Bradshaw hall fisheries , round five winter league

12th November

I have been to Bradshaw’s fishery today for the 4th round of the winter league and it was due to take place on lake four which is somewhere that I had only fished once before coming third in the inter club match there this January , so I was really looking forward to it even though it was proper cold outside with plenty over night rain going in because you are usually guaranteed a few bites from the silvers and f1s . After my short drive to the fishery which only took about twenty minutes and i really need to make the effort to go more often next year , i met up with the lads contesting the winter league and everyone was looking forward to it as it had fished quite well on the recent club matches , we had most of the lake but with a few pleasure anglers on the early part it was going to be peg two miss one which could make things a bit interesting .It soon came round to draw time and i pulled out peg 27 which was half way along the far straight with your back to lake six , i was a bit unsure what to expect because i fancied a go on the opposite bank but at least i had a lot of open water to target although the wind was gusting from left to right and was forecast to get stronger as the match progressed .

With this in mind I decided to set up ;

Top four line just as the bottom levelled out a bit and as it was nearly six-foot deep here so i used a 4×16 Md maggot float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

Thirteen meter line it was six-inch deeper than the above swim and i decided to use a lighter 4×14 Md maggot float with a staggered bulk in the bottom third of the rig ,  my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached with a micro bait band .

Two shallow rigs set at four-foot one with a bait band the other a normal maggot rig my float was a 4×12 Md maggot hook with an on the drop shotting pattern ,  my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

Bait for the day ;

3 pints of maggots

3 pints of soaked 4mm pellets

small tub of mixed 4mm and 6mm pellets

A mixture of ground-bait 50/50 frenzied hemp and f1 dark

When the all in sounded I fed 3 small balls of ground-bait on my four meter swim and began loose feeding a dozen maggots over the top every couple of minutes It wasn’t long before I began catching hand sized skimmers which was a good start to the match , the wind + tow was making presenting my rig really awkward and bites began to tail off after forty minutes so i fed another ball of ground-bait and decided to let it rest for a bit , I had fed pellets with a catty at 13m so i gave that a try I went on it expecting to catch small stockies with the odd better fish mixed in and i had a good run of fish on it including a bonus three-pound carp but yet again the wind was making presentation on the deck difficult , i knew that they had caught shallow on here and although i wasnt sure it would work today in the colder conditions but with my rig set at 4ft  i took the gamble of getting them up in the water this didn’t really work out for me and mid match i really struggled to put anything in the net I also lost two big skimmers when they jumped out of the water when hooked .

With just two hours remaining I put in a new swim at 11m towards my right were my pole was more manageable in the conditions and i fed a smaller softer ball of ground-bait with a dozen maggots through a cupping kit , my rig kept getting held up by small silvers as it fell so i bulked all my shotting a foot away from my hook length and this solved the problem as i was now catching a hand sized skimmer nearly every put in , when bites began to fade i put in a nugget of ground-bait in with a kinder pot which kept the fish interested and it wasnt long before i noticed the bottom fizzing away this resulted in a run of small f1s , the wind was getting continually stronger making my rig tow through pretty badly so i decided to double bulk my rig laying six-inch of line on the deck this kept my rig stationary and i was now waiting for positive lift bites I stayed here for the rest of the match catching skimmers + f1’s quite frequently.

At the all out I ended up third in the match and section with 34lb and 37lb won the opposite bank fished a lot harder with 20lb winning the section , I’m a bit disappointed with the result because I should have caught those extra few pounds and i did some things wrong but at least i have a better idea on what is required now , plus we are back there next week for round five so i don’t have long to wait to hopefully put things right , fingers crossed i can use this as one of my dropper results as i am on six points now after four matches and going from previous years ten points will be good enough to be the winter league champion .


Old Hough winter league round three

5th November

Today i have been back to Old Hough fisheries today for the third round of the winter league and after all the cold over night rain plus a recent drop in temperature I expected it to be a bit tough going , so a decent draw would be an advantage and when I pulled out 18 on boulders lake I was quite happy because there is worse place’s to be i had also been on this peg last year which would give me a heads up on how best to fish it , yet again i had a few of the anglers towards the top of the table on my lake so i hoped that i could have a good match and take a few points of them which would help keep me ahead in the winter league .

On settling at my home for the next few hours i had an island at 14m which had some over hanging reeds and an empty peg either side which would give me a bit of room , after having a good plumb around i decided to set up ;

Channel rig at eleven meters either side of me were it was nearly five foot deep and i expected this to be my best swim today due to the conditions , i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and my hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached to it .

Far bank rig set at three-foot deep which was a meter from the cover as i didn’t expect anything to be shallower and i used a 4×10 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and my hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached to it .

Near shelf rig and after plumbing up i found a nice hole about four meters towards my left where it was just over three-foot tight to the bank , i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and my hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached to it .

Bait for the day was ;

4 pints of white and red maggots

2 pints of 4mm pellets

small tub of mixed hard pellets

When the all in sounded i started my match down the track at eleven meters either side of me and i fed one with a kinder pot of maggots the other i potted in maggots with a cupping kit every twenty minutes , to be honest it was really hard going for the first couple of hours and I managed to get bites from small silvers but i wasnt to worried because i could only see one person catching the odd carp ,i had to go across to the island before I caught a couple of f1’s by kinder potting in 4mm pellets but yet again the bites were few and far between .

Gradually my track lines came good for me but strangely I wasn’t catching the stamp ide required to bump up my weight although I was more than holding my own from what I could see on the lake and i just kept rotating between the two swims picking up the odd carp in between the hand sized skimmers , i had one golden hour where i couldn’t get in quick enough but for some reason the bites tailed off and after twenty minutes of inactivity i had another plumb around finding a little hole a few inch deeper just a foot away from my original swim , i felt that my bait would have settled there and after altering my rig i dropped on it which resulted in another good run of barbel+carp . We was fast approaching the last forty minutes and i had fed my near slope with a cup of maggots every thirty minutes i really wanted to go on it earlier but the sun was preventing me from doing it , finally it moved round enough for me to see my float and I was able to go down my left hand margin at four meters , this produced a good run of big fish i probably added over ten pounds to my net and when the all out sounded I was kicking myself for not being able to go on it sooner.

Luckily it didn’t cost me as I ended up with 40lb which was enough for the lake and match win so that’s three out of three so far in the winter league , it was noticeable that some areas of both boulders+goose lakes had fished really hard again and it could be a damage limitation job if you draw there so even though i was doing ok at present it could still all change , but there is a new venue for me to try in the next two rounds as we are at Bradshaw’s on lake four so i will be messaging a few people to give me a heads up during the week .

Cunneries fishery

October 28th

I have been to the cunneries fishery today for the last round of the team’s of three and we was languishing in a comfortable fifth place as long as we didn’t suffer a complete disaster then that’s where we would stay , which was a bit disappointing but with the class of anglers in some of the teams this time round it was always going to be hard improving on the fourth place we achieved on the spring league here . After last weeks storm Brian i hoped we had seen the back of the windy weather but we wasnt going to be so lucky because i woke on the morning of the match it was blowing a gale and on arrival to the venue the conditions had meant that a couple of the teams had decided not to attend which meant the organisers had to do a bit of reshuffling before the draw could take place .

When things had finally got sorted it was time for the captains to queue up to have a dip in the bag of doom and when ours returned I was given peg six on the old canal which I didn’t mind as it meant that I had finally managed to get away from the forty pegs on the s canal , on settling in at my home for the next few hours i was half way along the straight with your back towards Hawk pool and i had a lovely reed lined far bank about eleven meters away but as the wind was blowing strongly from left to right and it was forecast to get worse as the match progressed so fishing across was out of the question.

I decided to set up ;

Three foot rig which was about a meter away from the near bank towards my left hand empty platform and i used a 4×12 roob float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Four foot rig for at the bottom of the near slope and i used a 4×14 roob float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Channel rig in the deepest water i could find which was only five foot deep and i would be using maggots on this swim i decided to use a 4×12 Md maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and my main was the usual 016 garbo with a six-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

Two pints of red maggots

Two pints of soaked micros

One pint of soaked 4mm pellets

Small tub of 4mm expanders .

When the all in sounded i started my match on my 4ft rig with pellets along my left hand margin and it took a couple of feeds of micros through a sprinkle pot before i started getting indications this only produced some skimmers and an f1 in the first hour but it just didn’t seem right as it wasnt really getting any better , i tried my 3ft rig to see if the f1s would feed better at this depth but i struggled to attract a bite on this swim . I had a look on my across line when the wind eased and i caught a few f1s doing that although i didn’t really fancy fighting with the wind all match , half way through the contest i only had eight f1s in the net which wasnt great but i felt that i was just in front along my side of the bank but there seemed to be a lot more being caught opposite me .

I had fed my channel swim with maggots since the match started and a switch to my six meter swim worked wonders for me as i began putting some fish in the net at long last but i didn’t quite get my feeding correct because among the very delicate indications I managed to catch the odd f1 and skimmer right up to the all out although I did have to alter the way i laid my rig in to get a more positive bite , i did foul hook a few fish today because I needed to lay some line on the deck to help keep my rig still which was always going to be a bit of a risk .

At the all out I had managed twenty f1s plus a couple of decent skimmers which went 44lb this put me fourth on the lake which i was a bit disappointed with as I felt if i had done things a little bit differently a low 50lb weight was more than possible which would have got me in the top two on the lake , as a team we ended up with 18 points on the day but the challengers around us had done worse so we ended up fifth in the league overall which was reasonable with the standard of anglers contesting the event, well done to the framing teams and section winners today.