Heronbrook fishery


October 15th

Today i have been back to heronbrook as a guest for the Stockton heath lads it was the second round of the winter league and as it would be my last match here due to another winter league commitment at Old Hough that i have contested for the last few years so i was looking forward to getting a good draw plus catching a few fish but how wrong was i and after yesterdays good result at Partridge lake I came back to earth with a bang .On arriving at the fishery i caught up with the rest of the team before grabbing a breakfast and all the talk was on how hard it might fish because the weather recently had been awful with heavy downpours plus strong winds although it was still quite warm , at the draw i was handed peg sixteen on match lake i got told it was the worst one on the lake and i already knew the lake wasnt fishing great i would have much prepared to be on match pool as at least you was guaranteed a few bites on that water .

At least i could drive round to my home for the next few hours which i knew was a good winter peg due to the fact it was at least five foot deep all over the peg but today though it was very warm for the time of year and I knew it was going to be a struggle , i decided to set up a few rings to cover my options ;

Top kit plus one at the bottom of the near slope were upon plumbing up i found five foot so i used a 4×12 joof float with a staggered bulk starting above my six-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 lwg hook with a micro bait band attached to it and my main line was the usual 016 garbo main line .

Thirteen meter swim where it was nearly a top kit deep and i used a 4×14 joof float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 lwg hook with a micro bait band attached .

Right hand margin in 4ft a couple of feet away from the bank because it fell away quite steeply and this is where it levelled out before dropping off again , i used a 4×14 Md diamond float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my six-inch 014 garbo hook length which had a size 16 lwg hook attached .

Left hand margin in three-foot tight to the bank because the slope was a lot more angler friendly on this side and i decided to fish a negative swim with pellets here , i used a 4×12 Md pellet float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length and attached to it was a size 16 lwg .

As i had an island around twenty meters away i set up a feeder rod with a 1/8 ounce straight lead  which had an eighteen inch hook length and my hook was a size 16 lwg .

Bait for the day was ;

2 tins of corn

3 pints of soaked 4mm pellets

2 pints of 8mm pellets

When the all in sounded i started my match at the bottom of the near slope with hard pellets i kept flicking half a dozen 4mm pellets around my float and it was unbelievably slow going , i missed a couple of indications and i altered my shooting pattern so that my hook bait fell slower this got me two quick f1’s , i felt that i had it sorted but i only had a couple of missed dips on the float in the next half hour but as no one around me was catching I didn’t panic . All the time I had been pinging a couple of 8mm pellets towards the island and this was my next line to go at with the straight lead but all I managed was the odd liner which had me scratching my head as i really felt this would get me a few fish but especially as the lad towards my right was catching f1s on the tip rod although he was using a method feeder I found out later this never works on the match lake so I wasted another hour.

I went on to my 13m swim next at the bottom of the far shelf and after kinder potting in some hard 4mm pellets a few times from a height to try to draw some fish into the swim , this kind of worked for me as I caught two quick f1’s then nothing so I was back to square one and that seemed to be how my match panned out today as i added on another section going out to 14m where it started sloping up to the island which got me a couple of fish then nothing , in the back of my mind I just knew that I should be concentrating in shallower water with it still being quite warm . After re plumbing up along my right hand margin at six meters I managed to find 2ft but the slope was too steep to fish there and I found 4ft just as it levelled out a bit before another drop off, I began by kinder potting in a few grains of corn and after a couple of feeds i caught an F1 before twenty minutes without a sign .

A switch to my pellet line got me a couple more fish and I knew that I had made the right decision to fish in shallower water it was just that i made the switch three hours too late , for the rest of the match I rotated between them both catching fish from each before resting it and I did lose a barny rubble with a hook pull after a five-minute fight on my corn swim which cost me at the end , but i must have doubled my catch in the last ninety minutes from down the edge and maybe it was just the time of day but im not too sure .When the all out sounded I had a very long wait before i put a very disappointing 30lb on the scales for last in my ten peg section although I had 31lb on one side of me, 33lb the other and 46lb won the money section so i wasnt too far away but it was still a bit gutting the team didn’t do great either so all in all a very poor day , but like they say you are only as good as your last match so hopefully i can put it behind me when i contest the first round of my winter league at Old Hough next weekend .

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Partridge lakes fishery


14th October

I have been to partridge lakes today for the open match it was due to be on coveys 1-4 plus covey six and looking at the results during the week the latter one was the place to be because the original coveys had fished quite hard due to the very unsettled weather , as its nearly the middle of October and temps are up in the late teens not that I’m complaining still fishing in t-shirts at this time of year . On arrival to the fishery there was all the usual people in attendance getting reacquainted with the coveys as it was soon coming round to winter league time and I’m going to miss it this year , as i am concentrating on the Old Hough winter league that my mate is running but i will be back here for the Individual league in January , it turned out that there was seventy anglers in attendance just your typical weekend turn out for Partridge lakes . As I hadn’t been here for quite some time nearly three months to be exact so i expected to be well of the pace and i was still really looking forward to it even though I thought that it would be tough going , it soon came round to draw time so i joined the queue about half way and when it came to my turn for a dip in the bag of doom somethings never change as I pulled out my usual end peg which was 132 on covey six which does throw up a good weight every so often ( so no pressure then lol ) although it couldn’t be that good because i had been nowhere near it in the four years i had attended the opens on here as i had sat on most of the flyers .

After settling at my home for the next few hours i had the wind blowing into the margin as the scum had settled towards my left hand reed lined corner but i didn’t have any ripple as the bridge to my right and aerator rope directly in front had prevented the ripple reaching me , i decided to set up ;

4ft,3ft,2ft pellet rigs which i would use for chasing the f1s up and down the near slope and on all of them i used  a 4×14 Md wire stemmed float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 16 guru pellet attached .

I also set up a shallow rig set at 18 inch because i noticed a few fish swirling near the aerator and the bridge , i used a 4×10 Md mini mag float with a small bulk of shot above the six-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size twenty guru lwg hook with a micro bait band .

Bait for the match was ;

Two pints of soaked micros

Two pints of soaked 4mm pellets

One pint of crushed expander

Small tub of 4mm and 6mm expanders

I didn’t take any maggots to my peg today which i felt might have been a mistake if I wanted to fish shallow because there was a few fish knocking at the aerator and pellets do not usually work on here for fishing up in the water , i also didn’t have anything bigger than 4mm but i would give it a try but half expected it not to work and when the all in sounded I flicked my shallow pellet rig at eleven meters towards the aerator , i gave my float a couple of slaps then my elastic came shooting out which took me a bit by surprise and I lost the carp as it took me under the rope , i did not want to start feeding anything just yet as it might affect my other lines but by rotating between here and the bridge I picked up some nice stamp F1+carp in the first ninety minutes before things started to slow down this was when i picked up my catty to try to get them competing but it had the opposite effect killing the swim completely .

When this swim died I went down both edges starting in four-foot and managed a few f1s+stockies feeding micros sprinkling them in through a small kinder pot i had a 4mm expander on the hook when i began suffering with line bites so i tried clumping in the feed to try to get the fish back on the deck , this worked for a while but it wasnt right so i picked up my three-foot rig to chase them further up the near shelf this got me another run of f1s and they was all a good stamp as well , it wasnt long before the problem of line bites returned but i couldn’t get into any shallower water as the scum had began to gather really badly in front of me . I plumbed a swim across to the point of the island at 14m but the wind was making it a problem to keep my rig still and i did manage a couple of fish but i was fighting a losing battle with the blustery conditions so i gave up on it for the time being although i would give it another try when conditions allow .

I  put in a new line further along my left hand margin at the side of the scum but it was nearly four feet deep not ideal and after a couple of feeds i began catching again but the scum kept on gathering meaning that i had to keep adding sections to start new swims but at least it meant i did not have time to suffer with line bites , strangely my right hand edge towards the bridge never really got going and In the last hour I went back into four-foot at eleven meters either side of me which was the extremes of my peg and I managed to pick up the odd fish from each but it was slow going.

When the all out sounded I had managed 25 f1’s and five carp which went 64lb but i never felt in control of my peg today this was just enough to win the section and surprisingly I was also third on the lake , when I got back to the cabin it turned out that I was also third in the match which is my best performance here on these highly contested opens and it had been tough on covey 1-4, to be honest I felt that it could have been on a match winning peg if I had changed a few things and i am kicking myself for not getting the couple of extra pounds which would have placed me into the high flyer match next weekend  but I’m happy with the result on my first visit in months.

Cunneries fishery , teams of three league


October 7th

Today i was back at the Cunneries fishery for the penultimate round of the Autumn teams of three and as the Daiwa adlington team was languishing in mid table we could do with a good performance to move us up the league although in all honesty it would be very hard to make up ground on the top four , during the week leading up to the contest we had some torrential down pours and it was forecast to be continuous rain today as well , this i felt would have an impact on the weights and i thought that just 60lb could be enough for good section points that was probably only thirty-five stamp f1s which should be achievable on most of the pegs on the S canal , the Old canal was also in the match today after it had been closed for over a month and on Thursdays match it had thrown up some really good weights but that was a rover when just four anglers decided to go on it today every other peg would be which would make things a bit tougher .

After my short drive to the fishery i grabbed a buttie before having a chat with a few of the other anglers in attendance and so far the rain had held off but there was quite a brisk wind blowing towards the car park , as i had decided to stand down from the Daiwa Adlington squad after the league had finished i decided to let the other team members do a bit of the work so i relegated myself from doing the drawing duties , but it didn’t really make much difference as the captain still brought back our usual end peg this time it was in the shape of 15 S canal with the wind blowing into it and it looked really good , the only trouble was i wasnt going to be sitting on it as my home for the day was 40 S canal only a couple away from the last round where i struggled to catch a great deal so i expected more of the same this time .

When i arrived to my peg which was half way along the fourth leg i had the usual reed lined margin + far bank plus a nice mud bank and an empty platform either side of me , so at least i had a bit of room and i decided to set up ;

Top kit plus one at an angle towards my left at the bottom of the near slope and i used a 4×12 Md maggie float with a staggered bulk shotting pattern spread along the bottom third of my rig starting above my six-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 guru LWG hook attached with a micro bait band .

Three foot rig for in front of the far bank reeds and five meters along my left hand margin at the far side of the weed bed , i used a 4×12 Md pellet float with an inch spread bulk shotting pattern starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 Guru pellet hook attached to it .

Channel rig six meters towards my right + left this would allow me to try a couple of different feeding patterns and i used a 4×12 Md maggie float which had a  staggered bulk shotting pattern spread along the bottom third of my rig starting above my six-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 guru LWG hook attached .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of red+white maggots

2 pints of micros

2 pints of 4mm pellets

small tub of 4mm expanders

I began the match on my top three and tapped in a few 4mm pellets before flicking my rig out so that it fell up the near slope even though i kept throwing in some pellets and laying my float among it , it took an age for me to get an indication and i only managed four f1s in the first which wasnt the best of starts maybe hard pellets are on their way out now that the water has started to go a bit cooler . I switched to my across swim it took a couple of feeds of micros through a kinder pot  before i got a response and for the next hour i had a good run of fish the only trouble was they were just stockies+skimmers not what i wanted to be catching if i required some good points , despite trying all sorts of different feeding patterns and moving swims i just couldn’t get through the small stuff .

I decided to give my channel swim a try which was my best area on the last round and i fed one with a small pot of maggots the other with a kinder pot of micros , by rotating between the two i managed to pick up the odd stamp f1 but never really managed a run of fish from either it just seemed there wasnt many in the area and to be honest if i had spent the rest of the match here i would have ended up with better section points but i felt that i wasnt catching quick enough so i had a look down my long left hand margin , i clumped in some micros through a large kinder pot and lowered my rig in over the top of it and i managed three big f1s straight  away i hoped that i could put a run together but it never really got going . A switch back to my channel swim got me a few more fish and i spent the remainder of the match alternating between them both picking up f1s from each , soft pellets was by far the best bait for me today which was strange because others that i had talked to did better on maggots .

When the all out sounded i ended up with 17 f1s plus a few skimmers+stockies and this went a disappointing 35lb which although beat the anglers either side of me was only good enough for 7th in my ten peg section although if i had managed another 5lb which was possible i would have had a lot better points , on meeting up with the other lads in the team they had struggled just like me so we was all a bit down with the result and as it turned out we ended up joint fifth on the day which is a lot better than we thought because i feared we might have even been last .

Theres a few weeks break before the next round so hopefully the weather might have settled down a bit and the fishing has improved , before that im off to Partridge lakes for the first time in ages and then back to Heronbrook fishery for the second round of the winter league so a busy but enjoyable weekend ahead .

MD floats

Heronbrook fishery , winter league


October 1st

I have been to Heronbrook fishery today for the first round of the angling trust winter league and I was guesting for the Stockton heath lads because we struggled to get a team together in time , even though it was only sixty miles away I hadn’t been here for over 12 months since one of the big qualifiers and I was really looking forward to fishing it , on arrival to the venue there was your usual smattering of high-profile anglers plus lots of the midlands top guys , there was even a few people from Partridge lakes in attendance so it was going to be fun competing in this match and after grabbing a bacon buttie i caught up with the rest of the lads then had a look at the waters in the draw bag , nothing had changed since my last visit it was all really tidy and well looked after i couldn’t wait to get started .

On this event you are allowed to place your anglers it was decided that I was going to be on either match lake or match pool as i had fished the first one of them a couple of times and after the team captains did the draw which made a nice change from me doing it , I ended up on peg one on the later of the two and these end pegs seem to follow me around at the moment but im not complaining although it turned out to be one of the few lakes that I hadn’t fished on here and in fact I hadn’t even seen it , i made my way to the lake and after getting there it turned out i could have driven to it but at least i will know for the next round .

The lake itself was oblong in shape with an island 14m away on my side but a bit wider on the opposite bank there was a lot of overhanging reeds so i struggled to get really tight across , there was hardly any margin vegetation and i was unsure that fishing would be an option although i did see plenty of bubbling but with it being a new lake it was very muddy in colour so it could just be the bottom settling down a bit .

I decided to set up ;

Top kit plus one which was at the bottom of the near slope i was going to fish it the same as i would at the cunneries with hard pellets and my float was a 4×14 Md roob style float which had an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 hook length attached to it was a size twenty guru lwg that had a micro bait band .

Channel swim at six meters were i would be cupping in maggots and as it was six-foot deep i used a 4×12 Md maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shoting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached .

My across rig was just in front of the over hanging reeds where it was just over two foot deep and i also used it for fishing four meters along my right hand margin , 4×12 Md roob styled float which had a staggered shotting pattern starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of soaked micros

1 pint of soaked 4mm pellets

2 pints of red and white maggots

Tin of hemp and corn

small tub of mixed hard pellets

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded I began on my top kit at the bottom of the near slope with hard pellets throwing a couple of 4mm pellets every few minutes and flicking my rig out so that it fell along the near slope , I began catching hand sized f1’s pretty constantly for the first forty minutes and i changed my shotting to a bulk just above my hook length this enabled me to get my hook bait straight to the feeding fish , I began getting line which signified something a bit bigger in the swim and i then had a carp about 8lb which took me by surprise as it just plodded around the peg before popping up at the net , all the information i could find was it was a stockie bashing water and I didn’t know they was this big in this lake .

When my near swim slowed down I then had to resort to going across at 14m to keep catching but it wasn’t really my style of fishing and I am not great doing a shipping race so i was falling a bit behind in the amount of fish i was putting in the net . With the bubbling still coming up along my right hand margin so I decided to plumb up at four meters and i managed to find a good shelf half way down the margin , i began kinder potting in some maggots and i managed a few stockies but it wasnt great i was thinking of changing it to pellets , when my float shot under and i had another decent carp in the net , after that i was back picking up the odd stockie so i put a medium cupping kit full of maggots in a hope that it would draw some more carp into the swim .

While i left it to settle i went back on my top three-line and had a good run of fish before i hooked and lost another carp so it seemed there was a few in the area i just had to work out how best to catch them ,i had another go across to the far bank but the bites wasnt coming quickly enough for my liking so i decided to spend the rest of match fishing my close in swims .After thirty minutes i went back on my four meter margin line and this got me a 4lb carp before getting broke by another , so i decided to set up another rig with stronger lines and elastic i also switched to kinder potting corn+hemp instead of maggots with ninety minutes remaining i concentrated on this swim , after shipping out with a piece of corn on the hook to see if I could get any more carp and I managed another six but also lost a couple plus got broke.

When the all out sounded I followed the scales around the lake and i ended up fifth on the lake with 70lb those lost fish cost me challenging for at least second which was a low 90lb , but I have learned a great deal and i definitely need to brush up on my shipping match if i want to challenge towards the top of the ten peg section I’m really looking forward to the next round in a fortnight but will probably end up on match lake instead , as a team we didn’t do to well and ended up towards the bottom of the league but it’s very early days yet .

Cunneries fishery teams of three


September 30th

Today i have been to the cunneries fishery for the teams of three where we was lying in fourth place so needed a good result if we wanted to move up the table and after being at Weston pools for the last few weeks , I was a bit rusty with my F1 fishing and to be honest i felt it would have been better for another squad member to take my place if they had attended the opens in between rounds , but anyway it was the usual team for the match and on the morning of the contest the weather didn’t look to bad with it being overcast with a light breeze but we was due to get even more rain during the day because recently it hasn’t stopped raining .

On arriving at the fishery i booked on to the match and grabbed something to eat before having a chat with a few of the other anglers and we all agreed that it could be tough going today apart from those pegs opposite end to the car-park which had the benefit of a ripple . It soon came round for the draw and yet again I dipped in the bag of doom for the team it’s not as if im a draw bag or something , i pulled out my usual end peg then a couple of poor pegs China was on peg one s canal, John was on peg fifteen hawk and I was on peg forty-four s canal .

On arriving at my home for the next few hours which was in the middle of the fourth leg of the s canal i had the usual reed lined far bank + margins and in light of the recent weather conditions i chose to set up my rigs slightly deeper than i usually do on here i set up ;

Top kit plus one which was positioned at the bottom of the near slope and i used a 4×12 roob styled float which had an inch spread bulk starting above the 010 garbo hook length , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook was a size twenty guru lwg which had a micro bait band attached .

Three foot rig for fishing in front of the far bank reeds and my right hand empty platform , i used a 4×12 MD maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a four-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

I also set up a track swim at six meter to my right and left i felt that this was enough distance apart to allow me to try different feeding patterns , i used a 4×12 Md maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a four-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of red and white maggots

1 pint of bagem moist feed pellets in 1mm

1 pint of bagem 4mm feed pellets

When the all in sounded i started my match on hard pellets on my top kit plus one and by throwing a couple of 4mm pellets around my float every couple of minutes i managed six f1s in the first hour before it died on me, I then swapped to my across line with maggots feeding through a small kinder pot this just produced the odd fish and despite trying a few different things it never really got going ,  I even switched it to pellets which didn’t improve things and i was scratching my head on what i should try next but at least i wasnt the only person struggling because i hadn’t seen many fish come out so far .

With the last ninety minutes of the match fast approaching I decided to spent it down the track i fed one swim with micros the other with maggots just so i could see which one if any of them worked the best , i started on my right hand maggot line and i kept laying my rig in different ways to help get me a few bites but it was proper hard going , i finally began picking up the odd fish but the only trouble was I kept losing fish on the strike and despite trying lots of different things nothing really improved it was as if the f1s were coming into the swim but backing away from the feed .

When i switched to my left hand pellet swim and for some reason i just kept missing bites so i decided to try double maggot on the hook over the top of it , this finally produced a run of fish before i was back losing fish and it was leaving me a bit frustrated .At the all out I ended up with a disappointing 34lb which was only good enough for me to win my money section but ended up 7th on the lake, I definitely had enough fish in front of me to challenge for the top three as i lost nearly fifteen f1s during the match and a low 50lb was needed to get into the frame but lack of recent venue knowledge cost me , the other lads didn’t do much better as we ended up fifth on the day and we are now ten points behind third place with just a couple of rounds left i think its going to be hard to pull the deficit back .

Anyway off to Herronbrook fishery tomorrow for the teams of four let’s hope I do better on there.

Weston pools fishery , natural bait festival 2017


September 22nd and 23rd

Today i was back at the impressive Weston pools fishery for my third attempt at natural bait festival which i was really looking forward too especially with the added twist of not being able to use pellets or ground-bait and so far i have made a progression from mid way on my first attempt where i was way out of my depth , to finishing just out of the top ten last year after winning my lake on the first day then ending up a disappointing fifth on Stretton the next day missing out on third by just 5lb which would have put me in a framing place , so it would be interesting to see if i had improved my fishing although i hadn’t been here a great deal in the previous  months which wasnt the best preparation for the festival , i think that this style of fishing really suits me because I’m an angler that struggles to catch big weights and win matches but am always there about in my section which is what you need to do in these style of events , no doubt i would do even better on the longer five-day contests but i suffer with my sleeping when i am away and my second day always lets me down i just hope things are a bit different this year .

After my early start i headed off on my sixty mile journey to the fishery which didn’t take to long as its nearly all motorway miles and i arrived just after eight o’clock which gave me plenty time to book on before getting a breakfast from the clubhouse , as usual on these events there was plenty big names knocking about plus most of the Welsh national squad as well as a few venue regulars and i feel it’s important not to let yourself to become star struck because they are just normal people even if you do see and hear about them all over social media , just like you and me they do suffer at the draw bag but they are also great lads to talk too and very approachable this took me quite awhile to get my head around which definitely affected my matches on festivals and big qualifiers .

Before too long it was time for the draw and this year the points would be for five peg sections and not full lakes which i felt would be better for me although it could mean that a few anglers would be tied at the top at the end of the two days , the rotation would be either Stretton+Belvedere  on the first day or Weir+Canal on the next day depending on where you drew on todays straight draw , the only lake i did not fancy drawing was canal because i had not fished it for quite some time . Strangely i ended up right at the back of the queue as i was too busy talking to a few lads i hadn’t seen for quite a while and when it came round for my turn in the bag of doom i pulled out peg one on Belvedere which i was a bit unsure about because it was a bit deeper down this end of the water plus i was up against two anglers on the pads but i would be giving it my best shot .

When i arrived at my home for the next few hours i was a peg away from the Lily pads which i could just about reach at 16 meters if i needed too and i had plenty open water to target plus a reed lined margin with a spare platform either side of me , things looked really promising and with previous knowledge of the venue i chose to target the resident carp today and decided to set up ;

Rig for in between my nets in three-foot and i used a 4×16 joof float which had a bulk of stotz above my six-inch 016 garbo hook length , my main line was 018 garbo and elastic was Preston size 15 hollo this might seem over the top but the fish will be under the platform in a blink of an eye so you need plenty of oomph to prevent this happening .

Rig for at the bottom of the near slope in 4ft and i used a 4×14 joof float which had a staggered bulk starting above the six-inch 014 garbo hook length this would allow me to flick my rig out so that it fell along the slope this worked really well for me on my last visit here .

Rig at six meters in deeper water and i used a 4×14 joof float with a bulk and dropper shotting pattern my main line was 016 garbo which had a 014 garbo hook length attached to it .

A shallow rig for fishing over my above rig and i would be loose feeding casters so used a 4×10 mini mag float with a bulk of stotz above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Rig for at the front of each platform in three-foot and i used a 0.4 diamond shaped float with a glass stem my main line was 016 garbo which had a 014 garbo hook length attached .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of casters

1 tin of hemp

2 tins of corn

When the match started i fed my six meter swim with a pot of casters and i would keep an eye on it to see when it began fizzing , while i waited i had a quick look between my nets without feeding anything but ten minutes past without so much as a liner and i then tried throwing a couple of grains of corn around my float hoping that the plop of it going in might attract the attention of any passing carp , after another five minutes i got my first bite which was a common about four pounds and i then suffered with missed bites which turned out to me hand sized crucians so the carp must have been a loner . Thinking that the fish might be in deeper water with the recent drop in temperature plus over night rain so i picked up my top three rig and i kinder potted in some hemp plus a few grains of corn this produced a couple of quick carp but without getting another indication in twenty minutes i chose to rest this swim for the time being .

I had earlier noticed that my six meter line had fizzed and now that it had subsided with just the odd bubble coming up i decided to give it a try  my reason behind this was i expected the small stockies+silvers to be first on the scene which would attract the attention of the bigger fish , first drop on this swim  my float dipped under a sharp strike resulted in a two-pound ide coming to the bank not exactly what i had in mind another similar sized fish quickly followed so i decided to start pinging casters and picked up my shallow rig but this only produced small silvers , back on my deck rig and i only managed the odd bite from nothing proper so i put in another pot of casters then left it to settle .

I went back onto my top three-line and had a bite instantly which took off like a rocket heading towards the lily pads so i had to clamp up on the top kit which resulted in my hook length snapping and it was either a foul hooked carp or one of the big barbel in here , i should have learned my lesson and stepped up my hook length because my next fish after a spirited fight darted in between my nets resulting in another breakage . After that i just couldn’t get a bite close in and just picked up a couple more big ide off my caster swim ,after two hours that was all I had in the net which probably went under twenty pounds things wasnt going to well but those anglers within eye shot was struggling just like me .

 

But when the rain came and it got cloudier for some reason I began to start catching again on my close in swims resulting in half a dozen carp , i decided to stop putting feed in on my six meter swim as it was resulting in just silvers and began loose feeding caster heavily between my nets because i felt this was my best opportunity to do a big weight , i kept trying it every so often during the match and i would get a couple of quick barbel before bites slowed down so i kept resting it by going on my margin line which i fed one side with a kinder pot of corn+hemp the other with a big pot , it was very noticeable that my negatively feed line was by far the best producing a good run of carp but even just putting that little amount of bait in i began suffering with  liners and with just forty minutes of the match remaining i replumbed up my margin line near the empty platform tight to the bank in two foot and i managed four more carp before the all out sounded .

I was the first to weigh in on the lake and ended up with just less than 80lb which was good enough for a section win and fourth on the lake so i managed a good performance on the first day and its all still too play for , back at the club house after the food they had put on and a couple of beers it was time for the day one results to be read out yet again there was plenty weights over a ton with 155lb taking the win and well done to all the section winners+framers , it was then time for the draw for day two i was praying to get on Weir pool as it had performed best today and even though i was a section winner i had the lowest weight so needed a bagging day tomorrow , i went for an early dip in the bag of doom like i usually do but i pulled out peg 46 canal not great and after looking at the results it only produced a low 70lb today for third in section , after speaking to a few of the lads who fished that area of the lake there was a lack of f1s in the area and i had to find a way of catching the resident carp if i wanted to challenge for good section points so off i went to book into my digs before going to the pub for a few more beers after speaking to my mate i had come up with a bit of a plan and was feeling a bit more positive about day two of the festival .

 

After the usual crappy nights sleep it was time for the second day of the natural bait festival at Weston pools and on arrival i grabbed a fried breakfast before getting my gear ready because you are only allowed on your peg at 930 I was on 46 canal which I heard was an alright draw for good section points but no chance of getting a weight big enough to frame and before i headed to my home for the next few hours i decided to call at the on site tackle shop for some maggots because i had a sneaky feeling that with all the pressure from yesterday it was going to be hard work today .

I decided to set up ;

Top kit between by nets in three-foot of water and i used a 4×16 joof float with a bulk of stotz above my six-inch 014 garbo hook length , main line was 016 garbo and hook a size 14 lwg guru .

Margin rig top three towards my right in a cut out near the reeds , i found it to me quite flat and just over two feet so i used a 0.4 diamond float my main line was 016 garbo which had a six-inch 014 garbo hook length attached to it .

Top five towards my left at the bottom of the near slope where it was four-foot deep and i planned to fish maggots on this line , i used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo attached to it was a size twenty guru lwg hook .

Six meter line in the deepest water that i could find if the fish had backed off away from the near bank it was almost six-foot deep so i used a 4×14 joof float with a bulk+dropper shotting pattern and my main line was 016 garbo which had a six-inch 014 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of maggots

2 tins of corn

1 tin of hemp

When the all in sounded i started on my top kit between the nets with corn on the hook and like on the previous day at first i did not feed anything , after about ten minutes i began getting little indications on my float which showed that there was something in the swim i didn’t have to wait too long before i had a proper bite which I bumped on the strike, I then had to wait ages for another one which turned out to be a crucian so i put a bit of bait in and left it for a while .I then had a look down my right hand margin which I had been told was the best place to fish from the lad on it the day before and he caught a few carp using corn , so decided to follow suit and kinder potted in some hemp+corn before lowering my rig over the top of it but this just got me some tiny indications and more crucians things was not going to well i did expect it to be a bit difficult but not this hard .

I decided to switch to my maggot rig five meters towards my left at the side of some reed’s and i began kinder potting in some maggots at first i kept catching small hand sized ide on the drop , so i altered my shotting putting it all above the hook length to get my bait to the deck quickly which helped a great deal as i now began catching a bigger stamp of silver and the odd stockie which was a bit more promising .After two hours I had about twenty pounds in the net things wasn’t going to well as i needed a big weight to be in with a chance of framing , I didn’t really know what else to do but for some reason I just tried my maggot rig between my nets and this finally got me a good run of f1s but i had to really work my rig to get a bite .

For the next two hours I rotated between my top kit and top four towards my left and picked up a few f1s and it was all going swimmingly i felt i was well in contention for the section win but i made the mistake of forcing the peg as i started throwing maggots on both lines the constant feeding brought in the barbel which was fun on my light elastic and after getting broken a few times I stepped up my hook length from an 012 to 014 which got me the barbel but reduced the amount of bites from the f1s.My last hour was really slow for me and I struggled to put anything in the net apart from a stray carp which must have got lost down this end of the lake , i kept trying my right hand margin swim but surprisingly it never got going for me as the lad on here yesterday had three-quarters of his weight from this area of his peg .

when the all out sounded i felt that i hadn’t got the most out of my peg and should have just fished a nice tidy match kinder potting in maggots for the f1s but like i said earlier i felt that i needed a good weight today plus a section win , but trying to do the first meant i neglected the second because when the scales arrived i managed just short of 70lb comfortably beating those either side of me who struggled for 20lb but the other lad in the bay which fished shocking on the first day did remarkably well catching a ton from down the edge , so this left me second in section and a top ten finish in the festival with three points which I would have been pleased at the start although by trying to get to much from my peg i over did the feed and blew my chance of finishing fifth although that would have been first out of the money .

So i was feeling a mixture of happiness and regret when the results were announced as i felt i had wasted a good chance today but that’s the way it goes sometimes , i would like to say well done to all those involved in running the festival and all the anglers taking part , i am already looking forward to doing it all again next year and i would recommend it to everyone because it really is a great experience .

 

Weston pools fishery


September 16th

I decided to have a change of venue today and headed off to Weston Pools Fishery for a bit of practice before next week’s natural bait festival which i am contesting for the third year running and i seem to be improving on every one of them so fingers crossed it will continue for me , with the recent drop in temperature and cold rain going in the lakes I expected the fishing to be quite tough as you are targeting mainly carp+barbel but I always enjoy fishing this venue and to be honest it is my favorite match water because it’s totally different from anywhere in the north-west i just wish it was a few miles closer .

On my arrival to Weston pools I booked on to the match then had a quick walk around belvedere and i noticed that the fishery staff had done a lot of work removing overhanging branches + general tidying up the banks in readiness for the upcoming festival , this was the only water that I wanted to be on as the other two lakes in the rover wasn’t going to be in next weekend and to be honest i have always struggled on this lake for some reason so i could do with the practice even if it did mean i had little chance of framing today , after taking note of a few pegs that i fancied i made my way back to the cabin stopping off on the way to talk too a few friendly faces who i hadn’t seen for quite some time and when i finally got there it was nearly draw time , I managed to pull out ball eight which meant i was mid way in the queue for a pick and one by one all the best pegs went.

When it came to my turn I decided to settle on peg 22 belvedere which although wasnt a fancied peg it did give me a bit of room and to be honest there isn’t much point sitting on a flyer because you don’t learn a great deal plus i would be very unlikely to sit on one in the festival with so many draw bags in attendance , I set up a few rigs to cover my options ;

Top kit line between your nets which is usually a banker method on here for the barbel , even though it was only a touch over three-foot deep i used a 4×16 joof float with all the bulk above my 4 inch hook length to get the bait to the deck really quickly .

Bottom of the near slope at three meters were it was around five foot deep and i used a 4×14 joof float with a staggered bulk starting above my four-inch 014 garbo hook length .

Margin rig top three towards my left in 18 inches of water at the side of some reeds which was the shallowest water i could find and i used a 0.4 MD margin munter float , my main line was 0.17 garbo and hook length 0.16 garbo which had a size 14 guru lwg hook .

Six meter rig for fishing on the deck under my shallow line and my float was a 4×12 joof float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern .

Two shallow rigs set at two foot + one foot , my floats were a 4×10 MD mini mag with a small bulk above a four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was;

3 pints of casters

2 pints of corn and hemp

2 pints of corn

When the all in sounded I fed my top three-line with half a cupping kit full of corn+hemp mix and while it settled I had a quick look on my top kit for hopefully a quick couple of barbel but this just produced a small silver with no more bites or liners that was a waste of time but i would keep dropping on it now + again during the match , I then went on to my top three swim and had a bite almost straight away which I pulled out of, then I hooked something a bit bigger which after a spirited fight snapped my 6lb hook length after spending the last few months just catching f1’s i needed to get my head around this style of fishing were they pulled back a bit ! !

After an hour I had next to nothing in the net so I went on my shallow six meter swim which I had primed from the start feeding a dozen casters every few minutes but all this just produced was hand sized silvers so you can safely say so far it wasn’t going to well  , i did try my deck rig underneath my shallow swim but this just produced line bites and maybe i should have set up a new rig for fishing at half depth .

Two hours of the match had already passed and i had about ten pounds in the net so I re-plumbed a new swim at top four towards my right at the bottom of the slope , after feeding some corn+hemp through a large kinder pot i began getting the odd bite from decent fish and topping up every time i caught one worked remarkably well as I had a good run of carp+barbel right up to the all out , but I lost a lot of fish today and i even did a bit of squirreling lol no doubt this was due to the fact that i wasnt used to playing fish of this size which pulled back a bit .

When the all out sounded I ended up with just short of 60lb this was good enough for third on the lake + fifth overall but with just 74lb coming third in the match it was a missed opportunity for me today and i really need to start taking these chances when they present themselves , I had probably fished my worst match in a long time today but at least I had got it out-of-the-way and I learned quite a bit which is my main reason for going.

I’m looking forward to spending most of the week re doing hook lengths and making new rigs in preparation of the natural bait festival next weekend which is always my highlight of the fishing season before it turns to scratching for bites on the multiple winter leagues i am doing this year .