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 .

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Bradshaw Hall fishery , lake 6 and 7


Sunday 17th May , peg 5 Lake 7

Bradshaws lake 7

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I had been invited to fish Bradshaw hall fisheries in Bolton as a guest on a friends club match and even though it is only a twenty-minute drive from my house i have never seen the place before but it was some where that i always fancied trying  so i jumped at the chance the match was to take place on lakes six and seven , on arrival at the venue i was quite surprised at how well established the venue was with lots of groups of anglers knocking about somewhere waiting to contest the open but most where clubs and this was a bit problematic for me because i only knew a couple of the anglers that i was fishing with but after texting them to find out where they was i found that they were running late so it took me awhile to find the correct group of lads .

At 930 we got the draw underway as per usual for me a hung towards the back of the queue letting all the bad pegs go first and when it came to my turn i picked out peg five on lake seven this didn’t mean much to me as i hadn’t even got round to seeing the waters yet ,after a bit of a trek i finally found where i would be fishing i was a tad disappointed when i got there because it was rather small for a sixteen peg water and it had an island which was reachable at 14m on every one of them but it had very little in the way of vegetation to be honest it looked a bit like a bomb site nothing at all like the other waters on the complex .

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Before i began setting up i had a quick chat with one of my mates who had fished this water a lot in the past and he was really upbeat about my prospects saying that it was a proper mixed venue with the top three being my main line of attack and over 40lb being my target weight , so after hearing that news i was really looking forward to the match now and decided to feed quite heavy to see how i would get on as i felt that i had been a bit negative on my previous few matches getting through less than two pints of bait i think that i would struggle to catch over my target weight using just that amount of bait.

I had three main lines of attack ;

Top three which was at the bottom of the near slope at 4ft deep i used a Malman Roob float size 4×12 with 012 garbo main line which had an 010 garbo hook length and size 18 gamma pellet hook .

13m line where i had found a relatively flat spot opposite one of the many bricks along the far-bank , i used a Malman Roob float size 4×10 with 012 garbo main line which had an 012 garbo hook length and a size 18 LWG guru hook with a bait band attached .

Margin swim top 3 towards the empty peg to my right this was about 2ft deep and i used a Matrix series three float in 03 size my main line was 014 garbo to a 012 garbo hook length which had a size 16 LWG guru hook .

As i mentioned earlier i had decided to up my feeding today and brought with me ;

2 pints meat cubed in both 4mm and 6mm

2 pints soaked 4mm pellets

tin of hemp

tin of corn

tub of mixed hard pellets

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After a rather confusing start with a few matches taking place at the same time we eventually got going at 1015 i potted some hemp plus meat on my top three-line in front of me and then proceeded  to lose feed cubes of meat every few minutes to try to draw some fish into the area maybe even getting them shallow , within five minutes my float dipped and a nice 2lb F1 hit the net i would be more than happy if they was all going to be of this size i had enough indications on this line to keep me interested but i just couldn’t hit any of them , the swim was fizzing away like mad and i tried all sorts of different shotting patterns to no avail before i knew it i had wasted the first forty minutes of the match .

The other anglers which were within eye shot had caught the odd fish by going across on what looked like pellet so i decided to follow suit and went on to my 3ft swim which i had earlier plumbed up to find a flat spot , i tapped out half a dozen 4mm pellets before lowering my banded pellet among it and after a couple of feeds i was into some fish at first they was F1s then some nice tench + skimmers . For the next ninety minutes i was catching a mixed bag of fish fairly regularly but for some reason it began to slow down and i needed somewhere else to go while i rested it , luckily i had potted in meat + hemp on my top kit plus one to the right of me and this produced a run of carp and barbel before i kept getting snagged up losing a few hook lengths plus a full rig .

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I had no option other than to set up another swim even further to my right and cupped in some bait and while it rested i went back across to my original far-bank swim this had slowed considerably with the rest not working out how i had planned , thinking back i should have just put in another line and kept on doing that every time it showed signs of fading bad judgement on my part I’m afraid . After 30 minutes of struggling across i went on to my new margin swim and began getting a few fish but yet again i kept getting snagged up so i had to resort to fishing six-inch of the deck this seemed to solve the problem but slowed my catch rate down as i was no longer getting the barbel .

By chopping and changing between the two swims i kept picking up the odd fish until the five-hour mark which i thought would have been the end of the match and i had even forced the peg to try to extract a few extra fish , but then i found out we was fishing an extra hour but by now i had properly ruined my peg and struggled to get more than a couple of fish in the time before the all out . When the whistle finally sounded it called time on a rather puzzling but enjoyable match and i ended up catching a 48lb mixed bag of fish which only put me 4th on my lake with just 62lb needed to win and the first+last hour cost me dearly , it’s always nice after the event but if i had my time again i would have ;

1, found out how long we would be fishing before the match started .

2, should have concentrated on fishing pellet rather than trying to be clever fishing meat which they did not want

3, i should have set up a few lines across or maybe gone further up the far-bank shelf when the bites slowed down .

Well you live and learn that’s why we all go fishing to try to improve , I’m looking forward to my long weekend off work with a pleasure session planned for the Friday which is either going to be at Wrightington Rivi view which is somewhere that i don’t get to visit that often or Hall lane Bessie’s which is a snake lake style water with mainly stockies in it and then I’m off to Old Hough Big Max for a bit of feeder fishing plus long pole depending on the wind as a guest on another club match .

 

 

 

Partridge lakes open match


May 3rd , peg 79 covey 4

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After fishing on Spey canal a couple of days earlier i fancied another try at the open on the prolific F1 venue partridge lakes although the weather had taken a dramatic turn for the worse with heavy overnight rain and strong winds replacing the blue skies we had  all week luckily the rain was forecast to ease off towards dinner time so i figured that the fishing might be a bit tough especially with 91 anglers due to contest the match , a few of my mates had decided to fish it today as well so when i arrived at the complex i knew quite a lot of people there and as the rain had been literally bouncing it down all morning majority of them was hiding under the shelter waiting for the draw .

As there was a lot of anglers here today Covey 1-5 plus Spey canal was in the draw bag and after Fridays successful day i fancied drawing latter but my drawing arm let me down with peg 79 covey 4 sticking to my hand not the best of draws and even getting the section will be difficult competing against flyer peg 83 but i was going to try my best anyway and fancied a bit of pellet fishing , my home for the day looked the same as most on Partridge lakes coveys with it being 13m to the mudline a reed lined far-bank but unlike the other pegs in my section i had little in the way of margin cover .

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I set up three rigs today to cover my options ;

4ft deep on both slopes

3ft deep on both slopes

2ft deep in front of spare platform

As i mentioned earlier i fancied a bit or pellet fishing so that was the main bait on my side tray plus a few maggots ;

2 pint red maggots

1 pint soaked micros

1 pint soaked 4mm pellets

Small tub 4mm expanders

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When the all in sounded in the distance i decided to start on my 4ft rig along the far shelf i decided to start at this depth because of the cold overnight rain which i figured would have hopefully pushed the fish further down the slope into the warmer water and i could also leave the usually more productive 3ft line for when the temperature increased later in the match , i shipped out to the mark on my 11 meter section where i had earlier plumbed up to find a relatively flat spot towards the reeds and i then tapped in a few micros before slowly lowering my expander hook bait among it . It took a couple of feeds before i had my first sign and F1 number one hit the net at nearly 2lb i hoped that they would all be this size , by working my rig and changing between feeding balls of micros — half a dozen 4mm pellets i managed to keep the fish coming for the first hour but all of a sudden they were gone and i hadn’t got a clue why .

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I set up a new swim a meter to my right towards the empty peg but this only produced a solitary F1 and no further indications in a twenty-minute spell , another line at the same depth to my left also failed to produce anything but gudgeon ! ! ! a few people in my section had caught well in the margin but because i didn’t have any cover i decided to feed a pot of maggots in front of the spare platform every twenty minutes since the match started , i expected the F1s to have settled there by now so you can imagine my surprise when absolutely nothing happened i didn’t want to waste too long because you would get at least a liner if any fish had been present but i continued to feed it to try later in the match .

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With no more bites coming from my 4ft rig i thought that they must have moved further up the slope so for the next couple of hours i set up various swims at 3ft along the far-bank with limited success and i just couldn’t get the F1s to settle i had even tried using maggots but this only produced silvers or foul hooked fish things weren’t going well , i noticed a carp swirl under the far-bank cover so with nothing to lose i decided to cut down my unproductive 3ft rig but as the wind had got increasingly stronger i choose to use a longer lash between pole and float with a couple of back shots to aid in hitting bites plus i could keep my pole away from where i was fishing . I continued using pellets as this was the only bait which had so far produced any fish i started by taking it a bit easier with the feed until i knew what was going on under the water .

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I tapped in a few 4mm pellets then lowered my rig in among it and it just kept on going at long last i had another F1 in the net , putting double 4mm expander on the hook and by careful feeding i managed to keep the fish coming with F1s plus the odd big carp if anything the peg was getting stronger and stronger , i couldn’t get in quick enough but with time running out and being behind in the section i was taking liberties when playing the fish losing the odd one in the process . The all out came way too soon for my liking and i was kicking myself for not finding them a lot sooner because i felt that the peg was good enough for a framing weight with 70lb getting sixth my 35 F1s+carp went 56lb which was only good enough for third in the section but on the plus side the last ninety minutes was the best i had ever fished on here using pellet , i am looking forward to next Saturday when i will be contesting the Fisho qualifier at the Oaks fishery another venue that i haven’t been too before but with the limited information a few of the lakes could be right up my street .

Spey canal , Partridge lakes


May 1st , peg 9

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With my next Fisho qualifier at the Oaks fishery looming large on the horizon i had decided to book a day off work with the idea of going for a practice there but things conspired against me so i could only have a short session fishing , i had rung Partridge in the week to find out what waters would be available to pleasure anglers and i was surprised to find they all where apart from Covey six where a OAP match was taking place . I had originally wanted to have another try on peg 125 Covey five as this was were i fished on my last match here and struggled to keep the fish coming all day , but with the recent good weights coming from Spey canal and the fact that you had a nice chance of catching a big carp or two that is where i decided to go depending if there was room because it is a popular water at Partridge lakes .

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So after dropping my little lad off at school i headed off to the venue which took a bit longer than i expected due to the traffic and i only arrived at the complex at nearly ten o’clock , i made my way round to the back car-park which is nearest to Spey canal and i was surprised to see only a couple of anglers fishing at the top end which was a bit more protected from the cold easterly wind . I decided to set up on peg nine which was in the middle of the straight and also the bank was a bit flatter behind so it would be a bit easier when shipping back , with it only being a short session i decided to target just two areas ;

Margin 2ft

Across 3ft

My bait was ;

2 pints red maggots

1 pint mixed micro and 4mm pellets

small tub 4mm expanders

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At 1030 i was ready to get started so shipped out to the side of the far-bank reeds at 11m tapped in some pellets then lowered my expander among it and it didn’t take too long before my float dipped with F1 number one coming to the bank it was a nice stamp of fish at nearly the two-pound mark which is the average size for in here , a further twelve followed in a 25 minute spell before the bites started becoming a bit iffy which was no doubt down to my feeding again and i am struggling to keep a run of fish coming from one swim .

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I set up a new one a meter to my right started again and i was back into the F1s this area lasted a lot longer with twenty more coming in an hour spell but when i caught a golden tench then a gudgeon the F1s had backed off , so i decided to rest my far-bank lines and went on to my top three swim where i had been loose feeding maggots every five minutes since i started fishing . First drop with double maggot on the hook resulted in a quick bite from yet another F1 and i was beginning to wonder if that is all i would be catching today but after a raft of them my swim went dead , i wondered what was going on when i noticed a big boil near where my float should have been but instead was my red matrix elastic streaming from my pole and after a five-minute fight i got it under control with a nice a carp about 8lb in the net understandably the disturbance unsettled the swim so i decided to rest it for a while .

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Going back to my far-bank i started on double red maggot instead of pellets to see how this would compare  i tapped in a kinder pot full then lowered my hook bait among it , first drop the float buried missed bite after missed bite ensued before i finally hit one a big fat gudgeon hit the net not what i wanted to be catching . But after feeding a bit heavier i soon had the F1s lined up again and i even had a little ghostie too by swapping between my two lines i was on one a chuck from hard fighting big F1s .

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As i was approaching my last hour i decided to concentrate on my margin to see if i can get another carp or too i decided to kinder pot the maggots rather than throw them in as it would create a tighter feed area this worked a treat and i was soon back getting a bite every time i went in it was noticeable that i would get an indication as soon as i fed and then nothing for ages but the more that i feed the better that i caught , at 230 i hooked another lump and at near 8lb i decided to call it my last fish of the session in total i had 56 F1s , 3 carp  1 golden tench and a chub not bad in just four hours fishing .

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I am back at Partridge lakes on Sunday to contest the open where ninety anglers are due to turn up , weather depending of course because its forecast to be a bit windy and rainy i hope that i can do better than my last two weekend matches on here because i didn’t even finish both of them .

 

Sycamore open , Silver birch


April 19th , peg one

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After Thursdays match at Partridge lakes where i had a reasonable match but left with plenty things to improve on i decided to have a trip to Sycamore fishery my local F1 water situated in Golborne , after ringing the owner to book on he told me that he expected at least thirty anglers on the open so it might fish hard this didn’t really bother me because my last few wins on here have been when there had been a full lake as i am not really a big weight type of angler more your scratch for bites which is what you usually need to do on here when it is full .

On arriving at the complex even though i knew there was a lot booked on i was still surprised at the amount of cars present and i did my usual thing of driving down to the bottom car-park then having a look at the two match canals for any fish movement which there wasn’t but it had turned rather cold compared to the previous few days sunshine we were also faced with an easterly breeze , when i got back to the cabin there was even more cars present it turned out we had forty anglers fishing two full canals not exactly a fun days fishing ahead although when i pulled out corner peg one on Silver birch ( Another flyer ) out of the draw bag i expected to have a good framing chance from their .

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I decided to try something a bit different regarding bait and choose worm+caster instead of my usual pellet approach (wrong choice) as i had plenty of it left over as i had bought some for Partridge lakes open on Thursday where it had worked well but not on Covey five which is where i had drawn , when i got to my peg i had a long reed covered margin which had the cold wind blowing into it and the point of the island a lot for me to attack but it can get a bit confusing so i decided to set up two rigs one at 2ft the other at 1ft this should cover most areas of my peg but on the spur of the moment i also set up a shallow rig as their was a few fish topping near the post .

When the all in sounded i shipped out to six meters along my left hand margin i deposited a kinder pot full of worm+caster i then lowered my rig in among it with an inch segment of worm on the hook i then proceeded to wait and wait and wait some more , after twenty minutes of inactivity i decided on a re-feed even though nothing much was happening anywhere on the canal and after thirty minutes i had my first indication which took me by surprise so i immediately struck at it (still in pellet mode ) of course i missed it and nothing else happened so after a ten minute wait i feed again trying to force the fish to come in the peg this kind of worked because i the lost two foul hooked carp in quick succession not exactly what i was looking for . I then set up a new margin swim at 11 meters but feed just casters this produced a couple of indications nothing positive though ( things weren’t looking good )

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Over an hour gone with no fish in the net which was like most anglers around me so a change of swim was in order so i went to the far-bank and tapped in a ball of worm+caster but this failed to produce any indications after thirty minutes , so i figured that with the cold overnight temps the fish must have dropped into the deeper water i got off my box and set up a new rig for fishing on the bottom of the near slope at 5ft this produced a few indications but yet again nothing positive i think the fish were being drawn in by the ground-bait but didn’t want the worm or caster ( took the wrong bait ) with half the match gone and still a big fat blank the cold wind was making me shiver too .

After three hours the sun finally came out which raised the temperature a lot the wind even changed direction this took the scum from out of my margin enabling me to fish tight to the bank so i started a new swim at six meters in one foot of water and tapped in a pot of worm+caster slop then went over the top with an inch segment of worm on the hook , this finally produced a couple of proper bites which i missed by being to eager on the strike so i made an effort to count to three when the float disappeared and this worked because my next bite ripped the elastic out ( finally a fish in the net ) a couple more quickly followed and i hopped that i had finally found a few fish i had a quick burst of five carp beginning to get on level terms with those anglers around me but this swim soon died so i tried setting up another one at 11m and at 4m but after working all these three swims i remained bite less for the last hour which was a bit disappointing because i felt that i only needed two more fish for me to get in the money .

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As the all out sounded it was the end of a bad match which was always on the cards with the bigger than average turn out on here today , their was plenty anglers not deciding to weigh in today especially from those pegs down the bottom end of the canal and to be honest i wasn’t going to bother either as i knew i wouldn’t be in the top two but the lad weighing in for third had a similar amount of fish as me so i decided to chance my arm . When the scales came round to me Ste Hart was leading with 18lb from peg 19 and he fished really well to catch that weight picking up a few fish from various parts of his peg , the lad next to me on peg two got second with 16lb and the guy on peg three got third with just 10lb knocking me into forth with just 8lb and as i feared an extra carp or two would have got me into the money .

I am hoping to get out fishing for a few hours after work in the week to try to get back in the swing of catching a few fish as i have my first Fisho qualifier of the year at Moorlands fishery on Saturday some were that i haven’t seen before so i am really looking forward to contesting that match .

Hewlitt pit


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Thurs 9th April , peg 14

With the recent weather taking a turn for the better at long last as we had some sunshine + blue skies so i felt that i should make the most of it and get some shallow fishing done , i had originally planned on going to Gorses farm in Aspull but my mate fished it the day before and hadn’t done great ( i will reblog it later ) so i decided to go to water that i probably visit only once a year even though it is only five minutes from my house although it has a healthy head of F1s + big carp and responds really well to shallow work .

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I managed to get to the fishery at around 2pm and after having had a brief chat with a regular on their in the car park who said it was black with fish on top but he struggled to catch fishing on the deck ! ! ! after my short walk to the water i saw four people fishing two on each side so i settled on peg 14 which was a good area to be in with an empty space either side of me , i decided to set up just two rigs ;

Jigga set 3ft deep with 012 garbo main line with a 010 hook length which had a size 18 f1 hook and a micro bait band

slapper set 1ft deep  with 012 garbo main line with a 010 hook length which had a size 18 f1 hook and a micro bait band

My bait was just two pints of soaked 4mm pellets and a small tub of oiled 4+6mm hard pellets .

I was set up in record time and managed to start fishing at 3pm as their was only me going shallow i didn’t need to go that far out so only went out to six meters , i fired in two pouches of 12 pellets then shipped out i expected it to be slow at first until i could get them competing but surprisingly it went straight away with an F1 about a pound making its way to the net and it pretty much stayed that way for the first hour i got into a nice routine of ;

Feed then ship out

Hook a fish get it on the top kit then feed again

It was all so simple really and i managed thirty F1s plus the odd chub in sixty minutes but in the second hour i even improved on this with forty coming to the net although i did suffer some quiet spells as a few people had a walk around the pond un settling the fish , with me catching so well i decided to have my first attempt at fishing the jigga rig and it took me awhile to get used to using it but i did manage a few although it didn’t feel right not watching the float going under although at least i have tried it before making my mind up about it .

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With thirty minutes remaining i decided to try upping the feed just to see what would happen and to be honest it slowed my catch rate down with a few bubbles coming up off the deck so obviously there was plenty pellets getting to the bottom dragging the fish down , after three hours i called time on my session with 85 fish for about 120lb mostly F1s plus the odd chub making its way to the bank and i also had a few silvers which i didn’t count so all in all not a bad few hours shallow fishing and it made a change getting among the fish for the first time this year ( on a side note one of my Balmoral AC members broke the match record on their catching 81lb shallow )

 

 

Sycamore fisheries open match Silver birch


 

IMG-20140705-00249April 6th , peg 16

After Saturdays disappointment i really fancied having a nice easy match catching a few fish basically just trying to enjoy myself ( but things didn’t work out that way ) I decided to stay local so i went to Sycamore fishery and as it was a bank holiday i expected a good turn out , with it being a late draw i managed an extra hour in bed and even had time for a Mcds . On arrival at the complex there was a fair few people knocking about even a few from my old angling club Balmoral , it soon came round to draw time and yet again i pulled out what i thought was a good area to be in with peg 16 sticking to my hand . This was the fourth match on here over the long weekend so i wasn’t expecting the fishing to be great especially with it being warm , sunny , with light winds blowing towards Davids pool ( has summer finally arrived ) 

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After settling in at my peg i decided to fish ;

3ft on both slopes

1ft tight across and margin

My bait was ;

2 pints maggots for fishing shallow or big potting tight across

1 pint 4mm pellets and 4mm expanders plus a bit of ground-bait

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When the all in sounded i shipped out to 11m where i had earlier plumbed up to find a flat spot and tapped in a few micros with a nugget of ground-bait i obviously took it easy until i knew how the fish were going to respond to it going in , i lowered my expander in among it and proceeded to work the rig trying to entice a bite . Surprisingly it took less than five minutes before my float dipped with F1 number one hitting the net (not a bad start ) i was now in a bit of a quandary should i feed or not , i decided on the later and shipped back out again after a ten minute spell of working my rig i managed to fool another F1 into taking the pellet hook bait and after this one i decided to re feed but i think this some how scared them away as in the next hour i could only manage a couple of tench+skimmers which is not a good sign on here , i set up a couple more swims across at the same 3ft depth but this only produced a solitary stockie carp .

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I had flicked six maggots onto my right hand near slope line since the match started but before i went on it i put two big pots of maggots tight across and while it settled i tried to catch on my top three-line i changed my rig for an on the drop shotting pattern , i began laying it through the falling maggots but twenty minutes without an indication wasn’t what i expected as i thought the barbel would be on the feed by now and i was on the verge of going across to where i potted the bait in earlier when my float dipped slightly with another F1 hitting the net but on my next drop i managed to foul hook a stockie which killed this part of my peg .

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I had no other option other than to go across to the mud line at 14m this failed to produce anything apart from a carp which snapped my hook length because for some reason my elastic failed to come out (looked like it was going to be one of them days ) while i was fishing across i noticed a few groups of carp swimming just under the surface which wasn’t surprising in the calm sunny conditions they were no doubt thinking about other things , with this in mind i began loose feeding maggots at six meters and gave it a good go but failed to get a bite i found out after the match that others did catch shallow using pellet so maybe they just didn’t want maggots today .

Ninety minutes without an indication and with time seeming to stand still i was unsure what to do next i tried my 3ft line again where i caught at the start of the match but no indications were to be had , with no other option i went back across this time using pellets i tapped in a few micros at the side of some reeds then lowered my 4mm expander amongst it surprisingly my float buried instantly and a nice 3lb mirror hit the net soon followed by another of similar size but they definitely didn’t want to settle on the bait today , i spent the last hour picking up the odd stockie from various spots along the far-bank fishing six -inch of the deck a bit like summer dobbing .

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With ten minutes to go i began to pack up and ended up tipping back 7 stockies , 5 F1s and a few tench+skimmers for about 20lb , all those towards the bottom end of Silver birch struggled today and you really needed to be where the ripple was as there seemed to be hundreds of fish up that end of the canal probably due to the water being more oxygenated their , so it came as no surprise to find out that pegs 1+20 finished in the top two places today both catching over 40lb .