Herronbrook canal pool


Sunday March 13th – Canal pool peg 41 .

Todays match was going to take place at Heronbrook fishery in Staffordshire as I had been asked in the week, to stand in for the Ted Carters team; they was a man short and with the last round of the winter league at Whitmore fishery taking place at the same time, I was keen to take up the opportunity as I hadn’t fished the venue before and, my first fish’o qualifier was going to take place on it as well so I could do with a chuck there to get my eye in. I had already been told that I would be fishing on canal pool so it gave me chance to find out a bit about it beforehand using the usual social media outlets plus a couple of phone calls to people who I knew had fished it before.

So with all the required prep done during the week, it was time for an early night because I had to be up at 06:30am so I could arrive at the fishery in time for the 830 draw. The sixty mile trip went swimmingly as it was nearly all on the motorway but I did have a bit of a detour when I missed my turn off at a roundabout, making me go back on to a dual carriageway this added about twenty minutes to my journey and, when I finally arrived at Heronbrook fishery the draw was just starting as it was up to the captains to choose the pegs I had a little look at the lake I would be fishing it was your typical snake lake style water although a touch wide as it was over sixteen meters in parts. Once I got back to the cabin where the other team members had congregated I was informed I was going to be sitting on peg 41 and, as I walked back to the car I spoke to a few other anglers and they told the bad news; it was a very poor area plus with every peg being took on that length of canal I would be on for a very hard day at least I hadn’t far to walk to get there.

As I settled in at my home for the next six hours I had a couple of overhanging trees which, looked prime for dobbing along with some reeds although it was at least 15m across the rigs I settled on were;

3ft rig although it was really hard for me to find a suitable flat spot I used a 4×12 malman roob float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch hook length of 010 garbo and elastic was green NG size 8-10

4ft rig which was towards the bottom of the far slope and also at the side of my left hand margin reeds ,  I used a 4×14 malman roob float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch hook length of 010 garbo and elastic iwas green NG size 8-10

Channel rig  planned on using maggots here and as it wasnt that windy yet although it did get stronger as the day progressed, I could get away with using a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my hook length was six-inch of 010 elastic was the same green NG size 8-10

Dobbing rig I used a 4ft length of line as this would allow me to have a good lash above the float which was a 0.3 series three matrix and main line was 014 garbo that had a six-inch 012 hook length , I stepped up the elastic to matrix orange because this is where i expected to catch any carp and i heard they can run quite big in here.

With there being no bait limits at Herronbrook I decided to take a bit of everything to cover my options although it did mainly revolve around pellets;

Two pints soaked micros

Two pints soaked 4mm pellets

Small tub 4mm expanders

Small tub 4+6mm white pellets

Two pints red+white maggots

It was soon time for the all in and I decided to kick off by dobbing some 7mm bread disc’s along the far-bank pushing it into any nooks+crannies, among the branches and overhanging reeds I didn’t have to wait long for my first indication which, I missed but it was a positive sign. My next few bites were from small silvers and after about twenty minutes I decided to give up on dobbing for the time being and picked up my four-foot deep rig, although the weather was pleasantly sunny for a change the water was still very cold so I decided to take it easy with the bait until I knew how the fish were feeding so, after tapping in a few micros I lowered my rig slowly among them and tried to keep it static over the top of the feed, it took a couple of taps on my pole to scatter a couple of micros before my float dinked slightly and a little lift resulted in me being attached to my first f1 which did not put up much of a fight till I got it onto my top kit at around 2lb it was a good start to the match.

Upon shipping back out I didn’t have to wait too long before my next f1 hit the net and although I wasnt bagging, the size of fish that I was catching were a very nice stamp and, after a while the bites became a bit iffy so I had a play about with my feed + hookbait, it seemed that 4mm were the better feed pellets but they wouldn’t touch the heavier white hook pellets which I thought was strange but they are a bit of a Marmite bait only working on certain venues. By altering a few things I managed to add a couple more f1s before the bites tailed off again and when a roach got in on the action it was time to set up another line.

I replumbed up a new swim a couple of feet towards my left still using my four-foot rig and started again, it didn’t take to long before I was catching f1s again but after losing a fish at the net then virtually straight away foul hooking one directly over my feed it caused the fish to get unsettled and back off again. Another new swim was called for but this time I picked up my three-foot rig which allowed me to go tighter to the far-bank it took a bit longer for me to get a bite but, I put this down to how long it took me when plumbing up to try to find a suitable flat spot because, it was just like a sheer drop in places. I also noticed that the f1s were a lot smaller on this line but at least I was still catching unlike the lads either side of me who seemed to be really struggling.

After a while the wind got a bit stronger, the fish seemed to follow the breeze and my peg seemed to die completely where the lads towards my right kept their run going for longer, you need to make the most of the first hour to ninety minutes on these pegs because when the fish go they don’t tend to come back as you will find out later. Over the next two hours I set up multiple swims at various depths all along the far-bank with very limited success and I even tried dobbing again which just resulted in a small silver. I had fed my six-meter channel swim with twenty maggots every half an hour but I did not want to go on it too soon hoping that whatever f1s were in the area would settle on it. I had also flicked six maggots on my left hand margin swim at the side of the reeds every ten minutes so, I decided to give that a try but half an hour without even a bite was all I managed. As a last resort I changed my three-foot rig for a five foot pellet one and replumbed a new line towards the bottom of the far slope which, was 13m away but this was also a non starter. I had wasted nearly three hours of the match putting zilch into the net, so with just ninety minutes remaining I had no other option but go on my channel swim a couple of silvers took a liking to the single hook bait as it fell and after changing for a more positive shotting pattern + double mag hook bait it allowed me to get it to the deck, after a while I had my first indication which resulted in a 10oz skimmer hitting the net not exactly what I had in mind but at least I had added to the net a couple of bigger roach got in on the act too .

I noticed that a couple of anglers to my right had started catching f1s again, I hoped that some had settled in my peg as well but yet again, after working all along the far-bank I didn’t have a single indication and; with only my channel swim producing bites that’s where I spent the remainder of the match, finally hit into another f1 and when my next dip of the float resulted in yards of elastic coming out i thought that a few decent f1s had turned up at last but up popped a big chub and that was about it till the all out sounded i did have ten minutes dobbing along the far-bank after seeing a carp swirl but nothing came from it .

After packing up I followed the scales along my section and I was a bit surprised that they had put in a peg before the bridge which had a nice reed bed to fish too even though there was an empty peg along the straight and, as expected this won the section with 66lb, the lad on the other side of the bridge had 21lb then there was a 41lb which took second included a double figure carp and, after that the weights got gradually worse until the other end peg put 32lb on the scales, my catch went just short of 18lb and I had beat the anglers either side of me ending up 7th in the section only a couple of pounds from moving up another place.

All in all it was a very hard match for all the anglers along the straight somewhere, I hope not to draw anytime soon but on the plus side I have learned a lot about the canal on my first visit to the venue, overall it has fished extremely well with the top ten anglers all catching over a ton and the Ted Carters team I was representing today finished 12th with 22 points lets hope they can keep it going for the remaining rounds. Next weekend I’m back at the hugely impressive Weston pools and to be honest I can’t wait! It’s been a long time since my last visit role on Sunday!

 

 

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Partridge lakes open match


December 19th , peg 110 covey five

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Well today was a very rare day indeed not only was i fishing on a Saturday but i was also on Partridge lakes which was somewhere that i hadn’t visited in over two months and i was really looking forward to it as i can not remember the last time i had caught any f1s as i had spent most of the so-called winter fishing for silvers , the weather leading up to the match had been pretty reasonable for the time of year with it being eight degrees at night and mid double figures during the day although we still had some breezy conditions plus lots of rain to be honest it felt more like the start of autumn rather than the middle of winter .

On arrival at the venue there was another good turnout of over seventy anglers meaning coveys 1 to 5 would be in the draw bag as i began queuing up with all the usual faces plus a smattering of your pro anglers and as i waited in line i noticed that all the framing weights on the result board had come from pegs out of the cold wind which was no doubt down to the fact that you could present a bait accurately across to the far-bank , when it came for my turn to pick out i pulled peg 110 on covey five which was only a couple away from my last visit in an area that isn’t the best and ever since i had got my head round f1 fishing my golden arm has let me down big time .

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When i got to my home for the next few hours i wasn’t that impressed as the wind was towing through quite strong from left to right meaning fishing across would be nearly impossible and i was also in pegs 114 , 115 and 117 all of which had better form plus the later two had the wind blowing off their backs so they could fish in the areas the f1s wanted to sit in . But i would give it my best shot and you just never know as fishing is a strange sport i decided to set up the usual three rigs which would be ;

Three foot , this would be for both slopes i was very dubious if i would be able to use it across but i plumbed it up anyway just incase my float was a slightly heavier 4×14 malman roob shotting pattern was a spread bulk , with 014 garbo main line and a short four-inch 010 garbo hook length this had a size 18 lwg hook attached .

Four foot rig , this was for the bottom of both slopes incase the f1s could be in slightly deeper water  my float was a slightly heavier 4×14 malman roob shotting pattern was a spread bulk , with 014 garbo main line and a short four-inch 010 garbo hook length this had a size 18 lwg hook attached .

Channel swim at six-foot i felt that in the conditions this would be my main line of attack and i used a 4×14 rw maggie float which had a bulk + two droppers shotting pattern , i used 014 garbo main line and a short six inch 010 garbo hook length this had a size 18 lwg hook attached .

Bait for the day was ;

Two pints of red and white maggots

One pint of micros

One pint 4mm pellets

Small tub of 4mm expanders

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When the all in sounded i fed a small cupping kit full of maggots on to my channel swim which i positioned towards my right hand side of my peg as it allowed me to put my back to the wind this would also give me better control over the rig , i then began my match fishing at five meters towards peg 109 at four-foot deep dragging my rig slightly up the slope and i tapped in a few micros every five minutes being careful not to put a lot in until i knew how they would respond and unfortunately they didn’t because i was still bite less after forty minutes just like the anglers either side of me . I then had to resort to struggling with the wind across to the far-bank but my rig was pulling through like a train which wasn’t ideal when you’re using pellets or any bait for that matter and i ended up putting my four-foot rig a lot shallower enabling me to have a longer lash this helped matters but i still couldn’t attract any indications .

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I had no other option other than to try my channel swim a lot earlier than i planned it wasn’t exactly hectic but i did at last begin picking up a few fish i had a good thirty minute spell where i caught half a dozen f1s but then i managed to lose a decent carp which broke my hook length when it made a dart for freedom under the keep net , then i lost another f1 straight after when the hook pulled at the net this kind of disrupted my swim because i couldn’t get another bite after that  so i set up another swim to the left side of my peg but chose to use pellets incase the fish responded better to that bait but this failed to produce a single indication and i decided to concentrate on my maggot swim for the rest of the match with the regular feeding i soon got them lined up again i even started getting liners which was strange in the middle of december .

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I really should have got up off my box and set up an on the drop rig but i made do with altering my deck rig so it had a slower fall in the final third of the water this got me a few more f1s and even a couple of big ide just as was thinking i might be able to put a run of fish together to the all out the fish vanished which was a bit puzzling and I’m still not to sure what i did wrong , i thought that it might benefit from a rest so i had another look down my right hand slope line with pellets it took me awhile to get my rig to settle in the correct area but when i did manage it i had another run of f1s right up to the final whistle although i felt it was to little too late although i didn’t really have a clue how they had got on further up the straight .

I was the first to weigh in for my section and my 17 f1s plus a few ide went just over 17lb the guys either side of me didn’t bother the scales man but the better pegs on the bend had caught a lot more 114 had 24lb and 115 won the section with 29lb but strangely 117 didn’t weigh in , overall it was a rather confusing match for me and i would have probably benefited from changing lines quicker but I’m not to sure where i could have gone apart from further down my right hand margin .

Tomorrow im back at old hough for round five of the winter league this time were back on lucky dip + prospect and i just hope this wind drops which should enable me to fish across were the bigger stamp of fish live other wise it will be a scratching for bits match not really what i want to be doing .

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 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 .

Oaks fishery , Fishomania qualifier


Cedar canal peg 69 , May 9th

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This was my next to the last attempt at qualifying for Fishomania for the year and today it was at the Oaks fishery in Sessay yorkshire and i was really looking forward to this one as most of the information that i had managed to find on the internet and social media revolved around F1s+stockies on snake lakes with pellet+meat all of which i am quite good at fishing , for a change on these big matches i had a travelling companion The Big Dipper who will also be blogging the days events which i will also publish in a couple of days .

Although the venue was only 98 miles away the Sat Nav said it would take over ninety minutes to get there so an early start was required , at six o’clock i set off on my way to pick up my mate and the journey to the fishery was problematic to say the least with ;

East lancs shut due to road works

M62 motorway closed with a police incident

Temporary lights on the detour which held up traffic causing my van to overheat as we were stationary for over forty minutes .

It was nearly 8 am and we were still over an hour away from the fishery and moving really slowly through the country roads stuck behind lorries we figured that there must be plenty other anglers stuck in the traffic so we rang the Oaks to inform them off our plight and to see what they could do because it is something that i haven’t encountered before , luckily they was quite understandable about it and said they would mark our names down as on our way so we wouldn’t lose our places to a reserve  . When we finally got to the venue the draw was well underway and we joined the queue right at the back but a few others were even later than us , as it came round to my turn to draw i picked out peg 69 on Cedar canal which was one of the snake lakes that i fancied drawing on and it will come as no surprise to hear that yet again it made the hot pegs list on the twittermania news feed my third time in my last three fishomania qualifiers .

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We were both starving after the early morning start so we both grabbed a bacon sandwich and had a quick chat about how best to attack our lakes in the café before making our way to our respected pegs my home for the day was your typical snake lake peg ;

14m to the far-bank which was reed lined with a bare mud line in between

Reed lined margin which was over 2ft deep and also an empty peg to my right .

I decided to keep things simple fishing it the same as i would on any snake lake found around here and the only thing i changed was my channel swim because i found that it was only 4ft deep so didn’t bother putting that in , so my fishing lines today are ;

4ft bottom both slopes

3ft deep in margin

2ft deep a foot away from the far-bank

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My bait today was ;

2 pints of meat cubed in both 4mm+6mm

2 pints of fishery 4mm pellets

small tub 4mm+6mm expanders

small tub mixed hard pellets

I was ready to go just before the 11 o’clock start then we heard that it would be delayed for another thirty minutes to give those that arrived late more time to set up this didn’t go down to well with a few anglers near me because they had travelled all the way from near London and would only be getting home around midnight but it just goes to show the popularity of the competition , when the whistle finally sounded in the distance i shipped out to the bottom of the far slope with a large kinder pot full of meat plus a few pellets it took a couple of feeds before i managed my first indication which i missed and i then proceeded to bump my next two fish off things weren’t going to well with me being fishless after thirty minutes i stepped up my hook size to an 18 LWG guru i was still able to bury it into my cube of meat and this seemed to solve my missed bite problem as i went on a run of six F1s but yet again for some reason i began missing bite after bite again with only the odd fish in between , it was beginning to do my head in but i was still keeping up with those anglers around me although i felt that i needed to catch them quicker to be in with a chance for my section or better .

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I had been loose feeding meat on to my top three-line since the match had started and i needed this to work or i could be left scratching around for bites , first drop my float buried elastic shot out and i was attached to a big carp but only briefly as some how it broke my 012 hook length ! ! All the disturbance killed my margin swim so i went back out to my 11m line this produced a few more F1s before the missed bites returned i was picking up the odd fish put it began getting very patchy , for the next two hours no matter where i tried i couldn’t get a run of more than two F1s or carp and thinking back i probably spent too long chopping+changing rather than concentrating on my most successful line .

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In the last ninety minutes i swapped between my two swims at the bottom of both slopes and i managed to keep the fish coming for the rest of the match with the odd skimmer in between by feeding a big pot of meat+pellets every twenty minutes this seemed to slow down the missed bites , as the all out sounded it called time on a rather frustrating match i probably had enough fish in front of me for a section win but fished it all wrong with missed bites being a proper head scratcher . When the scales came round to me 27 kilos was leading the section and i only managed 20 kilos about 45lb , my mate The Big Dipper had done a lot better winning his section and finishing in the top ten on his first ever fishomania qualifier with 29 kilos , the lessons i learned today was never leave feeding fish even if you do think that the bites aren’t coming quickly enough because by feeding correctly you can soon have them lined up like i did at the end so lets hope that i can do better on my last chance at Partridge lakes my home venue kind off .

Winter dobbing with bread


As we are fast approaching the depths of winter with no doubt some hard frosts and frozen lakes ahead now is the time to practise the art of dobbing bread , this approach will catch the fish in your peg without the risk of spooking them by feeding which is often the case at this time of the year and it can catch some of the biggest fish in the lake , bread is the best and safest option to use during the winter months as it is soft and visible which swells up in the water by giving it a slight squeeze it makes sure that it sinks as slowly as possible .

To do this you need to drop your hookbait into any likely looking area off the bottom a good starting point is two thirds of the actual depth , with the fish being laid up for winter your trying to put it right on their noses to try to entice a bite and it will allow you to locate where abouts in your peg that the main bulk of fish are before going onto your more usual rigs .

Using a light float with just two or three small shots down the line this will help present the bait naturally but make sure that it is stable because the carp will not touch a rig that pulls through the swim and also leave a bit of the bristle showing so the swollen bread will sink it down to the tip then you know that it has reached the correct depth by giving the bread a slight squeeze it makes sure that it sinks as slowly as possible . Cold water means clear water so a thinner more supple line can be an advantage as the fish are also generally quite docile and in active during winter so you can get away with it also avoid having too short a line above the float then you can keep the pole tip well away from the fish .

Lay the rig in side ways by holding the float on a tight line encourages the bread to slowly arc through the water and you should expect a bite just before or after it settles , if you fail to get an indication try altering the depth a few inches at a time and keep shallowing up until you start hitting the bites even in the depths of winter you can catch them in just 1ft of water. Try placing the rig in any fishy looking spots because in this weather the fish will be huddling together off the bottom for warmth and safety , location is the key when dobbing in winter and once you get a bite their is usually a little pod of them a disk of punched bread is the number one hook bait as it will catch you fish when they are not prepared to feed on anything at all .

Below is a video by the mighty Steve Ringer who can explain it all far better than me but i hope that my little waffle about it helps just a little bit .

 

Partridge lakes


November 23rd , peg 105 Covey five

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With my wife having a rare Sunday off work i decided to take full advantage of it and made a trip to Partridge lakes to contest the open match , the weather leading up to today had been pretty awful in fact the previous night we had a proper deluge of rain and this had a bearing on the weights caught during the week , in fact Saturdays open taking place on Covey 5+6 was only won with a mid thirty pound weight and all the top six weights came from Covey six which had a club match on today so wasnt in the open .The team match taking place on Covey 1-4 was won with 90lb but the f1s definitely seemed to be balled up with some people getting good weights while others really struggling .

On arrival at the venue i was in formed that their was ninety anglers in attendance which just goes to show the popularity of the venue , which meant they was going to be Covey 1-5 plus Marsh canal in the draw bag and the only one i didn’t want to be on was Covey five after last weeks struggle on their in fact 23lb won that lake yesterday . My drawing hand let me down yet again as number 105 stuck to my mitt so off i headed back to Covey five although it was one of the better pegs in the section and i last fished this peg on the Maver Match this qualifier where i broke my number four section on my pole and got well an truly battered on both sides so you can say it brought back some bad memories .

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I decided to use just three rigs today ;

3ft both slopes , 4×12 malmans benny float with 0.12 garbo main line which had a 0.10 garbo hook length and a size 20 gamma pellet hook , elastic was orange matrix .

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

5ft channel 4×14 malmans benny float with 0.12 garbo main line which had a 0.10 garbo hook length and a size 18 gamma pellet hook , elastic was orange matrix .

Silvers

malman roob

My bait was ;

1 pint red and white maggots

1 pint micro dusted with f1 dark ground-bait

small tub of white and normal expanders

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When the all in sounded i went straight across on to my 3ft rig because i didn’t feel that they would be any shallower in these cold conditions , i tapped in a small kinder pot containing a few maggots plus a nugget of micro + ground-bait i had a single red maggot on the hook after a couple of minutes my float dipped and i foul hooked my first f1 which came off on the way in not really the start i was looking for . I began picking up the odd f1 on this line but they were only small and the guy on peg 106 was getting a fish a chuck fishing towards the point of the island at 2ft i was thinking that maybe i had made a mistake not setting a rig up at this depth but it didn’t work for me on my last visit , in the first hour i had eight f1s and when this line started to fade i set up a new one towards my right but feeding pellets this time because this was my best bait last time i was on here and a quick f1 hit the net soon followed by an f1 of around 4lb Bonus .

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In the first two hours i had twenty fish in the net which was better than i had hoped for but i kind of lost the fish at this point for nearly an hour i had fed my channel line every 15 minutes with a kinder pot full of maggots since the start but i couldn’t get this right and i am really struggling to get this line to work . I began loose feeding six maggots every five minutes on to my top three-line towards the left of my peg first drop produced a big f1 and this got me another run off fish a bigger stamp than across too but i did need some were else to go when this line began to fade like it usually does when f1 fishing , with the wind beginning to get up and the sun going in it was noticeably colder so i decided to put in a new line across at 4 ft deep this got me another run of f1s and i rotated between both shelves to keep the fish coming but in the last twenty minutes they backed off and i couldn’t get a bite , which was my fault because i think that i had over fed and had not prepared some were else to go .

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When the all out sounded i was unsure on how i had done and felt that both pegs 106 +108 had beaten me because they seemed to have caught a lot more consistently than i had so when the scales came round to me my 44 fish went 42lb which was more than i thought and better news was to follow when in fact i had won the section plus got second best weight on the lake Bonus number two . When i got to the cabin to pick up my money it looked like i might have also had a chance of framing too but not even i was that lucky and ended up 6th or 7th out of ninety anglers contesting the match with 60lb winning and a mid 50lb getting in the frame .

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To be honest i was more than happy with the result but not really how i fished today i think it was another chance that i had blown for framing or even better and they don’t come along that often although i do seem to be getting more chances recently which goes to show that my fishing is improving after making the decision to quit my angling club , all i need to do is stop my mid match quiet spell which is easier said than done though plus like every match angler i could do with getting on the bank a bit more .