Bradshaws fishery , winter league round five


November 19th

I have been back to Bradshaw’s fishery today for round five of my winter league and with the first proper frost of winter plus blue skies meant i expected things would be tough going , on arrival to the venue the wind was blowing from right to left it was feeling really chilly and i was glad that i had wrapped up warm before i had set off on my journey to the fishery , even in these conditions there was nearly a dozen anglers already fishing and it looked like we could be tight for space on the match . It soon came round for the draw I pulled out peg 31 which was not too far from where i was last week and they struggled down that end so i wasnt expecting things to be great , although on the plus side it was an end peg for the competition but I had to put up with pleasure angler’s to my left throwing in corn all over the place and I also had every peg in towards my right.

I began setting up and disaster struck as my recently repaired 11m section wouldn’t fit into the number seven one so fishing long was out of the question so I was at a disadvantage straight away , with limited options i decided to set up ;

Four meters towards my left just at the bottom of the near slope and i was going to fish pellets here so i used a 4×14 Md pellet float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Eleven meter directly in front of me which was the furthest that i could safely go and i was going to fish maggots over ground-bait , i used a 4×14 Md silver float which had a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern and my main line was the usual 014 garbo that had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached .

Six meters slightly towards my right where it was the deepest part of my peg and i used a 4×14 Md maggot float with a staggered bulk shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo that had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached .

Bait for the day ;

3 pints of ground-bait

2 pints of soaked micros

3 pints of red and white maggots

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded I started at 5m with pellets as i felt this was my best bet to catch some f1s+carp i began by clumping in some micros so that they fell in a heap directly to the bottom but i only managed a few small silvers doing this so i tried taping in some feed which i hoped would drag some better stamp fish in to the swim but after an hour had passed i still hadn’t seen any net fish , so i went out to 11m were I had earlier put in 3 balls of ground-bait and i began getting indications straight away but yet again they was just small silvers , i began cattying in some maggots every few minutes to try to draw some bigger fish this just produced more tiny fish and i was at a loss on what to do next but with the anglers all around me struggling it could just be a lack of anything decent in the area .

With half the match gone I was still really struggling so I put in a new swim towards my left kinder potting maggots in just to see if the ground-bait was attracting the small stuff and to an extent it did work because the silvers improved in size , i even managed a lonely f1 and then a perch around the pound mark which was nice catching as they aren’t in many commercials these days but it wasnt long before the tiny bits returned . With an hour of the match remaining and the light beginning to fade the pleasure anglers to my left began to pack up which gave me a bit of room so I put in yet another new swim this time directly in front at 6m , I began feeding small marble sized balls of sloppy ground-bait through a kinder pot before pinging a few maggots over the top and this finally got me some decent skimmers and f1’s but it was too little to late because i was quickly running out of time as the all out sounded to early for my liking .

I was the last to weigh in and when they arrived at my peg I ended up with 12lb which i caught most of it in the final hour it was easily enough for me to win my section , but I’m kicking myself a bit because just 16lb was required to come third overall and i felt that was manageable today if I had fished a bit better , the match was won from peg 25 with just under 40lb than second came from peg 7 with 25lb after that there was a couple of 16lb nets before the weights really dropped of which was no doubt down to the conditions .

I’m back at Old Hough on Sunday for the next round and with the weather going colder a good draw would be needed but hopefully i can keep away from the bad areas and consolidate my place at the top of the league as im on ten points at the moment after five rounds , fingers crossed i can drop at least one of my Bradshaw results then it will be a good winter league for me .

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Bradshaw hall fisheries , round five winter league


12th November

I have been to Bradshaw’s fishery today for the 4th round of the winter league and it was due to take place on lake four which is somewhere that I had only fished once before coming third in the inter club match there this January , so I was really looking forward to it even though it was proper cold outside with plenty over night rain going in because you are usually guaranteed a few bites from the silvers and f1s . After my short drive to the fishery which only took about twenty minutes and i really need to make the effort to go more often next year , i met up with the lads contesting the winter league and everyone was looking forward to it as it had fished quite well on the recent club matches , we had most of the lake but with a few pleasure anglers on the early part it was going to be peg two miss one which could make things a bit interesting .It soon came round to draw time and i pulled out peg 27 which was half way along the far straight with your back to lake six , i was a bit unsure what to expect because i fancied a go on the opposite bank but at least i had a lot of open water to target although the wind was gusting from left to right and was forecast to get stronger as the match progressed .

With this in mind I decided to set up ;

Top four line just as the bottom levelled out a bit and as it was nearly six-foot deep here so i used a 4×16 Md maggot float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

Thirteen meter line it was six-inch deeper than the above swim and i decided to use a lighter 4×14 Md maggot float with a staggered bulk in the bottom third of the rig ,  my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached with a micro bait band .

Two shallow rigs set at four-foot one with a bait band the other a normal maggot rig my float was a 4×12 Md maggot hook with an on the drop shotting pattern ,  my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

Bait for the day ;

3 pints of maggots

3 pints of soaked 4mm pellets

small tub of mixed 4mm and 6mm pellets

A mixture of ground-bait 50/50 frenzied hemp and f1 dark

When the all in sounded I fed 3 small balls of ground-bait on my four meter swim and began loose feeding a dozen maggots over the top every couple of minutes It wasn’t long before I began catching hand sized skimmers which was a good start to the match , the wind + tow was making presenting my rig really awkward and bites began to tail off after forty minutes so i fed another ball of ground-bait and decided to let it rest for a bit , I had fed pellets with a catty at 13m so i gave that a try I went on it expecting to catch small stockies with the odd better fish mixed in and i had a good run of fish on it including a bonus three-pound carp but yet again the wind was making presentation on the deck difficult , i knew that they had caught shallow on here and although i wasnt sure it would work today in the colder conditions but with my rig set at 4ft  i took the gamble of getting them up in the water this didn’t really work out for me and mid match i really struggled to put anything in the net I also lost two big skimmers when they jumped out of the water when hooked .

With just two hours remaining I put in a new swim at 11m towards my right were my pole was more manageable in the conditions and i fed a smaller softer ball of ground-bait with a dozen maggots through a cupping kit , my rig kept getting held up by small silvers as it fell so i bulked all my shotting a foot away from my hook length and this solved the problem as i was now catching a hand sized skimmer nearly every put in , when bites began to fade i put in a nugget of ground-bait in with a kinder pot which kept the fish interested and it wasnt long before i noticed the bottom fizzing away this resulted in a run of small f1s , the wind was getting continually stronger making my rig tow through pretty badly so i decided to double bulk my rig laying six-inch of line on the deck this kept my rig stationary and i was now waiting for positive lift bites I stayed here for the rest of the match catching skimmers + f1’s quite frequently.

At the all out I ended up third in the match and section with 34lb and 37lb won the opposite bank fished a lot harder with 20lb winning the section , I’m a bit disappointed with the result because I should have caught those extra few pounds and i did some things wrong but at least i have a better idea on what is required now , plus we are back there next week for round five so i don’t have long to wait to hopefully put things right , fingers crossed i can use this as one of my dropper results as i am on six points now after four matches and going from previous years ten points will be good enough to be the winter league champion .

Bradshaws fishery


13th August

After a bit of badgering from the rest of the Daiwa adlington squad i headed to Bradshaw’s fishery near Bolton to contest the open on lake 8+9 and as i had not fished it before i was quite looking forward to it , especially as the weather had settled down a bit with blue skies plus a slight increase in temperature . On arrival to the fishery i was one of the first there and i found out that the draw was only going to take place at 930 so yet again i had a bit of hanging about to do , i did want to have a look at the lakes in the match today as i hadn’t even seen them yet but i noticed that the gates to them was locked when i drove down to the cabin , so i decided to have a walk round the other lakes on the complex and when i got back there was a few more people knocking about including a couple of the squad members , we had a chat about how best to target things today but they wasnt giving much away .

It was nearly draw time so i joined the queue towards the rear and when it came to my turn for a go in the bag of doom i pulled out peg 14 which was on lake eight but that was a much as i knew till i got to the other car park , before i unpacked my gear i went to try to find my home for the next few hours and it was situated over one of the bridges , there was only two pegs on this little split so i had a bit of room and the far bank was about 13m away which had a couple of reed beds plus a mud bank , i also had a reed bed along my left hand margin and a lily bed a bit behind me towards my right at the side of the bridge , so i had quite a few options and it could be very easier to confuse yourself by trying to many different things especially on your first visit .

While i was putting my gear on the trolley i took the opportunity to have a chat with one of the venue superstars who kindly pointed me in the right direction and it seemed that i was in a reasonable are which was a positive sign , when i got back to my peg i had a bit of a plan in mind and decided to set up ;

Margin both left and right in two foot depth , i used a 4×12 MD diamond float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Six meter channel rig in 5ft depth for under my shallow swim , i used a 4×12 MD maggot float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern .

Shallow rig in 18 inch and i used a 4×10 MD mini maggie float with a bulk of number eleven stotz above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Across rig at three-foot for in front of the far bank reeds , i used a 4×12 MD roob style float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length and i altered this for a bulk plus dropper when i changed to using maggots .

Mud line in 18 inch and i used a 4×12 MD mini maggie float which had an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of white maggots

2 pints 4mm soaked pellets

1 pint of micros

3 pints of ground-bait

small tub 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded i began on my three foot rig across in front of a reed bed and after tapping in a nugget of ground-bait before holding my rig still over the top of it , with not much happening i had to start sprinkling in micros to try to draw some fish into the swim and it took a further ten minutes before i had my first f1 but even after my slow start i wasnt to worried because nobody around me was catching a great deal . I had another bite less ten minutes before the tiniest of indication on the float resulted in my next f1 and there just didn’t seem to be much in front of me , i had another spell of inactivity so i tried putting in another nugget of ground-bait in to try to kick-start the swim but it just brought in some gudgeon and small silvers not exactly what i had in mind . With an hour of the match passed and only two f1s in the net it was time to re plumb up another line towards my left , this time i changed to feeding half a dozen 4mm pellets every few minutes and this resulted in another quick f1 before it all went quiet yet again even the gudgeon had deserted me .

I had been loose feeding 4mm pellets every few minutes since the match started on my six meter swim so i dropped on this with my deck rig to see if the fish were in the deeper water and i would also keep an eye out for liners to signal that they might be shallow but i had not seen anything top in front of me , after what seemed like an age my float finally dipped under resulting in another f1 in the net quickly followed by two more and i hopped that i could get a run of fish but my next couple of fish were small hand sized tench . Even though i hadn’t seen any signs of movement up in the water i decided to give my shallow rig ago but as i thought i didn’t even get a bite in twenty minutes and with nearly half the match gone i was really struggling with just a handful of f1s in the net so it was time for a complete re think .

I decided to scrap the pellets and concentrate on using maggots , i began potting in ground-bait on to my mud bank and i also plumbed up a new swim towards my right in 2ft of water tight to the cover dumping maggots through a large kinder pot doing this dramatically transformed my match , as i caught an f1 straight away before the ide moved in and i changed my shotting to give a slow fall of the hook bait this worked really well as i had a run of forty ide in the next hour , although my 11 Preston hollo elastic was a bit too strong for the 10oz ide and a few either splashed on top as soon as i hooked them or came off at the net which might have disrupted the shoal because bites came to an abrupt end , i tried setting up a new swim towards my left at the side of some reeds thinking that they might have backed off but strangely that never really kicked off for me .

I noticed some movement on my mud bank so i quickly changed rigs my float had only just settled when my elastic shot off resulting in a small carp hitting the net and i then had a little run of fish all of which were a different species , bites began to tail off so rather than keep plundering the shoal i put in a cup full of ground-bait and another of maggots before going back to my original 2ft swim , this time i caught a couple of small roach so i decided to put all my shot above the hook length which would hopefully bolt the maggots through the silvers and i started picking up the odd ide before the f1s moved in , by swapping between this swim and my mud bank i ended up with a dozen more f1s+carp before the all out sounded .

As i began packing up i couldn’t help but think that i had wasted half of the match trying to get pellets to work but as I’m really new to the venue i was always going to make some mistakes and the later part of the match showed just how well it can fish , i ended up with 50 ide plus 18 f1s+carp and when the scales arrived my two nets went just under 50lb this was good enough to win the section quite comfortably as i had a dnw one side then a 16lb to my other so i was quite pleased with my effort today , overall the match was won with just over a ton and a couple of mid 80lb got into the frame so wasnt a million of miles away but the only thing is I’m not sure when i will get chance to get back as the cunneries league starts in September .

Bradshaws lake four , inter club challenge


January 28th , peg twenty lake four

lake4

Today i was contesting the inter club challenge against some top teams in the Bolton area and i was fishing with Stockton Heath angling group , it was due to take place on Bradshaw’s lake four which is a fishery that i do not frequent that often , in fact i had never fished this lake before so a bit of internet home work was required and i got in touch with a couple of lads that have contested the silver fish matches who pointed me in the right direction . Although any fish was allowed in the match i was looking forward to doing a bit of silver fish fishing for a change and if any carp came my way then that would be a bonus , but to be honest i didn’t expect many of them to be caught especially after the recent drop in temperatures and we was faced with constant rain today which would make things a bit tricky but at least we only had a slight breeze to contend with .

After my short twenty-mile drive to the venue which took a bit longer than i had originally planned as i had to travel through the town center and i arrived just after eight which gave me plenty of time to meet up with the team before having a quick look at the lake which was tree-lined on one side with some floating islands , along the other side it was more open water with a bit of a drop off behind you which would make shipping back a bit awkward when fishing long and every peg had a new platform , when i returned to the cabin it was nearly draw time and i was charged with doing the team draw i cant rember the exact pegs but i was going to be on twenty which didn’t mean a great deal because like i mentioned earlier i had not fished this lake before .

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I had quite a long walk before i reached my home for the next few hours and on reaching it i had two bushes either side of me which looked like they might hold a few fish , but i also had another lake behind me which meant placing my rollers a bit awkward and i also had to ship back over the water as well so i made sure my pole was put together tightly because i didn’t fancy going for a dip if they came apart .When i had finished sorting my gear out i decided to mix my ground-bait so it would have time to settle before the match started and after speaking to a couple of lads they put me on to a mix of 40% ringers green + 60% frenzied hemp i hoped this would help me target the skimmers and the odd f1 , i then started plumbing up my swims and surprisingly it was quite a flat bottom with only a few inch difference between my 11m loose feed line and my 14m ground-bait line , i also put a swim in towards the rushes to my left at 6m where i would throw a few maggots every ten minutes until i went onto it and then alter things as needed .

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11m+14m swims i used a 4×14 maggie float that had a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern with 014 garbo main line and hook length was 010 garbo that had a size twenty guru maggot hook .

6m swim i used a 4×10 maggie float that had an on the drop shotting pattern with 014 garbo main line and hook length was 010 garbo that had a size twenty guru maggot hook .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of red and white maggots

3 pints of ground-bait

When the all in sounded i put five tangerine sized balls of ground-bait onto my 14m line i would have liked to have used bigger ones but had stupidly left my larger cupping kit at home and there was no point rushing because i didn’t want to be spreading my bait everywhere , i was going to let this line settle for as long as possible so i began on my 11m line loose feeding maggots and at first all i could catch was 2oz roach , i was beginning to think i had got it completely wrong as my neighbour had started feeding pellets really negatively and began catching some hand sized skimmers + f1s plus a carp around 2lb which meant i was always playing catch up although he was already fishing at 14m and i had that to fall back on later in the match .By constantly feeding a dozen maggots i was soon getting a small silver every five minutes which doesn’t sound a great deal but on looking around everyone seemed to be struggling so i was happy just putting something in the net for the time being , i did manage to pick up a couple of bigger roach but i was eager to give my 14m swim a try to on my first drop resulted in a 10oz skimmer which was a nice start , i hoped that a shoal of them had settled on it but it turned out to be a false dawn as i had to wait 15 minutes before i had my next indication and even though i was fishing nearly dead depth with my float shotted to a tiny pimple the bites were hardly noticable especially at 14m , it seemed like the fish had just stayed over the top of the feed without moving and i did try slowly dragging my hook bait from right to left which did produce a couple more skimmers but it just didn’t seem right , so i went back onto my loose fed 11m line while i pondered on what to do next and yet again all i could catch was small silvers plus the odd netter roach mixed in .

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With ninety minutes of the match remaining the rain finally relented and in the calm conditions i went back on to my 14m swim but this time i decided to feed a small ball of ground-bait through a kinder pot to see if i could get them back on the deck and this worked remarkably well , as i had a skimmer every chuck for nearly an hour most of them was about 4oz but i did have the odd better one mixed in and i did bump a couple of smaller ones of on the way in , which i didn’t think anything of it until the weigh in later , with thirty minutes remaining the rain returned with a vengeance it might have been coincidence or not but the bites suddenly stopped and i spent too long catching next to nothing before the all out sounded .

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After hastily packing my gear away i had a quick chat with the lads around me to see how they had got on they guy to my right wasnt giving much away but i figured he was my main danger for the seven peg section , it didn’t take long before the scales arrived and i awaited my fate as i expected my main danger had 11lb 14oz then i put 11lb 10oz on the scales getting beat by a few ounces it looked like those couple of bumped fish had cost me 70 quid but you win some you lose some , on the team front i think we finished last after some shocking weights which was only to be expected on our first try on the lake and as it turned out i ended up third out of the 35 anglers as only a handful of people managed to break double figures with 17lb winning the match .

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Tomorrow i will be back on the bank at Partridge lakes for yet another team match but this time the 2+2 lads just hope we can get a better draw because we have had some shockers so far this year .