Old Hough winter league round three


5th November

Today i have been back to Old Hough fisheries today for the third round of the winter league and after all the cold over night rain plus a recent drop in temperature I expected it to be a bit tough going , so a decent draw would be an advantage and when I pulled out 18 on boulders lake I was quite happy because there is worse place’s to be i had also been on this peg last year which would give me a heads up on how best to fish it , yet again i had a few of the anglers towards the top of the table on my lake so i hoped that i could have a good match and take a few points of them which would help keep me ahead in the winter league .

On settling at my home for the next few hours i had an island at 14m which had some over hanging reeds and an empty peg either side which would give me a bit of room , after having a good plumb around i decided to set up ;

Channel rig at eleven meters either side of me were it was nearly five foot deep and i expected this to be my best swim today due to the conditions , i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and my hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached to it .

Far bank rig set at three-foot deep which was a meter from the cover as i didn’t expect anything to be shallower and i used a 4×10 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and my hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached to it .

Near shelf rig and after plumbing up i found a nice hole about four meters towards my left where it was just over three-foot tight to the bank , i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and my hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached to it .

Bait for the day was ;

4 pints of white and red maggots

2 pints of 4mm pellets

small tub of mixed hard pellets

When the all in sounded i started my match down the track at eleven meters either side of me and i fed one with a kinder pot of maggots the other i potted in maggots with a cupping kit every twenty minutes , to be honest it was really hard going for the first couple of hours and I managed to get bites from small silvers but i wasnt to worried because i could only see one person catching the odd carp ,i had to go across to the island before I caught a couple of f1’s by kinder potting in 4mm pellets but yet again the bites were few and far between .

Gradually my track lines came good for me but strangely I wasn’t catching the stamp ide required to bump up my weight although I was more than holding my own from what I could see on the lake and i just kept rotating between the two swims picking up the odd carp in between the hand sized skimmers , i had one golden hour where i couldn’t get in quick enough but for some reason the bites tailed off and after twenty minutes of inactivity i had another plumb around finding a little hole a few inch deeper just a foot away from my original swim , i felt that my bait would have settled there and after altering my rig i dropped on it which resulted in another good run of barbel+carp . We was fast approaching the last forty minutes and i had fed my near slope with a cup of maggots every thirty minutes i really wanted to go on it earlier but the sun was preventing me from doing it , finally it moved round enough for me to see my float and I was able to go down my left hand margin at four meters , this produced a good run of big fish i probably added over ten pounds to my net and when the all out sounded I was kicking myself for not being able to go on it sooner.

Luckily it didn’t cost me as I ended up with 40lb which was enough for the lake and match win so that’s three out of three so far in the winter league , it was noticeable that some areas of both boulders+goose lakes had fished really hard again and it could be a damage limitation job if you draw there so even though i was doing ok at present it could still all change , but there is a new venue for me to try in the next two rounds as we are at Bradshaw’s on lake four so i will be messaging a few people to give me a heads up during the week .

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Old hough fishery , winter league round two


October 29th

Today i have been back  to Old Hough fisheries for the second round of my winter league and this time it was going to take place on boulders + goose which is somewhere that i have not fished for over twelve months so i was really looking forward to the contest especially after my good result in the first round , after yesterday’s very blustery conditions I was glad to wake up and see it a lot calmer but with bright skies plus colder conditions it could make things a bit difficult although on these lakes you was targeting silver fish with the odd carp coming out .

On arrival to the fishery i meet up with the other anglers and a few of them had fished a couple of matches on these waters which would obviously give them an advantage but from what i heard there seemed to be a lot more carp showing than i thought , it soon came round to draw time and when i had a dip in the bag of doom pulling out peg 11 which i was pleased with as it was an area that I had fished before , doing well winning the match with nearly 50lb of ide although I was definitely on the colder side of the lake with the trees blocking out the sun.

I decided to set up ;

Two foot rig for fishing tight to the far bank and i used a 0.4 Md diamond float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Three foot rig for fishing at 11m which was about half way up the far slope and i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Five foot rig for fishing at six meters down the track and i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Bait for the day was ;

Four pints of red maggots

Two pints of 4mm pellets

Two pints of ground bait

When the all in sounded i started my match by fishing across at 14m tight to the over hanging reeds i put in a large kinder pot of maggots and a nugget of ground-bait  but this only produced a stockie carp plus a few small silvers in the first hour , looking around i saw everyone fishing in the same area and was struggling just like me but in the back of my mind I knew that the fish wouldn’t want to be in the shallow water but i got suckered into going tight across . I decided to drop further down the shelf in a depth of 3ft at 11m and by feeding maggots through a kinder pot then letting my rig fall up the slope , doing this produced a few nice ide but I made the mistake of changing my feeding to using a catty which didn’t work for me and i switched because i hoped that it would drag more fish into the peg which it did but only tiny silvers .

Since the match started I had potted in maggots on my left hand channel swim at six meters and when I dropped on it after two hours I caught some decent ide between the small silvers but it gradually got better , as i began catching a few small carp and i felt that with it being hard going i needed to rest this line for a while so I put in another track swim six meters to my right but this one I fed with a big kinder pot of maggots , it didn’t take to long for the fish to settle on the bait and i had a good run of fish including a couple of barbel but as the contest went on with the conditions getting colder ( on my side of the lake anyway as the opposite bank they were sitting in t-shirts ) the bites were getting really delicate and often the slightest of dinks on the float would result in a big carp and for the rest of the match I rotated between them both, the swims got better and better as the bigger fish bullied the smaller silvers out of the peg.

The all out called time on a really enjoyable match as I caught a proper mixed bag of fish not knowing what i would be putting in the net next which made a nice change from all the f1 fishing i had done recently and when the scales arrived I had 27lb to beat , my net went 44lb which was enough for the lake and overall match win so thats two out of two lake wins in the winter league I’m back there next Sunday for round three on boulders and goose again where i am sure to come crashing to earth with a bump .

Old Hough winter league


December 18th , peg eight boulders lake

Today was my last round of my winter league at Old Hough in Cheshire and as i was lying in sixth place due to missing a couple of rounds , i felt that i would be up against it to get in the overall money positions but i had framed in four of the previous five matches that i had fished and more importantly i had enjoyed catching a few silvers which is always nice in the cold weather . My thirty mile trip down to the fishery for the last time this year went really smoothly which made a nice change because as you all know the M6 can be a proper nightmare at times and i arrived with plenty of time to spare , i managed a quick walk around the two lakes in the draw bag and i really fancied another try on Boulders because it held a bigger stamp of fish so would obviously be easier to get a winning weight although as on Goose there was definitely a few areas you don’t want to sit in . The weather for the contest was the same as it had been for the last month with calm bright conditions and around six degrees this had made the fishing really hard everywhere , the Thursday open match taking place on these lakes had been a proper struggle with lots of anglers failing to break into double figures so all the talk at the draw was of how hard it might be today but it was the same for everyone and you just had to get on with it , when the mad rush began to have a dip in the bag of doom i managed to sneak in near the front of the queue and i was quite happy to see peg eight on Boulders lake stick to my mitt , in the earlier rounds of the winter league we had decided to leave this area out as it is never usually put in on the opens but the last couple of matches it had been put in and framed on every occasion so i was hopeful of catching a few fish .

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On settling in at my home for the next few hours i had quite a lot of areas to target ;

I had about five meters along the side of the island which didn’t have a great deal of cover and as it was over 14m away i would need to ship back twice because i had a hill quite close behind , so i decided to begin my match dobbin bread in that area and after plumbing up i found it to be around 2ft deep which wasnt ideal , i used a 0.2 matrix series three float which had two number eleven stotz spread down the 014 garbo main line and my hook length was 010 garbo which had a size 18 guru pellet hook attached .

I put in two swims in the deepest water i could find which was five foot this was positioned in open water at eleven meters either side of the island and i used a 4×12 RW maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru maggot hook attached .

My other rig was for the bottom of the far shelf at four-foot deep and it was also the same depth at the side of some lily pads towards my left which was close enough for me to feed by hand , i used a 4×10 RW maggie float with a staggered bulk shotting pattern which would give me a slow fall of my hook bait my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru maggot hook attached .

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Bait for the day was ;

1 pint of red and white maggots

1/2 pint of corn

1 pint of ground-bait

1 slice of bread

small tub of 2mm expanders

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When the all in sounded signalling the start of the match i shipped out to the island and began working my disk of bread all along the far bank , i was poking my rig into any likely looking area i did get the odd sign which i missed and i put this down to small roach , it was only when i pulled my rig a couple of feet away from the cover going into a some slightly deeper water that i managed a carp about three pounds and i had an ide soon after but i then struggled to get any more indications , i even tried maggots tight to the cover in case any more ide was sat in the area but this didn’t produce any bites either and i felt that if you are usually going to catch dobbin for carp there would be a little nest of fish in a certain area but because i had only managed that solitary fish i decided to put in a few grains of corn at both points of the island .

With an hour of the match gone i went onto my left hand channel swim where i had been pinging six maggots every five minutes and i hopped that a few ide might have settled on the feed as i had seen a couple of top in the area before the match started , but because nobody had drawn the early numbered pegs i feared the fish might back of into the space and after letting my rig fall through the water i began getting middered by tiny silvers , so i changed my shotting to a bulk+dropper as this would allow me to get my bait to the bottom quicker and this kind of worked for me because i did manage a couple of better fish but they wasnt the usual stamp for in here plus they also wasnt there in any numbers either .

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I changed to my right hand channel swim where i had fed a ball of ground-bait at the start of the match i did this because there was a lot of hand sized skimmers in this lake and i felt that i could add a couple of pounds of them into my net while i pondered on my next move , but even they was proving hard to catch it just seemed that there wasnt many fish willing to have a feed today and everybody on my lake was struggling too , it was noticeable that only a few ide had come out so far and thinking about it after the match i wasnt quick enough in changing my feeding to target other species as i expected ide to produce the bulk of my weight today .

My next move was to go on to my four-foot rig at the bottom of the far slope and began by just trickling in a couple of maggots in case i had over done it with the feed on my other lines plus i could always increase the amount if i needed too , i started by catching a few 4oz roach but at least they was bigger than any of the other silvers that i had managed and i was also adding some weight to my net , after a while it went a bit quiet  i was on the verge of increasing the amount of bait that i was feeding when my float slide under and i had a bonus f1 in the net although like usual on these two lakes it was a loner , but the disturbance had upset the silvers on this line so i decided to have ago with corn were i cupped a few grains in earlier incase there was any more bonus fish in the area but a bite less ten minutes on each line soon had me picking up my dobbin rig and this did produce another ide but nothing in any numbers .

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I had continued to feed my left hand channel swim with a catty while i had fished else were so i decided to drop back on it to see if anything had settled there and i did pick up a couple of net fish among the small silvers , with just ninety minutes of the match remaining i had a decision to make because i needed to attract a bigger stamp of fish into my peg as i could see a lad to my right catching the odd big ide and i felt he was eating into my lead , i choose to feed a ball of ground-bait onto my left hand channel swim and bulk all my shotting above the hook length which would enable me to fish expanders , while it settled i rotated my other swims to no avail so i spent the rest of my match on left hand line and luckily for me i began catching a few hand sized skimmers by swapping between expanders and maggots i managed a couple of bonus net crucians+tench , in the last hour i must have added three pounds to my net which doesn’t sound a great deal but when you’re only looking for 15lb to win it was a rather substantial part of my final weight .

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As i began packing up everyone was saying that i had won the lake as nobody else had managed a carp and it would be nice to finish the winter league like i started it with a match win on boulders lake, as it turned out i did manage to finish first but without my good last hour i wouldn’t have managed it as i weighed in with just over 14lb for the third match running at Old Hough and second was 11lb with third just 8lb , Goose lake fished a bit better with 20lb winning then 11lb second and 10lb third . When i got back to the car park they was starting to reckon up the overall winter league points and i had beaten a few of the lads today which was above me in the table at the beginning of the day so i hoped that i had done enough to get into the money , as it turned out i had managed to scrape into fifth overall with 15 points from six matches which was last place in the money but it was really close as 10 points came first then just five points covered five places , to be honest i was quite happy with how my league panned out because after missing my two dropper matches due to clashes with the partridge lakes winter league i was always going to be up against it and apart from the one match where i finished sixth on the lake from a really bad peg i fished well with two wins , two seconds and a third .

So with that out-of-the-way i will now be targeting Partridge lakes for the next couple of months with both the individual and team of four winter leagues on my agenda .

Old Hough winter league


November 27th . peg 16 goose lake

Goose lake

Today was the fifth round of my winter league at Old Hough fishery and after missing the last round plus the next round as i had other commitments fishing the teams of four at Partridge lakes so i needed a top three finish in the remaining matches if i wanted to stay towards the head of the table , as you would expect for the time of year it was rather cold with lots of lakes near me suffering a freeze so to be honest i wasnt expecting a great deal from the day’s fishing but as we would be targeting mainly silvers i hoped that i would still get the odd bite or too . After my journey down the M6 where there was still plenty of restricted zones which showed no sign of ending any time soon , i arrived with plenty time to spare and i was surprised to find that the road into the fishery had been finished so at least that should cut some time off my next trip down to Old Hough, when i got to the car park near the lake i was glad that the waters wasnt frozen but all the talk was of how bad they had fished during the week with anglers struggling to get into double figures .

Unsurprisingly in the conditions a few anglers had decided not to attend which meant we all had a bit of room and usually i would think this would be a bad thing as the fish often back away into the space but as we was fishing for silvers i didn’t expect it to be a problem especially as they had put the pegs in which had a bit of cover along the far bank , as the draw started i broke my ritual of hanging back and went for an early dip in the bag of doom , i managed to get peg 16 on Goose lake which was in one of the better areas on the water although i wasnt that far away from where i struggled on my last visit and it’s weird how the fish like to be in this corner of the lake .

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After settling in at my home for the next few hours i was pleased with the amount of options that i had ;

Dead reed bed along both margins

A few over hanging reeds along the far bank

A point of the island to my left

Plenty open water to my left as well .

So as you can tell i had plenty of areas to target but in the cold conditions i didn’t want to be spreading bait all over my peg and after plumbing up i decided to fish ;

Four foot rig , i used this for fishing in front of both margin reed beds plus across on the far bank slope and as i would be using maggots i set up a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk+two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i started on a six-inch 010 garbo hook length but was prepared to drop down if i was struggling for bites .

Channel pellet rig six meters to my left , i used a 4×14 roob float it had an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 010 garbo hook length so a nice positive rig which should show up the slightest indication .

Channel maggot rig six meters to my right , i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk+two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i started on a six-inch 010 garbo hook length but was prepared to drop down if i was struggling for bites .

Bait for the day was ;

Two pints of red and white maggots .

One pint of soaked micros .

One pint of crushed expanders although i would have liked to have used my usual ground-bait but had left it at home .

Small tub of 4mm expanders .

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When the all in sounded i began on my pellet swim in the deep water and i was pretty confident that this would produce for me even in these wintry conditions because there was plenty of hand sized skimmers in this lake , as i was uncertain of what weight to target today i just wanted to start putting something in the net until i knew how bad the lake was going to fish , after tapping in a nugget of groundbait i lowered my rig in over the top of keeping my float really still and i didn’t have to wait too long before i began getting indications , i was soon putting the odd skimmer or crucian in the net although they was only small i was doing a lot better than those anglers within eye shot and out of the blue i landed a nice chunky f1 just over a pound i had hoped there might be a few of them settled on my feed but it was just a loner .

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After an hour i began to trickle in maggots on my two margin swims and right hand channel line i planned on rotating the three swims as i hoped this would keep me adding to my net , starting on my channel swim i had four half pound ide in quick succession before indications slowed and as i originally figured the fish didn’t want to settle in the clear water so i dropped onto my left hand margin this produced a  couple of hand sized crucians , i kept tapping in half a dozen maggots on each swim and even though i was targeting silvers i didn’t want to feed too much incase the fish backed off , by swapping+changing between the three lines i was adding fish too my net it wasnt hectic by any means but it kept topping up my net .

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With ninety minutes remaining i went across for the first time and i began catching straight away although they was smaller than on my other swims, i found it best to tap some maggots in then drag my rig up the shelf a bit by doing this it helped to keep my float still because i had a bit of a side wind to contest with and i kept getting the odd bite from ide+chub , after a while my elastic shot out from the pole and i had a short fight with a near 2lb barbel which certainly boosted my weight but this killed the swim so i replumbed up a new line towards the point of the island , this wasnt as good as my original swim but by rotating between the both of them i kept adding the occasional fish but in the last thirty minutes it went really cold and bites just stopped for everybody .

When the all out sounded i was unsure on how i had got on because I’m still getting used to estimating my weight when silver fishing but i admitted to about ten pounds and reckoned that i had beaten the lads within eye shot but couldn’t see a couple who was round the other side , when the scales arrived i followed it around the lake because i was one of the last to weigh in and there was a few low weights around the 5lb mark but the lad on peg five had a mainly all carp net which went 18lb  i knew that i would struggle to beat that as i didn’t have enough bonus fish , as i feared by net only went 14lb it was still a good net of silvers and it also meant that i had finished second on the lake which i was made up with i felt that i had fished a good match catching from all over the peg .

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I’m back at Partridge lakes for the winter league teams of four next Sunday and looking at the results from the opens during the week it could be really hard work , so it could be all over at the draw bag but it will be the same for everybody i suppose .

 

Old Hough winter league


13th November , peg 14 Lucky dip

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Today was the third round of my winter league and we would be on prospect+lucky dip , i had fished prospect a couple of times last year and to be honest i had struggled so wasnt really looking forward to it , but with my disappointment on the last round where i finished fifth i really needed a good result to keep me towards the top of the table and after speaking to a few lads who fished there quite regularly they pointed me in the right direction regarding tactics , so at least i had some sort of game plan on the day of the match even if it took me out of my comfort zone .The weather leading up today’s contest  had been quite reasonable for the time of year with a slight raise in temperatures plus light winds which made a nice change because both times we fished here last year its was near gale force ,so after a pretty standard trip down to Old Hough with yet more road works on the M6 and then i had to navigate two sets of diversions near the fishery which made me a bit later than i usually arrive but i still had time to have a look at a couple of pegs in the draw bag that i wouldn’t mind being on .

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When i got back to the car park i didn’t have too long to wait before the draw took place and after the mad rush subsided i took my turn , i pulled out number 14 on Lucky dip this was situated towards the top end of the lake near the car park and as i hadn’t fished this lake before i was a bit unsure on what to expect , on settling in at my home for the next few hours i had a dead reed bed to my right and some lily pads coming from the far bank at just over 14m away and with this in mind i decided to set up .

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Top four at the bottom of the near slope positioned towards the side of the dead reed bed to my right and i was surprised to find a touch over 4ft , i was planning on loose feeding casters on this line so choose to use a 4×12 maggie float with an on the drop shotting pattern , i hoped this would allow me to pick up some silvers as my rig fell through the waters and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Channel swim at eleven meters positioned towards the left of my peg and after plumbing up i found almost six-foot , i was going to be feeding balls of ground-bait on this line and i expected to catch in the bottom third of the water .so i used a 4×14 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

My next swim was for in front of the lily pads at 14m it was also 4ft deep but because i expected to catch a few carp , i decided to step things up a little so used a 4×14 maggie float and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached , my shotting was a bulk plus dropper but i could alter this to an on the drop pattern if i required during the match .

I also set up a rig to fish tight to the far bank but as it was only a touch over two foot i didn’t expect to catch a great deal on it , so i decided to use it as a negative corn line feeding just a couple of grains every twenty minutes , i was hoping that doing this i could attract a couple of passing carp into swim and i used a 0.4 matrix series three float which would give me lots of stability when fishing so far across , my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached .

My bait for the day was ;

2 pints of casters

1 pint of corn

2 pints of ground-bait

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When the all in sounded i fed two balls of ground-bait + casters onto my channel swim , then i began fishing my top four line i started loose feeding a dozen casters over the top of my float and began laying my rig in through the water , i had expected to be catching small silvers straight away before a bigger stamp of fish moved in but it took a good thirty minutes before i had my first indication which i bumped off and with the two anglers on end pegs to my right had began picking up the odd carp i was already well behind , so i decided to follow suit but instead of going tight over to the far bank straight away i started in front of the lily pads and at first i began kinder potting in some casters but it was only when i began cattying in casters that i started getting bites , the fish i was catching were only 4oz chub+ide but at least i was putting something in the net and after a while the activity on this line caught the attention of a passing carp because my next fish took my hook bait on the drop before bolting right into the pads snagging me up , the disturbance obviously killed my far bank swim so i decided to see if anything had settled onto my channel line but i was still going to feed it with my catty .

On my channel swim i decided to use double caster because i wanted to avoid the attention of any small silvers this meant i had quite a wait for an indication but when they did materialise it was only the slightest tremor on the float tip more like your winter f1 bites however the fish were all quality as i had a run of half a dozen big skimmers , as the fish werent putting up much of a fight i decided to get up and change my elastic I’m not sure if this was the reason but bites began to tail off , i had to choose away of topping up my swim so i put in a small ball of ground-bait through my kinder pot and also fed some casters with it , this prolonged the swim for a little while but when i began catching chub plus some smaller hand sized skimmers i felt that even in these cold conditions i needed to top up with two big balls of ground-bait .

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while i let my feed settle i had a look on my other swims but all that i could manage was five small chublets , the two anglers towards my right were picking up carp every so often and i decided to try fishing tight to the far bank in two foot of water , i put all my shot under the float and with a couple of casters on the hook this would allow for a slow fall which should hopefully get me a couple of carp , i started in front of the lily pads so was about half depth this produced an odd chub but it was only when i went tight across that i managed my first carp of the day , i never had more than one bite in the same place and i really should have been a bit more active by adding another section , this would have opened up more water for me to go at but it would also mean that i needed to break down twice and i didn’t fancy doing that , my next carp took me by surprise and had me in the reeds before i could react this killed the swim so i decided to drop back on my channel swim to see if anything had settled on it .

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I was still getting the odd indication but now i was missing majority of them and those i did catch were of a very small stamp , i even tried single caster on the hook but strangely the fish didn’t want to know and i had a really frustrating hour where i hardly put anything in the net , i put in another channel swim to my right but just fed it negatively incase i had over done it on my other line in the cold conditions i kinder potted in half a dozen caster and a tiny ball of ground-bait , i then held my rig really still over the top of it and waited for an indication but a fruitless twenty minutes had me back onto my original channel swim . Thankfully it seemed that a few fish had settled on to it and it might have been down to the time of day because there was only an hour of the match remaining , i then had a really good spell of catching some good fish and i had a proper mixed bag i even managed an unseasonal tench which put up a good fight in the colderning conditions , the all out came a bit soon for my liking and i knew that my quiet spell in the match would cost me especially as the lad too my left had managed a good run of carp in the closing stages of the match , i felt that i had finished fourth at best today and i really struggled to catch any carp across those that i did hook i lost in the lily pads .

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As i began packing up i heard a few of the lads had struggled on both lakes especially towards the opposite end of the lake and it looked like the fish wanted to be out of the cold wind today , when the scales made their way round to me i managed 27lb which was more than i thought i had caught this put me second on the lake but the two end pegs to my right where yet to weigh in , surprisingly the lad at the side of me only had 24lb as he seemed to have caught carp for most of the day but the guy on the other end peg had 39lb which took the lake win and pushed me down to third which is were i stayed , so after an enjoyable but frustrating match i finished third which keeps me up towards the top of the table although not for long because i am missing the next round as it clashes with the teams of four at Partridge lakes but you’re allowed to drop two of your worst results so with four rounds left it is still all to play for .

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Old Hough winter league round two


October 30th, peg 14 on boulders+goose

Goose lake

Today was the second round of my winter league at Old Hough and it was due to take place on boulders+goose the same lakes as on the first round where i managed to catch a few silvers really enjoying myself in the process , so as you can imagine i was really looking forward to another good days fishing especially with the weather having seemingly settled down and after learning that the road into the fishery had been closed i felt that i would benefit from a slightly earlier than usual start .

I arrived at the complex with plenty of time to spare and as usual i was there on my own which gave me plenty time to have a walk round both the lakes in the draw bag , strangely i didn’t see a single fish top but i did see the odd bubble come up from down the track so i figured that the deeper water would be a good place to start especially on goose lake , when i got back to the car park most of the other anglers had arrived but we was waiting on a couple of lads that had got lost so the draw was delayed for thirty minutes and when we finally got going i ended up on peg 14 goose , not exactly where i would like to be especially as only 14lb came off it on the last round most of which were barbel from down the edge so i felt that it was a bit of damage limitation today .

On settling in at my home for the next few hours i found that it was only eleven meters across and with no far bank cover but i did have a dead reed bed to my right bearing this in mind i decided to concentrate on the deeper areas of my peg and set up ;

3ft rig which was a good meter of the far bank and i decided to use a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

4ft rig this gave me plenty of areas to target , in front of the dead reeds to my left , bottom of the far shelf and also six meters towards my right so i decided to use a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Channel swim , i had to go eleven meters to my right to find anything deeper than four-foot and even then it was only six-inch deeper which isn’t what i expected but there was the odd bubble coming up so i felt it might throw up the odd fish or two ,i decided to use a 4×14 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Bait for the day was two pints of maggots and a bit of bread for dobbin although with it being so shallow across i didn’t even consider using it today , when the all in sounded i started along the dead reed bed because i expected the silver fishing to be quite good so i began feeding maggots quite heavily by hand but a bite less twenty minutes wasnt the start i wanted , upon looking around everybody seemed to be struggling as well so i decided to cut back on the feed till i get the odd indication and i also set up a new swim across at the bottom of the far slope  , i trickled in a couple of maggots every five minutes a bit like you would when f1 fishing at this time of the year and at last i started picking up the odd fish but they was a lot smaller than i expected as they were only averaging 3 oz a piece , after an hour i had six fish in the net which wasnt great and it was dieing on me but when a lad came round who was fishing the other lake saying nobody had even managed a bite it seemed that i was doing ok and for some strange reason it was fishing a lot harder this week even though the conditions were the same as on my last match here .

I decided to put in a small ball of ground-bait six meters towards the right of my peg in the deeper water in the channel as i hoped some of the small skimmers which are usually a nuisance might settle on it and this in turn might attract a few better fish into the swim , after a bite less twenty minutes on my long line i decided to drop on it a bit earlier than i had planned and i began putting the odd small skimmer in the net , as it was the only line constantly producing bites i decided to put in another swim to my left and after a bit of trial+error i found out it was best to feed a golf ball of ground-bait through a kinder pot then fish the other swim , by doing this i managed to keep the bites coming and every now+then i would try double maggot on the hook to see if i could entice a bigger stamp of fish but it just resulted in a missed indication.

With bites on my channel swims tailing off i figured that it could do with a rest to help the skimmers settle down again so i plumbed up a new line at 11m to my right were i found it was a few inch deeper , i decided to feed it with a catty and alter my shotting to allow for a very slow fall of the hook bait because i felt this would give me the best option of picking up some chub or ide which were bigger than the skimmers , it also gave me a chance of hopefully picking up a bonus or two and i did begin catching the odd fish but just like the other swims there wasnt any numbers of them , by rotating between the three lines i managed to keep adding to my net but i never did manage to get the bonus that i needed which cost me in the end because although i probably had the biggest fish count i was a few pounds of the framing position , my net of little bits went just short of five pounds and two low eight pound weights made the frame with 13lb winning from peg 16 which is usually a good area to draw but in the conditions he fished remarkably well .

Boulders the other lake in the draw bag was shocking and only seven fish got caught between the three framing positions with the other lads blanking , 7lb won the lake with two anglers tieing for second with 3lb one of them had a solitary foul hooked bream and i just can not believe how bad these lakes fished today but it’s probably a sign of things to come with winter approaching fast . I am off to Partridge lakes next weekend for the first round of the teams of four winter league and i am fishing for 2+2 team which is one of only a couple that are not sponsored , so it will be tough going to compete against them although it will give me a chance to hopefully learn a few things especially as i have not fished this before because to be honest i am not a fan of team contest but after saying all that there a good set of lads im fishing with and it should be fun .

Old Hough fishery


16th October , peg 13 Boulders lake

Well it has soon come round again i can not believe how quick the past 12 months has gone as it was the start off my winter league at Old Hough + Bradshaws and after managing joint third the previous year when i hadn’t even seen the place before i was eager for a better finishing position this time round , with it being mainly silvers plus the odd carp i was quite looking forward to mixing my winter fishing up as i will also be taking part in the team match at Partridge lakes and as you all know that is heavily biased towards f1s . We was forecast to have some pretty heavy rain during the morning but as i started my thirty mile trip to the fishery it looked quite nice with the odd blue patch in the sky , although when i got off the motorway it started bouncing it down which lasted until the second hour of the match but at least it would give me chance to test my new water proofs , as i got to the fishery i made my way round to boulders+goose which is the lakes that my contest will be on when i got there i was the last to arrive and they was waiting for me before they could do the draw although they weren’t that impressed when i told them that my mate wasnt coming meaning they had to rejig the pegs a bit .

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I did my usual trick of hanging towards the rear of the queue for the draw and when it came round for my turn in the bag of doom i pulled out 13 on boulders which is an area of the lake that i had been on before in last years competition where i struggled for less than 15lb , to be honest i wasnt that impressed as a trudged off towards my home for the next few hours although on looking at the results from the club matches here it did seem that it held a few fish so i suppose all was not lost just yet . My peg was just over 14m wide with lots of far-bank cover and i also had a patch of lily pads to my right so with that in mind i decided to set up ;

Top four at the side of the pads were after plumbing up i found just over four-foot and as i would be using maggots i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached and my hook was a size twenty f1  guru maggot hook .

My far-bank swim was around 3ft tight to the over hanging cover so i used the same rig as above .

I had a plumb around down the channel and i struggled to find anything deeper than 5ft and with the wind forecast to get stronger during the day i decided to position it at six meters a bit towards my left where i hoped the trees might help take the brunt of it , i used a 4×14 maggie float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached and my hook was a size 16 f1 guru maggot hook .

I also set up a one foot deep shallow rig because i am mainly going to be catching silvers today and as i would be pinging maggots across i figured they might come up in the water , i used a 0.1 float with three number 11 stotz in a little bulk above the six-inch length of 010 garbo .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of red+white maggots

3 pints of sonu bait maggot groundbait

1 pint micro

small tub 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded i started on my top four line and with the cold rain going in i wasnt sure how the fish were going to respond so i decided to take things easy with the bait , i began trickling in some maggots through a kinder pot and i did not have to wait long before i had my first fish which was a small silver that took my bait on the drop another fish of similar size followed , i decided to swap to my heavier channel rig on this line because i hoped that the extra weight would get my hook bait to the deck quicker so that i could hopefully avoid the nuisance fish and i also began feeding a full kinder pot so i knew that some maggots where getting to the bottom , this worked really well as i now began catching some nice ide+chub and i would get an indication as soon as my bait settled , it also seemed the more i fed the more fish i attracted into my peg and i had a really good run for the first hour putting about ten pounds into the net but when the rain gradually began to ease in the second hour the bites began to tail off , i was anxious to not plunder this line for too long and decided to feed my channel swim with a small cupping kit of  groundbait+maggots i choose to stay away from pellets as there is a lot of small skimmers in here so i was taking a bit of a risk putting the groundbait in but i wanted to give it a try plus i had not brought enough maggots to keep three lines fed all match . I had a couple of big ide+chub on my first few drops and i felt that i might have got away with it but the skimmers soon got in on the act , although at 4oz a piece they had packed on a bit of weight since my last visit and were worth catching for a while as i primed my far bank swim by cattying in a dozen maggots every five minutes , i even managed two big skimmers about 1.5lb among the smaller ones and this kept me ticking over for the next hour .

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After about forty minutes i went onto my far bank swim and i had a couple more chub+ide before i hooked a small carp which put up a spirited fight on my solid five elastic , i began catching some small silvers which was a bit of a pain when having to ship back 14m but i did manage the odd bigger one in between so i persevered with it for the time being , as i hoped that the increasing amount of feed going in would attract a better stamp of fish and i did start catching a few more chub+ide but it wasnt really quick enough for me to compete with the lad to my left who i heard say he had caught ten carp . So i had no other option but to try to make my four meter line work like at the start of the match as this would make it easier for me to do a better weight and with two hours remaining i chose to feed a bit heavier by hand , it didn’t take to long before i began catching again and i had another really good spell as every fish i caught was nearly 10oz although i was running low on maggots so i decided to begin feeding a nugget of ground-bait , this turned out to be a bad decision because the ide+chub did a disappearing act and I’m not sure if it was the different bait going in or the fact that some bigger fish had moved into the swim because i did manage a nice carp plus a couple of barbel , but after that all i could manage was some crucians plus the odd big skimmer so i decided to spend the remaining forty minutes rotating between my three swims and i kept putting the odd fish in the net right up to the all out .

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I had managed to keep catching for most of the match which made a nice change and i had fifty fish on my clicker over 8oz along with the bigger ones  , so i reckoned that i might have around the forty pound mark but as you probably know i don’t do a great deal of silver fishing so wasnt really that sure and when i caught up with the scales there was a couple of twenty pound weights from the high numbers , then peg six that i fancied to win the lake before the draw managed 40lb all caught from down the side on maggots which is something to bear in mind for my next visit in a couple of weeks , the lad who was on the left of my peg ended up with twenty carp all caught dobbing bread to the point of the island and this is something i struggled with last year , to be honest i had totally disregarded it for the winter league this year and yet again it was something for me to think about his nets went a total of 41lb which just took the lead , but when they arrived at my peg i had a bit of a problem lifting the net out and it looked like i might have under estimated the weight of my fish because when i tipped them on the scales they went a couple of ounce under 49lb , which was good enough to win the lake and began the series of matches with the perfect start but i did that last year then followed it up with two 4ths so i hoped i didn’t replicate that this time round , the other lake Goose fished extremely hard with a low twenty pound winning and majority of the anglers struggled to get over 12lb but i always felt that it would improve with the more bait going in as i do not think it gets fished a great deal .

Next weekend i am back at Partridge lakes to try my hand at some f1 fishing although looking at the recent results it has been very hard going with the recent unsettled weather , but my winter league on here is starting soon so i need to get to grips with the place again and to be honest i like working for bites as it makes things a bit better for the thinking angler .