Partridge lakes individual winter league

February  5th

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 .

Sycamore fishery

January 27th

I decided to stay local today for a change because I needed to be back early as my Mrs was going out and I went to sycamore fishery in Golborne which used to be a regular haunt for me with it only being fifteen minutes from my house but I haven’t been here for nearly two years , as we are quite spoiled with the amount of fisheries on our doorstep in the Wigan area and I was quite looking forward to seeing how much it had changed since my last venture here .I arrived at the fishery a bit earlier than i planned so had plenty time to have a walk around the two canals which would be in the draw bag and  it all looked really nice , the trees had grown quite a bit which blocked out most of the strong breeze and they had a stone path all around the lakes . When i got back to the cabin i managed to get a chat with a couple of lads that i had not seen in ages and i was told about the recent netting + restocking of Silver birch with all the big carp going in David’s pool which was replaced with a lot of stockie carp this should hopefully get the original fish back feeding again .

At the draw I pulled out my usual end peg this time 21 on rowans but like most water’s at this time of year all the weights had come out from around the middle of the canals so not the ideal place to be and it’s just a shame it was not summer when i could make the most of these end pegs , but I was still looking forward to catching a few f1s and after speaking to a few anglers they said that the fish were all of a nice stamp with a few carp approaching 8lb so i needed to up my terminal tackle a bit .

My rigs for the day was quite simple for a change because with the weather still being cold i expected the fish to still be in the deeper water so i just set up ;

4ft rig which would cover most of my peg and i used a 4×14 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru Lwg hook my elastic was size 13 Preston hollo .

3ft rig for just down the near shelf and i used a 4×12 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru Lwg hook my elastic was size 13 Preston hollo .

Bait for the day was going to be mainly maggots with some corn if I needed it ;

1 pint of red and white maggots

1 tin of corn

When the all in sounded i began on my 4ft rig along my right hand margin at nine meters at the bottom of the near shelf and after tapping in a dozen maggots I foul hooked my first two fish , so I reduced the amount to just four maggots and this solved the problem as I then had 4 nice F1s in the first hour but i had to play them a bit carefully because my elastic was a bit on the strong side . With this swim beginning to fade a little I put in a new one still in 4ft this time against the island it also produced another four F1’s during the next hour and with not many people catching a great deal I decided to be a bit more patient than I usually would thinking about it now i would have been better rotating between the two lines .As the wind started to blow stronger this become a bit of a problem making presentation a touch awkward , so I switched back to my original right hand margin putting a couple of f1s in the net before putting in another swim at 11m and by carefully tapping in maggots on these swims I had another run of fish , for the rest of the match I had an easy time as i just followed the F1’s along my right hand margin and i did suffer the odd foul hooker but all in all it was plain sailing to be honest although i did miss a couple of indications . At the all out I had managed to catch 18 F1’s which went over thirty pounds this put me in second place getting agonizingly beat by just four ounces  missing out on a chance for the bonus pot but I still enjoyed my day and felt that if I had fished a bit lighter+rotated my swims more often than I might have caught a few more , at least I will know for my next visit in a few weeks because it made a nice change getting home when it was still light and also catching a few fish at last .