Weston pools bank holiday match sponsored by Drennon


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.

Welsh national , Weston pools

Weir peg 17 , September 27th


I had somehow managed to sneak into the five man Matrix team which was contesting this event today after fishing Weston for the previous few weeks they must have felt my experience there would help them i wasn’t to sure though, it was my first attempt at proper team fishing i had done a few angling times supercup rounds over the previous few years but nothing like todays match their was 16 teams here and some proper good anglers including most of the Welsh national squad , the points would be decided by sections and not your final place on the lake with five waters in the draw bag your team could place anglers on each of them and i ended up on Weir which i was a bit surprised about as i had not fished it before but i was looking forward to the challenge . At 1030 we had to endure the Welsh national anthem before the draw started as you would expect the Matrix team had a couple of good draws the odd bad one and i was on peg 17 usually a reasonable area but after looking at yesterdays results i felt i was a few pegs away from the main area of the lake , after wishing the rest of the lads good luck i headed off to my home for the next few hours and on arrival it looked really nice with two long margins plus plenty open water to target but the good thing about Weir is that every peg is the same so in theory it should fish the same although the down side is with everything being equal the weather would have a big impact on were the fish would be most comfortable and those anglers further to my right with their backs to the campsite had plenty sun on the water .

On settling in i decided to fish just three lines and these were ;

Margins both sides at four meters as it was only three-foot deep tight to the reeds i used a 4×12 malman speedy float which should withstand plenty pressure from the big fish that congregate in this area of the lake , my main line was 017 garbo this had a six-inch length of 014 garbo and my hook was a size 16 guru lwg .

Six-meter line here i decided to use pellets so i used a 4×12 malman roob float which had a spread bulk just above the six-inch garbo 012 hook length and my main line was 014 garbo the hook was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Thirteen-meter line here i choose to use maggots so i used a 4×12 Jeefs joof float which had a carbon stem my shotting pattern was a bulk and two droppers , i used 014 garbo main line and a 012 garbo hook length my hook was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

With the natural bait festival just finishing i along with plenty others felt that the fish would be eager to taste a bit of fish meal so pellets were a main feature on my bait table today ,

Two pints 4mm fishery pellets

One pint of 1mm fishery pellets with a touch of ground-bait

Two pints of white maggots

Small tub of 4mm expanders


In the distance i heard the all in so i shipped out to my long line where i fed a small cupping kit full of maggots i planned on doing this every twenty minutes for at least an hour before going on to it after putting that in i went on to my six-meter pellet swim i deposited a kinder pot full of micros with the odd bigger pellet mixed in and i then lowered my rig among it , i purposely kept the rig still so as not to scare any fish that was in the vicinity and every five minutes i would ship back out to put some more pellets in i hoped that this would draw any passing fish into my swim . I was getting the odd sign to keep me interested especially as nobody near me was catching anything but it took nearly thirty minutes before i hooked my first fish but this was foul hooked and came off at the net , after another bite less ten minutes my float suddenly dipped and a sharp lift saw me attached to something decent as it headed off to the center of the lake this understandably saw my hook pull out and all i was left with was a scale about the size of a fifty pence piece not the start i wanted .

I noticed the lad too my right had caught a fish out long so i decided to follow suit hoping that a few fish had settled on to my maggots that i had fed since the match started , almost instantly my float dipped with a 2oz skimmer coming to the bank but at least it had saved the blank and apart from a couple of lads opposite everyone was struggling for a few fish it was fishing a lot harder than i had imagined but after all the pressure of the previous few days i suppose it wasn’t unexpected . Eventually i managed a good run of ide which got me in front for the section but i needed to find a way of catching the bigger f1s+barbel if i was to keep in front today , i decided to set up another swim at the same distance to my left using pellets as i still felt that it would be the correct bait to use today and i fed it through a kinder pot but i didn’t have a single indication over it which i couldn’t get my head round . With two hours of the match remaining the bites from the ide faded so i decided to have a look at my margins which i had fed for the past hour while fishing long but as i had limited myself to a mainly pellet approach i wasn’t really expecting it to produce a great deal , no sooner had my rig settled than my float dipped under and i was hoping that it would be a proper fish but up popped a 1.5lb tench not bad but it wasn’t exactly what i was looking for no more bites followed from either side .

As my long line was the most consistent i set up another line towards my right and i choose to feed through a kinder pot here basically just trickling the maggots in being really negative , after a couple of feeds on this swim i finally managed to pick up a better stamp of fish mainly barbel with the odd carp mixed in with this feeding pattern working sort of i changed my center swim to another negative swim this meant that i could rotate the two and i managed to keep putting fish into the net including a near 5lb carp right on the all out which was a nice bonus , i felt that i had done enough to beat the anglers either side of me but the positioning of the pegs meant you couldn’t really see what was going on so i wasn’t to sure . After packing up i had a quick chat with those in my section and we was all admitting to the same weight apart from one lad who was a Weston regularly i had seen him catch constantly most of the match so we was all aiming for second in section which will make things interesting , finally the scales arrived my net went forty pound this was only good enough for fourth in the section but seventh on the lake which would have been good enough for some decent points if they had done lakes rather than sections so yet again i had been on the wrong side of how they dished the points up , i also think that i had missed a trick by not fishing right in between my nets as a couple of lads who beat me had done really well fishing that way in the last forty minutes pushing themselves right up the section .

weston pools team matrix

On getting back to the clubhouse i caught up with the rest of the matrix team we ended up with a couple of seconds and thirds then my 4th which put us on 14 points , a couple of lads had been really unlucky with one  missing out for his section by just 1oz the other by a 1lb and another beating everyone around him getting third in his section because he got put in with the better pegs on the opposite bank . As the results began to be read out team matrix ended up sixth with 14 points not that far away from the top three positions ;

Tri-cast Weston wales first 10pts

Weston methods  second 12pts

Tri-cast Weston peanuts third 13pts but better weight

Connah’s quay fourth 13pts

Well done too those taking part and helped in running the event everything went like clock work which is usual for here and i can’t wait to get back there next year as over the winter my attention will be turning to some f1 fishing at Partridge lakes now that it’s turning back to pellet work .




Weston pools natural bait festival 2015

weston pools natural bait festival

Well today was the day for my second ever festival and as you would expect i was really looking forward to it as it was to take place on the mightily impressive Weston pools fishery , as you are all probably aware i have fished it for the last six weeks and been getting some reasonable results the class of angler that these big money matches attract it would always be difficult to compete but i was going to give it my best shot . There was seventy people down to fish the festival and these would be split over four lakes on the complex in a rotation system with Belvedere and weir being on one day then canal and stretton the other day each water would have two eight peg sections and the top two in each of them would pick up some money , for some reason on this festival they had decided to score points on your final position on the lake not sections which would always count against the average anglers like me especially if you get a bad draw .

We needed to get there pretty earlier on the first day so i began on my journey at around 630 as we were expected to book on between eight and nine , the draw was to take place at 1030 then we was due to fish between 12 and 5 , then back to the clubhouse for something to eat while we awaited the first day’s results then do day two’s draw before heading of home around 8 o’clock so it was going to be a very long day and next year i will definitely looking at staying over . After hanging around for what seemed like an age we finally were ready for the draw and my golden arm had let me down recently today was no different as peg 29 Belvidere stuck to my hand not the best of starts one of the worst pegs on the least fancied water , on getting to my home for the day it did look really fishy with two long reed lined margins and plenty of open water to target especially as the aerator had been turned off but the only real downside that i could see was that this area was in the shade with a cold wind blowing this way as well which would have meant the water temps would be a bit colder plus all the lads down the other side were wearing t-shirts were i was wrapped up shivering .


I decided to fish a nice uncomplicated match with just three lines to get me a few bites these were ;

Margin , i plumbed up on 4m either side so i could find the same depth which was nearly 4ft and i used a 4×12 malman speedy with 016 garbo main line and an 014 garbo hook length which had a size 14 guru lwg hook .

Top four line , here i found the crease in the lake bed although it was only six-inch deeper because i would be fishing maggot on this line i used a 4×12 malman roob float with a carbon stem which had a bulk and two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was 014 garbo which had an 012 garbo hook length attached to it was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Ten meter line , i would be fishing this on the deck with a size 4×12 malman roob float with a carbon stem which had a bulk with two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was 014 garbo which had an 012 garbo hook length attached to it was a size 18 matrix bagger hook and i would fire in maggots over the top looking for signs of the fish coming shallow if they did i had a 4×8 preston chianti set 2ft deep with 012 garbo direct to a size 20 matrix bagger hook .


My bait was also simplicity itself with just ;

two pints corn

three pints red and white maggots

As the gun shots sounded in the distance signalling the all in i went onto my top foul line feeding maggots through a kinder pot every five minutes it took awhile before i began getting indications and not to long after that i began putting some fish in the net which were a nice stamp of ide but it was very slow going , after a while i began getting stupid bites and i couldn’t believe that they had come up in the water so close in so i flicked my shallow rig over the top this produced a couple of f1s but as i expected they didn’t want to settle . I had fed my ten meter swim with a catty since the match started so i decided to give my short line a rest and went to see what had settled on my long line but yet again i was only catching ide on the deck not the hoped for f1s or carp which was a surprise , by alternating between the two swims i kept adding a few fish including a bonus carp which took the maggot hookbait on the drop and although i wasn’t really bagging in the back of my mind i was always confident of my margins producing as it is a noted big carp area .

With ninety minutes of the match remaining and with the guy on the opposite bank picking up the odd carp from his spare platform i decided to give my margin swim a whirl , after feeding it for the past few hours with half a cup of corn every thirty minutes so i expected a few fish to be settled but after spending ten minutes on each side without even a sign i didn’t want to waste any more time there so went back to pick up a few more ide and i must have tried fishing the margin half a dozen times without an indication before the all out which was really puzzling as i can usually rely on it to get me out of trouble i could only think it was down to the shade on my side of the lake . As i was waiting for the scales to arrive i had a quick walk round and it was very noticeable that half of the lake had fished hard with most anglers admitting to under 50lb with the sunny side having nearly 70-80lb , the weighman soon arrived with the first angler in my section who also won the lake was young Jack O O’Sullivan with 83lb and then the pole fishing editor Tom Scholey put 56lb on the scales to take second and my nets went 46lb which was more than i thought this got me third in the section but only tenth on the lake so that was my festival up in smoke .

On getting back to the cabin i caught up with a few of my mates and they had done a lot better than me with one getting second on Belvidere lake and the other third on canal pool so they was both in the running for a top six finish , after the results were called out it was time for the draw and i hoped for some better luck which is what i hoped i had got with peg nine stretton sticking to my hand as this was a noted flyer Joe Carass had caught 90lb from it today so i was understandably looking forward to catching a few fish tomorrow now it was time for the long drive home .

Day two 

With the draw already having taken place the day before there was no need for an early start because nobody was allowed around the waters before ten o’clock and i arrived at the fishery around 1030 this allowed me plenty time to get ready for the 12 o’clock start , after my short walk to my peg i was surprised to find that they had cut down the over hanging willow tree on the far bank plus the pegging was really tight along this part of the lake and i felt that this might have a detrimental to affect how my peg would fish but down the bottom end near the bay they were well spaced out


I planned on fishing a nice easy match with just a few swims i hoped that this would help me concentrate on getting the feeding right on each of them because that is what is letting me down at present ;

Top three-line , with the water being a bit colder of late i decided to fish this at the bottom of the slope in the crease of the lake bed i had been told that the barbel hang around this peg and to set up a line either side of me but with an angler to my left i decided to just put the one in towards the spare peg , i used a 4×12 malman roob with a carbon stem it had a bulk + dropper shotting pattern as i would be feeding maggots on this line my main line was 014 garbo with a 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Margin , i put this in on either side tight to the bank i used a top kit to my left and top four to my right which was just a meter of the spare platform i couldn’t really go any closer as the other angler on that side had plumbed up right in front of it , with it being nearly 4ft deep i used a 4×12 malman speedy float which had a glass stem to help withstand being dragged through the rushes or even worse my keepnets and my main line was 016 garbo and 014 garbo hook length which had a size 16 guru lwg hook .

Shallow , i didn’t really have much success using this recently but i always feel it’s worth setting up if they turn up i had two rigs set up one at 2ft the other at 3ft both were the same 4×8 preston chianti float with 3 number eleven stotz spread down the 012 garbo line which was direct to a size twenty matrix bagger hook .


Bait today was ;

4 pints maggots

1 pint of corn

When the all in sounded i went on my top three-line to my right and i began feeding this every three minutes with maggots after about ten minutes i had my first fish which was yet again an ide they keep on following me over the weekends matches , after catching a dozen of these in thirty minutes they seemed to disappear and i soon found out why when my next fish was a carp around the 4lb mark after that though the crucians moved in  i decided to rest the swim but kept feeding it , so i plumbed up a new line at 13m using the same rig obviously i couldn’t feed it by hand at that distance so i picked up the catty and fed every three minutes with a dozen maggots yet again the ide moved in first but although they was there in numbers they didn’t weigh a great deal and i needed to find out where the f1s+carp are in my peg .

From what i could hear those anglers down the split to my left were also struggling to find a better stamp of fish and it seemed all the bigger fish had followed the wind down towards the bay where there was a bit of room soon half the match had passed the fish seemed to disappear all together and with the guy to my right big potting towards the platform i decided to go out to 16m so i could fish towards the empty peg opposite with maggots , i fed through a large kinder pot and although it was awkward shipping back as i needed to break down twice but it was worth it as i finally began getting the odd f1+barbel which was bumping my weight up . When i had a run of crucians though i decided to set up a new line towards the tree stump but this time using corn i fed half a dozen samples then waited for a proper bite after ten minute my float shot under and i was attached to my first carp for nearly two hours after a five-minute fight i had it in the net no more indications on this line so i was soon picking up my margin rig , i had flicked a mix of mags + corn to my left in the cut out in between the reeds almost as soon as my rig had settled i was attached to a barbel and i was rubbing my hands together thinking that a shoal had settled there but no it was a loner .

With the last hour fast approaching i decided to concentrate on my top three-line to my left hand side as this was where the barbel turn up late in the match and this time i wasn’t going to be disappointed because i had a run of them straight away , by feeding heavily i soon had them lined up and i also had the odd carp mixed in between i think i put at least twenty pound in the net before the all out sounded .  I knew i hadn’t done well enough to finish in the top five on the lake as those anglers in the bay had caught really well but i still had a good day even if it was rather confusing . When the scales arrived on the lake i walked down to the bottom end and followed them round there was two ton weights and a few 90lb from that end of the lake my section was won with 120lb by young Jack O’Sullivan who had now won both days so will be well in contention for winning the competition , i put 65lb on the scales which put me second in the section for the time being before Rossendale matrix top bagger Andy berry had 75lb on the next peg and there was no more weights of any note from down the split so yet again i had finished third in my section but tenth on the lake .

On getting back to the cabin to await the results i managed to catch up with my mates and one had blown out like me the other had managed 4th which put him on six points so we needed to wait and see if that would get him into the top five , after a while the results were read out and he ended up sixth just out of the money there was also a tie for the top place between Andy Bennett and Jack O’Sullivan with the f1 bagger winning on weight . Thanks to all those that took part and helped run an extremely good festival just a shame it wasn’t run on section points as i would have finished a lot higher than a top forty position also an extra day would have been nice but i just suppose i will have to make do with the Welsh national at Weston pools tomorrow instead as a guest angler in the Matrix LTB team lets hope i do not embarrass myself .


Weston pools -Stretton pool

peg 22 stretton pool , September 20th


Today was the last chance for me to sneak a practice match at Weston pools before the natural bait festival there next Friday , on the morning of the match i woke to find thick fog so i decided it would be best to set off a bit earlier than usual which should give me plenty time to get to the complex safely but with the late draw there it wasn’t that big a deal. On arrival i was one of the first to get there so after booking on and paying the rest of the deposit for the festival i had a walk round to see if any fish were giving their presence away canal, Belvedere and stretton were in the draw bag so with forty anglers contesting the match we should all have a bit of room but the recent cold temperatures and rain i wasn’t sure how well it would fish especially as majority of the aerator had also been turned off .After my stroll round the lakes i got back just in time for the draw and there was a nice turn out with a few from round my way plus the odd smattering of big name anglers which were no doubt doing what i was trying to get an edge before the festival , i didn’t have to wait that long before my name got called out for the draw and it was just my luck when i pulled out peg 22 Stretton the same peg i broke my pole on my last visit so no doubt i was in for a tough match with the pigs limiting my options on what is a poor area of the lake .


On settling in at my peg i weighed up my options and the one good thing was that i had fished it before so i had a good idea on where to start plus as i had just natural baits i could compare my catch at the end ;

Margin both right and left i used a 4×14 speedy float as it was nearly 3ft deep i used 016 garbo main line that had a 014 garbo hook length and a size 16 lwg guru hook my elastic was size 14 durro set tight although i had to change it later in the session due to suffering hook pulls+breakages .

Top four line i choose to fish a bit further down the slope due to the colder water temperatures it was 5ft deep here so i used a 4×14 joof float that had a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my main line was 014 garbo and an 012 garbo hook length my elastic was red nick gilbert elastic size 10-12 .

Shallow i set up two rigs to cover my options this was set at 1ft+2ft and both were 4×8 preston chiantis on 012 garbo direct to a size 20 matrix bagger hook my elastic was green nick gilbert size 8-10

Bait today would be what i hopped i would be using on the festival but after todays match i might have a little review ;

Three pints casters

Two pints corn and hemp


When the whistle went for the all in i kinder potted some corn+hemp on my top four line i decided that i would take it easy with the bait until i knew how the fish where going to respond with the recent drop in temperature and with no bites in the first 15 minutes it looked like i could be on for a long day , so i decided to loose feed casters over the top of my float to try to drag some fish in the swim and this seemed to work as at last i began getting indications but it was only when i changed to double caster that i had my first fish a carp around the 3lb mark . I then had a quick f1 before it went quiet again but by laying my rig in at different angles plus working around my feed area i managed to fool a couple of barbel and these fish are notoriously difficult to get off the bottom they can also disturb anything in your swim on the deck because on my next few drop-ins with the rig i kept getting snagged up on something right were i had fed , i had to go nearly two foot too my left or right before i got some clear water so i choose to replumb my top four line towards by right while it settled from all the disturbance and went onto my shallow swim at 9m which i had fed with a catty since the match started , ideally i really would have liked to have gone further out but the pigs behind me meant that i would require to break down twice as ide were the target i didn’t feel it would be quick enough to amass a weight by doing that and yet again for some reason my shallow approach didn’t work for me which is strange as i can normally do quite well using that method maybe they just didn’t want caster ?


I decided that i wouldn’t waste any more time fishing shallow and went back onto my new top four line i had tapped in a mixture of corn,hemp,caster every ten minutes so i felt that a few fish might have settled there and i did manage a couple of nice sized f1s on caster but they wasn’t present in numbers strangely a change to corn just produced ide ! ! I began to think it was going to be one of them days as with nearly half the match gone i only had 20lb on my clicker i just hopped my margins would work as well as my last visit to this peg and i decided to feed my right hand swim by big potting hemp+corn at the side of the spare platform , where on my left hand swim i choose to loose feed casters heavily by hand because i didn’t want to get them off the deck as this would make them harder to catch . I began on my caster line and almost instantly my float buried a sharp lift saw yards of elastic stream out from my pole tip which resulted in a broke hooklength , then my next bite resulted in a hook pull and i wasted no more time using this elastic so swapped for my lighter red matrix this worked well because i didn’t lose another fish during the rest of the match .


When bites began to slow on my left hand margin i went on to the opposite side at the side of the platform with corn on the hook at first this just produced a few sharp dips on the float which might have been line bites as i struck into thin air , another pot of bait seemed to settle the fish back down as i finally began catching a few fish from there and funnily they were all carp exactly the same happened last time i fished it but i put that down to feeding pellets on that side but maybe that’s just where the carp lived ? by swapping between the two margin swims i kept the fish coming although it was noticeable that the longer i fished my right hand line the further i would need to push it to the empty platform and with forty minutes left both my margins died , i should have put in another swim or tried my top four swim again but hindsight’s a lovely thing and when the all out sounded it called time on a confusing match as it turned out my nets went 67lb and i was the only one to weigh in my little bay .

Overall the venue fished really well with six tonne weights coming of Stretton alone and both Belvedere + canal both were won with over a tonne , the natural bait festival at the weekend will have sixty anglers contesting it and i have been led to believe that they will be split into two rotations with one day you being on either Stretton or Belvedere 15 on each , the other day being on Canal twenty anglers or Weir ten anglers and also someone will be coming round to make sure you had the correct five pints of natural bait . I am really looking forward to fishing this festival and i just hope it goes as well as my Tunnel barn one , on Sunday there is the Welsh national event and the Matrix team are doing it which i hope to be a part of that’s if things ever get sorted out ! !

Weston pools , Stretton pool

August 31st , Stretton peg 22


It had been a few weeks since my last visit to Weston pools and i would have really liked to have contested the big charity match there on the Saturday but unfortunately my wife was working over the weekend so i had to make do with fishing the bank holiday rover , we have had to endure some horrid weather in the previous few days with heavy rain plus a drop in temperature and when i woke in the morning it was still grey + drizzly but i hoped that it might improve during the day because after all i was fishing in a different country . After a pleasant drive down to the fishery i arrived in plenty time to have a look at all the waters which we could choose from and to be honest i really fancied fishing on Stretton even though i hadn’t been on it before as it had thrown up some winning weights during the week plus my mate has a club match there next Saturday , after speaking to a few of the regulars they agreed that Stretton was the place to be as it is usually the last water on the complex to get affected by the cold rain going in and the only trouble was a few of the best pegs had already been taken by pleasure anglers .IMG-20150831-00738

On getting back to the cabin it was soon time for the draw and i ended up way down the list to pick where i would be fishing today , one by one all the best pegs went with nearly 80 percent of the anglers choosing to go on Stretton and i was in two minds were to go but decided to stick to my original plan and picked peg twenty i didn’t know was a good or bad peg but at least it offered me a couple of empty spaces which is always handy . My home for the day was in the corner of the bay with as usually two really nice margins and i could even reach the next platform which is a novelty on here , i had just started plumbing up my six meter line and had shipped back to alter my float when i heard a smash behind me upon turning round i saw that a pig had run through my pole  i had seen that the field was churned up behind me but other than that no signs of them anywhere ! !

i decided to fish 

Margin , i plumbed up to find four-foot so used a 4×12 malman speedy float with 0.16 garbo main line and 0.14 garbo hook length with a size 18 matrix rigger hook .

Top kit , it was just a tad over four foot deep so used a 4×14 malman roob float with 0.14 garbo main line and a 0.12 garbo hook length with a size 18 matrix rigger hook .

Six meter , with it being five foot deep and as it usually tows on here with the aerators constantly on i used a 4×16 malman roob float  with 0.14 garbo main line and a 0.12 garbo hook length with a size 18 matrix bagger hook .


My five pint bait limit consisted of

Two pints of corn+hemp

Two pints of worm

One pint of fishery 4mm pellets

As the all in sounded in the distance i started on my top kit between my keepnets i fed a full kinder pot of pellets then lowered my rig in among it and it didn’t take too long before my float shot under with a little stockie carp hitting the net by lifting+dropping my rig i managed to catch a couple more before the crucians moved in , it wasn’t really producing how i wanted it to but i had early primed my six meter line with a pot full of chopped worms and it was fizzing away nicely so i expected a good response when i went on it but although i was getting bites and putting fish in the net they were 8oz ide not the carp i had hoped for i did manage a couple of big f1s on it but it wasn’t how i expected it to be so back to the drawing board on how i can make my this line work as it’s costing me the extra weight needed to contend for a framing position .

With two hours of the match gone i had thirty pounds in the net and i was struggling to get a better stamp of fish on either line , i just hoped my margin lines would get me out of trouble yet again although in the back of my mind i felt it was too early but i had nowhere else to go . I had flicked a few pellets on my left hand margin for the past hour so i went over it with a 6mm on the hook luckily it didn’t take too long before my float dipped and after a spirited fight i had my first decent fish , by feeding a full kinder of pellets i managed to keep putting the odd big carp or f1 in the net although i was conscious that i only had a pint of pellets so had to be careful how i went and i found that by working my rig like you would when fishing across got me a few extra bites .


As my pellets began to run low i decided to begin feeding the other margin at the side of the platform with corn+hemp through a cupping kit and this produced some more carp including a couple of near doubles , it was at this point when i noticed my elastic fraying near the pulla bung and i had to re tie it which must have stiffened my elastic up as i began bumping fish off , i would set the hook then a good 6ft of elastic came out before it popped of and as a consequence i started to play them a bit more softly which resulted in a couple making a bid for freedom under my keepnets it was really beginning to do my head in and it took me awhile to get my composure back and thinking about it now i would have been better changing to a softer elastic using my pulla kit a bit more .

I returned to my pellet margin line and started catching well again which settled me down  by swapping between the two swims i kept putting fish in the net and my clicker was working over time but i felt my quiet first two hours had cost me , i did manage another near double just on the all out which put me on eighty pounds roughly plus my silver fish net i did have a quick look at my nets and felt i could be close to my biggest match weight after i had packed up i went to catch up with the weigh in and there was a few ton weights before they arrived at my peg for the moment of truth , my first net went 54lb and I’m usually good at splitting my nets evenly so i hoped my second net went the same but it only went 45lb 12oz for an agonising 4oz short of my first ton of the year .

Weston pools fishery

Canal peg twenty , August 2nd


After a couple of weeks of feeling rather disheartened with the way my fishing was going i decided to try a change of scenery to see if that would help get my spark back and out of the blue i got an invite to contest a big eighty pegger at Weston pols which is a place that i have heard great things about so i jumped at the chance especially after my first visit there a month ago when i caught a shedfull and a real mixed bag as well .

The draw was due to take place at ten o’clock which meant that i didn’t have to set off that early which i was pleased about and in fact i only left the house at 730 which is when i would normally set off to Partridge lakes the sixty mile trip to the fishery went really well and i was glad to leave the grim weather conditions of Wigan for the sunny if rather blustery Oswestry, i arrived just before nine o’clock this gave me plenty of time to book on the match then check out all five of the waters in the draw bag apart from the Clay pit which is situated a mile off the complex this was also the one i didn’t fancy drawing mainly because i hadn’t have a clue on how to get there .


At ten o’clock they started the draw which went really smoothly and i picked out canal twenty this didn’t mean a great deal but no doubt it will be a flyer if previous experiences where to go by , when i finally located were i would be fishing it was found on the end of the split and like majority of the pegs on here i had a really nice margin on either side with the far-bank being nearly thirty meters away which would be ideal for a feeder chuck if i hadn’t left it at home a novice mistake but to be honest i didn’t expect to use it after my last visit here .

Upon settling in at my peg i decided not to over complicate things and target just three areas which were ;

Shallow , i had three rigs set up to cover the upper layers which were 1ft , 2ft, 3ft and i used an 0.1 Matrix series one float with 012 Matrix line to a 010 garbo hook length which had a size twenty matrix bagger hook elastic was orange size 10 matrix ..

Top kit , i used a 4×14 malman speedy float with 014 matrix line and a 012 garbo hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook elastic was red size 12 matrix .

Margin , i used a 4×12 malman speedy float with 016 matrix line and a 014 garbo hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook elastic was yellow size 14 matrix .


With the fishery having a strict five pint limit i was in a bit of a quandary on what to take with me but i finally settled on ;

2 pints of casters

2 pints corn+hemp

1 pint fishery 4mm pellets

As the all in sounded in the distance i cupped in some corn+hemp on to my top kit line and went over the top of it with a piece of corn on the hook , with the aerators always being left on while the match took place my rig was towing through and i had to lay six-inch of line on the deck to keep it still long enough to attract a bite and i should really have changed it for a heavier float but as I’m still getting used to the venue i will know for next time . On my last visit when i fished Belvidere the top kit was quite prolific for a wide variety of fish today though it was slow with only the odd crucian+barbel and i think it was a mistake not feeding pellets , in the first hour i had 15lb on my clicker not really what i expected and all the time i had fished i was pinging half a dozen casters on to my six meter shallow line this was usually a banker method at this time of year on here but yet again it was slow going and i had to work extremely hard to attract bites ;

changing depths

changing shotting patterns

constantly laying my rig through the falling bait

I found the 3ft rig was the best depth and letting it hang at full depth for ten seconds sometimes got you a bite from a bigger f1 but most of the time i was getting ide upto the 2lb mark , after two hours i had thirty pounds on the clicker plus the silvers net which i didn’t count  and i could only see a couple of other anglers due to the bank side vegetation i was keeping up with their catch rate but i had noticed that both of them were already fishing in the margin catching the odd carp+barbel i thought it was a bit early in the match to be doing it but as my other lines were not really producing so i decided to follow suit and put in two cups of corn+hemp+pellets on to my left hand swim leaving what i would hope to be the better right hand swim towards the point of the island for later in the match .


After spending another twenty minutes shallow with just the odd fish to show for it so i decided to have a look on my margin almost straight away i was getting indications and it didn’t take long before my float shot under after a spirited fight i had a pristine five-pound common in the net , a couple of smaller ones followed before i began catching crucians around the pound mark so i refed with two more cups of bait and normally i would feed after every fish but the five pint limit had me a bit concerned . While i had been fishing my margin i had fed my top four line quite heavily with casters by hand to see what response i got when i saw a few swirls plus some dark shapes under the surface so i grabbed my shallowest rig and began laying it through the falling casters , it didn’t take too long before i was picking up some nice ide but they began to back off and as we was approaching the final ninety minutes i decided to concentrate on my margins .


I mixed all my remaining bait together which gave me just over two pints of particles perfect for the carp+barbel and i put in one cupful on each side before topping up with a kinder pot after every fish , this worked really well as i went on a run of carp on my left hand swim before swapping swims to my right hand side with the same result and my clicker was ticking along nicely . In the last thirty minutes i thought that i could be approaching the ton but i then had a dreadful spell of bumping off four decent carp none of which i felt was foul hooked and where no doubt down to me being a bit eager with the side puller although i don’t think i was overly aggressive , i did manage to catch a couple before the all out sounded including one right on the whistle which called time on a very enjoyable match in pleasant surroundings .


When the scales arrived i felt that i would be just short of the magical ton and unfortunately that was the case when after three weighs it was added up to 96lb i followed the scales down my section and was still in front until the last person had 103lb so near yet again but on my first try at a match on here i was really happy learning a great deal . overall the match was won with 150lb and 16 tons in total from the eighty anglers which were spread all over the complex although Weir + Clay pit seemed to have fished the best and my weight put me in the top 25 .

After speaking to a few of the locals after the match plus looking at the results on the internet it seems that the method feeder across , fishing the top four and margins was the best tactic on canal and i cant wait to get back there again which will hopefully be next weekend either the rover on Saturday as i quite fancy trying Canal twenty again or the open on Sunday i am going to find out which lakes are in the draw bag before i decide .