Old hough fishery , winter league round two


October 29th

Today i have been back  to Old Hough fisheries for the second round of my winter league and this time it was going to take place on boulders + goose which is somewhere that i have not fished for over twelve months so i was really looking forward to the contest especially after my good result in the first round , after yesterday’s very blustery conditions I was glad to wake up and see it a lot calmer but with bright skies plus colder conditions it could make things a bit difficult although on these lakes you was targeting silver fish with the odd carp coming out .

On arrival to the fishery i meet up with the other anglers and a few of them had fished a couple of matches on these waters which would obviously give them an advantage but from what i heard there seemed to be a lot more carp showing than i thought , it soon came round to draw time and when i had a dip in the bag of doom pulling out peg 11 which i was pleased with as it was an area that I had fished before , doing well winning the match with nearly 50lb of ide although I was definitely on the colder side of the lake with the trees blocking out the sun.

I decided to set up ;

Two foot rig for fishing tight to the far bank and i used a 0.4 Md diamond float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Three foot rig for fishing at 11m which was about half way up the far slope and i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Five foot rig for fishing at six meters down the track and i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Bait for the day was ;

Four pints of red maggots

Two pints of 4mm pellets

Two pints of ground bait

When the all in sounded i started my match by fishing across at 14m tight to the over hanging reeds i put in a large kinder pot of maggots and a nugget of ground-bait  but this only produced a stockie carp plus a few small silvers in the first hour , looking around i saw everyone fishing in the same area and was struggling just like me but in the back of my mind I knew that the fish wouldn’t want to be in the shallow water but i got suckered into going tight across . I decided to drop further down the shelf in a depth of 3ft at 11m and by feeding maggots through a kinder pot then letting my rig fall up the slope , doing this produced a few nice ide but I made the mistake of changing my feeding to using a catty which didn’t work for me and i switched because i hoped that it would drag more fish into the peg which it did but only tiny silvers .

Since the match started I had potted in maggots on my left hand channel swim at six meters and when I dropped on it after two hours I caught some decent ide between the small silvers but it gradually got better , as i began catching a few small carp and i felt that with it being hard going i needed to rest this line for a while so I put in another track swim six meters to my right but this one I fed with a big kinder pot of maggots , it didn’t take to long for the fish to settle on the bait and i had a good run of fish including a couple of barbel but as the contest went on with the conditions getting colder ( on my side of the lake anyway as the opposite bank they were sitting in t-shirts ) the bites were getting really delicate and often the slightest of dinks on the float would result in a big carp and for the rest of the match I rotated between them both, the swims got better and better as the bigger fish bullied the smaller silvers out of the peg.

The all out called time on a really enjoyable match as I caught a proper mixed bag of fish not knowing what i would be putting in the net next which made a nice change from all the f1 fishing i had done recently and when the scales arrived I had 27lb to beat , my net went 44lb which was enough for the lake and overall match win so thats two out of two lake wins in the winter league I’m back there next Sunday for round three on boulders and goose again where i am sure to come crashing to earth with a bump .

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Bradshaws fishery


13th August

After a bit of badgering from the rest of the Daiwa adlington squad i headed to Bradshaw’s fishery near Bolton to contest the open on lake 8+9 and as i had not fished it before i was quite looking forward to it , especially as the weather had settled down a bit with blue skies plus a slight increase in temperature . On arrival to the fishery i was one of the first there and i found out that the draw was only going to take place at 930 so yet again i had a bit of hanging about to do , i did want to have a look at the lakes in the match today as i hadn’t even seen them yet but i noticed that the gates to them was locked when i drove down to the cabin , so i decided to have a walk round the other lakes on the complex and when i got back there was a few more people knocking about including a couple of the squad members , we had a chat about how best to target things today but they wasnt giving much away .

It was nearly draw time so i joined the queue towards the rear and when it came to my turn for a go in the bag of doom i pulled out peg 14 which was on lake eight but that was a much as i knew till i got to the other car park , before i unpacked my gear i went to try to find my home for the next few hours and it was situated over one of the bridges , there was only two pegs on this little split so i had a bit of room and the far bank was about 13m away which had a couple of reed beds plus a mud bank , i also had a reed bed along my left hand margin and a lily bed a bit behind me towards my right at the side of the bridge , so i had quite a few options and it could be very easier to confuse yourself by trying to many different things especially on your first visit .

While i was putting my gear on the trolley i took the opportunity to have a chat with one of the venue superstars who kindly pointed me in the right direction and it seemed that i was in a reasonable are which was a positive sign , when i got back to my peg i had a bit of a plan in mind and decided to set up ;

Margin both left and right in two foot depth , i used a 4×12 MD diamond float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Six meter channel rig in 5ft depth for under my shallow swim , i used a 4×12 MD maggot float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern .

Shallow rig in 18 inch and i used a 4×10 MD mini maggie float with a bulk of number eleven stotz above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Across rig at three-foot for in front of the far bank reeds , i used a 4×12 MD roob style float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length and i altered this for a bulk plus dropper when i changed to using maggots .

Mud line in 18 inch and i used a 4×12 MD mini maggie float which had an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of white maggots

2 pints 4mm soaked pellets

1 pint of micros

3 pints of ground-bait

small tub 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded i began on my three foot rig across in front of a reed bed and after tapping in a nugget of ground-bait before holding my rig still over the top of it , with not much happening i had to start sprinkling in micros to try to draw some fish into the swim and it took a further ten minutes before i had my first f1 but even after my slow start i wasnt to worried because nobody around me was catching a great deal . I had another bite less ten minutes before the tiniest of indication on the float resulted in my next f1 and there just didn’t seem to be much in front of me , i had another spell of inactivity so i tried putting in another nugget of ground-bait in to try to kick-start the swim but it just brought in some gudgeon and small silvers not exactly what i had in mind . With an hour of the match passed and only two f1s in the net it was time to re plumb up another line towards my left , this time i changed to feeding half a dozen 4mm pellets every few minutes and this resulted in another quick f1 before it all went quiet yet again even the gudgeon had deserted me .

I had been loose feeding 4mm pellets every few minutes since the match started on my six meter swim so i dropped on this with my deck rig to see if the fish were in the deeper water and i would also keep an eye out for liners to signal that they might be shallow but i had not seen anything top in front of me , after what seemed like an age my float finally dipped under resulting in another f1 in the net quickly followed by two more and i hopped that i could get a run of fish but my next couple of fish were small hand sized tench . Even though i hadn’t seen any signs of movement up in the water i decided to give my shallow rig ago but as i thought i didn’t even get a bite in twenty minutes and with nearly half the match gone i was really struggling with just a handful of f1s in the net so it was time for a complete re think .

I decided to scrap the pellets and concentrate on using maggots , i began potting in ground-bait on to my mud bank and i also plumbed up a new swim towards my right in 2ft of water tight to the cover dumping maggots through a large kinder pot doing this dramatically transformed my match , as i caught an f1 straight away before the ide moved in and i changed my shotting to give a slow fall of the hook bait this worked really well as i had a run of forty ide in the next hour , although my 11 Preston hollo elastic was a bit too strong for the 10oz ide and a few either splashed on top as soon as i hooked them or came off at the net which might have disrupted the shoal because bites came to an abrupt end , i tried setting up a new swim towards my left at the side of some reeds thinking that they might have backed off but strangely that never really kicked off for me .

I noticed some movement on my mud bank so i quickly changed rigs my float had only just settled when my elastic shot off resulting in a small carp hitting the net and i then had a little run of fish all of which were a different species , bites began to tail off so rather than keep plundering the shoal i put in a cup full of ground-bait and another of maggots before going back to my original 2ft swim , this time i caught a couple of small roach so i decided to put all my shot above the hook length which would hopefully bolt the maggots through the silvers and i started picking up the odd ide before the f1s moved in , by swapping between this swim and my mud bank i ended up with a dozen more f1s+carp before the all out sounded .

As i began packing up i couldn’t help but think that i had wasted half of the match trying to get pellets to work but as I’m really new to the venue i was always going to make some mistakes and the later part of the match showed just how well it can fish , i ended up with 50 ide plus 18 f1s+carp and when the scales arrived my two nets went just under 50lb this was good enough to win the section quite comfortably as i had a dnw one side then a 16lb to my other so i was quite pleased with my effort today , overall the match was won with just over a ton and a couple of mid 80lb got into the frame so wasnt a million of miles away but the only thing is I’m not sure when i will get chance to get back as the cunneries league starts in September .

Mosella summer league at Hall lane round one


May 13th

Today i was off to Hall lanes fishery in Rufford for the first round of the Mosella summer league which was taking place on Bessie’s pool and i haven’t really fished this water a great deal so i was quite looking forward to it , even after struggling on the practice match a couple of weeks ago but that gave me a few things to work out so i felt better prepared and to be honest i needed a good performance if i was going to have a chance because the quality of angler taking part was pretty high .

On arrival to the fishery i noticed that the wind was blowing strongly towards the car park which could make fishing across to the mud lines quite difficult and after booking on i had a walk around the lake , down the opposite end of the water the wind wasnt as bad and i fancied drawing between 20-40 so quite a few to go at but just because it was suitable fishing conditions on these pegs i was still new to the venue and maybe the fish wouldn’t want to be there .

When i got back to the car it was time for the draw so i joined the queue about half way and when it was my turn in the bag of doom i pulled out peg two , not where i wanted to be because i had the worst of the wind to contend with plus it didn’t fish great in this area on the practice match but on the positive side i hadn’t far to walk . As i settled in at my home for the next few hours i decided to set up a few rigs to give me plenty options because i felt i could be scratching around for most of the match ;

Margin rig in front of the reeds where it was 3ft deep i didn’t feel that the carp would come right into the edge because it rained quite heavily over night which would have cooled the water down a bit and i decided to use a 0.3 MD diamond float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern i hoped that this would help keep my bait still in the rough conditions , my main line was the usual 0.14 garbo which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached to it and my elastic was preston green hollo .

Top four at the bottom of the near slope which is the swim which i caught majority of my fish on the last visit here and i used a 0.4 MD wire stemmed float for stability it had a bulk plus two droppers spread along my usual 0.14 garbo which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached to it and my elastic was Preston green hollo .

Three foot rig for fishing in front of the far bank reeds and i used a 0.4 MD wire stemmed float for stability it had a bulk plus two droppers spread along my usual 0.14 garbo which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached to it and my elastic was Preston green hollo .

Mud bank line where it was about a foot deep and i used a 0.4 MD wire stemmed float for stability it had a staggered bulk spread along my usual 0.14 garbo which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached to it and my elastic was Preston green hollo .

Bait for the day was ;

three pints of white maggots

two pint of 4mm pellets

small tub of 4mm expanders

I began the match by fishing across in front of the reeds and after feeding a kinder pot full of maggots before laying my rig in so that it fell up the slope which would help me keep the float still in the rough conditions , after a couple of feeds i had my first indication not long after i had my first fish which was an ide over a pound and in the first hour i put two carp plus four big ide in the net , things were going reasonably well i just hoped that it would continue but i had maybe put too much feed in or the better stamp had backed off because all i could catch was small hand sized skimmers .

I noticed that the lads either side of me were picking up the odd carp on the mud lines so i decided to follow suit and after picking up a carp straight away i had to wait ages for an indication , so i decided to be a bit positive and big potted maggots on my mud line , while i waited for any signs of carp i set up a new swim across in three-foot towards my left where my empty peg was and i began trickling in maggots through a kinder pot as i didn’t want to over feed the peg like on my original line ,  this produced a couple more carp and ide but it wasnt hectic by any means it just seemed like there wasnt a lot of fish present in this area of the lake .

I saw a swirl on my mud line and quickly shipped across and a picked up a carp straight away but i didn’t have another sign so put in another big pot of maggots in , while it settled i went for a look on my top four swim which i had kinder potted some maggots in every twenty minutes since the match started so i hoped that a few fish had settled on it , yet again i had a quick carp before the skimmers moved in and although it was nice putting fish in the net they wasnt big enough or coming quick enough for me to do the weight needed and when i caught an eel i choose to big pot it with maggots to see if i could get the carp back .

I had a look on my margin swim where i had thrown a dozen maggots since the match started but surprisingly i never had an indication from it and for the rest of the match i rotated between all my lines but only really caught on my three-foot across swims , i should have really put in another line at this depth but that would have meant going 16m towards my left and the strengthening wind would have made it a bit awkward controlling the pole .

The all out called time on a rather frustrating match as i couldn’t get a run of fish from anywhere and you needed to just go tight across then wait for a carp to turn up in the harder areas not exactly riveting fishing , im sure that there would be a method to work out so that you could keep putting fish in the net even if they are just silvers . When the scales arrived at my peg i had thirty pounds which consisted of eight carp plus a similar amount of big silvers , this put me third in the section getting beat by the lads either side of me so not the start to the league that i wanted and im going to miss the next round due to it clashing with the tricast festival at Weston pools over the bank holiday weekend so i need to pull my finger out if i want to do any good .

Adlington angling center

Cunneries fishery pairs


May 1st

Cunneries S canal

I was back at the cunneries fishery today to fish the pairs contest with my team daiwa adlington captain and as this was the third competition on the trot plus lack of sleep you can safely say that i wasnt feeling great when i woke up in the morning , but even though i didn’t really fancy it i had made plans and don’t like letting people down so i had some breakfast then headed off to the fishery . After my short drive to the venue i had perked up a little its surprising what a couple of shots of caffeine can do and after speaking to a couple of the mossella lads while i waited for the captain to show up , everybody wanted to draw down the opposite of the car park as that was where the wind had blown all weekend and some nice weights had come out from that area on the saturday team match , surprisingly i only had twenty minutes to wait before my partner turned up we had a bit of a discussion on which lake we wanted because i wouldn’t have minded another go on hawk lake but he wanted to go on it as well so i backed down and ended up on the s canal .

It soon came round to draw time i joined the queue towards the middle and when it was my turn for a dip in the bag of doom i pulled out peg 15 just your standard end peg unfortunately i was on the wrong end of the canal today but i would give it my best shot because my captain was on a decent peg on kestrel lake with the wind blowing his way and i didn’t want to let him down , when i arrived at my home for the next few hours i had an empty peg either side of me and a reed lined margin+far bank so apart from it being flat calm in front of me it looked really promising , i decided to keep things really simple today and chose to set up ;

3ft rig for my margin and far bank tight to the reeds i used a 4×10 MD maggot float with an on the drop shoting pattern which would enable me to hopefully pick up a few f1s as the rig settled , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

4ft rig for fishing half way up both far bank + near slope i used a 4×12 MD  maggot float with a bulk plus a dropper shoting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

1ft shallow rig for fishing in front of both sets of reeds because in the last few matches on here i have suffered a lot with line bites as the fish had come up of the deck , i used a 4×10 MD mini maggie float my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

I had a bit of a change with the bait today as only had three pints of white maggots on my side tray .

When the all in sounded i began on my four-foot rig because although we had bright blue skies it was still relatively cold and bearing this in mind i took it easy with the feed just tapping in a few maggots every couple of minutes , it took me about twenty minutes before i had my first fish which was a nice stamp f1 and another quickly followed then it all went a bit quiet so i set up another swim towards my left then started again this produced a couple more f1s but it just didn’t feel like i was fishing in the right depth , after looking around the lake everybody was in the same boat as me struggling to put more than two fish together from any swim but the anglers that were catching were fishing tight across to the reeds and i decided to follow suit , i was still being negative with the feed but thinking about it now that might have been the reason the f1s didnt settle anyway going back to today’s match my across lines produced the odd fish but nothing in any numbers and with half the match gone i was going nowhere fast as i only had a dozen f1s in the net .

I had fed my left hand top three margin by hand since the match started i hoped that yet again it would get me out of trouble and thankfully i was into fish straight away as i managed half a dozen in a twenty-minute spell but It soon died on me i kept on feeding it and went back onto my across swims to give it a rest but these only produced the odd indication , i needed to find a line which i could keep putting something in the net so a plumbed up at eleven meters right into my left hand corner and on this area i kinder potted in maggots , this kicked off straight away and for the rest of the match i rotated between my two margin swims catching four from each before switching so i wouldn’t empty each area of fish , i did lose a few fish on my far line as i played the fish round in front of me it was a bit frustrating because i would get them onto the top kit and began to apply a bit of pressure then the hook would pull i think this might be down to the fine wire of the guru maggot hooks these are fine for winter but a change will be needed now that i have upped my elastic for summer bagging .

When the all in sounded i had managed to have a really good last couple of hours and i had 47 f1s on the clicker i was the last angler to weigh in on my section of the s canal and i put 61lb on the scales , the lad to my right had caught less than me but weighed a couple of pounds more so it seems that the stamp of fish are a bit smaller when using maggots which is something to bear in mind before my next visit , my net of fish was good enough for me to win the section so i had done my bit and i just needed a good result from the captain if we had any chance of finishing in the money , surprisingly there was only one pair of anglers who had a maximum two points and then a couple of lads on three points but unfortunately we ended up with four points which was only good enough for a top six finish .

Hopefully i have enough time in the week to sort out my rigs and get the rest of my stuff together before next weekends double-header were i am back at cunneries for the team of three and then at widows flash for the angling times supercup against crown tackle which is a bit of a local derby match .

Old Hough winter league


November 27th . peg 16 goose lake

Goose lake

Today was the fifth round of my winter league at Old Hough fishery and after missing the last round plus the next round as i had other commitments fishing the teams of four at Partridge lakes so i needed a top three finish in the remaining matches if i wanted to stay towards the head of the table , as you would expect for the time of year it was rather cold with lots of lakes near me suffering a freeze so to be honest i wasnt expecting a great deal from the day’s fishing but as we would be targeting mainly silvers i hoped that i would still get the odd bite or too . After my journey down the M6 where there was still plenty of restricted zones which showed no sign of ending any time soon , i arrived with plenty time to spare and i was surprised to find that the road into the fishery had been finished so at least that should cut some time off my next trip down to Old Hough, when i got to the car park near the lake i was glad that the waters wasnt frozen but all the talk was of how bad they had fished during the week with anglers struggling to get into double figures .

Unsurprisingly in the conditions a few anglers had decided not to attend which meant we all had a bit of room and usually i would think this would be a bad thing as the fish often back away into the space but as we was fishing for silvers i didn’t expect it to be a problem especially as they had put the pegs in which had a bit of cover along the far bank , as the draw started i broke my ritual of hanging back and went for an early dip in the bag of doom , i managed to get peg 16 on Goose lake which was in one of the better areas on the water although i wasnt that far away from where i struggled on my last visit and it’s weird how the fish like to be in this corner of the lake .

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After settling in at my home for the next few hours i was pleased with the amount of options that i had ;

Dead reed bed along both margins

A few over hanging reeds along the far bank

A point of the island to my left

Plenty open water to my left as well .

So as you can tell i had plenty of areas to target but in the cold conditions i didn’t want to be spreading bait all over my peg and after plumbing up i decided to fish ;

Four foot rig , i used this for fishing in front of both margin reed beds plus across on the far bank slope and as i would be using maggots i set up a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk+two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i started on a six-inch 010 garbo hook length but was prepared to drop down if i was struggling for bites .

Channel pellet rig six meters to my left , i used a 4×14 roob float it had an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 010 garbo hook length so a nice positive rig which should show up the slightest indication .

Channel maggot rig six meters to my right , i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk+two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i started on a six-inch 010 garbo hook length but was prepared to drop down if i was struggling for bites .

Bait for the day was ;

Two pints of red and white maggots .

One pint of soaked micros .

One pint of crushed expanders although i would have liked to have used my usual ground-bait but had left it at home .

Small tub of 4mm expanders .

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When the all in sounded i began on my pellet swim in the deep water and i was pretty confident that this would produce for me even in these wintry conditions because there was plenty of hand sized skimmers in this lake , as i was uncertain of what weight to target today i just wanted to start putting something in the net until i knew how bad the lake was going to fish , after tapping in a nugget of groundbait i lowered my rig in over the top of keeping my float really still and i didn’t have to wait too long before i began getting indications , i was soon putting the odd skimmer or crucian in the net although they was only small i was doing a lot better than those anglers within eye shot and out of the blue i landed a nice chunky f1 just over a pound i had hoped there might be a few of them settled on my feed but it was just a loner .

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After an hour i began to trickle in maggots on my two margin swims and right hand channel line i planned on rotating the three swims as i hoped this would keep me adding to my net , starting on my channel swim i had four half pound ide in quick succession before indications slowed and as i originally figured the fish didn’t want to settle in the clear water so i dropped onto my left hand margin this produced a  couple of hand sized crucians , i kept tapping in half a dozen maggots on each swim and even though i was targeting silvers i didn’t want to feed too much incase the fish backed off , by swapping+changing between the three lines i was adding fish too my net it wasnt hectic by any means but it kept topping up my net .

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With ninety minutes remaining i went across for the first time and i began catching straight away although they was smaller than on my other swims, i found it best to tap some maggots in then drag my rig up the shelf a bit by doing this it helped to keep my float still because i had a bit of a side wind to contest with and i kept getting the odd bite from ide+chub , after a while my elastic shot out from the pole and i had a short fight with a near 2lb barbel which certainly boosted my weight but this killed the swim so i replumbed up a new line towards the point of the island , this wasnt as good as my original swim but by rotating between the both of them i kept adding the occasional fish but in the last thirty minutes it went really cold and bites just stopped for everybody .

When the all out sounded i was unsure on how i had got on because I’m still getting used to estimating my weight when silver fishing but i admitted to about ten pounds and reckoned that i had beaten the lads within eye shot but couldn’t see a couple who was round the other side , when the scales arrived i followed it around the lake because i was one of the last to weigh in and there was a few low weights around the 5lb mark but the lad on peg five had a mainly all carp net which went 18lb  i knew that i would struggle to beat that as i didn’t have enough bonus fish , as i feared by net only went 14lb it was still a good net of silvers and it also meant that i had finished second on the lake which i was made up with i felt that i had fished a good match catching from all over the peg .

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I’m back at Partridge lakes for the winter league teams of four next Sunday and looking at the results from the opens during the week it could be really hard work , so it could be all over at the draw bag but it will be the same for everybody i suppose .

 

Partridge lakes winter league


November 6th , peg 119 covey five

Today was the first round of the teams of four at Partridge lakes and it was to take place on the old lakes plus covey 5+6 which was the waters that i dont normally fish because the opens usually take place on covey 1+4 so it would make a nice change to go on these , the weather leading up to today’s contest had been quite cold a sure sign that winter was on its way and as a consquence the fishing had been rather tough but it was the same for everyone . After the short drive to the fishery i met up with the rest of 2+2 team and we had a good chat about what we expected from today’s contest , before we knew it the rolling draw had started so the team captain went to have a go in the bag of doom and when he came back i was on peg 119 covey five , he was on peg 20 ribbon and the other two lads was on spey + covey six i can not remember the exact numbers , we had a couple of reasonable areas but no flyers so with it being the first round we wanted a nice steady match and not to blow out completely like we did last year .

On arriving at my home for the next few hours i was up against some good pegs in my section with 115+117 having the wind blowing there way and 121 was a meter or so wider than my peg with a nice reed bed across that usually holds plenty of fish , as usual on these big competitions i had my mossella nemesis not far away on peg 123 although he wasnt in my section thankfully ,i had a dead reed bed towards my left which looked promising with the odd little silver swirling at the side of it but on the down side it was less than eleven meters wide so i would have to be careful not to put lots of swims in splitting any fish in front of me and with that in mind i decided to set up ;

4ft maggot rig this would cover multiple areas of my peg and i used a 4×12 maggie float that had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , i had my usual 014 garbo main line which had a six inch 010 hook length and my hook was a size 18 f1 maggot hook .

3ft maggot rig for fishing further up the far shelf and i didnt expect to go any shallower in the conditions , i used a 4×12 maggie float that had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , i had my usual 014 garbo main line which had a six inch 010 hook length and my hook was a size 18 f1 maggot hook .

Channel maggot swim and i expected this to be my main swim so i put it six meters too my right , i used a 4×14 maggie float that had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , i had my usual 014 garbo main line which had a six inch 010 hook length and my hook was a size 18 f1 maggot hook .

4ft pellet swim like the same depth maggot rig i could use this all other my peg if the f1s decided to feed on pellets today and i used a 4×14 roob float with an inch spread bulk above the short four inch 010 garbo hook length.

3ft dobbing rig i used a 0.2 matrix series three float with my bulk under my float with just two size eleven stotz down the 014 garbo main line and i had a six inch 010 garbo hook length with a size 16 f1 pellet hook attached .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints red and white maggots

1 pint of soaked micros

1 pint of crushed expander

1 slice of bread

When the all in sounded i began by dobbing a 7mm punch of bread along the edge of the left hand reed bed but even going in to every nook and cranny i couldnt get a single indication even though the lad on 121 was picking up the odd small f1 doing it towards the far bank reeds , so after a bite less twenty minutes i decided to change it to a maggot swim and after tapping in half a dozen maggots i laid my rig in keeping a tight line so my hook bait would fall slowly , it took a couple of feeds before i began getting any bites at first all i could catch were gudgeon but i hoped that they might grab the attention of any passing f1s and to some extent it worked because i managed to catch a couple of 2lb carp in between the gudgeon , i think that i might have got a bit giddy with the amount of maggots i was feeding because after thirty minutes i failed to get any sort of indication so with an hour of the contest gone i had about 5lb in the net which wasnt to bad in the cold conditions .

My next swim was 4ft across to the far bank i started on my pellet rig first and i tapped in a nugget of crushed expander then lowered my hook bait slowly over the top of it , the gusty wind was making keeping the rig still hard work but when i managed to stop the pole from moving about i managed the odd indication and i put two or three small f1s in the net , strangely i found if i fed any micros i would just get liners and after foul hooking a couple of fish they backed off out of the swim , thinking about it now i should have gone a bit further up the slope into three foot which might have got me a few more f1s but instead i tried to turn it into a maggot line which didnt really work as i struggled for indications , even after putting in a few different lines across i couldn’t add to my net and it was only when i went into three foot that i started picking up the odd fish again although most of them were small chub .

Another look at the side of the reed bed produced a quick f1 and a chub but nothing else , i was really struggling to put a run of fish together from anywhere and i had an hour where i couldnt get a bite from any part of my peg , i wanted to leave my channel swim for as long as i could so that hopefully a few fish could settle on it but with nowhere else producing i had no other option , i managed a couple of quick f1s then it just died on me and yet again thinking about it after the match i definitely over fed it as i was putting in about fifty maggots every half an hour , i did try putting on a couple more sections going further towards my right and being really negative but i think the damage had already been done especially as the lad on 117 was catching well from his channel swim .

With thirty minutes of the match remaining i went on to my left hand swim but plumbed up another line towards the back of the reed bed , i trickled in a couple of maggots every few minutes to try to interest some fish and after awhile my float shot under which took me by surprise after the long spell of inactivity , i then managed a little run of f1s right up to the all out and i was kicking myself for not going on it sooner but thats fishing for you . I ended up with a dozen f1s plus a few bits and pieces which i felt wasnt good enough to be anywhere near the top half of the section as it turned out i was correct because my net put me 4th with just 20lb , although i was fairly confident that i couldn’t challenge for 1st as peg 115 had 38lb , 2nd was peg 121 with 31lb who seemed to be catching for most of the match and i thought that he would have a lot more than that weight , but i was disappointed with myself on not beating  117 who had just over 21lb this meant i was only a couple of f1 short and as a few things didnt work out for me today i felt i was a tad unlucky but thats the way it goes sometimes , on the team front we ended up with 14 points as we had two 4th in section and two second in section so not a bad start as we ended up about 8th out of the twenty teams taking part .

Im off to Old Hough next weekend for the third round of the winter league which is going to take place on Lucky dip + Prospect not my favorite lakes on the complex but i will be trying my best as i need a good result after the last round where i ended up fifth .