Hall lane Bessies pool

Sept 5th , peg 23 Bessie’s pool


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

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

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

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

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

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

Two pints of 4 mm pellets

One pint soaked micro

One pint ground-bait

One pint caster

Quarter kilo of worms

Tub mixed hard pellets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

Tunnel barn , Jennys pool

August 28th , peg 19 Jenny’s pool


After i had fished the Friday flyer i decided to fish Jenny’s pool for a couple of hours while the rush hour traffic eased it is somewhere that i had always wanted to try because it holds some big stamp f1s+ carp and was a bit disappointed not to draw it in the festival , thankfully the rain had been replaced with blue skies but because it was higher up it was more affected by the wind which made fishing 14m across to the far-bank a bit harder than i would have liked .

There was a few pleasure anglers on it so i decided to sit on peg 19 which was just on the brink of the ripple and as it was blowing right to left the wind was a bit more manageable , after plumbing up at the side of the reeds i found a good 4ft and decided to use a 4×14 malman roob float with 0.14 garbo main line and an 0.12 garbo hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook . I was unsure about what bait to use but seeing as though i had plenty maggots left i decided to kick off using them and also planned on feeding heavier after seeing + hearing the other anglers on the Friday flyer .IMG-20150828-00735I kicked off by putting in a big pot of maggots in then went over the top of it with red+white on the hook my float had only just settled before my float dipped under resulting in a 2 lb f1 hitting the net , went straight back out and five minutes later i was into a proper lump after a spirited fight a near double figure mirror carp graced the bank . Unfortunately the next few bites only resulted in small silvers and with time running out i made a tactical decision of changing to pellets so i put another big pot in of 4mm this time i would also feed with a large kinder pot after every couple of fish , this seemed the best way to go as i was soon catching an f1 a chuck but i also began missing a few bites this meant shipping back in too put another pellet on and i decided to change to banded pellet , this did not have an effect on my frequency of bites but helped increase my catch rate .


After nearly an hour i had thirty pounds on my clicker but my fishing got disrupted by the sight of someone’s top four came sailing past embedding itself straight into the exact spot where i was fishing , so after spending the next ten minutes trying to help him rescue it disrupting my swim in the process it drifted off in the opposite direction and sank . So after changing my tangled rig and re-plumbing a new swim i went back out depositing a kinder pot full of pellets before lowering in my hook-bait among it , just like before i was straight into some nice f1s which was surprising following all the disturbance and after two hours i called time on my session with fifty pounds on my clicker .


Partridge lakes , Maver match this qualifier

July 18th , Covey four peg 83


Well today was my last chance to fish a big qualifier this year and to be totally honest i wasn’t feeling it due to illness but having paid for the ticket in January i just had to give it a go , i found out through social media the day before the contest that there was 86 anglers due to take part in the match these would be spread over nine lakes Covet 1-6 , Spey , Marsh and Ribbon this would allow us a lot more room than on the normal open matches where a similar amount of anglers would be just on coveys 1-5 and with this in mind i expected some big weights ( i took three nets just in case )

The weather recently had been a bit indifferent with one day it being warm+sunny the next cloudy+rainy ( well it is summer after all ) we had some heavy rain overnight but on the morning of the match it was forecast to be dry with blue skies although a bit breezy , on arriving at the venue i had a quick catch up with a few of my mates that i hadn’t seen for a while and joined the queue there was a smattering of big name anglers but not too many of the Partridge regulars who had no doubt gone to see how Connor Barlow gets on in the Fishomania final at Arena lakes Cudmore .


When it came for my turn to choose their wasnt that many left in the bag but i still managed to find a flyer with peg 83 covey four sticking to my hand and on an open match i would have been more than happy with it but on the big contests the coveys don’t have a good record although with all the room today you just never know , as i arrived at my home for the next few hours in front of me was flat calm with the strong wind blowing down both sides of Covey four and this could give me a problem because all the recent framing weights had been caught shallow with a ripple obviously being an advantage allowing the fish to settle better .

With this in mind i decided to set up ;

Shallow 1ft-2ft-3ft , 0.2 drennan AS3 float with 012 matrix line with a size 20 matrix rigger hook attached my elastic was orange matrix .

Margin, 0.4 ruddy float with 016 Matrix line and an 014 matrix hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook attached my elastic was red matrix .

Far-bank , 0.3 joof float with 014 Matrix main line and a 012 matrix hook length which had a size 18 matrix rigger hook attached my elastic was red matrix .


Partridge lakes has a strict six pint limit so i took with me ;

3 pints red and white maggots

2 pints of 4mm pellets

1 pint corn

1/2 kilo of ground-bait

I was ready well before the 11am all in it was around this time i started feeling rough again no doubt down to the tablets wearing off and tackling all my tackle to the peg , as i had done all the hard work getting ready i had the easy part of fishing the match so i hopped my illness would settle down a bit as the day progressed and as the hooter sounded i shipped out to the far-bank where i had early found three flat areas when i plumbed up .After tapping in some 4mm feed pellets i lowered my rig in among it but five minutes without an indication wasn’t what i had expected so i brought my rig in and re-fed , this time my float had only just settled when my elastic shot out it didn’t take long before a small carp hit the net and i managed another four of them in a forty minutes spell but strangely no f1s.


All the time i had catapulted in a dozen maggots towards my left as close to the ripple as i was allowed and with the lads on both sides of me catching well shallow i decided to follow suit as my far-bank line wasnt really producing how i would like plus if i was going to catch a good weight of fish i would need to get them lined up in the water although for some strange reason i can’t get that method to work on Partridge lakes , with there not being many fish topping in the area i started on my deepest rig and i would go shallower if i began missing bites or foul hooking fish . I kept firing in a few maggots before laying my rig in through them but even though i had fed this line for nearly an hour i didn’t get any indications which wasn’t the response i had hoped for , i tried feeding heavier and changing for a shallower rig but all this produced was the odd Ide there was lots of bubbles coming up from the deck which was a sure sign that most of the maggots weren’t getting eaten on the way down and i hadn’t set up a channel rig up because i felt that the water was too warm for it too work .

I kept on feeding shallow while i went back to my far-bank swim and by working the three areas i had earlier plumbed up i managed to catch a few big f1s but with just over half the match gone i was contemplating packing up early as i was beginning to feel sick and burning up , i decided to put three cups of ground-bait plus one of corn onto my margin and if it didn’t work i would be off home i left it to settle for twenty minutes so i re tried shallow but yet again this only produced a few Ide somewhere quite big although not what i wanted to be catching .


My first try on my margin swim gave me an indication straight away which lifted my spirits and it didn’t take long before my first proper bite this resulted in a carp of around 4lb , the next hour passed in a flash with a big f1 or carp hitting the net every five minutes when the swim started to die on me i just feed with another cup of ground-bait plus corn and i might have drawn in too many fish because i began foul hooking a couple of them which resulted in broken hook lengths or trashed rigs . It took me awhile to get my new rig to work properly ( how often does that happen exactly same float but does not sit the same ) and settle my swim down ,but by going a lot tighter to the bank i began catching again although they was now f1s rather than carp but as the all out sounded i just had time to net a nice mirror , i was kicking myself for not trying my margin sooner because i had a few fish lined up and they definitely wanted to be there with the wind blowing into it but rightly or wrongly i felt that i needed to catch shallow to get a big weight .


I had 36  fish on my clicker and reckoned that would get me around 70lb but i would have a long time to find out as i was the last to weigh in on Covey four , Jon Arthur to my right had caught well all day putting 180lb on the scales which is a top weight from that peg and there was plenty weights around the ton mark before they arrived at my peg and 102lb was winning my section , my first net went 48lb which was more than i had thought and I’m usually good at splitting my fish so i figured i might have a chance for the ton but my second net only went 41lb and i ended up just under 90lb and second in section again . As per usual for on here i fished half a good match and couldn’t get them shallow but i should have known the lack of ripple would have worked against me , if i had concentrated on my margin or even set up a swim in front of empty peg 84 i could have caught a lot more but i doubt that by doing it i would have won because Spey had a 215lb weight then another 200lb from Covey three and in fact their was twenty weights over the ton out of the 84 anglers here today plus i had my best weight from Partridge lakes and my second big 80lb of the year .

After the match it took me awhile to pack up my gear as i was physically drained so i will be having a rest for the next few weeks until i can get to the bottom of what’s wrong with me starting with some blood tests at the doctors , but i hope that my next outing will be at Weston pools the first Sunday in August .

Weston pools fishery

July 12th , peg six Belvedere lake


A new venue for me to visit today which was Weston pools in Oswestry I just hoped that it would live up to all the hype surrounding it which mainly revolved around the specimen barbel , I decided to head off on the sixty mile journey at around 9am so that I could hopefully avoid the rush hour traffic and after a bit of a detour through the town centre I arrived at the venue around 10am which was good going . I bought my day ticket and some fishery pellets from the cabin before having a walk around looking at all the waters every one of them was well established and picturesque , I was really struggling on which lake to choose and finally settled on Belvidere peg six which wasn’t far from where Les Thompson filmed a dvd for Matrix , it offered me some open water in between the beds of Lilly pads along with reed lined margins just like every other peg on the lake .

As I mentioned earlier that it was a new place for me to fish so I decided to target it just like I would a normal venue around here and although I don’t usually fish lakes I was quite looking forward to the challenge ;


Top kit , I choose to fish the first hour on this line after plumbing up I found a depth of 4ft and decided to use a new float which The Big Dippers dad makes it was a Jeff’s float Joof similar in design to the Malman Roob but a bit slimmer in body , it was 4×14 in size with a bulk just above the six-inch hook length because I wanted to get the bait straight to the bottom which should in theory encourage more bites and as I was unsure of the size of the fish in here I decided to set up quite strong using 014 Matrix main line with a size 18 Matrix rigger hook which had a micro bait band attached .IMG-20150713-00682

All the time I had been setting up I had thrown a few pellets onto my top kit line so I was expecting some sort of response but you just never know what will happen on a new venue and I was full of anticipation waiting for my float to slide under which it soon did with the culprit being a nice sized crucian quickly followed by a tench it had been awhile since I caught fish like this because they don’t seem to be in most commercials and I was quite happy catching these although I had noticed that I was getting liners soon after feeding as the constant stream of pellets failing through the water had brought them up of the deck making them harder to catch . I decided to rectify the problem by feeding with a small cupping kit full of pellets this had the desired effect and I was back catching again then it suddenly went quiet I wondered if I had over done it with the feed but it wasn’t long before I found out why when my elastic shot out at a rate of knots after a spirited fight I finally landed the culprit a carp of nearly 8lb , all the disturbance seemed to have dragged in the F1s as I went on a nice run of fish all around the pound mark and the bites where proper indications not the little dinks you get round here either a 6mm or 8mm pellet was the best hook bait .


All the time that I had fished short I was loose feeding my shallow line with a dozen maggots I needed to do this by using a catty because although the wind wasn’t particularly strong it was swirling around one minute being in my face the other off my back also the constant drizzle meant I had to wear my water proof jacket which restricted my arm movements , I had two rigs set up to use both of which where an 02 Drennen AS 3 float with 012 Matrix main line direct to a size twenty Matrix Rigger hook which had a pellet band attached which I used to fish a dead maggot I felt that by using this hook bait it would offer me a more natural fall plus with more hook point showing it should provide a better hook hold and one rig was set at 3ft the other 2ft so I could work through the water layers to find out where the fish would be most comfortable . I began on the deeper of the two rigs because even after the constant feeding of maggots I still hadn’t seen any fish swirling but on my first drop the rig had only just settled to the full three-foot depth when my float dipped under , a sharp lift resulted in a couple of meters of my orange Matrix elastic being ripped from my pole while the fish had departed the swim I took the opportunity too feed again and I fed also when I had the fish on my top kit it took a bit of getting used too it but the more often that I fed the better my swim became the fish were soon moving further up the water levels so a change to my shallower rig was required this had me on one a chuck all of which were good-sized f1s with the odd ide mixed in between and after an hour the bites started to become less frequent this coincided with the weather improving and the sun coming out which I though should have made the fishing better so I decided to put another section of pole on to see if they had backed further out in the lake which thankfully was the case and I was soon bagging again following two hours of fishing shallow I had caught about fifty f1s for around 80lb it showed no signs of slowing but I wanted to try the margins to see if I could catch any of the big barbel Weston pools was renowned for .


My margin swims were both relatively deep at nearly three-foot so I used another of Jeff’s floats an 04 Ruddy with 016 Matrix main line which had a Matrix hook length and a size 16 Matrix rigger hook that had a bait band attached , I choose to feed my left hand swim quite heavily with pellets using a cupping kit the other side I would be using a kinder pot being a bit negative so I could have a good comparison between them both . I started on my left hand swim which I had prepared for the past hour with a cup full of pellets every twenty minutes so with an 8mm pellet on the bait band I lowered my rig in among the side of the reeds and I began getting liners almost instantly , when I lifted into a proper indication my elastic was ripped out and my pole bent double when I finally managed to get it under some sort of control it made a consorted effort to get under the platform and after what felt like an age up popped a barbel of around the 5lb mark which only just fitted in my net they certainly fight well in here . After catching a mixture of carp+f1s+barbel from my left hand margin I re fed with a cup of pellets and then swopped to my right hand swim it was a bit slower on this side but the bites I did get were from a bigger stamp of fish including one carp approaching 10lb , by swapping sides I managed to keep the fish coming for the final ninety minutes I did manage a few more big gudgeon that only just fitted into the landing net but none of the double figure ones that Belvidere lake is famed for .


All in all I really enjoyed the fishing at Weston pools it is a really nice looking venue that is rammed with fish in perfect condition which is no doubt down to the aerators being left on all of the time and I cant wait to get back again hopefully for a try on a couple of the opens in the coming weeks but before that I am going to have another try on the Sycamore evening match before my final big contest for a while the Maver Match This at Partridge lakes on the Saturday .