Partridge lakes winter league


March 26th

Today was the last round of the winter league at Partridge lakes and it has been a very long series which was probably down to the fact that we wasnt in contention since Christmas after a lot of poor draws and also poor displays by all of us in the squad but that’s the way it goes sometimes , anyway on to the match and on arriving at the fishery we was greeted with blue skies , hardly any wind but a significant drop in overnight temperature and i even had to defrost the car before i set off which i figured would make the fishing a bit difficult .

After meeting up with the rest of the team it was my turn to do the draw and i joined the queue around the middle , it soon came round for my turn in the bag of doom and yet again we had a fairly average set of pegs which wasnt surprising to be honest as we had all got used to sitting in dodgy areas ;

Willow peg 18

Covey five peg 107

Covey six peg 141

Marsh peg 11

The later of them was my home for the next few hours and i had fished both peg twelve and fourteen over the winter managing second in section both times , so i had a good idea on how to fish it but it was going to be a low weight affair which is usually something that i am quite good at but today is a different day and we will see how things pan out .On arriving at my home for the next few hours it was nearly 14m to the far bank where i had a mixture of bare bank and reed beds which was good but i also had the big hill behind meaning i had to break down twice , i decided to set up a few rigs to cover my options ;

Margin top four towards the empty peg to my right were it was nearly four-foot deep and i was going to feed 4mm pellets here by hand so i used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length that had a size 18 guru pellet hook .

Top four directly in front of me which i was going to lose feed maggots by hand it was nearly five foot here so i used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length that had a size 18 guru maggot hook .

I used the same rig for fishing down the track at nine meters towards my left and i would pot in pellets on this line .

Far bank swim were it was about four-foot deep and i set up two rigs on this line because i was unsure on what bait they wanted today , i had a 4×14 roob float for my pellet fishing which had an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 010 garbo hook length and my other rig for maggots was a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk and dropper shotting pattern along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 hook length

Bait for the day was a bit of a mixture on my side tray as i had ;

1 pint of red maggots

1 pint of hard 4mm pellets

1 pint of soaked micros

small tub of 2+4mm expanders

When the all in sounded i fed my margin with half a dozen 4mm pellets and through the same amount of maggots on to my top four swim i was going to do the same every ten minutes to hopefully build them up for later in the match , i then shipped out to my marker at the left hand side of the reed bed with my pellet rig and after tapping in a few micros i lowered my float over the top of it , it took about 15 minutes and three feeds before i even had an indication a similar amount of time passed before i had my first fish which was a nice stamp f1 which put up a good fight on my 6-8 map hollow elastic and i think it’s about time i stepped it up a touch before my next match .

Another 15 minutes passed before i had my next fish but i had noticed that i would get indications on my float every time that i tapped in a few micros and even in this early stage of the match i made the decision to plumb up into some shallower water and i found around three-foot towards the right of the far bank reed bed  , while it settled down i gave my maggot rig a try over my original pellet swim i had a 4mm expander on the hook which would allow for a slow fall of the hook bait  and i hoped this might grab the attention of any passing fish but unfortunately this didn’t work for me . It was now time to try my new pellet swim and it took some time to build up the line but after a while i managed another f1 plus a bonus carp about 3lb , a bite less thirty minutes had me scratching my head but on looking around it was noticeable that everybody was struggling for bites and i decided to give my other swims a try , i had a quick look on my margin swim but apart from a few gudgeon it was a waste of time and i made the decision to up the amount that i was feeding here , my next swim to try was my top four maggot and i had a good run of fish here the only trouble was that they were two ounce silvers not exactly what i wanted to catch , dropping onto my channel swim didn’t produce a single indication for the next two hours + thirty minutes i rotated my near swims set up multiple far bank lines and i failed to catch anything other than small silvers .

Things wasnt looking good but with just forty minutes of the match remaining and the wind changed around a touch meaning that i now had a ripple in front of me , it’s surprising how such little things can make a big impact because with in ten minutes of going back to the far bank with my pellet rig i missed my first indication in ages this focused my attention and i soon had another f1 in the net , then another quickly followed but after that little flurry of bites i had a ten minute wait before my bristle lifted up a touch i was just going to re set my float when it shot under and i had a spirited fight with another bonus carp then just before the all out i managed another f1 .

So that was the end of the match and a rather frustrating one it was too as i had a good start and end but the middle of the match was just plain awful , although after speaking to the other anglers it was the same for every one apart from the lad to my left who managed to sneak in a few fish by dobbing corn all along the far bank , which is something that i should have done to because i knew that on the previous days open match on the coveys a lot of people had caught doing it , when the scales arrived at the lake i walked down to watch the lads in my section weigh in and the lad on the end peg managed 23lb most of which he caught in the last hour when the wind pushed the fish his way , the others had a similar match to me i had 13lb to beat for the section second my net went nearly 17lb so a pretty standard two points yet again but I’m not sure i could have done much different today and to show how bad marsh canal fished i somehow managed to finish third on the lake .

When i met up with the rest of the lads we had yet another shocker of a day ending up with 15 points and we was all a bit deflated as we finished sixteenth overall a bit of a come down from last year when we finished sixth , personally i have had an up and down series ;

Round two piper lake for third in section and the team ended up with nine points .

Round three covey six for forth in section and the team ended up with twelve points .

Round four covey five for last in section and the team had a proper shocker with nineteen points .

Round five marsh canal for second in section and the team had fifteen points .

Round seven willow pool for a section win and the team ended up with nine points for joint second on the day .

Round eight willow pool last in section and team ended up with sixteen points .

Round nine covey six for third in section and team ended up with seventeen points .

Round ten marsh canal for second in section and team ended up with fifteen points .

So that’s the Partridge winter league over for another year and on to my new venture with Daiwa Adlington where i will be contesting the teams of three spring league at Cunneries fishery which i am really looking forward too .

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Partridge lakes winter league teams of four


March 12th

Today was the penultimate round of the teams of four winter league at Partridge lakes and our 2+2 team was languishing in the bottom third of the league after some pretty average draws at best , but it was still a great experience fishing against some top-notch sponsored anglers and partridge regulars plus it gave me a chance to fish on the old lakes which no doubt helped me to compete in the individual winter league held here where i managed to finish 13th out of the 75 anglers .

At last the weather had showed signs of improving with temperatures rising slightly during the week although we had a cold wind to contend with today but as i arrived at the complex it was rather warm and i had to take a couple of layers off before i met up with the rest of the lads near the cabin , the captain decided to do the draw today and we all prayed for some decent pegs for a change but it looked like we had upset the draw gods as yet again we had some shocking pegs ;

Willow peg eight not great and 4th in section at best .

Spey peg eighteen can be good if the wind is blowing that way but surprise-surprise it wasnt .

Covey five 119 for the third time this winter league 4th in section at best .

Covey six 153 probably the worst peg in the section and my home for the next few hours .

After driving round to the back car-park near Holbar i started un loading my gear out the car and after speaking to a couple of Partridge regulars who was sat on the better pegs in my section , i went round to my peg and i had a reed lined far bank about 13m away but i also had a hill behind me which would make shipping back a bit awkward especially if i needed to chase the fish out of my peg , the wind was blowing from right to left but it shouldn’t cause much of a problem if it stayed the same but as usual when the all in sounded it increased dramatically.

As i didn’t really fancy my chances of getting good section points i choose to use todays contest to practice my pellet fishing and set up a couple of rigs to cover my options ;

Three foot rig which was about a foot away from the far-bank and surprisingly it plumbed up really nice because i managed to find three flat areas , i used a 4×12 malman roob which had an inch spread bulk starting above the short four inch 010 garbo hook length and i also set up a 4×10 rw maggie float which had a few number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Channel swim which i positioned at nine meters either side of me and i plumbed up to find a touch over five foot so i used a 4×14 malman roob which had an inch spread bulk starting above the short four inch 010 garbo hook length and i also set up a 4×12 rw maggie float which had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern along the 014 garbo main line with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

1 pint of soaked micros

1 pint of soaked 4mm pellets

1 pint of crushed expander groundbait

Small tub of 2+4mm expanders

I started the match by loose feeding half a dozen 4mm pellets along my left hand margin and then fed a golf ball of groundbait onto my left hand channel swim , before finally i could get fishing and shipped out to my far bank directly in front of me , after tapping in half a dozen micros i lowered my rig over the top and no sooner had my float settled than it dipped under as a small chub had taken a liking for my 4mm expander but at least i was off the mark , by being careful with my feeding and keeping the rig still directly over the top of it i managed to catch eight f1s in a forty minute spell before the bites began to tail off . I plumbed up another swim along the far bank towards my left and i fed a few micros while i was doing so , i let it settle for a bit and had a quick look onto my margin swim where i had been loose feeding six 4mm pellets but a bite less ten minutes had me going back across onto my new swim , i didn’t have to wait too long before i began getting indications and i had another run of five f1s which was no doubt down to the fact that i was being a bit more patient today than i usually am , i was just getting into the swing of things when i managed to stupidly loose a big f1 under my platform which was easy to do when I’m using the short shallow kits and this trashed my rig but it turned out to be a bit of a god send as it allowed me to change to a float with a slightly thicker tip because with the wind getting stronger i was struggling to see the little dinks on the bristle .

The disturbance of replumbing up killed my original across swim so i decided to put in another line towards my right which was further away from where i thought most of the fish would be because they had been situated in the bowl towards my left nearly all winter but i noticed that when i hooked an f1 it would go in the opposite direction towards peg 151 , after a couple of feeds i began catching fish again but they was only small stockies and i choose to rotate my two far bank swims picking up a couple from each before switching, it was noticeable that the bigger stamp was found on my left hand swim and if the wind relented enough i picked up my lighter 4×10 rig this got me a few nice f1s taking my hook bait just as my float settled but i couldn’t use it that often due to the conditions .

Before i knew it we was into the last forty minutes and i had a look on my track swim , i had twenty minutes earlier fed it with a golf ball of ground-bait no sooner had my rig settled than it buried and i managed five fish before the all out including a couple of ghosties . I really enjoyed my match today even though i was up against it from the start but i suppose thats what happens when your not under that much pressure , i hadn’t done a great deal of soft pellet fishing in the last few months and knew that i could improve on a few things today but i still managed to catch 34 f1s which went a shade over 40lb this put me third in section as peg 157 had 48lb and 155 had 50lb , yet again the team had another bad round getting 17 points which was only to be expected from our poor draw .

Having a weekend away from Partridge lakes my first in about three months as I’m fishing the charity match at cunneries fishery on Saturday and a team match Sunday at Widdows .

 

Partridge lakes winter league team match


26th February

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Today i was back at Partridge lakes for the winter league team match and after the last round where we managed to finish joint second on the day so we was all upbeat of another good showing so that we could hopefully start to move up the table because we was still in the bottom third , the weather had yet again taking a turn for the worse this time we had the back-end of a hurricane to contend with and would it be too much to ask that we could have a half decent day for a change .

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On arrival at the fishery everywhere was flooded after the heavy overnight downpour but at least the wind was so far manageable but it was due to increase dramatically during the day , i met up with the rest of the lads in the cabin because they wanted to be first in line for a pick in the bag of doom and strangely i had been relegated from doing the draw but i think i will be doing it for the remaining rounds because apart from one peg we had yet another shocker of a draw ;

Marsh 16

Piper 38

Covey six 139

Willow 6

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The last of them would be my home for the day which is yet another last in section peg and out of the eight rounds so far i have only had two that have been able to produce a day’s fishing but at least i wasnt too far away from the café so i could get a drink or something to eat ,Willow lake was probably the only one on the complex that held a proper mixed bag of fish to target and the peg i was on had an island at 14m with an empty platform either side although i was just on the edge of the wind which was blowing from left to right but slightly over my shoulder , if it stayed at the same strength i could just about manage to hold my pole still enough so that i could present a rig tight over to the island which is where i expected to catch the most of my f1s during the match , i plumbed up lots of lines all over my peg and it stayed a constant 4ft deep from the edge of my nets too about a meter from the island although it went a few inch shallower towards my left this meant that i didn’t have a great deal in the way of rigs to set up ;

Island rig tight to the reeds at 2.5ft deep and i used a slightly heavier than usual 0.3 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern 014 garbo main line and a 010 garbo six-inch hook length which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

I set up two rigs to cover my 4ft lines a light rig which was a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern 014 garbo main line and a 010 garbo six-inch hook length which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached , the other rig was a heavier 0.4 round bodied wire stemmed float which would give my rig more stability in the worsening conditions i used a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern with 014 garbo main line and a 010 garbo six-inch hook length which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

With the f1s taking a liking for pellets at Partridge lakes you would be surprised to hear that it was on my side tray for todays match ;

One pint of soaked micros

One pint of soaked 4mm pellets

One pint of crushed expander ground-bait

One pint of red and white maggots

Small tub of 2+4mm expanders

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I began my match by feeding a golf ball sized nugget of ground-bait onto my right hand 11m line which i was going to leave for at least thirty minutes so the skimmers could settle on it and i then went on to my six meter swim i tapped in a dozen micros with a ten pence sized piece of ground-bait , i then lowered my lighter rig over the top and with the back shots sunk just under the water enabled me to keep my float really still , it took me a couple of feeds before i began getting indications and in the first couple of hours i had a really good run of catching skimmer up to 10oz when bites began to tail off i just topped up with another ball of ground-bait , every so often i would drop onto my right hand 11m line but strangely i never got an indication on it and maybe it was because the wind was stronger on that side although i did try my heavier rig which didn’t make any difference .

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I noticed that most of the lads in my section had managed to pick up the odd f1 among the silvers and if i wanted to do any good i felt that i needed to pick up a couple myself , so i went on my long line at the side of the reeds and i decided to start on maggots because at least i would be able to put some line on the deck using them on the hook as the wind was really beginning to get strong but thirty minutes of wrestling with my pole without an indication and i felt enough was enough as i didn’t fancy breaking my pole today , when i dropped back onto my six meter line the skimmers had vanished and it never really got going there for the rest of the match so i decided to put in another swim at 11m towards my right but just fed maggots through a kinder pot because i noticed that the lads either side of me had caught f1s using it , this line was very slow although i did manage a big skimmer plus a perch about a pound but it never really got going for me and neither did my loose fed maggot swim at four meters which i had thrown a dozen maggots since the match started this just produced a couple of roach , In the latter part of the match i tried in front of my left hand platform where it was a bit calmer but all i had to show for it was a missed indication and i just had time to rotate all my swims before the all out catching a solitary skimmer .

As i began packing my gear away i couldn’t help but feel that i would have been better just picking up the odd skimmer on my six meter swim because it would have pushed me closer to my target weight of 15lb which is what i expected would be needed for good section points today , although when i saw the odd f1 come out i figured that i would need to catch a couple as well and as it turned out i was right because apart from the section winner on peg four who had 31lb plus the benefit of the calmer water where the fish had backed off to but still fished a good match , the rest of the section was pretty close ;

peg 1 had 10lb

peg 2 had 15lb

peg 4 had 31lb

I had just under 10lb from peg 6

peg 8 had 13lb

I reckon that i could have had the extra few pounds to finish at least third in section if i had fished a better match but i ended up last and the rest of the team didn’t do that much better as we totaled 16 points on the day it was only to be expected from the draw we had but at least i didn’t lose or break anything today which was a bonus in the hurricane winds we had to endure towards the end of the match , I’m back at Partridge lakes for the last round of the individual winter league on Sunday and i just hope that i can finish it with a bang which would hopefully leave me in a top ten place as that was my target at the start of the contest .

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Partridge lakes , winter league team match


February 12th

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Today i was back at Partridge lakes for the teams of four winter league and after a couple of poor rounds we was languishing in a mid table place so we could do with a really good day if we wanted to move up the league , I’m beginning to sound like a stuck record but yet again the weather leading up to the match was quite reasonable for the time of year before it all went downhill come the weekend as we was faced with a very strong easterly cold wind not exactly your ideal fishing conditions and it has happened time and time again this year .

On this round we decided to have an early draw because our usual late dip in the draw bag just wasnt working as we had to deal with some proper shockers so far in this winter league , we all met up at the fishery around eight o’clock which gave us enough time to get sorted before the rolling draw started and after my recent good run it was my turn to do the team draw , i managed to get third in line but the lad in front of me managed to pull out some proper flyers so maybe i could have done with an even earlier pick and when it came for my turn i luckily avoided the dodgy pegs getting ;

Spey 8

covey six 149

covey five 123

willow 2

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The latter of them was my home for the next few hours and i was quite pleased with that as my mate had won the lake from peg one which gave me a good insight into how best to fish it , i did see a fish roll near the aerator which looked promising although i did have to contend with the worst of the strong cold wind blowing right into my right hand margin which was forecast to get stronger during the day and this had a bearing on how i would tackle my peg ;

Dobbing rig at 4ft , a 0.4 diamond patterned float with a wire stem which i hoped would enable me to keep the rig still and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

4ft rig which i used for fishing in various parts of my peg and i used a 4×12 maggie float with 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Channel rig set at nearly six-foot , i used a 4×14 maggie float with 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

On all my rigs i left a long lash between pole and float with a couple of heavy back shots , this should help in controlling the rig but might mean i missed the odd bite but if you can’t present a bait properly you would be unlikely to get an indication in the first place .

Bait for the day was your typical side tray for the time of year ;

pint of red maggots with a handful of whites as a change bait

slice of bread

pint of fish meal ground-bait for the skimmers

small tub of both 2+4mm expanders

small tub of corn

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When the all in sounded i put a golf ball sized nugget of ground-bait on to my channel swim and i decided to begin by dobbing across a meter away from the far bank reeds at three-foot with a 7mm punch before the wind got too strong , within five minutes i had my first indication which resulted in a pound f1 hitting the net and i hoped that i might have found a little group of fish but i had to wait a further fifteen minutes before i had my next bite which i somehow managed to lose at the net , by this point i had worked all along the island and i had even gone into two foot which was tighter to the bank without success , with the wind getting more blustery i was finding it hard to control my rig so i decided to drop on to my channel swim hoping that a couple of skimmers had settled on my initial feed , but thirty minutes without a sign wasnt what i expected but as the rig was towing the opposite way the wind was blowing i needed to lay some more line on the deck so i decided to re feed with a conker sized ball of ground-bait .

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My next port of call was to try dobbing along my right hand margin which is usually the best place to fish on this peg and i did manage a quick f1 at 13m just past the tree but another thirty bite less minutes had me scratching my head , although on looking around the lake everybody was struggling to cope with the worsening conditions and it looked like the f1s had shut up shop for the time being even the far side of the lake where i expected the fish to be sat in the calmer water were struggling for bites , up to this point of the match i had not really put any bait in so i decided to put in a new swim at 13m along my right hand margin in four-foot but after feeding a couple of times i kept getting snagged up no doubt down to the waves stirring up the twigs on the bottom of the lake and the wind kept pushing my pole into the trees , my next move was to plumb up a new swim at a more manageable five meters and the better presentation here helped me catch a couple of hand sized roach plus a couple of missed bites but although i was happy putting something in the net i felt that i needed f1s to be in chance of getting good section points , with the wind easing a touch i decided to risk going back across to try dobbing again and i managed a couple of quick f1s before it all went quiet but from what i could see and hear this had put me in front for the section , the wind was also getting increasingly blustery making holding the pole still very difficult and for the next ninety minutes i rotated all my swims without success but nobody within eye shot even managed a bite either .

As we was approaching the latter stages of the match the light began to fade and finally the wind relented so i could finally present a bait properly , i decided to go onto to my five meter swim and after a couple of feeds tapping in six maggots i began getting the odd indication which was a positive sign not long after i had my first f1 in what seemed like an age , quickly followed by another and thinking about things after the match i was getting movements on the bristle as soon as i put any bait in which obviously meant the f1s were off the bottom and i should have tried my dobbing rig over the top , i managed one more f1 and a missed bite before the all out sounded this put me on 7 f1s plus the two roach which would put me right in contention for my first section win in this years winter league teams of four .

When the scales arrived it was really noticeable that Willow pool had completely shut off as the weights in my section were 2lb,3lb,9lb,3lb and i had 12lb for the section win this also put me second on the lake so i  kept my recent good run at Partridge lakes going , when i met up with the rest of the team it looked like we had finally managed a good round and nine points was our total this put us joint second on the day which is a big improvement on our recent rounds .

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So roll on the next match where i will be back at Partridge lakes for the individual winter league and need another decent draw to stay near the top of the table .

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Partridge lakes winter league


January 29th , Marsh peg 16

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Today i was back at Partridge lakes for the winter league teams of four and after yesterdays enjoyable match where i managed to finish third catching a nice net of silvers on Bradshaw’s number four even though i got soaked to the skin with constant rain all day , i was rather looking forward to the contest today because there seemed to have been a few fish being caught during the midweek matches so things looked promising  although that was soon put to the back of my mind when i woke up in the morning to find a very thick frost and i expected it to be hard going but i suppose we should be getting used to that by now .

On arriving at the fishery i met up with the rest of the team and we all agreed it would be a very tough day after yesterdays down pour then the overnight freeze but it would be the same for everybody i suppose so we wasnt too downbeat , after having a quick chat to a couple of lads from the other teams it was time for the rolling draw to start and after my poor showing on the last round where i picked some proper duff pegs i had been taken off the draw bag duties , but it didn’t make any difference because yet again we had four stinkers to contend with and this winter league had been awful for us i just hope we can get a few flyers towards the back-end of the league .

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My home for the day was going to be Marsh canal peg 16 yet again i would be looking at a last in section at best and after speaking to a couple of lads in the car park they were saying i would be lucky to get a bite just what i wanted to hear , when i got to my peg the ice was a bit thicker than i imagined but luckily i managed to borrow a breaker so i proceeded to smash out a channel two meters wide and about a meter from the far bank this i hoped would give me enough options to enable me to get a bite or two .

I decided to keep things simple today setting up two rigs ;

Channel swim at six meters either side of the ice because i had the low winter sun directly in my face so this would allow me to swop between them both when i got blinded , my rig was a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern the main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 hook length and i had a size twenty guru maggot hook .

Bottom of the far slope at 11m which was good because the steep hill behind would make shipping back a bit of a problem if i went any further my rig was a 4×10 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern the main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 hook length and i had a size twenty guru maggot hook .

Bait for the day was rather simple ;

1 pint of red and white maggots

Handful of micros

1 slice of bread

small tub of 4+2mm expanders

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As the all in sounded i started of the match on my right hand six meter channel swim with pellets and i tapped in six micros then let my rig fall slowly over the top of it but it took twenty minutes before i had an indication which resulted in a gudgeon hitting the net but at least i had avoided the blank , the lads either side of me by this point had managed an f1 each by fishing on the far shelf so with little happening in the channel i decided to follow suit and i began on pellets but a bite less half hour had me changing to maggots feeding four every ten minutes , out of the blue my float dipped under the water and i was attached to an f1 but as i began shipping back it went under the ice causing me to lose it i just hoped it wouldn’t cost me come the end of the match .

With the conditions being as they were I didn’t want to be putting too much bait in especially as i only had a little area in the ice to fish in and i would really need to be more patient in my approach today  the change of hook bait to maggots resulted in a couple more gudgeon , i rotated between the two swims during the first couple of hours and yet again all i could catch were gudgeon a sure sign that there was no fish in the area , the lad to my left who was a partridge regular who knows what he is doing on here was in the same boat as me and after his early f1 all he could catch was gudgeon too .

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Just over half way in the match i was back fishing the far shelf with maggots when i had a little dip on the float and i was expecting yet another gudgeon but this time surprisingly my elastic came out as an f1 made its way to the bank which was more than welcome on this cold winters day , i shipped back out no sooner had my float settled than f1 number two hit the net which was quickly followed by another and i hoped that a little shoal of them had settled on my feed but no sooner had they turned up then they went the slight rise in temperature must have seen the f1s on the move , i spent another bite less thirty minutes before the gudgeon turned up again and as the sun had moved from my eye line i could put in another far line to the left of my swim but strangely this side of my peg failed to produce a single bite even down the track .

I ended up having four swims going all in different areas of my peg but all i could catch was gudgeon for the rest of the match although in the last thirty minutes i missed a couple of indications on the swim i had caught the f1s on earlier and i felt that they might have been line bites , i was kicking myself for not setting up a dobbing rig at the start especially as after the all out i found that the guy to my right had caught his eight f1s by using it , when the scales came round peg 20 had seven f1s for 11lb , peg 18 had eight f1s 12lb , i had 3 f1s for 6lb , peg 14 had 1 f1 for 2lb and peg 11 had 2 f1s for 3lb so i ended up third in section which i would have taken at the start of the match maybe i could have caught two or three more by dobbing and losing that fish under the ice but that’s all ifs buts and maybe .

On getting back to the cabin to meet up with the other team members and as expected from our draw we had a shocker with two thirds, a fourth from covey six , a last in section from ribbon who only had a solitary bite in five hours this put us on 15 points and we are now languishing towards the bottom of the table but with hopefully a few better draws we might move further up . I’m back at Partridge lakes for the individual winter league i just hope that i can keep my run going with just the three rounds left but one bad draw can put you right out of it as every match counts .

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Partridge lakes winter league


January 15th , peg 119 covey five

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After last weeks eventful match where i somehow managed a default section win in the individual winter league at Partridge lakes where it was safe to say i was a bit rusty after my christmas break , i was hoping to try a few different things out to improve my catch rate and i would have loved to go during the week but unfortunately work must come first although the weather would no doubt have put me off as well because we had our first spell of snow plus freezing conditions . So today i was looking forward to the return too Partridge lakes for the winter league teams of four where we was lying mid table and i was charged with doing the draw for the team as we had a bit of a shocker on the previous round , so after arriving at the fishery i met up with the rest of the lads and after a bit of a mix up with the pools money i only got to the draw queue late with just a couple of people behind me , i managed to pick out ;

Willow 19

Marsh

Covey six 167

Covey five 119 which was my draw for the second time in three rounds and it is a peg that you would be fighting for fourth place in section with 113 .

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On arriving at my home for the next few hours i had the strong wind blowing off my shoulder towards peg 117 and i decided to set up the usual rigs ;

Three foot maggot rig , i used a 0.2 maggie float with a bulk plus two droppers my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru hook attached .

Four foot maggot rig , i used a 0.3 maggie float with a bulk plus two droppers my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru hook attached .

Channel rig 11m to be right , i used a 4×14 maggie float with a bulk plus two droppers my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru hook attached .

Dobbing rig , i used a 0.3 matrix series three float with a wire stem for stability with two droppers spread down my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 16 guru hook attached .

Five foot rig for down the side of the dead reeds i used a 0.3 maggie float with a bulk plus two droppers my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru hook attached .

Bait for the day was rather simple which is to be expected for the time of year ;

One pint of red maggots with a handful of pinkies

One slice of bread for dobbing

A few expanders both 4+2mm

Some crushed expander

A handful of micro pellets

When the match started i began by dobbing a 7mm disk of bread a foot of deck all along my far bank four-foot line and after working to both extremes of my peg i only had a couple of line bites to show for it , i then tried tight to the far bank cover in two foot but this didn’t produce a proper indication either so my next move was to try my four-foot rig with maggots where i had the line bites when dobbing earlier and as the lad on 117 was catching at the same depth i expected to get a few bites , although the strong cross wind was making presentation hard work and i needed to take a shot of my rig to pop the float up a touch so i could see any indications , after a couple of feeds i had my first bite which resulted in a small stockie f1 hitting the net and over the next forty minutes i managed three more similar sized fish before things went  quiet , during the next couple of hours i set up multiple swims at this depth and never had a single indication i even tried my three-foot rig against the far bank cover but the wind was playing havoc on controlling my rig , the only place that i could present a bait properly was on my channel swim so i decided to feed a dozen maggots every ten minutes on it and i then had a quick look at the side of the dead reeds but apart from a few gudgeon i never managed a proper fish in twenty minutes , the guy to my right was fishing long down the channel towards me and was catching the odd f1 so i decided to drop on to my 11m swim but yet again i had a bite less thirty minutes in fact the middle of the match was a complete waste of time .

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In the last hour i dropped back on to my left hand margin at the side of the reeds and i managed another three f1s before i foul hooked a fish so they backed off out of the swim , so that was it no more fish hit the net before the all out sounded calling time on a rather frustrating match and i managed just seven f1s for six pounds which unsurprisingly put me last in section although i was only a couple of pounds from finishing in a better position , on the plus side i stayed warm and dry in the cold rain as it was the first time i had used my Halkon hunt waterproofs in these conditions .

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When i got back to the cabin i found the other lads and we had a complete blow out with 19 points this put us joint last on the day dropping us down to 13th on the overall table , so not the greatest of days but im back at Partridge next Sunday for the second round of the individual winter league i just hope that i can draw a bit better next time .

Partridge lakes winter league


December 4th , peg 171 covey six

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I am back at Partridge lakes today for the third round of the teams of four winter league and the weather leading up to the contest had taken a turn for the worse with a drop in temperature although it still wasnt as cold as it should be for the beginning of December , the conditions had a big impact on the weights that had come out recently and it had also been frozen at the start of the week but on the open match Saturday it had been ice-free so i was unsure on how it would fish after all the melted ice water had gone in but i was looking forward to it nonetheless . On the trip down to the fishery i was surprised to see that the canal near me had frozen over and i was half thinking that i should turn back for the ice breaker but fearing that this would make me late i decided to head on but i still hoped that Partridge would be ice-free , but on arrival i feared the worst as majority of the lakes were covered on closer inspection it was just cat ice which was a relief because i didnt fancy smashing out any channels with my pole if it was any thicker and i then made my way to meet up with the rest of the team who where surprisingly in a confident mood as one of them had managed to win the open here on Thursday , it was soon time for the rolling draw to start and the team captain came back with some reasonable pegs for a change 121 covey five , 14 spey , 4 ribbon , i was on 171 covey six and this was an area that i had fished before at this time of year but struggled plus i was up against the lakes flyer 173 so i would have my work cut out for decent points today .

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On arrival to my home for the next few hours most of the pegs had a covering of ice on them including those down the split were i was but luckily it was only cat ice so i managed to tap out a couple of channels through it quite easily with my cupping kit ,towards my left hand side i cut it out too eleven meters which was half way up the far bank slope at around four-foot deep and i didn’t really expect the fish to be in any shallower water ,  towards my right side i just put it half way about six meters which would be my channel swim and i was quite pleased with how things had turned out as i had left lots of ice for cover for the fish to hide in i was looking forward to giving it a good go because this type of fishing is something that i don’t do a lot of these days .

My main swims for today was going to be ;

Pellets in four-foot which was tight to the side of the ice and i used a 4×14 roob float which had an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 010 garbo hook length as this was a very positive rig it will show up the slightest touch on the float .

Maggots in four-foot i used a light 0.2 maggie float which had a bulk+two dropper shotting pattern and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six inch 010 garbo hook length attached to it , this should enable me to grab the attention of any passing f1 as my hook bait fell in the bottom third of rig .

Channel in six-foot as it was relatively still on this swim as i was getting protection by the ice so i used an 0.3 maggie float which had a bulk+two dropper shotting pattern and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached to it , this should enable me to grab the attention of any passing f1 as my hook bait fell in the bottom third of rig .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of red maggots with a handful of white mixed in

1 pint of micros

1 pint of crushed expanders

small tub of 4+2mm expanders

 

For a change i was set up with plenty time to spare but it was just ten minutes before the all in when the sun made its way from behind the far side trees which were in front of me and i just couldn’t see anything on my original swims so i hastily had to re plumbed up a couple of new ones on the opposite side of my ice channel which at least meant i could fish my four-foot rigs at the start , when the hooter sounded in the distance i began on my pellet line and i tapped in a thumbnail sized nugget of crushed expander groundbait as i didnt really know what to expect from the fishing today ,i then lowered my rig over the top of it but the glare from the sun was making things really awkward and with no bites coming in the first fifteen minutes  i decided to risk tapping a few micros in to see if i could attract the attention of a passing f1 because the lad to my left had already caught two fish so there seemed to be some in the area ,although to be honest i couldn’t be sure if it worked or not as i was lifting into phantom bites because i was struggling to see my float with the low winter sun and on one of these lifts i think i foul hooked an f1 which i lost under the ice as i began shipping back.

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Thirty minutes into the match i decided to go onto my channel swim because at least i was able to see my float but i did feel that there was a few fish present on the four-foot line so i hoped the sun might move enough for me to go back on my original swim soon , at this point of the contest the north easterly wind had started to get up as a consequence  you could hear the ice cracking and it wasnt long before most of it from the margin to the channel had melted this had an impact on the fishing as everyone down the split where i was sitting remained bite less for almost two hours although i did see a couple of anglers catch from the opposite bank , during this middle spell of the contest i think that i might have over fed the peg because i was setting up new swims at four-foot along the far shelve and also tapping in maggots which i felt was the best depth to try to find a few f1s but it didnt work .

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I was beginning to fear the worst with a blank being on the cards but when i dropped onto my channel swim i finally managed another bite and not long after i had my first f1 in the net , by kinder potting in six maggots every five minutes then lowering in my rig on a tight line i managed to add two more fish and i would only get an indication thirty seconds after my rig had settled so i was constantly laying my rig in through the water but after twenty minutes of activity the swim died on me , thinking about it now i really should have put more lines in at this depth but instead i went searching along the far bank at four-foot because that was the area that the other anglers seemed to be getting the most indications and i did manage a couple more f1s but it was noticeable that i would only be able to catch one fish on each swim , on reflection after the match i should have taken more pole sections out of my holdall so i could search the water in between the pegs because that is what the lad to my left did and he over took me in the last hour of the match , whereas i really struggled as i had to resort to going tight across with all my shot under the float by doing this i had a really slow fall of the hook bait i hoped that this might attract the attention of a carp but i only managed a chub .

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When the all out sounded it called time on a rather frustrating match i really needed to be more active searching my peg more to find out were the f1s where located and I’m not sure if my silver fishing is having a detrimental effect on my f1 fishing , i knew that i had been beaten by the anglers either side of me but i hopped that i had managed to get the better of the others in my section and for a change i was one of the first to weigh in peg 173 managed 13lb , i had 6lb , peg 169 had 10lb , peg 167 had 9oz and peg 165 had 8lb which i felt was well within my grasp today so i ended up a disappointing 4th in section .

On the team front we had a reasonable day with 12 points despite my poor performance this put us mid division on the day but more importantly kept us in touch with the leaders in overall 7th position with 33 points but there is still a long way to go yet ,unfortunately  i am going to miss the next round as i need to concentrate on my two remaining winter league matches at old hough where i need a couple of good results if i want to stay towards the top of the league but after that all my matches will be at Partridge lakes and i might even enter in the individual event if there is still places free .