Balmoral AC presentation evening

Well it has soon come round to the end of the 2014 season and that means another presentation evening and so off we headed to our local pub which was the Ellesmere inn , i was unsure on just who was going to attend because yet again i had minimum responses from the texts that i had sent it isn’t hard to send a message back saying your coming or not and it is one of the things i will not miss as this will be my last season in the club due to other commitments .

On arrival at the pub i was the first one there and it was with a bit of trepidation i wondered if anyone would actually turn up but finally a few club members did , after hanging around for a bit to see if anyone else would turn up which they didn’t and in the end only seven could be bothered a pretty lousy turn out from the twenty anglers in the club . We decided to start the meeting and at least the main trophy winners were in attendance first we gave the medals out to the match winners ;

Partridge spey canal-Terry belshaw

Blundells pine canal-Aidy hardman

Hall lane gwens canal-Bob haggerty

Sycamore rowans canal-Gary matthews

Widdows pool- Dave benson

Hall lane merlins – Dave benson

Blundells ash pool -Terry belshaw

Orrcherton lake – Allen knob head holmes

Partridge lakes ribbon – Kenny baxter

Lathom lake one – Joey scott

The next and most important was the overall club winner plus runner-up , it was a close run thing this year and unluckily i just missed out on consecutive wins by just two points the couple of matches which i couldn’t attend cost me but i knew before the season it would be tough to retain it although a few better results or extra fish would have swung it my way but that’s just the way it goes sometimes , i think that my fishing has improved a lot this year and in the end i was happy with my second place .

First Dave benson 62 points

Runner up Gary matthews 60 points

Third Tony barton 52 points

Fourth Aidy hardman 49 points

Fifth Joey scott 45 points

So that was that presentation over and so was my time at the club , all i had left to do was pass the reigns over to the next unfortunate soul who was taking over and i hope he gets a better crack of the whip than i did as it can be a thankless task at times with a few members in the club serial moaners , all in all i have enjoyed my four years at Balmoral AC with only one season going past where i didn’t pick up a trophy and i think it has improved my fishing a great deal i would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the social side of fishing with banter flowing on every match . So that’s my club fishing career over with and i am looking forward to seeing if i can cut the mustard on the open scene which has gone well so far lets hope i can keep improving my results .


Lathom pond one

24th August , peg 11


Well it has soon come round to the last club match of the season and my final one with Balmoral AC , i have enjoyed my four years there and had a little bit of success along the way with me winning ;

Division three winner in 2011

Overall club winner in 2013

Runner up in 2014

But there has also been a few disagreements to sort out over the years and its been quite stressful running the club on your own ,so i would recommend to who ever decides to take over that they nominate a couple of people to help with everything to make it a bit easier. Back to todays match i had wanted everything to go well but the harder you try the more it usually goes wrong , but it never really happened like that today and without going into too much detail , it wasn’t how i would have liked to finish my time at the club .

Today we only had a dozen anglers fishing because a few members of the club was on a fishing holiday and with us having most of the lake i was able to peg one miss one which will make the fishing better hopefully , i had been up for a practise the previous week and done extremely well so i was expecting some big weights and one lad who had been on a few times in the week decided he would try to break the long-standing club record which stood at 99lb and to be fair he did just that so well done to him .

After the draw i ended up on peg eleven which was in the middle of the bay which also had the benefit of the bit of breeze blowing in to it , but the last few matches we have fished on here this area never usually throws up decent weights and we also had a couple of good anglers on the better pegs plus my section was the hardest of the three so i could be up against it today .

When i got to my peg i had already decided on how i would like to target it and i was really happy with my margin swim too , the areas i wanted to fish where ;

Shallow 1ft+2ft , i used a matrix series three float with 0.12 garbo line direct to a guru LWG hook which had a micro band attached , elastic was size 12 preston durro

Pellet deck 6 meter ,i used a 4×14 malmams speedy float with 0.12 garbo main line with a 0.10 hook length which had a size 18 gamma pellet hook attached and my elastic was matrix 12s red .

Paste  meter , i used a 0.3 scone float with 0.14 garbo line direct to a turbertini 808 hook and my elastic was matrix 12s red ,

Margin ,  i used a 0.2 scone float with 0.14 garbo direct to a guru size 16 LWG hook and my elastic was matrix 14s yellow

I had found it best to feed quite heavy on here to keep the fish in the peg so i brought with me ;

1 pint paste

3 pint of 4mm pellets

2 tins of corn

1 tin of hemp

1 tub of hard hook pellets

1 tub of mixed expanders

When the all in sounded i went on to my four meter line and cupped in a full pot of 4mm pellets before proceeding to drop a pea sized piece of paste over the top i decided to use a piece this size because i had expected to be mainly targeting f1s and i would also cut out the pellet feed if it brought the fish up in the water which was a problem on my last visit here .It took a few attempts to get my float set right but it all went towards feeding the peg and i was soon getting indications but not from the f1s though but from proper carp averaging over 2lb a piece so i increased the paste to the size of a conker which helped attract the better stamp of fish .


In the first couple of hours i had thirty fish in the net and seemed to be doing better than all but one other angler , my swim was starting to struggle though and i needed another part of my peg to produce to keep on catching . I had been loose feeding pellets on to my six meter line since the match started but strangely i had only seen the odd one top where when i practised the week before it was black with fish shallow , maybe the recent cold weather had pushed them lower in the water so i decided to start on my deeper shallow rig first to see what response i got but it wasn’t great with only a few line bites so i tried increasing the feed to try to force the fish up in the water but this didn’t work either .

I figured with the amount of pellets going in that their must be some fish in the area so i tried my deck rig with an expander on the hook but this did not produce a bite either and maybe the water was a bit too deep at six meters but i do know that i had just wasted forty minutes without putting a fish in the net not what i wanted .

With two hours remaining of the match i decided to start feeding the left hand margin with four big pots of hemp plus corn , i also made the bold or stupid decision to put my second net in and while i left my margin to settle so went back on to my paste swim which took a while to get going again after being neglected for an hour , i was relieved to finally start getting indications again but the fish i began catching now were f1s instead of carp so i reduced the paste size again which increased the amount of bites that i hit .


I noticed a swirl from a big carp at the side of the reeds where i had potted in the bait so i took the opportunity to give my margin rig a go with double corn on the hook , i had purposely left all the float bristle showing so i wouldn’t be tempted to strike at any little dinks which would have only resulted in foul hooked fish . My first proper bite resulted in yards of yellow 14s matrix elastic streaming from the pole tip , after struggling to get it under control for about five minutes i had a near double figured carp in the net which was a bonus and another smaller one followed before i started getting bites from silvers so a couple more pots of feed went in before i returned to my paste rig .


A few more f1s came to my four meter line before after about twenty minutes the fish were back in the margin , so a quick change of rig resulted in a couple more carp before i hooked something heavy which just plodded about then headed off into open water before the hook pulled and i felt that it must have been foul hooked , a few more cups went in and by rotating between the two swims i kept fish coming for the rest of the match apart from in the last ten minutes when i had run out of corn+hemp so i decided to feed pellets which strangely killed my margin .

When the all out sounded i was unsure if i had done enough to end my time at Balmoral AC with a win but i had certainly caught a few fish , as it turned out it was probably the best club match that i had been involved in with lots of weights around the 50lb mark . It was between me and one other lad for the match win , he had caught constantly all day where i had a bigger stamp but the quiet hour would most certainly cost me and it did with my 53 fish going 94lb but he put 106lb on the scales for the match win and new club record , So well done you fished a great match . 

It was a closer result than a few people in the club had thought and it was a fitting result to end my time at the club because i have lost count on the amount of matches that i had just fell short of winning in my four years with them ,it was just a real shame that it ended up the way it did  but to be honest i didn’t expect any less from some members in the club .

I hope you have all enjoyed reading about my club fishing exploits and i have booked some good matches for Balmoral AC next year i just hope that they find someone good enough to take over from me . I think that you will like my open match blogs that i will be doing from now on and i know it is going to be a real step up for me , i have no doubt it will be a steep learning curve but i am looking forward to it .

Partridge lakes Ribbon

10th August , peg 15


Today was the next to the last round of Balmoral angling clubs season and we headed off to Partridge lakes Ribbon it is a twenty peg donut style water which is between 12-14 meters to the central island , every peg has a 1ft wooden fence around it to prevent you from falling in and there are trees close behind you which can make shipping back a bit problematic . The lake has a good record on big matches+open matches but they only tend to put half the pegs in and in my opinion they do seem to be a bit close together , the fish in here are mainly f1s up to 2lb , ide around the 1.5lb with a sprinkling of skimmers and carp .

The weather leading up to the match had been nice and sunny but a bit blustery , when i woke up in the morning though we had caught the back-end of hurricane Bertha and was greeted with it persisting it down with rain which lasted all day plus a really strong wind , luckily on Ribbon it was very sheltered so at least you could shelter under the brolly which most of the club choose to do whereas the fool hardy me and kenny made do with just the water proofs although i did have my bait brolly to keep my essentials dry .

I was half expecting a lot of dropouts due to the conditions , so i was pleasantly surprised when we had sixteen anglers attending todays match which meant four sections of four and as a result we could also leave a few pegs out , i hoped that this might ease the pressure a bit as a few in the club had been up to see the weigh in on the earlier Saturday where only 20lb had won and a few had even blanked on the high teen numbered pegs which i wasn’t expecting to hear from water on Partridge lakes in summer but i am sure it wont fish that hard surely .

As it was still lashing it down with rain we did the draw from the dryness of the cabin , when everyone had finished picking i ended up on peg 15 not really the area i wanted to be in especially when i got to it i found that i was in the middle of six of the best anglers in the club and i also had two of the clubs moaners to my right so it was lucky that i had my earphones today .The peg itself was 13 meters tight to the island were it was only six-inch deep near the mud bank and i felt that was too shallow in the conditions, i was happy to find 2ft at the side of the reed bed and 3ft flat area down the far slope , i had also been told not to bother with the channel or margin so i just had three rigs to set up today ;

1, Pellet rig 3ft deep on the far slope i used a 0.3 scone float which had a spread bulk of number ten stotz with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 18 gamma pellet hook .

2, Maggot rig 2ft deep near reeds i used a 4×8 maver float with a n on the drop shotting pattern with 0.10 garbo direct to a size 20 drennon silver fish-hook .

3, Maggot shallow rig 1ft deep , i used a 0.1 scone float with an on the drop shotting pattern with 0.10 garbo line direct to a size 20 drennon silver fish-hook .

My bait today was going to revolve around just maggots but after seeking some advice on the internet about the venue it came to my attention that soft pellet would be worth starting on .

2 pints red+white maggots

1 pint micro dusted with ground-bait

small tub 4mm expanders

As the all in sounded and with the rain still lashing down i decided to take it a bit easier on the feed until i knew what mood the f1s are in plus i needed to find out if any fish was in the area , i kinder potted in some micros then lowered my expander amongst it and i had shotted my float so the weight of the pellet would pull my float under which meant that i needed to push my rig up the slope slightly until just a pimple was on the surface , it took a couple of feeds before i enticed my first bite and the f1 or carp proceeded to take me round the corner of the island through the next peg before the hook pulled out .

I was unsure at the start of the match on how to set up my elastic today because i had expected to catch ide which have really soft mouths and you can suffer lots of hook pulls if its set too tight , but while i was fishing pellet i tightened it up a bit which offered me some control over the fish but my next two f1s also came off ,the  first was when on shipping back my pole through the undergrowth i managed to hit a tree and off it popped , the other was when the hook pulled as i was guiding it to the net because their was quite a steep drop from the peg to the water and i couldn’t get the pole tip low enough because their was a safety fence in front of every peg ,thinking about it i should have moved my box to the right a meter as i lost a few ide later in the match due to hook pulls which along with the f1s cost me a better finishing position .

After managing to sort out my elastic situation i finally began putting the odd fish in the net with no more dramas , my peg was gradually getting stronger and i wax feeding half a kinder pot after every fish but the bites were very hard to hit and it seemed they wasn’t very happy in that area , so it came as no surprise when the f1s drifted off to the other end of the lake and they was replaced with a nice stamp of skimmer but when one did its best dolphin impression it seemed to unsettle the shoal and after half the match i had about twenty pounds in the net which if i continued going the same way then i might have a chance of framing but as the rain eased and it warmed up slightly my peg died on me .

I had fired half a dozen maggots at the reed bed every couple of minutes for the past hour so this is where i hoped their might be a few ide waiting and i could continue building my weight again , but my first few fish where 4oz silvers not really what i wanted and for about an hour i didn’t catch a great deal . I had used my stronger pellet rig against the rushes because with the stamp of f1s i had caught i was reluctant to use my lighter silver fish rig which had the solid 8 elastic so would have meant controlling them a nightmare but when i tangled this rig after yet another hook pull i had no other option but to change .

But after changing it i began getting the odd ide and when i started kinder potting maggots and not using the catty i managed to concentrate them on the deck which made them easier to catch plus i also picked up the odd f1 too , with thirty minutes to go the heavens opened again just in time to soak everyone’s gear but it had a good effect on the fishing as the ide began to feed in earnest with a few of us playing fish at the same time .

All too soon it was the time for the final whistle and it fished remarkably well in the conditions but only in patches with certain areas struggling especially on the more fancied pegs , it seemed that many different baits worked today but the best weights came from fishing tight across . We started the weigh in on peg one and they were pretty dismal until we got to peg nine who had 45lb , peg ten had 60lb then a couple more bad weights before my 26 fish went 34lb on peg 15 and peg 18-19 had 35lb + 38 lb .

So overall i finished fifth and lost enough fish for at least third due to angling error but that’s the way it goes sometimes in match fishing , i did manage to beat my main challenger for the club leadership but not by enough places to make it last to the final match , so well done Dave Benson you fished really well this season winning two matches on the way to the top of the table but the second place is still up for grabs at Lathom fishery so lets hope i can finish my time at Balmoral AC on a high .

1st Kenny Baxter 60lb

2nd John Unsworth 45lb

3rd Aidy Hardman 38lb


Orrcherton house fishery

Balmoral club match eight , August 3rd peg 28

Well we are soon coming to the end of my last year at Balmoral angling club and today we headed off to Orrcherton house which was somewhere that i had never done well on because it is a big open water where pellet waggler and straight lead seemed to be the method which is not my style of fishing . A few of the club had been on fishing the opens before hand trying to gain an advantage which is usual for us but i was sticking to what i had said at the start , just fishing the club match on each venue and so far it has worked for me because i am still second overall with my worst result being a sixth at Widdows which i am still disappointed with .

Anyway back to todays match after getting caught up by the cyclists doing the tour de standish on the way their i arrived a bit later than i had planned , so after having a quick walk around to check that my pegging was correct and for a change i didn’t have to change many there was only one which was a bit iffy 28 or 33 so with the wind blowing off your back on 28 we choose to put that one in . I also noticed that their was about a dozen big carp dead in various parts of the lake not really a good sign but it is a water which is put under a lot of match pressure and after paying the remaining balance to the owner i got told that it was now booked up for the next two years it just goes to show how well it does with club bookings .

When we started the draw one by one all the better pegs went and i was left with peg 28 which suited me fine with the wind blowing in a good direction for a novice pellet waggler angler , if anything it was probably a bit too sheltered and i had a feeling that the shallow fish would be down the other end of the lake but if the forecast heavy rain turned up it wouldn’t be in my face . I had been told by a few people who it might be worth trying shallow for the f1s because if they was in your peg in numbers you could compete with the pellet waggler caught carp and i was more confident fishing the pole .


Shallow fishing were Matrix series 3 floats 0.3 , 0.12 garbo main line direct to a size 18 guru lwg hook which had a micro bait band attached .

Margin fishing , 0.4 malmams speedy float with 0.14 garbo main line direct to a size 16 guru lwg hook .

Drennon red pellet waggler rod , a loaded 8 gram garbo pellet waggler with 6lb reel line and 5lb garbo hook length which had a size 16 guru pellet waggler hook attached was a mini bait band .

Maver reactorlite feeder rod ,  8 lb maver genesis main line with a half ounce straight lead and a 2 ft hook length of 0.14 garbo line and my hook was a size 16 guru circle hook which had a mini bait band attached .

With carp+f1s being the main target species and lots of small silvers present it just had to be an all out pellet attack today .


2 pints 4mm pellets

2 pints 8 mm pellets

2 pints 10 mm pellets

1 tin hemp

1 tin corn

When the all in sounded i shipped out to 14 meters and began loose feeding 4mm hard pellets , i started on my deep shallow rig it didn’t take long before i started getting indications on my float but they were very hard to hit so just your usual finicky f1 bites on pressured waters . I kept the feed going in and slowly but surely i started catching not the stamp of f1 i was hoping for at 8oz a piece , i persevered though in the hope of picking up a bigger fish or the odd carp which were topping just out of pole range .

After ninety minutes the f1s drifted out of my peg following the breeze and i also noticed the odd carp coming out so reluctantly i had to pick up the pellet waggler and i had fired out some 8-10mm pellets out at 25 meters , on my first cast the rod was nearly pulled out of my hands carp number one was in the net and at nearly 7lb a decent fish . It took a while before i had my next bite which is usual when pellet waggler fishing this one was a similar size to my other but unfortunately it broke me just as i was about to slide my landing net under it .

I hastily re-set up and on this new rig i began missing bites so i kept changing depths but i just couldn’t connect with them and after the match i found out that they had used 6mm pellets with 20-18 hooks because these little dinks were from the bigger 2lb plus f1s which had taken over from the carp in here , so obviously the 8-10mm pellets that i was using were too big and this proved a point when my next two fish came off on the way in but i did manage another decent carp and found 3ft to be the best depth .

With two hours remaining i noticed the bottom fizzing where i had been firing out the pellets so i flicked out the straight lead with an 8mm pellet on the hook and even before i could tighten the line up on my tip rod it was getting pulled out of my hands with carp number three making its way to the net .But as my peg was surrounded by reeds i couldn’t put the rod out to the side like i would normally do and i had to have it almost pointing at the lead , which resulted in a few crack offs on the take with them being so savage even on 5lb hook lengths and i had to stop fishing to make up a fresh one which had 7lb line on it this worked well with no further breakages and i began putting some carp in the net again .

We was fast approaching the last forty minutes and i had fed my left hand margin for two hours , so i decided to give it a try hoping that some carp had settled their although i felt it could be a touch deep at 5 ft ,with a piece of corn on the hook i was soon catching fish not the carp-f1s but silvers around the 8oz mark and usually i would be happy catching these but i felt that i needed another carp or two so i put out the straight lead again , as you will find out later this was a mistake because it never went round and i only missed out on third by just 2lb which i could have caught in silvers but thats match fishing for you .

Overall i think that i had fished a good match maybe a bit under prepared on pellet size and hook lengths but i felt that i did things at the correct times picking fish up from every swim and i had probably lost at least four carp if not more which would have made a huge difference in my last weight , it isn’t one of my favorite waters with the tactics needed to well not those that i am comfortable using so i was pleased to get my best result from the venue with my seven carp going just under 40lb and overall it fished very well as everyone had over 20lb with the top two weights being 68lb-65lb .

I have the next week of work so of course i will be getting back on the bank starting with the open at Partridge lakes and hopefully i will have a chance of beating my match record and then i will be back there on Sunday to fish the next to the last match of Balmoral A C season on Ribbon which is another venue i haven’t fished before , i might even try to sneak in the Sycamore evening match in to depending on the weather .


Hall lane , Merlins lake

Peg 33 , July 13th

After having a months break i was back on the club match trail at Hall lanes Merlins lake , i personally hadn’t fished this lake for well over two years and even then i had not had a good experience fishing it coming nearly last in the match , i knew that plenty of club members had fished it a lot in the previous weeks so they should have it sorted by now and should be hard to beat . This year i have decided not to waste my time doing practice sessions as they tend not to fish the same as they do in matches and so far it is working out for me because i am sitting towards the top of the league table even after missing a match .

On arrival at the venue there was plenty of people knocking about with three club matches and an open taking place , so after managing to find everyone so i could collect the pools and with only one angler missing their would be 19 contesting the club match on 24 pegs which could make the fishing a bit harder , especially after the recent inconsistent weather because it had rained constantly over night and we now had strong winds to contend with blowing towards the bottom of the lake which is also the better area to be in but it could make for a fairer match ” we shall wait and see.”

Before starting the draw i informed everyone about the new rules on the fishery and that i wouldn’t be attending the next match but as i expected no one came forward to volunteer to run it for me ,you could even see a few people back away while i was talking which was quite funny so we will just wait and see what happens .One by one all the better pegs where going with good anglers on both end pegs and on the split between the islands , when it came for my turn their was two pegs left in the bag and both where in the same section so i let Tony draw my peg and i ended up on number 33 which was towards the bottom of the lake in a decent area for carp “cheers for that mate ”


After the long walk i arrived at my home for the day i found that i was also on a peg between the islands and in one of the more winnable sections and i was kicking myself for leaving my tip rod at home but you can’t be expected to take everything with you , so after getting the usual banter for drawing that peg and was expecting me to get a big weight from their “so no pressure then “.I had decided to keep it pretty simple today regarding rigs ;

Across 3ft + shallow

5m shallow

Margin paste


My bait today revolves around a few different options i decided to follow the information that i had learned from friends on twitter and not follow the dubious tales that had been banded about by various people fishing the match .


Pellets 4mm

Meat and corn


I planned on targeting the point of the island at 14 meters in a little patch of calm water which was in between two reed beds this offered my float a bit of protection from the wind and it also allowed me to go further along the bank if the conditions improved . When i plumbed up i couldn’t find the 3 ft depth which i had been told was the best place to start , in a suitable area so i scrapped that idea and went tight up to the mud bank where it was less than 1 ft deep .

As i was finding the right place for my rig a carp hit my line and bolted off which was a good sign of fish in my area, my margin paste line was a bit deeper than i would have liked too and all the reeds had been hacked back so i didn’t really think this line would work for me today and i should have put a line in somewhere else which could have produced a few extra fish and as you will find out later i could have done with a couple more carp today .

When the all in sounded i cupped in some 4mm pellets on to my margin swim and then another of meat+corn on to the far bank mud line i then went over the top of it with a cube of meat on the hook , my first few fish where small chub around the 8oz mark before the carp moved in but i was having real trouble keeping them on the hook and i bumped off three plus got broke on a 4lb hook length ! !



The wind was playing havoc with my pole control and it looked like it could be a long day , after changing my hook for a more robust guru Lwg because i thought that the thinner wired gamma pellet hook must have bent out with the size of carp i was attempting to catch and after the change i didn’t lose any more which was good but i was sure my bad start would cost me in the end .

My second+third hour were pretty straight forward with ten carp coming to the net averaging 3lb a piece and after catching a couple i would re pot in some meat-corn , but the wind was getting stronger and i was struggling to control my pole which certainly slowed my catch rate because i couldn’t keep my float still long enough to get a bite . So i changed my rig for a heavier float with a longer line between pole and float  , i hoped this would keep it steady long enough for me to get an indication and i was spending so long fighting the wind with my pole i had neglected to feed my shallow maggot line- margin paste line .


So in the last hour when the fish backed away i had nowhere to go and as i expected when i rotated my lines i had no bites apart from a small roach , so i stuck it out for another couple of carp because i felt that i would need at least twenty of them to be in with a chance of winning but i could only manage one more . When the all out sounded i was unsure how i had got on as from where i was fishing you couldn’t see the top of the lake and i knew that the end peg nearest to me had caught a lot but they wasnt the same stamp that i had caught .


I didn’t have long to wait though because that was the peg i would start the weigh in on and he had 50lb with treble the amount of fish that i managed , my 16 carp went 45lb so close but no cigar today and i had to put up with second in the match ,bad time management cost me today and i was a bit disappointed with myself for not doing better from that peg but it wasn’t your run of mill peg which i am sure that i would have had a good result from if i had thought a bit more about the best areas to target and had also kept them fed right “but that’s fishing for you”

The weight further up the lake towards the cabin had got gradually worse but most anglers had around twenty pound which was good in the conditions and their seemed to be a lack of carp up that end too but that might have been because of the way they fished it or bait they used . Well that’s me done for fishing for a couple of weeks as the wife is working away again , i just hope i can find something to keep me busy after work and i will put up the results for the next club match on blundells ash pool when or if i get them .

1st Dave 50lb peg 27

2nd Gary 45lb peg 33

3rd Mick 34lb peg

Widdows fishery

15th June , peg 9


Well here we go again round five of Balmoral Angling Clubs season and after a win in the last round i was looking forward to this one as its one of the venues on our match calendar that i have done well on with two consecutive thirds .

The lake has 36 pegs which enabled me to give most anglers plenty of room , it has an island which you can reach at 16 meters and it has a good stocking off carp around the 3lb mark with lots of skimmers to catch too .As you can drive to every peg on here and with everyone present we decided on an early draw , when it came for my turn i was left with peg 9 right at the side of the car-park which is far from where i wanted to be but everyone in my section was in the same boat .


On my last two matches here i have done really well targeting the skimmers and with the recent changeable weather i felt that was the best way to fish it today ,especially after finding out their had been a match the day before which was only won with 25 lb and as you all know waters don’t fish well when there’s two matches in as many days .

I decided to fish a few areas ;

16 m , i had 2 rigs for this line one at 1ft the other at 2ft both had 0.12 garbo direct to a size 20 f1 hook with a micro bait band and my elastic was red matrix

5 m ,i used a 0.4 scone float with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 16 gamma pellet hook with red matrix elastic

Margin ,i used 4×12 malmam diamond float with 0.14 garbo direct to a size 16 guru lwg hook and my elastic was yellow matrix .


My bait was ;

1/2 kilo worm

1/2 pint micro

1/2 pint ground-bait

1 pint hard 4mm pellets

When the all in sounded i put two big pots in on my 5 meter line which i intended to leave for an hour for the skimmers to settle and so while i was waiting i went across to try to catch a couple of bonus carp , i started on my 2 ft rig because it wasn’t that warm yet and their hadn’t been any carp showing along the far-bank either .

I began by pushing my rig tight under the far bank rushes and then flicked four pellets at the float every few minutes,but nothing seemed to be working and thirty minutes in i was still bite less-fishless . Every one else seemed to be in the same boat apart from the lad to my left who was catching the odd fish on his feeder ,i began getting the odd indication but nothing i could hit so i decided to change to my shallower rig a bit earlier than i had planned .


This produced a solitary carp about 2 lb which but up a fight of a fish three times its size , so in the first hour i had not a great deal to show for it but neither had anyone else and it was fishing extremely hard .So i decided to go on my skimmer line which i had hoped would be my main line of attack but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way , first drop and my float slid away so i counted to three before a firm strike which saw a tiny perch fly out the water followed by another of similar size .

I decided on a refeed to try to draw some fish into my peg this kind of worked with a few small 8 oz roach , when i did finally hook a big skimmer it did its best dolphin impression shedding my hook in the process , after two hours i was going nowhere fast with less than 3 lb in the net .So i decided on a new swim at 11 meters and fed this swim negatively with a kinder pot .

I went back on to my far-bank without success but when i noticed bubbles coming up from my negatively fed line , i took the opportunity to drop my rig over the top and this did not produce the hoped for skimmer but another small carp . A few small silvers came to the net so i risked another feed and it seemed that i had stumbled on a pattern with the bites because after 15 minutes i would hook something decent just as the bubbles appeared before the small silvers returned .

You will notice that i said hooked and not caught because i had two more big skimmers shed the hook plus i lost a 5 lb ghostie which somehow managed to break my main line above my float just as i was about to net it and after putting another rig on – plumbing up it disrupted my swim which never recovered because it never produced another bite.


So in the last hour i concentrated along the far-bank hoping for a few carp to boost my weight and their fore push me higher up the match placings , i missed a few bites but did manage another solitary carp around the 3 lb mark . When the all out sounded majority of the anglers were relieved because it had fished extremely hard as you can tell by the weights and my near 13 lb was good enough for sixth but if i had landed the lost fish it would have raised me up to third .

Having had a few late nights and early mornings leading up to the match definitely had a baring today on my decision-making because ;

1, I knew before the match that expander was working better than hard pellets tight across and feeding also seemed to make the fish back off .

2, The lad too my left fished the feeder across all match managed third so with the lack of carp showing shallow and the fact he was catching , it should have made me set up a deck rig for tight across especially after seeing the lad to my right catch four carp in the last hour doing just that .

3, Should never have big potted knowing the match result from the previous day and two negative lines would have worked better .

4, With more composure i might have landed a couple of the lost fish .

Any way we now have a mid-season break before some more dodgy matches that I’m not looking forward to fishing , but i am still second on the overall club points not bad after missing one match but i can not afford to miss any more because it’s getting tight at the top and i am having another enforced break while the wife works away it is something that i will just have to get used to but at least it will give me time to recharge my batteries .

1st Dave peg 19 , 41lb 12oz

2nd Aidy peg 7 , 27 lb 14oz

3rd Terry snr peg 35 , 26 lb 2oz



Sycamore fishery

1st June , peg 38 Rowans canal


After yesterdays good result at Partridge lakes Fish O qualifier it was time for Balmoral fishing clubs fourth match of the season at Sycamore fisheries Rowans canal , the weather today was forecast to be warm-sunny with light winds not the best conditions for a day’s fishing and with every peg on the canal expected to be taken i was unsure at just how it would fish but it wasn’t looking promising .

On arrival at the venue i spoke to Phil the owner to pay the club peg fees and he informed me that their had been a little match on Rowans the day before not what i wanted to here ! ! ! As i drove round to the car park most of the club was already there , so i did the usual of collecting pools + bonus then started the draw and one by one all the good pegs went . When it came for my go i was left with peg 38 which was in an area that had some good form but i had end peg 40 in my section which frames on most matches plus a few of the better club anglers to contend with so i could be up against it today .


When i got to my peg it was the same as most others on the canal with it being 14 meters across with a nice looking mud bank which i planned on targeting and some nice rushes along both margins , i decided to fish more or less the same way as i had done yesterday so used the same rigs ;



1ft and 2 ft deep rigs for fishing the far bank ,using a Matrix series three 0.3 float with 0.12 garbo line attached to a 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

3ft deep rig for the margin which was a 0.3 malmam speedy float with 0.12 garbo main line attached to a 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook .


1 pint red and white maggots

1/2 pint micros

1/2 pint 4mm pellets

1/2 pint ground-bait

As the all in sounded predictably everyone went straight across to the far bank , so i decided to concentrate on my margin and wanted to leave the usually more prolific area for later in the match where hopefully the fish would back away from my neighbours pegs into my safety zone . I began loose feeding maggots on to my left hand side and it wasn’t long before i had my first fish which was a stockie about a pound , in the first hour a mixture of f1s-stockies came to the net ten in total but it seemed that they was being extremely finicky and the bites would be either proper elastic ripping out gazunders or just the tiniest of little dinks but by getting my hook bait to register on my float tip and by keeping altering my shotting pattern i was hitting more than i missed .


I decided to rest my margin swim because it was noticeable that i was waiting longer between bites and i was eager to build on my good start by going on what should have been the best area of my peg , i started on my 2 ft deep rig with a 4 mm expander on the hook and sloppy ground-bait rolled in my micros in the pole pot , i tapped the contents out and proceeded to lift-drop my hook bait but to my surprise nothing happened but not to worry a refeed with slightly less bait should get me a response and that it did but not the hoped for f1s but a procession of small skimmers and missed bites which is usually a sign of no decent fish being in the vicinity so a change of swim was in order .

I re-plumbed up a meter further to my right which was a lot closer to some overhanging reeds thinking that they might have backed off underneath them with the sun blazing in the sky and this seemed to work because i managed a couples of f1s but the bites became really hard to hit , i found myself shipping in and out more than i was actually fishing so i tried maggot over their but this did not produce a single bite neither did my mud bank line which was a surprise and in the second hour i only managed a miserable three fish .


All the time i had fished long i kept trickling in the maggots on to my left hand margin so i re-visited this swim while i had a think on what to do next about putting some fish in the net , but my float kept on going under here and because i was putting fish in the net so i decided to keep at it . Upon looking round the canal it became clear that lots of people were struggling to catch especially on the bank facing me but rumors came up the bank that two lads who was catching shallow had just put in their second net so they must be doing well .

We was now approaching the final two hours and i had problem because i had started to run out of maggots plus i doubted whether i could keep one swim going for the rest of the match , so i decided to set up another swim on to my right hand side but this time using pellets and just like on my far bank i began feeding sloppy ground-bait rolled in micros , by lifting-dropping and dragging it up the slope a touch i was back among the fish .


The rest of the match went quite swimmingly and by rotating my two swims i kept putting fish into the net , i did notice that on the pellet line i would get bursts of fish where on my maggot swim it was more steady but did benefit with a rest once in a while . When the all out sounded a lot of people were relieved because it had fished hard in places which was only to be expected with every peg being took but i felt that i had fished one of the best matches for a while on here , which was reflected in the result with me winning the match quite convincingly and the lads who had two nets in didn’t even get into the top three so they must have done it to wind me up ! ! !

Anyway the enforced break had made me really look at how my fishing was going and going back to basics has done me the world of good with two good results in consecutive matches , lets hope my form lasts because i have the second round of the Angling times Supercup at a private water next Saturday and i might even try to get on the mid-week open at Sycamore fisheries but unfortunately we are due a break in the sunny weather with plenty rain forecast so i will have to wait and see .

1st Gary 48 lb

2nd Dave 33 lb

3rd Richard 30 lb