Goose green fishery


Goose green fishery

Goose green fishery

Today’s match was going to take place on Goose green fishery which was where Trafford angling had decided to take us for the first round of the Angling Times super cup and as none of our squad had even seen the water before, obviously we wanted a practice chuck before the match took place in a fortnight’s time, I managed to find a bit of information about the venue through social media and I got told that it was a very deep lake with the main species to target being skimmers averaging two pounds and roach , so using this info i could put a plan together and as a result I felt pretty happy with my tactics for the day.

The weather leading up to the match hadn’t been great as we had to contend with strong winds plus heavy rain and today was no different we also had the added threat of a thunderstorm , luckily on the morning i woke to find it draw and i just hopped that it would stay that way for most of the day , after packing the van with my fishing gear and putting the address in my sat nav i headed off on my short thirty mile journey to the fishery , it took me nearly an hour to get there with lots of roadworks and temporary speed limits i even drove past the complex as it wasnt sign posted and you had to go down an unmarked road to get there . As a result I was one of the last to arrive and i only expected to know the organiser of the match but as usual for me i found a couple of friendly faces that i recognised from various matches around the north-west , i was a bit surprised to see the size of the lake we would be fishing it also had no permanent pegs so we had to put them where we thought they should go and as the wind was blasting towards the disabled pegs those were left out which meant everyone was a lot closer together and i mean close together being four meters apart at a push which was far from ideal .

After the hustle+bustle of the draw it was time for my pick and there was two left to choose from one which was in the teeth of the storm the other with the wind of my back this time i got lucky picking out the latter one , on settling in at my home for the next few hours i had already got a plan in mind but i was unsure whether it would be worth setting up the tip rod as nearly every one around me would be chucking to the very small island i decided i would give it a try but fish it around twenty meters ;

Six meter line , i plumbed up to find it was nearly 6ft deep so i used a 4×14 maggie float with a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was 009 garbo which had a size 20 matrix silver hook attached .

Thirteen meter line , here i found it was over 9ft so i used an 0.6 scone float with a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was 009 garbo which had a size 20 matrix silver hook attached .

Feeder line at twenty meters i used a twenty gram open-ended swim feeder which had a six-inch twisted loop boom and a 2ft hook length of 010 garbo that had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached.

Bait for the day was ;

Two pints of red+white maggots

Half pint of pinkies

Three pints of pro natural groundbait mixed 50/50 with brown crumb

When the all in for the match started i fed four balls on my six meter line and six balls onto my thirteen meter then went on to my feeder line while it settled , i cast every five minutes so i could get some bait down and after four casts i had my first indication on the tip which resulted in a skimmer around the pound mark not a bad start to the session , i then began getting lots of little shakes on the float but nothing positive and then i picked up a small silver around 2oz not what i wanted to be catching after forty minutes without another skimmer i decided to go on my pole line to see what had settled on it . By now the wind had got a lot stronger which made holding the pole a lot more difficult this obviously had a bearing on my presentation and i also had to go lay six-inch of line on the deck to counter act the undertow i began catching a lot of silvers but they was a smaller stamp than i would have liked , since the match began i had loose fed maggots on my six meter line so when i dropped on it i expected an instant response and that’s what i got yet again they were smaller than i would have liked but at least i was catching quicker .

After a couple of hours the sky went black and we could see the thunder-storm heading our way in the distance , the heavens opened and not only put a dampener on the anglers but also on the fishing as the bites slowed right down which wasnt surprising , gradually it began getting better and it was noticeable that more and more skimmers were hitting the bank around the lake as the match progressed but my peg seemed to be getting worse as the bites deteriorated .With an hour of the match remaining the storm settled above us and we was greeted to some nice natural fireworks it didn’t look like it would be moving anytime soon so we called a halt to the match , after packing up it was time for the weigh in and it would be interesting to see how everyone got on as we all had a slight twist on how we attacked our pegs today , apart from two of us who struggled by fishing in a similar way me being one of them we all managed over double figures with nearly 30lb winning which wasnt bad in just four hours and it gave us a good idea on how to target the match but it will be very difficult beating Trafford angling on their home patch .

Tomorrow i will be back at Weston pools for the Drennon backed bank holiday open i just hope this weather improves and i can get back among the fish , below is a short video on todays match hope you enjoy it .

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Weston pools Belvedere lake


Sunday 20th March, peg 27 Belvedere

I had looking forward to getting back to Weston pools for some time because it is turning into my favourite fishery, not sure why but it just keeps me coming back and with all my winter leagues having finished I jumped at the chance especially, as I would be contesting the Easter bank holiday contest, I hadn’t been for nearly five months since the big autumn match in October, I was going to use it as a bit of a fact finding mission so I could reacquaint myself with the fishery. I had been keeping an eye on the recent results which showed winning weights around the sixty pound mark a lot less than could be expected in the height of summer but as we were just on the cusp of spring, I thought it was pretty reasonable for the time of year.

The draw time at Weston had just been changed so there was no need for an early start and I headed off on my sixty mile journey just before eight o’clock as it was nearly all motorway miles , arrived with plenty time to spare this gave me chance to have a walk around the fishery. It looked a lot different with all the vegetation, not in full bloom and strangely the lakes looked a lot smaller than I remembered. When I got back to the cabin it was nearly time for the draw as there would be 36 anglers contesting the match they decided to put a dozen on Weir, Belvedere and Stretton; this would give everyone a spare peg when it came for my turn at the draw bag I picked 27 Belvedere. not where I wanted to be, I had fished the area twice before struggling both times but there isn’t much I could do about so off I went to my home for the next few hours.

Open settling in at my peg I decided to keep things simple setting up;

Top three swim, here I was going to be using pellets so I used a 4×14 malman roob float which had a split bulk starting above the four-inch garbo 010 hook length.

Margin swim, I positioned this at the side of my empty left hand platform were I plumbed up to find just under 4ft and I used a 4×12 malman speedy float which had a staggered bulk above the six-inch garbo 012 hook length.

13m swim, I set two rigs up on this line so I could fish on the deck with a 4×12 RW maggie float with an on the drop shotting pattern so, I could fish through the water and my other rig was for fishing shallow incase they came up in the water.

My bait for the day was;

2 pints of red and white maggots

2 pints of fishery micros

1 pint of fishery 4mm pellets

small tub 4mm expanders

small tub of white hooker pellets

For a change I was ready well before the all in and, at eleven o’clock it sounded in the distance I began on my top three pellet swim, I tapped in a few micros then lowered my rig carefully in among it and waited, nothing happened for five minutes so I trickled in a few more. I was being really careful with the feed as the water was still cold, another ten minutes without a sign and I made a decision to flick three 4mm pellets around the float every couple of minutes to try to force the swim, because trickling in micros wasnt working if it didn’t work I figured that I wouldn’t be staying too long on that line anyway, luckily the noise of the pellets hitting the water attracted some fish into the swim as, I began getting indications but for some reason I missed them all even though they were proper gazunders and they might have been line bites because they wasnt your normal expander bites.

I had been cattying in a dozen maggots on my 11m swim since the match started and, after forty minutes I went on it hoping that some fish might have settled on it, but another twenty minutes without an indication had me a bit worried because other than the two anglers facing the pots to my left had caught a fish. Finally I had a little dip on the float which took me by surprise as I hadn’t had a sign in nearly ninety minutes but this got my attention and it wasnt long after when I had another bite. This resulted in an Ide around the pound mark hitting the net one more quickly followed, I hoped that a few more might of settled on the bait but for some reason they just disappeared on me, I was puzzled at the reason why maybe the splash on the surface after I hooked it had disturbed the shoal my 8-10 NG gilbert elastic being too strong for them but its hard to get the balance right between being soft enough for Ide and strong enough for the Barbel.

With no more bites coming on my long line I gave my margin swim a go, mainly to see if I could sneak out a bonus barbel or two but not even a liner after twenty minutes. Soon it had me picking up the long rig again, yet again I picked up a couple of Ide pretty quickly before they backed off and I decided to plumb up another swim at the same distance to my left I found it to be four-inch shallower but I could still use the same rig for both. My reason for doing this was that I could hopefully pick fish off from both of them and rotating between the two should keep me catching for most of the match, but it didn’t work out like that and as it turned out I could only catch from my original deeper one, I should have gone further out or put another one to my left were it was a similar depth but I was being a bit lazy.

Altering my feeding from the catty to using a medium sized cad pot and shotting to a bulk+dropper, my reason for changing was that all the fish seemed to be coming from the deck and luckily it got me the response I required because it got me back among the fish again mainly Ide but I did manage two f1s, I kept rotating my lines but I could only get indications on my original far line which was strange. So with just twenty minutes of the match remaining I dropped onto my barbel line, between my nets and my float buried straight away which took me by surprise as I didn’t react quick enough and it had me under the nets before I could blink. I did manage to get one out around the 3lb mark and I was kicking myself for not going on it sooner as the all out sounded in the distance.

The scales soon arrived at the lake and the anglers opposite had caught quite well, especially the ones that had some sort of feature to fish against; there was a forty pound weight and a couple of low thirty pound nets before they arrived at my peg, the dozen Ide, two f1s and a solitary barbel I managed went 19lb so I was a bit off the pace which, was only to be expected after not visiting Weston pools for over five months! I’m back there on Easter Monday for another try before that I have a practice match on Goose green fishery for the super-cup which, I’m looking forward to although the weather isn’t forecast to be great with it being a bit damp+breezy good for skimmer fishing though.

Herronbrook canal pool


Sunday March 13th – Canal pool peg 41 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two pints soaked micros

Two pints soaked 4mm pellets

Small tub 4mm expanders

Small tub 4+6mm white pellets

Two pints red+white maggots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Bradshaw hall fishery , lake six


March 6th , lake six peg 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bait for the day was ;

Three pints of soaked f1 micros

Two pints of red and white maggots

Small tub 4mm expanders

Small tub 4mm white pellets

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

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

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

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

Old Hough winter league , Boulders and Goose


Today was the last round of Diggle AC winter league at Old hough and we was due to fish on Boulders + Goose which i was happy about as these waters had fished a lot better during the series of matches , i was in a good position towards the top of the league table and i was looking for a draw which would give me a chance of a few fish to consolidate it but in the back of my mind was that i could draw in one of the poor areas because there was some pegs that had not produced all winter . The weather leading up to the match wasn’t that bad for the time of year a bit cold but nothing to worry about or so i thought as i made the thirty mile trip to the venue the temperature just dropped and dropped , when i got of the motorway it was think with frost then i spotted the odd duck pond in the farmer’s field frozen over not what i wanted to see and i was hoping that the lakes at Old Hough wouldn’t be the same but as i approached the lakes we would be fishing majority of it had a lid on it ! !

After unpacking the van the rest of the anglers were in deep discussion on what we should do and it was decided that we would break the ice on all the pegs in the draw bag so nobody would have the disadvantage of doing it on their own we also delayed the all in till 1030 , as everyone mucked in clearing the ice we soon had the pegs clear but i did notice that the flyer pegs 16+18 on Goose and pegs 20+5 on boulders were already free from ice and would no doubt be the pegs everyone wanted i know that i did .

As you can see the ice in my peg isn’t that thick but it has been broken out a bit more than i would have liked , i just hope all the disturbance has not upset the fish too much .Usually you find that the water is warmer actually under the ice so i am going to position my two channel swims tight to it ;

On the left hand side i will be using pellet because the last i fished this peg that is where i managed to pick up the bonus carp , i will be using a 4×14 malman roob float with 014 garbo main line and a six-inch length of 010 garbo hook length attached to it was a size twenty matrix silver fish pattern , i would feed the swim with a kinder pot of micros and ground-bait every thirty minutes occasionally dropping on it during the match although i wont be wasting too much time on it as i am only expecting the odd bonus fish .

On the right hand side i choose to use maggots because i think this will be the best bait to use today it is also positioned towards the open water which was not frozen so obviously not been disturbed by the ice breaking and i expect this to be my most productive swim due to the cold conditions . i am using a 4×12 RW maggie float with an on the drop shotting pattern allowing for a slow fall of the hook bait my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was a slightly lighter 008 which had a size twenty matrix silver fish hook attached , i decided to feed this swim with half a cupping kit of maggots every half hour and top up through a kinder pot when fishing it .

Along the far-bank i was in a bit of a quandary on which depth to start in and finally settled on three-foot which was a couple of feet down the slope , i used a 4×10 RW maggie float with an on the drop shotting pattern my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was 008 garbo which had a size twenty matrix silver fish pattern , i started off tight to the ice towards the right and would began feeding by trickling in maggots through a kinder pot this would hopefully attract the attention of any passing fish without over feeding them . I also had a dobbing rig set up to push in between the reeds this would hopefully pick up a carp or two i used a 0.3 matrix series three float which had two number 11 stotz spread down the line the rest of the shotting was under the float , my main line was 014 garbo and i had a slightly stronger 010 hook length with a size 16 matrix bagger hook attached as it was only two foot deep i left a longish line between float and pole tip so as not to scare the fish off .

On my bait table i had a mixture of pellets and ground-bait but will be mostly concentrating on maggots as i expected chub+ide to be the main species i would be targetting today , i also had a couple of slices of bread for dobbing .

The first two hours of the match where really slow going as i only managed to catch a couple of chub one on my maggot line tight to the ice and the other dobbing bread , but even though i worked all along the far-bank with both rigs i failed to get a single indication and it was the same on my channel swim which wasnt that surprising as al the ice had started melting lowering the water temperature and dropping to the bottom of the lake .

With things not working as i would have liked on my three-foot line i got off my box and set up a 4ft rig all the lines + hooks were the same i just upped the float size to a size 4×12 RW maggie yet again i began by drip feeding the maggots in but this didn’t get the desired response so with nothing to lose i began feeding quite heavy using a small kinder pot every five minutes and out of the blue i had three quick fish then nothing .

With the temperature gradually increasing i noticed a few fish top along the far-bank and i decided to give my three-foot rig another try , this produced a chub straight away taking the bait on the drop so out came the catty and i managed to sneak a couple more out by rotating between the two lines i managed a dozen chub+ide .In the last forty minutes the sun went behind the clouds making it feel a lot colder and all my indications stopped so i decided to spend the remaining time on my channel swim this would also give me chance of a bonus fish but the only bites i could manage were from tiny skimmers and when the all out sounded i was unsure how i had got on because i could only see a couple of other anglers .

As i began packing up the scales came round and i was the first to weigh in on my lake the 12 chub+ide plus a few skimmers went just under 7lb which was about what i thought , the conditions really put paid to any chance of getting a decent weight and i felt that i never got to grips with the peg as drip feeding did not produce then when i fed a bit heavier the fish i caught were spewing up maggots ! ! Peg twenty was the next to put his fish on the scales which took the lead with 10lb and he caught all his fish under the bridge were the water must have been a couple of degrees warmer , the next couple of anglers really struggled as they failed to break 3lb and the last angler to weigh in put just over 7lb on the scales to knock me back down to third so for the second match running a matter of ounces had prevented getting me a better finishing position which i knew would cost me in the league .

On getting back to the car-park the final league positions were ready to be announced ;

First place was Graham with 13 points

Second place was Ian with 14 points

Joint third place was me and JP with 15 points

So like i originally thought my last couple of matches were i just missed out had cost me a better finishing position but to be honest the real damage was done in the earlier rounds when i fished some shocking matches as i was getting used to the venue because i had not been here before and was expecting it to be your standard f1 fishing not the un orthodox chub+ide but you live and learn .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horns dam team of four winter league


February 7th

Today i was going to fish Horns dam as a stand in for my mates Jeff’s floats team which was languishing towards the bottom of the winter league and i was also down to fish on the arm section that had produced lots of small silvers with the odd bonus skimmer if you are lucky so with that in mind i had decided to try something a bit different from the norm on here which i will go into more detail later in the blog . After my thirty mile drive up to Preston where the venue was situated i was one of the last to arrive so i hadn’t long to wait before the draw took place and as the team had finished last on the previous round we had the pegs which were left in the bag , my home for the next few hours was going to be peg thirty and this didn’t mean a great deal as i hadn’t seen the lake before but after pushing my gear around to it i found out that it was right at the start of the split so i shouldn’t be too far away from the fish fingers crossed .

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On settling in my peg i had a strong cross wind blowing from left to right that was forecast to get worse as the day progressed so with this in mind i decided to set up three rigs to cover my options ;

Six meter line  this is what i had been told was the best area to fish with loose feeding by hand the best way to attack it  and i set up two rigs for this swim the first was a 4×12 rw maggie float which had an on the drop shotting pattern , the other was a more positive 4×14 rw maggie float which had a bulk+dropper shotting for when the fishing was really good and i also expected it to pick up some bonus fish because it would enable me to produce a static bait , on both rigs i used 0.14 garbo main line with a six-inch length of 009 garbo hook length and elastic was solid size six preston slip .

fourteen meter line i hoped that this would be my bonus skimmer line and i fed it with four balls of micros at the start of the match , with the wind being as bad as it was i decided to use a 4×16 malman roob float this would allow me a bit more stability of the rig and i could even put a few inch of line on the deck as i was using the more positive double bulk shotting pattern the main line was my usual 014 garbo and hook length was a three-inch piece of 010 garbo that had a size 16 matrix rigger hook , elastic was the same size six preston slip .

On my bait table i had ;

Two pints of red+white maggots

Three pints of soaked micro pellets

Small tub of 4mm and 6mm expander pellets

Small tub of 4mm white expanders

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The normal thing to do in here is to feed ground bait at the start of the match but today i decided to use pellets because i felt these would be better for the skimmers so when the all in sounded in the distance i proceeded to put three balls of micros plus one lose cup of micros on to my long pole line and i wanted to leave it for as long as possible as this would allow the skimmers to settle a lot better , i then started my match on my top six swim with my on the drop rig i began feeding through a large kinder pot trickling a few maggots in constantly and when the wind allowed i would lose feed a dozen by hand , i kept letting my rig fall through the water with the feed but a bite less twenty minutes wasn’t what i expected especially as it was supposed to be a small fish race and the other anglers on the opposite bank where also catching quite well although they did look like they was fishing further out than me , so with not a lot happening on my original line i decided to put another section on the pole and after plumbing up i found it to be the same four-foot deep so i was able to use the same rigs , another bite less twenty minutes had me moving again and this time i put it towards my right which gave me better presentation in the windy conditions yet again it was only a couple of inch shallower but i finally managed to catch a couple of ounce roach in the net although i was waiting ages for any indications .

Biggest fish of the day

Biggest fish of the day

The first hour passed with only some small roach in the net so i had no other option other than to go on my long line a bit earlier than i wanted , so out i shipped my pole with a 4mm expander on the hook and no sooner than my float settled it slid under with skimmer number one coming to the bank but at 2oz i would need a lot of these to get a double figure net , this swim was producing quite regularly but all were of a similar size or smaller and i didn’t feel my double bulk shotting pattern was correct for fish that size so i changed for a bulk + two droppers this worked a lot better and i had a good run of ten in forty minutes . With the wind increasing steadily i was really struggling to present a static bait which is necessary when using pellets so i decided to change my hook length to a six-inch length of 009 which had a size 18 matrix silver fish-hook attached this would allow me to use double maggot on the hook i hoped this would attract a bigger stamp of fish and also allow me to lay a bit more line on the deck , my change of tactics didn’t really work out as i had planned because the size of fish remained the same but i was now missing a lot more bites and bumping the odd fish off as i shipped in so another change of hook length to a size twenty matrix silver fish-hook was called for this sorted the problem as i began hitting a lot more indications . With conditions not improving any i had a look on my top six swims but they failed to produce a single fish so i had no other option but to fight the wind at 14m and catch anything i could , the lads within view on the opposite bank had slowed down there catch rate but mine was getting better all the time the only trouble was the only two bonus fish i hooked both fell off moments after the strike which was not what i wanted or could explain ! !

It was soon time for the all out and i had managed a grand total of sixty fish i was unsure of my weight but figured i had about three pounds which i was told had been enough for good section points in previous rounds , as the scales reached my peg i was the last to weigh in and it seemed that the arm had fished a lot better than people had thought it would with 11lb winning , 9lb second then a couple of 6lb nets and my fish went 4lb 8oz which was good enough for fifth in the section . If i had been able to catch on my six meter line or not had that blank hour i could have probably reached 6lb or more if you factor a couple of bonus skimmers into the equation , overall the match was won with 18lb and 15lb came second . The team had one last in section , two fifths in section and one first in section which gave us 19 points , fifth overall on the day i think this is their best result so far and also lifts them up off the bottom with one round remaining , on a personal note i have stood in twice for the team and managed two fifth positions not the best of returns but to be honest i have struggled to get too grips with this style of fishing .

My next match is the last round of the winter league at Old Hough were im in joint third place only a couple of points behind the leader so it’s still all to play for , i just need a peg with a chance of catching a few fish and i should be fine . After that i think i might have a look at doing some f1 fishing because it seems like an age since i last caught any so , Partridge lakes ,Cunneries or Bradshaw’s will be on my agenda before my busy Spring , Summer and Autumn campaign .

 

Heskin hall pond one


IMG-20150208-00480With the weather being forecast to be pretty awful today i was in two minds whether to venture out or not and only decided to go late on sunday morning because the heavy rain + strong wind had not materialized just yet but I’m sure it wasn’t far away , so with a match obviously out of the question due to my late start i settled on the ever reliable Heskin hall which is somewhere that i don’t fish a great deal but is a belting silverfish water rammed with skimmers although it is only a twelve peg water but you’re guaranteed a few bites . So after picking up a couple of pints of maggots i headed off to the other side of Wigan into the country side of Heskin as i arrived at the farm i was surprised to see a few cars knocking about and after unpacking my van i headed off across the field to pond one it was rather hard work pushing my trolley across the muddy ground and i was huffing+puffing when i finally got to the pond , luckily i was the only person on it so i had the choice of pegs and i didn’t fancy sitting under the trees because when it did begin to rain it would last or feel a lot longer with the drops coming from the leaves even though these are probably the best pegs to fish , i had a walk round to the other bank which although was more open to the elements the pegs were situated closer to the water with a bit of a bank behind allowing for the wind to blow off my back and over my head i also chose one that had a bush to my right which also helped in protecting me from the elements .

On settling in on my peg i decided to fish two swims ;

Maggot rig which i situated at an angle to my left at five meters out after plumbing up i found it to be five foot deep so i used a 4×12 rw maggie float that had a strung out shotting pattern of number eleven stotz , main line was the usual 014 garbo that had a six-inch length of 009 garbo hook length attached my hook was a size twenty matrix silverfish hook and elastic was size six preston slip .

Pellet rig i put this towards my right at the same distance yet again it was only a touch over five foot but i decided to use a heavier 4×14 malman roob float which had a double bulk shotting pattern , my main line was 014 garbo and i used a short three-inch hook length of 010 garbo attached was a size 18 matrix bagger hook elastic was a size six preston slip .

On my side tray i just had the basic ;

Two pints of red and white maggots

One pint of soaked micros

Small tub of 4mm expanders

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At eleven o’clock i was ready to get started and before going on my maggot line i fed a full small cupping kit of micros i would top this up with half a cup every twenty minutes , leaving it to rest for at least an hour allowing the skimmers to settle on it which is always important if you want to catch a few fish . Picking up more maggot rig i decided to trickle a full small kinder pot after every fish or every five minutes which ever was the earliest , i know loose feeding would have been better but the wind was gusting from right to left meaning i couldn’t group the feed as i would have liked , first drop and my bait didn’t even reach the bottom before a finger length roach took it a further five quickly followed and i needed to have a re-think on how i presented my rig i changed my shotting pattern for a more positive bulk+dropper and with so many small fish present i figured that there wouldn’t be a great deal of bait getting to the bottom so i changed kinder pot for the next size up and tapped it all in at once . By altering things a little i finally got my rig to reach the bottom were the bigger silvers were waiting and i went on a little run of catching fish up to 8oz after about half an hour bites seemed to tail off a bit and i had held my rig tight against the slight under tow but after allowing it to travel through my swim about a foot i found the fish again going on another little run .

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After an hour i was eager to give my pellet line ago hoping that the bigger skimmers had been given enough time to settle and after lowering my rig in slowly i held it directly over the micros , i didn’t have to wait long before i had a classic skimmer bite as the bristle of the float came lifting out of the water and i soon had it in the net at around the pound mark it was a good deal bigger than those on my maggot swim , a further dozen followed of similar size plus a few smaller hand sized fish in the next sixty minutes to be honest it was just like shelling peas and i was really enjoying myself in the countryside it was miles away from the hustle+bustle of the big matches i had usually been attending , sometimes its just nice getting back to basics and fishing like i did when i first started many ,many years ago i even saw a kingfisher working along the opposite bank i had not seen one of those for many a year .

During the two hours i had fished the weather had got gradually worse with the wind changing direction blowing directly in to my face plus the drizzle had started but this had no real effect on the fishing but it did make my short number four section stick in my top kit which made my life a bit more awkward , a quiet ten minute spell on my pellet line then the float shot under and a firm strike resulted in yards of my size six elastic streaming out of my pole it was no doubt one of the many carp in here which grow into double figures after what seemed like an age with the fish ploughing through both my swims multiple times i finally had it under control and i was just about to net it when the hook pulled causing my rig to tangle the ten minutes i spent untangling it at least allowed both my swims to settle back down . As i mentioned earlier with my pole getting stuck i could only use the one rig on both swims plus i couldn’t use my cupping kit so feeding my pellet swim took a lot longer than before so after taping in four lots of micros i went back on my maggot rig , i had altered my shotting for a bulk + dropper and i was soon back catching hand sized silvers one a chuck just like before .

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With thirty minutes of my session remaining i decided to spend it on my pellet swim my first couple of fish were small skimmers and i feared that the bigger ones had drifted out of the peg with the disturbance of the carp but gradually the stamp skimmers returned , i managed another half a dozen before i landed my biggest fish of the day which was a bream of about three pounds and as the rain had relented a little i decided to call time on my short three-hour session i was soaked to the skin but had really enjoyed it , i ended up with thirty fish over ten ounce plenty of those hand sized skimmers plus rafts of tiny fish at the start before i worked out how best to catch the better samples . I did take another video which i will be putting up in the next couple of days and any constructive feedback will be greatly received because it’s all relatively new for me at the moment , i am going back to Horns dam winter league on Sunday to fill in for my mate on Jeffs team this time i will be fishing the dam itself which is another new water for me to try and i have heard it’s all small silvers plus the odd bigger skimmer so i should get a few bites fingers crossed .