’t have to wait long before i saw a friendly face and we had a walk around the lakes to try to find the sheltered areas because the wind was increasing every minute . As it was quickly approaching draw time and with over seventy anglers due to be contesting the match i decided that i could do with an early pick before all the draw bags picked the flyers , while we was queuing up they started the raffle which took an age but it was all adding to the proceeds for the charity and when we finally got round to starting the draw i did not have to wait too long before it was my turn in the bag of doom , it looked like things had returned to normal as i picked out peg 37 which at first did not mean a great deal but i soon found out that i was on an end peg near the car-park with the wind blowing into it so no pressure then .

I didn’t have to far too walk before i found my home for the next few hours and on settling in i saw that i had a nice reed lined margin along the side of the s-canal which was a bit closer than i would have liked as it began a meter to my left , i also had the point of the island to target plus an empty peg too my right so to be honest everything looked perfect and i just hoped that i didn’t mess it up because a few of my mates said that i had a chance of winning the match from here . I wasnt going to over complicate things today regarding rigs so that i could concentrate more on getting my feeding correct which is something that i had struggled with since it turned to pellet fishing and i choose to set up ;

Four foot pellet rig which was the shallowest water that i could find and to be honest it didn’t plumb up that great towards the point of the island but i finally managed to find a flat spot just to the left of some over hanging reeds , i also found two areas along the left hand margin at 4m+6m where it was the same depth and i used a slightly heavier 4×14 malman roob float which had an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Four foot maggot rig which was fishing in the same area if they did not want pellets today and i used a lighter 4×10 rw maggie float as this would allow me to hopefully pick up a few fish on the drop , i had just four number 11 stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line and my hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru hook attached to it .

Maggot channel rig i was a bit disappointed to only find five foot when plumbing up and it did go slightly deeper towards my right so i went out to a manageable six meters in that direction where the bottom flattened out a little , i used a 4×12 rw maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along the 014 garbo main line by hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo .

Bait for the day was the usual f1 stuff for the time of year ;

2 pints of red and white maggots .

1 pint of micros .

1 pint of crushed expander ground-bait .

small tub of mixed expanders .

When the all in sounded so did the rain and it stayed that way for majority of the match the wind was also blowing quite strong from right to left but i noticed that i had a little calm area towards the point of the island due to some over hanging reeds where i was able to present my rig properly , after a couple of feeds of micros through a small kinder pot i began getting the occasional  indication and not long after i had my first f1 but even though i was putting the odd fish in the net the swim just didn’t seem to be getting any stronger , i was also having a few line bites and i felt that i needed to adjust my feeding to get them back on to the deck so i removed the lid on my kinder pot which enabled me to begin dumping the micros in , this worked for a forty minute spell but i must have over fed the swim because the fish deserted me .

I had been loose feeding a dozen maggots into the corner of my left hand margin where the scum was settling so i decided to rest my far bank swim and give that a try , i had a big f1 almost straight away but i then got bited out with silvers which was a bit frustrating because if i did get my rig to the deck i would get an f1 and even after i altered the shotting on my float so it was all above my hook length it didn’t really improve things , i also tried increasing the amount which i was feeding but that just didn’t seem right in the conditions the f1s just did not want to settle this might have been down to the fact that all the rain had caused a little river running in under my platform which was muddying all the water in my margin and with two hours of the match gone i only had 15 f1s in the net this seemed to be more than those anglers within eye shot but i was certain that somewhere on the complex somebody would be bagging a few fish .

My next idea was to go further along my left hand margin but this time i was going to use pellets and this worked extremely well as i went on a run of six in six drops before things slowed down so i went back across to the point of the island and picked up a couple more , by rotating between the two swims i kept putting f1s in the net but it was only when i changed to a different type of expander did things really kick off , i wasnt bagging by any means but my catch rate increased dramatically but i did not want to empty either swim so i dropped onto my channel swim which i had fed with half a cupping kit of maggots every thirty minutes since the all in , yet again i had a big f1 straight away before i had a run of little ghost f1s which was nice to catch but not what i needed if i was going to do a weight today so i came of this swim but continued to feed it incase i needed it later in the match .

We was fast approaching the last hour so i decided to concentrate on the two swims which had produced for me earlier in the match and i was back putting f1s in the net , with twenty minutes remaining i had a run of tench from my margin line which wasnt a good sign as the f1s must have gone and i also noticed that the daiwa team captain plus my team sponsor was watching so the pressure was on for a good finish , my margin swim had died a death so i had to resort to going back on my far bank line and this worked a treat as i managed three f1s including one right on the whistle which was needed as you will find out later .

When the all out sounded i had forty f1s on my clicker and i reckoned i had around fifty pounds because they was a small stamp for on here , but when my mates came over they reckoned that i had a chance of winning but i wasnt so sure because i never felt comfortable today and don’t feel like i had done the peg justice , after what seemed like an age they finally turned up because i was last on the complex to weigh in and i needed to beat 53lb i reckoned that it could be close as it turned out for a change i had luck on my side because my two nets went a touch over 54lb so i had somehow managed to win the match this was biggest individual result so far and it still hasn’t sunk in yet .

I would like to thank all those involved in running the match and to those that took part in awful conditions because we raised nearly a grand for the charity , I’m back out again tomorrow for a get together with the squad and some lads from the Adlington angling club at Widdows fishery where we are having a little team match .

 

 

Partridge lakes winter league teams of four


March 12th

Today was the penultimate round of the teams of four winter league at Partridge lakes and our 2+2 team was languishing in the bottom third of the league after some pretty average draws at best , but it was still a great experience fishing against some top-notch sponsored anglers and partridge regulars plus it gave me a chance to fish on the old lakes which no doubt helped me to compete in the individual winter league held here where i managed to finish 13th out of the 75 anglers .

At last the weather had showed signs of improving with temperatures rising slightly during the week although we had a cold wind to contend with today but as i arrived at the complex it was rather warm and i had to take a couple of layers off before i met up with the rest of the lads near the cabin , the captain decided to do the draw today and we all prayed for some decent pegs for a change but it looked like we had upset the draw gods as yet again we had some shocking pegs ;

Willow peg eight not great and 4th in section at best .

Spey peg eighteen can be good if the wind is blowing that way but surprise-surprise it wasnt .

Covey five 119 for the third time this winter league 4th in section at best .

Covey six 153 probably the worst peg in the section and my home for the next few hours .

After driving round to the back car-park near Holbar i started un loading my gear out the car and after speaking to a couple of Partridge regulars who was sat on the better pegs in my section , i went round to my peg and i had a reed lined far bank about 13m away but i also had a hill behind me which would make shipping back a bit awkward especially if i needed to chase the fish out of my peg , the wind was blowing from right to left but it shouldn’t cause much of a problem if it stayed the same but as usual when the all in sounded it increased dramatically.

As i didn’t really fancy my chances of getting good section points i choose to use todays contest to practice my pellet fishing and set up a couple of rigs to cover my options ;

Three foot rig which was about a foot away from the far-bank and surprisingly it plumbed up really nice because i managed to find three flat areas , i used a 4×12 malman roob which had an inch spread bulk starting above the short four inch 010 garbo hook length and i also set up a 4×10 rw maggie float which had a few number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Channel swim which i positioned at nine meters either side of me and i plumbed up to find a touch over five foot so i used a 4×14 malman roob which had an inch spread bulk starting above the short four inch 010 garbo hook length and i also set up a 4×12 rw maggie float which had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern along the 014 garbo main line with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

1 pint of soaked micros

1 pint of soaked 4mm pellets

1 pint of crushed expander groundbait

Small tub of 2+4mm expanders

I started the match by loose feeding half a dozen 4mm pellets along my left hand margin and then fed a golf ball of groundbait onto my left hand channel swim , before finally i could get fishing and shipped out to my far bank directly in front of me , after tapping in half a dozen micros i lowered my rig over the top and no sooner had my float settled than it dipped under as a small chub had taken a liking for my 4mm expander but at least i was off the mark , by being careful with my feeding and keeping the rig still directly over the top of it i managed to catch eight f1s in a forty minute spell before the bites began to tail off . I plumbed up another swim along the far bank towards my left and i fed a few micros while i was doing so , i let it settle for a bit and had a quick look onto my margin swim where i had been loose feeding six 4mm pellets but a bite less ten minutes had me going back across onto my new swim , i didn’t have to wait too long before i began getting indications and i had another run of five f1s which was no doubt down to the fact that i was being a bit more patient today than i usually am , i was just getting into the swing of things when i managed to stupidly loose a big f1 under my platform which was easy to do when I’m using the short shallow kits and this trashed my rig but it turned out to be a bit of a god send as it allowed me to change to a float with a slightly thicker tip because with the wind getting stronger i was struggling to see the little dinks on the bristle .

The disturbance of replumbing up killed my original across swim so i decided to put in another line towards my right which was further away from where i thought most of the fish would be because they had been situated in the bowl towards my left nearly all winter but i noticed that when i hooked an f1 it would go in the opposite direction towards peg 151 , after a couple of feeds i began catching fish again but they was only small stockies and i choose to rotate my two far bank swims picking up a couple from each before switching, it was noticeable that the bigger stamp was found on my left hand swim and if the wind relented enough i picked up my lighter 4×10 rig this got me a few nice f1s taking my hook bait just as my float settled but i couldn’t use it that often due to the conditions .

Before i knew it we was into the last forty minutes and i had a look on my track swim , i had twenty minutes earlier fed it with a golf ball of ground-bait no sooner had my rig settled than it buried and i managed five fish before the all out including a couple of ghosties . I really enjoyed my match today even though i was up against it from the start but i suppose thats what happens when your not under that much pressure , i hadn’t done a great deal of soft pellet fishing in the last few months and knew that i could improve on a few things today but i still managed to catch 34 f1s which went a shade over 40lb this put me third in section as peg 157 had 48lb and 155 had 50lb , yet again the team had another bad round getting 17 points which was only to be expected from our poor draw .

Having a weekend away from Partridge lakes my first in about three months as I’m fishing the charity match at cunneries fishery on Saturday and a team match Sunday at Widdows .

 

Partridge lakes , individual winter league


March 5th

Today was the last round of the Partridge lakes individual winter league and as i was lying towards the top of the table i was quite looking forward to it even after last weeks disaster were i finished last in section on Willow lake , but as usual the weekend weather had put a dampener on things in more than one way because we had very heavy rain overnight and on arriving at the fishery most of the pegs where under water as the lakes had risen a good few inches plus it was forecast to be constant showers all day , which wasnt ideal for a good days fishing but i would just have to make the most of it as the conditions would be the same for everyone i suppose and after meeting up with a couple of lads that i haven’t seen for a while it was time to join the queue for the bag of doom , i could do with a top two in section but when i pulled out peg ten on marsh canal that looked very unlikely and to be honest i wasnt very happy because apart from one round it had struggled to compete with the lower numbers .

On getting to my home for the next few hours the far bank was nearly 14m away with a bare bank directly in front with a dead reed bed either side and it did look ok especially when the odd fish topped towards the empty peg towards my left , the only trouble i had was that there was a big hill right behind and i would have to ship back twice when fishing across this would also have an impact on my channel swims because the furthest i could comfortably go was nine meters .

My rigs for the day was ;

Four foot rig for fishing across to the far bank and i used a 4×10 maggie float which had four size eleven stotz spread down the 014 garbo main line , this had a six-inch length of 010 garbo that had a size twenty guru hook attached and i also had a slightly heavier 4×12 maggie float in case the wind increased during the match on this rig i used a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru hook attached .

Three foot rig for fishing right in front of the dead reeds and also down my left hand margin ,  i used a 4×10 maggie float which had four size eleven stotz spread down the 014 garbo main line , this had a six-inch length of 010 garbo that had a size twenty guru hook attached.

Channel rig at nine meters on both sides of me because i wanted to feed pellets on one and maggots on the other , i used a 4×12 maggie with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern along my 014 garbo main line and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo that had a size 18 guru hook attached .

Bait for the day was the usual partridge stuff although i decided to try feeding ground-bait and micros after reading an article in this months pole fishing magazine ;

1 pint red and white maggots

1 pint soaked micros

1 pint of f1 ringers dark ground-bait

When the all in sounded i fed both my channel swims then began by shipping across to the mud bank and after a tapping in some micros dusted in ground-bait , i lowered my rig in among it with a 4mm expander on the hook and it took a couple of feeds before i had my first indication which resulted in a nice sized f1 hitting the net , so things looked promising especially as in the next hour i added another four but i also lost a couple on the way in due to my pole sticking in the monsoon conditions as i needed to break down twice as i was playing them .After awhile all indications stopped so i replumbed up a few new swims along the far bank but for the next ninety minutes i remained bite less even after trying both rigs and various feeding methods and on looking around lots of people were struggling as well although i could only see one lad in my section so i was unsure on how the others were getting on , i had a quick look on my pellet channel swim but i only had a solitary missed bite in twenty minutes and things wasnt looking good but after having a quiet word with myself i decided to try in three-foot in case the f1s had sheltered in among the reed bed to my right , i began by tapping in six maggots then lowered my rig over the top and after a couple of feeds i had my first indication but i could only catch small roach . I dropped onto my left hand margin which i had fed with a dozen maggots every twenty minutes since the match started but yet again when my float settled i had a quick bite and another roach came swinging its way to the bank , maybe i had not been aggressive enough with the feed and decided to up it to half a small cupping kit of maggots .

A return to my three-foot rig at the side of the reeds but this time with pellets and after about ten minutes i had another f1 in the net , for some reason i found it best just feeding a small ball of neat micros rather than those mixed in the ground-bait or even loose micros which took me a bit longer to work out than i had hoped and in the next hour i added another five fish to the net which put me on double figures it was similar to the lad on my left , i felt that if i could keep up with him then i might have a chance of some good points but like i mentioned earlier i couldn’t see the other lads in my section .

When bites began to tail off i put in numerous new swims along the reed bed without success which was strange as the lad to my right was catching in a similar area in my direction , with ninety minutes remaining i had my first look onto my maggot channel swim hoping that a few f1s had settled on it and my float had only just settled when it dipped under and i thought that i might have a few lined up but yet again all i could catch on maggots was small silvers . As the rain finally relented i rotated all my swims which didn’t produce an indication so i decided to go towards the dead reed beds on my left but on plumbing up it was a bit snaggy and it took me awhile to find a clean area where i could present a good hook bait , i tapped in a nugget of micros then lowered my rig in over the top of it no sooner had it settled than it buried with a big stamp f1 hitting the net and i managed a few more plus a four pound carp before the all out sounded .

To be honest i felt that i had not made the most of the peg but in the rainy conditions my mind wasnt fully focused and i also lost half a dozen fish due to having to break my pole down twice but that’s the way it goes sometimes , after packing all my soaked gear away i had a quick chat with the others in my section and apart from peg six the others had struggled a bit , when the scales arrived i was the first to weigh in and managed 24lb my main danger had 36lb so those lost fish had cost me a better finishing position I end the winter league second in section just like i started it .

1st round peg 167 covey six ended up second in section fished a good match only getting beat by the last on the split which won the match .

2nd round peg 151 covey six ended up winning the section fished a good match by chasing the fish out into the bowl as the match progressed .

3rd round peg 2 ribbon ended up second in section struggled until the last couple of hours when caught well down the track , got beat by lad on peg 4 who also won the match .

4th round peg 103 covey five ended up third in section my worst result in the league .

5th round peg 10 marsh canal just scraped second in section after making a few bad decisions .

I ended the individual winter league on ten points from five matches and this put me joint 9th overall  which i would have been happy with at the start because i was up against some good partridge regulars , although i was pushed back down to 13th on weight countback and i was quite happy with the result but as only eight points got in the top five im sure that i had a chance on a couple of rounds to get an extra point or two which is something that i need to improve on this year .

I would like to thank Partridge lakes for running the individual winter league which as far as I’m aware went without a hitch , also to all the anglers that fished who all played their part and especially those that finished in the top five .