Partridge lakes winter league

January 21st

I have been to partridge lakes today for the second round of the individual winter league and after missing the first match because i was a bit rough due to my wife’s birthday I was always going to be up against it to make the top ten like last year ,with the weather forecast due to be shocking with snow, sleet plus an easterly wind it was never going to fish well and i couldn’t afford to miss another of the rounds , so a good draw would obviously be an advantage as there is certain areas which threw up a good weight all over the winter months , but after arriving at the fishery a bit later than usually there wasnt a great deal left to go at in the bag of doom and peg 141 covey six was going to be my home for the next few hours which wasn’t great but also not the worst in the section either so i hoped that i might be able to get a bite or two during the next five hours .

After arriving at my home for the next few hours i decided to set up the usual f1 rigs minus the Dobbin rig because i figured that i had wasted too much time trying to make it work on my matches over the colder months ;

3ft rig for fishing maggots and i used a 4×10 Md slim pattern float with a spread bulk of number eleven stotz along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was a six-inch 010 garbo hook length with a size twenty gamma black hook .

4ft rig for fishing maggots on both far and near slopes , i used a 4×12 Md slim pattern float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern along my 014 garbo main line and attached to it was a six-inch 010 garbo hook length with a size twenty gamma black hook .

Channel rig at six meters towards my left in the deepest water that i could find and i used a 4×12 Rw maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern along my 014 garbo main line and attached to it was a six-inch 010 garbo hook length with a size twenty gamma black hook .

Bait for the day was really simple ;

1 pint of red maggots

1/2 pint fluro pinkies

1/2 pint micros

small tub of 4mm and 2mm expanders just incase .

When the all in sounded i started the match by trickling in half a dozen maggots at 4ft across to my marker and after about 20 minutes i had an f1 in the net which thankfully saved the blank , a further 20 minutes passed with just a missed bite to show for it , by now the wind was gradually increasing and the snow coming down quite thickly thinking back now i probably neglected my feeding during this time because my hands were beginning to crap up a bit . When the conditions began to improve i decided to put in another swim in at the same depth a meter further to the right and i pricked a fish straight away which came off on the way in, .but after a bit of a wait I had my next f1 in the net which was slightly deep hooked so no doubt i was not seeing a lot of the bites from the f1s , I then went nearly two hours without an indication despite setting up numerous new swims in 4ft going to both extremes of my peg .


I made the decision to switch to my 3ft rig and I was a bit reluctant to do this as i didn’t expect the f1s to be sat in this depth of water with all the snow and rain going in , i was kind of right because although i was back catching again they was only small chub and i was just glad to be putting something in the net , i had been putting in a few maggots down the track since the match started and with the last hour fast approaching i decided to drop on it hoping that a few fish might have settled on it but i never had a sign , with the anglers towards my left catching the odd f1 across I went back on to my 4ft swim and managed two more f1’s before the all out sounded , when the scales arrived I ended up with just 7lb which beat all the angler’s towards my right but unfortunately unlike on the first round they wasn’t in my section and I ended up fourth leaving me on nine points .

Not a great day but at least I caught a few fish on a very cold days fishing and there was a few weights lower than me today , i think i ended up 5th or 6th on the lake and it’s just that i was in the section which fished the better of the three on covey six .


Partridge lakes winter league teams of four

March 12th

Today was the penultimate round of the teams of four winter league at Partridge lakes and our 2+2 team was languishing in the bottom third of the league after some pretty average draws at best , but it was still a great experience fishing against some top-notch sponsored anglers and partridge regulars plus it gave me a chance to fish on the old lakes which no doubt helped me to compete in the individual winter league held here where i managed to finish 13th out of the 75 anglers .

At last the weather had showed signs of improving with temperatures rising slightly during the week although we had a cold wind to contend with today but as i arrived at the complex it was rather warm and i had to take a couple of layers off before i met up with the rest of the lads near the cabin , the captain decided to do the draw today and we all prayed for some decent pegs for a change but it looked like we had upset the draw gods as yet again we had some shocking pegs ;

Willow peg eight not great and 4th in section at best .

Spey peg eighteen can be good if the wind is blowing that way but surprise-surprise it wasnt .

Covey five 119 for the third time this winter league 4th in section at best .

Covey six 153 probably the worst peg in the section and my home for the next few hours .

After driving round to the back car-park near Holbar i started un loading my gear out the car and after speaking to a couple of Partridge regulars who was sat on the better pegs in my section , i went round to my peg and i had a reed lined far bank about 13m away but i also had a hill behind me which would make shipping back a bit awkward especially if i needed to chase the fish out of my peg , the wind was blowing from right to left but it shouldn’t cause much of a problem if it stayed the same but as usual when the all in sounded it increased dramatically.

As i didn’t really fancy my chances of getting good section points i choose to use todays contest to practice my pellet fishing and set up a couple of rigs to cover my options ;

Three foot rig which was about a foot away from the far-bank and surprisingly it plumbed up really nice because i managed to find three flat areas , i used a 4×12 malman roob which had an inch spread bulk starting above the short four inch 010 garbo hook length and i also set up a 4×10 rw maggie float which had a few number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Channel swim which i positioned at nine meters either side of me and i plumbed up to find a touch over five foot so i used a 4×14 malman roob which had an inch spread bulk starting above the short four inch 010 garbo hook length and i also set up a 4×12 rw maggie float which had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern along the 014 garbo main line with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

1 pint of soaked micros

1 pint of soaked 4mm pellets

1 pint of crushed expander groundbait

Small tub of 2+4mm expanders

I started the match by loose feeding half a dozen 4mm pellets along my left hand margin and then fed a golf ball of groundbait onto my left hand channel swim , before finally i could get fishing and shipped out to my far bank directly in front of me , after tapping in half a dozen micros i lowered my rig over the top and no sooner had my float settled than it dipped under as a small chub had taken a liking for my 4mm expander but at least i was off the mark , by being careful with my feeding and keeping the rig still directly over the top of it i managed to catch eight f1s in a forty minute spell before the bites began to tail off . I plumbed up another swim along the far bank towards my left and i fed a few micros while i was doing so , i let it settle for a bit and had a quick look onto my margin swim where i had been loose feeding six 4mm pellets but a bite less ten minutes had me going back across onto my new swim , i didn’t have to wait too long before i began getting indications and i had another run of five f1s which was no doubt down to the fact that i was being a bit more patient today than i usually am , i was just getting into the swing of things when i managed to stupidly loose a big f1 under my platform which was easy to do when I’m using the short shallow kits and this trashed my rig but it turned out to be a bit of a god send as it allowed me to change to a float with a slightly thicker tip because with the wind getting stronger i was struggling to see the little dinks on the bristle .

The disturbance of replumbing up killed my original across swim so i decided to put in another line towards my right which was further away from where i thought most of the fish would be because they had been situated in the bowl towards my left nearly all winter but i noticed that when i hooked an f1 it would go in the opposite direction towards peg 151 , after a couple of feeds i began catching fish again but they was only small stockies and i choose to rotate my two far bank swims picking up a couple from each before switching, it was noticeable that the bigger stamp was found on my left hand swim and if the wind relented enough i picked up my lighter 4×10 rig this got me a few nice f1s taking my hook bait just as my float settled but i couldn’t use it that often due to the conditions .

Before i knew it we was into the last forty minutes and i had a look on my track swim , i had twenty minutes earlier fed it with a golf ball of ground-bait no sooner had my rig settled than it buried and i managed five fish before the all out including a couple of ghosties . I really enjoyed my match today even though i was up against it from the start but i suppose thats what happens when your not under that much pressure , i hadn’t done a great deal of soft pellet fishing in the last few months and knew that i could improve on a few things today but i still managed to catch 34 f1s which went a shade over 40lb this put me third in section as peg 157 had 48lb and 155 had 50lb , yet again the team had another bad round getting 17 points which was only to be expected from our poor draw .

Having a weekend away from Partridge lakes my first in about three months as I’m fishing the charity match at cunneries fishery on Saturday and a team match Sunday at Widdows .


Partridge lakes open match

September 3rd , covey six peg 137


Back at Partridge lakes today for another try at the open match and i was really looking forward to it because i felt that i had neglected this style of fishing , with autumn fast approaching i needed to get back in touch with the fickle feeding f1s even if the weather was forecast to be pretty dreadful today (constant rain) After booking on to the open where i found it would be across covey 1-4 plus covey 6 and i then grabbed a couple of pints of red maggots from the on site tackle shop before joining the queue for the draw as i fancied an early pick in the bag of doom to see if it would change my luck , it looked like i needed to try another way because when it came to my turn i pulled out peg 137 on covey six not the best of areas and with two better pegs in my section i would be up against it but as i was still getting back to grips with the venue there would be no point sitting on flyers just yet .


On arriving to my peg i fancied a nice easy match because it is all too easy to over complicate things and end up not sticking to your game plan but when i found out i had left my side tray at home and needed to borrow a bucket to use as a makeshift tray , my match turned even simpler because there was no way that i could risk using maggots in the rain without any cover as they would just end up going everywhere and it would be an all out pellet attack .

1 pint micros

2 pint 4mm

2 pint ground-bait

Small tub of 4mm expanders

Rigs for the day were;

Bottom of near slope after plumbing up i found around 5ft so i used a 4×14 roob float with an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Three foot rig i managed to get a couple of flat spots along the far-bank and also in the margin towards my left so i used a 4×12 roob float with an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

With all the cold rain going in over night and during the day i also set up a four-foot rig for when the fish had dropped down into the deeper water , i used a 4×12 roob float with an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

When the all in sounded in the distance i began my match by using the three-foot rig along the far-bank at the side of the reeds and i tapped in a nugget of ground-bait to try to kick-start the swim but even after constantly trickling in some micros i failed to get any indications , i was thinking of trying further down the slope but before i did i decided to put in another swim at the same depth against another set of reeds and im glad that i did because it produced half a dozen f1s in thirty minutes before they backed off , so yet again i set up a new swim i basically followed them all along the far bank picking up a couple of f1s from each but they never really settled on one line for long and even though i was dithering in the cold rain the fish + water were quite warm so i never felt the need to try my four-foot rig .


With two hours of the match remaining and nothing coming from my across lines i decided to drop onto my top three swim where i had flicked half a dozen 4mm pellets every five minutes since the match started and i hoped that there might be some fish present but a bite less twenty minutes wasnt what i expected even though other anglers were catching on this line , my next area of my peg to try was my left hand margin although i had not primed this swim and i decided to fish it like i did on my far bank by starting with a nugget of ground-bait then trickling in some micros , it didn’t take too long before i began getting indications and line bites so i decided to go into shallower water about two foot deep , i was soon back catching the odd f1 but yet again they would only come in spells ( not sure i got my feeding right ) i found that by dropping in a small ball of ground-bait then lowering a rig in among it was the best way to get a bite and i even managed a couple of carp from this swim .


Before i knew it the all out sounded and called time on a very wet match although at times i really enjoyed it but I’m struggling to get to grips with my feeding but i am sure that the more i fish it the easier it will become , i ended up with nearly 50lb which was good enough for second in section behind peg 135 who had around 70lb from one of the more fancied pegs and the complex fished quite hard with ninety pounds making the frame which wasnt surprising in the conditions .

I am looking forward to getting back to Partridge lakes at the weekend but before that i have a trip to Weston pools tomorrow which has to be one of my favorite venues its just a shame that it isnt a bit closer or i would be there every week .


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 .