Partridge lakes individual winter league

February  5th

I have been to partridge lakes today to contest the third round of the individual winter league and after a couple of bad results on it I needed a good draw to have any chance of making the top twenty ,on arrival to the fishery I wasn’t surprised to see that most of the lakes had frozen overnight as the temps dropped to minus four although it was only cat ice in places , but I still expected it to be hard going as the open match held on covey 5+6 yesterday was only won with 30lb and lots of anglers struggled to break double figures .

With it being a rolling draw most of the pegs had been taken by the time i arrived at 830 and when i had a dip in the bag of doom I managed to pull out peg 133 on covey six which I was quite happy with because it was a good area so hopefully i could get a few bites but when I got to my peg I was disappointed to find that it was one of the few places on the lake that was still covered in ice plus nobody had turned up on peg 132 which would give the fish plenty of room to back off into.

I set up the usual winter rigs ;

4ft on both far and near slopes , i used a 4×10 Md slim float with a staggered bulk shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line and attached to it was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru maggot hook attached .

track rig for under the aerator where it was nearly six-foot deep , i used a 4×12 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line and attached to it was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size twenty guru maggot hook attached .

dobbin rig for all along the far bank and near the aerator , i used a 4×12 Md diamond float which had all the bulk under the float with just a couple of number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line and attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 16 guru pellet hook attached .

Bait for the day ;

1 pint of red and white maggots

1 pint of micros and black swim stim

1 slice of bread


After breaking a channel in the ice directly in front of me and towards the aerator to my right it was all a bit of a rush to get ready before the hooter sounded , I began the match by dobbin bread towards the aerator and I missed a bite straight away which was a good sign , I then had a carp + f1 in the first ten minutes and I really felt that I could be on for a good day even thinking that i might be able to win the lake but as I feared after i missed a couple of indications the fish backed off into the empty water towards my right and for the next couple of hours I could see them topping but I couldn’t get to them because of the aerator rope ,with the ice beginning to melt it  gave me the option to dob some bread all along the far bank but despite working from the side of the bridge to the point of the island i never had an indication , so i decided to switch to feeding maggots in this area but despite setting up multiple lines across in 4ft i never had a bite if I put any feed in .

After nearly ninety minutes of inactivity I finally managed to dob a fish at the point of the island towards my right next to the rope and I thought that I might have found them again when someone on the split decided to pack up early going over the bridge , that was the end of that because the f1s are finicky at this time of year due to the cold clear conditions .I had seen a fish top in the bay towards my left and I quickly went to it with my dobbin rig which resulted in another fish in the net but nothing else followed , so I decided to tap in a few maggots and would go on it later I went searching for the fish again with by bread rig ,  then i tried in front of the empty platform towards my left without any success but when i went long down my right hand margin still dobbin bread and i finally found a couple more fish before the backed off under the rope yet again.

I was soon into the last hour and I went on my track swims hoping that a few fish had settled on them , i kept rotating between the aerator and the bay but all this produced was a couple of gudgeon before I managed an f1 right on the whistle , which called time on another frustrating match as i spent most of it watching the fish waving at me in the safe water and I think that I’m suffering by not fishing the open matches on here every week , as im struggling to catch any numbers of fish and i ended up third in section with 7lb behind a 13lb + 16lb but don’t feel like I could have done much more from there because i could only get indications by dobbin .


Sycamore fishery

January 27th

I decided to stay local today for a change because I needed to be back early as my Mrs was going out and I went to sycamore fishery in Golborne which used to be a regular haunt for me with it only being fifteen minutes from my house but I haven’t been here for nearly two years , as we are quite spoiled with the amount of fisheries on our doorstep in the Wigan area and I was quite looking forward to seeing how much it had changed since my last venture here .I arrived at the fishery a bit earlier than i planned so had plenty time to have a walk around the two canals which would be in the draw bag and  it all looked really nice , the trees had grown quite a bit which blocked out most of the strong breeze and they had a stone path all around the lakes . When i got back to the cabin i managed to get a chat with a couple of lads that i had not seen in ages and i was told about the recent netting + restocking of Silver birch with all the big carp going in David’s pool which was replaced with a lot of stockie carp this should hopefully get the original fish back feeding again .

At the draw I pulled out my usual end peg this time 21 on rowans but like most water’s at this time of year all the weights had come out from around the middle of the canals so not the ideal place to be and it’s just a shame it was not summer when i could make the most of these end pegs , but I was still looking forward to catching a few f1s and after speaking to a few anglers they said that the fish were all of a nice stamp with a few carp approaching 8lb so i needed to up my terminal tackle a bit .

My rigs for the day was quite simple for a change because with the weather still being cold i expected the fish to still be in the deeper water so i just set up ;

4ft rig which would cover most of my peg and i used a 4×14 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru Lwg hook my elastic was size 13 Preston hollo .

3ft rig for just down the near shelf and i used a 4×12 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru Lwg hook my elastic was size 13 Preston hollo .

Bait for the day was going to be mainly maggots with some corn if I needed it ;

1 pint of red and white maggots

1 tin of corn

When the all in sounded i began on my 4ft rig along my right hand margin at nine meters at the bottom of the near shelf and after tapping in a dozen maggots I foul hooked my first two fish , so I reduced the amount to just four maggots and this solved the problem as I then had 4 nice F1s in the first hour but i had to play them a bit carefully because my elastic was a bit on the strong side . With this swim beginning to fade a little I put in a new one still in 4ft this time against the island it also produced another four F1’s during the next hour and with not many people catching a great deal I decided to be a bit more patient than I usually would thinking about it now i would have been better rotating between the two lines .As the wind started to blow stronger this become a bit of a problem making presentation a touch awkward , so I switched back to my original right hand margin putting a couple of f1s in the net before putting in another swim at 11m and by carefully tapping in maggots on these swims I had another run of fish , for the rest of the match I had an easy time as i just followed the F1’s along my right hand margin and i did suffer the odd foul hooker but all in all it was plain sailing to be honest although i did miss a couple of indications . At the all out I had managed to catch 18 F1’s which went over thirty pounds this put me in second place getting agonizingly beat by just four ounces  missing out on a chance for the bonus pot but I still enjoyed my day and felt that if I had fished a bit lighter+rotated my swims more often than I might have caught a few more , at least I will know for my next visit in a few weeks because it made a nice change getting home when it was still light and also catching a few fish at last .

Cunneries Fishery

Open Match ‘S’ Canal peg 44 May 21st 2016

With all the recent motorway miles to venues far’a field I decided to give my van a rest and stay local, it would also allow me to have a much needed lye in. After my pretty dreadful Fish’O qualifier at HerronBrook where I got drawn right out of it and, didn’t even get a days fishing! I wanted somewhere that would give me a few bites & as the weights coming out at Cunneries had been really high, with tons being needed to frame. It was also somewhere that I hadn’t fished an open match in nearly two years I decided to go there. The ‘S’ canal would be hosting today’s match and it’s your typical F1 water but not as wide as your usual F1 water as it is between 11-13 meters wide with reed lined margins and far bank, there was also a couple of mud banks that could have done with a bit of attention.

As the draw for the open is only at 9.30am I had an extra hour in bed and arrived at the fishery at 8.30am, there was already two club matches taking place on Old Canal and Hawk Lake, this meant I had a bit of a trek with my fishing tackle as parking spaces are always a problem on here and with the new lake being dug out, it is something that needs sorting out, also with all the recent work at the fishery it looks a bit like a bomb site at the moment, however, once it’s finished it could be one of the best in the area as every lake has a very high stocking rate.

On arrival at the cabin, I booked on and spoke to a few lads that had been fishing it a lot recently, all the talk was about the weather because it was forecast to rain quite heavily for most of the day although, at the moment it was holding off but with some dark threatening clouds in the distance I didn’t think it would be too long before the heavens opened. It was soon time for the draw and when it came for my turn I pulled out peg 44 which is halfway along the fourth leg of the canal, strangely it was also the same one I had fished on my last visit. After speaking to a few of the anglers it wasn’t the best of places as the corners are usually dominant on here especially the windward ones today however was flat calm so you just never know!

As I settled down at my home for the next few hours I decided to set up;

Margin 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern, as it was nearly 4ft deep at the side of the reeds a lot deeper than I wanted but with the rain forecast it might push the fish into this area of the peg, I also used this rig for fishing across to the far bank reeds as it was the same depth in a few different spots.

Far bank pellet rig 4×12 roob float with an inch spread bulk above the four inch hook length of 010 Garbo, my main line was the usual 014 Garbo, I set this rig up because I was unsure on how the F1’s would respond to pellets as they’re not often used on this lake.

Far bank Maggot for in between the reed bed where it was just under 3ft so I used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus one dropper shotting pattern, I used the usual 014 Garbo mainline with a six inch 010 Garbo hook length which had a size 20 matrix bagger hook attached, later in the session I cut this rig down to 2ft and used it on my right hand margin.

Bait for the day;

3 Pints red & white Maggots

1 Pint soaked Micro Pellets

Small tub 4ml Expander Pellets

As the all in sounded so did the rain and i began my match by fishing pellets in four foot towards the left hand far-bank reed bed , i tapped in a small kinder pot of micros then lowered my rig among it and it took a couple of feeds before i had my first indication which resulted in an f1 hitting the net at just over a pound it would be easy putting a nice weight together if they was all this size , i had a run of five similar sized fish before i began getting liners and even though i had been really negative with the feed the fish had come up in the water i had noticed that the f1s felt quite warm so it was obvious i needed to find some shallower water but before i had a plumb round i decided to give my maggot rig a go at the same depth because the slower fall in the bottom third of the water might allow me to pick a few extra fish , this seemed to work for about twenty minutes before the fish drifted off and i was unsure if it was the bait or the fact we was fishing in what now resembled a shower.Upon looking around other people were also struggling to put some fish in the net and i decided to give my three foot maggot rig a try thinking that the fish might have backed off into the safety of the reeds also with the rain oxygenating the water it should bring them up into the shallower water , i began feeding a bit negative at first as i thought the f1s might already be there and i didn’t want to cause chaos in my peg , i began picking up the odd fish but not as many as i had expected so i decided to up the feed putting in a full kinder pot after every fish caught this got me a few more and i felt that i was in front of those anglers around me with 25 in the net in the first two hours .

Finally the rain eased but this also coincided with a quiet forty minutes for everyone and after trying multiple swims along the far-bank in both 3ft+4ft only adding a couple of f1s plus some tiny skimmers , i noticed that a few people had started catching well in their margins but i had not began feeding mine yet ! ! ! I hastily chucked a dozen maggots against the reeds and laid my rig in at the side of them , no sooner had my float settled than it buried with a nice f1 and they seemed a bit bigger than those i was catching across i had a dozen in a dozen chucks and i was kicking myself for not going on it sooner , after a while the fish began competing for the maggots which brought them up off the deck so a change of shotting pattern for an on-the-drop pattern this allowed me to catch a couple more but it just didn’t work right and i tried my three foot maggot rig which was a foot of the deck this also allowed me to catch a few more but i felt that i was a bit of the pace .

I had a quick plumb around on my right hand margin to see if i could find any shallower water which would help stop the fish coming off the deck and foul hooking them, I managed to find two foot because there was less reeds on that side so I could get tighter to the bank, although on plumbing up it was almost a sheer drop so not exactly ideal but by flicking my rig out then dragging it up the shelf I hoped this would work and luckily it did as I managed another good run of fish by feeding a full kinder pot after every fish I kept the foul hookers to a minimum. It didn’t take long before the bites got a bit iffy so I decided to rest it and see if the F1’s had settled down on my left hand margin, fortunately they had, I spent  the next hour swapping between both margin swims catching half a dozen from each and on the all out I had managed 65 F1’s plus a few small silvers so now it was a wait for the scales, i didn’t have to wait long as for some reason they started on the high numbers but i wasnt complaining my net of fish went 67lb so a nice average stamp this got me second in my little section , the lad to my left beat me by a pound but i nearly doubled the amount of fish he caught but he had managed to find a bigger stamp of f1 by using paste in front of the empty platform which is something for me to think about before my next visit .

Both the top two had just scraped a ton there was then a 90lb for third and after that was a couple of low eighties so i wasnt that far away , overall i was happy with the way my first match here in 18 months went and i felt that i learned a great deal , i can not wait to get back for another try maybe on an evening match as i have a few big matches coming up on a Saturday starting with the Facebook m+m match at Tunnel barn which i’m really looking forward to as i haven’t been back there since the subscriber classic last August .