My year in fishing 2017

As the year turns i always like to have a look through all my match results to see how well or badly that i have done , after deciding not to do any of the major qualifiers this time as i have usually struggled to get a day’s fishing on any of them preferring to take my chance on a few of the local festivals and team events as i had been invited to join the Daiwa Adlington squad this turned out to be a good decision for me as i managed ;

Partridge winter league individual ended up 13th with ten points from five rounds but an extra point here and there would have made all the difference .

Weston pools spring three-day festival a bad last day pushed me out of the top ten into 14th .

Cunneries spring league teams of three which was my first attempt at team fishing and Adlington ended up 4th overall .

Mossella summer league after missing two rounds i had no room for error and one bad match dropped me down to 9th .

Weston pools natural bait festival ended up joint 5th with 3 points although i tried to force my peg on the last day because i needed a good weight to make the frame which didnt really work out for me .

Cunneries autumn league teams of three were we ended up 5th .

Old Hough winter league after winning the first three matches i am now second with one round remaining but there’s only one point in it so hopefully i can pull it back next year .


I also did a few one-off events which i did reasonably well on ;

Cunneriers charity match win with sixty anglers contesting the event my biggest match win to date .

Golborne miners charity match win at cunneries fishery

Cunneries pairs event finished sixth overall with three points and i managed a section win .

Bradshaw’s inter club challenge i ended up third overall but the team struggled .

Partridge pairs event were we had a top 12 finish .

Angling times supercup  where i managed a section win for the 4th year running but the team got beat 4-2 .

North vs South at Tunnel barn farm i was second in my ten peg section which helped the North win for the second year running .

Hooked for heroes match on Wrightington canals were i ended up third overall .

Lloyd’s meadow interclub match i ended up fourth and the team won on the day .

In the few open matches that i managed to squeeze in during the year i had a mixed bag of results which was only to be expected on the venues that i fished , my best match was a third place finish at Partridge lakes although i was on a very good peg ;

Wins — four

Second — two



In the heart of summer i went on a good run of getting five straight ton plus weights from three different venues ;

Hall lane bessies pool on the mossella league 170lb and 103lb

Cunneries s canal 110lb and 100lb

Weston pools belvedere 100lb

Of all the matches that i have contested during this year the one which sticks in my mind the most is the open about a month ago at Partridge lakes when i just missed out on getting on the board with just twelve f1s for 17lb and i had to work really hard for every single one of them , missing a grand total of just two indications i felt that i had made the correct decisions and got the most from a very average peg which means more to me than winning any open match .

So all in all i feel that my year has gone really well for me as i am just an average angler who lacks a winning mentality but if i want to keep improving that will be something that i need to work on , my plans for next year will be very similar but i need to give myself a better chance on the festivals and leagues by doing more practice on the venues rather than trying to wing it which gives me little room for making bad choices , i would also like to thank Leigh tackle for inviting me to be part of the newly formed match group which i am really looking forward to and also everyone that has taken the time to read and like my blog because after four years it is still going strong even after the influx of blogs which have made their way onto Facebook .

Partridge lakes open match

23rd December

I have fished the partridge open match today because i wanted to try to get back in touch with the fishing before the individual winter league starts in January and after meeting up with a couple of friends all the talk when I got there was that you needed a draw on covey five to have a chance for a good days fishing because the other coveys 1-4 wasn’t producing at the moment due to the up and down weather conditions last week it was frozen solid then today was 10 degrees .It was soon time for a dip in the bag of doom and my bad run at the draw bag continues as I pulled out peg 65 on covey three not the best of areas in summer never mind at this time of year and it’s never a good sign when you get to your peg and they give you plenty of room especially when the lad towards my left didn’t turn up so there was plenty of room for the f1s to back off.

I decided to set up ;

Channel rig towards my left at six meters where the aerator used to be and after finding six foot when plumbing up i thought that this would be a really good swim , i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six inch 010 garbo hook length attached

Four foot rig directly in front of me but i sent up multiple swims along the far bank at this depth and i used a 0.2 Md maggot float which had a tapered bulk shoting pattern spread along the 014 garbo main starting above the six inch 010 garbo hook length .

Dobbing rig set at 4ft but would alter the depth as and when i needed to , i used a 4×12 Md diamond float which had the bulk of the shotting under the float with a couple of number eleven stotz acting as droppers along my 014 garbo main line and hook length was six inch of 010 garbo which had a size 16 guru lwg hook attached to it

Bait for the day was ;

1/2 pint of micros

1/2 pint black swim stim ground bait

1 1/2 pints of red maggots

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded i spent the first hour of the match dobbin bread about a meter away from the island in 4ft and i worked my rig 14m either side of me with only a couple of liners to show for it, but nobody within eye shot was catching a great deal apart from the lad directly opposite on peg 58 who was catching the odd stockie so I wasn’t really that far behind . My next move was to start tapping in maggots in front of me in 4ft and after about twenty minutes i had my first fish which was a small ide at least i had not blanked , a short while  after I had my first f1 about two pounds then another small ide and I was just thinking that I might have a good run of fish but that was it from the swim , maybe i should have been a bit more patient but i decided to put in two more swims at the same depth either side of me even though i fed them both the same I only caught on the one towards my right although even then they was just small ide .

With two hours remaining I had a look on my track line and missed a bite but not long after the slightest tremor on the float resulted in a nice ghostie coming to the net but despite quite a few tries during the remainder of the contest that was the only fish I caught from that swim, i tried putting in a new line in front of the platform to my left and after trickling in a few maggots i never had a bite from it which was strange because it just looked right for a few f1s and with time running out i went further to my right still in 4ft and i managed a couple of small f1’s before i foul hooked a couple of better fish which might have been carp judging by the size of the scales , for the rest of the match I rotated all my swims without much success and i managed two quick stockies about ten minutes before the all out from directly in front of me it was just a shame they didnt turn up any sooner .

When the all out sounded it called an end to a very frustrating contest because i just couldn’t manage a run of fish from anywhere and i just hope that it improves before the individual winter league starts i think we need a run of continuous temps for that to happen ,I tipped back about 16lb of fish because 30lb was winning the section when they came to my peg and i am not sure what I could have done different today just a lack of fish in front of me i think .

Old hough winter league

December 12th

Today was the penultimate round of my winter league and with the last round being cancelled due to the snow i hadn’t been out for a few weeks so was really looking forward to it , although the weather wasnt going to make things easy because it had taken a dramatic drop in temperature with every were being frozen solid . The day before i had rung the fishery to find out the conditions of boulders+goose and they told me it was mostly free from ice with just the odd peg being covered in cat ice which sounded promising , i did decide to take my ice breaker with me just in case and it turned out i had made the right decision because on arrival there was a lid on the lakes .

In the conditions a good draw was going to be a massive advantage because there was a few areas that had fished hard on the earlier rounds , it was soon time for the draw and i left it till late to have my pick in the bag of doom pulling out 14 on boulders not what i wanted especially after leaving the lakes flyer in the bag which my main rival for the winter league was going to be on . When i arrived at my home for the next few hours i decided to break out three channels in the ice to eleven meters because i did not feel that the carp would want to be tight towards the far bank , after removing all the floating icebergs from my swims i had a quick plumb up and after finding just over four-foot everywhere in my peg i figured i was on for a tough match but at least i wouldn’t need lots of different rigs so i decided to set up ;

Pellet rig i used a 4×14 Md wire stemmed float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 010 garbo hook length , i expected this to be my banker swim with all the hand sized skimmers in the lake .

Maggot rig i used a 4×12 Md maggie float which had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached to it , my hook was a size twenty guru maggot hook and elastic on both rigs was Preston size six hollo .

Dobbing rig which i would use along the edge of my ice channels and if it melted i would search all along the far bank , i set it at four-foot which was six-inch off the bottom and i used a 4×12 Md diamond float with all my bulk under the float then two size eleven stotz spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was a six inch 012 garbo hook length with a size 16 guru lwg hook .

Bait for the day ;

1/2 pint of soaked micros

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

1 slice of bread

Small tub of 2+4mm expanders

When the all in sounded i began on my right hand swim and i tapped in half a dozen micros every couple of minutes but a bite less twenty minutes wasnt what i expected especially with the amount of small skimmers in here , i switched to my maggot line directly in front of me and bearing in mind what happened on my pellet swim i went even more negatively just trickling a couple of maggots in through a kinder pot , after ten minutes i had my first fish which was a small roach but at least it saved the blank because i had only seen one other fish get caught although that was a four pound carp so we was all playing catch up if we wanted good points today . I kept trickling in the maggots and i was slowly building up the swim putting some roach in the net with the occasional decent ide among them , after a while my bites stopped and i soon found out why when i hooked a carp which shot off under the ice towards my right , all i could do was put my pole under the water and pray that it stopped i did manage to get on to my top kit but it bolted again in the clear water resulting in the hook bending out slightly which meant it pinged off , so for the second round running i had lost what turned out to be at least second place on the lake fish .

Understandably the disturbance had disrupted the peg but slowly i got the fish back feeding putting some small silvers in the net , when the rain started it began melting the ice this had a disastrous impact on the fishing because everyone on the lake stopped getting any sort of indications for at least two hours , with all the ice now gone i picked up my dobbing rig to see if i could snare myself a carp but despite working my rig to the extremes of my peg both left and right i didn’t manage a single bite . With ninety minutes of the match remaining i was back plumbing up to see if i could find any sort of depth variation and i finally found an area about a meter square which was a couple of inch deeper at eleven meters towards my left so i put a swim in there with another at 11m to my right so i could rotate between them both , i started trickling in maggots on both but i only managed bites on my left hand swim and i was soon catching some small silvers with an occasional decent ide mixed in , when the all out sounded i was kicking myself for not finding the slightly deeper swim sooner and it goes to show how important it is to search all your swim but with the lake being frozen i was a bit limited on where i could go .

When the scales arrived at my peg i put my ten ide plus a smattering of silvers on the scales which went just short of six pounds this was enough for a comfortable third place but with only nine pounds + eleven pounds filling the places above me i just needed a bonus carp to challenge them , this result pushed me down to second in the league table just a point behind the leader but at least i know which anglers i need to beat on the last round although i will have to wait nearly a month to do it and it will take place at Bradshaw’s on lakes five+six somewhere i haven’t fished before so i will be up against it a bit .



lloyds meadow , heron pool

December 3rd

I have been to Lloyd’s meadow today to contest a team match with my mates from the Stockton heath angling group against fishing in the north-west and with it being the latter teams home water we was up against it some good local anglers , even though i had never been here before I was quite eager to fish this match as it was due to take place on heron pool which held some very big perch with the record on here being over 5lb and the perch is my favourite species , i can not remember the last time i caught a decent one because they don’t tend to be in many of the commercials that i fish .

On arriving at the fishery i met up with the rest of the lads and we was all looking forward to a light-hearted competition we decided to run it like the angling times supercup were you only had to beat the angler at the side of you to get a point for the team , after unpacking my gear i took it round to Heron pool and it was more like a natural lake than your standard commercial water it was tear drop in shape with an island about twenty meters away , personally i felt that it was a bit small too have a dozen anglers on it especially with them putting six of us on each bank with no empty pegs between and with it still being frozen a couple of days previous then things might be a bit tough , although we had decided that it would be a silver fish match with carp counting as a pound so we should be able to get a few bites .

At the draw I was going to be on peg five which didn’t mean a great deal to me because I was new to the water and i ended up halfway along the left hand side but i was up against it for the section because my opposing angler had the end peg , I set up three rigs to cover my options ;

Margin rig set at three-foot deep which was about a meter away from my right hand bank were there was a bit of reed cover , i used an 0.3 Md diamond float my shotting pattern was a tapered bulk starting above my six-inch 012 garbo and i was going to feed maggots quite heavily here then fish either a small worm or double maggot on the hook .

Top six rig where it was just over four-foot deep but it was six-inch deeper than my far swim and i hoped that i could catch skimmers here so i used a positive rig with a 4×14 Md maggot rig which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached and my hook was a size 18 guru maggot .

13m i was going to be loose feeding maggots with a catty here so i used a 0.2 Md maggot rig with size eleven stotz spread along my 014 garbo main line and hook length was size inch of 010 garbo which had a size 20 guru maggot hook attached .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of red and white maggots

1 pint of fishery micros

small tub of worms

small tub of white expanders

After plumbing up i found that it was deeper on my top six line so I started there first and after sprinkling in half a small cupping kit full of micros i hoped that a few skimmers might settle on it , i was picking up the odd small roach but didn’t feel they was coming quickly enough and i decided to leave it for a while to settle , so I switched to my 13m line and i had been loose feeding maggots on it for nearly an hour so i expected a good response but all this produced some hand sized roach but it was really hard work , other anglers around me was in a similar situation and it looked like the pressure on the water had caused the fish to back off into the space because the only people really catching was the end pegs to my right on both banks .

With two hours of the contest remaining i needed to have a review on my tactics because i wasnt catching a great deal and maybe i had over done it with the feed at the beginning of the match , so i decided to put in a new swim at 11m towards my right and I began kinder potting in conker sized balls of micros then fishing maggots over the top which was similar to how i had fished for f1s recently , by doing this simple change my catch rate and stamp of fish increased dramatically I even managed a couple of decent skimmers i found it best to fish out the ball of micros and when the bites tailed off put in another little ball , with the light beginning to fade i hooked something more substantial because when my float dipped under i lifted into the indication but even though a meter of elastic had come out of the pole tip it just stayed there before powering off towards my left before my hook pulled , it could have been one of the big perch but i will never know but i haven’t had a fish fight like that before and after my swim had settled down again i caught well up to the all out .

At the weigh in I had managed just over 10lb of silvers which was a good days fishing as i only managed a couple of fish over eight ounce but i need to stop giving people a head start because recently the early part of the contest had been a waste of time , although i got away with it a bit today as this got me 4th in the match although another pound would have put me second and more importantly the team won on the day by 3-2 with one section drawn so it was a very close run thing because they had a far superior weight difference.

Partridge lakes open match

2nd December

I have been back to partridge lakes today to contest the open match and as I hadn’t been here for over a month so i was looking forward to get back to grips with the place as I will be doing the individual here after Xmas , but looking at the recent results it looked like i was glutton for punishment because they hadn’t been great after the unexpected cold snap which had frozen the lakes and yet again the weather today was awful with cold drizzle melting the remaining ice on the lake’s so I expected things to be tough going and a decent draw would be an advantage .

On arrival to the fishery i met up with a few of my new Leigh tackle match team squad members and it was nice to put a face to the name , all the talk was of how difficult it could be and it soon came round to draw time so we all joined the queue when it came for my turn to dip in the bag of doom , I ended up on peg 40 covey two which was somewhere I hadn’t been before as i very rarely draw on this covey , on arriving at my home for the next few hours I was disappointed to find that it was only 11m wide and the aerator had been taken out but i did have a nice reed lined far bank + left hand margin .

I decided to set up a ;

channel rig six meters towards my left it was nearly 6ft deep so i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

4ft rig i found a couple of swims across at the same depth and i used a 0.2 Md maggot float which had a staggered bulk shotting pattern starting above the six-inch 010 garbo hook length my hook was a size 20 guru maggot hook .

3ft rig i didn’t really expect this to work today but set it up just in case , my float was a 4×10 Md maggot which had an on the drop shotting pattern and my hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo .

dobbin rig i used a 0.4 Md diamond float with all the shot under the float with two number eleven stotz spread along my 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached to it .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of red maggots

1 pint of micros

1 pint of black swim stim ground-bait

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded I began by dobbin bread towards the far bank reeds and I worked all along my left hand side without so much as a sign, i tried my right hand side but kept getting snagged up on sunken reeds which no doubt disturbed all the fish in the area and after an hour without a bite I switched to my 4ft maggot swim towards my left as i had earlier seen a fish top that way , after a couple of feeds I had my first indication which was a positive sign because nobody with eye shot had caught anything yet and not long after I had my first f1 which was nicely hooked in the tail then a further twenty minutes past before I had any more bites but I then had a run of three f1’s in a ten minute spell.


Another twenty minutes past with out an indication so i had a look on my track line which i had fed with a large kinder pot of maggots since the match started and after a missed bite straight away I then had another f1 in the net but that was the only fish I had from that swim, I added on a section to my pole and put in another line at 4ft across i started by tapping in a few maggots again this got me another couple of fish but it was very hard going , for the next couple of hours I set up multiple new swims just catching a couple from each but strangely never had an indication towards my right side and i think it was probably due to the earlier disturbance when i kept getting snagged up in the reeds .

In the last thirty minutes i had reached the extremes of my peg along the far bank so I went back in the track and i expected to have a little run of fish here but i never had a sign, at the all out I had managed a dozen f1’s which was better than those anglers around me but i did lose a couple as well, when the scales arrived I ended up with just short of 18lb and ended up missing out on the board by a few ounces so i probably came 7th out of the forty anglers fishing today but I’m happy with how my match went after not being here for a while.