With the weather being forecast to be pretty awful today i was in two minds whether to venture out or not and only decided to go late on sunday morning because the heavy rain + strong wind had not materialized just yet but I’m sure it wasn’t far away , so with a match obviously out of the question due to my late start i settled on the ever reliable Heskin hall which is somewhere that i don’t fish a great deal but is a belting silverfish water rammed with skimmers although it is only a twelve peg water but you’re guaranteed a few bites . So after picking up a couple of pints of maggots i headed off to the other side of Wigan into the country side of Heskin as i arrived at the farm i was surprised to see a few cars knocking about and after unpacking my van i headed off across the field to pond one it was rather hard work pushing my trolley across the muddy ground and i was huffing+puffing when i finally got to the pond , luckily i was the only person on it so i had the choice of pegs and i didn’t fancy sitting under the trees because when it did begin to rain it would last or feel a lot longer with the drops coming from the leaves even though these are probably the best pegs to fish , i had a walk round to the other bank which although was more open to the elements the pegs were situated closer to the water with a bit of a bank behind allowing for the wind to blow off my back and over my head i also chose one that had a bush to my right which also helped in protecting me from the elements .
On settling in on my peg i decided to fish two swims ;
Maggot rig which i situated at an angle to my left at five meters out after plumbing up i found it to be five foot deep so i used a 4×12 rw maggie float that had a strung out shotting pattern of number eleven stotz , main line was the usual 014 garbo that had a six-inch length of 009 garbo hook length attached my hook was a size twenty matrix silverfish hook and elastic was size six preston slip .
Pellet rig i put this towards my right at the same distance yet again it was only a touch over five foot but i decided to use a heavier 4×14 malman roob float which had a double bulk shotting pattern , my main line was 014 garbo and i used a short three-inch hook length of 010 garbo attached was a size 18 matrix bagger hook elastic was a size six preston slip .
On my side tray i just had the basic ;
Two pints of red and white maggots
One pint of soaked micros
Small tub of 4mm expanders
At eleven o’clock i was ready to get started and before going on my maggot line i fed a full small cupping kit of micros i would top this up with half a cup every twenty minutes , leaving it to rest for at least an hour allowing the skimmers to settle on it which is always important if you want to catch a few fish . Picking up more maggot rig i decided to trickle a full small kinder pot after every fish or every five minutes which ever was the earliest , i know loose feeding would have been better but the wind was gusting from right to left meaning i couldn’t group the feed as i would have liked , first drop and my bait didn’t even reach the bottom before a finger length roach took it a further five quickly followed and i needed to have a re-think on how i presented my rig i changed my shotting pattern for a more positive bulk+dropper and with so many small fish present i figured that there wouldn’t be a great deal of bait getting to the bottom so i changed kinder pot for the next size up and tapped it all in at once . By altering things a little i finally got my rig to reach the bottom were the bigger silvers were waiting and i went on a little run of catching fish up to 8oz after about half an hour bites seemed to tail off a bit and i had held my rig tight against the slight under tow but after allowing it to travel through my swim about a foot i found the fish again going on another little run .
After an hour i was eager to give my pellet line ago hoping that the bigger skimmers had been given enough time to settle and after lowering my rig in slowly i held it directly over the micros , i didn’t have to wait long before i had a classic skimmer bite as the bristle of the float came lifting out of the water and i soon had it in the net at around the pound mark it was a good deal bigger than those on my maggot swim , a further dozen followed of similar size plus a few smaller hand sized fish in the next sixty minutes to be honest it was just like shelling peas and i was really enjoying myself in the countryside it was miles away from the hustle+bustle of the big matches i had usually been attending , sometimes its just nice getting back to basics and fishing like i did when i first started many ,many years ago i even saw a kingfisher working along the opposite bank i had not seen one of those for many a year .
During the two hours i had fished the weather had got gradually worse with the wind changing direction blowing directly in to my face plus the drizzle had started but this had no real effect on the fishing but it did make my short number four section stick in my top kit which made my life a bit more awkward , a quiet ten minute spell on my pellet line then the float shot under and a firm strike resulted in yards of my size six elastic streaming out of my pole it was no doubt one of the many carp in here which grow into double figures after what seemed like an age with the fish ploughing through both my swims multiple times i finally had it under control and i was just about to net it when the hook pulled causing my rig to tangle the ten minutes i spent untangling it at least allowed both my swims to settle back down . As i mentioned earlier with my pole getting stuck i could only use the one rig on both swims plus i couldn’t use my cupping kit so feeding my pellet swim took a lot longer than before so after taping in four lots of micros i went back on my maggot rig , i had altered my shotting for a bulk + dropper and i was soon back catching hand sized silvers one a chuck just like before .
With thirty minutes of my session remaining i decided to spend it on my pellet swim my first couple of fish were small skimmers and i feared that the bigger ones had drifted out of the peg with the disturbance of the carp but gradually the stamp skimmers returned , i managed another half a dozen before i landed my biggest fish of the day which was a bream of about three pounds and as the rain had relented a little i decided to call time on my short three-hour session i was soaked to the skin but had really enjoyed it , i ended up with thirty fish over ten ounce plenty of those hand sized skimmers plus rafts of tiny fish at the start before i worked out how best to catch the better samples . I did take another video which i will be putting up in the next couple of days and any constructive feedback will be greatly received because it’s all relatively new for me at the moment , i am going back to Horns dam winter league on Sunday to fill in for my mate on Jeffs team this time i will be fishing the dam itself which is another new water for me to try and i have heard it’s all small silvers plus the odd bigger skimmer so i should get a few bites fingers crossed .
Sunday 8th Feb 2015 – Heskin Old Hall pond 1
After a few text messages during the week to Gary about match fishing at weekend, we jointly decided to give matches a rest due to the weather and have a go at catching some silverfish from Heskin Old Hall Fishery. Armed with an ice breaker and with the temperate gauge showing -2 degrees, Gary picked me up at 8:30am and off we set to Heskin (via McDonalds, and a little detour).
Arriving at the venue our first choice was to target the roach on pond 2. The water was completely ice-free but with 4 lads on opposite sides of the lake chucking method feeders and leads everywhere we decided to have a look at the conditions on pond 1. Having only fished this water once before a few years ago, I was surprised to see that it was still partly frozen with the majority of the lake covered in cat ice bar the near bank (the water has more trees surrounding it than pond 2). We decided to get down on the first 2 pegs through the gate with myself on peg 7 and Gary on my right.
I was able to reach the edge of the cat ice with 5 sections of pole so this would be the distance I would be fishing for the day. My plan was to fish maggot but I also had a tin of corn and ½ a pint of micro pellets as change baits.
I decided to keep it simple and only set up 1 rig. A carbon stemmed 0.2g handmade chanti style float on 0.12 mainline to a 0.10 5-inch hooklength and size 18 B510 hook was the weapon of choice. This was shotted spread bulk style using no.10 starting just above the hook length. My elastic choice for silvers is solid 6 Preston slip.
Plumbing up my chosen line gave me around 4.5ft and I was soon ready to start fishing. Feeding around 30 maggots via a toss pot (spreading the bait over a small area), I laid my rig in and it wasn’t long before I started to catch roach. These where a fantastic stamp overall, everyone was a “netter” and I was having a whale of a time. Suddenly the sight of orange elastic streaming out of Gary’s pole showed he had hooked into something a little bigger and after a long tussle he placed the net under a good carp around 8-9lb (lucky git!!!)
We was only fishing for 4-5 hours and time was passing quickly catching a dog roach almost every drop in, working the rig helping induce a few bites and laying it in by flicking it past the feed and letting it fall on a tight line worked well. Interestingly the smaller stamp fish were caught on the drop. This seemed to only happen in quiet spells when not getting bites on the deck.
After around an hour of fishing I plumbed another line to the left of the swim in the same depth of water and decided to try feeding corn sporadically and dropping over it to see if I could pick up a carp or decent bream but nothing really materialised from the swim and I shelved the idea after a few looks.
I was catching regular now and the sight of silver swished in the clear water when a dog roach was hooked was mesmerizing. Gary and I were both catching well but the stamp of fish I was getting were much bigger than them that Gary was (My peg was a little further out into the water and I was feeding much heavier, I think these where the reasons).
Later in the day (after a visit from my old man) my float dipped and I was into my first decent 1lb+ skimmer of the session. I decided to ring a few changes and swapped my shotting from a spread bulk to a bulk and 1 dropper. I also changed my feeding a little to increase the amount fed but less often. This seemed to work and I was into my best spell. A dozen decent skimmers and some big hybrids plus a 1lb plus roach graced the net. I also hooked a decent bream but unfortunately this slipped the hook. A few more fish followed and it was time to call it a day.
Gary had used a keepnet and with the good carp and his silvers combined he had easy over 20lb of fish in the short time we fished. I decided to not use a keepnet but with the dozen skimmers and the stamp of my fish I would estimate I too had easily over 20lb of pristine silvers (probably more weight than Gary but I won’t upset him hahaha). Heskin Old Hall is a cracking winter venue and the float kept going under all day with an excellent stamp of silverfish. I can see myself being a regular winter visitor in the future, silverfish will certainly play a big part in my future winter days out on the bank.
After yesterdays eventful match at the Cunneries targeting f1s i fancied a change of pace and decided to go silver fishing in the quiet surroundings of Heskin hall probably as far away from the hustle and bustle of the highly contested commercial matches as you can get . I woke on the Sunday to find a thick fog which did not shift all day but at least we didn’t have any frost and after getting all my layers on , packing the car including the ice breaker i headed off to pick my mate the big dipper up ( who has also done a blog on todays events ) we stopped off for a mcds breakfast on our way there .
On arrival we had a quick look at pond two as it was the closest to the car-park and my mate had told me that their was a huge head of roach in it plus their was no point pushing our barrows over the muddy field to pond one if we could fish on their but a few anglers were fishing the method to the island and as we fancied some peace+quiet so decided on the long walk to pond one on the plus side pond two was relatively ice-free so fingers crossed so would the other one .
After huffing and puffing our way to pond one we was relieved to find an ice-free patch up to about six meters on the pegs at the side of the trees so no ice breaking will be required today thank god , i gave my mate the better of the two pegs and settled on one nearby a peg which often produces a few of the bigger skimmers and the odd carp or two . I decided to start fishing at five meters were after plumbing up i found it to be five foot deep and because there was only a slight breeze i used a 4×12 malman roob float with an on the drop shotting pattern my line was 010 garbo which had a size twenty drennon silver fish-hook , i didn’t want to go to light because this pond although quite small has a healthy head of carp and big skimmers .
My bait was just what i had remaining from yesterdays match which was ;
1/2 pint pinkies
1/2 pint red and white maggots
1/2 pint soaked micros
At 10am we was ready to get started and i set my timer for four hours i tapped in a few pinkies and a couple of maggots then proceeded to work my rig while i waited for an indication it is always a bit nerve-wracking fishing a venue you hadn’t been for well over a year especially in these conditions but i didn’t have to wait long before my float dipped and i was briefly attached to a big foul hooked skimmer . At least there was still fish in the pond but you all know that losing a skimmer directly over your feed can have a disastrous effect on your peg especially in the cold clear conditions , so i was expecting a bit of a wait before my next bite but it didn’t take too long when a roach off about 4oz hitting the net a few more quickly followed but they wasn’t getting any bigger where as my mate on the next peg was catching a bigger stamp including some cracking roach over a pound i put this down to him being able to fish further out than i was .
I was getting the odd smaller fish intercepting the maggot on the way down so i decided to change my shotting pattern for a bulk and dropper shotting pattern by doing this i felt it would give me a chance to get my bait quicker to the bottom and hopefully get me a better stamp of fish , i was a bit unsure at first if it would work because my swim just died on me but it wasn’t long before i found out why when my float slowly slid under and i was attached to a big lump of a carp which was certainly giving me the run around on my silver fish rig five minutes later a carp approaching 8lb graced my landing net a proper bonus fish but this killed my peg good and proper .
With the ice melting a bit more i put another couple of sections on and plumbed up at the side of it , it was only a couple of inch deeper so at least i didn’t have to change my rig . My mate was feeding a lot heavier than me putting in a good thirty maggots after every fish but i was still in f1 negative mode feeding just six offerings , i decided to increase the amount of maggots i was putting in and cut out the pinkies because you could see them slowly falling through the water which was bringing the fish up in the water as you could see the flash of the roach a few feet under the surface .The increase in bait going in worked a treat with a bigger stamp hitting the net i did have a few quiet spells but by changing between red and white maggots every few fish i managed to keep the coming , towards the end i had a run of pound plus skimmers which i think was because of the spread of bait i had put down .
All in all i had an enjoyable few hours catching silvers and i will be going back in the near future it certainly made a change from the constant matches i have done and it brought me back to the reason i started fishing in the first place catching a few silvers in the quiet natural surroundings , i ended up with nearly twenty pound of silvers and that big carp of about 8lb not bad for a half-frozen lake it was minus two degrees on the way to the venue and it didn’t rise above 2 degrees all day. My mate the big dipper will be putting up his interpretation up of how the day went on a blog which i will be publishing in the next few days and it will no doubt be a great read , i will be heading back to the hustle and bustle of partridge lakes on Sunday to fish in the Leigh tackle and bait winter league taking my mates place on covey five i just hope i don’t start over feeding again .
Pond one , Jan 5th
With the weather being forecast to be a bit dodgy after dinner time today , i didn’t really fancy sitting in the cold wind and rain for a match because i was just getting over the effects of a cold so i decided on a bit of silver fish action. I wasn’t sure on just where to go so i had a quick look through my past blogs and saw that Heskin hall pond one had fished ok this time last year so that’s where i decided to go .
It is mainly a silver fish water with a big head of roach – skimmers and the odd carp which tend to stay in certain pegs so hopefully i wont be bothered by them too much today , there is about 15 pegs on the lake and is covered by conifers on three sides plus on the remaining side the pegs are cut into the banking so the wind usually blows over the top of you on that side .
As i was only going to be fishing a short session because of the forecast heavy rain due to arrive at dinner time i wanted to make the most of it and set my alarm for 7 am , which of course meant it was still dark when i woke but when i would arrive at the venue the sun should just be rising . The trouble was i didn’t expect the car to be frozen over which would make the fishing harder than i planned early in the session , as i arrived at the venue i was obviously the first one there and made my way over the muddy field to the pond .
The wind was blowing into the more favoured pegs and i didn’t fancy sitting in a head wind so i chose one on the opposite bank which was a bit more sheltered , i plumbed up to find 4 ft depth at 6 meter and i didn’t expect to fish much further out and would only need one rig today .
I used a 0.3 maver float which had a 1 mm nylon bristle which would show up any delicate bites , i had 0.10 garbo main line and a 0.07 garbo hook length attached to a size 20 gamma black hook , my shooting pattern was a bulk and two droppers .
1/2 pint red maggots with a few pinkies mixed in .
1/2 pint soaked micros with a touch of fish meal ground-bait .
small tub 4 mm expanders normal and white .
At 9 am i was ready to start fishing and shipped out with a maggot on the hook and half a medium kinder pot of micros squeezed in to a ball which got it straight to the bottom and six maggots . I dropped my hook bait down with the feed and began working my rig to try to entice a bite , after finally managing to sort the my shotting on my rig so that it just held up in the surface layer and i had first bite which was from a nice 10 oz skimmer .
thirty minutes ensued before i had my next bite and i couldn’t work out why because there is a healthy head of small 2 oz skimmers in here which can be a pain in summer , i tried both sorts of pellets but couldn’t tempt a bite . My next run of bites coincided with two other anglers arriving so maybe the fish had been settled in a certain area of the pond and had now decided to move and found my feed .
For the next two hours the fishing was relatively easy with skimmers – roach coming regularly to the net and i was feeding a small nugget of micro-fish meal and six maggots after every fish , i began catching the odd one on the drop so i moved my bulk higher up and spread my dropper shot which resulted in more nice roach and increased the stamp of skimmer when it reached the deck .
I was enjoying my self catching the big silvers with the roach making a spirited fight on the light size six preston slip elastic and i also found that i got a quicker bite with a red maggot tipped with a pinkie , but all good things must come to an end with the fore-cast rain arriving at 12 and i did try fishing for another thirty minutes in the rain but didn’t have a single indications which i put down to the colder water un-settling the fish in this shallow water .
I ended up with forty roach-skimmers and most were caught in a two-hour spell when i was catching one a chuck , i learned a few things today and will be giving it another try in the next few weeks when hope fully the weather should be a bit better for fishing because today when i set off this morning was minus one degrees and on the way home it only rose to a high of two degrees and a sure sign of things to come i am afraid so role on spring .
Heskin hall pond 1 , april 21st 2013
Was looking forward to this match after Fridays practice and hopped that i had sorted a few things out to gain an advantage , but the weather as per usual put a dampener on my mood in more ways than one and with strong winds and rain forecast but it didn’t look that bad when i was packing the car for my short 30 minute trip to the fishery and i just wished it would hold off till after the match .Their was a good turn out of 16 anglers for the last match of the series because the club we were fishing with start their new season next week but mine doesn’t start till first week in may , so not sure were im fishing next weekend just yet ( open to offers ) Decided on a late draw for a change and to some extent it worked because the last 3 pegs in the bag were the flyer peg 4 , corner peg 1 and one away from last weeks peg were i managed third with 19lb and obviously i would be happy with any of them . My home for the day turned out to be the latter which was peg 7 not in the best area for carp but im sure last weeks tactics would still work and was looking forward to a good day catching big skimmers but as you will find out later it didn’t quite work out that way . RIGS; 11m line 5ft deep , 0.4 scone float . 0.10 line to a size 20 f1 hook with 9 hollo elastic 4m line 4ft deep , 0.3 scone float , 0.10 line to a size 18 bait banded hook with 9 hollo elastic BAIT; caster , red maggots and hard 6mm pellets FEED ; soaked micros and hard 4mm pellets As the all in sounded at ten the wind decided to get up and was blowing directly in my face but at least it wasn’t as strong as last week and the rain had held off so far . I started with a medium pot of micros and casters on my 11m swim because what i learned last week was you needed to feed off the small skimmers and bring in the bigger ones which were required to compete against the carp pegs . Things didn’t go to plan and 20 minutes in i was still fish less i had a couple of little indications which i put down to small skimmers not being able to grab the double caster hook bait , but i then deep hooked a nice roach so i took a few inch from off my rig and my next fish was the same deep hooked so i decided to re plumb and went dead depth and after the disruption i re feed with the same amount as at the start and went to try my 4m swim were i had been flicking a few hard 6mm pellets . I did manage a couple of bigger skimmers from this line but nothing like Fridays session but i hopped this would improve as the day progressed ,Went back out on my far line but the bites were very iffy and was only dimpling the float tip not like usual when they buried the float ,so i added a shot so it settled lower in the water and changed hook bait to single maggot to try and find out if it was the small skimmers causing these indications . But my next few fish were nice roach and rudd this was very strange because so far no skimmers had come my way yet and just hopped they hadn’t started spawning just yet as last week they were covered in white spots . After 2 hours of catching the odd fish on caster or maggot i was going know were fast but peg 9 was catching small carp constantly and tony on peg 11 was into the silvers with a bonus 5lb carp too . Went back on to my 4m hard pellet line and finally put a run of decent skimmers together but when i lost a flying 2lb skimmer which took me by surprise ( why do they do that ) my swim died and so back to square one so after a bit of a head scratch i went back to my 11m line yet again but with an altered shotting pattern to allow for a slower drop and to my surprise this worked a treat but not sure why ? Finally found the big skimmers and i began putting a run of fish together but to little to late for any chance in the match today and just to make matters worse when the all out sounded the heavens opened GREAT !!!!! I ended up with 25 fish over 4oz for just over 9lb so a bit of a disappointment today but still got 2nd in my 8 peg section . corner peg 9 won with 29lb of small carp point peg 11 got 2nd with 17lb of silvers plus a 5lb carp corner peg 1 got 3rd with 13lb of carp . So a lot of low weights today probably due to the over night drop in temperature and change of wind direction , like i said earlier i don’t know what match if any i will be doing next Sunday but i do know i will be fishing somewhere . Thanks for reading and any comments would be appreciated .
Heskin hall pond 1 april 19th 2013
Well after a delayed start to my fishing due to the awful winds on Thursday , i awoke on Friday to find blue sky’s and a gentle breeze , and that’s the way it stayed until i finished work at dinner time , i hurriedly packed the car hopping to make the most of the good weather because as you know it probably wont last long .
Decided on an all pellet attack today just to see how i get on because i know natural baits work well on here , but Tony won the last match on here with pellets catching 120 skimmers in the process although they weren’t big they was plentiful.W hen i arrived their was two other people fishing one either side of the lake which suited me fine as i wanted to fish the same peg Tony won from because i hadn’t fished on the field side before and wanted to see if i could catch just as fast as Tony did .
4mm and 6mm expanders , 6mm hard pellets
soaked micro pellets and crushed expander groundbait
9m line , 9 hollo elastic , 0.3 maver fine tip float with bulk and 2 droppers shotting pattern , 0.10 line to a size 20 f1 hook , 5ft deep.
4m line , 9 hollo elastic , 0.3 scone float with bulk and droppers shotting pattern , 0.10 line to a size 18 hook with micro bait band .
Decided to fish a couple of lines and feed them both differently to see which was best , the right hand 2 o’clock line was feed with a medium cup of ground bait and the left hand 10 o’clock line was feed with a medium cup of soaked micros ,because i was targeting the lakes plentiful head of skimmers i didn’t expect to catch the bigger fish straight away but hopped they would settle over it eventually .
Started on my ground bait line because it was fizzing like mad but couldn’t get a bite for love nor money , so after 20 mins of struggling to get a proper bite i did get a few liners and indications but nothing i could connect with , i changed to my micro swim were the odd bubble could be seen and i couldn’t believe the difference getting positive indications from the off and skimmer after skimmer came to the net .Kept trying my ground bait swim but even when the fizzing had subsided i still couldn’t get any positive indications so that’s i definite no no for the match .
Although they wasn’t big averaging 4oz a piece they were there in numbers , after a while the small blades got in on the act so i re feed with a medium pot of micros and this got the bigger skimmers feeding again but not the 1lb plus ones i usually catch on maggot !!!
The small blades soon came back and was taking every bait i put in before my float could even settle they was off with it ,I tried changing the feeding amount for a bigger pot , changed shotting pattern for both on the drop and bulk and droppers and i finally settled on a bulk 6 inch from the hook to try and stop the small blades intercepting the pellet on the way down , so after catching 43 fish in two hours i was probably in line for what tony caught in the last match but i wanted to find the bigger skimmers which i think are needed to win the match .
So proceeded to set up a new swim at 4m to my right were i plumbed up to find the bottom of the slope , i decided to feed hard pellets in case the micros and ground bait i was using had brought in the smaller skimmers , i started on a big 6mm expander on the hook and began flicking in 6 hard pellets every 5 minutes .
Started catching almost instantly but they were still the same 4oz skimmers although i was catching them a lot quicker because i was fishing a lot closer in , but decided to try try a banded pellet just to see what response i got as that’s what i was feeding . The difference was unbelievable and i began catching fish that i didn’t even know were present in the swim and my average size went up to over 1lb and i couldn’t get in quick enough but i knew it wouldnt last long it never does .
A change of shotting pattern to on the drop rig produced a few bonus roach and altering my feeding pattern elongated the purple patch for a good 90 minutes of fish catching action , it was coming up to my last thirty minutes so i decided to do something a bit different because it was a practice session after all and that was to try something i had often read about but never actually tried by dumping your remaining bait in as if you were going hope and then fish over the top and this worked to some extent and i managed a few carp and a big skimmer.
After 4 hours fishing i ended up with ;
9 meter line 43 skimmers in 2 hours for 15lb
4 meter line 40 skimmers in 90 minutes for 20lb
3 meter line 3 carp in 30 minutes for 6lb
WHAT DID I LEARN TODAY
Ground bait didn’t work not sure why just produced lots of fizzing in the swim
expander over micros caught lots of small skimmers , on both 4mm and 6mm pellet
Hard banded pellet on 4m line worked well for the bigger skimmers
Dumping bait in at the end brought the swim back to life although only temporary
9m line double mag or caster , feed by big pot
4m line banded 6mm pellet , feed by hand
3m line for last 30 minutes or later , only use if short line starts dying on me .