Goose green fishery


Goose green fishery

Goose green fishery

Today’s match was going to take place on Goose green fishery which was where Trafford angling had decided to take us for the first round of the Angling Times super cup and as none of our squad had even seen the water before, obviously we wanted a practice chuck before the match took place in a fortnight’s time, I managed to find a bit of information about the venue through social media and I got told that it was a very deep lake with the main species to target being skimmers averaging two pounds and roach , so using this info i could put a plan together and as a result I felt pretty happy with my tactics for the day.

The weather leading up to the match hadn’t been great as we had to contend with strong winds plus heavy rain and today was no different we also had the added threat of a thunderstorm , luckily on the morning i woke to find it draw and i just hopped that it would stay that way for most of the day , after packing the van with my fishing gear and putting the address in my sat nav i headed off on my short thirty mile journey to the fishery , it took me nearly an hour to get there with lots of roadworks and temporary speed limits i even drove past the complex as it wasnt sign posted and you had to go down an unmarked road to get there . As a result I was one of the last to arrive and i only expected to know the organiser of the match but as usual for me i found a couple of friendly faces that i recognised from various matches around the north-west , i was a bit surprised to see the size of the lake we would be fishing it also had no permanent pegs so we had to put them where we thought they should go and as the wind was blasting towards the disabled pegs those were left out which meant everyone was a lot closer together and i mean close together being four meters apart at a push which was far from ideal .

After the hustle+bustle of the draw it was time for my pick and there was two left to choose from one which was in the teeth of the storm the other with the wind of my back this time i got lucky picking out the latter one , on settling in at my home for the next few hours i had already got a plan in mind but i was unsure whether it would be worth setting up the tip rod as nearly every one around me would be chucking to the very small island i decided i would give it a try but fish it around twenty meters ;

Six meter line , i plumbed up to find it was nearly 6ft deep so i used a 4×14 maggie float with a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was 009 garbo which had a size 20 matrix silver hook attached .

Thirteen meter line , here i found it was over 9ft so i used an 0.6 scone float with a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was 009 garbo which had a size 20 matrix silver hook attached .

Feeder line at twenty meters i used a twenty gram open-ended swim feeder which had a six-inch twisted loop boom and a 2ft hook length of 010 garbo that had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached.

Bait for the day was ;

Two pints of red+white maggots

Half pint of pinkies

Three pints of pro natural groundbait mixed 50/50 with brown crumb

When the all in for the match started i fed four balls on my six meter line and six balls onto my thirteen meter then went on to my feeder line while it settled , i cast every five minutes so i could get some bait down and after four casts i had my first indication on the tip which resulted in a skimmer around the pound mark not a bad start to the session , i then began getting lots of little shakes on the float but nothing positive and then i picked up a small silver around 2oz not what i wanted to be catching after forty minutes without another skimmer i decided to go on my pole line to see what had settled on it . By now the wind had got a lot stronger which made holding the pole a lot more difficult this obviously had a bearing on my presentation and i also had to go lay six-inch of line on the deck to counter act the undertow i began catching a lot of silvers but they was a smaller stamp than i would have liked , since the match began i had loose fed maggots on my six meter line so when i dropped on it i expected an instant response and that’s what i got yet again they were smaller than i would have liked but at least i was catching quicker .

After a couple of hours the sky went black and we could see the thunder-storm heading our way in the distance , the heavens opened and not only put a dampener on the anglers but also on the fishing as the bites slowed right down which wasnt surprising , gradually it began getting better and it was noticeable that more and more skimmers were hitting the bank around the lake as the match progressed but my peg seemed to be getting worse as the bites deteriorated .With an hour of the match remaining the storm settled above us and we was greeted to some nice natural fireworks it didn’t look like it would be moving anytime soon so we called a halt to the match , after packing up it was time for the weigh in and it would be interesting to see how everyone got on as we all had a slight twist on how we attacked our pegs today , apart from two of us who struggled by fishing in a similar way me being one of them we all managed over double figures with nearly 30lb winning which wasnt bad in just four hours and it gave us a good idea on how to target the match but it will be very difficult beating Trafford angling on their home patch .

Tomorrow i will be back at Weston pools for the Drennon backed bank holiday open i just hope this weather improves and i can get back among the fish , below is a short video on todays match hope you enjoy it .

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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!

 

 

Partridge lakes open match


February 28th , peg 25 covey two

With all my winter leagues having finally finished where i had a fair bit of success and enjoyed doing them a great deal even though they revolved around silver fishing which I’m not to comfortable in doing , so now i was free to do a bit of f1 chasing and after blowing away the cobwebs on a short session at the cunneries i decided to book on the Sunday open at Partridge lakes i hopped that i wouldn’t be too far of the pace even though i had not been for almost four months . The earlier part of the week leading up to the match had seen a prolonged cold spell dropping to minus four during the night but as the weekend arrived the temps gradually increased and on the day of the match we was treated to blue skies , a light easterly breeze and a high of six degrees not exactly the weather required to get the fish feeding in numbers .

With Partridge lakes only being a fifteen minute drive away i had a bit of a lie in which made a nice change after all the early starts i had done over winter and i arrived just after 8 o’clock to be greeted with a choka block car park as the penultimate round of the team matches was taking place , i managed to catch up with a couple of lads from the Matrix LTB who had done extremely well in the Angling Trust winter league finishing seventh out of thirty high-class teams taking part . Before i knew it the draw was taking place so i made my way to join the queue in the cabin when it came round for my turn i pulled out number 25 on covey two not exactly the place i wanted to be especially as the lads fishing in my area the day before had really struggled but i was here now and i wanted to get a feel back for the place after spending so long away .

On arriving at my home for the next few hours i found it just a couple of pegs away from the bridge with my back to Willow lake with the breeze blowing into the bay near the bridge and it was only eleven meters wide so it wasnt looking too promising especially as it was peg two miss one so not a lot of room to be had but on the plus side i had an empty platform towards my left , i decided to set up a few rigs to cover my options today which where ;

3ft and 4ft i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a staggered bulk starting above the six-inch 009 hook length and my main line was 014 garbo , i feed these swims with a small kinder pot just trickling in a few maggots every couple of minutes to try to drag some fish into my peg but being really careful not to overfeed .

Channel rig with the conditions being reasonably calm i got away with a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern although i could spread it out if i required a slower fall of the hook bait , i used an 009 six-inch hook length and main line was my usual 014 garbo i feed it with a small cupping kit of maggots every thirty minutes hopping that a few f1s would settle on it in the latter part of the match .

Dobbing rig set up at three-foot to start with which was set six-inch off the deck i used a 03 matrix series three float with all the bulk under the float and just one dropper down the line , my main line was 014 garbo and hook length would be 010 as there could be a few carp caught by doing this as expected i wouldn’t feed a thing but push my rig in amongst all the dead reed beds along the far-bank .

Bait for the day couldn’t be simpler just a slice of toastie with a 7mm punch and two pints of maggots .

When the all in sounded i thought it would be best to start on my four-foot rig because it was still cold and then work my way further up the slope as the day progressed , i tapped in six maggots then laid my rig in so it fell up the shelf giving me a tight line between float+hook my rig hadn’t even settled when the elastic came out unfortunately it was a foul hooked f1 which came off after a short fight but at least it showed there was fish in the area . It took a couple more feeds before i finally had another indication which resulted in my first f1 hitting the net and i was rather optimistic of catching a couple more from the same line but thirty minutes without another sign had me scratching my head especially as the lads either side were picking up the odd fish , i replumbed up another swim at the same depth towards my left which was strangely a lot further out from the far-bank yet again this produced a solitary fish with no other indications .

I noticed that the other anglers were fishing in a lot shallower depth really tight to the far-bank so i figured that i was fishing in the wrong depth so i followed suit and picked up my three-foot rig then plumbed up to find a suitable flat area , a couple of feeds resulted in a quick bite which i missed but it was a positive sign the only trouble was my next indication resulted in a small silver hitting the net which as you all know isn’t what you want on the coveys as it’s a sure sign that the f1s are not present . At this point i noticed a swirl in the reeds to my left so i quickly picked up my dobbing rig and dropped a piece of bread among them my float had not even settled when the elastic shot out after a short fight the hook pulled on what i thought was a nice carp , after a few choice swear words i dobbed around for a while longer without another sign so i plumbed up with my three-foot rig at the side of the reeds and began trickling in some maggots it took about twenty minutes before i had another bite which resulted in another f1 coming to the bank but yet again no more indications followed .

Yet another swim was called for so i went further along the left hand margin at 11m but this time further down the slope incase the fish had backed off into the quieter water between the two pegs after a while i managed another f1 then nothing else and a theme seemed to be recurring today because no matter what i did i just couldn’t put a run of bites together , i could see the reeds knocking like mad in between the empty platform and the angler on peg 27 but he was oblivious to it so i stuck a couple more sections on taking me up to 14m , i went as close to them as i was allowed after plumbing up i was surprised to find a touch over three-foot and this made controlling my rig a bit awkward it was a good job the conditions weren’t to bad , after a while my float buried and i was attached to another carp this put up a very spirited fight when i got it to my top kit i found out why as it couldn’t be far off double figures , i just felt that i had it under control and was about to net it when it wouldn’t fit my struggle trying to get it in the landing net causing it to bolt this resulted in the hook pulling it just wasnt going to be my day .

i did another rotation of all my swims without a single sign and as we was approaching the final hour i gave my channel swim a try which i had fed since the match started with a small cupping kit full of maggots , i hopped that it could pull me out of the shit as it is normally a reliable tactic for the latter part of matches but yet again i had a quick fish then nothing and after rotating my swims once more without success then the all out sounded in the distance calling time on a very frustrating match . The lad to my right who had the benefit of the ripple blowing into the bay plus the bridge had picked up the odd fish all day and i noticed he had limited himself to just four different swims by being really patient on this tough day he managed to put 34lb on the scales which put him 4th overall , the guy to my left had also fished a similar match but caught less f1s but had a carp in the last twenty minutes this gave him a low twenty pounds my six fish would have gone about ten pounds but i didn’t bother weighing in today .

So that was another Partridge match over with and yet another struggle from a bad draw im sure my unlucky run at the draw bag will end soon fingers crossed but to be fair i have had my run of flyers on here its just that i haven’t made the most of the situation ,hopefully i will be back for another attempt at the weekend and this time fish a more patient match to see if this produces better results it cant make it any worse anyway .

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 .

 

Old Hough Big Max


January third , peg ten Big Max

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At the weekend i was due to fish the latest round of the Diggle AC winter league at Old Hough but in the week i found out that there had been a mishap with the booking of the venue , rather than be on lucky dip + prospect we was going to be on Big Max which at first i was rather happy about as it has a big head of large f1s +carp and i had also won my last match on it with a near ninety pounds . Although my happiness soon faded when i found out that the match on it the previous day was only won with thirty pounds with only low teens being required to frame plus they had decided that the match wouldn’t be part of the winter league , the weather over the weekend was forecast to be pretty damp to say the least and on the day of the match it rained constantly from start to finish but at least we hadn’t had a concerted cold spell yet which is good for the start of January .

After my short thirty mile journey to Old Hough i was one of the first to arrive the conditions didn’t look that bad with light drizzle and a slight breeze from left to right although it was due to increase considerably as the day progressed , as the hustle + bustle of the draw took place i ended up with peg ten which i found round the far side of the lake and on arriving at it i had the misfortune of a head wind meaning i was going to get proper soaked it was also noticeable that it was quite colder than the far side i felt it could have an effect on the fishing as well , the peg itself had an island chuck of at least thirty meters and some reed lined margins but the front of my platform was also weedy i don’t think that this peg had been fished a great deal in the past few weeks.

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On settling in at my home for the next few hours i decided to attack it by setting up ;

Matrix 8ft carp master tip rod which i clipped up at 25m because i remembered on my last visit that it was weedy + shallow tight across i also felt the carp or f1s would be happy sitting in the deeper water and as it was a bit colder on this side of the lake i decided to start by using the straight lead with a two foot hook length of 014 garbo that had a size 16 guru hook it also had a bait band attached .

Pole line i plumbed this up at eleven meter which was manageable in the conditions and it also gave me options of going further out later in the match , i decided to use a heavier more stable float with a 4×16 malman roob coming out of the box my shotting pattern was a bulk with two droppers and it had 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch hook length of 008 garbo , attached to it was a size twenty Matrix bagger hook this would allow me to use either pellets or maggots on the hook .

When the all in sounded i cast my lead out to my far bank marker with a yellow buoyant bandam in the bait band which i hoped would stand out in the muddy water and i had intended on pinging a couple of pellets over the top , but the wind was that strong i just couldn’t reach i had to make the most of any quite spells that came along . After ten minutes of inactivity i recast my rig out but this time with a hard 8mm on the hook which was the same as i was trying to feed , this seemed to do the trick because 15 minutes past before my rod was nearly dragged in and i was attached to one of the many large carp in the lake , i was just getting it under control when it darted to my right which broke my hook length and it was probably my fault as i had not tied up a fresh hook choosing instead to use one from a few years back worse was to follow when i found out i didn’t have any more long enough .

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After rummaging through my hook length box i found one that was around a foot in length but after casting back in it just didn’t feel right and i decided to start using a pellet feeder as at least this would allow me to get some bait near my hook bait , i had three quick casts every five minutes to try to get some fish to settle in the area and then began the wait for a bite , ten minutes passed then twenty without even a liner and i was on the verge of giving up before going on the pole when my tip pulled round by keeping my rod low , bumping and winding i soon had a big 2lb f1 in the net . I cast back out with renewed vigour hoping that a couple more had settled on the feed but yet again i was in for a bit of a wait and it took another ten minutes before my next pull round but it did result in a similar sized f1 on looking around the lake this put me in front , i then had a thirty minute spell of inactivity and decided to go on to my pole line to pick up a few silvers and maybe the odd f1 as this would at least allow me to keep adding fish to my net , i began by feeding a full kinder pot of pellets before lowering my expander hook bait among it and then proceeded to keep my rig still over the top of it this resulted in a couple of missed indications but when i did finally connect with one it turned out to be a 4oz skimmer not exactly what i was looking for especially as bites were really hard to come by .

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Another thirty minutes on the tip did not produce a single liner so back on the pole i went but i decided to change it for maggots hoping this might get me among the large head of roach , i began catching small silvers around 1oz a piece but i was struggling to get a bigger stamp and i started to feed a full kinder pot after every fish to try to get a bit of bait on the deck , i also changed my shotting pattern to a bulk + single dropper because i felt that the small roach were intercepting the bait as it fell so hopefully my increased feed would help pin them to the deck and might even drag in a bigger stamp by doing that i did pick up the odd four ounce silver among the bits . When the bites began to slow down i had another look on my tip rod but this time i began getting the odd liner which at least showed that a few bigger fish had made their way around from the other side of the island , although i didn’t get any proper indications and thinking about it now i should have kept clipping up closer + closer towards me until i had a proper pull round because it seems obvious that the fish were settled in deeper water .

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Back on the pole and i was considering putting in a line further out but with the wind still gusting badly plus the lads either side of me who was fishing at 16m were not catching any quicker than my short line and in fact it was easier for me to put a few fish in the net , i spent the last hour fishing the pole on my short six meter line and among the plentiful small silvers i managed my biggest fish of the day which was a 3lb f1 it came in really easily even on my solid six elastic but it felt like a block of ice , unfortunately i didn’t manage any more before the all out sounded and to be honest i was glad to call time on what was a pretty poor match as i hadn’t caught a great deal like most people around me plus i was soaked through . When the scales arrived at my peg 13lb was in the lead and my net went a surprising 10lb that lost carp cost me dear you just can not make mistakes at this time of year because it would have been more than three-quarters of my match weight , as i began packing up the rain stopped wind dropped and the sun came out Typical ! !

As i got back to the van i heard that 20lb had won so i ended up third which i was sort of happy with because other than the lost carp i don’t think that i could have done a great deal different , back on the winter league next weekend this time it’s on boulders+goose lets hope i can finish in the top three which should keep me in contention and I’m looking forward to getting amongst the recently stocked f1s let’s just hope the weather is a bit better for fishing .

 

 

 

 

Old hough winter league with Diggle AC


December 20th , peg 12 Lucky dip

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Today was round five of the Diggle AC winter league at Old Hough and today it was to be contested on Lucky dip + Prospect which wasn’t the best of waters if the last match on it was anything  to go by because unless you were able to go across for the carp you had to try to pick up the odd better stamp silver from the channel in between all the 2oz bits , the forecast was for strong winds yet again but it should stay dry and i just hoped that the direction of the breeze might be blocked by the trees giving the chance of at least a couple of pegs being able to fish towards the far-bank .

The thirty mile drive to the venue went reasonably well and i met up with the rest of the lads near the lakes  as i feared the wind was ripping through towards the bottom of them away from the car-park and probably only two pegs on each lake were capable of fishing towards the far-bank , it was soon time for the draw and after all the hustle+bustle it was time for my pick and out i pulled number twelve on prospect the same peg got second on my last visit here by catching carp across with corn but i didn’t think that would be possible in today’s conditions .

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After settling in on my home for the next few hours i assessed the peg to see where i thought i could put in my swims giving me the best opportunity of presenting a bait properly and these would be ;

Bottom of the far slope at 13m as this was the furthest i could manage to hold my pole i also used it on my near side slope towards my left which was down wind of my peg , i chose  a 4×14 malman roob float as it was just over 4ft deep and the extra weight would be handy in the conditions my rig had a strung out bulk starting above the short four inch hook length  i would use this for fishing either corn or pellet .

Channel at six meters i felt this would be my best chance of picking up the bonus fish required if i was to do any good today , i stepped up my float size again to a 4×16 RW maggie hook which had a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern this had a six-inch hook length attached .

On the drop rig for fishing with the top kit along the near shelf as this was where i caught majority of my fish on my last match here although they were a very small stamp so with this in mind i decided to use a 4×10 tbf cult float with a strung out rig of size 11 stotz , i didn’t expect any bonus fish here so used 010 garbo main line with an 009 garbo hook length which had a size twenty matrix silver fish hook .

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My bait for the day was ;

Two pints of maggots

One pint of corn

One pint of micros

Small tub of 4mm expanders

Small tub of white hook pellets

As the all in sounded i put in a small cupping kit full of maggots on to my channel swim before going out to my 13m line with a piece of corn on the hook i deposited a small kinder pot full of corn+pellets and then tried to hold my rig still over the top of it but it was very hard work as the wind was really battering my pole plus my rig was towing through quite badly  so i had to lay more + more line on the deck to try to present a static bait , it wasn’t that surprising then that i was still bite less after thirty minutes so i decided to spent no more time struggling with the wind and went onto my channel swim where i hopped that a few fish had settled on my initial feed . After about ten minutes my float dipped under and i lifted into an ide of around 10oz which the hook pulled out of just as i was about to land it not the start i wanted , another ten minute wait before i had my next indication this resulted in a pound plus skimmer hitting the net and i was thinking that a little shoal of them might have settled as i managed a couple more hand sized samples but it was short-lived because the fish seemed to drift off .

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I put in another cup full of maggots before going onto my top kit line to see if i could put a couple of pounds of small roach in the net but unlike my last match here were this was my best line today i couldn’t attract a single bite even though i had been loose feeding a dozen maggots every few minutes since the all in , with things not going to well i decided to put some bait in at the bottom of the near slope six meters towards my left i felt that this could produce a bigger stamp of fish so i feed a cupping kit full of corn+pellets but this also failed to produce a bite . Back on my channel swim and i was picking up the odd silver averaging 4oz a piece on looking around everybody was struggling so i wasn’t that concerned just yet although it would only take some body to catch a carp and it could all change , with that in mind i felt that if i could get another swim to start producing fish then i could rotate them which should hopefully prolong my catch rate and as my channel line was the only one producing fish i set up another line to my right here i would kinder pot in some pellets plus two grains of corn , my first try on this new swim with pellet got me a couple of hand sized skimmers i gave a piece of corn a try to see if it could pick up a bigger stamp of fish and after a ten minute wait my float slid under which resulted in an unseasonal tench nearly a pound popping up in front of me .

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Back to my original swim for a few more stamp silvers before rotating lines to pick up a couple of small skimmers and that’s they way i spent my match up until the last hour when indications started to drop off it was also noticeable that i deep hooked a few silvers on my maggot swim so i was obviously not seeing all my bites for the next thirty minutes i couldn’t buy a bite but then the wind started to ease which meant i no longer had to lay as much line on the deck and i began seeing the tiny little dips on the float and i finished the match with a run of six f1s plus a small barbel on my pellet swim .I was unsure how i had got on but felt that i had kept in touch with all the anglers within eye shot and i didn’t have long to wait to find out my fate the lad to my right weighed in 13lb 40z , my net went 12lb 14oz and a lad opposite put nearly 16lb on the scales for the win so i ended up third just missing out by a few ounce on second and that seems to be the way my matches are going in the winter league at the moment as im struggling to find the bonus fish in these low weight matches although i am still in forth so lets hope i can keep up towards the top of the leader board .

 

Horns dam canal , winter league


December 13th , peg six canal

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Today i was to be standing in for my mate the big dipper in the teams of four winter league at Horns dam which was another new venue for me to try i had done a lot of silver fishing this winter rather than the targeting f1s which is probably why he asked me , i didn’t really know a great deal about the fishery even the information i could find on the internet was rather sketchy and apart from it being full of small silvers with people using large amounts of ground-bait that was all i could find so i would be going into the match a bit blind but i was looking forward to the challenge .

The days leading up to the match had been the usual wind and lots of heavy rain especially on Saturday today it was dry + calm but we had to contend with a drop in temps plus the first frost of the winter not good , after packing my van i headed off on the thirty mile trip to Preston it was noticeable that the degrees were dropping with lots of frosty fields the further i travelled . As i arrived to the venue i was for a change the last person there and in my absence the Jeffs floats team had decided to let me do the draw because apparently i am rather good at it , so after picking three pegs out for the lads on the dam it was time to pull out a peg for myself on the canal and my home for the day was number six this was just over half way along the stretch which is usually the best place to sit when trying somewhere new .

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As i mentioned earlier i had never fished this lake before so i purposely took my time getting to the peg so i could have a good look on where everyone was setting up there swims so i could follow suit and nearly everyone was putting two swims in one at four meter the other 13m , the canal was more like an elongated tear shape and i was towards the narrower end but it was still a good twenty meter wide after plumbing up on my near line i found it to be nearly five foot but the further i went out the shallower it went so i decided to put this in at four meters which was right on the crease of the lake bed . On top of the shelf it was around four-foot deep i was in a bit of a quandary because i wanted to fish further out than those around me which i felt would give me an advantage but i also wanted to make sure i would be able to fish it if the wind got up so i settled on 15m i decided to set up just three rigs today ;

Top four line i set up two rigs to cover this swim the first was a 4×12 tbf cult float which had a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern and my main line was 012 garbo which had a six-inch hook length of 009 garbo with a size 20 matrix silver pattern , the other rig was an on the drop pattern so i used an 4×10 tbf cult float my main line was 012 garbo which had a six-inch hook length of 009 garbo with a size 20 matrix silver pattern the elastic on both rigs was size six matrix solid .

Far line i expected this swim to produce more bonus fish with maybe the odd carp so i slightly stepped up the rig i used a more positive 4×14 rw maggie float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern my main line was 014 garbo with a six-inch length of 012 garbo and hook was a size 18 matrix bagger hook my elastic was ng green 8-10 hollo .

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Bait for the day was ;

One pint red maggots

Two pints of casters

One pint of corn

Four pints of ground-bait which was a mixture of 50/50 brown crumb and dynamite baits frenzied hemp which i added two hand fulls of casters .

Yet again when the all in sounded i hung back a bit until i found out just how many balls of ground-bait the other anglers decided to put in on each line , i put two tightly squeezed tangerine sized balls in on my four meter line plus another cupping kit full of loose ground-bait and i then put three similar sized balls onto my far line with another of loose ground-bait plus corn which would hopefully allow a bigger stamp of fish to settle on it . I then began the match using my strung out rig with a single caster on the hook it took awhile before i got my first fish which was a micro perch not the start i wanted especially as everyone else was picking up roach quite often while i was struggling for bites i just couldn’t work out what i was doing wrong , i didn’t feel comfortable wearing my jacket as it restricted my movement so even in the very cold conditions i had to take it off this helped me focus my attention on getting a few bites and also allow me to begin loose feeding over the top of my float .

I changed to my more positive rig and began sprinkling in maggots through my kinder pot this finally got me a few fish but it was only when i began laying my rig in against the wind then allowing it to run through did my peg really kick off i had about forty minutes of a fish a chuck all roach around 2oz a piece , i then hit in to something bigger as a few meters of my elastic came rushing out the pole tip after a short fight up popped a perch over a pound but just when i was about to net it the tiny hook pulled out of its boney mouth this understandably disrupted the shoal of roach so i fed another loose ball of ground-bait on this line before giving my long line a try ,

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It didn’t take to long before i began getting indications on my far swim and at first they was a similar size to what i was catching on my top four line as i was the only angler fishing that far out i didn’t know if i was doing the right thing but at least i was putting fish in the net plus it gave the fish on my short line a chance to settle down a bit , i decided to begin topping after every couple of fish by filling half my large kinder pot with maggots or casters then capping it off with my original ground-bait mix after a while i began to attract a lot better stamp of silver most around hand size plus i picked up a couple of bonus skimmers averaging around the 10oz mark i had to wait longer between bites but i felt they was worth waiting for when the small silvers got in on the act again i decided to refed a ball of groundbait before going on to my short line while it rested .

My top four line was very hard work as i couldn’t put a run of bites together and those i did land were a lot smaller than what the other anglers around me was catching so i began spending longer and longer on my 14m swim , this was putting a lot of pressure on it and as a result towards the last hour of the match bites really began to tail off i don’t think i helped things when i bumped off two nice skimmers in consecutive put ins this was due to my size eight elastic being too strong and i really should have changed it to a size six but at this point of the match my hands really weren’t working in the cold wet conditions it just goes to show the importance of setting up correctly before the match starts but i did feel this swim could produce a carp or two which never materialized . I decided to drop right down to a size 008 hook length with a size twenty matrix silver fish hook to see if this could help me Winkle out a couple more fish in this hard part of the match and i did manage a couple of hand sized roach before the all out sounded which called time on yet another difficult contest and i don’t think that i ever got to grips with how the fish wanted to feed today .

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As i began packing up i started thinking on what i could have done different today and apart from put in a pellet line in long for the skimmers instead of the ground-bait but in all honesty i didn’t expect them to play such an important part in the match , i would have also put my near swim another section out but before the all in i was confident that the bottom of the crease towards the deeper water was the place to be , i should have also set up my tip rod using either maggot or open-ended feeder because the guy a couple of pegs to my right was the only person to use it but picked up some nice stamp silvers casting a meter from the far bank before he broke his rod .

They started the weigh in at the high numbers and when they reached me 18lb was leading the way my net went 11lb which is more than i had thought the guy to my right only put 4lb on the scales but after that the further you went the better the catches went culminating in the last two pegs getting first and second with 24lb + 30lb with the last weight included nearly twenty pound of carp and was the only peg to produce one , i put the increase in weights down to the fact it gets a lot wider towards that end plus i heard it was nearly a foot deeper as well which the fish would have been more happy sitting in and in the end i finished fifth in section not my best days fishing although the canal was a lot better than the dam as lots of people struggled to get over 4lb on there .

Back to my winter league at old hough next Sunday where we will be on lucky dip or prospect let’s just hope the wind isn’t too bad because you really need to fish at 16m to pick up the carp and i am toying with the idea of feeding balls of ground-bait in on my channel swim which could help the skimmers settle but i haven’t decided yet , i am also looking forward to getting back on the banks of partridge lakes for the christmas match as i haven’t been there in ages and i have almost forgot what an f1 looks like .