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 .

Cunneries old canal

February 23rd , peg three old canal

I managed to finish work early i decided to spend a couple of hours after dinner fishing and as i had not done a great deal of f1 fishing in the past four months i wanted to refresh my memory on the latest methods used in catching them at this time of year before i returned to the big open matches at partridge lakes and i think you are either really confident in your angling ability or very naïve if you think a bit of practice does not do some good every so oftern, so i decided to head to Cunneries fishery which is stuffed with fish i also hadn’t been to it in over a year so it would be good to try somewhere different every once in a while and after the short twenty-minute trip i arrived at the venue where i was faced with an empty car park this meant i had my choice of where to sit but because we had clear skies with a low sun i thought that this might be a problem with the video camera so i settled on peg three which offered a bit of shade it was also only a short walk from the van , it was on the edge of the ripple giving the fish some cover from the bright conditions , it should give me a bit of room to draw fish from as well , so it had a lot of positives going for it although i had not been on this part of the old canal before .

As i was only going to be here for three hours i decided to target just two areas of my peg , these where ;

Farbank in front of the dead reed bed which was a comfortable 11m away it would give the f1s a bit of cover from the winter sun and after plumbing up i found a nice flat spot at 3ft just to the left of the mud bank , as i had only a gentle breeze to contend with today i could use a light 4×10 rw maggie float and i had a bit of a play about with the shotting pattern after watching the Jamie Hughes Pole fishing plus video my main line was the usual 014 .garbo which had a six-inch length of 009 garbo that had a size twenty matrix silver fish-hook attached .

Channel rig at six meters were it was a touch over four-foot deep so i used a 4×12 rw maggie float which had an on the drop shotting pattern my main line was 014 garbo which had a six-inch length of 009 garbo that had a size twenty matrix silver fish-hook attached , i would feed this swim with half a cupping kit of maggots every thirty minutes before going on it in the last hour of my session .

Bait for the day couldn’t have been any simpler as all i had with me was ;

One pint of red maggots

One pint of white maggots

At one o’clock i was ready to get started and i filled my small kinder pot full of maggots before shipping out to my marker i taped in three mags then pushed my rig up the shelf this would keep the line between hook+pole tip tight helping show up any of the finicky f1 bites , it took around ten minutes before i had my first indication and a further five more passed until i had my first fish which was an f1 around the 2lb mark not a bad start to the session , seven more followed in the next forty minutes and all the bites came just as my hook bait touched bottom i was also being really careful not to overfeed the swim which is one of my many downfalls when f1 fishing at this time of year , a couple of chub got in on the act that was spewing up maggots this was a sure sign that the f1s had backed off so out came the plummet and i found the same depth a couple of feet further to my left , yet again it took a couple of feeds before i was back into the f1s and i was surprised at just how big they were with the average size being well over the pound mark with some nudging three pounds .

After a while the fish backed off again and it was turning into an enjoyable cat+mouse session something that i hadn’t done for quite some time , i had about six different swims along the far bank going as far as 13m both right and left catching at least five fish from each of them , i was approaching the final forty minutes of my session and i had fed my channel swim since i had arrived so i was eager to give it a try before i left , my float had only just settled before it dipped under and i fed a large kinder pot after every fish by doing this i managed eight more in the remaining time before i left although their average size was slightly less than those along the far bank .

At 4 o’clock i decided to call time on my session because i didn’t want to get stuck in the rush hour traffic i had caught 35 f1s plus a few chub for around 50-60lb which wasnt bad in just three hours and although it wasnt in match conditions i still feel that i have blown away the cob webs regarding f1 fishing and as consequence I’m a bit unsure on were to go at the weekend as i have an option of going to Bradshaw’s to fish pond three or go to partridge were it will be on coveys 1-4 , decisions , decisions ! ! !

Partridge lakes Xmas match

27th December , peg ten Ribbon


Well today was my last match of the year and i couldn’t think of a better place to fish than Partridge lakes especially as it was their annual Xmas contest and today they had over two hundred anglers in attendance , this was even more impressive due to the weather the previous day resembling the great floods of years past with rivers all over the place bursting their banks causing roads closed everywhere you turned and i had to wait till the morning of the match before making a decision whether to travel to the venue or not , as you can probably guess my the post i did decide to go although i had to make a major detour through Leigh in aid for me to get there and as the draw was due to start at 830 i left my house around 710 and after making good time with the roads being empty which wasn’t that surprising as most people would still be in bed , on arrival the car-park was choka and i had to park all the way down near Holbar which meant a bit of a trek to the cabin were i picked up some discounted maggots before joining the queue for the draw and it was almost an hour later before i got a chance to pick , when i pulled out peg ten on Ribbon i was reasonably pleased as it had a bit of form although it wasn’t the best on the lake it should give me a chance for at least the section if not the lake win .


I felt that i would be better of leaving my car where it was and trolley my gear across the car-park on arriving to my home for the next few hours i was quite pleased as it had a far-bank reed bed , a mud bank which i remembered from the only time i fished this water had a big cut out underneath it plus another reed bed towards my left hand margin . As i began setting up one by one all the other anglers began to turn up which included a few Partridge lakes regulars along with some lads i hadn’t seen before which wasn’t surprising with the big turnout today , on settling in at my peg i had a think on which areas i felt would get me a few fish and these were ;

Obviously i figured my main line of attack would be in front of the dead reed bed across and i plumbed up to find it to be four-foot deep , with this lake being flat calm with the trees offering a nice wind break i decided that i could use a lighter more delicate float which should allow for better presentation giving a more natural fall of the bait . I used a 4×12 malman roob float which had 014 garbo main line and as i would be using pellets my hook length was three-inch 010 garbo that had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached my shotting pattern was your standard one centimeter  spread bulk above the hook length .

My next area was in front of the hole in the mud bank on plumbing up i found just a touch over two foot and i wasn’t sure this would be a depth that the fish would feel comfortable sitting in today although i just couldn’t ignore it in case a couple of carp were hiding in it . i used the same 4×12 malman roob float as this would help me keep the rig still in the shallow water i had 014 garbo main line and as i would be using maggots my hook length was a longer six-inch 010 garbo that had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached my shotting pattern was your standard one inch spread bulk above the hook length .

The other rig i set up was for the channel and i had a quick plumb around to find the deepest part of my peg it seemed to level out at four meters where it was a touch over five foot so i decided to put it at a comfortable six meters this lined up handily with a reflection of a tree in the water allowing me to be pretty accurate with my feeding , here i used a 4×14 RW maggie float as it had the carbon stem which allowed the float to settle at the same time as your bait fell my shotting pattern was the usual bulk plus two droppers and my main line was 014 garbo with an 009 garbo six-inch hook length that had a size twenty matrix silver fish-hook attached .

My other rig was one that i set up in the spur of the moment as it was a shallow one set at two foot deep i only choose to use it because i saw a couple of fish top in front of me as i was setting up and i used a 4×8 chianti float with 010 garbo direct to a size twenty matrix silver fish pattern .

I had all sorts of bait in my bag because of the amount of different lakes in the draw bag but as Ribbon was one of your more standard f1+ide waters i took to my peg the standard ;

Two pints of red and white maggots

One pint of soaked micros

One pint of four mm pellets

Small tub of expander pellets

Small tub of white hooker pellets


As the all out sounded in the distance i put half a small cupping kit of maggots on to my channel swim and i would continue doing this every twenty minutes which would hopefully allow a few fish to settle on it before i had a good final ninety minutes fishing it , i then shipped out to where i had earlier plumbed up at the right hand side of the dead reed bed and i tapped in a small kinder pot full of micros then proceeded to hold my rig still over the top of it , in the next ten minutes not a great deal happened so i shipped back in to refill my pot but this time i changed the lid for a sprinkle pot as i hopped that the fall of a few micro pellets might attract a few f1s into the swim but thirty minutes in i was still fish less with only a couple of slight indications to show for it . A replumb a bit further to my left and i was back fishing again this time i cut right back on the feed only tapping in six micros at a time just incase the initial amount of bait on my other swim had caused the fish to not settle , after only ten minutes of being ultra negative i finally had my first fish which was a hand sized stockie and i was glad to get off the mark because it was looking like it could be a very hard day , slowly my swim began to get a bit better as in the next half hour produced two stockies plus a proper f1 around the 1lb mark and i missed a couple of indications as well .


I don’t think that i had over fed the swim but it did began to tail off so yet again i had to replumb a bit further towards my left and all three of them were only one a couple of feet apart so it seemed a bit strange that the new one produced indications from the off it just goes to show how finicky the f1s were today no doubt to all the cold rain going in recently , by following the same feeding regime i managed another couple of stockies plus a bigger f1 in the next thirty minutes but yet again after almost exactly the same amount of feeds the fish backed off . Another swim was called for but this strangely did not produce a bite and neither did any of my earlier ones so with two hours of the match gone i had only six fish in the net ! ! I had been loose feeding a dozen maggots on my top three-line which was at the bottom of the slope to my left for the past forty minutes so i hopped that a few fish had settled there but twenty minutes of laying my rig through the water produced absolutely nothing not even a little silver fish and thinking about it after the match it was probably to close to the bottom of my keep net


My next port of call was going tight across to the mud bank a choose to use double maggot on the hook i put in a kinder pot full of them before working my rig among them but yet again this failed to produce an indication and i had gone nearly an hour without seeing a fish , i had no  option other than to go on my channel swim a bit earlier than i would have liked  it looked that this wasn’t going to produce either until out of the blue my float dipped under and a big ide was added to my net , another bite less ten minutes had me reaching for my shallow rig which i used along the dead reed bed but this also failed to produce an indication even though i worked it in between all the reed stems and even along the mud bank .


With just forty minutes of the match remaining i decided to spend it fishing my top six line as this is where i had caught my biggest fish and if they turned up i could still be able to put a weight together as from what i had seen so far twenty pounds would be a good weight from this lake today , i changed from feeding through a cupping kit to using a kinder pot every five minutes by doing this it seemed to provoke a response as i managed two more stamp f1s and another big Ide before the all out  although i did notice that the f1s i caught weren’t hooked neatly which in my mind meant the rig wasn’t working correctly which could have resulted in indications that i hadn’t seen .

I didn’t bother weighing in because the lads in my section to the left had caught more than me as i guessed my weight to be around 12-14lb not the best days fishing and it was a shame to finish my year on such a low , back on the winter league trail at Old Hough in January with just three matches remaining so i could do with an improvement in form and pick some better pegs to help keep me towards the top of the table .





Partridge lakes open match

December 19th , peg 110 covey five


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

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


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

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

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

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

Bait for the day was ;

Two pints of red and white maggots

One pint of micros

One pint 4mm pellets

Small tub of 4mm expanders


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


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


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

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

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

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 .


Partridge lakes open match

Peg 17 covey one , October 11th


After my recent trips to other venues in the past few weeks and with the temperatures dropping meaning lower winning weights a return to Partridge lakes was in order but as i had not been there for nearly three months i felt that it could take me a few matches to get back into the swing of things although it was at this time of year that i tend to do well because the conditions always favour the angler who is willing to work his peg , after getting as much information as i could through social media and contacting a few venue regulars i felt that i had a plan in mind on how to target the coveys at this time of year but i did make a conscious effort not to over complicate things which is my usual downfall in these matches . The weather leading up to the match was pretty good for the time of year with light winds blue skies although this meant the overnight temperatures had dropped considerably and this would have a big bearing on your target weights and after speaking to the balief he felt that most sections would be won with less than forty pounds with around eighty pounds getting you in the frame , after having had a look round the lakes in the draw bag trying to spot the most likely areas the f1s would be i managed to have a quick catch up with a few mates before joining the queue for the draw and when it came for my turn i pulled out peg seventeen on covey one not exactly the place i wanted to be but i can not be expected to sit on a flyer every match .


After unpacking my gear at my home for the next few hours i decided on a nice simple match targeting just ;

Across and margin at three-foot deep , i used a 4×12 malman roob float with 014 garbo main line which had a short three-inch hook length of 012 garbo and my hook was a size 16 matrix bagger hook elastic was size ten orange matrix .

Channel swim where i plumbed up to find a touch over six-foot and i used a 4×14 malman roob float with a carbon stem the shotting pattern was a bulk at two foot then two droppers  my main line was 014 garbo which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length the hook was a size 16 matrix bagger hook elastic was size ten orange matrix .


On my bait table i had ;

Three pints of red and white maggots

One pint of micro

One pint of 4mm pellets

Small tub of 4mm expanders .


As the all in sounded i shipped out to the area i had earlier plumbed up and i tapped in a kinder pot full of micros before lowering my rig over the top of it i purposely held my hook bait over the top of my feed area trying to set a kind of trap for the f1s , i kept on dropping in a few pellets every five minutes to try to attract some fish into my swim and it took a couple of feeds before i got my first fish another quickly followed but after a while i began getting strange indications on my float it was even pushed out of my swim a few times this must have been caused by the fish being too eager eating the micros , i reduced the amount that i was putting in but couldn’t cut it out completely as it is what was keeping the fish in the area this kind of worked for me as i picked up a couple more f1s but i needed to spread my bulk to keep the indications coming . In the first hour i had managed to put six f1s in the net which was better than those anglers around me but my section was in with the split and i couldn’t see how they was getting on , my far-bank line had stopped producing indications so i re plumbed a new area further to my right then started again just like before it took a couple of feeds before i began seeing signs of fish and having had an almighty line bite when my float was almost lying vertically on the surface it didn’t take me long to find out the culprit as i landed a bonus five-pound carp which was worth its weight in gold in these hard conditions i persevered on this line for thirty minutes without anymore indications i even retried my original swim but this also failed to produce a bite .


I had fed my channel line twice every five minutes since the match started but i was reluctant to go on it so early in the match as the longer you can leave it the better it gets and i decided to see what my margins would produce first after twenty minutes of fishing both sides with not even an indication so i had no option but to go on to my five meter line , by keeping my feeding tight and frequant i managed to pick up some ide quite regularly although they was only between 8+12oz i was slowly building up my weight which was better than those anglers around me . I was a bit surprised on how difficult it was too pick up the f1s on the deck but i finally found the best way to lay my rig through the water which was suitable for them and managed a run of six f1s before the ide returned , with an hour of the match remaining my channel line was slowing down but i could see a few ide flashing under the surface and i was in a bit of a quandary on what to do and after thinking long and hard i decided to not fish shallow choosing to concentrate on the deck as this gave me the best chance of picking up a better stamp of fish or even another bonus carp . With only a few minutes of the match remaining i latched into a carp which gave me a bit of a run around before the hook pulled out at the net which was my fault as i had noticed that my hook had gone blunt when hooking the maggots but never changed it i just hopped that it wouldn’t cost me  a chance for the section .



As the all out sounded in the distance i was unsure on how i had got on the lad to my right had packed up early and the lad on peg 18 had managed a few nice carp so i would just have to wait and see , unusually for on here i didn’t have to wait long for the scales woman when she arrived at my peg i had 43lb to beat and to be honest i wasn’t sure that i had caught that weight , when the scales went round to 50lb to be honest i was a bit surprised as i had only 19 f1s on my clicker plus a carp and some ide this gave me the section win and also second on the lake which i was happy with after my long break from the venue . It turned out that the best weights came from covey three with 120lb winning by fishing worm in the margin and a mid sixty pound was required for a top six finish which without that hour quiet spell i could have probably managed , overall i was happy with how my match went i have a few things to work on before my return match next sunday and i might try to get a few hours after work on covey five to try to sort them out .

Partridge lakes , Maver match this qualifier

July 18th , Covey four peg 83


Well today was my last chance to fish a big qualifier this year and to be totally honest i wasn’t feeling it due to illness but having paid for the ticket in January i just had to give it a go , i found out through social media the day before the contest that there was 86 anglers due to take part in the match these would be spread over nine lakes Covet 1-6 , Spey , Marsh and Ribbon this would allow us a lot more room than on the normal open matches where a similar amount of anglers would be just on coveys 1-5 and with this in mind i expected some big weights ( i took three nets just in case )

The weather recently had been a bit indifferent with one day it being warm+sunny the next cloudy+rainy ( well it is summer after all ) we had some heavy rain overnight but on the morning of the match it was forecast to be dry with blue skies although a bit breezy , on arriving at the venue i had a quick catch up with a few of my mates that i hadn’t seen for a while and joined the queue there was a smattering of big name anglers but not too many of the Partridge regulars who had no doubt gone to see how Connor Barlow gets on in the Fishomania final at Arena lakes Cudmore .


When it came for my turn to choose their wasnt that many left in the bag but i still managed to find a flyer with peg 83 covey four sticking to my hand and on an open match i would have been more than happy with it but on the big contests the coveys don’t have a good record although with all the room today you just never know , as i arrived at my home for the next few hours in front of me was flat calm with the strong wind blowing down both sides of Covey four and this could give me a problem because all the recent framing weights had been caught shallow with a ripple obviously being an advantage allowing the fish to settle better .

With this in mind i decided to set up ;

Shallow 1ft-2ft-3ft , 0.2 drennan AS3 float with 012 matrix line with a size 20 matrix rigger hook attached my elastic was orange matrix .

Margin, 0.4 ruddy float with 016 Matrix line and an 014 matrix hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook attached my elastic was red matrix .

Far-bank , 0.3 joof float with 014 Matrix main line and a 012 matrix hook length which had a size 18 matrix rigger hook attached my elastic was red matrix .


Partridge lakes has a strict six pint limit so i took with me ;

3 pints red and white maggots

2 pints of 4mm pellets

1 pint corn

1/2 kilo of ground-bait

I was ready well before the 11am all in it was around this time i started feeling rough again no doubt down to the tablets wearing off and tackling all my tackle to the peg , as i had done all the hard work getting ready i had the easy part of fishing the match so i hopped my illness would settle down a bit as the day progressed and as the hooter sounded i shipped out to the far-bank where i had early found three flat areas when i plumbed up .After tapping in some 4mm feed pellets i lowered my rig in among it but five minutes without an indication wasn’t what i had expected so i brought my rig in and re-fed , this time my float had only just settled when my elastic shot out it didn’t take long before a small carp hit the net and i managed another four of them in a forty minutes spell but strangely no f1s.


All the time i had catapulted in a dozen maggots towards my left as close to the ripple as i was allowed and with the lads on both sides of me catching well shallow i decided to follow suit as my far-bank line wasnt really producing how i would like plus if i was going to catch a good weight of fish i would need to get them lined up in the water although for some strange reason i can’t get that method to work on Partridge lakes , with there not being many fish topping in the area i started on my deepest rig and i would go shallower if i began missing bites or foul hooking fish . I kept firing in a few maggots before laying my rig in through them but even though i had fed this line for nearly an hour i didn’t get any indications which wasn’t the response i had hoped for , i tried feeding heavier and changing for a shallower rig but all this produced was the odd Ide there was lots of bubbles coming up from the deck which was a sure sign that most of the maggots weren’t getting eaten on the way down and i hadn’t set up a channel rig up because i felt that the water was too warm for it too work .

I kept on feeding shallow while i went back to my far-bank swim and by working the three areas i had earlier plumbed up i managed to catch a few big f1s but with just over half the match gone i was contemplating packing up early as i was beginning to feel sick and burning up , i decided to put three cups of ground-bait plus one of corn onto my margin and if it didn’t work i would be off home i left it to settle for twenty minutes so i re tried shallow but yet again this only produced a few Ide somewhere quite big although not what i wanted to be catching .


My first try on my margin swim gave me an indication straight away which lifted my spirits and it didn’t take long before my first proper bite this resulted in a carp of around 4lb , the next hour passed in a flash with a big f1 or carp hitting the net every five minutes when the swim started to die on me i just feed with another cup of ground-bait plus corn and i might have drawn in too many fish because i began foul hooking a couple of them which resulted in broken hook lengths or trashed rigs . It took me awhile to get my new rig to work properly ( how often does that happen exactly same float but does not sit the same ) and settle my swim down ,but by going a lot tighter to the bank i began catching again although they was now f1s rather than carp but as the all out sounded i just had time to net a nice mirror , i was kicking myself for not trying my margin sooner because i had a few fish lined up and they definitely wanted to be there with the wind blowing into it but rightly or wrongly i felt that i needed to catch shallow to get a big weight .


I had 36  fish on my clicker and reckoned that would get me around 70lb but i would have a long time to find out as i was the last to weigh in on Covey four , Jon Arthur to my right had caught well all day putting 180lb on the scales which is a top weight from that peg and there was plenty weights around the ton mark before they arrived at my peg and 102lb was winning my section , my first net went 48lb which was more than i had thought and I’m usually good at splitting my fish so i figured i might have a chance for the ton but my second net only went 41lb and i ended up just under 90lb and second in section again . As per usual for on here i fished half a good match and couldn’t get them shallow but i should have known the lack of ripple would have worked against me , if i had concentrated on my margin or even set up a swim in front of empty peg 84 i could have caught a lot more but i doubt that by doing it i would have won because Spey had a 215lb weight then another 200lb from Covey three and in fact their was twenty weights over the ton out of the 84 anglers here today plus i had my best weight from Partridge lakes and my second big 80lb of the year .

After the match it took me awhile to pack up my gear as i was physically drained so i will be having a rest for the next few weeks until i can get to the bottom of what’s wrong with me starting with some blood tests at the doctors , but i hope that my next outing will be at Weston pools the first Sunday in August .