Partridge lakes fishomania qualifier


14th june

I had booked the week off earlier in the year because i had planned on contesting the pole fishing masters at tunnel barn but due to various family reasons i couldn’t make it and as there was still tickets left for the fishomania qualifier at Partridge lakes so i decided to jump on that , although i had planned on not doing any  this year because last years attempts were pretty woeful and i didn’t even get a day’s fishing on any of them due to them being extremely tightly pegged , at least Partridge lakes was big enough to cope with the pressure well i hoped that it would anyway .

The weather during the week had been really good almost summer like and today was no different with blue skies plus temps in the mid twenties although we did have a bit of a blustery breeze to contend with blowing towards spey so at least we knew which area of the coveys we wanted to draw as like most f1 venues the fish definitely follow the wind , i arrived at the fishery with plenty time to spare which gave me chance to catch up with a few lads that i hadn’t seen since my last match here on the Preston pairs at the beginning of May so you could say i was a bit out of touch .

With the draw fast approaching i joined the queue towards the rear and awaited my fate , when it came round for my turn i managed to pull out peg 64 on covey three another bad peg on a fisho qualifier but i decided to give it a go because with a few no shows you never know i might have a bit of room , but on arrival to my peg i wasnt that lucky as it was peg two miss one in my area and i was also one of only a couple that had not got a ripple so things didn’t look too promising but i would give it my best shot anyway .

On settling in at my home for the next few hours i had quite a few options to go at but didn’t want to confuse myself so just set up ;

Mud bank across in 18 inch and i used a 0.4 muddie float with a bulk of number eight stotz above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Two shallow rigs set at different depths and i used a 0.1 md mini mag float which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length that had a micro bait band attached so i could fish banded casters .

Pellet rig for in front of the far bank and near side reeds in 2ft depth and i used a 4×12 roob float with a spread bulk of number ten stotz above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of casters

2 pints of crushed expander ground-bait

1 pint of micros

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the match started i began on my top three at the side of my left hand reeds in the margin i began by feeding a small kinder pot off crushed expander ground-bait to try to draw some fish into the swim it also didn’t have a great deal in the way of food content because i wasnt sure how the f1s would respond to the pressure , after tapping in a nugget of bait i lowered my rig in over the top and i got indications straight away not long after i had my first fish , in fact the first hour went extremely well one of the best i had ever had at partridge lakes as i put 15 f1s in the net all caught from the same swim and i thought that i might be on for a good day but how wrong was i because my match went downhill fast as the bites tailed off .

With bites grinding to a halt close in i decided to give my across pellet line across in front of the reeds a go and with them knocking like mad i expected to catch a few fish so i tapped in a few micros and lowered my rig in among it , i caught a couple of stockies straight away before i began foul hooking a few and it seemed that they was hiding in the middle of the reeds  , so i went back across with my shallow rig and started pinging half a dozen casters towards them this caught be a couple of f1s but they wouldn’t settle due to the lack of breeze .

I dropped onto my mud line although i couldn’t get as close to the bank as i would have liked as there was a few reeds and crap on the bottom plus i struggled to find a decent flat spot , i began by kinder potting in ground-bait because with me fishing in slightly deeper water i didn’t want to draw too many fish in the peg which could cause chaos with line bites etc , things didn’t really work out for me on this line because i just couldn’t get any indications there so i decided to bite the bullet and put a couple of big pots of feed in .

While it settled i went onto my shallow swim at six meters as i had fed it with a dozen casters every few minutes since the match started but with me having no ripple in front of me i thought it might be tough to catch this way and after twenty minutes without an indication i was proved correct , although to be honest i couldn’t really fish it properly as i had to keep shipping across to the far bank to prevent the ducks from dive bombing my mud bank . I went back across to see how much damage my feathered friends had done and surprisingly i got indications straight away as the stared up bottom must have attracted the fish , i managed to catch a few f1s+carp but in the depth of water it wasnt long before i began foul hooking the odd one and after a fish snagged me up in the reeds i needed to rest the swim .

I plumbed up a new swim  towards the empty platform towards my left and started tapping in some micros , i didn’t have to wait long before i caught a couple of nice sized f1s but due to the depth of water i was fishing in i foul hooked a big carp which bolted off under the aerator rope breaking my hook length , so i decided to go at the side of an over hanging plant where it was 18 inch deep and i put in a small cupping kit full of crushed expander plus a few micros as i hoped some more carp might be in the area .

For the rest of the match i rotated between my mud line and margin picking up the odd fish from each but it never really got going for me due to the lack of breeze it seemed all the fish followed the wind to the other end of the lake , this was proved correct when the all out sounded because the lad who came second was on my lake catching 146lb and when the scales arrived at my peg my thirty fish weighed in at 48lb , although i got told that it was a good weight from it which i was pleased with , so that was my fisho qualifiers over with for another year and i might have another try next year because i did enjoy travelling to different venues and rubbing shoulders with some high-class anglers on the previous few years .

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Partridge lakes , fisho qualifier


June 18th, peg 98 covey four

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Today was my last attempt at qualifying for the Fish’O Mania semi final at Cudmore and it was at my local water partridge lakes which is only ten miles away it is used to holding big matches regularly having over eighty on the opens but with it being a two hundred pegger there would always be places where you was going to struggle, after fishing it last weekend I felt that I had a reasonable idea on what was going to work so I just hoped that I could draw on one of the original coveys although these waters have not the best record in this match but it is a place that i am comfortable fishing .

It was a later than usual start for me today and I arrived at the fishery just after eight o’clock which gave me time to grab a bacon buttie before having a chat with a few lads that I knew we was all unsure of which water would through up the winner although ribbon has a tremendous record here in fisho qualifiers , there was also quite a lot of big name anglers knocking about which is nothing new for these contests and before I knew it there was a long line waiting for the draw so it looked like I would be having one of the last picks when it finally came for my turn I pulled out peg 98 on covey four not the best but at least I was in an area which usually holds a few fish mainly carp.

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On arriving at my home for the next few hours I was faced with flat calm conditions although there was some fish across in the far-bank reeds I also had a nice mud bank to target and an empty platform to my right which I had been told would be my best area to target, as I began sorting my tackle out I was waiting for someone to get down on peg 97 but nobody ever did which was obviously a bonus, it turned out that there was at least thirty no shows and that was after all the reserves plus walk ins had got on to the match I’m afraid that’s the way this contest seems to be going with majority of the qualifiers not being full, it’s just a shame that they can’t let the match organisers know because not for the first time it made a mockery of the match with some lakes being very tightly pegged and other anglers having up to four empty pegs either side of them it really needs sorting before next year I have my own ideas on how it could be changed but that’s for another blog.

I decided not to over complicate things today so I just set up ;

Margin at the side of 99 platform were after plumbing up I found it to be a touch over two foot so I decide to use a 0.4 joof float and main line was 014 Garbo which had a six-inch length of 012 Garbo my hook was a size 16 lwg.

Top four swim this was positioned just at the bottom of the near slope and I would be feeding it by hand during the session it was nearly five foot deep so I used a 4×12 speedy float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern my main line was 014 Garbo and hook length was 012 Garbo.

Mud bank and I expected this to be my main line of attack so after having a good plumb around I was pleased to find a nice flat area tight to the far-bank where it was a touch over a foot , so I used a 0.4 joof float which had a strung out bulk this would give me a nice stable rig helping me keep everything still among all the line bites, my main line was the usual 014 Garbo and my hook length was 012 Garbo which had a size 18 lwg hook attached.

Shallow I set up two rigs to cover my options one at a foot and the other at two foot both of them were set up the same I used a 0.1 matrix series three float which had a couple of number eleven stotz spread down the 014 Garbo main line and I had a four-inch 012 Garbo hook length that had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached

Bait for the day was going to be ;

Two pints of 6mm cubed meat

Two pints of casters

One pint of riddled meat

F1 dark groundbait

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When the hooter sounded in the distance signalling the start of the match I put in two pots of ground-bait with a hand full of riddled meat onto my mud line and while it settled I tried to see if I could mug a carp shallow among the far-bank reeds, the stems were knocking like mad and i was shoving my floats right in among them but I just couldn’t get an indication even after changing depths plus feeding a dozen casters every few minutes to try to get them competing didn’t work ,so I decided to keep the feed going in but with fish showing on my mudline I was eager to give that a try and after changing rigs I shipped out with a cube of meat on the hook I expected an immediate response all I could manage was a couple of line bites thinking that they might not want meat I changed to double caster but this didn’t work either which was a bit of a head scratcher.

I had been throwing half a dozen cubes on my top four line since the match started and with a few bubbles coming up I decided to re-feed my mud line before giving that swim ago, I didn’t have to wait too long before I began getting indications and after missing a couple I did finally connect with one but my elastic only came out a foot before pinging off then my next one did exactly the same I had made the mistake of upping my elastic because I expected to be catching mainly carp, so I was back rummaging in my holdall for a lighter grade of elastic but it seemed that the disturbance of the lost f1s had unsettled them and bites were now hard to come by and with over an hour of the match gone I was still fish less.

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I began loose feeding casters at seven meters towards peg 97 in open water hoping that I might be able to catch a few shallow and while I prepared it I rotated my other swims but another thirty minutes passed without anything to show for it, I couldn’t really wait any longer and decided to see if anything had settled on my caster line but apart from a few missed bites which I think were from small silvers there wasnt a lot happening I really worked hard to try to get them up in the water without success , so I tried my deck rig underneath my loose feed and I have found this to be working really well on waters that allow the mong rig I’m not to sure why maybe they are backing away from the disturbance or just feel safer on the deck but you wouldn’t really be expecting to be fishing this way in the middle of summer as it’s more of a winter method, yet again it got me out of trouble as I finally began to put some fish in the net but after being fishless for nearly two hours my match was almost over as I would struggle to even have a chance for the section so I just tried to enjoy what was left of the day.

I had a little run of six f1s but they just wouldn’t settle for me and I found it best to feed a couple of big pouches of caster then give my meat line a go this seemed to produce a bigger stamp of fish including the odd carp by rotating between the two lines I kept putting the odd fish in the net but they wasnt coming quick enough, I wasnt really going anywhere so I decided to begin feeding my right hand margin at the side of the platform with ground-bait and it didn’t take long before I saw a couple of swirls, this was all the incentive I needed to pick up my margin rig and I pushed it out to the side of peg 99 I didn’t have to wait long before a carp took a liking to my double meat hook bait at nearly four pounds it was a good start , with carp being more predominate in this area I decided to put in a small cupping kit of feed after every fish hoping that this would keep the fish settled and finally it looked like I had done something right as I went on a run of fish mainly carp with the odd big F1 mixed in.

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I was beginning to think that I might have a chance of doing a nice weight which after my start to the match I thought was never going to happen and this was when I started to rush things of course this resulted in things going a bit pear-shaped, first I lost a fish under the platform causing me to break my hook length although this gave me the opportunity to up it to an 014 and this gave me the confidence to bully the fish a bit more which made me lose focus as I hit my line when trying to rush one in causing me to trash my rig , for some bizarre reason I decided to put a lighter 0.3 float on the difference was remarkable because the carp were just wafting the rig out-of-the-way and in the last thirty minutes all I could catch was f1s .

The all out soon came it called time on a frustrating match because I had done numerous things wrong and even though i got told before the match that my peg wasnt the best I still feel that with the bit of room I had it was capable of throwing up at least a ton or more for a better angler, so I was very disappointed with my performance to say the least and when the weighman arrived I put just over 65lb on the scales which about forty pounds of that I caught in an hour down the side but you just can’t give anybody a two-hour start and expect to compete.

The lad on peg hundred had just scraped ninety pounds and he also struggled to catch on his mudline having most of his fish from round the side but lost a few carp too which probably cost him a chance of framing so it showed there was fish in the area ,as it turned out peg 85 won the lake with a low ton caught yet again from the margin although he had the benefit of what ever breeze there was blowing his way for the past few days causing a nice scum line and I later found out he had five empty pegs to his right plus the lad to his left packed up after an hour.

On arriving back to the cabin to watch the presentation most lakes had fished ok with nearly all the lakes having produced over a hundred pound , three of the top five weights coming from covey six including the winner although yet again he had the benefit of plenty room which made a mockery of the competition of course he still needed to catch them having over forty pounds on the second place angler and as the results were read out I also found out that there was lots of split sections including mine with me being in with covey six which I thought was a bit strange because i can not remember it being done like that in previous years but was probably down to the increase in attendance .

Well that’s my last Fish’O over and done with for another year I have only had one poor match at herronbrook where I drew shocking but the other two at the oaks and here at partridge I felt that I have drawn ok caught a few fish, I haven’t got much planned until September and next weekend i will be heading to the impressive Weston pools hoping to get back among the hard fighting barbel.

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Heronbrook open match


May 2nd , peg ten match lake

Match lake

Match lake

With my first fisho qualifier looming large on the horizon at Herronbrook fishery i thought it was about time that i headed down to Staffordshire to give the open match a go and after my last contest at Partridge lakes i just hoped that i could catch a few fish because struggling for six hours is never nice , on the morning of the match the weather didn’t look that bad a bit grey+windy but the temperature had risen a few degrees which can only be a positive and after loading my van i headed on my sixty mile trip to the fishery .

On arrival i grabbed a bacon buttie before booking on the match and then had a quick look at the waters that would be in the draw bag , after having a chat with a few of the locals i made my way towards the back of the queue and awaited my fate as it turned out i ended up with peg ten on the match lake i was informed that it was an end peg just after the mud bath , as i made my way round to the peg i noticed that the match lake had about forty platforms of which only one side was pegged this allowed most anglers an island chuck at around thirty meters , when i arrived at my home for the next few hours i had the wind blowing bang in my face and it looked like i would be getting drenched at some point during the day but on the plus side i had plenty room towards my left which had a reed lined margin that looked very fishy .

With it being my first time on this lake i was a bit unsure on what to expect although looking at results over the weekend it is an area that does throw up the odd ton weight so i was quite positive about the day ahead , i decided to keep things simple setting up ;

Eight meter line where after plumbing up i found it to be a full top kit deep and with the wind being so strong i used a 0.6 round bodied+wire stemed pole float , my main line was the usual 0.14 garbo and my hook length was 0.10 garbo which had a size twenty matrix bagger hook attached .

Top four margin line and i was surprised to find that it was nearly four-foot deep tight to the near side reeds , just like before i used a slightly heavier 0.4 malman roob float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern because i intended to be using meat+corn here this set up would allow me to alter a few things as the day progressed.

Matrix little pig 8ft tip rod my island chuck was only about 25m so i used a 15 gram pellet feeder which i am more confident in using my hook was a size 16 guru lwg .

Bait for the day was a bit more than im used to taking with me but it is a six-hour match and i didn’t want to be caught short ;

Three pints red maggots

Two pints of meat+corn

Two pints of soaked micros

Small tub of 4mm expanders

Small tub of mixed hard pellets

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When the all in sounded in the distance i proceeded to put in two pots of maggots on my long line and before i went onto my feeder rod i decided to see if i could pick up a mug carp from my margin swim , i tapped in a kinder pot of meat+corn before lowering my rig in on top of it by holding my pole away from the reeds i could present a static bait and it didn’t take too long before my float shot under , after playing the fish to within netting range the hook pulled out this happened a further three times before i got of my box and changed my elastic from a size 12-14 matrix red as i had been expecting to be catching mainly carp to a lighter 10-12 ng green this solved the problem as i never lost another fish during the rest of the match .

My next three hours were really easy as i caught f1s between 1+3lb pretty constantly and it was only after a really heavy shower then the wind changed direction that things got a bit slower , to be honest at this point of the match i should have started a new line somewhere else in my peg before going back to my margin in the final hour when the fish would have settled down again but i was too focused on putting fish in the net and not seeing the bigger picture . I was also beginning to run out of meat+corn so decided to begin adding a ball of micros in the kinder pot but this turned out to be a major mistake as it just brought the f1s up off the deck making them harder to catch , i altered my shotting pattern to allow for a slower fall of the hook bait this allowed me to catch some on the drop but i also foul hooked a couple and i needed to get them back on the deck although i was a bit dubious about big potting but i had no other option.

Feeding that big hit of bait virtually stopped my bites and i began fearing the worse but i soon found out why as i hit into a carp around five pounds after that the f1s returned although not in the numbers as at the start of the match , with an hour of the contest remaining i was getting worried about my net limits as i had over fifty fish in the nets all of which were a decent size although i couldn’t do a great deal about it now and just hoped that i would not be too far over but it looked like the fish decided to do my favor as i really struggled in the last hour to add too my net , i had to resort to fishing an expander with a positive bulk shotting pattern before i managed to get any bites.

When the all out sounded i had 57 f1s plus a carp but i did feel that it was worth a lot more if i had fished it a bit better but as i had only brought two nets with me it wouldn’t have made a great deal of difference to my final weight , as the scales arrived at my peg there was two 140lb nets on the lake the first of my nets went 57lb and the other was over 50lb as well and as herronbrook has a fifty pound net limit not the sixty pound that i thought i ended up going over on both nets so got knocked back to a ton , which wasnt ideal as i don’t know my true weight of my catch although it was good enough for me to win the section but i have only myself to blame because i didn’t check and i suppose it is better to find out now rather than in the fisho qualifier in May where i would have been really kicking myself .

I am back at Herronbrook fishery at the weekend and with the weather steadily increasing I’m hopeful that the fishing will be extremely good maybe even a bit of shallow for the first time this year and i must remember to take an extra net , there is definitely an art form in catching a big weight of f1s and it’s something that i need to get my head around before long .

 

 

 

Weston pools bank holiday match sponsored by Drennon


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After yesterdays disappointing practise for the supercup at Goose green fishery, I really hopped that I could have a much-needed good day’s fishing at Weston pools where, I would be taking part in the bank holiday match sponsored by Drennon. As always when I head here I was really looking forward to it, today for a change I had a travelling companion so I needed to do a bit of a detour before I headed off down the motorway on the sixty mile trip, and as it was also his first trip he was excited to contest the match as well.

On arrival at Weston pools we both booked on in the cabin and grabbed a bacon buttie whilst we both had a look around the lakes, when we got back it was nearly draw time and as usual there was plenty of people I knew including a lot from Partridge lakes & Leigh tackle, as I had booked on before Xmas I was one of the first to pick out popped 24 Stretton, another peg I had fished before but in summer, it would be totally different today especially as this lake had fished particularly hard. My mate had managed to get onto the match in the week so I had a long wait before it was his turn and he pulled out 17 canal which would have been a good draw in summer just a few months too soon for both of us.

On getting to my home for the next few hours I decided to have a nice simple match setting up;

13m line where it was a touch over five foot so i used a 4×14 maggie float with a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my main was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch length of 010 garbo and hook was a size twenty matrix silverfish .

6m line which i positioned towards my left hand side just at the bottom of the crease where it was four-foot deep and i used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my main was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch length of 010 garbo and hook was a size twenty matrix silverfish .

Margin swim which was six meters towards both platforms and this is where i hopped to get my bonus fish from so i used a 4×12 malman speedy float with 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch length of 012 garbo attached my hook was a size 18 matrix bagger .

My bait table couldn’t be any simpler with just three pints of red and white maggots on it, I hoped this wouldn’t be a mistake as I would concentrate more on my feeding and not confusing myself putting multiple baits in all over the place.

When the all in sounded in the distance I began the match by feeding half a cupping kit of maggots onto my long line I was going to leave this for half an hour to settle, I then went onto my short line and began tapping in six maggots every five minutes it took a couple of feeds before I had my first sign not long after an f1 graced the net although it was very small for in here at 8oz but it was a start, around ten minutes past before I had another of similar size but they wasnt there in any numbers and on looking around the lake it was noticeable that majority of anglers were really struggling with just the odd fish coming out . After thirty minutes I had originally planned on refeeding my long line but I decided as my six meter swim wasnt producing i would see if anything had settled on it a bit earlier , after around five minutes i had the slightest shimmer on the float and a sharp lift resulted in a nice stamp ide coming to the bank but with the steep banking behind me i was required to break down twice so i had to be really careful playing it as these fish are notorious for splashing on the surface. I went straight back out and I didn’t have to wait too long before I managed my next Ide which was of similar size to my first, I also noticed that like my other it was hooked well inside its throat and this had me a bit puzzled: as I was fishing just an inch over depth with every bite being the slightest of touches, I had a play about with the shotting to see if I could solve the problem as I figured I must not be seeing half my bites and no matter what I did it resulted in the same thing!!  (Thinking about it now i reckon that my initial feed had pinned the fish to the deck so that they were sat there hardly moving just picking up the odd maggot)

I had managed to catch four Ide over my original feed and when bites started to fade I had a decision to make, either feed another big hit of maggots with a cupping kit to concentrate them back on the bottom, or use a kinder pot which would attract the fish’s attention as it fell through the water, I decided to go for the former as it worked so well at the start of the match and this wasnt the way to go because although i did catch another burst of ide they were still deep hooked ! ! After two hours i had eight ide + two f1s in the net which was better than most anglers within eye shot but this was when things began to deteriorate as i just couldn’t attract an indication, I changed my feeding to a big kinder pot but this didn’t work and neither did feeding with a catty, I felt that my original swim had died a death and wasnt going to be coming back so I stuck another section on going to 14.5m and plumbed up a new line more to the open water towards my right because it looked like the lake had shut down with nobody catching a great deal I didn’t want to risk a big hit of maggots so went down the kinder pot route of feeding. Although i managed to pick up a couple more Ide on this line it wasnt really working how i would have liked it too but it might have just been the time of the match when most anglers really struggled, with an hour remaining I gave both my margin swims a try without a single indication which wasnt really a surprise as from what I could see only the end peg to my right had caught anything from it, just before the all out I rotated my two long lines and managed a solitary skimmer as the hooter sounded in the distance.

The lads either end of my eight peg section had caught quite well but other than that it had been a bit of a struggle, I managed ten ide , two f1s and a skimmer for around 12lb as I didn’t bother weighing in because like i mentioned earlier the two end pegs had caught ok , as it turned out only 23lb was needed to win the lake and after two hours I was well on target for that weight but things are never that simple in match fishing . When I got back to my van I dropped the fishing tackle off then went to see how my mate had got on and he had struggled as well, so not the best of days fishing for both of us but we will be back for another try not sure when though because quite fancy another go at Herronbrook before my first Fish’O qualifier of the year in May, below you will find a short video of todays match hope you enjoy it.

 

Herronbrook canal pool


Sunday March 13th – Canal pool peg 41 .

Todays match was going to take place at Heronbrook fishery in Staffordshire as I had been asked in the week, to stand in for the Ted Carters team; they was a man short and with the last round of the winter league at Whitmore fishery taking place at the same time, I was keen to take up the opportunity as I hadn’t fished the venue before and, my first fish’o qualifier was going to take place on it as well so I could do with a chuck there to get my eye in. I had already been told that I would be fishing on canal pool so it gave me chance to find out a bit about it beforehand using the usual social media outlets plus a couple of phone calls to people who I knew had fished it before.

So with all the required prep done during the week, it was time for an early night because I had to be up at 06:30am so I could arrive at the fishery in time for the 830 draw. The sixty mile trip went swimmingly as it was nearly all on the motorway but I did have a bit of a detour when I missed my turn off at a roundabout, making me go back on to a dual carriageway this added about twenty minutes to my journey and, when I finally arrived at Heronbrook fishery the draw was just starting as it was up to the captains to choose the pegs I had a little look at the lake I would be fishing it was your typical snake lake style water although a touch wide as it was over sixteen meters in parts. Once I got back to the cabin where the other team members had congregated I was informed I was going to be sitting on peg 41 and, as I walked back to the car I spoke to a few other anglers and they told the bad news; it was a very poor area plus with every peg being took on that length of canal I would be on for a very hard day at least I hadn’t far to walk to get there.

As I settled in at my home for the next six hours I had a couple of overhanging trees which, looked prime for dobbing along with some reeds although it was at least 15m across the rigs I settled on were;

3ft rig although it was really hard for me to find a suitable flat spot I used a 4×12 malman roob float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch hook length of 010 garbo and elastic was green NG size 8-10

4ft rig which was towards the bottom of the far slope and also at the side of my left hand margin reeds ,  I used a 4×14 malman roob float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch hook length of 010 garbo and elastic iwas green NG size 8-10

Channel rig  planned on using maggots here and as it wasnt that windy yet although it did get stronger as the day progressed, I could get away with using a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my hook length was six-inch of 010 elastic was the same green NG size 8-10

Dobbing rig I used a 4ft length of line as this would allow me to have a good lash above the float which was a 0.3 series three matrix and main line was 014 garbo that had a six-inch 012 hook length , I stepped up the elastic to matrix orange because this is where i expected to catch any carp and i heard they can run quite big in here.

With there being no bait limits at Herronbrook I decided to take a bit of everything to cover my options although it did mainly revolve around pellets;

Two pints soaked micros

Two pints soaked 4mm pellets

Small tub 4mm expanders

Small tub 4+6mm white pellets

Two pints red+white maggots

It was soon time for the all in and I decided to kick off by dobbing some 7mm bread disc’s along the far-bank pushing it into any nooks+crannies, among the branches and overhanging reeds I didn’t have to wait long for my first indication which, I missed but it was a positive sign. My next few bites were from small silvers and after about twenty minutes I decided to give up on dobbing for the time being and picked up my four-foot deep rig, although the weather was pleasantly sunny for a change the water was still very cold so I decided to take it easy with the bait until I knew how the fish were feeding so, after tapping in a few micros I lowered my rig slowly among them and tried to keep it static over the top of the feed, it took a couple of taps on my pole to scatter a couple of micros before my float dinked slightly and a little lift resulted in me being attached to my first f1 which did not put up much of a fight till I got it onto my top kit at around 2lb it was a good start to the match.

Upon shipping back out I didn’t have to wait too long before my next f1 hit the net and although I wasnt bagging, the size of fish that I was catching were a very nice stamp and, after a while the bites became a bit iffy so I had a play about with my feed + hookbait, it seemed that 4mm were the better feed pellets but they wouldn’t touch the heavier white hook pellets which I thought was strange but they are a bit of a Marmite bait only working on certain venues. By altering a few things I managed to add a couple more f1s before the bites tailed off again and when a roach got in on the action it was time to set up another line.

I replumbed up a new swim a couple of feet towards my left still using my four-foot rig and started again, it didn’t take to long before I was catching f1s again but after losing a fish at the net then virtually straight away foul hooking one directly over my feed it caused the fish to get unsettled and back off again. Another new swim was called for but this time I picked up my three-foot rig which allowed me to go tighter to the far-bank it took a bit longer for me to get a bite but, I put this down to how long it took me when plumbing up to try to find a suitable flat spot because, it was just like a sheer drop in places. I also noticed that the f1s were a lot smaller on this line but at least I was still catching unlike the lads either side of me who seemed to be really struggling.

After a while the wind got a bit stronger, the fish seemed to follow the breeze and my peg seemed to die completely where the lads towards my right kept their run going for longer, you need to make the most of the first hour to ninety minutes on these pegs because when the fish go they don’t tend to come back as you will find out later. Over the next two hours I set up multiple swims at various depths all along the far-bank with very limited success and I even tried dobbing again which just resulted in a small silver. I had fed my six-meter channel swim with twenty maggots every half an hour but I did not want to go on it too soon hoping that whatever f1s were in the area would settle on it. I had also flicked six maggots on my left hand margin swim at the side of the reeds every ten minutes so, I decided to give that a try but half an hour without even a bite was all I managed. As a last resort I changed my three-foot rig for a five foot pellet one and replumbed a new line towards the bottom of the far slope which, was 13m away but this was also a non starter. I had wasted nearly three hours of the match putting zilch into the net, so with just ninety minutes remaining I had no other option but go on my channel swim a couple of silvers took a liking to the single hook bait as it fell and after changing for a more positive shotting pattern + double mag hook bait it allowed me to get it to the deck, after a while I had my first indication which resulted in a 10oz skimmer hitting the net not exactly what I had in mind but at least I had added to the net a couple of bigger roach got in on the act too .

I noticed that a couple of anglers to my right had started catching f1s again, I hoped that some had settled in my peg as well but yet again, after working all along the far-bank I didn’t have a single indication and; with only my channel swim producing bites that’s where I spent the remainder of the match, finally hit into another f1 and when my next dip of the float resulted in yards of elastic coming out i thought that a few decent f1s had turned up at last but up popped a big chub and that was about it till the all out sounded i did have ten minutes dobbing along the far-bank after seeing a carp swirl but nothing came from it .

After packing up I followed the scales along my section and I was a bit surprised that they had put in a peg before the bridge which had a nice reed bed to fish too even though there was an empty peg along the straight and, as expected this won the section with 66lb, the lad on the other side of the bridge had 21lb then there was a 41lb which took second included a double figure carp and, after that the weights got gradually worse until the other end peg put 32lb on the scales, my catch went just short of 18lb and I had beat the anglers either side of me ending up 7th in the section only a couple of pounds from moving up another place.

All in all it was a very hard match for all the anglers along the straight somewhere, I hope not to draw anytime soon but on the plus side I have learned a lot about the canal on my first visit to the venue, overall it has fished extremely well with the top ten anglers all catching over a ton and the Ted Carters team I was representing today finished 12th with 22 points lets hope they can keep it going for the remaining rounds. Next weekend I’m back at the hugely impressive Weston pools and to be honest I can’t wait! It’s been a long time since my last visit role on Sunday!

 

 

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 .