Preston pairs at Partridge lakes

17th April

Today i was back at Partridge lakes fishery for the Preston pairs competition and with 82 anglers attending including lots of partridge regulars  it was always going to be tough competing with them but after my match here on Saturday i was really looking forward to it , although after seeing the results from Sunday it seemed to be going back to winter tactics which after five matches on the bounce it was only to be expected as the fish decided to shut up shop and scratching around for bites more suited my style of fishing .

On arrival at the fishery we was greeted to calm , bright conditions with a cold easterly wind not great for catching f1s but it would be the same for everyone i suppose , after booking on to the match i grabbed a bacon buttie from the on site café before having a walk around covey 1-4 and there was very little in the way of fish showing . For some reason i had been given the job of doing the draw for us both and decided to join the queue early before the draw bags had their pick of the flyers , when it finally came round to my turn in the bag of doom i pulled out peg 29 on covey two for my mate and peg 83 on covey four for me so one good peg and one average peg , with the weights on the previous days match being quite low we set ourselves a target of a 130lb which should give us a top ten finish maybe even scraping into the money positions.

After dropping my mate off i drove round to my home for the next few hours and i have fished this peg a couple of times overs the years with a mixed bag of results as sometimes it can be a match winner other times i have struggled , with the light wind blowing into the corner it did look promising although i had been told that only 20lb came off it the day before so i was a bit undecided on my target weight and i choose to set up the usual rigs ;

Pellet rig at 4ft which was my best depth on my last match here i used it for fishing on the shelf across and in front of the near side reed bed to my right , i used a 4×14 roob float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length and i had the usual 014 garbo main line .

Maggot rig at 2ft for fishing tight to the over hanging reeds and i could also use it for fishing shallow , my rig was a 4×10 maggie float which had a couple of number eleven stotz spread along my 014 garbo main line and i had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Channel rig which i positioned at six meters towards my right and i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern spread along the 014 garbo main line , attached to it was a six-inch length of 010 garbo .

Margin rig for fishing in front of peg 84 platform and i used a 0.4 MD diamond float with an inch spread bulk starting above the six-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was going to be ;

2 pints red and white maggots

1 pint soaked micros

1 pint of corn

1 pint of ground-bait

Small tub of 4+6mm expanders

When the all in sounded i began by feeding half a pot of maggots plus a nugget of ground-bait onto my channel swim which i would repeat every thirty minutes and i then went across onto my four-foot pellet rig , i started off quite negatively by tapping in half a dozen micros then lowered my rig in over the top of it and it took a couple of feeds before i had my first indication , soon i had my first fish in the net but after that f1 i began missing lots of indications and a change to a 2mm expanders resulted in a couple of small stockies not what i wanted to be catching , i increased the amount that i was feeding by dumping a small kinder pot full of micros to see if i could draw in a better stamp of fish and i also changed my hook bait to a piece of corn , by doing this i managed a couple more big f1s but i was still missing lots of indications and before i knew it the first hour had past with me putting hardly anything into the net .

As i didn’t want to waste any more time catching nothing i picked up my rig for tight to the far bank cover because the couple of lads within eye shot had picked up the odd fish by doing it , i started just like before tapping in some micros then letting my rig fall slowly through it to hopefully grab the attention of any passing fish , but this failed dramatically as thirty minutes past without any success and i would normally have switched swims earlier , but i felt that i needed to be more patient so i could build the peg up although it didn’t seem to be working that well today and a change to corn skin or maggots on the hook only produced gudgeon .

I decided to set up a new swim at six meters towards the bottom of my near slope on my left hand side because this was where i caught best on my last match here and after tapping in some micros i lowered my rig over the top , a couple of feeds later my float shot under as i had foul hooked a big carp which took me on a merry dance before the hook pulled out and understandably this had caused a big disturbance in front of me , the only part of my peg unaffected was my long left hand margin in front of the spare platform i didn’t want to go on it this early in the match but as i had not fed it yet i thought it wouldn’t do any harm , after dumping in a kinder pot full of micros i lowered my rig over the top with a piece of corn on the hook and i began getting the odd indication which i kept missing , strangely a switch to expander resulted in no indications so back on with the corn and i managed a couple of quick f1s before i was back missing bites then i hooked a two ounce stockie .

With two hours of the match gone and i had only five fish in the net you could say things wasnt going to well , i noticed a few bubbles coming up from my channel swim so with nothing to lose i dropped on it and no sooner had my float settled than it dipped under which of course i missed but it did sharpen my attention , it was noticeable that i would only get a bite within thirty seconds of my hook bait hitting the deck so i was constantly laying my rig through the water ,by doing this i managed six f1s in a forty minute spell but when things went quite and i caught a couple of perch i decided to put in a big pot of maggots to hopefully get them back into my peg , while it settled i felt it was time to start feeding my spare platform and i kinder potted six pieces of corn plus a nugget of groundbait it didn’t take long before i began getting indications , this time they was proper bites and i began picking up the odd f1 + carp although after a while i had to go a bit shallower almost pushing my rig under the platform

I rotated between my channel swim and long margin putting the odd fish in the net but with forty minutes remaining i choose to concentrate on my spare platform , i also began upping the feed because the pairs match was going to be decided on joint weight and i needed some carp after my poor start to the contest , this turned out to be a major mistake as i attracted to many f1s into the peg and for the rest of the match all i could do was foul hook fish .

The all out sounded calling time on a very frustrating match and after a poor couple of hours at the start i managed to pull it back towards the end but not really quick enough to do any good , when the scales arrived my two nets went a disappointing 38lb but my mate fared a lot better from an average peg catching 77lb which gave us a joint weight of 115lb and i am unsure where this put us overall because they have disappointedly decided not to do a league table .

Well done to all the framers and section winners , i am back at the Cunneries fishery on Saturday to contest the open match because the next round of the teams of three will be starting back soon , thanks for taking the time to read my blog .