Bradshaws fishery , last round of the winter league

January 14th

I have been to Bradshaw’s fishery today for the delayed last round of my winter league and it was due to take place on lake’s 5+6 both of which I hadn’t much experience on , because i had fished lake six just once before which was a couple of years ago and i didn’t do that well on that match . Thankfully the weather had improved during the week although there was still a cold easterly wind but with the two lakes we would be fishing in a slight dip i hoped it wouldn’t be too bad , after meeting up with the rest of the lads which i had not seen since before Xmas and it turned out a few decided not to fish the match so we had 16 anglers split over the two lakes this would give us all a bit of room .

At the draw I pulled out peg 11 on lake six which didn’t mean a great deal and after the very long walk  to my home for the next few hours I decided to set up ;

6m pellet rig , after plumbing up i found just over four-foot on the crease of the lake bed were it sloped off very slightly and i used a 4×14 Md pellet float with an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 010 garbo hook length .

13m caster rig which i positioned at an angle towards my left in a depth of five foot and i used a 4×16 Md silver float which had a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo attached to it was a size 16 guru pellet hook .

16m caster rig which was the same depth as my 13m line but i decided to use a lighter float with an on the drop shoting pattern because i felt the extra distance might enable to catch a few fish as my rig fell through the water , i used a 4×12 Md slim float and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Shallow rig just in case set at three-foot deep which was just over half depth , i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk and dropper shoting pattern spread along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Bait for the day was ;

1 pint of casters

1/2 pint dead maggots

1/2 pint micros

small tub 4mm expanders

2 pints of ground-bait black swim stim and frenzied hemp mixed 50/50

When the all in sounded I fed three balls of ground-bait mixed with 50ml of casters + dead maggots on my 13m line and started on my 6m swim while it settled , thing’s didn’t begin to well as I was bite less for thirty minutes but nobody else was catching a great deal either just the odd little roach coming out and i was thinking that i might have over done it putting too much bait in on my long line ,a switch to my 13m line after an hour and I was soon catching some small silvers with the odd better skimmer mixed in but nothing decent , it was only when I began cattying in half a dozen casters in every five minutes that I managed to drag some ide+chub into the swim and with half the match gone I had a dozen of them all around the 10oz mark.

The only trouble was that the lad’s opposite were beginning to catch f1’s so I needed to find a way of catching them if i wanted to do have a chance of framing in the match , so I went out to 16m because the only people catching f1s were fishing long and they must have been a group of fish sat in the middle of the lake , i began by kinder potting in micros mixed in a nugget of micro+black swim stim and after a while I had my first f1 , for the remainder of the match I decided to sit it out on this line catching well in spells but they wasn’t the same stamp as those angler’s facing me , at the all out I managed 19lb which was good enough for third on the lake and match behind a 23lb + 27lb .

This result consolidated my 2nd place in the overall winter league standings and I was only two points away from winning it which was more than possible if luck had gone my way on a couple of the rounds , but I had managed to pick up money on every match and caught plenty of fish along the way so all in all another enjoyable winter league.

Bradshaw hall fishery , lake six

March 6th , lake six peg 15

This weekend i decided to fish a match with the winter league lads on Bradshaw’s fishery lake six and even though it is only ten miles away from my house this is only my second ever visit which i will be rectifying in the coming months because it is a well established venue with all the lakes being well looked after , there is nine different styles of waters on the complex with canals 8+9 being the main match lakes where they get attendances in excess of forty anglers , they have also run a very successful silvers contest over winter producing plenty double figure nets of quality fish these took place on lakes 3+4 .

On the morning of the match i woke to find a frozen windscreen which was a bit of a surprise even after all the snow we had on the Friday i hopped that we had seen the back of all that cold weather , the van on the trip to Bradshaw’s showed a mighty minus one degree and it failed to rise above three degrees all day plus i had only been driving for ten minutes when it started snowing again the closer i got to the fishery the stronger it went not exactly what i was expecting the weather to be like today . When i got to the complex it had relented a bit and didn’t take too much longer before it stopped all together , as per usual i was the first of our group to arrive so i had a quick look at lake six which is the one where the match would be taking place the video gives you a look at the water .

As i arrived back at the car-park there was a couple of lads that i knew so had a chat with them while i was waiting for my group of anglers to finally turn up , around ten to nine they arrived and it was then a bit of a rush to collect the pools then start the draw when it came for my turn i pulled out peg 15 which to be honest didn’t mean a great deal as i had not fished it before . On getting to my home for the next few hours i found it situated on the far side with your back to the stream at the side of the water outlet which was pumping through because all the cold water from the other lakes where running into it , i felt this could have a big impact on how it fishes today and i would be really negative with the feeding until i knew what the response would be . The species i was looking at catching today was f1s+skimmers and i hadn’t really done a great deal of lake fishing for f1s preferring to contest matches on your typical snake lake waters so i was well up for the challenge of chasing them around the peg , i decided to set up three rigs to cover my options and these were ;

Top four line which was five foot deep and as i would be loose feeding maggots on this line i used a 4×12 maggie float with an on the drop shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo that had a six-inch length of 009 garbo .

Pellet line which when plumbing up i found it to be seven-foot so i used a 4×16 roob float that had a spread bulk an inch apart just above the four-inch hook length .

Three foot shallow line because i had heard there was plenty chub in it  and they just might come shallow but i wasnt that confident but set up a rig just in case , i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a strung out shotting pattern allowing for a slow fall of the hook bait my main line was 014 garbo and hook length would be a six-inch length of 009 garbo .

Bait for the day was ;

Three pints of soaked f1 micros

Two pints of red and white maggots

Small tub 4mm expanders

Small tub 4mm white pellets

The all in sounded and i began on my top four line feeding half a dozen maggots by hand every couple of minutes , i noticed that nearly every other angler had gone straight out to 14m with some even deciding to feed with a big pot and i hopped that with them doing that it would play right into my hands as it would give the fish a safe zone for them to back off in too . The first twenty minutes was a complete write off as my maggot swim failed to produce a bite and it was only when i went onto my pellet line at ten meters did i begin to get a few indications , i kept trickling in a few micros every couple of minutes and began lift+dropping my rig to try to entice something more positive but it was very hard work it was only when i changed to a heavier hook bait that i caught my first fish a skimmer around the ten ounce mark .

By keeping on doing the same thing with my rig i began to pick up a few f1s but i got a bit keen with the feed and they backed off even though i was only putting in half a dozen micros every few minutes it just goes to show how finicky the fish were being today , so i replumbed up a new swim a couple of feet to my right and started again it took about ten minutes before i was back catching a skimmer got into the act first then the f1s moved in , i really struggled to get my feeding correct as i either put too many pellets in my pot and spilled them when i struck or didn’t put enough in so was forever shipping in and out . When the bites tailed off again i put on another section and started again chasing the fish all over my peg by doing this i kept putting fish in the net up to the last forty minutes when i pushed them out of reach going past my sixteen meter pole limit , my top four maggot line which i had fed since the match started failed to produce a single sign and i even resorted to trying to catch shallow without success i think this was down to not preparing it properly as it was more of an afterthought rather than a preset plan for me to do it.

When the all out sounded i felt that i had fished a really good match and enjoyed myself chasing f1s all over my peg it certainly made a change from fishing snake lakes where everything is done at set times during the day , i noticed that a heavier pellet produced more positive indications some of which were lift bites and every fish was hooked in the top lip a sure sign of good presentation ,i followed the scales round the lake and the leading weight up to me was 22lb my 34 f1s+skimmers went thirty pounds to take the lead which lasted just one more weight because the next angler at the other side of the water outlet had 36lb and that went on to win the match with me finishing second , there was lots of weights around the twenty pound mark and i was surprised that it had fished so well in the cold conditions .

I am off to Herronbrook next Sunday to fish the teams of four standing in for a mate in the Ted Carter team , which I’m really looking forward too as i have only been there once before and have my first fisho qualifier there in April so need to see how it is fishing , after that i have some super cup practice on Goose green fishery before the Easter match at Weston pools so i have got a busy few weeks coming up a sure sign of summer and it’s just how i like it .