Partridge lakes open match

23rd December

I have fished the partridge open match today because i wanted to try to get back in touch with the fishing before the individual winter league starts in January and after meeting up with a couple of friends all the talk when I got there was that you needed a draw on covey five to have a chance for a good days fishing because the other coveys 1-4 wasn’t producing at the moment due to the up and down weather conditions last week it was frozen solid then today was 10 degrees .It was soon time for a dip in the bag of doom and my bad run at the draw bag continues as I pulled out peg 65 on covey three not the best of areas in summer never mind at this time of year and it’s never a good sign when you get to your peg and they give you plenty of room especially when the lad towards my left didn’t turn up so there was plenty of room for the f1s to back off.

I decided to set up ;

Channel rig towards my left at six meters where the aerator used to be and after finding six foot when plumbing up i thought that this would be a really good swim , i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six inch 010 garbo hook length attached

Four foot rig directly in front of me but i sent up multiple swims along the far bank at this depth and i used a 0.2 Md maggot float which had a tapered bulk shoting pattern spread along the 014 garbo main starting above the six inch 010 garbo hook length .

Dobbing rig set at 4ft but would alter the depth as and when i needed to , i used a 4×12 Md diamond float which had the bulk of the shotting under the float with a couple of number eleven stotz acting as droppers along my 014 garbo main line and hook length was six inch of 010 garbo which had a size 16 guru lwg hook attached to it

Bait for the day was ;

1/2 pint of micros

1/2 pint black swim stim ground bait

1 1/2 pints of red maggots

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded i spent the first hour of the match dobbin bread about a meter away from the island in 4ft and i worked my rig 14m either side of me with only a couple of liners to show for it, but nobody within eye shot was catching a great deal apart from the lad directly opposite on peg 58 who was catching the odd stockie so I wasn’t really that far behind . My next move was to start tapping in maggots in front of me in 4ft and after about twenty minutes i had my first fish which was a small ide at least i had not blanked , a short while  after I had my first f1 about two pounds then another small ide and I was just thinking that I might have a good run of fish but that was it from the swim , maybe i should have been a bit more patient but i decided to put in two more swims at the same depth either side of me even though i fed them both the same I only caught on the one towards my right although even then they was just small ide .

With two hours remaining I had a look on my track line and missed a bite but not long after the slightest tremor on the float resulted in a nice ghostie coming to the net but despite quite a few tries during the remainder of the contest that was the only fish I caught from that swim, i tried putting in a new line in front of the platform to my left and after trickling in a few maggots i never had a bite from it which was strange because it just looked right for a few f1s and with time running out i went further to my right still in 4ft and i managed a couple of small f1’s before i foul hooked a couple of better fish which might have been carp judging by the size of the scales , for the rest of the match I rotated all my swims without much success and i managed two quick stockies about ten minutes before the all out from directly in front of me it was just a shame they didnt turn up any sooner .

When the all out sounded it called an end to a very frustrating contest because i just couldn’t manage a run of fish from anywhere and i just hope that it improves before the individual winter league starts i think we need a run of continuous temps for that to happen ,I tipped back about 16lb of fish because 30lb was winning the section when they came to my peg and i am not sure what I could have done different today just a lack of fish in front of me i think .

Partridge lakes open match

April 12th , peg 52 covey three

I had been looking forward to fishing Partridge lakes all week as we had some nice sunny weather leading up to the match but fate was to take a hand in events because the day before it took a real turn for the worse with scattered showers and a bit of a breeze i just hoped that it wouldn’t spoil the fishing too much . On the morning of the match the conditions didn’t look to bad as the forecast showers had passed by overnight and in between the grey clouds their was the odd piece of blue sky also the forecast strong winds hadn’t turned up yet ( but it did later with a vengeance )

As i got to the complex there was plenty anglers knocking about and it turned out that 87 of us where to contest the match which is my biggest for quite some time and i usually have a good record in these type of events , with so many people here covey 1-5 plus spey would be in the draw bag and when it came for my turn to draw i pulled out peg 52 covey three ( yet again ) i noticed that in the past hour the wind had began to increase steadily and it was starting to become a bit of a problem .

On getting to my peg i was actually quite pleased although the wind was blowing straight into my face i had a nice calm spot with the split island acting as a nice wind break and their was also bubbles coming up all along the far-bank with the odd fish rolling in front of the empty platform , i quickly plumbed up a few areas across at 2.5ft and felt a couple of fish bump into the line as i did plus i set up a 4ft line which would do for both slopes .

My bait mainly revolved around pellets with 4mm , expanders , micro and ground-bait on my side tray but you just had to bring maggots here as it can often guarantee you a bite or two , it soon came to the all in and as soon as the whistle went the wind got considerably stronger changing direction in the process from blowing in my face but to a right to left which meant i could no longer fish across even though it was only nine meters to the far-bank i struggled with the ever increasing wind to no avail and the first hour passed without a bite similar to most anglers around me .

I had been feeding my top three line with six maggots every five minutes since the match started so i dropped on it hoping to at last get a few bites but it took another twenty minutes before my float dipped it wasn’t the f1 i was looking for but an ide about 10oz not a good sign , i used my far-bank rig to fish in front of the empty platform to the left which allowed me to have the wind off my back and this would hopefully allow me better presentation which it did for awhile but i still couldn’t get a proper bite .

I went back on to my only line which produced any indications after twenty minutes it finally slide under and ide number two hit the net but it wasn’t what i needed to catch , my pole then blew off the roller twice in quick succession a sure sign that the wind was getting stronger and my nets where nearly getting blown out of the water so with only half of the match gone , the weather showing no signs of improving i made the decision to pack up early for the second match running on here and as i drove home the heavens opened so i consoled myself with the fact that at least i wasn’t struggling in the wind+rain for little in the way of fish but more importantly i hadn’t broken anything because later in the day social media was full of tales of costly smashed pole sections and i plan to be back at Partridge lakes towards the end of the week when hopefully the conditions will be more suitable to fishing rather than win surfing .

Partridge lakes

9th March , peg 137 covey 6

Another Sunday has come along which could only mean that i am off to Partridge lakes to fish the open match and for a change the weather forecast was correct with blue sky’s and 14 degree temperatures , the only down side could be the lack of a breeze which would make the fishing tricky in the bright conditions . Because there was no winter league on this week we had about 90 anglers attending which meant that all six coveys would be in the draw bag and to be honest i really didn’t fancy picking 5 or 6 as the fish in those i had heard where on the small side which would make it more of a fish race , rather than working your peg to get as many bites as possible which i like doing .

A couple of my friends where fishing today for the first time in a while  so after having had a chat we joined the queue for the draw about 3/4 from the back and funnily enough all three of them drew on my favourite covey 3 with two of them even being side by side . When it came to me my home for the day was peg 137 on covey 6 and this was some where i hadn’t even seen never mind fish but luckily for me The Big Dipper had fished it in the Leigh Tackle Winter League so after a few texts i had all the information required to get the best from my peg but he also told me it wasn’t the best in the section and to only expect between 20-25lb so no two nets for me again this week .


After dropping off John at covey 3 i made my way round to the car-park for covey 6 and when i got to the lake i was quite impressed with how it looked , it was an elongated figure of eight shape with one long straight and a few pegs over the bridge down the split . All the pegs was nicely spaced with two empty either side of you , the far bank was about 12 meters away and the depths were the same as on coveys 1-4 .

I had been told that on here it was all pellet but seeing as though i had brought two pints of maggots with me i planned on putting in a line with them some were and as usual i plumbed up a few spots but settled on just four different areas to target .



2 ft rig , 0.4 matrix series 1 float with 0.10 garbo line straight through to a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

3 ft rig , 4×12 malmams speedy float with a spread bulk above the 6 inch hook length , main line was 0.12 garbo and a 0.10 hook length my hook was a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

channel rig , 4×16 malmams speedy float with a bulk and two droppers shotting pattern , with 0.12 garbo main line and 0.10 hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

all the above rigs had orange size 10 matrix elastic .



1 pint micros

1 pint 4mm feed pellets

2 pints mixed maggots

1 pint crushed expander ground-bait

small tub of 4mm expanders both normal and white

At 1030 i was ready to get started so after filling my medium kinder pot full of micros+4mm and capped off with a touch of crushed expander, i shipped out to 11 meters where it was 3 ft deep and i had two lines one at ten o’clock the other two o’clock importantly they was both at the same depth so i could rotate them . I deposited the bait then followed it down with a white expander on the hook , after a few lift-drops my float burred and i was attached to the first of many f1s but not the small 8oz ones that i had expected but ones that weighed over the 1 lb mark , if they continued coming at this size i could be on for a nice weight .


The first two hours went better than i had hopped and by rotating the swims and changing between normal + white expanders i put over 20 fish in the net for about 25 lb and i had already hit my target weight and if it continued like this i could be on for my best match weight from here , but as usual my mid match blip cost me yet again .

I decided to rest my far bank Never A Good Idea To Leave Feeding Fish and try my top three-line which i had fed since the match started but thirty minutes with out an indication wasn’t what i expected even though the guy opposite was catching f1s on it although they were the smaller 8oz stamp and maybe i should have feed pellets instead of maggots .

I decided to leave this line for a while and began cupping in maggots in the channel for later in the match , i then went back on to my 3ft rig again without success maybe i didn’t give it enough time for it to respond after not feeding it for thirty minutes but i cant just sit and wait for some thing to happen and another change was in order . I tried my 2 foot line in case the fish had pushed further up the slope and this worked with me getting back among the fish , although i noticed that i would get a quicker bite with my pellet just off the deck .  I was slowly putting fish in the net but when some small chub put in an appearance i took the opportunity to try my channel rig which only resulted in a small f1 and crucian


So back i went on to my 2 ft line and after a while i began getting into the fish again but it wasn’t as good as before and i even had a few take the white expander on the drop so a change of shotting pattern was in order and this produced a few bonus fish . I noticed a few swirls towards the mud bank so i reduced my rig to 1 ft and this got me back among the fish again i also altered my feeding pattern to after every third fish which worked well and with only forty minutes remaining i was even contemplating putting another net in .


When the all out sounded i thought that i had nearly 50lb in the net but was disappointed that my 90 minute quiet spell had cost me any chance of the section , but i had learned a lot about covey 6 and would really like another go on their soon because i have a few ideas that i would like to try . For the record my 45 f1s and stockies went 44lb 10oz which was a bit lower than i expected but still a good weight for the time of year , 60lb won my section and every peg had over 30lb with Andy Bennett winning the lake with 80lb .My mates on covey 3 struggled for around the low 20lb mark and it fished a lot harder than i thought on their but the first really sunny spell of the year had the fish heading for any shade that they could find .

What Did I Learn

Pellet was by far the best bait especially white expander .

3 ft was the best depth and i should have set up more lines when things slowed down because i had plenty room .

Fishing a few inch off the deck got me more bites .

Letting my bait slowly fall through the swim by altering my shotting pattern got me a few bonus fish when using white expander .

Fishing tight across at 1 ft deep got me another run off fish late in the match .

Try feeding hard pellets in the channel and not maggots , although i don’t think the channel line will produce now it’s getting warmer .

Paste on top 3 might be worth a try as is banded pellet across .

Didn’t see many people catch on top 3 line and those that did where getting small f1s .

Fish didn’t want much feed going in and by feeding after every fish wasn’t the way to go today because my catch rate improved when i began feeding after every third fish .

Back on to Partridge next Sunday and i hopefully might get out for a few hours in the week but not sure where though just yet .

Partridge lakes

Peg 63 , Covey three , 1st December

covey three

covey three

After having gained a bit of confidence back from my recent trip to Cunneries fishery , i decided on another try at the open match on Partridge lakes and see if i could improve on my section win on my last visit . On arrival at the venue there was a few knocking about because the winter league that Leigh tackle have arranged was taking place on the same day , this meant that there would only be forty anglers contesting the open which was still a good turn out with lots of sponsored anglers knocking about .

When it came to the draw i was hopping to get on covey three again because that seemed the one which was being the most consistent now and my luck was in for a change with peg 63 in my hand , after dropping John off at covey one yet again and i made my way round to covey three car park , as i began unpacking my gear Kieran Rich turned up to drop his mate off and i over heard him talking on the phone saying he was going to Blundells fishery because he had drawn peg 57 and that area apparently fished bad last week !!!

peg 63

peg 63

Today the weather was still warm at seven degrees and their was a slight breeze blowing into my bank , it was also over cast so not too bad a day for fishing and as i got to my peg i was more than happy because i had fished it before in similar conditions and i had an empty peg both sides which obviously meant plenty of room , their was also a few fish swirling in the bay . The last time i fished it i had done really well especially fishing white expander at 4 meter , after getting some information in the week that white was the colour to use and especially bread so that’s what i set up my stall around regarding bait .

winter bait table

winter bait table

1 pint white maggots with a sprinkling off red as a change of hook bait .

1/4 pint soaked micros

1/4 pint fish meal ground-bait

4 mm expander white and normal

4 mm bread punch .

I decided to set up three rigs today ;

winter wire

winter wire

3 foot , 4×12 malmams winter wire with an on the drop shotting pattern , 0.12 garbo main line and a 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook

4 foot , 4×14 malmams winter wire with a bulk shotting pattern an inch apart , 0.12 garbo main line and a 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook

channel , 4×16 malmams winter wire with a bulk shotting pattern an inch apart , 0.12 garbo main line and a 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook

The plan i had in mind was to set three swims at 4 ft deep along the far bank and rotate them after catching a couple of fish from each and feeding very sparingly because recent weights hadn’t been great , that’s how i like it on here as it rewards the angler that works the peg and not like in summer when its more of a fish race . As i had seen the fish topping in the bay to my left i decided to plumb up a 3 ft swim in front of the spare platform and this turned out to be a master stroke because when i lowered my float it was bouncing of fish on the way down ,then kept moving all over the show and their seemed to be a hell of a lot of fish down their , i couldn’t wait to get started .

When the all in sounded i went straight out to the spare platform with a piece of punched bread on the hook , after a couple of lift-drops my float twitched then i was attached to the first of many foul hooked carp and it proceeded to bottom out my elastic before the hook pulled out . Next drop and the bread had barely touched bottom before i was into a f1 this time but with my roller being behind me i had to guide the fish in front of me before i could ship back and this resulted in my hook pulling out of it .

After not learning from my mistakes i pulled out of another two big f1s before finally getting off my box and setting another roller up , in the first ninety minutes i only managed to put two fish in the net and lost at least 15 lb of fish . It began to do my head in so i decided to rest the swim and go back to my original plan of working my four-foot rig along the far bank .

Finally i managed to put some fish into the net and my match got going at last , after catching a dozen fish in ninety minutes it started to slow down , which wasn’t a surprise and i decided to try my three-foot rig at the side of the platform again but this time with white expander .First drop in and a big f1 made its way smoothly to the net , it wasn’t as prolific as my first try which was good because i didn’t suffer as many foul hooked fish. I began kinder potting in some micros and found it best to let my float settle to the tip before dragging it slightly up the shelf , doing this resulted in a further ten fish on the bounce including two 3lb  carp which put up a spirited fight on my light elastic .

3 lb carp

3 lb carp

All of a sudden they was gone and i am not sure what went wrong maybe my feeding ? but with only ninety minutes of the match remaining it was not what i wanted , so i re tried my 4 ft deep lines but basically i was left scratching around for fish . Where as on both sides they was catching f1s quite steady from different areas of the peg , one tight across and the other in the channel and i had no idea where i was going wrong . As we where approaching the last 15 minutes i finally put a run of three fish together including one on the whistle and i knew i had a good net of fish but in the back of my mind i couldn’t help feeling that i had blown another good chance of framing .

stamp f1

stamp f1

As the weigh in started my 27 fish went 38 lb for a section and lake win , but when i got to the cabin to pick up my money i was informed that i had also finished fourth but they was only paying the top three because their was only forty fishing. The first two had big 50 lb weights from covey one and what made it worse was the fact that third place was less than 2 lb in front of me , my poor first and last hour cost me yet again . I can’t afford to make these silly mistakes in these big open matches .

Off to Cunneries on Sunday to fish the last of my Autumn-winter league which should be a good way to end it , although i may do some more around February after the worst of the winter weather has passed . Might try to get a sneaky session in before then but with the nights beginning to draw in i am not sure i will be able too.

Keep coming back to see how i get on .

Cheers Gary .