Partridge Lakes Fish’O Qualifier

31st May 2014 – Peg 133 Covey 6


I can’t believe that it has been almost a year since my last attempt at a Fish’O Mania qualifier at Partridge Lakes and with all the lakes here requiring different baits-methods it took quite some time preparing for it, so I hoped to make a better go of it this time because last time I made a real mess of it, by giving myself too many options and confusing myself!

On arrival at the complex there as was expected a lot of anglers there, including the usual scattering of top names and a couple even managed to get tickets from Balmoral Fishing Club, so at least I had some friendly faces to talk to whilst we queued for the draw. When it came to my turn I pulled out peg 133 on Covey 6, not really where I wanted to be but it made it on the list of the fancied pegs shown on Tight Lines twitter feed, so no pressure then!!!

Draw Highlights

When I got to my peg it looked really promising with an empty peg either side and a slight breeze blowing into my bank, it was around 13m across with a nice mud bank but because it’s a relatively new lake on the complex the fish were of a smaller stamp than the others and wasn’t a great deal of bank side vegetation. I had fished this Covey just once before which helped me with the choice of bait to take to my peg and which area of it to target, plus I had plenty of info from friends off Twitter. I decided not to fall into the trap of setting too many rigs to cover everything like last time I fished a qualifier on here and felt it would be better to concentrate on just three main areas.



2.5ft deep rig , malmams diamond float 4×12 with 0.12 garbo main line and a 0.10 garbo 6 inch hook length which had a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

1ft deep rig , 0.3 matrix series 3 float with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 20 gamma pellet hook .


Because it is a strict 6pt limit plus 1 kilo bag of groundbait I took.



3 pints red and white maggots

1 pint micro

1 pint 4mm pellets

1 pint corn

0.5 kilo of ground bait

small tub 4mm expanders

I plumbed up in front of the empty platform where I found 2 1/2 feet depth and I also used this rig down the other margin, plus across which was half way up the far bank slope where I had managed to find a flat spot, my other rig was for fishing really tight across on the mud line where I had been told it was the best area to target and I could also use this set up for fishing shallow if I needed to, although not many people can get it to work on this water.

My match plan could not have been simpler, start on my 2 1/2 foot line across pick up some F1’s before setting up a new swim a metre away when they back off, then after 90 minutes to go on to my mud line when the sun had warmed the water up enough for the fish to settle there, and then finally to plunder the margin in the last hour, but things don’t always go to plan.

Gary Fish'O 2014IMG-20140319-00119

As the all in sounded I shipped out to 11 meters where I had found the flat spot when plumbing up, I fed a cad pot full of micro – groundbait and lowered my 4ml expander amongst it. The first 2 hours went extremely well for me anyway, with 34 fish coming my way for about 30lb and I hadn’t even gone onto my mud line which was supposed to be the best area of my swim, I wasn’t doing well enough to even contemplate challenging for the win because I expected a mid 100lb weight would be needed, but it looked like I was doing enough for the lake.

It was at this point that I got informed that Partridge Lakes Fish’O was being a lot harder than I expected it to, but it also coincided with me having my worst spell of the match and no matter where I chose to fish I just couldn’t buy a bite, I had been loose feeding maggots on to my left hand margin for the past 30 minutes so decided to give that a whirl, and first put in I hit something large which bottomed my elastic out, next drop I landed a big F1 then a slightly smaller one before I began foul hooking fish, thinking about it when I got home I came to the conclusion I fished too far down the slope and should have gone really tight to the near bank.


Anyway… Back to the match. After a poor last hour I decided to go back onto my most prolific rig, but instead of putting a new swim further towards the widest stretch of the lake like I had done before, I went more towards the corner, where there was less disturbance and this is where I finally found some fish. In the last hour I was really flying with fish, after fish coming into the net and I really didn’t want the final whistle to sound, but all too soon it did. As I was waiting for the weigh in I went to talk to my nearest angler who turned out to be Gaz Malman who’s floats I had used today, it’s surprising just who you can be fishing alongside in these sort of matches.

I was the last to weigh in on Covey 6 and needed 64lb to win the lake, but unfortunately my net only went to 57lb, which was good enough for 2nd and the mid match blip cost me any chance today. Worst news was to follow when I got to the cabin for the presentation and found out just 75lb was enough to finish in the top 6! I think that my peg was well worth that today if I had fished it a bit better, but you live and learn! On the plus side I managed to finish in the top 20 from the 180 that fished, which is my best result by a long shot.

Well done to Shaun Cooke on winning the Fish’O qualifier with 111lb from Marsh Canal which was the last place I had expected it to come from, and yet again the Covey’s failed to throw up the winner in a major competition on here. It’s nice for one of the venue regulars to get through, so let’s hope he can do the business in the final, and I’m sure he’ll be well supported.



Woodland view fishery

Fisho mania qualifier 5th June , peg 60 back deans

Well here we are back on the fisho trail and i just hope i have a better experience doing this one because its my final chance this year , woke up early for my two hour drive to Woodlands and i made sure i put the correct street name in this time because last time i came here for the match this qualifier i got a bit lost .

Arrived at the complex at eight with plenty time to spare so went to grab a buttie and the first person i saw in the cafe was England international Des ship who seemed a really nice guy chatting to any one  who wanted to speak to him , i then proceeded to have a walk to have a look at the waters i didn’t get round to seeing last time i was here and it seemed like every corner i turned their was another big name angler . On areles it looked like all the carp was in full spawning mode and it was defo not the one to be on , but hay and barely looked good as they had lots more f1s in and ghost could finally brake its duck and finally win a fisho qualifier .

When i got back to the cabin they was already beginning to queue up , so i joined it and was half way back and on looking down the line it really was a whose who of big name anglers and lots of previous fisho champs in attendance too .It was soon my turn at the draw bag and out i pulled peg 60 on back deans i thought i might have been lucky and got a corner but when i got their it turned out i was four pegs away from it more towards the center of the lake .I had Adam waklin to my left and two pegs to my right was Geoff ringer , Des ship had a corner peg and i wouldnt be surprised if he won the lake from their .

The all in was at eleven so i had plenty time to get ready and i made a conscious effort not to go over board with the rigs unlike last time at Partridge lakes .

Margin , 2ft deep and i used a middy 0.3 float with 0.12 line direct to a size 16 b911 hook . This is were i hopped to catch some big carp on half a worm and to build up my net to hopefully turn it into a winning one .

6m , 4ft deep and i used a 0.3 scone float with 0.12 line direct to a size 16 b911 hook . This is were i wanted to start the match on chopped worm and caster while my shallow line was being prepared .

14m shallow , matrix 0.2 float with 0.12 line direct to a size 18 eyed b911 with a micro band attached to enable me to fish 6mm hard pellet on the hook , this is were i expected to catch most of my carp today .

My bait for the day was ;

Fishery pellets 4mm and 6mm

1 pint of casters

half kilo of worms , which i found out i needed to wash before chopping which was a ball ache but rules are rules .

All set and ready to go , so lets see how i got on , as the air raid siren went off i mean the all in sounded , i proceeded to dump a medium pot of worm and caster at six meter and fish this out before topping up , i was also flicking half a dozen 6mm pellets out at 14m every two minutes preparing this line for later in the match . I put half a worm on the hook because my target fish was carp and reckoned a dozen of these would win the section and went over the feed at 6m , it wasn’t long before i was into my first fish which turned out to be a small perch not a good sign so i re feed with another medium pot and after four perch i finally hit into my first carp a nice 4lb mirror carp which put up a spirited fight on 13 hollo set fairly tight , in the next thirty minutes i put a run of silvers in the net before i hooked another carp and this one was giving me a proper run around , when i finally got it to the side it was a big ghostie and only just fitted in my landing net , it was definitely a two hand job lifting the net out and i would estimate it wasn’t far off 15lb.

No more bites materialized on this line but twenty pound in the first hour was some start , so i put another two big pots of worm and caster in and left it to settle before trying my shallow line , people on the other bank with the wind blowing into their faces were catching the odd carp shallow and Des ship on the end peg was also doing well fishing along the margin . After feeding my shallow line for about an hour i was expecting an immediate response but nothing not even a single resemblance of a bite , the guy to my right was fishing on the deck at 14m on expander and was also struggling to catch .

I stuck it out on my shallow line for over an hour , changing depths , feeding patterns and searching every inch to try and find some feeding carp because you could see them swimming on  top but i think these were more interested in sun bathing rather than feeding . I was just going to try my 6m line when i finally had a bite and a 5lb mirror was in the net but this just gave me false hope and i spent another forty bite less minutes trying to catch another and then out of the blue i had next my bite which the hook pulled out off when i got it to the net , maybe it was because of the hill behind me as i had to brake my pole down twice and in doing so the hook hold might have loosened or maybe it was foul hooked .

After that i decided to rest my 14m line but i kept on feeding it just in case i wanted to re try it later , we was now in the fourth hour so i began feeding my margin line with worm and caster but not as finally chopped as on my 6m line because i was after some big carp down the side . I re tried my first swim and began getting indications which i couldn’t hit and i put these down to liners so i began loose feeding casters and changed shotting pattern for an on the drop rig and put a caster on the hook , this produced a couple of nice roach but not the carp i had hopped for .

The fifth and final hour soon arrived and i needed some big lumps to be with in a chance of getting my section , so down the edge i went with half a worm on the hook and it wasn’t long before i hooked and landed my first carp around the 5lb mark , which was subdued pretty easy on my 13 hollo set pingy . I then hooked something a lot bigger that unbelievably bottomed out my elastic and after a spirited fight i managed to put the net under half of a very big carp because that’s all that would fit in my net , another two handed lift got it out of the water and a 15lb carp in the bag but this was to be my final carp of the match although i did manage two big bream before the all out .

I was struggling with line bites near the end and maybe had put my margin line in too deep water at 2ft and should have gone really tight to the bank in the more shallower water , but all this big carp in the margins is some thing im new at because we don’t really have an opportunity to fish this way much around here . The all out sounded at four and i was rather disappointed how my match had unfolded ;

1st hour 18lb

2nd + 3rd hour 4lb

4th hour 2lb

5th hour 20lb

A good start and end to the match and if i had managed a few carp in the middle of it i might have had a chance in my section but as it turned out both the corners did well with around 50lb but Adam waklin on the next peg had nearly 80lb which consisted of 7 carp and 23lb of silvers , I had 5 carp , 2 bream and a few bits for 43lb but got plagued by line bites near the end some thing i hadn’t encountered before , but big carp fishing isn’t my cup of tea but it was an enjoyable experience all the same .

1st Nathen Watson 150lb ghost pool

2nd Craig o brien 147lb hay pool

3rd Ste Ringer 120lb areles lake

4th Des ship 119lb back deans

What did i learn ;

They are very cute fish at Woodlands and have seen it all before

Adam caught on maggot and Des on corn so maybe next time stay away from pellets because the carp might associate it with danger

6m line and margin was the most productive line for me today , were i didn’t feed any pellets

My margin was too deep and suffered from line bites

Well that’s both my fisho qualifiers over with for another year but i really enjoyed the experience pitting my wits against the big names on waters that are un familiar to me and with a bit of luck i could have done better but on the pegs i drew sections was my only aim . I would recommend doing them to any one but some people might be put of by the cost of it all but they are well run matches and its not often in sport where you can compete against the best sports men on a level playing field .

Good luck to all those that have managed to get to the fish final and its beginning to look like one hell of a match .

Partridge lakes

Fisho qualifier , covey 3 peg 73

Well to be honest i don’t really know how best to describe what i did today apart from its the way not to fish a fisho qualifier anyway here is how my day unfolded . Arrived at Partridge lakes around 8 clock  giving me and my new travelling companion for the day branny time to have a bacon barm and find a decent parking spot because the plan was to leave the car where it was and walk with the tackle unless we drew Holbar or Covey 4.

When we joined the queue for the draw it was like a whose who of top name anglers and venue regulars , so we would be up against it to qualifier but to be honest i think its all come a year to early but the experience of fishing one is well worth doing though and would recommend it to any one . Luckily both me and branny drew near each other  , i was on Covey 3 and he was on Covey 4 we decided to drive round to our pegs as it was at the far side of the complex . Before we went to unload the car we had a look at the pegs we would be fishing today and brannys on peg 86 looked very inviting with the wind blowing into it and the f1s follow that on this venue , it was a lot better than mine but the way i fished today it would have been wasted on me .

My home for the day was peg 73 the 2nd peg over the bridge on Covey 3 not far away from were i fished on the open match last week , my fishing at the moment had been going very well and after receiving lots of good luck messages all morning i was well up for it , didn’t think i could win from here so the section was my first priority then see how it goes from their .

The first mistake i made today was to stupidly change from pellet which im good at fishing and has been working well on here for me , too worm and caster which im not confident in using but has seen lots of people catching on it recently on here . My rigs and fishing lines are as follows ;

4m ,this is were i planned to fish on the deck at 5 ft deep when i was loose feeding casters , my rig was a 0.3 scone float with a bulk and 2 droppers , 0.12 garbo main line to a 0.10 hook length attached to a size 20 f1 hook , my elastic was 11 hollo .

3ft caster shallow , this rig was used to search the water layers mid depth on the same 4m line , my rig was a 0.2 scone float with 0.12 garbo line with a spread shotting pattern to allow for a slow fall , 0.10 hook length attached to a size 20 f1 hook, elastic was 11 hollo .

shallow rig , this was used at 4m and across to the far bank , 0.2 scone dibber type float with a bulk shotting pattern just above the hook length , set 2ft deep with 0.12 garbo line to a 0.10 hook length and size 20 f1 hook , elastic was 13 hollo set soft .

3ft deep line , this was found 2ft away from the far bank and was a 0.2 scone float with a bulk shotting pattern 1ft away from the hook , line was 0.12 garbo line attached to a size 18 f1 hook , elastic was 13 hollo set soft .

2ft deep worm rig , for fishing against the far bank , 0.2 scone float with 0.12 garbo main line straight through to a size 16 f1 hook , with 13 hollo elastic .

In total i had five rigs set up and to be honest i just confused myself and its not something i usually do and im more single minded in my approach to a match and when i decide on a method i stick by it and try to make it work , but today the pressure got to me big time im afraid and it wont be happening to me again in a hurry .

Any way lets see how my match un folded , the all in sounded at 11 and i went straight across on my 3ft line kinder potted in some sloppy chopped worm and caster which created a nice cloud and dropped my rig down the same hole , i didn’t get off to the best of starts and missed a lot of bites by striking too soon but by taking a shot off my rig solved this because it aloud me to show more bristle on the float which gave the fish more time to take the bait before striking . I  began catching small ide not what i needed to compete today so decided to change lines but at this point the wind got considerable stronger and i needed to go straight across to the far bank to catch f1s and carp so would have to grin and bear it like everyone else.

I just couldn’t get through the small ide and it wasn’t a problem i had come across before on here and i could only put it down to the bait i was using , i also began bumping fish off with 13 hollo but was reluctant to change in case the f1s finally arrived , all the time i had been loose feeding casters at 4m to my right near the empty peg and with 90 minutes in to the match and only 3lb in the net i needed this to work for me big time .

Started fishing on this line on the deck and began getting indications from the off , my first fish was a big f1 but i then started suffering line bites so kept going shallower to try and find them but all i could find was more ide i even tried feeding sloppy worm mush to create a cloud but that didn’t work either . Two hours in and a total re think was in order , out came my banded pellet rigs that i usually use on here to good effect and re plumbed up a new far bank swim . 6mm hard pellet on the hook and 4mm in the cad pot kept lifting and dropping , trickling in the pellets and i soon began getting indications , my first fish was a 3lb carp not a bad start , but then disaster struck and after playing a big fish for 5 minutes it ran under my platform and smashed my rig Just my luck .

Out went a new rig and kept re feeding every five minutes by shipping back and re filling my cad pot , this finally got me a run of fish but majority were coming off when i got them to the top kit because the elastic was too strong and i was just on the verge of changing it to a lighter grade when i hooked and landed a 10lb carp which as per usual tried to take me under the platform , but it was all to little to late im afraid .

Began missing bites again along the far bank and i put these down to liners because it was 2ft deep their so i kept altering the depth to try and keep in touch with them , we was now into the last 40 minutes of the match and i was going no were fast so i began feeding sloppy worm and caster again but this time with banded pellet on the hook , i managed a few f1s and ide doing this but i was just killing time to the all out .

At the end of the match i felt really deflated after all the positive build up ,the guy to my left tipped his fish back and the guy to my right on the point of the split won the lake with 77lb and i put 34lb on the scales which was more than i thought but still came away thinking i had not made the most from my peg . When i got round to branny i was glad to here his day had gone more to plan and he had put lots of fish in the net , all 66lb of them and it looked like he had won his lake too , so that raised my spirits a little .He had caught most of them fishing shallow at 6m and at one point went 12 inch deep to keep in touch with the fish , you probably know my know i love fishing shallow and i should have spent more time today trying to make it work because that’s how most people were catching the f1s today .

When we got back to the cabin were they gave out the results we found out that some big weights had come out all around the complex including 4 100lb plus catches from 4 different lakes , but it came as no surprise to me that the winner and the 5th had come from pine canal after what i caught on their on Thursday , un fortunately for branny he missed out on the lake win by just 1lb but still fished a very good match .

1st Jamie Hughes 160lb pine peg 2

2nd Brian Shepard 130lb covey 5

3rd Neil Machin 120lb holbar peg 12

Well done to Jamie Hughes for winning today’s match an excellent f1 angler .

What did i learn today

Stick with what your good at in your fishing

Preparation is no good unless you use it in the match

Didn’t spend enough time fishing shallow when it became obvious that’s how everyone was catching doing

Better of using lighter elastic and take your time rather than keep bumping off fish

Had to many options today and just confused my self

So in conclusion i fished a very bad match at just the wrong time but at least i have got a chance to get it out of my system in tomorrows club match at German lane and then im off to fish Woodland View for my final fisho qualifier of the year .