Bradshaw hall fishery , lake six


March 6th , lake six peg 15

This weekend i decided to fish a match with the winter league lads on Bradshaw’s fishery lake six and even though it is only ten miles away from my house this is only my second ever visit which i will be rectifying in the coming months because it is a well established venue with all the lakes being well looked after , there is nine different styles of waters on the complex with canals 8+9 being the main match lakes where they get attendances in excess of forty anglers , they have also run a very successful silvers contest over winter producing plenty double figure nets of quality fish these took place on lakes 3+4 .

On the morning of the match i woke to find a frozen windscreen which was a bit of a surprise even after all the snow we had on the Friday i hopped that we had seen the back of all that cold weather , the van on the trip to Bradshaw’s showed a mighty minus one degree and it failed to rise above three degrees all day plus i had only been driving for ten minutes when it started snowing again the closer i got to the fishery the stronger it went not exactly what i was expecting the weather to be like today . When i got to the complex it had relented a bit and didn’t take too much longer before it stopped all together , as per usual i was the first of our group to arrive so i had a quick look at lake six which is the one where the match would be taking place the video gives you a look at the water .

As i arrived back at the car-park there was a couple of lads that i knew so had a chat with them while i was waiting for my group of anglers to finally turn up , around ten to nine they arrived and it was then a bit of a rush to collect the pools then start the draw when it came for my turn i pulled out peg 15 which to be honest didn’t mean a great deal as i had not fished it before . On getting to my home for the next few hours i found it situated on the far side with your back to the stream at the side of the water outlet which was pumping through because all the cold water from the other lakes where running into it , i felt this could have a big impact on how it fishes today and i would be really negative with the feeding until i knew what the response would be . The species i was looking at catching today was f1s+skimmers and i hadn’t really done a great deal of lake fishing for f1s preferring to contest matches on your typical snake lake waters so i was well up for the challenge of chasing them around the peg , i decided to set up three rigs to cover my options and these were ;

Top four line which was five foot deep and as i would be loose feeding maggots on this line i used a 4×12 maggie float with an on the drop shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo that had a six-inch length of 009 garbo .

Pellet line which when plumbing up i found it to be seven-foot so i used a 4×16 roob float that had a spread bulk an inch apart just above the four-inch hook length .

Three foot shallow line because i had heard there was plenty chub in it  and they just might come shallow but i wasnt that confident but set up a rig just in case , i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a strung out shotting pattern allowing for a slow fall of the hook bait my main line was 014 garbo and hook length would be a six-inch length of 009 garbo .

Bait for the day was ;

Three pints of soaked f1 micros

Two pints of red and white maggots

Small tub 4mm expanders

Small tub 4mm white pellets

The all in sounded and i began on my top four line feeding half a dozen maggots by hand every couple of minutes , i noticed that nearly every other angler had gone straight out to 14m with some even deciding to feed with a big pot and i hopped that with them doing that it would play right into my hands as it would give the fish a safe zone for them to back off in too . The first twenty minutes was a complete write off as my maggot swim failed to produce a bite and it was only when i went onto my pellet line at ten meters did i begin to get a few indications , i kept trickling in a few micros every couple of minutes and began lift+dropping my rig to try to entice something more positive but it was very hard work it was only when i changed to a heavier hook bait that i caught my first fish a skimmer around the ten ounce mark .

By keeping on doing the same thing with my rig i began to pick up a few f1s but i got a bit keen with the feed and they backed off even though i was only putting in half a dozen micros every few minutes it just goes to show how finicky the fish were being today , so i replumbed up a new swim a couple of feet to my right and started again it took about ten minutes before i was back catching a skimmer got into the act first then the f1s moved in , i really struggled to get my feeding correct as i either put too many pellets in my pot and spilled them when i struck or didn’t put enough in so was forever shipping in and out . When the bites tailed off again i put on another section and started again chasing the fish all over my peg by doing this i kept putting fish in the net up to the last forty minutes when i pushed them out of reach going past my sixteen meter pole limit , my top four maggot line which i had fed since the match started failed to produce a single sign and i even resorted to trying to catch shallow without success i think this was down to not preparing it properly as it was more of an afterthought rather than a preset plan for me to do it.

When the all out sounded i felt that i had fished a really good match and enjoyed myself chasing f1s all over my peg it certainly made a change from fishing snake lakes where everything is done at set times during the day , i noticed that a heavier pellet produced more positive indications some of which were lift bites and every fish was hooked in the top lip a sure sign of good presentation ,i followed the scales round the lake and the leading weight up to me was 22lb my 34 f1s+skimmers went thirty pounds to take the lead which lasted just one more weight because the next angler at the other side of the water outlet had 36lb and that went on to win the match with me finishing second , there was lots of weights around the twenty pound mark and i was surprised that it had fished so well in the cold conditions .

I am off to Herronbrook next Sunday to fish the teams of four standing in for a mate in the Ted Carter team , which I’m really looking forward too as i have only been there once before and have my first fisho qualifier there in April so need to see how it is fishing , after that i have some super cup practice on Goose green fishery before the Easter match at Weston pools so i have got a busy few weeks coming up a sure sign of summer and it’s just how i like it .

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Partridge lakes Xmas match


27th December , peg ten Ribbon

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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 .

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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

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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 .

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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

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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 .

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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 .

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Old hough winter league with Diggle AC


December 20th , peg 12 Lucky dip

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Today was round five of the Diggle AC winter league at Old Hough and today it was to be contested on Lucky dip + Prospect which wasn’t the best of waters if the last match on it was anything  to go by because unless you were able to go across for the carp you had to try to pick up the odd better stamp silver from the channel in between all the 2oz bits , the forecast was for strong winds yet again but it should stay dry and i just hoped that the direction of the breeze might be blocked by the trees giving the chance of at least a couple of pegs being able to fish towards the far-bank .

The thirty mile drive to the venue went reasonably well and i met up with the rest of the lads near the lakes  as i feared the wind was ripping through towards the bottom of them away from the car-park and probably only two pegs on each lake were capable of fishing towards the far-bank , it was soon time for the draw and after all the hustle+bustle it was time for my pick and out i pulled number twelve on prospect the same peg got second on my last visit here by catching carp across with corn but i didn’t think that would be possible in today’s conditions .

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After settling in on my home for the next few hours i assessed the peg to see where i thought i could put in my swims giving me the best opportunity of presenting a bait properly and these would be ;

Bottom of the far slope at 13m as this was the furthest i could manage to hold my pole i also used it on my near side slope towards my left which was down wind of my peg , i chose  a 4×14 malman roob float as it was just over 4ft deep and the extra weight would be handy in the conditions my rig had a strung out bulk starting above the short four inch hook length  i would use this for fishing either corn or pellet .

Channel at six meters i felt this would be my best chance of picking up the bonus fish required if i was to do any good today , i stepped up my float size again to a 4×16 RW maggie hook which had a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern this had a six-inch hook length attached .

On the drop rig for fishing with the top kit along the near shelf as this was where i caught majority of my fish on my last match here although they were a very small stamp so with this in mind i decided to use a 4×10 tbf cult float with a strung out rig of size 11 stotz , i didn’t expect any bonus fish here so used 010 garbo main line with an 009 garbo hook length which had a size twenty matrix silver fish hook .

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My bait for the day was ;

Two pints of maggots

One pint of corn

One pint of micros

Small tub of 4mm expanders

Small tub of white hook pellets

As the all in sounded i put in a small cupping kit full of maggots on to my channel swim before going out to my 13m line with a piece of corn on the hook i deposited a small kinder pot full of corn+pellets and then tried to hold my rig still over the top of it but it was very hard work as the wind was really battering my pole plus my rig was towing through quite badly  so i had to lay more + more line on the deck to try to present a static bait , it wasn’t that surprising then that i was still bite less after thirty minutes so i decided to spent no more time struggling with the wind and went onto my channel swim where i hopped that a few fish had settled on my initial feed . After about ten minutes my float dipped under and i lifted into an ide of around 10oz which the hook pulled out of just as i was about to land it not the start i wanted , another ten minute wait before i had my next indication this resulted in a pound plus skimmer hitting the net and i was thinking that a little shoal of them might have settled as i managed a couple more hand sized samples but it was short-lived because the fish seemed to drift off .

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I put in another cup full of maggots before going onto my top kit line to see if i could put a couple of pounds of small roach in the net but unlike my last match here were this was my best line today i couldn’t attract a single bite even though i had been loose feeding a dozen maggots every few minutes since the all in , with things not going to well i decided to put some bait in at the bottom of the near slope six meters towards my left i felt that this could produce a bigger stamp of fish so i feed a cupping kit full of corn+pellets but this also failed to produce a bite . Back on my channel swim and i was picking up the odd silver averaging 4oz a piece on looking around everybody was struggling so i wasn’t that concerned just yet although it would only take some body to catch a carp and it could all change , with that in mind i felt that if i could get another swim to start producing fish then i could rotate them which should hopefully prolong my catch rate and as my channel line was the only one producing fish i set up another line to my right here i would kinder pot in some pellets plus two grains of corn , my first try on this new swim with pellet got me a couple of hand sized skimmers i gave a piece of corn a try to see if it could pick up a bigger stamp of fish and after a ten minute wait my float slid under which resulted in an unseasonal tench nearly a pound popping up in front of me .

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Back to my original swim for a few more stamp silvers before rotating lines to pick up a couple of small skimmers and that’s they way i spent my match up until the last hour when indications started to drop off it was also noticeable that i deep hooked a few silvers on my maggot swim so i was obviously not seeing all my bites for the next thirty minutes i couldn’t buy a bite but then the wind started to ease which meant i no longer had to lay as much line on the deck and i began seeing the tiny little dips on the float and i finished the match with a run of six f1s plus a small barbel on my pellet swim .I was unsure how i had got on but felt that i had kept in touch with all the anglers within eye shot and i didn’t have long to wait to find out my fate the lad to my right weighed in 13lb 40z , my net went 12lb 14oz and a lad opposite put nearly 16lb on the scales for the win so i ended up third just missing out by a few ounce on second and that seems to be the way my matches are going in the winter league at the moment as im struggling to find the bonus fish in these low weight matches although i am still in forth so lets hope i can keep up towards the top of the leader board .

 

Partridge lakes open match


December 19th , peg 110 covey five

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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 .

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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

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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 .

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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 .

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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 .

Weston pools open match


1st November peg one belvedere

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With there being another big seventy peg match at Weston pools this weekend i decided to give it one last go before i gave the place a rest till next easter because in my opinion i feel that it is a better venue when the weather is warmer . A common theme keeps appearing on my matches recently regarding the weather as yet again the heavens opened over night with a week’s worth of rain coming down in just a few hours and this along with the thick foggy cold conditions would not only make the fishing a bit more difficult but also the drive down to the complex a bit problematic baring this in mind i set off on the sixty minute journey slightly earlier than usual luckily everything went ok and i arrived with plenty time to spare .

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After booking on to the match and wishing my mate oggy well done on winning the club angler of the year at partridge lakes the day before , i found out that clay pit wouldn’t be in the draw bag today i didn’t really know what to feel about this because i still hadn’t even seen that water yet and this also meant that all the four lakes would be pretty tightly pegged . As we began queuing for the draw i managed to catch up with a few of the regulars i know to try to get some up to date information on how it would fish today because it had been nearly six weeks since i last visited the fishery , when it came to my turn to choose a peg i pulled out number one on belvedere to be honest i wasn’t impressed because even though i had only fished here a handful of times i had fished the peg opposite during the recent festival and struggled to put a run off fish together .

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On arriving at my peg which was found just behind the tackle shop i had an empty peg either side of me and some open water to target but i was just off the lily pads which were a good carp holding feature i even had Welsh international Ian Leach a couple of pegs too my right so winning my mini section could be hard because of the later than planned draw we only had forty minutes to set up so i choose to fish ;

Top kit , as it was four-foot deep i used a 4×12 malman roob i was going to fish pellets on this line so my shooting pattern was a tightly spread bulk above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached .

Top six , this plumbed up just a touch over five-foot and stayed the same depth a meter all around which was good as i planned on using maggots here i used a 4×14 mw slim float which had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was 012 garbo which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached .

Margin , which was situated at the side of the platform too my left which i had been advised to do at the draw my float was a 4×12 malman speedy and because i expected some decent fish on this line i stepped up my hook length to an 014 garbo with a size 16 matrix bagger hook .

Shallow i just had enough time to set this rig up and even though there was a couple of fish topping i didn’t really think that it would work in the misty conditions , i used a 4×8 chianti float with 010 garbo direct to a size twenty matrix silver fish-hook .

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Bait today was going to be ;

Two pints of red and white maggots

One pint micro

One pint 4mm pellets

One pint sweetcorn

Small tub of expanders .

As the hooter went off in the distance to signal the start off the match and i began by trickling some micros in on my top kit line directly in front of me after a while i began getting a few indications but nothing positive so i started to lift+drop my rig to try to entice a bite i also started flicking a couple of 4mm pellets at my float hoping that the constant plop plop would draw some fish into this swim , twenty minutes passed and i was still bite less not the start i wanted i was on the verge of trying somewhere else when my float dipped under and i was attached to something decent after a spirited fight i had a 3lb barbel in the net although i really could have done with it being an f1 or carp . Yet again i began getting stupid indications on the float (which i later found out was gudgeon) before i knew it the first hour had flown by with just the solitary fish in the net , i had cupped in maggots every twenty minutes on my six meter line which i hopped that some fish might have settled on but yet again i struggled to get any proper bites and apart from two ide plus a foul hooked carp which i lost that was all that i could manage in the second hour .

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I had kinder potted a couple of grains of corn + a few pellets in front of the empty platform so i hopped that my margin swim would get me out of trouble again as it usually does on here but this time it didn’t because it failed to produce a bite all match and it was turning into a real struggle , the guy facing me had caught a couple of big carp by feeding very little at 13m and sitting waiting for an indication i didn’t really have an other option so i decided to follow suit setting up two lines one directly in front of me which was the same five foot depth as at six-meters here i choose to use pellets  but the other swim towards my right was just four-foot deep this would be my really negative corn line .

I started on my pellet line just tapping in a dozen micros through my kinder pot after a few feeds i began getting some indications and after playing about with my shotting pattern i managed to convert these into proper bites as i managed to put a couple of f1s in the net just when i thought  that i might be on for catching a few fish i bumped of two in a row which seemed to disrupt the shoal as after that all i could manage was to foul hook another big carp i kept having a look on my negative corn line but all this produced was a small gudgeon which was a major surprise because it could only just fit the hook bait in its mouth and with an hour remaining of the match i only had about 8lb in the net .

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I decided to go back onto my six meter line and with nothing to lose i decided to try to force the peg by loose feeding a dozen maggots twice every five minutes it took a couple of feeds before i began catching a few ide i kept switching between my deck and shallow rigs  by doing this i managed to finally begin putting some fish in the net , a couple of them spewed up some maggots so i decided to cut down the amount that i was feeding the fish kept coming right up to the final whistle and i was kicking myself for not trying it sooner because i doubled my weighed in that time but in these weather conditions i doubted that feeding heavily would have worked so well .

As the scales arrived at my peg i was the first to weigh in with my nets going just under twenty pounds the Welsh international to my right showed his class by doubling my weight but we was the only ones to bother the scales man on this side of the lake , sixty pounds won the match from peg 19 on canal and a mid forty pound net was good enough to get you in the frame in fact just forty pounds got you in the top ten so it was a fair if not hard match i really enjoyed it just a shame that i didn’t sort it out a bit sooner .

 

 

Sycamore fishery open match Rowans canal


Rowans canal peg 28 , October 25th

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After last week’s struggle at Partridge lakes i decided to let the fishing there settle down a bit which would hopefully be soon and choose to go to Sycamore fishery instead i hadn’t been back there since my mini meltdown after an evening match around three months ago but felt it was the right time for a return , with the extra hour in bed i was up mega earlier and as per usual i was the first to arrive but at least this gave me chance to have a walk round the match canals to see if anything had changed i was glad to see that the path around the canals had been done as it can get quite waterlogged during the autumn months , plus i also wanted to check where the fish was showing themselves i noticed that there was some occasional bubbling coming up from the 3ft deep lines on either channel especially on the thirty numbered pegs which is usually a good area to be in any way .

On getting back to the cabin i booked on all the usual faces were in attendance and it soon came round to draw time , i was a bit disappointed with the turnout as only twelve had turned up so they put us all on Rowan canal which was fishing the best  but a match is a match and as it turned out i was last to pick with peg 28 Rowan sticking to my mitt not the best area to be in but i should be able to catch a few if im lucky . The weather leading up to today’s match was a bit indifferent to say the least with plenty of rain and cold overnight temps even a touch of ground frost for the first time this year it was also calm and bright not your ideal conditions , yesterdays match here was won with just fifty pounds so i expected a similar weight to be needed today which with the stamp of fish in here you wouldn’t need a great deal and every bite matters .

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I had decided to try a new method today which was dobbing because this seems to be the best time of year to give it a whirl and to be honest it isn’t something that i had even given much thought in the past but if it can pick you up a few extra fish then every little helps i felt that here would be an ideal place to start with the big carp hugging the far-bank reeds .

Dobbing rig , plumbed up along the far-bank and found an average depth of around 2.5ft so i set my rig to start at 2ft which would be six-inch of the deck i also had quite a long lash between pole + float this would enable me to keep the pole tip out-of-the-way in the clear shallow water ,float was a 4×10 malman roob which had two number 11 stotz down the rig and I’m not to sure this was the right float to use a heavier one might have been better my main line was a more robust 0.14 garbo this would allow for a slower fall of the hook bait and i had a 4 inch 0.12 hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook attached .

Pellet rig set at three-foot which was where i had earlier seen the fish bubbling , i used a 4×12 malman roob float which had a spread bulk above the short 4 inch hook length line was the usual 0.12 garbo and main line was 0.14 garbo .

Channel maggot rig , i was surprised to find under five foot as the deepest part of the peg which was a good bit shallower than the other side so i wasn’t too sure that it would work today and i used a RW slim float the shotting pattern was a bulk with two droppers my main line was 014 garbo with a 012 garbo six-inch hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached .

Elastic on all rigs was my orange size ten matrix hollow which is ideal for this time of year .

Bait for the day was the usual ;

Two pints of red and white maggots

One pint of micros

Small tub of 4mm pellets

One slice of steamed and rolled bread cut into four pieces .

As the all in sounded i put a piece of punched bread on my hook and pushed my rig out towards the right of my swim where there was a nice patch of overhanging reeds the ideal place i thought to get me a fish or two , i lowered my rig in a gap between them and after about five minutes i had my first bite which took me a bit by surprise because there was no signs of any fish being present before it buried of course i missed it thought . I re baited the hook then shipped back out to the same place this time i was a bit more on the ball as it soon flew under and my first fish dobbing was a mirror carp nearly 5lb which was a good start , it took me a bit longer to get my next fish which was an f1 about a pound this took the hook bait just as i was lifting the rig and at first i thought it was foul hooked but the hook was right in the middle of the top lip , i then had a spell of missed bites which began doing my head in as no matter what i did i couldn’t hit them and after moving a bit further in front of me i then managed another carp which was similar size to the other one .

After an hour i had over 10lb in the net which was the start to the match i wanted as those anglers within eye shot seemed to be struggling and i know decided to target my peg with the more usual tactics starting with my 3ft pellet line i planned on feeding this swim by tapping in some micros rather than my usual dump of bait because i didn’t want to over feed in the cold conditions , after working my rig and tapping some micros in every couple of minutes i was still bite less so i decided to feed a bit heavier by filling a small cad pot full of micros then lowering my rig in over the top then keeping it really still this is a tactic that has worked well for me on other waters but this also failed to work which was a bit puzzling , I set up another line to my right in the same depth before starting again i began with the same feeding regime but yet again i was still bite less no matter what i tried and before i knew it over an hour had passed without me adding to my net .

All the time i had thrown a dozen maggots on to my channel swim at six meters so with nothing else working for me i had no option other than to go on it a bit earlier than i would have liked , first drop on it and my float had only just settled before it dipped under with a 10 oz f1 hitting the net which was a bit more promising i missed my next bite but by working out how to lay my rig in as the fish wanted i managed a little run of fish for half an hour but i then started foul hooking or bumping them off and this must have disrupted the shoal because they seemed to drift off , as i had caught a few fish on maggot down the track i decided to re-try my far-bank 3ft line with the same bait i altered my shotting pattern for a more staggered bulk and only trickled the maggots in but yet again i struggled to get a bite on either of my swims across which was strange as i was catching at 2ft when dobbing with bread .

I had noticed a couple of people on the other bank catching a few carp along the near shelf and it’s always worth keeping an eye on how your fellow anglers are getting on , i decided to follow suit and plumbed up a line on either side of me using top 2 plus 2 after a couple of feeds with maggots i managed a solitary carp about 3lb on my left hand swim before another long period of inactivity it seemed there was a lack of fish down this part of the canal , I had continued to feed my track line and i hopped that the f1s had settled back on it but they hadn’t as all i could catch were small chub not a good sign .

As we was fast approaching the last hour of the match and with me being well out of contention for a framing position i decided to spend the remaining minutes back dobbing bread because this was my only line which had produced a prolonged run of bites and as i hadn’t done a great deal of it i could do with the practise , yet again i started at 14m to my right four-inch off the deck i had another decent carp virtually straight away and just maybe if i could get another five i had an outside chance of getting in the money because they seemed to be a decent stamp using this tactic . By changing to two pieces of punch on the hook and leaving more bristle showing i slowly began to add some fish to my net i really had to work at it though altering depths before trying every little nook and cranny , with ten minutes left i felt that i needed a couple more fish but unfortunately i lost another big carp but i did manage one right on the whistle and with only 36lb on the clicker i was sure that i hadn’t done enough .

Hind sight is a lovely thing though because i reckon if i had stayed dobbing all match i would have caught enough to frame because low 50lb nets got second +third with 70lb winning and my net went just under 40lb which was a bit more than i had thought , it was still puzzling why my pellet lines didn’t really kick of today as they failed to produce a solitary bite and i felt that the depth of my channel swim might have been the reason why the fish didn’t want to settle but i couldn’t be certain . I have decided to fish the big open at Weston pools next Sunday its been awhile since my last visit and I’m quite looking forward to it just hope the weather isn’t to bad .

 

Limbrick fishery


October 20th , peg 17

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A new venue for me to try today i had heard a great deal about Limbrick fishery from a few lads that have fished the open matches here and to be honest some off it wasn’t very complimentary with low winning weights usually required although this often resulted in a close contests which can be won from any peg in my opinion makes for a fairer competition , i decided to have my last after work session of the year here as the nights are beginning to draw in plus the clocks go back at the weekend meaning you get an extra hour in bed on arriving at the complex i was surprised to see the twenty peg match lake which was in the shape of a donut with the island being between 11m+14m wide nearly half full .

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I suppose this was a good thing as it should give a true representation of how it would fish in match conditions obviously it was at a different time of day but it was the best that i could do , i decided on peg seventeen which allowed me an empty peg either side it was also only eleven meters to the far-bank rushes with my limited time on the bank i chose to fish just two lines these were ;

Channel swim at six meters were i had plumbed up to find a touch over five feet and i used a 4×14 malman roob float with a carbon stem my shotting pattern was a bulk 2ft from the hook with two droppers main line was the usual 014 garbo and 012 hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Far-bank three-foot deep rig i used a 4×14 malman roob with a bulk shotting pattern above the short four inch hook length main line was the usual 014 garbo and 012 hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

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My bait was what i had remaining from Sundays match at partridge ;

Two pints of red+white maggots

One pint of micro

One pint sweetcorn which i didn’t use

Small tub 4mm expanders

At three o’clock i was ready to get started i began plumbing up across trying to find a flattish area near the overhanging rushes this took me a little longer than i had planned because the bottom seemed to be a little uneven and snaggy i remembered that i had been told that the rushes came quite away from the bank in summer so i moved closer to the open water in front of the mud bank this got me a nice clean area about a foot square it was also at the required three-foot depth , i tapped in some micros and set the little trap after a couple of minutes without a sign i lift+dropped my rig to try to get a response this didn’t work so i decided to refeed it got me the desired result as know sooner had my float settled than it dipped under with a little mirror carp coming to the bank .

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After another feed i caught another quick carp before i began getting stupid little liners on my float i doubted that i had over fed the swim but i then foul hooked a fish which came off on the way in it was noticeable that occasionally my bulk would not go to the bottom so i made the decision to replumb up to see what was going on and it turned out that something had moved on the bottom which was causing all the trouble , rather than try to fish around it i and while i was still early into the session i had a look on my right hand and found another workable area then proceeded to start again it didn’t take too long before i had the fish queuing up but this time they was f1s around 10 oz a piece i needed to dot my float right down to see the indications in the first hour i had caught 18 fish which to be honest i hadn’t expected as on all accounts it is a hard water to figure out .

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I had thrown a dozen maggots on my channel swim for the last hour and apart from the odd duck i had not seen any signs shallow which wasn’t surprising in the cold conditions but i was eager to see what it would produce on the deck , i laid my rig in so my hookbait would fall slowly in the bottom two foot of water and it didn’t take too long before i began getting indications on the float with a steady stream of silvers hitting the net all around the 8oz mark. All of a sudden my swim went dead then i noticed a few bubbles came up from the deck i expected a carp to have moved in but strangely my next couple of fish where pound plus silver bream ! !

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I continued feeding maggots and laying my rig through as they fell i was catching a fish nearly every chuck with a wide variety of species coming my way i even managed a couple of the big golden orfe , after forty minutes of picking fish up i began running out of maggots so decided to spend the last part of the session fishing across again and as i needed the practise starting swims up i plumbed a new line further to my left at nearly 13m just like before i was feeding a cad pot of micros then lowered my rig on top of it , after about ten minutes i had my first bite which was a little common around the 2lb mark and i was soon back into fish after fish like at the start but this time they was about double the size i’m not sure if this was because my swim was further away from me or that it had begun to go a bit dark .

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Just i was about to pack up the owner came round and we had a good chat about the fishery he seemed to think that it had fished hard today with the recent drop in temp but i seemed to have done ok , he has lots of plans for the match lake including another stocking of fish in the next few months and with this being my first visit i felt that i had learned a great deal about the venue and will be looking forward to giving a match go in the near future although there isn’t one this weekend which is a shame .