Partridge lakes , individual winter league

19th February


Today was the penultimate round of the individual winter league at Partridge lakes and after having had a few good draws plus the odd slice of luck i was sitting towards the top of the table in sixth place , i seemed to be in good form at the moment picking up money in my last five matches which was no doubt down to fishing here every week for the last couple of months and i was obviously really looking forward to the contest today especially as at long last the weather was showing signs of improvement  with temperatures hitting double fingers .

I had another early start to make the rolling draw at 815 and after speaking to a few of my 2+2 team mates i joined the queue for the bag of doom although to be fair it had been really kind to me in the last few rounds , when it came to my turn i pulled out peg 103 on covey five which isn’t want i would have liked because it is probably one of the worst in the section and i would be up against it for good points today . When i arrived at my home for the next few hours i had the young guru superstar on the flyer peg 101 and another partridge regular on 105 which had the benefit of the warmish breeze blowing into his margin so it looked like i could be in for a hard day , as i began setting up and time was passing by there was still no sign of any anglers on 107 or 109 even after going to speak to my mate on 120 when i got back they still hadn’t turned up so it looked like it was just a three peg section today which was a bonus .


I decided to set up just the three rigs ;

Three foot maggot rig for fishing tight to the far bank and also to the dead reeds on my left hand side , i used a 4×10 maggie float with a spread bulk along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 hook length attached .

Four foot maggot rig for fishing a bit further down the far shelf and also 11m down my left hand margin because i felt that the f1s would have followed the breeze today ,i used a 4×12 maggie float with a spread bulk along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 hook length attached .

Track line at six meters towards my left ,i used a 4×12 maggie float with a spread bulk along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 hook length attached .

Bait for the day was your standard partridge winter league stuff ;

Two pints red and white maggots

One pint soaked micros

One slice of bread

Small tub of 2+4mm expanders

After plumbing up a few areas along the far shelf i finally found a couple of flat areas at ten o’clock and two o’clock when the all in sounded i began on my right hand swim by tapping in a few micros then lowered my rig over the top , which had a 4mm expander on the hook because i had heard a few rumours that some people caught well using it the day before and it looked like i had made the right decision as my float had only just settled when it shot under i then had a spirited fight with a four pound common carp before anybody else had managed a bite , not long after i had an f1 in the net as well and it looked like i could be on for a good day but when i pricked a fish on the strike which came off at the net it killed my swim , so i swapped to my left hand swim although this time i decided to use maggots and i managed an f1 fairly quickly  i chose to feed one line and fish the other as i didn’t want to unsettle the fish so early in the match this worked quite well as i kept putting the odd fish in the net i was also holding my own with the other lads in the section , in the second hour the far swims were dying on me so i opened up a new line long down to my left so that i could rest them and after tapping in a few maggots i flicked my rig into open water then held my float tight so it fell against the shelf , by doing this i managed a couple of quick f1s before i lost a foul hooker at the net and i was now beginning to fall behind the other anglers who was both beginning to catch well down the track .


The middle part of the match was a total waste of time as i just couldn’t get a bite even though i was rotating my swims all the time and i put in two more lines along the far bank at thirteen meters as well but this didn’t produce for me either , i had wanted to leave my channel swim for as long as possible but with nothing working for me i had no option and i did have an f1 straight away although no other bites on it had me scratching my head maybe i had gone on it too soon or got the feeding wrong because the lad on peg 105 was catching quite consistently on it .

With just over an hour of the match remaining i decided to change my furthest right hand swim towards the point of the island to pellets and after tapping in a few micros i then lowered my rig over the top of it , it took a couple of feeds before my float buried and at last i had another f1 in the net after what seemed like an age , i then had another straight away and another then another i wasnt sure if they had suddenly just come on the feed with the drop in light or been sitting there all the time and just wanted pellets , i managed to catch twelve of them including one right on the whistle it definitely slowed towards the end of the match and i really needed another swim to catch from so i could rotate between them both , but i didn’t have time to put another in so i just ended up plundering the one swim till the all out and i also pulled out of a couple at the net plus got broke by another under the platform which proved costly .

when the scales came round peg 101 had easily won the section which wasnt a surprise he had 43lb , i managed 20 odd f1s for 30lb the lad on 105 had 34lb which pushed me into third and yet again i was left ruing those lost fish at the net , this put me on eight points and in joint eighth place overall so i think that has cost me any chance of getting in the money but at the start of the winter league i would have been happy to finish in the top ten with the calibre of angler contesting it so that is my target on the next round, I’m having a little knock up with the rest of the team on Saturday to try to find a decent home venue for the supercup then I am back at Partridge lakes at the weekend for the team event and i just hope that i can have a bit more luck then .


Partridge lakes winter league

November 6th , peg 119 covey five

Today was the first round of the teams of four at Partridge lakes and it was to take place on the old lakes plus covey 5+6 which was the waters that i dont normally fish because the opens usually take place on covey 1+4 so it would make a nice change to go on these , the weather leading up to today’s contest had been quite cold a sure sign that winter was on its way and as a consquence the fishing had been rather tough but it was the same for everyone . After the short drive to the fishery i met up with the rest of 2+2 team and we had a good chat about what we expected from today’s contest , before we knew it the rolling draw had started so the team captain went to have a go in the bag of doom and when he came back i was on peg 119 covey five , he was on peg 20 ribbon and the other two lads was on spey + covey six i can not remember the exact numbers , we had a couple of reasonable areas but no flyers so with it being the first round we wanted a nice steady match and not to blow out completely like we did last year .

On arriving at my home for the next few hours i was up against some good pegs in my section with 115+117 having the wind blowing there way and 121 was a meter or so wider than my peg with a nice reed bed across that usually holds plenty of fish , as usual on these big competitions i had my mossella nemesis not far away on peg 123 although he wasnt in my section thankfully ,i had a dead reed bed towards my left which looked promising with the odd little silver swirling at the side of it but on the down side it was less than eleven meters wide so i would have to be careful not to put lots of swims in splitting any fish in front of me and with that in mind i decided to set up ;

4ft maggot rig this would cover multiple areas of my peg and i used a 4×12 maggie float that had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , i had my usual 014 garbo main line which had a six inch 010 hook length and my hook was a size 18 f1 maggot hook .

3ft maggot rig for fishing further up the far shelf and i didnt expect to go any shallower in the conditions , i used a 4×12 maggie float that had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , i had my usual 014 garbo main line which had a six inch 010 hook length and my hook was a size 18 f1 maggot hook .

Channel maggot swim and i expected this to be my main swim so i put it six meters too my right , i used a 4×14 maggie float that had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , i had my usual 014 garbo main line which had a six inch 010 hook length and my hook was a size 18 f1 maggot hook .

4ft pellet swim like the same depth maggot rig i could use this all other my peg if the f1s decided to feed on pellets today and i used a 4×14 roob float with an inch spread bulk above the short four inch 010 garbo hook length.

3ft dobbing rig i used a 0.2 matrix series three float with my bulk under my float with just two size eleven stotz down the 014 garbo main line and i had a six inch 010 garbo hook length with a size 16 f1 pellet hook attached .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints red and white maggots

1 pint of soaked micros

1 pint of crushed expander

1 slice of bread

When the all in sounded i began by dobbing a 7mm punch of bread along the edge of the left hand reed bed but even going in to every nook and cranny i couldnt get a single indication even though the lad on 121 was picking up the odd small f1 doing it towards the far bank reeds , so after a bite less twenty minutes i decided to change it to a maggot swim and after tapping in half a dozen maggots i laid my rig in keeping a tight line so my hook bait would fall slowly , it took a couple of feeds before i began getting any bites at first all i could catch were gudgeon but i hoped that they might grab the attention of any passing f1s and to some extent it worked because i managed to catch a couple of 2lb carp in between the gudgeon , i think that i might have got a bit giddy with the amount of maggots i was feeding because after thirty minutes i failed to get any sort of indication so with an hour of the contest gone i had about 5lb in the net which wasnt to bad in the cold conditions .

My next swim was 4ft across to the far bank i started on my pellet rig first and i tapped in a nugget of crushed expander then lowered my hook bait slowly over the top of it , the gusty wind was making keeping the rig still hard work but when i managed to stop the pole from moving about i managed the odd indication and i put two or three small f1s in the net , strangely i found if i fed any micros i would just get liners and after foul hooking a couple of fish they backed off out of the swim , thinking about it now i should have gone a bit further up the slope into three foot which might have got me a few more f1s but instead i tried to turn it into a maggot line which didnt really work as i struggled for indications , even after putting in a few different lines across i couldn’t add to my net and it was only when i went into three foot that i started picking up the odd fish again although most of them were small chub .

Another look at the side of the reed bed produced a quick f1 and a chub but nothing else , i was really struggling to put a run of fish together from anywhere and i had an hour where i couldnt get a bite from any part of my peg , i wanted to leave my channel swim for as long as i could so that hopefully a few fish could settle on it but with nowhere else producing i had no other option , i managed a couple of quick f1s then it just died on me and yet again thinking about it after the match i definitely over fed it as i was putting in about fifty maggots every half an hour , i did try putting on a couple more sections going further towards my right and being really negative but i think the damage had already been done especially as the lad on 117 was catching well from his channel swim .

With thirty minutes of the match remaining i went on to my left hand swim but plumbed up another line towards the back of the reed bed , i trickled in a couple of maggots every few minutes to try to interest some fish and after awhile my float shot under which took me by surprise after the long spell of inactivity , i then managed a little run of f1s right up to the all out and i was kicking myself for not going on it sooner but thats fishing for you . I ended up with a dozen f1s plus a few bits and pieces which i felt wasnt good enough to be anywhere near the top half of the section as it turned out i was correct because my net put me 4th with just 20lb , although i was fairly confident that i couldn’t challenge for 1st as peg 115 had 38lb , 2nd was peg 121 with 31lb who seemed to be catching for most of the match and i thought that he would have a lot more than that weight , but i was disappointed with myself on not beating  117 who had just over 21lb this meant i was only a couple of f1 short and as a few things didnt work out for me today i felt i was a tad unlucky but thats the way it goes sometimes , on the team front we ended up with 14 points as we had two 4th in section and two second in section so not a bad start as we ended up about 8th out of the twenty teams taking part .

Im off to Old Hough next weekend for the third round of the winter league which is going to take place on Lucky dip + Prospect not my favorite lakes on the complex but i will be trying my best as i need a good result after the last round where i ended up fifth .

Partridge lakes open match

Covey five peg 107 , October 18th


Well sunday soon came round and another crack at the Partridge lakes open was on the cards i had been looking forward to fishing it since my section win last week and i had kept an eye on the recent results , these seemed to have improved every day that was until i saw what the weights were on Saturday because forty pounds was good enough to get you in the top six and as there was over seventy anglers in attendance the limited amount of room no doubt had a dramatic impact on how it fished .


The weather today was forecast to be a bit overcast with a light easterly breeze and high pressure not exactly what was required for a good day’s fishing but on the plus side the overnight temps were the warmest it had been for a while so that was a glimmer of hope or maybe i was just clinging at straws in the hope of a good day’s fishing , after catching up with a few lads i knew that hadn’t been here before i joined the queue for the draw and when it came for my turn out i pulled number 107 on covey five not exactly what i wanted especially after finding out my section would be 101,103,105,106,107 so i was at the end of a run of three consecutive pegs and after speaking to a lad who fished the next peg the previous day he told me to go home as most anglers down the long straight failed to weigh in that’s just what i wanted to hear .

I decided to keep things really simple today and choose to set up ;

Three foot deep rig , 4×12 malman roob float which had a spread bulk shotting pattern i used 0.14 garbo main line and a short 012 garbo hook length my hook was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Four foot deep rig , 4×12 malman roob float which had a spread bulk shotting pattern i used 0.14 garbo main line and a short 0.12 garbo hook length my hook was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Channel swim , 4×14 malman roob float which had a carbon stem i used a bulk +dropper shotting pattern and my main line was 0.14 garbo which had a short 012 garbo hook length my hook was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Bait for todays match was ;

Three pints red and white maggots

Two pints soaked micros

Small tub of expanders


As the all out sounded in the distance i picked up my three-foot rig i decided to start at this depth and not the 2ft i used last week because i felt that the fish might have dropped a bit further down the slope i then shipped out to my far-bank marker where i had earlier plumbed up to find a reasonably flat area and deposited a small kinder pot full of micros before lowering my rig in among it i purposely kept my float still so it would act as a little trap for the f1s , i was expecting lower weights from this part of the lake i decided to increase the time between feeds to five minutes so as not to have too much of a build up of bait before the fish arrived although i made a conscious effort to keep some bait falling through the water as this would hopefully attract them into my peg in the first place . Within ten minutes i had my first tentative indication on the float and not long after my first f1 graced the net another quickly followed which was a lot better than i had expected , a further thirty minutes past without me adding anything to the net although i was certain there were fish present on this line because i kept getting the odd movement on the float i altered my shotting pattern from a bulk to a spread bulk in case they was backing away from the weight of the float but nothing seemed to work which was rather worrying .

I decided to set up a new swim at the same depth further to my left towards the empty peg in case they had backed off into the space and yet again after ten minutes i began getting signs on the float before a quick burst of two f1s but i was struggling to keep the fish settled in the swim im sure that my feeding couldn’t be that far off the mark , although the lads around me were also finding it hard going which i suppose was a kind of good thing as there was no way on earth i would have a chance of framing from here so a section was the best i could possibly go for . By rotating between the two swims i picked up another f1 from each and with half the match left i had the grand total of eight fish , the lad on peg 105 had picked up a few better stamp carp from down the margin so i decided to follow suit but after three feeds i still didn’t have an indication this was usually long enough to see if there was any fish in the area .


As per usual i had fed half a dozen maggots every five minutes on my channel swim since the match started and i had seen a few bubbles come up which gave me a bit of a confidence boost , i would have really liked to leave fishing this line for the last ninety minutes but i was falling behind in the section and hadn’t had a proper indication for nearly forty minutes so to be honest i didn’t have an option . Yet again though i struggled to get any positive bites and i was missing more than i hit because they were just little dinks as the hookbait hit the bottom , i played about with the way i laid my rig in the water this altered the fall of my rig and i found holding a tight line was by far the best way to help connect with the indications but the only trouble was they were chub not f1s .


Rightly or wrongly i decided to increase the feed on my channel swim because i foul hooked a couple of f1s as my rig went through the water and if i could get these back on the deck i could still be in a chance of the section , i felt it would be better to rest this line while i fed it and had another look on my 3ft far-bank swims by doing this i managed to pick up a couple more fish but yet again they wouldn’t settle . I tried my 4ft rig at the bottom of both slopes but after the three feed routine this failed to produce a single indication which i sort of expected as the water wasn’t that cold yet and with just ninety minutes remaining i decided to spend it on my channel swim to see if it could pull me out of the crap again , it seemed that my heavier feeding approach had kind of worked as i began picking up the odd f1+carp on double maggot but it was by no means hectic probably one fish every fifteen minutes .

When the all out sounded it called time on a rather frustrating match as i felt that i hadn’t got the most out of my peg as im sure there was fish in the area but i couldn’t find the correct feeding pattern to keep them in my swim , i was the first to weigh in my section and my net went just under 14lb which beat most of the lads down the straight but was next to last in my group of anglers not the best of days at Partridge lakes but I’m strangely looking forward to getting back there i just hope to draw on covey one to four because covey five is a difficult place to get your head round especially if you draw bad .


Cunneries S canal

February 7th , peg one


I decided to give the open match a go at Cunneries fishery today as i wanted another go at those pesky f1s which had done my head in on my last visit there two weeks ago and i had a few things that i wanted to try , we had suffered some really cold weather in the days leading up to today and every lake i passed on my way there was froze solid with an inch or more of ice covering the surface but at the Cunneries they like leaving the aerator on so that it never freezes but by doing that it mixes up the waters natural thermocline and as a result makes the fishing even harder .

O arriving at the complex i parked near the old canal because that was where the open was scheduled to take place but after walking over to the cabin to book on i was informed that because of the big turn out the match would also be on the first leg of the S canal too , i didn’t really think that by doing this was going to make it a fair match as the old canal holds bigger f1s plus more carp and one of the 12 man sections would be split over the two canals but there wasn’t a great deal i could do about it now .


The draw was done the same as on Sycamore fisheries where they call your name out in order of when you had booked on the match , when it was my turn to pick it looked like my drawing arm had returned as out came peg 21 which meant i was on peg one of the S canal a nice end peg but on the down side though was i had the aerator in my swim which had blown out all the ice water since Weds when they had broken it up . I decided to put all my swims well away from the aerator but with it being peg two miss one i didn’t have a great deal of room to work with .

When the all in sounded i proceeded to dob bread at 2ft which was a foot off the deck , my rig was a light 4×8 scone float with 012 garbo main line and a 010 garbo hook length which had a size 18 gamma pellet hook . I left a longish 2ft lash between pole and float so i could easily alter the depth but more importantly keep my top kit well away from the float in the clearish water i had a couple of back shot on too which helped me control the rig and also connect with any bites , i worked my rig all along the far bank going into any little holes between the reeds changing depths to try to find the fish and i even tried maggots but i never had a sign in thirty minutes . Luckily i hadn’t fallen too far behind as no one within eye shot had caught either so i decided to change to my 4ft rig which was a 4×14 malman roob with 010 direct to a size twenty matrix bagger hook , i started directly in front off me with an expander on the hook and a few micros in the preston cad pot i decided to kick off with these because it’s what i had the most success with on my last visit but even after setting up multiple swims along the far bank and even changed to maggots but i had only one lost or bumped fish to show for it in an hour not the start that i was looking for .


So i changed to my third rig which was a malman roob on 010 direct to a size twenty matrix bagger hook but this time it was set at 3ft so i could go further up the slope closer to the far bank reeds , i purposely left using this rig for later in the session because i wanted the sun to warm up the water a bit and it was also the depth that i had originally expected to do the business going from previous sessions i had on here my reasoning behind this was i wanted to leave a safe area for the fish to settle in and feed more confidently . So i was somewhat surprised that yet again after setting up a few different lines i only had another lost or bumped fish to show for it but it looked like it was fishing extremely hard as the guy on the next peg had suffered with bumped fish too but at least he had one fish in the net , my mate also came over saying he was still fishless but rather than getting down heartened this just spurred me on to try to find those elusive f1s .

The only place that i had left to go at was somewhere that i least expected the fish to be which was the reed lined banking in between the aerator and bridge , i plumbed up to find 3ft depth at nearly 11 meters to my left hand side and i tapped in six pinkies with a red maggot on the hook a few lift-drops resulted in the slightest blink and you missed it indication , a sharp lift produced my first f1 of the day and after nearly three hours it was more than welcome i hoped a few more would follow . On my next ship out i was unsure whether to re-feed or not so i decided to put a few pinkies in the cad pot but not tap them in just yet and see what happens first , it looked like i had made the right decision on holding back because  i had a quick bite and soon f1 number two graced the net .


After managing a further six f1s in an hour they understandably backed off from the feed or had moved up in the water because i began getting all sorts of funny indications on the float and i even had a run of foul hooked fish so i decided to put on another section going closer to the bridge , i started the feeding process again but made a determined effort not to over do the feeding and i even cut out the pinkies in case that had been the reason for them coming up off the deck . By changing between the two swims i managed another six f1s which put me on a total of 12 and i just wished that i had found them sooner but thats all part and parcel of winter f1 fishing location location location is the key .

When they began the weigh in my net went 13lb 8oz which was more than double that of the next best weighed on the S canal but like i mentioned earlier it was a split section of 12 anglers and the remaining two was on the old canal , luckily i had beaten those two so at least the section was mine but could i do any better and manage to frame .The old canal fished a lot better in parts with 43lb winning from peg 17 and 18lb coming second from peg 18 both of these nets consisted of mainly carp so you didn’t need to catch a great deal for a nice weight , there was also a 14lb from peg two so i ended up 4th overall which wasn’t to bad i suppose because after giving them all a three-hour start i couldn’t really expect a better finishing position .

Next week it will be taking place on all four legs of the S canal which will make for a fairer match , i wont be able to make that one but will be back in a fortnight as it made a nice change fishing against different anglers on a new venue . I am off for a bit of silver bashing at Heskin tomorrow so icebreakers at the ready and next Sunday im standing in for my mate on the Leigh tackle and bait winter league where i will be on covey five lets hope it fishes as well as it did on my last visit their where i managed second on the lake with 45lb .