Partridge lakes open match

December 19th , peg 110 covey five


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

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


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

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

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

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

Bait for the day was ;

Two pints of red and white maggots

One pint of micros

One pint 4mm pellets

Small tub of 4mm expanders


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


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


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

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

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

Horns dam canal , winter league

December 13th , peg six canal


Today i was to be standing in for my mate the big dipper in the teams of four winter league at Horns dam which was another new venue for me to try i had done a lot of silver fishing this winter rather than the targeting f1s which is probably why he asked me , i didn’t really know a great deal about the fishery even the information i could find on the internet was rather sketchy and apart from it being full of small silvers with people using large amounts of ground-bait that was all i could find so i would be going into the match a bit blind but i was looking forward to the challenge .

The days leading up to the match had been the usual wind and lots of heavy rain especially on Saturday today it was dry + calm but we had to contend with a drop in temps plus the first frost of the winter not good , after packing my van i headed off on the thirty mile trip to Preston it was noticeable that the degrees were dropping with lots of frosty fields the further i travelled . As i arrived to the venue i was for a change the last person there and in my absence the Jeffs floats team had decided to let me do the draw because apparently i am rather good at it , so after picking three pegs out for the lads on the dam it was time to pull out a peg for myself on the canal and my home for the day was number six this was just over half way along the stretch which is usually the best place to sit when trying somewhere new .


As i mentioned earlier i had never fished this lake before so i purposely took my time getting to the peg so i could have a good look on where everyone was setting up there swims so i could follow suit and nearly everyone was putting two swims in one at four meter the other 13m , the canal was more like an elongated tear shape and i was towards the narrower end but it was still a good twenty meter wide after plumbing up on my near line i found it to be nearly five foot but the further i went out the shallower it went so i decided to put this in at four meters which was right on the crease of the lake bed . On top of the shelf it was around four-foot deep i was in a bit of a quandary because i wanted to fish further out than those around me which i felt would give me an advantage but i also wanted to make sure i would be able to fish it if the wind got up so i settled on 15m i decided to set up just three rigs today ;

Top four line i set up two rigs to cover this swim the first was a 4×12 tbf cult float which had a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern and my main line was 012 garbo which had a six-inch hook length of 009 garbo with a size 20 matrix silver pattern , the other rig was an on the drop pattern so i used an 4×10 tbf cult float my main line was 012 garbo which had a six-inch hook length of 009 garbo with a size 20 matrix silver pattern the elastic on both rigs was size six matrix solid .

Far line i expected this swim to produce more bonus fish with maybe the odd carp so i slightly stepped up the rig i used a more positive 4×14 rw maggie float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern my main line was 014 garbo with a six-inch length of 012 garbo and hook was a size 18 matrix bagger hook my elastic was ng green 8-10 hollo .


Bait for the day was ;

One pint red maggots

Two pints of casters

One pint of corn

Four pints of ground-bait which was a mixture of 50/50 brown crumb and dynamite baits frenzied hemp which i added two hand fulls of casters .

Yet again when the all in sounded i hung back a bit until i found out just how many balls of ground-bait the other anglers decided to put in on each line , i put two tightly squeezed tangerine sized balls in on my four meter line plus another cupping kit full of loose ground-bait and i then put three similar sized balls onto my far line with another of loose ground-bait plus corn which would hopefully allow a bigger stamp of fish to settle on it . I then began the match using my strung out rig with a single caster on the hook it took awhile before i got my first fish which was a micro perch not the start i wanted especially as everyone else was picking up roach quite often while i was struggling for bites i just couldn’t work out what i was doing wrong , i didn’t feel comfortable wearing my jacket as it restricted my movement so even in the very cold conditions i had to take it off this helped me focus my attention on getting a few bites and also allow me to begin loose feeding over the top of my float .

I changed to my more positive rig and began sprinkling in maggots through my kinder pot this finally got me a few fish but it was only when i began laying my rig in against the wind then allowing it to run through did my peg really kick off i had about forty minutes of a fish a chuck all roach around 2oz a piece , i then hit in to something bigger as a few meters of my elastic came rushing out the pole tip after a short fight up popped a perch over a pound but just when i was about to net it the tiny hook pulled out of its boney mouth this understandably disrupted the shoal of roach so i fed another loose ball of ground-bait on this line before giving my long line a try ,


It didn’t take to long before i began getting indications on my far swim and at first they was a similar size to what i was catching on my top four line as i was the only angler fishing that far out i didn’t know if i was doing the right thing but at least i was putting fish in the net plus it gave the fish on my short line a chance to settle down a bit , i decided to begin topping after every couple of fish by filling half my large kinder pot with maggots or casters then capping it off with my original ground-bait mix after a while i began to attract a lot better stamp of silver most around hand size plus i picked up a couple of bonus skimmers averaging around the 10oz mark i had to wait longer between bites but i felt they was worth waiting for when the small silvers got in on the act again i decided to refed a ball of groundbait before going on to my short line while it rested .

My top four line was very hard work as i couldn’t put a run of bites together and those i did land were a lot smaller than what the other anglers around me was catching so i began spending longer and longer on my 14m swim , this was putting a lot of pressure on it and as a result towards the last hour of the match bites really began to tail off i don’t think i helped things when i bumped off two nice skimmers in consecutive put ins this was due to my size eight elastic being too strong and i really should have changed it to a size six but at this point of the match my hands really weren’t working in the cold wet conditions it just goes to show the importance of setting up correctly before the match starts but i did feel this swim could produce a carp or two which never materialized . I decided to drop right down to a size 008 hook length with a size twenty matrix silver fish hook to see if this could help me Winkle out a couple more fish in this hard part of the match and i did manage a couple of hand sized roach before the all out sounded which called time on yet another difficult contest and i don’t think that i ever got to grips with how the fish wanted to feed today .


As i began packing up i started thinking on what i could have done different today and apart from put in a pellet line in long for the skimmers instead of the ground-bait but in all honesty i didn’t expect them to play such an important part in the match , i would have also put my near swim another section out but before the all in i was confident that the bottom of the crease towards the deeper water was the place to be , i should have also set up my tip rod using either maggot or open-ended feeder because the guy a couple of pegs to my right was the only person to use it but picked up some nice stamp silvers casting a meter from the far bank before he broke his rod .

They started the weigh in at the high numbers and when they reached me 18lb was leading the way my net went 11lb which is more than i had thought the guy to my right only put 4lb on the scales but after that the further you went the better the catches went culminating in the last two pegs getting first and second with 24lb + 30lb with the last weight included nearly twenty pound of carp and was the only peg to produce one , i put the increase in weights down to the fact it gets a lot wider towards that end plus i heard it was nearly a foot deeper as well which the fish would have been more happy sitting in and in the end i finished fifth in section not my best days fishing although the canal was a lot better than the dam as lots of people struggled to get over 4lb on there .

Back to my winter league at old hough next Sunday where we will be on lucky dip or prospect let’s just hope the wind isn’t too bad because you really need to fish at 16m to pick up the carp and i am toying with the idea of feeding balls of ground-bait in on my channel swim which could help the skimmers settle but i haven’t decided yet , i am also looking forward to getting back on the banks of partridge lakes for the christmas match as i haven’t been there in ages and i have almost forgot what an f1 looks like .


Limbrick fishery

October 20th , peg 17


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 .


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 .


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 .


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 .


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 ! !


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 .


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 .

Hall lane Bessies pool

Sept 5th , peg 23 Bessie’s pool


After having made a spontaneous decision to fish the charity match at Hall lane Bessie’s pool where every peg would be taken i had a few hours on the pool to sort a few things out a few days before as it isn’t a place that i fish a lot in fact i have only been twice in two years and after the practise i was pretty confident in my approach i just needed a good draw as usual but when fishing in match conditions things rarely go to plan as you will find out later .The day of the contest soon arrived and i headed off to the venue at eight o’clock after my short twenty-minute drive i got to Hall lane car-park which was nearly full but there wasn’t many faces i knew which i am used too but for some reason i didn’t feel to comfortable in fact it all felt a bit awkward , i just kept my head down till i saw a couple of lads that i had fished Weston with which made me feel a bit better and it soon came round to draw time so we all joined the back of the queue i pulled out peg 23 which meant nothing to me other than it was a long walk down the main straight as it was next to the end peg with the wind blowing that way .IMG-20150905-00748

As i settled in at my home for the next few hours i decided to fish a couple of lines across plus one in the channel and i didn’t expect the margin to work today with so many people on the complex ( how wrong was i )

My far-bank line was in front of the reeds where i plumbed up to find a touch over 3ft and as Hall lane is rather prone to the wind i decided to use a heavy 4×12 malman roob float with my usual 014 garbo main line with 012 garbo hook length which had a matrix rigger hook and a micro bait band .

My other far-bank line was just over a foot deep i found a flat area around a foot square a few inch away from the mud-bank , i decided to use a heavy more stable 0.3 matrix series three float which would hopefully enable me to pin my hook-bait to the deck my usual 014 garbo main line with 012 garbo hook length which had a matrix rigger hook and a micro bait band .

Channel swim this was an area i didn’t really plan on using but on my practice session another lad fishing was catching really well a proper mixed bag of fish using worm+caster and i figured if i drew a hard area it could get me out of trouble , i used a 0.6 malman roob float my usual 014 garbo main line with 012 garbo hook length which had a matrix bagger hook attached .IMG-20150905-00747

My bait for the day relied heavily around pellets with a bit of worm+caster mixed in ;

Two pints of 4 mm pellets

One pint soaked micro

One pint ground-bait

One pint caster

Quarter kilo of worms

Tub mixed hard pellets

As the all in sounded in the distance i put two cups full of feed on my six meter channel swim before going across in front of the reeds on my left hand side i had felt some fish here while plumbing up so i expected an instant response i also decided to trickle some pellets in through a kinder pot hoping not to scare them off , in the first ten minutes i had a few indications but nothing positive so i decided to increase the feed a bit to try to get them competing a bit more confidently this didn’t really work and with other people picking up the odd fish across i was left wondering what to do next . I tried the right hand far-bank incase they had settled there but still no response and my next option was going tight to the mud bank here i at least managed a few bites but the fish were tiny most were coming off on the way in , finally after forty minutes i had my first carp all 8oz of it but at least it saved my blank .

I  had seen a few bubbles coming up from the channel so with nothing else to lose i decided to give this a whirl so i put an inch segment of worm on the hook and lowered my rig over the feed it didn’t take to long before my float dipped of course i missed it but it soon went under again this time a firm lift resulted in a 4oz skimmer flying through the air and this one came of as i shipped in , a change to double caster brought more bites but all i could attract was more small silvers not what i wanted to be catching especially as other people were still picking up the odd carp . I decided to forget my channel rig to concentrate more on my far-bank as this was the area which seemed to be were the bigger fish was coming from , i had seen a few carp knocking the reeds on my left hand swim so i went in front of them using my half depth rig and began pinging a few pellets at my float but yet again i couldn’t buy a bite .IMG-20150314-00509

When i looked at my timer more than half the match had passed and it was really dragging as i had only two-pound in the net i was on the verge of packing up but decided to try my left hand margin swim against the rushes were after plumbing up it was only slightly shallower than my far-bank so no need for a change of rig , yet again i kicked of using pellets feeding through a kinder pot trickling the bait in and i began getting indications almost straight away but nothing positive but at least i knew there was fish in the area i just hoped they were carp . I now had the problem of trying to catch them so after getting my thinking cap on i decided to put another section on which enabled me to fish further along my margin but this time i fed my worm+caster mix and with a full worm on the hook i emptied my kinder pot and lowered my rig over the top of it no sooner had my float settled than it shot under a firm strike resulted in yards of red elastic streaming from my pole tip At last i had a proper carp in the net

I just felt that i had a few fish on this line and i began picking up the odd carp so after biting of my bait-band i got my head down to see how many i could put in the net in my remaining two hours , by changing to feeding just casters through a large kinder pot and alternating hook-baits i kept fish coming it was only when i broke a hook length by trying to bully the fish in as the fight really hard and i didn’t want to disrupt other people’s swims with the pegging being really tight , it gave me the opportunity to give my rig a proper going over shortening my lash and putting a stronger hook-length with a more robust hook this really improved my catch rate a great deal and it’s really surprising how such little details can make such a difference .IMG-20150314-00511

The all out sounded in the distance and it came too soon for my liking it was just a shame that i hadn’t found them sooner , i felt that i had fished the correct areas in my peg but used the wrong bait and if i had not gone for the couple of hours during the week were i caught extremely well on pellets i would have no doubt been using maggots like 80 per cent of the other anglers here . For a change i was too engrossed with my trying to get out as many carp as possible i had forgotten to use my clicker i didn’t have a clue what weight i had but after packing up and still no signs of the weigh-in i had a sly look which resulted in me thinking i had gone over my net limit , rumours came down the straight that it had fished really hard all over the lake and as it turned out my section contained some nice bags of fish with a ton coming from the end peg then a 70lb , a 60lb and my 50lb nearly all of which i caught in the last two hours .IMG-20150905-00749

After packing my gear into the van i went to see how my mates had got on a couple had mid twenty pound weights but one had a high 70lb which managed to get him 4th and as it turned out with him framing i somehow managed to get second in section by treble default , i didn’t really feel that i had earned it but it was my first envelope for a while so i will take it and i just hope that there is plenty more to follow , well done to Matty Ruddy for winning the charity match for the third year running with 110lb from peg eight . At the moment it seems that i am only managing to compete in half of the match but by surrounding myself in a better standard of angler i hope that i can learn enough to fish a full match for a change . My next match will be the pole+match fishing subscriber classic at Tunnel barn farm in Shrewley on Friday i think that there will be nearly two hundred fishing and every lake will be in the draw bag as you would imagine i am really looking forward to it , after that all eyes will be on the natural bait festival at Weston pools and i might have a little birthday surprise before then if i can fit it in .

Old Hough fisheries , Big Max

May 24th , peg 29


As i needed to go down to Old hough fisheries to pick up my deposit for the recently cancelled festival i decided to kill two birds with one stone and see if any matches where taking place because it would be pretty pointless travelling all that way and not fishing , unfortunately there wasn’t any open matches on but after ringing round my friends i found that one of them had a clubbie on Big Max and he managed to book me on as a guest . I had never fished this water or even seen it before but i knew a few people who had fished it recently so after getting in touch i found out that it was a 32 peg water with an island about 25m away and the main species to target are carp + skimmers + f1s but there is also lots of little bits in too , also the main lines to fish would be a feeder to the island and long pole at 14m where their was a shallower bar to fish on with all this information i had time to make a plan on how best to target it .

After Saturday’s sunny weather i had heard they had caught some good weights by fishing shallow on Big Max and i quite fancied a bit of that but when i woke to find damp blustery conditions i doubted that would be a worth well tactic , on arrival at the complex after my forty minute drive i met up with the rest of the anglers on the car-park at the side of the lake and as per usual i was one of the first to arrive but it gave me the chance to have a walk around the lake. At 9 o’clock it was time for the draw and after doing my usual trick of waiting for the dodgy pegs to go before taking my chance i pulled out peg 29 which may come as no surprise to my regular readers it was only two away from were a tonne came from on the previous days open match .


On arriving at my peg it was the same as most on the lake with a good feeder chuck to the island plus a nice reed lined margin and it did look really fishy although the wind was blowing smack bang into my face but thankfully at least the drizzle had relented , obviously my tactics for todays match revolved around the information that i had received so i set up ;

Tip rod 9ft Matrix carpmaster with a 25 gram Matrix pellet feeder and my main line was 6lb which had a short six-inch hooklength with a size 18 guru LWG hook.

14m line i plumbed up to find 5ft deep and used a size 0.3 Matrix series three float with 0.14 garbo main line which had a short six-inch hook length of 0.12 garbo and attached was a size 18 hook with a micro bait band attached .

5m deck line i found this to be only six-inch deeper than my 14m line and used exactly the same rig as the above one .

Shallow rig set at 2ft deep with a size 0.3 Matrix series one float with 0.12 garbo line direct to a size 18 hook which had a micro bait band attached .


After being told of all the small fish present i decided to use a more resilient bait taking with me ;

3 pints soaked 4mm pellets

2 pints hard 6mm pellets

tin of corn

mixed tub of hard pellets for the hook

At ten o’clock i was ready to go and my plan for the match would be to start on the feeder while priming both my pole lines , i had intended to loose feed pellets on to my 14m line but with it being so windy i doubted that i would be able to fish it properly and in fact never even ventured on that swim preferring to concentrate on my top five swim which was i lot more manageable i fed this line every twenty minutes with half a cupping kit full of pellets . I cast my pellet feeder towards the island where i had earlier clipped up so that it landed 2ft away from the far-bank , i didn’t want to chuck it too close because i had heard that it was quite snaggy plus with lots of cold rain going in over night i felt the fish would be in slightly deeper water . I planned to cast every couple of minutes at first to get some bait in although my accuracy could have been a lot better , after fifteen minutes my tip shot round and i was attached to a 5lb carp which put up a spirited fight before it hit the net a further fifteen minutes past before my tip went round again with another carp of similar size coming to the bank .


Upto now i hadn’t seen many other people catch much and i was also unsure of my target weight but if they was all going to be this big they would be worth waiting for , it was noticeable that i didn’t get any liners before i had a proper pull round so i decided to re-clip up a bit further down the shelf incase they were in slightly deeper water this worked a treat as i soon began getting liners before i had a run of eight big f1s hitting the net in an hour spell before it showed signs of slowing down and to be honest i was eager to try my five meter pole line which i had primed since the match started .

My first drop resulted in a small f1 heading my way but i was getting plenty indications and a few liners to so i decided to begin cattying in pellets around my float to try to get them up in the water but after a twenty-minute spell without a bite i gave up on the idea , i began feeding heavier to keep the f1s on the deck which would make them easier to catch this worked well with a fish coming every five minutes but they were smaller than those on the feeder and i decided to increase my hook bait to an 8mm pellet which was what i had used across to the far-bank . This slowed my bite frequency at first but the f1s were twice as big and by continued feeding the peg got gradually stronger in the last two hours i added a further 21 f1s plus the odd big carp it was all going extremely well that was until i hooked something a bit bigger or was foul hooked because it shot off at a rate of knots breaking my 0.14 main line , this broke my routine and my new rig never performed the same which was strange as it was identical to the previous one .


My catch rate virtually stopped in the last twenty minutes but just before the all out i managed another big f1 and i didn’t even get chance to try my margin swim which i had fed since start this might have been a mistake as a few big lumps had been caught down the side in the last hour , after packing up i managed to catch up with the weigh in with the best weight from the first few pegs was 60lb but when we got round to the opposite side it was like a totally different lake with it being flat calm plus what felt like a couple of degrees warmer and the best weight was 83lb that stayed until they came to my peg . The first net went 48lb which i caught in the final two hours and my second net went just over 40lb this was enough for my best match catch of the year plus i also had the win which was a nice bonus although i was kicking myself for not getting the tonne as it was more than possible if i had made a few quicker decisions during the match .


I am back at Partridge lakes for the next few weeks starting with a double-header this weekend because i have my Fisho qualifier on there in June so i need to improve the results i am getting on the coveys plus i have the Pole Fishing Masters at Tunnel Barn farm soon which is my first attempt at a festival which i am obviously really looking forward too .


Sycamore fishery — Rowans

March 23rd , peg 23 Rowans


After managing to get the day of work as we was having some units fitted i decided to spend a few hours on the bank of Sycamore fishery and reacquaint myself to the f1+stockies in their , i had to stay local because i needed to drop and pick up my little lad from school as it was only a ten minute drive it was the perfect place to go . I arrived at the fishery around 930 as i was the only angler on the complex i had the tricky job of picking the right peg and i decided to go on Rowans because it had been the one in form recently because you can’t learn anything if you ain’t catching .


As the wind and rain was blowing towards Davids pool i settled on peg 23 as this would enable me to use my bait brolly which would protect everything on my side tray from the elements although it was forecast to improve by dinner time , i was only having a short three-hour session i decided to use it to try a few new things out and when i was sorting my fishing gear out i noticed that there was some muddy patches along the far-bank shelf no doubt caused from feeding fish eating the remaining bait from yesterdays match , from previous experience on the venue i figured it would be at the depth of 3ft so i set up a positive+negative rig to cover my options this was something i had only recently started doing and i needed to spend a few hours getting it right .


I had also seen recently that the new trend for f1 fishing was to leave plenty bristle showing about 5mm and also have a longish leader between pole +float so i decided to give that a try but i didn’t want to put to many different things into the equation so i could get a better representation of how the two rigs compared and i choose to keep it simple with the bait with just micro-4mm pellets – expanders plus a few grains of corn being on my side tray . At ten o’clock i was ready to get started i put on my negative rig first and with a 4mm expander on the hook micros in the small cad pot , i shipped out to 12m deposited it in the swim then lowered my hook bait amongst it no sooner had it settled when it shot under and carp number one hit the net a couple more quickly followed but i think i had either overdone it with the feed or not fed enough because i went on to foul hook my next two fish which understandably killed my peg .


In the next hour i set up multiple swims at 3ft tried both my rigs but could only add a couple more carp the drizzle finally started to ease and finally i could see a touch of blue sky , i then had a light bulb moment !!! the last carp that i caught had swam towards me and not left or right , as you all know the f1s+carp usually head back towards their shoal when you hook them so maybe they had dropped further down the slope as the cold rain had gone in . I  replumbed up just six-inch deeper this also reduced the line between pole+float and i also began feeding every five minutes to try to make something happen , after a while my float slowly slid under this time a crucian hit the net and i started on a little run of them but the bites where only little dinks so i added another stotz to dimple it right down and by doing this it really magnified any little indication .


I don’t know whether it was by dotting the float down , the constant feeding or the better conditions but i suddenly began getting among the fish again and by the end i was getting a fish nearly every few minutes . All too soon the time caught up with me and i had to call it a day with 15 carp+f1s plus half a dozen crucians hitting the bank for about 25lb in just three hours , i feel that i have learned a lot today about rigs and feeding but i need to put a few more hours in before i get to the bottom of it .

I did find today that;

Feeding every five minutes was best

My positive rig produced more bites maybe due to the windy conditions

A dimpled down float showed up bites a lot better

Sitting on one line and working the rig seemed the way to go , rather than chasing them all over your peg .

Partridge Lakes

15th April 2014 – Peg 56 Covey 3

Covey three

Covey three

After Sundays really disappointing match on here I was eager to put this behind me and try the mid-week open where they give you a lot more room, so hopefully I could prove to myself that I wasn’t doing much wrong on here and as usual for me I had come up with a plan to try to get the best from this place.

When it came to draw time I tried a new tactic and settled in at the back of the queue, but this didn’t get me the response I wanted, with a return to Covey 3 yet again! It was also in an area renowned for not throwing up nice weights, and it wasn’t long ago I was sat on peg 57 struggling but at least I knew where I was going.


On arrival at my peg I planned on fishing three main areas, and two rigs would cover these;

6 Meters shallow , 0.3 matrix series 3 with 0.12 garbo line and a 0.10 hook length , my hook was a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

Top kit margin ,4×12 malmams speedy with 0.12 garbo main line and a 0.10 garbo hook length , my hook was a size 18 gamma pellet hook .

Empty platform , same rig as above .

I tried something a bit different regarding bait today;

3 Pints of mixed maggots

1 Pint 4mm Meat

1 Pint crushed expanders

Small tub of 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded I started on my right hand margin with meat, and began flicking a dozen maggots on to my 6 meter line for later in the match, the fist hour didn’t exactly go to plan with a solitary F1 and a few missed bites on my meat line. From what I could see and hear not many other people seemed to be catching either apart from the guy on peg 54 who had the wind blowing in to his face and was catching regular on his top kit with pellet.

With this in mind I went out to my spare platform and chose to fish pellet here, I fed a kinder pot full of crushed expanders and lowered my hook bait amongst it, this produced a quick run of fish but I feel that by only feeding crushed expander resulted in me suffering a hellish run of foul hooked fish, and it left me tearing my hair out trying to figure out what was going wrong, I tried;

Altering the depths

Altering the shotting pattern

Altering feeding

Nothing seemed to work, and as a result I spent too long on this line because it promised so much but ended up delivering so little. After 2 hours I managed to drag myself away from this line and try my 6 meter shallow line, this began producing some nice fish but unfortunately they were Ide and not the hoped for F1’s, some of the bites were extremely hard to hit and just little dinks on the float, I didn’t realise how finicky they could be.

I decided to re-try my spare platform again hoping that the rest might have done it some good, but in fact it seemed even worse because although I was now hooking fish they were either bolting off into the near by reed bed or coming off on the way in, and it was now approaching the last hour so another change was in order.

The guy on the peg to my right was still catching on his top kit, so I decided to follow suit and go on to my meat line again, but this time with maggot. I was flicking a dozen over the top of the float and it didn’t take long before I started catching fish, but by regular feeding this brought them up off the deck, so after a change of shotting pattern to on the drop I started picking up Ide,F1’s and Carp. By the end I was bagging up but my slow start cost me dearly, because in the last hour I must have caught over 20lb!

When the all out sounded I was unsure how I had got on, and I was pleasantly surprised when my net weighed 43lb, 66lb won the lake and with better time management I’m sure I could have caught that, on a brighter note there was 3x100lb+ weights, so it fished well even after the over night frost. Looking back at my match I learned a hell of a lot, and it fished totally different to the Sunday opens, I will be back on Thursday for another try, and need to work out exactly how best to target it.