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 .