Sycamore fishery

January 27th

I decided to stay local today for a change because I needed to be back early as my Mrs was going out and I went to sycamore fishery in Golborne which used to be a regular haunt for me with it only being fifteen minutes from my house but I haven’t been here for nearly two years , as we are quite spoiled with the amount of fisheries on our doorstep in the Wigan area and I was quite looking forward to seeing how much it had changed since my last venture here .I arrived at the fishery a bit earlier than i planned so had plenty time to have a walk around the two canals which would be in the draw bag and  it all looked really nice , the trees had grown quite a bit which blocked out most of the strong breeze and they had a stone path all around the lakes . When i got back to the cabin i managed to get a chat with a couple of lads that i had not seen in ages and i was told about the recent netting + restocking of Silver birch with all the big carp going in David’s pool which was replaced with a lot of stockie carp this should hopefully get the original fish back feeding again .

At the draw I pulled out my usual end peg this time 21 on rowans but like most water’s at this time of year all the weights had come out from around the middle of the canals so not the ideal place to be and it’s just a shame it was not summer when i could make the most of these end pegs , but I was still looking forward to catching a few f1s and after speaking to a few anglers they said that the fish were all of a nice stamp with a few carp approaching 8lb so i needed to up my terminal tackle a bit .

My rigs for the day was quite simple for a change because with the weather still being cold i expected the fish to still be in the deeper water so i just set up ;

4ft rig which would cover most of my peg and i used a 4×14 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru Lwg hook my elastic was size 13 Preston hollo .

3ft rig for just down the near shelf and i used a 4×12 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru Lwg hook my elastic was size 13 Preston hollo .

Bait for the day was going to be mainly maggots with some corn if I needed it ;

1 pint of red and white maggots

1 tin of corn

When the all in sounded i began on my 4ft rig along my right hand margin at nine meters at the bottom of the near shelf and after tapping in a dozen maggots I foul hooked my first two fish , so I reduced the amount to just four maggots and this solved the problem as I then had 4 nice F1s in the first hour but i had to play them a bit carefully because my elastic was a bit on the strong side . With this swim beginning to fade a little I put in a new one still in 4ft this time against the island it also produced another four F1’s during the next hour and with not many people catching a great deal I decided to be a bit more patient than I usually would thinking about it now i would have been better rotating between the two lines .As the wind started to blow stronger this become a bit of a problem making presentation a touch awkward , so I switched back to my original right hand margin putting a couple of f1s in the net before putting in another swim at 11m and by carefully tapping in maggots on these swims I had another run of fish , for the rest of the match I had an easy time as i just followed the F1’s along my right hand margin and i did suffer the odd foul hooker but all in all it was plain sailing to be honest although i did miss a couple of indications . At the all out I had managed to catch 18 F1’s which went over thirty pounds this put me in second place getting agonizingly beat by just four ounces  missing out on a chance for the bonus pot but I still enjoyed my day and felt that if I had fished a bit lighter+rotated my swims more often than I might have caught a few more , at least I will know for my next visit in a few weeks because it made a nice change getting home when it was still light and also catching a few fish at last .


Partridge lakes winter league

January 29th , Marsh peg 16


Today i was back at Partridge lakes for the winter league teams of four and after yesterdays enjoyable match where i managed to finish third catching a nice net of silvers on Bradshaw’s number four even though i got soaked to the skin with constant rain all day , i was rather looking forward to the contest today because there seemed to have been a few fish being caught during the midweek matches so things looked promising  although that was soon put to the back of my mind when i woke up in the morning to find a very thick frost and i expected it to be hard going but i suppose we should be getting used to that by now .

On arriving at the fishery i met up with the rest of the team and we all agreed it would be a very tough day after yesterdays down pour then the overnight freeze but it would be the same for everybody i suppose so we wasnt too downbeat , after having a quick chat to a couple of lads from the other teams it was time for the rolling draw to start and after my poor showing on the last round where i picked some proper duff pegs i had been taken off the draw bag duties , but it didn’t make any difference because yet again we had four stinkers to contend with and this winter league had been awful for us i just hope we can get a few flyers towards the back-end of the league .


My home for the day was going to be Marsh canal peg 16 yet again i would be looking at a last in section at best and after speaking to a couple of lads in the car park they were saying i would be lucky to get a bite just what i wanted to hear , when i got to my peg the ice was a bit thicker than i imagined but luckily i managed to borrow a breaker so i proceeded to smash out a channel two meters wide and about a meter from the far bank this i hoped would give me enough options to enable me to get a bite or two .

I decided to keep things simple today setting up two rigs ;

Channel swim at six meters either side of the ice because i had the low winter sun directly in my face so this would allow me to swop between them both when i got blinded , my rig was a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern the main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 hook length and i had a size twenty guru maggot hook .

Bottom of the far slope at 11m which was good because the steep hill behind would make shipping back a bit of a problem if i went any further my rig was a 4×10 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern the main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 hook length and i had a size twenty guru maggot hook .

Bait for the day was rather simple ;

1 pint of red and white maggots

Handful of micros

1 slice of bread

small tub of 4+2mm expanders


As the all in sounded i started of the match on my right hand six meter channel swim with pellets and i tapped in six micros then let my rig fall slowly over the top of it but it took twenty minutes before i had an indication which resulted in a gudgeon hitting the net but at least i had avoided the blank , the lads either side of me by this point had managed an f1 each by fishing on the far shelf so with little happening in the channel i decided to follow suit and i began on pellets but a bite less half hour had me changing to maggots feeding four every ten minutes , out of the blue my float dipped under the water and i was attached to an f1 but as i began shipping back it went under the ice causing me to lose it i just hoped it wouldn’t cost me come the end of the match .

With the conditions being as they were I didn’t want to be putting too much bait in especially as i only had a little area in the ice to fish in and i would really need to be more patient in my approach today  the change of hook bait to maggots resulted in a couple more gudgeon , i rotated between the two swims during the first couple of hours and yet again all i could catch were gudgeon a sure sign that there was no fish in the area , the lad to my left who was a partridge regular who knows what he is doing on here was in the same boat as me and after his early f1 all he could catch was gudgeon too .


Just over half way in the match i was back fishing the far shelf with maggots when i had a little dip on the float and i was expecting yet another gudgeon but this time surprisingly my elastic came out as an f1 made its way to the bank which was more than welcome on this cold winters day , i shipped back out no sooner had my float settled than f1 number two hit the net which was quickly followed by another and i hoped that a little shoal of them had settled on my feed but no sooner had they turned up then they went the slight rise in temperature must have seen the f1s on the move , i spent another bite less thirty minutes before the gudgeon turned up again and as the sun had moved from my eye line i could put in another far line to the left of my swim but strangely this side of my peg failed to produce a single bite even down the track .

I ended up having four swims going all in different areas of my peg but all i could catch was gudgeon for the rest of the match although in the last thirty minutes i missed a couple of indications on the swim i had caught the f1s on earlier and i felt that they might have been line bites , i was kicking myself for not setting up a dobbing rig at the start especially as after the all out i found that the guy to my right had caught his eight f1s by using it , when the scales came round peg 20 had seven f1s for 11lb , peg 18 had eight f1s 12lb , i had 3 f1s for 6lb , peg 14 had 1 f1 for 2lb and peg 11 had 2 f1s for 3lb so i ended up third in section which i would have taken at the start of the match maybe i could have caught two or three more by dobbing and losing that fish under the ice but that’s all ifs buts and maybe .

On getting back to the cabin to meet up with the other team members and as expected from our draw we had a shocker with two thirds, a fourth from covey six , a last in section from ribbon who only had a solitary bite in five hours this put us on 15 points and we are now languishing towards the bottom of the table but with hopefully a few better draws we might move further up . I’m back at Partridge lakes for the individual winter league i just hope that i can keep my run going with just the three rounds left but one bad draw can put you right out of it as every match counts .