Old Hough winter league , Boulders and Goose


Today was the last round of Diggle AC winter league at Old hough and we was due to fish on Boulders + Goose which i was happy about as these waters had fished a lot better during the series of matches , i was in a good position towards the top of the league table and i was looking for a draw which would give me a chance of a few fish to consolidate it but in the back of my mind was that i could draw in one of the poor areas because there was some pegs that had not produced all winter . The weather leading up to the match wasn’t that bad for the time of year a bit cold but nothing to worry about or so i thought as i made the thirty mile trip to the venue the temperature just dropped and dropped , when i got of the motorway it was think with frost then i spotted the odd duck pond in the farmer’s field frozen over not what i wanted to see and i was hoping that the lakes at Old Hough wouldn’t be the same but as i approached the lakes we would be fishing majority of it had a lid on it ! !

After unpacking the van the rest of the anglers were in deep discussion on what we should do and it was decided that we would break the ice on all the pegs in the draw bag so nobody would have the disadvantage of doing it on their own we also delayed the all in till 1030 , as everyone mucked in clearing the ice we soon had the pegs clear but i did notice that the flyer pegs 16+18 on Goose and pegs 20+5 on boulders were already free from ice and would no doubt be the pegs everyone wanted i know that i did .

As you can see the ice in my peg isn’t that thick but it has been broken out a bit more than i would have liked , i just hope all the disturbance has not upset the fish too much .Usually you find that the water is warmer actually under the ice so i am going to position my two channel swims tight to it ;

On the left hand side i will be using pellet because the last i fished this peg that is where i managed to pick up the bonus carp , i will be using a 4×14 malman roob float with 014 garbo main line and a six-inch length of 010 garbo hook length attached to it was a size twenty matrix silver fish pattern , i would feed the swim with a kinder pot of micros and ground-bait every thirty minutes occasionally dropping on it during the match although i wont be wasting too much time on it as i am only expecting the odd bonus fish .

On the right hand side i choose to use maggots because i think this will be the best bait to use today it is also positioned towards the open water which was not frozen so obviously not been disturbed by the ice breaking and i expect this to be my most productive swim due to the cold conditions . i am using a 4×12 RW maggie float with an on the drop shotting pattern allowing for a slow fall of the hook bait my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was a slightly lighter 008 which had a size twenty matrix silver fish hook attached , i decided to feed this swim with half a cupping kit of maggots every half hour and top up through a kinder pot when fishing it .

Along the far-bank i was in a bit of a quandary on which depth to start in and finally settled on three-foot which was a couple of feet down the slope , i used a 4×10 RW maggie float with an on the drop shotting pattern my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was 008 garbo which had a size twenty matrix silver fish pattern , i started off tight to the ice towards the right and would began feeding by trickling in maggots through a kinder pot this would hopefully attract the attention of any passing fish without over feeding them . I also had a dobbing rig set up to push in between the reeds this would hopefully pick up a carp or two i used a 0.3 matrix series three float which had two number 11 stotz spread down the line the rest of the shotting was under the float , my main line was 014 garbo and i had a slightly stronger 010 hook length with a size 16 matrix bagger hook attached as it was only two foot deep i left a longish line between float and pole tip so as not to scare the fish off .

On my bait table i had a mixture of pellets and ground-bait but will be mostly concentrating on maggots as i expected chub+ide to be the main species i would be targetting today , i also had a couple of slices of bread for dobbing .

The first two hours of the match where really slow going as i only managed to catch a couple of chub one on my maggot line tight to the ice and the other dobbing bread , but even though i worked all along the far-bank with both rigs i failed to get a single indication and it was the same on my channel swim which wasnt that surprising as al the ice had started melting lowering the water temperature and dropping to the bottom of the lake .

With things not working as i would have liked on my three-foot line i got off my box and set up a 4ft rig all the lines + hooks were the same i just upped the float size to a size 4×12 RW maggie yet again i began by drip feeding the maggots in but this didn’t get the desired response so with nothing to lose i began feeding quite heavy using a small kinder pot every five minutes and out of the blue i had three quick fish then nothing .

With the temperature gradually increasing i noticed a few fish top along the far-bank and i decided to give my three-foot rig another try , this produced a chub straight away taking the bait on the drop so out came the catty and i managed to sneak a couple more out by rotating between the two lines i managed a dozen chub+ide .In the last forty minutes the sun went behind the clouds making it feel a lot colder and all my indications stopped so i decided to spend the remaining time on my channel swim this would also give me chance of a bonus fish but the only bites i could manage were from tiny skimmers and when the all out sounded i was unsure how i had got on because i could only see a couple of other anglers .

As i began packing up the scales came round and i was the first to weigh in on my lake the 12 chub+ide plus a few skimmers went just under 7lb which was about what i thought , the conditions really put paid to any chance of getting a decent weight and i felt that i never got to grips with the peg as drip feeding did not produce then when i fed a bit heavier the fish i caught were spewing up maggots ! ! Peg twenty was the next to put his fish on the scales which took the lead with 10lb and he caught all his fish under the bridge were the water must have been a couple of degrees warmer , the next couple of anglers really struggled as they failed to break 3lb and the last angler to weigh in put just over 7lb on the scales to knock me back down to third so for the second match running a matter of ounces had prevented getting me a better finishing position which i knew would cost me in the league .

On getting back to the car-park the final league positions were ready to be announced ;

First place was Graham with 13 points

Second place was Ian with 14 points

Joint third place was me and JP with 15 points

So like i originally thought my last couple of matches were i just missed out had cost me a better finishing position but to be honest the real damage was done in the earlier rounds when i fished some shocking matches as i was getting used to the venue because i had not been here before and was expecting it to be your standard f1 fishing not the un orthodox chub+ide but you live and learn .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Old Hough winter league round six on Boulders and Goose


January 10th , peg five Boulders

Today was round six of Diggle AC winter league on Old Hough and it was due to take place on lakes Boulders+Goose which i was glad about as it seemed the more consistent of those that i had fished so far , with the league being really tight at the top i needed a good result to stay in contention especially as you can drop your worst two results and mine were pretty poor so i needed a top three finish in the remaining matches . Yet again the weather leading up to todays contest had been a bit iffy with lots of heavy rain plus a drop in overnight temperature although we still had not seen the first frost of the year , but we got lucky on Sunday as it was forecast to be dry with light winds and a reasonable temp for the time of year .

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After meeting up with the rest of the lads at the car park near the lakes we would be fishing and it was soon time for the draw , out i pulled number five on Prospect which i was happy with because going from previous results it seemed to hold a few fish although it wasn’t a noted flyer . On settling in on my home for the next few hours i had an empty peg either side of me and a far-bank which was just short of 14m it had two dead lily pads either side of a nice mud-bank , i felt that a low twenty pound should be required to make the frame today so i decided to target a few areas of my peg that would help me achieve it and these were ;

Pellet line at three-foot, i positioned this swim directly in front of me just a foot away from the far-bank it was a foot shallower tight to it but i didn’t think that the fish would feel comfortable in that depth of water at this time of year , my rig consisted of a 4×12 malman roob float which had a spread bulk shotting pattern , i used 014 garbo main line and attached was a three-inch 010 garbo hook length it had a size 18 matrix bagger hook , elastic was green NG hollo size 8-10 .

Pellet line at four-foot , this was found at the bottom of both slopes and i used a 4×14 malman roob float which had a spread bulk shotting pattern , i used 014 garbo main line and attached was a three-inch 010 garbo hook length it had a size 18 matrix bagger hook , elastic was green NG hollo size 8-10.

Channel swim at six meters i put this at an angle to my left towards the better pegs , my float was a 4×12 RW maggie and shotting pattern was the usual bulk plus two droppers and my main line was the standard 014 garbo which had a six-inch 009 hook length that had a size twenty matrix silver fish-hook , elastic was solid size six preston slip .

Far-bank maggot line it was mainly for the ide which are a nice stamp in here , i used a 4×10 RW maggie float which had an on the drop shotting pattern and my main line was 012 garbo which had a six-inch 008 garbo hook length that had a size twenty gamma black hook attached , elastic was solid size six preston slip .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints red and white maggots

1 pint soaked micro pellets

1 pint sweet corn

small tub 4mm expanders

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As the all in sounded i put a small cupping kit full of maggots on to my channel swim and a few grains of corn plus micros on a 14m line at the bottom of the far slope towards my right which was well out-of-the-way i used this as my stealth line hoping that a few carp might settle there throughout the day , i continued to feed both swims every thirty minutes before going on them in final two hours of the match that was my plan anyway . I kicked of fishing on my four-foot pellet line which was positioned at two o’clock , i tapped in a few micros before lowering my rig slowly among them and it only took two feeds before i had my first indication which resulted in a hand sized skimmer hitting the net another quickly followed , i was beginning to think i had made a mistake feeding micros but my next fish was a newly stocked 10oz f1and just as i was thinking that i might be on for a few of them the skimmers were back in numbers .

After thirty minutes of catching them with no signs of the f1s returning and the lad to my left catching the odd carp closer to the island ( who i later found out was dobbing bread ) i had no other option other than to pick up my 3ft pellet rig which was further up the slope and yet again a similar pattern emerged catch a few skimmers then a stockie f1 before the skimmers returned , i decided that using micros are not the way to go on here because apart from being midered by small skimmers you are missing out on the many other species in the lake .

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My next plan was to use the far-bank maggot swim which i had fed six maggots every five minutes since the match started so hopefully a few ide had settled on it , i laid my rig out so it fell slowly through the water and just as it reached the deck it shot under with an 8oz chub coming to the bank , i had a good thirty minute spell of catching a mixture of fish between 2-10oz before they backed off and i did not have to wait long to find out the reason as after a while my float shot under then meters of size six elastic came flying out of the pole a nice fight ensued i was lucky that the tiny hook did not pull as i even missed it twice with the net before i finally had the 4lb mirror carp .

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I changed my feeding to putting in a small kinder pot of maggots in every five minutes instead of using the catty i hoped this might keep the fish on the deck and even encourage another carp to settle but unfortunately it had the opposite effect with bites becoming hard to come by , i decided to revert back to pinging a few maggots in and while i built the swim back up i gave my stealth line a try with a piece of corn on the hook . I dragged my rig up the far slope to give it a bit more stability and prepared to wait but it didn’t take long for me to begin getting indications which i kept missing i even put the smallest piece of corn i could find in the bait box but still i failed to hook one ( thinking about it now it must have been the small skimmers again being drawn in by the micros ) all the time i had fished my corn line i had thrown a dozen maggots onto my near swim so i gave this a try but a bite less twenty minutes passed which wasn’t what i was expecting although this had failed to work on both goose+boulders in past matches, another look on my three-foot pellet line resulted in a couple of hand sized crucians before the small skimmers got in on the act and on looking at my watch there was two hours of the match remaining and i had ten pounds on my clicker , from what i could see this had me in front apart from the lad on peg two so i needed to step it up a bit and i just hoped my channel swim would work out for me .

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I made the decision to not waste anymore time on my pellet lines and concentrate on both my maggot swims for the remaining part of the match because these were being the most consistent allowing me a chance for a bonus fish , i picked up my channel rig and five minutes past without a proper bite but i was getting little indications on the float after a while i gave one a big lift and to my surprise i was attached to a barbel this was the last fish i expected to be catching at this time of year , another soon followed and then a couple of roach+ide but when bites started to tail off i refed with another pot but this stopped the bites altogether , it seemed that it would take two feeds twenty minutes apart before the fish would settle but with so much bait on the deck the big silvers were coming in spewing up maggots so they must have gorged themselves and hardly moving which is why the bites were being so delicate .

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I refeed my six meter line with half a cupping kit of maggots and allowed it to settle , i then went back on to my far-bank swim which i had continued to feed with my catty every five minutes whilst fishing my channel swim , i was soon into the chub+ide again although i did start getting midered by tiny roach every now and again. I was tempted to increase the feed but i didn’t want to ruin that line completely as i was still in contention for a top three finish ,so i choose to fish it in spells and every time i came back with a little silver i would feed through my kinder pot if this didn’t bring a better stamp i would go back onto my channel swim, i made a determined effort to lift into every little indication and i was back catching some nice silvers plus another couple of barbel although i did lift into a few phantom bites (need my glasses changing)

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I alternated between the two swims and was catching the odd fish quite regularly right up until the last twenty minutes when bites deserted me on my six meter line , i also tangled my far-bank rig by being to hasty in shipping in+out this meant i had to alter my three-foot pellet rig and to be honest it just wasn’t working right as i began missing a few bites but it did allow me to use double maggot on the hook which might have been the reason although i did manage a 10oz ide five minutes before the all out . It was soon time for the scales to arrive and i followed them around to my peg , strangely the better pegs failed to produce so my main threat was the lad next to me on peg two and he had 19lb most of it caught in the first ninety minutes when dobbing bread to the far-bank reeds catching six small carp , it was now time for me to see if i had managed to catch enough and luckily my net went twenty pounds which was enough to take the win plus my main rivals for the winter league struggled which was a nice bonus .

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I really enjoyed my match today and caught a variety of species , getting bites for most of the day although i did do a few things wrong and I’m still not happy with my feeding but a wins a win , lets hope i can manage a couple more in the remaining winter league matches . The weather towards the weekend is looking a bit dodgy with our first proper night-time minus temperatures so i am leaning towards giving match fishing a miss and if i do go it will be to Limbrick around dinner time when it has warmed up a bit . as there it will give me chance for a bit of dobbing and maggot work similar to what i am doing at Old Hough .

 

Diggle AC winter league rnd 4 , Old hough boulders and goose


December 6th , peg 14 boulders lake

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Well i was back on the winter league trail and today it was round four due to take place on boulders+goose i just hopped that i could improve on my recent matches, as i seemed to be stuck in the fourth place position in my last three contests which was no doubt down to making the wrong decisions during them meaning i was missing out by the odd pound here+there . It seems the weather was staying a lot warmer than we are used to at this time of year as we are constantly hitting double figures but the down side of it meant we was getting a lot of wind+rain plus the occasional back-end of a hurricane hitting our shores just like we had to contend with this weekend but at least it was forecast to be a better day than on Saturday .

Just as i had finished packing the car and started on my thirty mile journey to Old Hough the heavens opened it was pretty constant rain all the way there but at least it wasn’t as windy as the weatherman had predicted , in fact boulders lake was almost flat calm benefiting from the protection of the trees and this is where i fancied drawing because i had heard it has a nice head of f1s my style of fishing . When the draw was about to start the rain finally eased and it looked like we could be in for a nice days fishing but it turned out to be the calm before the storm , as usual in these matches i hung around towards the rear of the scrum for a dip in the magic hat and when it came for my turn i pulled out peg fourteen on boulders not the best of areas although it looked alright to me with it being 14m wide with a few lily pads to my right and a reed lined far-bank plus i was on the lake i wanted to be on .

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I decided to set up ;

Margin at the side of the pads were i was surprised to find nearly four-foot as i expected this swim to produce more carp i used a 4×12 malman roob with 014 garbo main line an 012 garbo hook length as i was going to be mainly feeding corn i had a size 16 guru lwg hook and my elastic was size 12 matrix hollo .

Channel this was plumbed up at ten o’clock and two o’clock so that i could try different feeding patterns as it was just over five foot i used a 4×14 drennon A3 float which had a carbon stem this would allow me to lay my rig in through the water in various ways, i expected to catch more ide+f1s here so i used 012 garbo main line and an 010 garbo six-inch hook length with a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern my hook was a size 18 matrix silverfish pattern the elastic was Nick Gilbert 8-10 green .

Far-bank with all the recent heavy rain going in i didn’t want to set this rig into shallow a depth so started at 4ft with the view i could always go shallower if i needed to during the session , my float was 4×12 malman roob with 014 garbo to an 3 inch 010 garbo hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached .

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My bait for the day was ;

One pint corn

One pint micros

Two pints red and white maggots

Small tub 4mm expanders

Small tub white 4mm hook pellets

As the all in sounded i tapped in twenty maggots onto my right hand channel swim before going across to the far-bank where i began using pellets and i fed the swim through a small kinder pot every five minutes , it took only a few feeds before i began getting indications and not long after i had my first fish which was an 8oz crucian a couple more soon followed before the swim went quiet a change of hook bait to a white 4mm pellet produced my biggest fish of the day a nice 4lb mirror carp .Just as i felt i could be on for a few fish the wind and rain reared its ugly head this prevented me from going back across as my pole kept getting ripped out of my hands , i had been loose feeding a dozen maggots onto my top three-line since the match started so with just an hour into the contest i had no option but to give there a whirl and i had an ide almost instantly but it looked like it was a loner because bites were extremely hard to get after that fish .

A change to my right hand channel swim got me back among the ide again and although it wasn’t hectic i was happy putting the odd fish in the net which helped keep me in touch with all those anglers within eye shot as it was fishing a lot harder than we all imagined , the bites began to tail off so i feed a negative line towards my left on my first drop i had a 10oz skimmer as soon as my float settled but nothing else followed so i chopped and changed between the two channel swims feeding one line then fishing the other this kept me ticking over but i really needed to fish across to be within a chance of picking up another carp , I had trickled in a few grains of corn onto my left hand margin at the side of the lily pads since the all in but after sporadically trying there during the match i failed to gain a single indication which was a bit strange .

With just ninety minutes of the match remaining the weather finally took a turn for the better the wind+rain stopped and there was even a touch of blue sky in the distance , i took this opportunity to go back across but after twenty minutes of fishing pellets all i could pick up were small skimmers not exactly what i thought would happen , i noticed the lad to my right catch a couple of ide going really tight to the far-bank i didn’t have the luxury of doing this as i had a few dead lily pads directly in front of me but i could still go a bit further up the shelf so stuck another section on and re-plumbed up and even at 14m it was a touch over 3ft i also chose to fish maggots as this would also give me the opportunity of picking up some ide as well . A few feeds with the kinder pot every five minutes and i was back into the fish again more silvers than before but i was just happy catching a few fish then suddenly it died on me but i didn’t have to wait long to find the reason as my elastic got ripped out of my pole , after a short fight i had a carp in the net another quickly followed of similar size before i pulled out of a bigger one this unsettled my swim and it took awhile for me to begin getting bites again when i did they were from the ide again i just knew that carp would cost me as the all out sounded calling time on another rather confusing match and i am struggling to get my head around this silver fishing lark .

 

 

As the weigh in began on peg one he put 19lb on the scales , peg six had 15lb , then i had 14lb and peg twenty had 18lb so yet again i finished fourth and as i thought that lost carp cost me a higher finishing position . For a change goose lake fished a lot better with peg five winning with an all net of ide totalling 35lb , then peg 18 had 24lb all carp and peg 16 third with 18lb another all ide net . Having a week of from the winter league and next sunday i will be standing in for my mate on the teams of four match at horns dam which should be interesting as not only have i never seen the canal pool i will be fishing on but i haven’t even been to the fishery , so lots of internet searching going on during the week to try to find an edge and midering of my Facebook friends but im really looking forward to competing against the best anglers in the Preston area especially the ted carter lads .

Diggle AC winter league rnd two at old hough


November 22nd , peg eleven goose lake

Goose lake

Today was the second round of the Diggle AC winter league at old hough and yet again it was to take place on goose+boulders the same waters as last week ,as we was fast approaching december the weather understandably had taken a turn for the worse with the first proper frost of the year which no doubt would have a dramatic affect on the weights , especially if the results of the previous days open match here was to go by with just twenty pounds winning and five of the top six weights all came from the same area on boulders the top weight from goose was only 12lb .Luckily on the morning of the match i didn’t have to scrape the van windscreen of ice but the dashboard showed a massive one degree although it did double in temperature by the time i got to the fishery and in fact it did not feel that bad especially if the cold wind stayed away , with all eighteen anglers in attendance it wasn’t long before the draw took place and i fancied a go on boulders lake as i heard that it held more f1s which are a more reliable target species at this time of year and something i am more comfortable in catching but yet again i ended up on goose lake this time peg eleven it was situated around the back of the lake in no man’s land after a couple of texts to lads who fished it a lot i found out it wasn’t a great area to be in not really the news i wanted to hear although i had worked out a plan during the week on how best to target the peg because i am still relatively new to the venue .

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My rigs for the day are going to be ;

Far-bank dobbing rig here i used a 0.2 matrix series three float my line was 012 garbo direct to a size 16 guru lwg and my elastic was matrix orange size ten, i had plumbed around in front of the reeds to try to find the average depth of the swim and when i felt a couple of carp brush the line to the right of my peg i was quietly confident of catching a few of them i purposely stopped plumbing up in that area so i wouldn’t disturb them anymore hoping they would settle back down again .

Far shelf rig at three-foot deep here i would be fishing pellets so i used a 4×12 malman roob float with 014 garbo main line and my hook length was a short 3 inch length of 010 garbo which had a strung bulk just above it the elastic here was matrix orange size ten.

Channel swim i plumbed up two lines one 7m to my right which i would feed with half a pot of maggots every twenty minutes and the other line 11m to my left which i would feed with a pot of ground-bait + dead pinkies every thirty minutes i hoped the skimmers would settle there although i wasn’t to sure that it would work that’s why i decided to position it so far out of my peg , i plumbed up to find just under five foot so used a 4×12 chianti float my main line was 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length that had a size twenty matrix bagger hook attached to start with i had a bulk and two dropper shotting pattern but i would change this for a more positive pattern if i began catching well on pellets over the ground-bait swim my elastic was matrix yellow size 8 .

Near side shelf rig which was positioned a bit further down the slope in deeper water at 4ft on this line i used 014 garbo main line with an 012 hook length and my elastic was matrix red size twelve , i had upped the strength here because i hopped this would be a good area to pick up a bonus carp or two .

Bait for the day was going to be ;

Two pints of red and white maggots .

Two pints of f1 dark groundbait with a hand full of dead pinkies in it .

One pint of soaked micros .

One slice of steamed and rolled warburtons orange toastie bread cut into 4 pieces and i had a size 11mm + 7mm punch .

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As the all in for the match sounded i eagerly shipped out across to the far-bank where i had earlier felt the carp with my plumet i began dobbing at the side of the reeds and had a piece of 7mm punched bread on the hook , i was a bit surprised that i didn’t get any indications straight away and i had to change depths, increasing the punch bread size to 11mm , going into all the nook+crannies in between the rushes , i even tried going 14m on either side but i still didn’t have any positive bites this was similar to my match last week and it’s a bit strange that i can get this method to work on most waters but struggle when using it on here maybe it is down to the stocking levels of carp but i am not to sure . I decided to waste no more time using it luckily those anglers around me hadn’t caught a great deal i wasn’t that far behind and my next move was the pellet line at three-foot down the far shelf , with the weather conditions being as they were i decided to go easy on the feed so i began by tapping in a few micros hoping to attract the attention of any passing fish and i could always increase it if i needed to , after about three feeds i began getting indications on the float which looked like very shy f1 bites i tried to alter my shotting pattern to try to help turn the little dips into fish and i finally began hitting them but it wasn’t the f1s i was looking for but small 4oz skimmers plus the odd micro crucian not what i wanted to be catching i persevered on this line for a while in case any bigger fish settled but apart from a solitary half pound skimmer it didn’t get any better .

I had fed both my channel swims every thirty minutes and as we was nearly ninety minutes into the contest i felt that i had no other option but to go on it , i started on my left hand line over the top of the ground-bait with maggot on the hook and i began getting indications straight away but yet again they were very hard to hit similar to those on my pellet line , unluckily they also turned out to be the same stamp of fish and i have a feeling that the fish meal in ground-bait + pellets aren’t the way to go on here but i suppose if things go really hard they can guarantee you a bite or two . I went on to my right hand maggot swim and after a while i began catching some 6oz ide which seems to be the average size of silver fish in here i was happy putting the odd fish in the net as i was on a par with those anglers around me but i felt that i needed to be catching a lot quicker if i was going to trouble the framing positions , so i began firing six maggots every few minutes towards the far bank rushes i hoped this would attract the attention of some carp and after twenty minutes i went over it with my dobbing rig that had two maggots attached . It worked remarkably well as i began a good run of stamp ide and with still no sign of a carp i quickly changed to a more suitable silverfish rig this increased my catch rate significantly although it was noticeable that the odd fish was spewing up bait a sure sign that i was over feeding the swim , a change from using the catty to a kinder pot and only feeding every two fish seemed to solve the problem it also got the ide on to the deck making them easier to catch but my elastic was a bit heavy at eight hollo causing the fish to splash on the surface when hooked this disturbed the shoal as they seemed to push further under the rushes .

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I felt the swim could do with a rest and i had seen a couple of carp come out on the opposite bank so i could also do with a bonus fish or two so i started feeding my left hand margin swim with a mixture of micros+ground-bait while this settled i tried to find another area along the far bank where i could get another run of ide but strangely apart from one that took it on the drop i couldn’t get attract another bite , so back to my original line and yet again they was lined up but in the back of my mind i felt i needed a carp to get in the money so i kept on trying my margin in ten minute spells every thirty minutes but this failed to produce a bite . In the last forty minutes the fish really backed off this coincided with the sun going in and the temperature beginning to drop , thinking about it now i should have fished further down the slope or kept on feeding my channel line which would have given me some were to go to when i felt the fish needed a rest .

When the all out sounded i wasn’t to sure how well i had got on so would have to wait for the scales to arrive to tell me my fate as they turned up on my lake i followed them around to see how everyone else had got on , i noticed that boulders lake had been rock hard with people struggling to break 8lb on my lake goose peg six took the early lead with five carp for twenty pounds , there was then a few weights under 4lb until it was my turn to weigh in and my 50 silvers went just over 15lb which was more than i thought as im still getting used to this style of fishing , peg 16 had another all ide net for 18lb ,the lake flyer peg where i was last week had another carp weight of 19lb so i ended up fourth not really what i wanted and I’m sure that if i had fished a better match i could have framed today but at least i had caught a few fish almost trebling those either side of me .

Not to sure if i can make the next round on lucky dip + prospect lakes  as the wife is working Saturday night so that will be one of my dropped matches but if i can sort something out i will try to fish it as i don’t want to limit myself to the results i can get rid of as it will be hard enough keeping at the top of the league with the standard of anglers fishing it .

Diggle AC winter league old hough


November 10th , peg 18 goose lake old hough

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Today was the first round of the Diggle AC winter league at old hough with eight matches taking place on goose,boulders,lucky dip and prospect , it has been awhile since i had contested a winter league and was quite looking forward to it even if it was going to take place on waters i had yet to try at the fishery which would make it more of a challenge . Yet again the weather leading up to todays match was pretty lousy with lots of rain and gale force winds although the temperatures were still high for the time of year , i just suppose it is something that we will have to get used to but it is a lot better than snow and ice in my opinion .When i woke on the morning of the match the weather didn’t look that bad it was a bit breezy but at least it was still dry well for the time being anyway ,i set off on the short thirty mile journey to the venue at 730am and just as i got of the motorway it went ominously dark with black clouds congregating above the inevitably soon happened as the rain absolutely lashed it down for a full twenty minutes only easing when i pulled into the fishery but luckily it was the only down pour we saw during the day .

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Obviously i was the first to arrive but i didn’t have to wait too long before all eighteen anglers turned up and the draw began , i waited for the crowd to die down before taking my turn and strangely for me i pulled out number 18 on goose the out-and-out flyer for the lake although to be honest i would have rather been on the same peg on boulders , on arriving at my peg you could see why it has the recent form as it had a bridge plus aerator to my right and it was also only 13m wide which would be handy if the wind increased during the day as it was forecast to do .As it was a new venue for me today i had done my homework on it and was told that it had a good head of 3 to the pound ide , barbel , carp plus the usual smattering of f1s and as recent winning weights were around the forty pound mark rightly or wrongly i felt that targeting ide was out of the question preferring to go for the bigger stamp of fish and i decided to fish three areas of the peg ;

Dobbing across to the far-bank reeds i plumbed up to find three-foot in front of them so as usual i began six-inch of the deck before working through the layers if i began missing bites my rig was a matrix 0.2 series three float with a spread bulk of number 11 stotz along the 012 garbo line which was direct to a size 16 lwg hook .

Pellet rig i managed to find a flat bottom around 11m at a touch under three-foot my rig was 4×12 malman roob float which had a bulk shotting pattern on the 012 garbo main line just above the short three-inch 010 garbo hook length and my hook was a size 18 lwg .

Channel line i put this towards the aerator at six meters were i found just over five foot my float was a 4×14 malman roob with a carbon stem which had the usual bulk at two foot + two dropper shotting pattern the main line was the usual 012 garbo with a six-inch 010 hook length that had a size twenty lwg hook attached .

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My side tray consisted of the usual ;

Two pints red and white maggots

One pint soaked micros

One pint soaked 4mm pellets

One slice of steamed and rolled bread

Small tub of 4mm expanders

The all in sounded at ten o’clock and i decided to spend the first hour dobbing bread across until it got to windy plus it will also give me chance to see where everybody else was fishing before i put bait in on the wrong areas off my peg , i started towards the reeds on the left six-inch of the deck with a 7mm punch of bread on the hook i was lift+dropping the rig so that it fluttered down slowly hopefully catching the eye of a passing carp . It took me awhile to find an area of the far-bank where i got any indications but i still needed to find the depth which the fish were comfortable in and i finally got my first fish at two foot deep it wasn’t the hoped for carp but a barbel not really what i expected to catch , by working my rig in all the gaps between the reed bed i was getting lots of indications which kept me interested although i was struggling to connect with them a change to an 11mm punch before pushing it tight to the tins produced a 1lb chub yet again not what i wanted to be getting and i was on the verge of packing it in when my float buried a sharp lift resulted in yards of elastic disappearing under the bridge before the hook pulled .

The dobbing line really wasn’t working out as i had planned so i decided to bin it off and went on my eleven meter pellet line i tapped in some micros before lowering my rig in among it then waited for a sign of fish , nothing happened so i repeated the process every couple of minutes i hoped that the falling bait would attract the attention of an f1 but thirty minutes past and still nothing nearly two hours of the match had passed with only three fish in the net i was on the verge of blowing another flyer so i needed to have a re-think on what to do next . Every twenty minutes i had put a pot of maggots under the aerator this could be my make or break method today first drop on this line and a little dip on the float resulted in a hand sized skimmer coming to the bank i began a little run of these fish although they wasn’t massive at least i was adding to my net , a change to feeding through a kinder pot resulted in a bigger stamp of silver fish and i had an hour of catching these but i still needed to catch some bonus fish to do any good so when bites on this line died off i decided to rest it for a while .

The wind was gusting quite strong into my right hand margin so i decided to plumb up my three-foot rig along here and started again first with pellets then going to maggots if i needed to with the wind blowing hard it made controlling the rig pretty difficult and a really should have changed to a heavier one , instead of tapping in pellets i decided to feed a full kinder pot then try to hold my rig still over the top of it and it took a couple of these before i had my first indication which was a positive sign not long after i had a skimmer over a pound it didn’t take much longer before i finally had my first carp which at 7lb doubled my weight two smaller ones quickly followed then it understandably slowed so i changed back to my channel line while it rested .

I had kept feeding my aerator swim and first drop i noticed a little dink on the float i half expected it to be another silver but a little shoal of barbel had settled there i managed six on the trot before they backed off , by rotating these two lines i managed to keep a nice stamp of fish coming to the net and it was all going reasonably well until the final forty minutes when back on my channel swim i hooked another big carp it was just about in netting range when i noticed that my landing net had become loose so stupidly rather than scoop it i let the elastic go from the side pulla while i tightened up the net , i replayed the carp again got it back to the net then the hook pulled after a few choice swear words i shipped back out another quick bite and i was attached to a barbel which was no bigger than any other i had caught but for some reason the hook length broke I’m not sure if losing the carp before had weakened it but i couldn’t quite get my head round the reason why , back out again with a fresh hook length on another quick bite resulted in another bumped barbel that was nearly ten pound lost in 15 minutes things were going a bit pear-shaped but i did kind of pull things back with a carp and an f1 strangely my only one of the day .

As the all out sounded i thought i had done reasonably well but as i would be the last to weigh in i would have to wait and see , after i had packed up i caught up with the scales man on Boulders lake as i could be drawn on their next week it was noticeable that this lake was not as affected by the elements the weights were all around the mid twenty pound mark with the top two anglers having over thirty pounds from the high numbered pegs . Back on goose lake and weights again was very similar to Boulders  i was a bit surprised in just how many nets of ide had been caught maybe i had dropped the ball in not fishing for them today , when they got to my peg i had 32lb to beat and i was rather confortant of having more than that although when the scales went round to 36lb it was a bit closer than i imagined .

All in all i ended up first on Goose and second overall so not a bad start to the winter league sitting joint top of the table but very early days yet , i think i have learned a great deal about the lake which i think will put a few extra fish in the net so i will have a think during the week on how best to carry out my ideas and can’t wait to get back there on Sunday .