Partridge lakes open match

February 28th , peg 25 covey two

With all my winter leagues having finally finished where i had a fair bit of success and enjoyed doing them a great deal even though they revolved around silver fishing which I’m not to comfortable in doing , so now i was free to do a bit of f1 chasing and after blowing away the cobwebs on a short session at the cunneries i decided to book on the Sunday open at Partridge lakes i hopped that i wouldn’t be too far of the pace even though i had not been for almost four months . The earlier part of the week leading up to the match had seen a prolonged cold spell dropping to minus four during the night but as the weekend arrived the temps gradually increased and on the day of the match we was treated to blue skies , a light easterly breeze and a high of six degrees not exactly the weather required to get the fish feeding in numbers .

With Partridge lakes only being a fifteen minute drive away i had a bit of a lie in which made a nice change after all the early starts i had done over winter and i arrived just after 8 o’clock to be greeted with a choka block car park as the penultimate round of the team matches was taking place , i managed to catch up with a couple of lads from the Matrix LTB who had done extremely well in the Angling Trust winter league finishing seventh out of thirty high-class teams taking part . Before i knew it the draw was taking place so i made my way to join the queue in the cabin when it came round for my turn i pulled out number 25 on covey two not exactly the place i wanted to be especially as the lads fishing in my area the day before had really struggled but i was here now and i wanted to get a feel back for the place after spending so long away .

On arriving at my home for the next few hours i found it just a couple of pegs away from the bridge with my back to Willow lake with the breeze blowing into the bay near the bridge and it was only eleven meters wide so it wasnt looking too promising especially as it was peg two miss one so not a lot of room to be had but on the plus side i had an empty platform towards my left , i decided to set up a few rigs to cover my options today which where ;

3ft and 4ft i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a staggered bulk starting above the six-inch 009 hook length and my main line was 014 garbo , i feed these swims with a small kinder pot just trickling in a few maggots every couple of minutes to try to drag some fish into my peg but being really careful not to overfeed .

Channel rig with the conditions being reasonably calm i got away with a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern although i could spread it out if i required a slower fall of the hook bait , i used an 009 six-inch hook length and main line was my usual 014 garbo i feed it with a small cupping kit of maggots every thirty minutes hopping that a few f1s would settle on it in the latter part of the match .

Dobbing rig set up at three-foot to start with which was set six-inch off the deck i used a 03 matrix series three float with all the bulk under the float and just one dropper down the line , my main line was 014 garbo and hook length would be 010 as there could be a few carp caught by doing this as expected i wouldn’t feed a thing but push my rig in amongst all the dead reed beds along the far-bank .

Bait for the day couldn’t be simpler just a slice of toastie with a 7mm punch and two pints of maggots .

When the all in sounded i thought it would be best to start on my four-foot rig because it was still cold and then work my way further up the slope as the day progressed , i tapped in six maggots then laid my rig in so it fell up the shelf giving me a tight line between float+hook my rig hadn’t even settled when the elastic came out unfortunately it was a foul hooked f1 which came off after a short fight but at least it showed there was fish in the area . It took a couple more feeds before i finally had another indication which resulted in my first f1 hitting the net and i was rather optimistic of catching a couple more from the same line but thirty minutes without another sign had me scratching my head especially as the lads either side were picking up the odd fish , i replumbed up another swim at the same depth towards my left which was strangely a lot further out from the far-bank yet again this produced a solitary fish with no other indications .

I noticed that the other anglers were fishing in a lot shallower depth really tight to the far-bank so i figured that i was fishing in the wrong depth so i followed suit and picked up my three-foot rig then plumbed up to find a suitable flat area , a couple of feeds resulted in a quick bite which i missed but it was a positive sign the only trouble was my next indication resulted in a small silver hitting the net which as you all know isn’t what you want on the coveys as it’s a sure sign that the f1s are not present . At this point i noticed a swirl in the reeds to my left so i quickly picked up my dobbing rig and dropped a piece of bread among them my float had not even settled when the elastic shot out after a short fight the hook pulled on what i thought was a nice carp , after a few choice swear words i dobbed around for a while longer without another sign so i plumbed up with my three-foot rig at the side of the reeds and began trickling in some maggots it took about twenty minutes before i had another bite which resulted in another f1 coming to the bank but yet again no more indications followed .

Yet another swim was called for so i went further along the left hand margin at 11m but this time further down the slope incase the fish had backed off into the quieter water between the two pegs after a while i managed another f1 then nothing else and a theme seemed to be recurring today because no matter what i did i just couldn’t put a run of bites together , i could see the reeds knocking like mad in between the empty platform and the angler on peg 27 but he was oblivious to it so i stuck a couple more sections on taking me up to 14m , i went as close to them as i was allowed after plumbing up i was surprised to find a touch over three-foot and this made controlling my rig a bit awkward it was a good job the conditions weren’t to bad , after a while my float buried and i was attached to another carp this put up a very spirited fight when i got it to my top kit i found out why as it couldn’t be far off double figures , i just felt that i had it under control and was about to net it when it wouldn’t fit my struggle trying to get it in the landing net causing it to bolt this resulted in the hook pulling it just wasnt going to be my day .

i did another rotation of all my swims without a single sign and as we was approaching the final hour i gave my channel swim a try which i had fed since the match started with a small cupping kit full of maggots , i hopped that it could pull me out of the shit as it is normally a reliable tactic for the latter part of matches but yet again i had a quick fish then nothing and after rotating my swims once more without success then the all out sounded in the distance calling time on a very frustrating match . The lad to my right who had the benefit of the ripple blowing into the bay plus the bridge had picked up the odd fish all day and i noticed he had limited himself to just four different swims by being really patient on this tough day he managed to put 34lb on the scales which put him 4th overall , the guy to my left had also fished a similar match but caught less f1s but had a carp in the last twenty minutes this gave him a low twenty pounds my six fish would have gone about ten pounds but i didn’t bother weighing in today .

So that was another Partridge match over with and yet another struggle from a bad draw im sure my unlucky run at the draw bag will end soon fingers crossed but to be fair i have had my run of flyers on here its just that i haven’t made the most of the situation ,hopefully i will be back for another attempt at the weekend and this time fish a more patient match to see if this produces better results it cant make it any worse anyway .

Diggle AC winter league rnd 4 , Old hough boulders and goose

December 6th , peg 14 boulders lake


Well i was back on the winter league trail and today it was round four due to take place on boulders+goose i just hopped that i could improve on my recent matches, as i seemed to be stuck in the fourth place position in my last three contests which was no doubt down to making the wrong decisions during them meaning i was missing out by the odd pound here+there . It seems the weather was staying a lot warmer than we are used to at this time of year as we are constantly hitting double figures but the down side of it meant we was getting a lot of wind+rain plus the occasional back-end of a hurricane hitting our shores just like we had to contend with this weekend but at least it was forecast to be a better day than on Saturday .

Just as i had finished packing the car and started on my thirty mile journey to Old Hough the heavens opened it was pretty constant rain all the way there but at least it wasn’t as windy as the weatherman had predicted , in fact boulders lake was almost flat calm benefiting from the protection of the trees and this is where i fancied drawing because i had heard it has a nice head of f1s my style of fishing . When the draw was about to start the rain finally eased and it looked like we could be in for a nice days fishing but it turned out to be the calm before the storm , as usual in these matches i hung around towards the rear of the scrum for a dip in the magic hat and when it came for my turn i pulled out peg fourteen on boulders not the best of areas although it looked alright to me with it being 14m wide with a few lily pads to my right and a reed lined far-bank plus i was on the lake i wanted to be on .


I decided to set up ;

Margin at the side of the pads were i was surprised to find nearly four-foot as i expected this swim to produce more carp i used a 4×12 malman roob with 014 garbo main line an 012 garbo hook length as i was going to be mainly feeding corn i had a size 16 guru lwg hook and my elastic was size 12 matrix hollo .

Channel this was plumbed up at ten o’clock and two o’clock so that i could try different feeding patterns as it was just over five foot i used a 4×14 drennon A3 float which had a carbon stem this would allow me to lay my rig in through the water in various ways, i expected to catch more ide+f1s here so i used 012 garbo main line and an 010 garbo six-inch hook length with a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern my hook was a size 18 matrix silverfish pattern the elastic was Nick Gilbert 8-10 green .

Far-bank with all the recent heavy rain going in i didn’t want to set this rig into shallow a depth so started at 4ft with the view i could always go shallower if i needed to during the session , my float was 4×12 malman roob with 014 garbo to an 3 inch 010 garbo hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached .


My bait for the day was ;

One pint corn

One pint micros

Two pints red and white maggots

Small tub 4mm expanders

Small tub white 4mm hook pellets

As the all in sounded i tapped in twenty maggots onto my right hand channel swim before going across to the far-bank where i began using pellets and i fed the swim through a small kinder pot every five minutes , it took only a few feeds before i began getting indications and not long after i had my first fish which was an 8oz crucian a couple more soon followed before the swim went quiet a change of hook bait to a white 4mm pellet produced my biggest fish of the day a nice 4lb mirror carp .Just as i felt i could be on for a few fish the wind and rain reared its ugly head this prevented me from going back across as my pole kept getting ripped out of my hands , i had been loose feeding a dozen maggots onto my top three-line since the match started so with just an hour into the contest i had no option but to give there a whirl and i had an ide almost instantly but it looked like it was a loner because bites were extremely hard to get after that fish .

A change to my right hand channel swim got me back among the ide again and although it wasn’t hectic i was happy putting the odd fish in the net which helped keep me in touch with all those anglers within eye shot as it was fishing a lot harder than we all imagined , the bites began to tail off so i feed a negative line towards my left on my first drop i had a 10oz skimmer as soon as my float settled but nothing else followed so i chopped and changed between the two channel swims feeding one line then fishing the other this kept me ticking over but i really needed to fish across to be within a chance of picking up another carp , I had trickled in a few grains of corn onto my left hand margin at the side of the lily pads since the all in but after sporadically trying there during the match i failed to gain a single indication which was a bit strange .

With just ninety minutes of the match remaining the weather finally took a turn for the better the wind+rain stopped and there was even a touch of blue sky in the distance , i took this opportunity to go back across but after twenty minutes of fishing pellets all i could pick up were small skimmers not exactly what i thought would happen , i noticed the lad to my right catch a couple of ide going really tight to the far-bank i didn’t have the luxury of doing this as i had a few dead lily pads directly in front of me but i could still go a bit further up the shelf so stuck another section on and re-plumbed up and even at 14m it was a touch over 3ft i also chose to fish maggots as this would also give me the opportunity of picking up some ide as well . A few feeds with the kinder pot every five minutes and i was back into the fish again more silvers than before but i was just happy catching a few fish then suddenly it died on me but i didn’t have to wait long to find the reason as my elastic got ripped out of my pole , after a short fight i had a carp in the net another quickly followed of similar size before i pulled out of a bigger one this unsettled my swim and it took awhile for me to begin getting bites again when i did they were from the ide again i just knew that carp would cost me as the all out sounded calling time on another rather confusing match and i am struggling to get my head around this silver fishing lark .



As the weigh in began on peg one he put 19lb on the scales , peg six had 15lb , then i had 14lb and peg twenty had 18lb so yet again i finished fourth and as i thought that lost carp cost me a higher finishing position . For a change goose lake fished a lot better with peg five winning with an all net of ide totalling 35lb , then peg 18 had 24lb all carp and peg 16 third with 18lb another all ide net . Having a week of from the winter league and next sunday i will be standing in for my mate on the teams of four match at horns dam which should be interesting as not only have i never seen the canal pool i will be fishing on but i haven’t even been to the fishery , so lots of internet searching going on during the week to try to find an edge and midering of my Facebook friends but im really looking forward to competing against the best anglers in the Preston area especially the ted carter lads .

Diggle AC winter league rnd two at old hough

November 22nd , peg eleven goose lake

Goose lake

Today was the second round of the Diggle AC winter league at old hough and yet again it was to take place on goose+boulders the same waters as last week ,as we was fast approaching december the weather understandably had taken a turn for the worse with the first proper frost of the year which no doubt would have a dramatic affect on the weights , especially if the results of the previous days open match here was to go by with just twenty pounds winning and five of the top six weights all came from the same area on boulders the top weight from goose was only 12lb .Luckily on the morning of the match i didn’t have to scrape the van windscreen of ice but the dashboard showed a massive one degree although it did double in temperature by the time i got to the fishery and in fact it did not feel that bad especially if the cold wind stayed away , with all eighteen anglers in attendance it wasn’t long before the draw took place and i fancied a go on boulders lake as i heard that it held more f1s which are a more reliable target species at this time of year and something i am more comfortable in catching but yet again i ended up on goose lake this time peg eleven it was situated around the back of the lake in no man’s land after a couple of texts to lads who fished it a lot i found out it wasn’t a great area to be in not really the news i wanted to hear although i had worked out a plan during the week on how best to target the peg because i am still relatively new to the venue .


My rigs for the day are going to be ;

Far-bank dobbing rig here i used a 0.2 matrix series three float my line was 012 garbo direct to a size 16 guru lwg and my elastic was matrix orange size ten, i had plumbed around in front of the reeds to try to find the average depth of the swim and when i felt a couple of carp brush the line to the right of my peg i was quietly confident of catching a few of them i purposely stopped plumbing up in that area so i wouldn’t disturb them anymore hoping they would settle back down again .

Far shelf rig at three-foot deep here i would be fishing pellets so i used a 4×12 malman roob float with 014 garbo main line and my hook length was a short 3 inch length of 010 garbo which had a strung bulk just above it the elastic here was matrix orange size ten.

Channel swim i plumbed up two lines one 7m to my right which i would feed with half a pot of maggots every twenty minutes and the other line 11m to my left which i would feed with a pot of ground-bait + dead pinkies every thirty minutes i hoped the skimmers would settle there although i wasn’t to sure that it would work that’s why i decided to position it so far out of my peg , i plumbed up to find just under five foot so used a 4×12 chianti float my main line was 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length that had a size twenty matrix bagger hook attached to start with i had a bulk and two dropper shotting pattern but i would change this for a more positive pattern if i began catching well on pellets over the ground-bait swim my elastic was matrix yellow size 8 .

Near side shelf rig which was positioned a bit further down the slope in deeper water at 4ft on this line i used 014 garbo main line with an 012 hook length and my elastic was matrix red size twelve , i had upped the strength here because i hopped this would be a good area to pick up a bonus carp or two .

Bait for the day was going to be ;

Two pints of red and white maggots .

Two pints of f1 dark groundbait with a hand full of dead pinkies in it .

One pint of soaked micros .

One slice of steamed and rolled warburtons orange toastie bread cut into 4 pieces and i had a size 11mm + 7mm punch .


As the all in for the match sounded i eagerly shipped out across to the far-bank where i had earlier felt the carp with my plumet i began dobbing at the side of the reeds and had a piece of 7mm punched bread on the hook , i was a bit surprised that i didn’t get any indications straight away and i had to change depths, increasing the punch bread size to 11mm , going into all the nook+crannies in between the rushes , i even tried going 14m on either side but i still didn’t have any positive bites this was similar to my match last week and it’s a bit strange that i can get this method to work on most waters but struggle when using it on here maybe it is down to the stocking levels of carp but i am not to sure . I decided to waste no more time using it luckily those anglers around me hadn’t caught a great deal i wasn’t that far behind and my next move was the pellet line at three-foot down the far shelf , with the weather conditions being as they were i decided to go easy on the feed so i began by tapping in a few micros hoping to attract the attention of any passing fish and i could always increase it if i needed to , after about three feeds i began getting indications on the float which looked like very shy f1 bites i tried to alter my shotting pattern to try to help turn the little dips into fish and i finally began hitting them but it wasn’t the f1s i was looking for but small 4oz skimmers plus the odd micro crucian not what i wanted to be catching i persevered on this line for a while in case any bigger fish settled but apart from a solitary half pound skimmer it didn’t get any better .

I had fed both my channel swims every thirty minutes and as we was nearly ninety minutes into the contest i felt that i had no other option but to go on it , i started on my left hand line over the top of the ground-bait with maggot on the hook and i began getting indications straight away but yet again they were very hard to hit similar to those on my pellet line , unluckily they also turned out to be the same stamp of fish and i have a feeling that the fish meal in ground-bait + pellets aren’t the way to go on here but i suppose if things go really hard they can guarantee you a bite or two . I went on to my right hand maggot swim and after a while i began catching some 6oz ide which seems to be the average size of silver fish in here i was happy putting the odd fish in the net as i was on a par with those anglers around me but i felt that i needed to be catching a lot quicker if i was going to trouble the framing positions , so i began firing six maggots every few minutes towards the far bank rushes i hoped this would attract the attention of some carp and after twenty minutes i went over it with my dobbing rig that had two maggots attached . It worked remarkably well as i began a good run of stamp ide and with still no sign of a carp i quickly changed to a more suitable silverfish rig this increased my catch rate significantly although it was noticeable that the odd fish was spewing up bait a sure sign that i was over feeding the swim , a change from using the catty to a kinder pot and only feeding every two fish seemed to solve the problem it also got the ide on to the deck making them easier to catch but my elastic was a bit heavy at eight hollo causing the fish to splash on the surface when hooked this disturbed the shoal as they seemed to push further under the rushes .


I felt the swim could do with a rest and i had seen a couple of carp come out on the opposite bank so i could also do with a bonus fish or two so i started feeding my left hand margin swim with a mixture of micros+ground-bait while this settled i tried to find another area along the far bank where i could get another run of ide but strangely apart from one that took it on the drop i couldn’t get attract another bite , so back to my original line and yet again they was lined up but in the back of my mind i felt i needed a carp to get in the money so i kept on trying my margin in ten minute spells every thirty minutes but this failed to produce a bite . In the last forty minutes the fish really backed off this coincided with the sun going in and the temperature beginning to drop , thinking about it now i should have fished further down the slope or kept on feeding my channel line which would have given me some were to go to when i felt the fish needed a rest .

When the all out sounded i wasn’t to sure how well i had got on so would have to wait for the scales to arrive to tell me my fate as they turned up on my lake i followed them around to see how everyone else had got on , i noticed that boulders lake had been rock hard with people struggling to break 8lb on my lake goose peg six took the early lead with five carp for twenty pounds , there was then a few weights under 4lb until it was my turn to weigh in and my 50 silvers went just over 15lb which was more than i thought as im still getting used to this style of fishing , peg 16 had another all ide net for 18lb ,the lake flyer peg where i was last week had another carp weight of 19lb so i ended up fourth not really what i wanted and I’m sure that if i had fished a better match i could have framed today but at least i had caught a few fish almost trebling those either side of me .

Not to sure if i can make the next round on lucky dip + prospect lakes  as the wife is working Saturday night so that will be one of my dropped matches but if i can sort something out i will try to fish it as i don’t want to limit myself to the results i can get rid of as it will be hard enough keeping at the top of the league with the standard of anglers fishing it .

Sycamore fishery open match Rowans canal

Rowans canal peg 28 , October 25th


After last week’s struggle at Partridge lakes i decided to let the fishing there settle down a bit which would hopefully be soon and choose to go to Sycamore fishery instead i hadn’t been back there since my mini meltdown after an evening match around three months ago but felt it was the right time for a return , with the extra hour in bed i was up mega earlier and as per usual i was the first to arrive but at least this gave me chance to have a walk round the match canals to see if anything had changed i was glad to see that the path around the canals had been done as it can get quite waterlogged during the autumn months , plus i also wanted to check where the fish was showing themselves i noticed that there was some occasional bubbling coming up from the 3ft deep lines on either channel especially on the thirty numbered pegs which is usually a good area to be in any way .

On getting back to the cabin i booked on all the usual faces were in attendance and it soon came round to draw time , i was a bit disappointed with the turnout as only twelve had turned up so they put us all on Rowan canal which was fishing the best  but a match is a match and as it turned out i was last to pick with peg 28 Rowan sticking to my mitt not the best area to be in but i should be able to catch a few if im lucky . The weather leading up to today’s match was a bit indifferent to say the least with plenty of rain and cold overnight temps even a touch of ground frost for the first time this year it was also calm and bright not your ideal conditions , yesterdays match here was won with just fifty pounds so i expected a similar weight to be needed today which with the stamp of fish in here you wouldn’t need a great deal and every bite matters .


I had decided to try a new method today which was dobbing because this seems to be the best time of year to give it a whirl and to be honest it isn’t something that i had even given much thought in the past but if it can pick you up a few extra fish then every little helps i felt that here would be an ideal place to start with the big carp hugging the far-bank reeds .

Dobbing rig , plumbed up along the far-bank and found an average depth of around 2.5ft so i set my rig to start at 2ft which would be six-inch of the deck i also had quite a long lash between pole + float this would enable me to keep the pole tip out-of-the-way in the clear shallow water ,float was a 4×10 malman roob which had two number 11 stotz down the rig and I’m not to sure this was the right float to use a heavier one might have been better my main line was a more robust 0.14 garbo this would allow for a slower fall of the hook bait and i had a 4 inch 0.12 hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook attached .

Pellet rig set at three-foot which was where i had earlier seen the fish bubbling , i used a 4×12 malman roob float which had a spread bulk above the short 4 inch hook length line was the usual 0.12 garbo and main line was 0.14 garbo .

Channel maggot rig , i was surprised to find under five foot as the deepest part of the peg which was a good bit shallower than the other side so i wasn’t too sure that it would work today and i used a RW slim float the shotting pattern was a bulk with two droppers my main line was 014 garbo with a 012 garbo six-inch hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached .

Elastic on all rigs was my orange size ten matrix hollow which is ideal for this time of year .

Bait for the day was the usual ;

Two pints of red and white maggots

One pint of micros

Small tub of 4mm pellets

One slice of steamed and rolled bread cut into four pieces .

As the all in sounded i put a piece of punched bread on my hook and pushed my rig out towards the right of my swim where there was a nice patch of overhanging reeds the ideal place i thought to get me a fish or two , i lowered my rig in a gap between them and after about five minutes i had my first bite which took me a bit by surprise because there was no signs of any fish being present before it buried of course i missed it thought . I re baited the hook then shipped back out to the same place this time i was a bit more on the ball as it soon flew under and my first fish dobbing was a mirror carp nearly 5lb which was a good start , it took me a bit longer to get my next fish which was an f1 about a pound this took the hook bait just as i was lifting the rig and at first i thought it was foul hooked but the hook was right in the middle of the top lip , i then had a spell of missed bites which began doing my head in as no matter what i did i couldn’t hit them and after moving a bit further in front of me i then managed another carp which was similar size to the other one .

After an hour i had over 10lb in the net which was the start to the match i wanted as those anglers within eye shot seemed to be struggling and i know decided to target my peg with the more usual tactics starting with my 3ft pellet line i planned on feeding this swim by tapping in some micros rather than my usual dump of bait because i didn’t want to over feed in the cold conditions , after working my rig and tapping some micros in every couple of minutes i was still bite less so i decided to feed a bit heavier by filling a small cad pot full of micros then lowering my rig in over the top then keeping it really still this is a tactic that has worked well for me on other waters but this also failed to work which was a bit puzzling , I set up another line to my right in the same depth before starting again i began with the same feeding regime but yet again i was still bite less no matter what i tried and before i knew it over an hour had passed without me adding to my net .

All the time i had thrown a dozen maggots on to my channel swim at six meters so with nothing else working for me i had no option other than to go on it a bit earlier than i would have liked , first drop on it and my float had only just settled before it dipped under with a 10 oz f1 hitting the net which was a bit more promising i missed my next bite but by working out how to lay my rig in as the fish wanted i managed a little run of fish for half an hour but i then started foul hooking or bumping them off and this must have disrupted the shoal because they seemed to drift off , as i had caught a few fish on maggot down the track i decided to re-try my far-bank 3ft line with the same bait i altered my shotting pattern for a more staggered bulk and only trickled the maggots in but yet again i struggled to get a bite on either of my swims across which was strange as i was catching at 2ft when dobbing with bread .

I had noticed a couple of people on the other bank catching a few carp along the near shelf and it’s always worth keeping an eye on how your fellow anglers are getting on , i decided to follow suit and plumbed up a line on either side of me using top 2 plus 2 after a couple of feeds with maggots i managed a solitary carp about 3lb on my left hand swim before another long period of inactivity it seemed there was a lack of fish down this part of the canal , I had continued to feed my track line and i hopped that the f1s had settled back on it but they hadn’t as all i could catch were small chub not a good sign .

As we was fast approaching the last hour of the match and with me being well out of contention for a framing position i decided to spend the remaining minutes back dobbing bread because this was my only line which had produced a prolonged run of bites and as i hadn’t done a great deal of it i could do with the practise , yet again i started at 14m to my right four-inch off the deck i had another decent carp virtually straight away and just maybe if i could get another five i had an outside chance of getting in the money because they seemed to be a decent stamp using this tactic . By changing to two pieces of punch on the hook and leaving more bristle showing i slowly began to add some fish to my net i really had to work at it though altering depths before trying every little nook and cranny , with ten minutes left i felt that i needed a couple more fish but unfortunately i lost another big carp but i did manage one right on the whistle and with only 36lb on the clicker i was sure that i hadn’t done enough .

Hind sight is a lovely thing though because i reckon if i had stayed dobbing all match i would have caught enough to frame because low 50lb nets got second +third with 70lb winning and my net went just under 40lb which was a bit more than i had thought , it was still puzzling why my pellet lines didn’t really kick of today as they failed to produce a solitary bite and i felt that the depth of my channel swim might have been the reason why the fish didn’t want to settle but i couldn’t be certain . I have decided to fish the big open at Weston pools next Sunday its been awhile since my last visit and I’m quite looking forward to it just hope the weather isn’t to bad .


Limbrick fishery

October 20th , peg 17


A new venue for me to try today i had heard a great deal about Limbrick fishery from a few lads that have fished the open matches here and to be honest some off it wasn’t very complimentary with low winning weights usually required although this often resulted in a close contests which can be won from any peg in my opinion makes for a fairer competition , i decided to have my last after work session of the year here as the nights are beginning to draw in plus the clocks go back at the weekend meaning you get an extra hour in bed on arriving at the complex i was surprised to see the twenty peg match lake which was in the shape of a donut with the island being between 11m+14m wide nearly half full .


I suppose this was a good thing as it should give a true representation of how it would fish in match conditions obviously it was at a different time of day but it was the best that i could do , i decided on peg seventeen which allowed me an empty peg either side it was also only eleven meters to the far-bank rushes with my limited time on the bank i chose to fish just two lines these were ;

Channel swim at six meters were i had plumbed up to find a touch over five feet and i used a 4×14 malman roob float with a carbon stem my shotting pattern was a bulk 2ft from the hook with two droppers main line was the usual 014 garbo and 012 hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Far-bank three-foot deep rig i used a 4×14 malman roob with a bulk shotting pattern above the short four inch hook length main line was the usual 014 garbo and 012 hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook .


My bait was what i had remaining from Sundays match at partridge ;

Two pints of red+white maggots

One pint of micro

One pint sweetcorn which i didn’t use

Small tub 4mm expanders

At three o’clock i was ready to get started i began plumbing up across trying to find a flattish area near the overhanging rushes this took me a little longer than i had planned because the bottom seemed to be a little uneven and snaggy i remembered that i had been told that the rushes came quite away from the bank in summer so i moved closer to the open water in front of the mud bank this got me a nice clean area about a foot square it was also at the required three-foot depth , i tapped in some micros and set the little trap after a couple of minutes without a sign i lift+dropped my rig to try to get a response this didn’t work so i decided to refeed it got me the desired result as know sooner had my float settled than it dipped under with a little mirror carp coming to the bank .


After another feed i caught another quick carp before i began getting stupid little liners on my float i doubted that i had over fed the swim but i then foul hooked a fish which came off on the way in it was noticeable that occasionally my bulk would not go to the bottom so i made the decision to replumb up to see what was going on and it turned out that something had moved on the bottom which was causing all the trouble , rather than try to fish around it i and while i was still early into the session i had a look on my right hand and found another workable area then proceeded to start again it didn’t take too long before i had the fish queuing up but this time they was f1s around 10 oz a piece i needed to dot my float right down to see the indications in the first hour i had caught 18 fish which to be honest i hadn’t expected as on all accounts it is a hard water to figure out .


I had thrown a dozen maggots on my channel swim for the last hour and apart from the odd duck i had not seen any signs shallow which wasn’t surprising in the cold conditions but i was eager to see what it would produce on the deck , i laid my rig in so my hookbait would fall slowly in the bottom two foot of water and it didn’t take too long before i began getting indications on the float with a steady stream of silvers hitting the net all around the 8oz mark. All of a sudden my swim went dead then i noticed a few bubbles came up from the deck i expected a carp to have moved in but strangely my next couple of fish where pound plus silver bream ! !


I continued feeding maggots and laying my rig through as they fell i was catching a fish nearly every chuck with a wide variety of species coming my way i even managed a couple of the big golden orfe , after forty minutes of picking fish up i began running out of maggots so decided to spend the last part of the session fishing across again and as i needed the practise starting swims up i plumbed a new line further to my left at nearly 13m just like before i was feeding a cad pot of micros then lowered my rig on top of it , after about ten minutes i had my first bite which was a little common around the 2lb mark and i was soon back into fish after fish like at the start but this time they was about double the size i’m not sure if this was because my swim was further away from me or that it had begun to go a bit dark .


Just i was about to pack up the owner came round and we had a good chat about the fishery he seemed to think that it had fished hard today with the recent drop in temp but i seemed to have done ok , he has lots of plans for the match lake including another stocking of fish in the next few months and with this being my first visit i felt that i had learned a great deal about the venue and will be looking forward to giving a match go in the near future although there isn’t one this weekend which is a shame .

Partridge lakes open match

Peg 17 covey one , October 11th


After my recent trips to other venues in the past few weeks and with the temperatures dropping meaning lower winning weights a return to Partridge lakes was in order but as i had not been there for nearly three months i felt that it could take me a few matches to get back into the swing of things although it was at this time of year that i tend to do well because the conditions always favour the angler who is willing to work his peg , after getting as much information as i could through social media and contacting a few venue regulars i felt that i had a plan in mind on how to target the coveys at this time of year but i did make a conscious effort not to over complicate things which is my usual downfall in these matches . The weather leading up to the match was pretty good for the time of year with light winds blue skies although this meant the overnight temperatures had dropped considerably and this would have a big bearing on your target weights and after speaking to the balief he felt that most sections would be won with less than forty pounds with around eighty pounds getting you in the frame , after having had a look round the lakes in the draw bag trying to spot the most likely areas the f1s would be i managed to have a quick catch up with a few mates before joining the queue for the draw and when it came for my turn i pulled out peg seventeen on covey one not exactly the place i wanted to be but i can not be expected to sit on a flyer every match .


After unpacking my gear at my home for the next few hours i decided on a nice simple match targeting just ;

Across and margin at three-foot deep , i used a 4×12 malman roob float with 014 garbo main line which had a short three-inch hook length of 012 garbo and my hook was a size 16 matrix bagger hook elastic was size ten orange matrix .

Channel swim where i plumbed up to find a touch over six-foot and i used a 4×14 malman roob float with a carbon stem the shotting pattern was a bulk at two foot then two droppers  my main line was 014 garbo which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length the hook was a size 16 matrix bagger hook elastic was size ten orange matrix .


On my bait table i had ;

Three pints of red and white maggots

One pint of micro

One pint of 4mm pellets

Small tub of 4mm expanders .


As the all in sounded i shipped out to the area i had earlier plumbed up and i tapped in a kinder pot full of micros before lowering my rig over the top of it i purposely held my hook bait over the top of my feed area trying to set a kind of trap for the f1s , i kept on dropping in a few pellets every five minutes to try to attract some fish into my swim and it took a couple of feeds before i got my first fish another quickly followed but after a while i began getting strange indications on my float it was even pushed out of my swim a few times this must have been caused by the fish being too eager eating the micros , i reduced the amount that i was putting in but couldn’t cut it out completely as it is what was keeping the fish in the area this kind of worked for me as i picked up a couple more f1s but i needed to spread my bulk to keep the indications coming . In the first hour i had managed to put six f1s in the net which was better than those anglers around me but my section was in with the split and i couldn’t see how they was getting on , my far-bank line had stopped producing indications so i re plumbed a new area further to my right then started again just like before it took a couple of feeds before i began seeing signs of fish and having had an almighty line bite when my float was almost lying vertically on the surface it didn’t take me long to find out the culprit as i landed a bonus five-pound carp which was worth its weight in gold in these hard conditions i persevered on this line for thirty minutes without anymore indications i even retried my original swim but this also failed to produce a bite .


I had fed my channel line twice every five minutes since the match started but i was reluctant to go on it so early in the match as the longer you can leave it the better it gets and i decided to see what my margins would produce first after twenty minutes of fishing both sides with not even an indication so i had no option but to go on to my five meter line , by keeping my feeding tight and frequant i managed to pick up some ide quite regularly although they was only between 8+12oz i was slowly building up my weight which was better than those anglers around me . I was a bit surprised on how difficult it was too pick up the f1s on the deck but i finally found the best way to lay my rig through the water which was suitable for them and managed a run of six f1s before the ide returned , with an hour of the match remaining my channel line was slowing down but i could see a few ide flashing under the surface and i was in a bit of a quandary on what to do and after thinking long and hard i decided to not fish shallow choosing to concentrate on the deck as this gave me the best chance of picking up a better stamp of fish or even another bonus carp . With only a few minutes of the match remaining i latched into a carp which gave me a bit of a run around before the hook pulled out at the net which was my fault as i had noticed that my hook had gone blunt when hooking the maggots but never changed it i just hopped that it wouldn’t cost me  a chance for the section .



As the all out sounded in the distance i was unsure on how i had got on the lad to my right had packed up early and the lad on peg 18 had managed a few nice carp so i would just have to wait and see , unusually for on here i didn’t have to wait long for the scales woman when she arrived at my peg i had 43lb to beat and to be honest i wasn’t sure that i had caught that weight , when the scales went round to 50lb to be honest i was a bit surprised as i had only 19 f1s on my clicker plus a carp and some ide this gave me the section win and also second on the lake which i was happy with after my long break from the venue . It turned out that the best weights came from covey three with 120lb winning by fishing worm in the margin and a mid sixty pound was required for a top six finish which without that hour quiet spell i could have probably managed , overall i was happy with how my match went i have a few things to work on before my return match next sunday and i might try to get a few hours after work on covey five to try to sort them out .

Weston pools , open match

Belvedere peg seven , August 16th


Well another Sunday soon came around and i had really been enjoying the fishing at Weston pools and couldn’t wait to get back for another try at the open because it is totally different to the waters we find around here with them being mainly lakes and it isn’t all about BB tangling as a variety of methods can catch you lots of fish . The match was taking place on three different waters this week which where Weir , Clay pit , Belvedere and the only one that i had fished before was the latter which was a month ago although it was only a pleasure session but i did catch extremely well my mate The Big Dipper had been in the week leading up to the match and also done really well fishing shallow so i fancied drawing on their today .


My day didn’t start particularly well with my van failing to start in the morning which i put down to the damp conditions in the previous few days also i hadn’t used it on the Saturday , i think a new battery might be needed as after a jump-start it worked fine and off i headed on the sixty mile trip to the fishery a bit later than i had planned but i made good time arriving there at 920 . After booking on for the match i saw a few lads from Leigh tackle and we are bringing quite a few people from up our way as they hadn’t been here before  we had a walk around two of the lakes not surprisingly they was really impressed with them both especially Weir as every peg was the same with plenty open water to target plus six meters of reed lined margins on both sides in my opinion it would back a good replacement for the Fisho final if it was ever to leave Cudmore Arena, the one thing that gets a bit of getting used to is the fact the aerator are left on all summer this makes the fish fight extremely hard but also causes a bad undertow so heavier floats than usual are needed to keep a static bait .

It soon came round to draw time and i was about halfway down the list to get my name called and it seemed most of the anglers before me was heading to Clay pit but i managed to draw peg 7 on Belvedere only a few away from where i fished the last time i was on it and at first i was quite happy with my draw although i got told as i was walking to my peg i was just off the better pegs and was in a poor area not what i wanted to hear although as the saying goes fish have fins so can be anywhere and i would target it just the same as any match that i had fished on here ;

Shallow , 0.1 preston chianti float taking two number 11 stotz my line was 012 garbo direct to a size 20 matrix bagger hook and i had two rigs set up one at 2ft the other 1ft , elastic was orange size 10 matrix .

Margin 4ft deep , 0.4 sconezone doubledeez float with a spread bulk of number 8 stotz above the 014 garbo hook length and my main line was 016 garbo , elastic was yellow size 14 matrix .

Top kit 4ft deep , 0.6 malman roob float with an olivette plus a dropper shotting pattern my main line was 014 garbo with an 012 garbo hook length attached was a size 16 matrix bagger hook , elastic was red size 12 matrix .

Last time i fished Belvidere i caught well using pellet and should really have taken some with me today but as i was fishing the natural bait festival on here i wanted to use the same bait i would be using then but i did sneak a few 4mm pellets on my side tray for when i needed them ;

2 pints casters

2 pints corn + hemp

1 pint fishery 4mm pellets

With the match only starting at 1130 i was ready well before the all in and was eager to get started after hearing the hooter in the distance i proceeded to put a cup full of corn+hemp on my top kit line before going on it with a piece of corn on the hook , i was getting the odd indication on my float but no proper bites it took thirty minutes before i had my first fish which was a pound F1 and although i had heard it fished hard on the club match the day before plus there was 16 on the lake i still expected to catch a few . In the first hour i only had 4 fish in the net using my top kit all the time i had thrown a few casters on to my shallow line i hadn’t seen any swirls but i had nothing to lose by giving it  a try so i started with my deeper rig and began laying my rig in through the falling bait by doing this i started getting a few bites it didn’t take long before i had a run of Ide all over the pound mark when i began getting liners i changed my shallower rig and only fed when my rig wasn’t in the water this kept me in touch with the fish but after an hour they disappeared and i really should have followed them out but the fence behind made doing this a bit problematic .


I had another look on my top kit line which i had topped up every twenty minutes with a kinder pot full of corn+hemp while i was fishing shallow this gave me another run of F1s but it was very slow going and i needed my margin to work other wise i was screwed , i fed my left hand side with a small cupping kit full of corn+hemp and the other side with casters i deposited it about six-inch away from the bank then went over it with a piece of corn on the hook pulling my rig right to the side of the reeds . It didn’t take long before i had my first fish which was a nice size mirror carp and they were coming quite sporadically but at least i started putting some weight in the net i was even pulling back on those around me , i really struggled to get a bite on my caster margin strangely so i decided to increase the feed on that line but i went through a spell of foul hooking fish on my corn line and felt that i had too many fish in the swim .


While i let my left hand margin settle a bit i went back shallow and picked up a few more Ide but the F1s were not really feeding but at around 2lb a piece they was worth catching yet again they began to back off , with ninety minutes of the match remaining i decided to concentrate on my margins and i had to resort to using corn skin with my shotting pattern a bulk with a dropper so it would flutter down through the water this was totally against what i thought would work as i was sure a heavier more static hook bait to counteract the under tow should be best . I began catching the odd carp averaging around 5lb on my corn line my clicker was ticking over nicely but it was too little too late and this seemed to be the pattern for my matches on here which i need to sort out if i want to contend for a framing place , when the all out sounded i had 50lb on my clicker plus my silver net and i didn’t have long to find out my exact weight  as the scales man arrived my three nets went 60lb that was a bit more than i had thought .

It turned out that 100lb won Belvedere from peg three then two mid 80lb weights which were facing each other with a lily bed in between i think it was pegs nine and 23 most of the other anglers on the lake had around 50lb so it fished reasonably well just not how i expected it too , the other lakes fished about the same with 117lb winning Weir and 103lb winning Clay pit . So although it fished hard it was a lot better than most of the venues around here and it is turning into one of my favorite venues as i enjoy the variety of species+tactics needed to compete even if it takes an hour to get there i would recommend it to anybody so go give it a whirl .