I have been to partridge lakes today to contest the third round of the individual winter league and after a couple of bad results on it I needed a good draw to have any chance of making the top twenty ,on arrival to the fishery I wasn’t surprised to see that most of the lakes had frozen overnight as the temps dropped to minus four although it was only cat ice in places , but I still expected it to be hard going as the open match held on covey 5+6 yesterday was only won with 30lb and lots of anglers struggled to break double figures .
With it being a rolling draw most of the pegs had been taken by the time i arrived at 830 and when i had a dip in the bag of doom I managed to pull out peg 133 on covey six which I was quite happy with because it was a good area so hopefully i could get a few bites but when I got to my peg I was disappointed to find that it was one of the few places on the lake that was still covered in ice plus nobody had turned up on peg 132 which would give the fish plenty of room to back off into.
I set up the usual winter rigs ;
4ft on both far and near slopes , i used a 4×10 Md slim float with a staggered bulk shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line and attached to it was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru maggot hook attached .
track rig for under the aerator where it was nearly six-foot deep , i used a 4×12 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line and attached to it was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru maggot hook attached .
dobbin rig for all along the far bank and near the aerator , i used a 4×12 Md diamond float which had all the bulk under the float with just a couple of number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line and attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 16 guru pellet hook attached .
Bait for the day ;
1 pint of red and white maggots
1 pint of micros and black swim stim
1 slice of bread
After breaking a channel in the ice directly in front of me and towards the aerator to my right it was all a bit of a rush to get ready before the hooter sounded , I began the match by dobbin bread towards the aerator and I missed a bite straight away which was a good sign , I then had a carp + f1 in the first ten minutes and I really felt that I could be on for a good day even thinking that i might be able to win the lake but as I feared after i missed a couple of indications the fish backed off into the empty water towards my right and for the next couple of hours I could see them topping but I couldn’t get to them because of the aerator rope ,with the ice beginning to melt it gave me the option to dob some bread all along the far bank but despite working from the side of the bridge to the point of the island i never had an indication , so i decided to switch to feeding maggots in this area but despite setting up multiple lines across in 4ft i never had a bite if I put any feed in .
After nearly ninety minutes of inactivity I finally managed to dob a fish at the point of the island towards my right next to the rope and I thought that I might have found them again when someone on the split decided to pack up early going over the bridge , that was the end of that because the f1s are finicky at this time of year due to the cold clear conditions .I had seen a fish top in the bay towards my left and I quickly went to it with my dobbin rig which resulted in another fish in the net but nothing else followed , so I decided to tap in a few maggots and would go on it later I went searching for the fish again with by bread rig , then i tried in front of the empty platform towards my left without any success but when i went long down my right hand margin still dobbin bread and i finally found a couple more fish before the backed off under the rope yet again.
I was soon into the last hour and I went on my track swims hoping that a few fish had settled on them , i kept rotating between the aerator and the bay but all this produced was a couple of gudgeon before I managed an f1 right on the whistle , which called time on another frustrating match as i spent most of it watching the fish waving at me in the safe water and I think that I’m suffering by not fishing the open matches on here every week , as im struggling to catch any numbers of fish and i ended up third in section with 7lb behind a 13lb + 16lb but don’t feel like I could have done much more from there because i could only get indications by dobbin .