Sycamore fishery– Rowans canal

March 15th , peg 28


After yesterdays fishing trip to Hall lane where i went to practice for the up and coming super cup match where i caught some big carp , i fancied a change of pace today and decided to go for some f1s so a trip to Sycamore fisheries was in order somewhere that i hadn’t been for a good few months because it was only ten minutes drive down the road i had a later than usual start but of course i still arrived their first . So i decided to have a quick walk around to reacquaint myself to the match canals , my mate had fished Silver birch canal on Weds and said that it had fished quite hard so i didn’t fancy drawing on their especially as the weather hadn’t got any better since then with an easterly wind , cold temps and overnight rain Will spring ever arrive .


When i got back at the cabin i went to book on their was a couple of people knocking about all the usual faces plus a few new ones , when it came to draw time i pulled out my usual flyer or is it i just the fact that i make them look good anyway off i headed to peg 28 Rowans canal and after making my way through the sluch i finally arrived at my home for the day , it was just your run of the mill peg on here 13m wide two far-bank reed beds which had a mud bank in between and the only different thing it had was a bush in between my peg and 27 which was a good area to target in summer but I’m not to sure it will have a bearing on things today so after looking at my peg i decided to fish three areas ;

Bottom near slope at 4ft – 4×12 malman roob float with 012 garbo main line which had a 010 garbo hook length and a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

Channel at 6m – 4×14 malman roob float with 012 garbo main line which had a 010 garbo hook length and a size 18 gamma pellet hook .

Far slope at 3ft – i set up two rigs for this line a 4×10 and a 4×14 malman roob  my main line was 012 garbo which had a 010 garbo hook length and a size 20 gamma pellet hook .


My bait was ;

Micro pellets

4mm expanders normal + white

1 pint red + white maggots

At ten o’clock it was time to get started so i shipped out to my far-bank marker with a few micros in the cad pot and a 4mm expander on the hook , after working my rig for nearly ten minutes my float dipped and f1 number one made its way to the net at nearly 1lb they had certainly packed the weight on since my last visit . For the next hour i was having my own little duel with the f1s and i was winning with six of them coming my way , in the second hour the stockie carp had muscled their way into my swim and although they were bigger they seemed to be coming into the peg in pairs with long waits between bites .


I had been loose feeding maggots on to my near slope since the match started and as it would also allow me to rest the far-bank i decided to give it a try but a bite less twenty minutes wasn’t what i expected because this line has worked really well for me on here in the past , the middle part of the match was a complete non event for me as i didn’t put a single fish in the net during a ninety minute spell despite rotating my swims and even set up a new one at 4ft across in case they had dropped further down the far-bank slope but this didn’t work for me either .


In the later stages of the match the cold easterly wind dropped a little with the sun finally showing itself and this seemed to spark a response in the fish as my seemingly lifeless far-bank began producing a few bites , by swapping between the three swims i had earlier set up across i finally started putting some fish in the net again and i felt that i was clawing my way back into contention of a framing place . The final whistle soon sounded and not for a long time had i not wanted to hear it as an extra thirty minutes would have given me chance to get the couple more fish required for a better finishing position .

I knew that corner peg 31 had caught well and so had the guy opposite me so i would just have to wait and see what the scales had to say  , when they arrived at my peg i needed to beat 33lb to take the lead and although i had only caught twenty fish i felt it could be close but unfortunately my net fell a bit short with the scales showing 29lb , i followed the weighers up the remaining pegs on Rowans canal and it turned out that i had done enough to get second on the canal plus third overall which wasn’t to bad on my first visit here in a while . Although i know that i did a few things wrong or failed to try today and if i fished it again i would have done better but that is why we keep going back because we are always learning especially when targeting those pesky f1s.

This week i will be mainly preparing for Sundays squad practise at Hall lane merlins pool where the first round of the super cup will be taking place and i then have the fun job of picking the team which will get us through . On a lighter note i have just watched the new Des Shipp e magazine which is all about winter_spring f1 fishing on tunnel barn and the fifty minute video is well worth watching because i haven’t seen that much about this subject on the screen although their has been a great deal written about it .


Sycamore fisheries

Peg 7 Silver birch , January 4th


After yesterdays eventful match at Partridge lakes i hoped that today might be a bit better , but it didn’t start that well when i woke up to find the car frozen with a thick frost on the ground too and the dashboard on the way to the complex showed a mighty -2 degrees . The match on here Wednesday when they had to break the ice to fish went really well with 30lb not being enough to frame so i did have a feeling even in these conditions it would fish ok but as you will find out later i was way off the mark .

On arrival at the venue i parked up and had a quick look at the match canals which were fortunately not frozen but all the melted ice plus the recent deluge of cold rain would have a bearing on how i would fish the match today , there was a thick frost all over the ground especially on the low numbered pegs on Silver birch which doesn’t get any of the winter sun due to the trees blocking out the light and i really didn’t want to draw along their .When i arrived at the cabin i was a bit surprised to see twenty anglers deciding to brave the elements and a lot of new faces since my last visit which for some reason happens a lot on here but it is a hard water to master so some people give up on it far too soon , as the names were called out one by one all the better pegs went and when it came for my turn my drawing hand let me down for the second match running with peg seven sticking to my hand it did have some summer form but today was totally different .


As i got to my home for the day i was rather down hearted especially when i saw the cold water inlet at the side of my peg which i had forgotten about plus the lack of any far bank vegetation but their was nothing i could do about it now and just had to make the most of it , sitting at my peg i thought on how best to attack it not sure if that was the best word to describe it though . I didn’t expect the near shelf to work today due to the shade so i decided to target the channel which was nearly six-foot deep i put this towards the empty platform at 11m to my left and would feed it with a kinder pot of maggots every twenty minutes my rig was a 4×14 malman roob float with 012 garbo main line which had a staggered bulk of number ten stotz the hook length was 010 garbo which had a size twenty matrix bagger hook.

My main areas that i expected to produce for me today was on the far shelf both at the bottom at four-foot and half way up the slope at three-foot , the rigs i used was 4×12 malman roob with 012 garbo main line with a spread bulk of number ten stotz spread an inch apart starting above my hook length of 010 and a size twenty matrix bagger hook . I decided to kick off on the four-foot line before going shallower when the sun burned off the fog as i expected the fish to move into the warmer water .


My bait was what i had left over from yesterdays match at Partridge lakes ;

1 pint red and white maggots with a few pinkies mixed in

1/2 pint soaked micros

1/2 pint dark ground-bait

small tub 4mm expanders normal and white

When the all in sounded i shipped out straight in front with my four-foot rig then tapped in six maggots and then proceeded to lift-drop , slowly dragging my rig through the swim trying to entice a bite but twenty bite less minutes later i was on to swim number two and yet again i began working my rig this time though i had the tiniest tremor on the float which resulted in f1 number one making its way to the net this put me level with those anglers who had been lucky enough to catch . Another bite less twenty minutes and i was on verge of changing swims when another little dink resulted in a stockie but no other bites ensued so i had no option to change swim and yet again i had to start from scratch but it was really hard work for everyone on Silver birch .

Another rotation of my swims and out of the blue i had an indication from where i caught my previous two fish and another f1 was in the net , at twelve o’clock the sun finally burned off the fog and began warming up the water so i decided to go further up the shelf so picked up my three-foot rig i proceeded to tap in six maggots before working my rig to try to trick a fish into taking it , i had a quick burst of three fish near to where i caught at four-foot and even after working all along the far-bank i would only get bites from a two foot square area which seemed strange but thinking about it after the match i should have concentrated all my attention in this part of my peg .


I caught a couple more from this swim plus i bumped off a few which may have been foul hooked and i did miss some bites that could have been liners , so i should have tried further up the slope but with no overhanging vegetation i choose not to set up a dobbing rig which i think now was a mistake .As the all out sounded i had seven f1s+carp for about 12lb which would have been good enough for fourth if i had weighed in but didn’t bother as both end pegs and peg three had a dozen fish , with peg twenty winning with 30lb , peg three getting second with 21lb and peg one getting third with 20lb . All those anglers suffered a lot with foul hooked fish which goes to show where all the fish are shoaled up because that corner of the lake gets a lot more sun in the winter .

Well that’s my double-header out-of-the-way with a lake third and fourth not a bad start after having taken the month of from fishing , the only way is up from now on and lets hope my drawing hand improves , I’m not sure where i will be fishing at the weekend because we have been forecast some strong winds and more rain in the next few days so i might be pleasure fishing if i can find a suitably sheltered venue .

Sycamore fishery

2nd November , peg 39 Rowans canal

Rowans canal

Rowans canal

After yesterdays eventful match at Partridge lakes i was eager to get back on to the bank and catch a few fish i had wondered whether to give the coveys another bash but in the end decided on another try at Sycamore fisheries although it had fished hard recently on their i fancied the challenge . We have had some heavy rain and strong wind over night which i felt would have a bearing on how it would fish today but at least the weather today was forecast to be a bit better although the temperature had dropped dramatically over night , on arrival at the venue there was a few people knocking about and as it turned out we had 36 attending the match which was more than i had expected after last weeks hard contest but their was a few new faces at the draw queue , when it came for my turn i pulled out number 39 which was exactly the area i wanted so i was understandably happy on arrival at my peg the wind was blowing towards Davids pool and the only down side is the low autumn sun could be a problem at the start of the match .


My rigs for todays match were ;

Top three – 4ft 4×12 malmans roob float with 0.12 garbo main line and a 0.10 garbo hook length which had a size 20 gamma pellet hook my elastic was red matrix .

Channel – 6ft 4×14 malmans speedy float with 0.12 garbo main line and a 0.10 garbo hook length which had a size 18 gamma pellet hook my elastic was red matrix .

Far bank – 3ft 4×12 malmans roob float with 0.12 garbo main line and a 0.10 garbo hook length which had a size 20 gamma pellet hook my elastic was red matrix.

My bait today was ;

1 pint red and white maggots

1 pint soaked micros coated with ground-bait

small tub mixed expanders

small tub corn


As the all in sounded i went straight on to what i hoped would be my main line of attack because it certainly worked well when i won from peg forty the other week and i really expected my float to show indications straight away but things didn’t turn out that way as thirty minutes passed without a sign even after feeding a full kinder pot of maggots every five minutes , so i decided to start feeding my channel swim with half a cupping kit full of micros and while i waited for this to settle i continued on my near slope but another bite less ten minutes and enough was enough so out i went with a pellet on the hook on my channel swim , a couple of lift-drops resulted in the first carp of the day coming my way which was a start at least but a few missed bites wasn’t what i wanted (this is one of my downfalls when pellet fishing)

I decided to kinder pot in a few maggots on this line to see if i could get a bite using these unfortunately this didn’t have the desired effect as it seemed to kill my swim , i went back on to my three meter line as i had fed it for an hour but still no indications so i decided to waste anymore time their as it seemed to be devoid of fish and i went out to my 13 meter swim where i began trickling in maggots through a large kinder pot this finally produced a few bites but the trouble was i was foul hooking a lot of fish and i was tearing my hair out for the second match running trying to solve the problem . I went shallower an inch at a time trying to find at what depth they were feeding at but this didn’t work and i found the best thing to do was just have a couple of droppers which allowed for a slow fall of the hook bait plus having no bulk down the line for the fish to bump into giving false indications , i was still getting foul hooked fish but not as many as i suffered before and seemed to get a proper bite just as the maggot hit bottom .

I did another rotation of my swims to see if any fish had settled but this produced just one carp from my channel line , so i decided to spend the final hour of the match on my three-foot 13m line and after having the benefit of a rest i had four quick carp before the dreaded foul hookers returned in abundance which thinking about it after the match i probably over fed bringing too many fish into the peg as they live along that far bank.

When the all out sounded i knew that i had been beaten on both sides but if i had figured out a way of solving the foul hookers problem i would have had a very good chance of framing today but that’s the way it goes sometimes and i will be thinking long and hard about solving it in the next few days . As far as i am aware peg 38 won by fishing in the channel and peg 40 got second with 24lb fishing to the point of the split , my twelve carp got me just 13lb not a great days fishing .

So that’s it another weekend of match fishing over with which to be honest i found to be a bit of a struggle on both days but with a bit more luck could have been oh so different and with my previously successful top three-line falling to work for me so a review of my tactics is in order before my next trip to the bank , which i think will just be on Sycamore fisheries on the Sunday because i am out on the Friday night with my wife for our wedding anniversary .

Sycamore fisheries

October 26th , peg 29

Rowans canal

Rowans canal

After not being able to get on the bank last weekend i was understandably eager to go fishing again and after my near ton on the last visit to sycamore fisheries that is where i headed , with the clocks going back over night i was sure that it would have a bearing on how it would fish and coupled with the extremely big turn out it certainly did in fact it was the largest amount of anglers to grace its banks this year with 37 in attendance . It is a venue which usually attracts lots of extra people when the club season finishes and in my opinion another canal will be needed soon because like any venue it fishes a lot better when you get some room , the fish are growing at a fast rate too which could get problematic when you are fishing side by side .

When i got to the fishery i booked on to the match and had a look at the results from weds open were only eight people fished with 50lb winning from peg 37 and it looked like the high numbered pegs on the twenties side was the place you didn’t want to be with lots of anglers not weighing in from that area , so it was with some disappointment when i pulled out ball 29 my drawing arm had let me down today but in the past two months i have framed from pegs 28 and won from 27 so i had an idea how best to fish it but conditions where a lot different today with a recent drop in temperature and gusty wind to contend with .


As there was no fish showing shallow i felt that it would also rule both far-bank and margin out too , so i just set up three rigs which were ;

3ft , malmans benny float 4×10 with 0.12 garbo line and a 0.10 hook length which had a size 20 gamma pellet hook elastic was red matrix .

4ft , malmans benny float 4×12 with 0.12 garbo line and a 0.10 hook length which had a size 20 gamma pellet hook elastic was red matrix .

channel , malmans benny float 4×14 with 0.12 garbo line and a 0.10 hook length which had a size 18 guru lwg hook elastic was red matrix .

My bait today was the usual maggot attack but surely it must be nearly pellet time so i brought a few with me just in case ;

2 pints red and white maggots

1 pint micro and ground-bait

small tub of mixed expanders


When the all in sounded i went on to my 3 meter line and began kinder potting maggots every five minutes , going from past experience on these pegs i knew it would take a while before the carp moved in but thirty minutes without an indication wasn’t what i had expected even the little crucians-tench were not in my peg . I was on the verge of changing lines but i decided to change shotting patterns first as i was adamant that they would turn up on this line because it had worked so well for me in the last couple of months , i changed to loose feeding just six maggots instead of kinder potting but a further ten minutes past before my float finally dipped and carp number one hit the net quickly followed by its bigger brother i knew it would be a struggle here as i have found out loose feeding usually brings them up of the deck but i didn’t even have a single line bite .

Strangely today there was a definite lack of fish in this area and with an hour gone i only had two carp in the net which was about the same as all those around me , it was time for my next line to see if i could find any fish they’re so i shipped out to the far-bank at 11 meters where i had earlier plumbed up to find a depth of 3ft and this time i decided to give pellets a whirl and with a 4mm expander on the hook i tapped in a few micros before lowering my rig in among it . I  refed every five minutes hopping to attract some fish on to this line but thirty minutes without a sign had me scratching my head , may be they was in the deep water in the channel which i had been big kinder potting maggots every fifteen minutes at six meters since the start of the match but another half an hour with no indications and it was going to be a long day as half the match had already past with still only two fish gracing the net .


I set up another line at 11 meters towards my right hand side as this was where the odd fish had come out , this time i choose to fish maggots and after a couple of feeds every five minutes i had a slight dink on the float which resulted in another carp , quickly followed by another but no more indications followed and it looked like a pattern was emerging . Another rotation of my swims failed to produce anything other than a lost carp on the three meter line which after not playing a fish for over an hour i took it to easy with the hook pulling out at the net and as we was fast approaching the last hour i decided to concentrate all my efforts here .

I kept flicking six maggots at my float before laying my rig through it and finally i had an indication which of course i missed but it did give me some encouragement to continue , it wasn’t long before i finally had a run of carp with four coming my way in the last forty minutes and i did notice that a couple where deep hooked which was strange as i was fishing at dead depth they must have just been sitting there not moving enough to register on the float .


When the all out sounded i had a grand total of eight carp in the net for 14lb and i was one of only a couple to weigh in on my side of the canal , peg forty won the match with 75lb but after that two low twenty pound weights got the framing positions so it fished extremely hard but with only one empty peg on rowans it was understandably . The carp that i did see get caught near me where with corn or bread and no feed so it looked like the fish down this end were not in a feeding mood today and strangely no f1s turned up , well my winning run came to a crashing halt but i have put that down to my draw and you can only catch what is in front of you . I will be back for another try next weekend and i might even get on the open match at Partridge lakes on Saturday although my wife might have other ideas .

Sycamore fisheries

October 13th , peg 40 Rowans canal

Rowans canal

Rowans canal

After yesterdays section win at Partridge lakes i was eager to keep my recent good run going at Sycamore fisheries but with the match taking place on both canals today and i wasnt that confident as it usually attracts a better stamp of angler when you get a bit or room , their fore the draw is even more important plus i don’t tend to catch big weights and scratching around for bites is more my style which is why i tend to do better at this time of year .

It was a cold , foggy start to the day although it said it was six degrees on the dashboard but it certainly didn’t feel like that when i arrived at the venue and i was unsure if it would burn off at all today , as i predicted there was a few different faces in the draw queue which would make the match a bit more interesting and when it came round to my turn i pulled out forty Rowans but i had mixed reactions to this draw as i don’t like fishing corner pegs and it also hasn’t much recent form on the plus side i was on what i thought would be the best side



As i settled in at my peg i decided on just three rigs which would cover most of my options and with the weather being how it was when i woke up i decided to change my hook lengths for a lighter one which should hopefully get me a few extra bites ;

Margin .4×10 malmans with 0.12 garbo line and a 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

Left hand slope and far-bank at 3ft , 4×12 malmans with 0.12 garbo line and a 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

Near slope at 4ft , 4×14 malmans with 0.12 garbo line with 0.12 garbo line and a 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

My bait on here always concerns maggots but i did bring a few bits and pieces that i had left from yesterdays match ;

3 pints red and white maggots

1 pint micros coated in ground-bait

small tub expanders

small tub sweet corn

I decided on a rather simple match plan which revolved around the weather and time of day , as the all in sounded i went on to my 4ft rig on the near slope and began trickling in the maggots through a large kinder pot , i decided to take it easy with the feed until i knew how it would fish this was partly down to the conditions and the fact there had been a club match on this canal the day before . First drop resulted in a quick bite and a big scale was on the hook so at least there was fish on this line which is a promising sign , it didn’t take long before carp number one was in the net and in fact i had a dozen in the first hour which was really surprising in the cold foggy day it was a lot more than anyone else had caught within my eye shot but i had to keep altering the amount of feed to keep them coming regularly though .


The start of the second hour went pretty much the same way as the first with mainly carp coming to the net but i had to alter shotting patterns as the hour past to get the bites and i was feeding a full kinder pot every five minutes to keep them lined up . In the third hour things began slowing down and this coincided with the sun burning off the fog and the temperature increased sharply , i began foul hooking fish plus began getting line bites which was a sure sign they had come up off the deck and when the lad on the next peg began catching shallow got me a bit worried but the f1s up in the water are quite small in here so he would need a lot of them to catch me up .

Thirty fish in the first three hours had me reaching for my next keepnet and i felt that it had warmed up enough to try the 3ft rig towards my left hand shelf at six meters , i began drip feeding maggots again just like before but this time through a smaller kinder pot because i felt you didn’t need to put a great deal of bait in as the carp tend to live in that part of the pefg and too heavy feeding which cause you to begin foul hooking the fish .My first drop on this line resulted in a quick bite with carp number one coming to the net from this line and another run of fish including a couple of lumps well they was big for in here at nearly 4lb , twenty fish in the fourth hour and i was flying but it didn’t last i expected the margin to play a big part in the last hour but strangely even after feeding it for an hour produced just a solitary f1 and no further indications . I decided not to waste any more time in the margin and concentrate on my 3ft line for the rest of the match and i did manage another run of carp but it was noticeable that the f1s were not in my peg in any great numbers .


When the all out sounded i was happy with how my match had gone as it was one of those rare red-letter days when you do everything right and the fish was their in numbers , to be honest i felt that i had won the match quite easily with a weight around the 80lb mark so i was a bit shocked to hear that a couple of people towards the bottom of the canal on my side had caught really well admitting to around the ton . I was the first to weigh in with my expected lighter net going 47lb and the other going 49lb which equalled 98lb which was a bit more than i had expected , i was understandably over the moon but was kicking myself for not getting the ton because days like these do not happen to me that often .


As i followed the scales down the canal to the pegs which were my main challengers the first of them weighed in 80lb and the other two anglers had a solitary net in so with net limits on here set at 66lb that was that another match win here , three in a row and four in four visits and i don’t think anyone has done that before on here it is also my second best match weight . So my good form continues but i have a two-week break before i am back on the bank due to family commitments which has come at a bad time but at least it will give other people a chance to pick up some money , I’m only joking by the way before anyone starts thinking i am getting too big for my boots you know who you are .

Sycamore fisheries

October 5th , peg 27 Rowans canal

Rowans canal

Rowans canal

After yesterdays eventful match at Partridge lakes were i managed second on Covey three in pretty awful weather conditions , i headed off to Sycamore fisheries to hopefully keep my winning run going and with it taking place on just Rowans canal a good draw would be needed especially with a full complement of twenty anglers expected to be contesting the match .

As i woke in the morning i was glad to see that the bad weather had passed by overnight but it was still rather a cold start and this would have a bearing on how i expected the match to pan out today , after picking up my mate at eight we headed off to the fishery but decided to call at mcds for some breakfast first we arrived at the venue at 830 for the nine draw and was as usual the first people their . We parked up near Davids pool and went for a look at Rowans canal to see if the f1s were giving themselves away but only the odd fish was topping not really surprising in the cold morning , there was also a couple of club matches taking place today and i didn’t really fancy their chances of getting a good weight today .



Back at the cabin all the usual people were in attendance and when it came to draw time we had 19 anglers attending , it was soon my turn to pick and out i pulled peg 27 not the best of areas but also far from the worst so i was reasonably happy . On getting to it i had a tree overhanging my left hand margin which looked promising for later in the match when the water warmed up so i decided to target ;

Margin . 4×12 speedy float with 0.14 garbo line a 0.12 garbo hook length and my hook was a size 18 guro lwg and elastic was 12 durro .

Top three at 4ft ,4×12 benny float with 0.12 garbo line a 0.10 garbo hook length my hook was a size 18 matrix bagger and elastic was red matrix .

Far-bank at 3ft , 4×12 benny float with 0.12 garbo line a 0.10 garbo hook length my hook was a size 18 matrix bagger and elastic was red matrix .

Shallow , 0.3 matrix series three float with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 20 matrix bagger hook and elastic was orange matrix .

I had considered taking pellets today because the weather was beginning to cool enough but decided on using my previous match winning tactics ;

3 pints mixed maggots

1 pint ground-bait

small tub of sweet corn


After a bit of a confusing start with three matches going off at the same time , i began drip feeding maggots through a big kinder pot on my three meter 4ft line and even after re feeding every five minutes it was half an hour before i managed my first fish not exactly the start that i was looking for but hopefully with the first in the net a few more would soon follow and they did with five more coming in the first hour . As usual on here in these tight matches i was targeting just thirty fish for a chance to frame so i wasn’t far off this mark , in the second hour my drip feeding had brought the fish up off the deck and i began foul hooking them coming back with scales on the hook , a change of shotting pattern for a staggered bulk plus heavier loose feeding and this seemed to solve my problem for a while anyway .


In the first two hours i had a dozen f1-carp in the net and decided to rest the three meter line as the bites began getting a bit iffy , i had been loose feeding maggots at six meters to my right in the middle of the channel and i started with the 3ft rig on the drop but this failed to produce a single bite , a change to my 1ft deep rig produced two quick fish then nothing which was rather puzzling and in desperation a change to my 4ft rig which was a foot of the deck fishing with a very slow fall this finally produced another run of fish but it was hard going when i caught an 8oz chub i decided to rest it for a while .

Before returning to my three meter line i feed my margin with a cupping kit full of ground-bait and i intended to re-feed it every thirty minutes before going on it in the final hour , back on to my original line i started with a run of six crucians which was a bit annoying at the time but looking back at my final result these fish made a big difference . With two hours to go and the sun shining bright it seemed the whole canal had shut down with no body catching anything and for an hour i tried every where without success before finally i had a nice carp from the margin which made my tally to twenty well off my target amount .


I needed a really good last hour which luckily i got because i decided to concentrate the rest of my match on my top three-line which was yet again the most prolific area and finally i managed a run of carp here including one right on the whistle , this run of fish seemed to coincide with the sun going in maybe the brightness had knocked them off the feed which is something to think about .

I was unsure on how i had done because it was a rather confusing match with just little runs of fish and i had 80 per cent of my fish at top three , my mate looked like he had done well too i was a bit surprised that he didn’t have more than thirty fish in the net because every time i glanced over he was playing one , when it came round for me to weigh in my net went 45lb to take the lead but could i stay there and my only real challenger was my mate but his fish went 43lb so that little run of crucians had swung it my way this meant i had my third win on the trot here which not many people have achieved .


Think i have the top three-line sussed but i do need another area to pick off fish when i need to rest it because it’s very rare for one line to produce all match , at the weekend i will be back at Partridge on Saturday – Sycamore on Sunday where it will be on both canals which in theory should make the fishing a lot better but we shall see and i hope that my recent run their continues .

Sycamore fishery

Silver birch peg 13 , September 28th


With my wife coming home from work for the weekend i thought that i would take the opportunity to fish the open at Sycamore fishery , so after a few frantic phone calls i managed to get booked on but the owner told me that it was taking place on just Silver birch which is the worst of the match canals although the weds open was won with over 80lb from their but only 8 anglers was on each lake so they all had some room since today every peg was taken and i was expecting it to fish hard , i thought that a mid twenty pound weight would be enough for the win which worked out at about 5 fish an hour .

The weather recently had been pretty good with warm blue skies and a gentle breeze but the down side was the high pressure with cold nights although i wasnt sure the water had cooled down that much just yet , so i was at a bit of a quandary on how best to fish it today especially the depth of my near shelf rig and in the end i settled on 4ft the same as i fished on here last time .

As i arrived at the fishery there was plenty cars+people knocking about because their was two club matches taking place plus the open which goes to show how well thought after the venue is and i expect it to start producing some extremely big weights in the next few years if the fish growing at the same rate , in the days leading up to the match i had looked at some of my past blogs from here were you needed 50-60 fish for thirty pound required to frame but these days that amount of fish would get you around 80lb and surprisingly a lot of the same faces are still fishing it now .


After the draw my home for the day was unlucky for some peg thirteen but not for me as you will find out later , i was in what i felt would be the right area going from earlier match results and i was also on the main straight so no awkward corner pegs to contend with , this meant that i should have a reasonable match regarding tactics .

4ft deep near slope at three meters ,4×12 malmams benny float with 0.12 garbo line which has a spread bulk of number ten stotz and my hook was a size 18 guru lwg my elastic was red matrix .

2ft deep far slope at eleven meters , 4×10 malmams benny float with 0.12 garbo line which has a spread bulk of number 11 stotz and my hook was a size 18 guru lwg my elastic was orange matrix .

Margin , 4×12 malmams diamond float with 0.12 garbo direct to a size 18 guru lwg hook and my elastic was preston duro 12 .

5ft deep in the channel to my right , 4×14 malmams speedy float which had a spread bulk of number nine stotz my line was 0.12 garbo with a size 18 guru lwg hook .

Bait was just ,

3 pints maggots

tub of sweet corn


As the all in sounded i started on my top three-line directly in front of me and began drip feeding maggots through a large kinder pot , it took about ten minutes to get my first indication and not long after it i had my first fish which was an f1 about 1lb not a bad start to the day , i felt that even in these match conditions i wasnt feeding heavy enough so i began loose feeding maggots every couple of minutes this produced a fe more f1s but it also brought them up of the deck and i began suffering from line bites-foul hooked fish in fact after i had fed if i counted to ten i would get an indication on my float so i changed to my two foot deep rig which was at half depth this resulted in just a solitary fish and a surprisingly lack of indications .

Because i was catching a few fish which was a lot better than those anglers around me i probably stayed on this line a bit to long and with seven fish in the first ninety minutes i took the opportunity to rest this line and went on my eleven meter 2ft deep rig where i had flicked maggots every five minutes so i expected an immediate response , the first drop resulted in a nice carp before a barbel muscled in on the action but this signaled the start of a series of missed and then a quiet spell which lasted over an hour .

My channel rig to my right where i had been big potting with maggots every thirty minutes for the opening two hours failed to produce a single bite and another look on my top three-line produced a few quick barbel before they disappeared just as quickly as they had turned up , my margin failed to produce a bite and a look on to my 11m line again only produced a couple of hard to hit indications . I decided to shallow the depth of this rig and long line towards the mud-bank on my first flick the float buried had i finally found some much sort after carp but no just a tench and a chub which was spewing up maggots a sure sign of no decent fish being in the area and i decided to scrap that idea going back to my original plan .

With ninety minutes of the match remaining i decided to go heavy with the maggots on my top three-line to try to force the issue ( shit or bust time) which would hopefully keep the fish on the deck and thankfully this worked a treat with this time a run of carp coming to the net but when i foul hooked one which i lost at the net my swim needed a rest , another ten minutes spent on all my other lines resulted in no indications but the time away from my three meter line had dome it the world of good with a couple more carp including one on the whistle was my reward .

I was unsure how i had got on but it had obviously fished hard with plenty people putting the nets out to dry not bothering to weigh in , the lad opposite me had caught a few and rumour came down the bank of some one doing well from the high numbered pegs . When the scales arrived to me i had 13lb to beat and my 18 fish went 22lb with the guy on the other bank putting 14lb on the scales so another win on Sycamore for me that’s twice in my last two visits and of course i have already booked on for next week when it is back on rowans but i have no doubt my good form will come to a crashing halt some time soon .


Overall it was a rather confusing match for me today with the top three-line being the most prolific catching eighty percent of my fish from their but they strangely seemed to come in groups of different species , by loose feeding maggots here it brought the fish up off the deck so may be big potting would have worked out better and I’m not sure about the hooks i was using either because i lifted into a few bites were the fish only stayed on for a few seconds and i also noticed my maggot bursting when hooking towards the end of the match signifying that it had become blunt .

I am surprised that none of my other lines really worked and i am just glad that i got away with it today , but at least it has given me a few things to think about before my next match which will be on Partridge lakes at the weekend .