Partridge lakes open match

23rd December

I have fished the partridge open match today because i wanted to try to get back in touch with the fishing before the individual winter league starts in January and after meeting up with a couple of friends all the talk when I got there was that you needed a draw on covey five to have a chance for a good days fishing because the other coveys 1-4 wasn’t producing at the moment due to the up and down weather conditions last week it was frozen solid then today was 10 degrees .It was soon time for a dip in the bag of doom and my bad run at the draw bag continues as I pulled out peg 65 on covey three not the best of areas in summer never mind at this time of year and it’s never a good sign when you get to your peg and they give you plenty of room especially when the lad towards my left didn’t turn up so there was plenty of room for the f1s to back off.

I decided to set up ;

Channel rig towards my left at six meters where the aerator used to be and after finding six foot when plumbing up i thought that this would be a really good swim , i used a 4×12 Md maggot 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

Four foot rig directly in front of me but i sent up multiple swims along the far bank at this depth and i used a 0.2 Md maggot float which had a tapered bulk shoting pattern spread along the 014 garbo main starting above the six inch 010 garbo hook length .

Dobbing rig set at 4ft but would alter the depth as and when i needed to , i used a 4×12 Md diamond float which had the bulk of the shotting under the float with a couple of number eleven stotz acting as droppers along my 014 garbo main line and hook length was six inch of 010 garbo which had a size 16 guru lwg hook attached to it

Bait for the day was ;

1/2 pint of micros

1/2 pint black swim stim ground bait

1 1/2 pints of red maggots

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded i spent the first hour of the match dobbin bread about a meter away from the island in 4ft and i worked my rig 14m either side of me with only a couple of liners to show for it, but nobody within eye shot was catching a great deal apart from the lad directly opposite on peg 58 who was catching the odd stockie so I wasn’t really that far behind . My next move was to start tapping in maggots in front of me in 4ft and after about twenty minutes i had my first fish which was a small ide at least i had not blanked , a short while  after I had my first f1 about two pounds then another small ide and I was just thinking that I might have a good run of fish but that was it from the swim , maybe i should have been a bit more patient but i decided to put in two more swims at the same depth either side of me even though i fed them both the same I only caught on the one towards my right although even then they was just small ide .

With two hours remaining I had a look on my track line and missed a bite but not long after the slightest tremor on the float resulted in a nice ghostie coming to the net but despite quite a few tries during the remainder of the contest that was the only fish I caught from that swim, i tried putting in a new line in front of the platform to my left and after trickling in a few maggots i never had a bite from it which was strange because it just looked right for a few f1s and with time running out i went further to my right still in 4ft and i managed a couple of small f1’s before i foul hooked a couple of better fish which might have been carp judging by the size of the scales , for the rest of the match I rotated all my swims without much success and i managed two quick stockies about ten minutes before the all out from directly in front of me it was just a shame they didnt turn up any sooner .

When the all out sounded it called an end to a very frustrating contest because i just couldn’t manage a run of fish from anywhere and i just hope that it improves before the individual winter league starts i think we need a run of continuous temps for that to happen ,I tipped back about 16lb of fish because 30lb was winning the section when they came to my peg and i am not sure what I could have done different today just a lack of fish in front of me i think .

Partridge lakes fishomania qualifier

14th june

I had booked the week off earlier in the year because i had planned on contesting the pole fishing masters at tunnel barn but due to various family reasons i couldn’t make it and as there was still tickets left for the fishomania qualifier at Partridge lakes so i decided to jump on that , although i had planned on not doing any  this year because last years attempts were pretty woeful and i didn’t even get a day’s fishing on any of them due to them being extremely tightly pegged , at least Partridge lakes was big enough to cope with the pressure well i hoped that it would anyway .

The weather during the week had been really good almost summer like and today was no different with blue skies plus temps in the mid twenties although we did have a bit of a blustery breeze to contend with blowing towards spey so at least we knew which area of the coveys we wanted to draw as like most f1 venues the fish definitely follow the wind , i arrived at the fishery with plenty time to spare which gave me chance to catch up with a few lads that i hadn’t seen since my last match here on the Preston pairs at the beginning of May so you could say i was a bit out of touch .

With the draw fast approaching i joined the queue towards the rear and awaited my fate , when it came round for my turn i managed to pull out peg 64 on covey three another bad peg on a fisho qualifier but i decided to give it a go because with a few no shows you never know i might have a bit of room , but on arrival to my peg i wasnt that lucky as it was peg two miss one in my area and i was also one of only a couple that had not got a ripple so things didn’t look too promising but i would give it my best shot anyway .

On settling in at my home for the next few hours i had quite a few options to go at but didn’t want to confuse myself so just set up ;

Mud bank across in 18 inch and i used a 0.4 muddie float with a bulk of number eight stotz above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Two shallow rigs set at different depths and i used a 0.1 md mini mag float which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length that had a micro bait band attached so i could fish banded casters .

Pellet rig for in front of the far bank and near side reeds in 2ft depth and i used a 4×12 roob float with a spread bulk of number ten stotz above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of casters

2 pints of crushed expander ground-bait

1 pint of micros

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the match started i began on my top three at the side of my left hand reeds in the margin i began by feeding a small kinder pot off crushed expander ground-bait to try to draw some fish into the swim it also didn’t have a great deal in the way of food content because i wasnt sure how the f1s would respond to the pressure , after tapping in a nugget of bait i lowered my rig in over the top and i got indications straight away not long after i had my first fish , in fact the first hour went extremely well one of the best i had ever had at partridge lakes as i put 15 f1s in the net all caught from the same swim and i thought that i might be on for a good day but how wrong was i because my match went downhill fast as the bites tailed off .

With bites grinding to a halt close in i decided to give my across pellet line across in front of the reeds a go and with them knocking like mad i expected to catch a few fish so i tapped in a few micros and lowered my rig in among it , i caught a couple of stockies straight away before i began foul hooking a few and it seemed that they was hiding in the middle of the reeds  , so i went back across with my shallow rig and started pinging half a dozen casters towards them this caught be a couple of f1s but they wouldn’t settle due to the lack of breeze .

I dropped onto my mud line although i couldn’t get as close to the bank as i would have liked as there was a few reeds and crap on the bottom plus i struggled to find a decent flat spot , i began by kinder potting in ground-bait because with me fishing in slightly deeper water i didn’t want to draw too many fish in the peg which could cause chaos with line bites etc , things didn’t really work out for me on this line because i just couldn’t get any indications there so i decided to bite the bullet and put a couple of big pots of feed in .

While it settled i went onto my shallow swim at six meters as i had fed it with a dozen casters every few minutes since the match started but with me having no ripple in front of me i thought it might be tough to catch this way and after twenty minutes without an indication i was proved correct , although to be honest i couldn’t really fish it properly as i had to keep shipping across to the far bank to prevent the ducks from dive bombing my mud bank . I went back across to see how much damage my feathered friends had done and surprisingly i got indications straight away as the stared up bottom must have attracted the fish , i managed to catch a few f1s+carp but in the depth of water it wasnt long before i began foul hooking the odd one and after a fish snagged me up in the reeds i needed to rest the swim .

I plumbed up a new swim  towards the empty platform towards my left and started tapping in some micros , i didn’t have to wait long before i caught a couple of nice sized f1s but due to the depth of water i was fishing in i foul hooked a big carp which bolted off under the aerator rope breaking my hook length , so i decided to go at the side of an over hanging plant where it was 18 inch deep and i put in a small cupping kit full of crushed expander plus a few micros as i hoped some more carp might be in the area .

For the rest of the match i rotated between my mud line and margin picking up the odd fish from each but it never really got going for me due to the lack of breeze it seemed all the fish followed the wind to the other end of the lake , this was proved correct when the all out sounded because the lad who came second was on my lake catching 146lb and when the scales arrived at my peg my thirty fish weighed in at 48lb , although i got told that it was a good weight from it which i was pleased with , so that was my fisho qualifiers over with for another year and i might have another try next year because i did enjoy travelling to different venues and rubbing shoulders with some high-class anglers on the previous few years .

Partridge lakes , open match

July 11th , peg 54 Covey 3


With the Maver match this looming round the corner ( next week in fact ) i felt that it was time to re-acquaint myself with the venue and booked onto the open at Partridge lakes and after Weds good result at Sycamore fisheries i was keen to see if the same approach would work on there , the weather leading up to today was a bit patchy to say the least the forecast for the Saturday was overcast but dry although the wind would strengthen during the day .

As i was travelling on my own yet again (which I’m quite happy doing to be honest ) i decided to set off a bit later than i normally would and arrived around 830 so after booking on where i found out there was 83 contesting the match ( yet again another big turn out ) i then picked up three pints of maggots for fishing shallow and joined the queue for the draw towards the rear , when it came for my turn i fancied a try on Covey four but unsurprisingly peg 54 on Covey three stuck to my hand ( will i ever get off covey three ) on arriving at my peg i was on the corner with my back too Covey two + Spey canal , i also had the wind blowing into it this could make fishing across hard work but on the plus side i was more than happy with my margin as it was full of reeds floating in the mud-bank meaning it had blown that way for some time and i spent a good five minutes clearing it .



I decided to set up a few rigs to cover my options ;

Margin , i used an 04 ruddy float with 014 Matrix main line to an 012 Garbo hook length and my hook was a size 18 Matrix rigger with a bait band attached.

Far-bank , i used a 03 Matrix series three float with 014 Matrix main line to an 012 garbo hook length and my hook was a size 18 Matrix rigger with a bait band attached.

Shallow , i had two rigs set up one at 3ft the other 2ft and i used an 02 Drennon float with 012 garbo direct to a size 20 Matrix rigger hook with a bait band attached .

Channel, i used a 4×12 Malman roob float with 014 Matrix main line to an 012 garbo hook length and my hook was a size 18 Matrix rigger .

My bait today was ;

3 pints maggots

2 pints 4mm pellets

3 pints ground-bait

Tub mixed hard pellets


As the all in sounded i shipped out to the corner of the island were i had earlier plumbed up to find a flat area and i then tapped in half a dozen 4mm pellets through a kinder pot before lowering my rig in among it , it didn’t take long for my float to shoot under and F1 number one hit the net a further five followed including a carp in the first forty minutes before the bites began to fade so i set up a new line towards my left i caught another couple here but after losing one at the net ( which may have been foul hooked ) it disturbed the fish and the bites ceased .

I had been loose feeding a dozen maggots on to my shallow line at five meters which wasn’t as far across as i wanted to but the wind was making it very awkward to group the bait any further out although the ripple should give the fish a bit of cover and after seeing a few swirls i was keen to give it ago , i started out on my 2ft rig and began getting a few Ide i was missing lots of indications from the shy biting fish though so i had to keep working the depths to try to keep in touch with them but after about ninety minutes the fish seemed to drift off .

With half the match gone i started to feed my right hand margin with a few cups of ground-bait but it took quite awhile for the fish to turn up and i spent the next forty minutes struggling to get a bite from anywhere in my peg setting up multiple new swims to no avail ,finally they turned up in my margin but it was from being prolific although putting fish in the net which kept me in touch for what was becoming a really tough section , i did lose a couple of fish including a carp which got the float caught up in some reeds breaking my hook length in the process and these fish were beginning to cost me .


With ten minutes to before the all out i lifted into another carp which took me on a merry dance before finally gracing my net after a five-minute battle and i just had time for another look down the edge which resulted in a missed bite , it was noticeable that i got more bites when feeding some pellets plus a nugget of ground-bait like you would if you was fishing across to the far-bank rather than big potting which would draw too many fish in resulting in foul hooking . As i was the first to weigh in i didn’t have long to find out my fate with my 29 f1s+ide+carp registering a tad under 40lb , three other anglers choose not to weigh in before the lad on peg 51 who i had targeted as my main threat for the section put 40lb 6oz on the scales and he had beat my by just 8oz anyone of those lost fish cost me big time but I’m sure he would have the same tales if it was the other way round .

With an unexpected couple of days off from work i am going to make the most of it by going too Weston pools in Oswestry hoping to catch some big barbel and even though it’s only sixty miles away i have never been there leaving my club has opened lots of options for me fishing venues that i just didn’t have time to do before , if i do ok i might try a couple of the opens and there is also the two-day natural bait festival run by Pole fishing magazine which i might be interested in doing .

A quick side note Sundays match at Partridge lakes both second + third came from adjacent pegs too where i had drawn both of which failed to weigh in on Saturday but this seems to be the case for on here strangely even if the weather conditions are exactly the same .

Partridge lakes , fishomania qualifier

Saturday 20th June , Covey three peg 73


Today was my last chance for qualifying for fishomania 2015 and it was rather a funny day to be honest as i didn’t really feel up for it which was strange for me on a competition like this as i usually get really nervous about doing them , i think this might be down to the fact that i did the big festival at Tunnel barn in the week leading up to it and might have felt a bit drained . On the morning of the match the weather was a bit iffy with it being overcast and drizzly plus the wind was forecast to increase steadily during the day , after my short drive to the venue i picked up some maggots from the on site tackle shop before meeting up with a few mates who was also contesting this event and after joining the queue towards the back i didn’t fancy drawing on coveys 1-5 because they have an awful record in these big matches for some bizarre reason , when peg 73 on covey three stuck to my hand i had a mixture of emotions because i had fished it recently on an open match and caught quite well so at least i should get a good days fishing ( of course it was one of  the twitter hot pegs )


On arriving at my peg which was the second one over the bridge i had a nice mud-bank with plenty of reed cover and there was also a couple of cut outs in the margin bank as well so i decided to fish a nice uncomplicated match ;

Starting between my keep-nets at 4ft

Across at either side of the mud bank at 2ft

Both right and left hand margin at 2ft

Shallow for the channel mid match and also a deck rig for fishing under the loose feed .


My bait was to revolve around ;

Worm and micro for across + margin + top kit between my nets

Maggots for fishing in channel shallow and on the deck


When the all in sounded at 11 o’clock i began on my top kit line and after a couple of feeds through a kinder pot full of worm+pellet resulted in my first f1 of the day  the indications i was getting on this line where slight dinks on the float and as a result i began missing a few so i had to reduce the size of worm to allow me to hit more of them , this worked a treat with ten nice sized fish hitting the net for nearly twenty pounds and if it carried on like this i thought that i might have had half a chance but when the wind began to get a bit stronger blowing towards my right it seemed to push the fish out of my peg .

A change of tactics to fishing across was in order while i primed my shallow line at six meters towards my right which was just on the edge of the ripple , after a kinder pot full of worm+pellet i began getting liners but no bites so i needed to reduce the depth of my rig so i could get it really tight to the bank this resulted in me getting some proper indications with half a worm being the best hook bait as the weight of it prevented it getting wafted around and the bites where proper elastic rippers i added a further four f1s plus a carp on this line before faded on me .


After half the match of feeding my six meter shallow line so i expected an instant response as there was the odd bubble coming up but no fizzing which i felt ment that the loose feed wasn’t reaching the deck but after forty minutes of searching the depths and trying my bottom rig all i could manage was two ide ! ! this swim clearly wasn’t working so i began feeding my margin line one side with worm the other with just maggot to see which was best and while this settled i went back across but twenty minutes of inactivity got me putting in a new swim further towards the ripple this time i fed just maggots i got an instant response but not from the f1s but ide + small silvers not exactly what i wanted to be catching .

Ninety minutes of the match remaining and it was time for a look on my margins so with half a worm on the hook i pushed the rig tight into the cut out five minutes of inactivity before my float shot under and a firm strike resulted in an 8oz ide flying towards me ! ! but no more bites ensued on either margin so i was left with rotating my swims to try to get another bite  and as a last resort i went back on my top kit line between my keepnets i started feeding heavy with maggots as this is a method which has worked for me on a few occasions when fishing at Partridge lakes , it did again today as i managed four more f1s before the all out which called time on a pretty bad match even if it was a bit expected at the start .


When the scales arrived i put 31lb on which was a bad weight for on here especially on what is usually a good peg in the opens , after i had packed up i went to the presentation i was feeling a bit dejected after my match especially with the good start i had and when they began to call out the sections covey three was won with just 54lb and surprisingly mine was won with just 34lb so yet again another second in section which was twice from three fishos this year .

Well done too Connor Barlow on winning the qualifier and another Partridge regular heading to Cudmore im sure he will have a fair few people watching him there , i just hope it fishes better than what i expect it too .

Partridge lakes , open match

May 31st , Covey peg 73


After yesterday’s eventful match on here where i over complicated things plus took the wrong bait , i was looking forward to trying to fish a better contest and hoped to draw some were which would give me a chance of catching a few . Overnight there had been another deluge of rain and i woke to find grey skies with strong winds which was forecast to increase during the day (not the best conditions ) but i was still eager to go .

As i was travelling down on my own again today i decided to set off a bit later than usual (so no bacon buttie for me ) on arriving at Partridge lakes i went to pay my pools and pick my default section up from yesterdays contest , as i mentioned earlier simplicity was the key for todays match so i picked up four pints of red+white maggots from the on site tackle shop and then joined the queue for the draw . When it came to my turn out i pulled peg 73 on Covey three which was only two away from yesterday and the same peg that got second (always been lucky in the draw bag) so i had the perfect opportunity to try to write some wrongs although the conditions i faced were i lot worse .


On arriving at my peg which was the second one over the bridge on the split and the wind was howling through the gap blowing towards 59+60 this had a bearing on how i would target the match because fishing further than 6m was out of the question and i decided to set up just three rigs ;

6m channel , i used the same rig as yesterday after plumbing up i found it to be six-inch shallower which handily would allow me to have a longer lash giving me better control in the conditions , i used a 4×12 Malman Roob float with 012 garbo main line an 010 garbo hook length and a size 18 Matrix bagger hook .

Margin rig , i decided to try to find 2ft because i didn’t feel they would be tight to the bank with all the recent rain going in and yet again i used the same rig as yesterday a Matrix series three float with 014 garbo main line attached to a 010 garbo hook length and a size 18 Matrix bagger hook .

Top three rig situated between my keepnets this was the same line that i fished paste on yesterday but i would be fishing maggots there today , i used a 4×12 Malman Roob float with a bulk + dropper shotting pattern my main line was 012 garbo attached to a 010 garbo hook length which had a size 20 Matrix bagger hook attached .

My side tray was a picture of simplicity containing just 4 pints of red+white maggots so no chance of me over complicating things although i maybe hadn’t brought enough bait with me as it worked out at just over a pint on each line split over five hours , also my Matrix pop up tent was making its first airing today as well and it performed admirably in the windy conditions although the forecast rain didn’t arrive .


When the all in sounded i began on my top three-line and started loose feeding a dozen maggots every few minutes to try to draw some fish into the swim and when i started getting bites i would increase the amount but less often to help keep them on the deck making them easier to catch , after about ten minutes i had my first indication with a nice sized f1 hitting the net i was being careful not to play the fish in front of me guiding it to my right so i would not disrupt the shoal . In the first hour i managed half a dozen f1s plus the odd ide which was better than those around me so i kept plodding along on this line but i knew it wouldn’t last forever so i began feeding my six meter channel swim with half a cupping kit full of maggots every twenty minutes , after two hours i had 25lb on my clicker and i was well on my way to my target weight but even though i had been heavy feeding on this line i began suffering with line bites which to be honest i didn’t expect on my top three-line .


I went on to my channel swim a bit earlier than i wanted to but i caught pretty steady for an hour with a mixture of f1s + big ide although it was hard work controlling the float in the conditions and no doubt i missed the usual little dinks from those crafty big f1s , suddenly the bites began to tail off so i decided to put in a pot of maggots before giving my margin line a try , i had flicked a few bits of bait there since the match started so i expected some sort of response but i didn’t even have a liner in twenty minutes . Back onto my top three-line and the bites were really slow in coming but unlike on my other swims at least i was getting indications and as we were fast approaching the final hour i decided to stick it out between my keepnets to try to add some much-needed weight to my catch but yet again it was a virtual write off with just two f1s heading my way while other anglers around me were catching a lot better .


The all out soon sounded and as per usual on here i only fished half a good match and i really need to sort out my last ninety minutes as it is costing me a framing chance i managed to catch thirty f1s plus a dozen ide which when the scales arrived they went 48lb this was good enough for my second section in two days on here but i still have plenty to think about before my next visit at the beginning of June .

Partridge lakes open match

April 12th , peg 52 covey three

I had been looking forward to fishing Partridge lakes all week as we had some nice sunny weather leading up to the match but fate was to take a hand in events because the day before it took a real turn for the worse with scattered showers and a bit of a breeze i just hoped that it wouldn’t spoil the fishing too much . On the morning of the match the conditions didn’t look to bad as the forecast showers had passed by overnight and in between the grey clouds their was the odd piece of blue sky also the forecast strong winds hadn’t turned up yet ( but it did later with a vengeance )

As i got to the complex there was plenty anglers knocking about and it turned out that 87 of us where to contest the match which is my biggest for quite some time and i usually have a good record in these type of events , with so many people here covey 1-5 plus spey would be in the draw bag and when it came for my turn to draw i pulled out peg 52 covey three ( yet again ) i noticed that in the past hour the wind had began to increase steadily and it was starting to become a bit of a problem .

On getting to my peg i was actually quite pleased although the wind was blowing straight into my face i had a nice calm spot with the split island acting as a nice wind break and their was also bubbles coming up all along the far-bank with the odd fish rolling in front of the empty platform , i quickly plumbed up a few areas across at 2.5ft and felt a couple of fish bump into the line as i did plus i set up a 4ft line which would do for both slopes .

My bait mainly revolved around pellets with 4mm , expanders , micro and ground-bait on my side tray but you just had to bring maggots here as it can often guarantee you a bite or two , it soon came to the all in and as soon as the whistle went the wind got considerably stronger changing direction in the process from blowing in my face but to a right to left which meant i could no longer fish across even though it was only nine meters to the far-bank i struggled with the ever increasing wind to no avail and the first hour passed without a bite similar to most anglers around me .

I had been feeding my top three line with six maggots every five minutes since the match started so i dropped on it hoping to at last get a few bites but it took another twenty minutes before my float dipped it wasn’t the f1 i was looking for but an ide about 10oz not a good sign , i used my far-bank rig to fish in front of the empty platform to the left which allowed me to have the wind off my back and this would hopefully allow me better presentation which it did for awhile but i still couldn’t get a proper bite .

I went back on to my only line which produced any indications after twenty minutes it finally slide under and ide number two hit the net but it wasn’t what i needed to catch , my pole then blew off the roller twice in quick succession a sure sign that the wind was getting stronger and my nets where nearly getting blown out of the water so with only half of the match gone , the weather showing no signs of improving i made the decision to pack up early for the second match running on here and as i drove home the heavens opened so i consoled myself with the fact that at least i wasn’t struggling in the wind+rain for little in the way of fish but more importantly i hadn’t broken anything because later in the day social media was full of tales of costly smashed pole sections and i plan to be back at Partridge lakes towards the end of the week when hopefully the conditions will be more suitable to fishing rather than win surfing .

Partridge lakes

Peg 59 covey three , January 3rd


After not getting on the bank at all during December due to various reasons but mainly because i just didn’t want to sit in the cold being a soft arse a break does you well every once in a while , today i made the decision to brave the elements and test out my new matrix suit . I  planned on having a double-header with Saturday being at Partridge lakes and on Sunday at Sycamore fisheries , when i woke up for todays match the weather forecast had been for consistent light rain but little in the way of a breeze and unfortunately even after bouncing it down all night they had got it right . As i set off in the car to the fishery the dashboard showed a mighty three degrees and i wasn’t expecting it to rise above that during the day either .

Their was 54 anglers due to contest the open match so i was a bit surprised when as i joined the queue for the draw we were informed that they were only going to pay out on the top three plus sections of eight anglers and with covey 1 to 5 being in you would have to nearly win your lake to pick up any money which seemed a bit strange , so it was a nice easy match to blow away the cobwebs and worse was to follow when i pulled out peg 59 on covey three ( as per usual )  this was a peg that i had struggled to catch f1s on in summer but did get out of trouble by catching a few big carp in the margins for a section win .


On arrival at my peg i found it to be only ten meters wide so i decided not to over complicate things and put feed all over the swim so settled on just the three rigs ;

Two foot for dobbing along the far-bank with bread or white pellet i used a 4×10 scone float with just two number 11 stotz along the 012 garbo main line to allow for a slow fall of my hook bait , my hook length was 010 garbo which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

I decided against a three-foot deep rig and went for a four-foot one to fish on both slopes although finding a flat spot against the far-bank was a bit tricky with the point of the island coming quite far under the water , i hopped this was to be my main line of attack and i used a 4×12 malman roob float with a one inch spread bulk of number ten stotz starting above a 010 garbo hook length which had a size 20 matrix bagger hook .

My other rig was for the channel which i placed at eleven meters to my left into the wider bowl out-of-the-way , this is a line that lots of people use on here to a great deal of success but it is something i just can not get to work and because i don’t have any confidence in it i probably dont give it enough time , my float was a 4×14 malman roob which had a staggered bulk of number ten stotz the main line was 012 garbo and hook length 010 garbo which had a size 20 matrix bagger hook attached .

My bait was the usual for on here but with a couple of winter baits included ;

1 pint red and white maggots plus a few pinkies

1/2 pint soaked micros

1/2 pint dark ground-bait

small tub 4mm expanders normal and white

slice of bread with 4mm punch for dobbing

When the all in sounded at ten i went out to the far-bank and began dobbing bread against the reeds at two foot deep which was six-inch of the deck , i spent the first hour working all along the extremes of my peg with only two bites to show for it but luckily for me i hadn’t fell to far behind because all the anglers in my eye shot hadn’t caught either and they were all fishing at different depths so i had no clues at what the best area to go on next as usually f1s tend to stick in a certain depth of water where they feel the most comfortable .

I decided to give my four-foot deep rig a go and plumbed up three areas of the peg i purposely didn’t plumb up at the start of the match here because i didn’t want to disturb my far-bank before i began dobbing also i tend to have the memory of a goldfish so forget the exact positions to fish .I went out directly in front of me with a single red on the hook and tapped in six maggots over the top of the float i began lifting-dropping or slowly dragging the hook bait for about twenty minutes without any success , i was then off too another part of the peg and started again but this did not produce either so yet again a move was in order i was working my peg from right to left towards the bowl at the end of the split were it was at its widest part and i was now at the point of the island . After working my rig here i had the slightest dink on the float i had hoped that i had found a nest of f1s but my luck was out when a big ide surfaced at the net and at least i had got rid of the dreaded blank because after two hours it was looming large .

With no more bites forthcoming i decided to re-feed all three of my four-foot lines each with six maggots before giving my channel line a try but as per usual for me on here this failed to produce a bite even after being fed for half the match i did continue to drop a dozen maggots in every thirty minutes for another try later in the match , with the lack of action from the fish and the constant raining my hands began to cramp up so i decided for a ten minute time out to try to get some blood circulating in my fingers it was at times lack this that i remembered why i don’t like winter fishing .

It seemed that the rest had done my swim some good because first drop with my four-foot rig directly in front of me  and my float slowly slid under a firm strike saw yards of elastic dragged out of the pole , this was not going to be an ide and after five minutes of careful playing i had a carp of around 4lb in the net .Another ten bite less minutes past before i had another little dink on the float and another slightly smaller carp made its way to the net things were beginning to look interesting as these two carp had put me level or even slightly in front of the six anglers within eye shot apart from the guy on peg 73 who every time i looked up seemed to be playing a fish and after the match i found out he had won it with 110lb all on dobbed bread the Sunday open was also won from the same peg using the same method .


I rotated my swims again but i only managed two more ide from the point of the island and as we was fast approaching the final hour of the match i felt that i needed another carp or a run of f1s to be in with a chance of my section today as i figured that a low weight would be good enough , with forty minutes remaining the rain stopped the sun came out and the fish began feeding with seemingly a life less area of covey three now producing the odd fish . I was back on my original swim but unfortunately for me the next bite resulted in being attached to another big carp which lead me a merry dance and when i failed to net it not once but twice it made a bid for freedom dashing under my platform , i could see the carp of about 5lb near the leg of my stage and when i tried to scoop it the fish bolted breaking the hook length my lack of recent match practise had cost me today as i waved bye-bye to a no doubt section winning carp .

Before the all out sounded i managed one more bite which resulted in my only f1 of the day being added to the net , when the scales arrived at my peg i had 16lb to beat but could only manage 12lb consisting of three ide , two carp and a solitary f1 for i think third on the lake plus if they had paid normal sections of five anglers i would have picked up the section but also if i had managed to land that carp then i would have been second on the lake but that’s match fishing for you and with my first contest of the year over with its hopefully onwards and upwards starting at Sycamore fisheries tomorrow .