Sycamore fishery


January 27th

I decided to stay local today for a change because I needed to be back early as my Mrs was going out and I went to sycamore fishery in Golborne which used to be a regular haunt for me with it only being fifteen minutes from my house but I haven’t been here for nearly two years , as we are quite spoiled with the amount of fisheries on our doorstep in the Wigan area and I was quite looking forward to seeing how much it had changed since my last venture here .I arrived at the fishery a bit earlier than i planned so had plenty time to have a walk around the two canals which would be in the draw bag and  it all looked really nice , the trees had grown quite a bit which blocked out most of the strong breeze and they had a stone path all around the lakes . When i got back to the cabin i managed to get a chat with a couple of lads that i had not seen in ages and i was told about the recent netting + restocking of Silver birch with all the big carp going in David’s pool which was replaced with a lot of stockie carp this should hopefully get the original fish back feeding again .

At the draw I pulled out my usual end peg this time 21 on rowans but like most water’s at this time of year all the weights had come out from around the middle of the canals so not the ideal place to be and it’s just a shame it was not summer when i could make the most of these end pegs , but I was still looking forward to catching a few f1s and after speaking to a few anglers they said that the fish were all of a nice stamp with a few carp approaching 8lb so i needed to up my terminal tackle a bit .

My rigs for the day was quite simple for a change because with the weather still being cold i expected the fish to still be in the deeper water so i just set up ;

4ft rig which would cover most of my peg and i used a 4×14 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru Lwg hook my elastic was size 13 Preston hollo .

3ft rig for just down the near shelf and i used a 4×12 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru Lwg hook my elastic was size 13 Preston hollo .

Bait for the day was going to be mainly maggots with some corn if I needed it ;

1 pint of red and white maggots

1 tin of corn

When the all in sounded i began on my 4ft rig along my right hand margin at nine meters at the bottom of the near shelf and after tapping in a dozen maggots I foul hooked my first two fish , so I reduced the amount to just four maggots and this solved the problem as I then had 4 nice F1s in the first hour but i had to play them a bit carefully because my elastic was a bit on the strong side . With this swim beginning to fade a little I put in a new one still in 4ft this time against the island it also produced another four F1’s during the next hour and with not many people catching a great deal I decided to be a bit more patient than I usually would thinking about it now i would have been better rotating between the two lines .As the wind started to blow stronger this become a bit of a problem making presentation a touch awkward , so I switched back to my original right hand margin putting a couple of f1s in the net before putting in another swim at 11m and by carefully tapping in maggots on these swims I had another run of fish , for the rest of the match I had an easy time as i just followed the F1’s along my right hand margin and i did suffer the odd foul hooker but all in all it was plain sailing to be honest although i did miss a couple of indications . At the all out I had managed to catch 18 F1’s which went over thirty pounds this put me in second place getting agonizingly beat by just four ounces  missing out on a chance for the bonus pot but I still enjoyed my day and felt that if I had fished a bit lighter+rotated my swims more often than I might have caught a few more , at least I will know for my next visit in a few weeks because it made a nice change getting home when it was still light and also catching a few fish at last .

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Cunneries fishery


January 27th

I have been to the cunneries fishery today as I stand in for someone on the team event and with the weather still being a bit up and down , I didn’t expect the fishing to be great but still expected a few bites because this is one of the few venues that has produced some decent weights no matter what the conditions where .On arrival to the fishery I met up with the rest of the team and unsurprisingly I was given the job of drawing , not sure why though lol but its safe to say that I didn’t disappoint with just the three end pegs today and my home was going to be peg one on the old canal ,this lake had fished well during the mid-week open so I was optimistic of getting a few bites, after settling in at my home for the next few hours i began plumbing up and I was a bit disappointed to find that it was no shallower than 4ft which i felt  was going to be a problem , I also forgot to bring some bread for dobbin a novice mistake but in all honesty it hadn’t been working for me this winter .

Rigs for the day was going to be ;

4ft rig for fishing across at the side of the reed cover , i used a 4×12 Md slim float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line and my hook length was the usual 010 garbo that had a size 20 gamma black hook attached .

4.5ft rig for fishing all along my right hand margin , i used a 4×12 Md slim float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line and my hook length was the usual 010 garbo that had a size 20 gamma black hook attached .

5ft rig for fishing down the track at six meters towards my left , i used a 4×14 Md slim float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line and my hook length was the usual 010 garbo that had a size 18 gamma black hook attached .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of red and white maggots

1/2 pint of micros

1/2 pint black swim stim ground-bait

When the all in sounded I started tapping in six maggots at the side of the far bank reeds and it only took a couple of feeds before I had my first fish which was a small stockie , but then for the next hour despite altering the amount i was of bait i was putting in it was foul hook city although I did manage to get two in and i really needed to find some shallower water . I set up multiple new swims across but I couldn’t get away from the foul hookers and it was doing my head in to be honest , i even tried going shallower six-inch off the deck with  my rig flicking it about to see if the f1s would take it as it fell but i never had a bite doing it so I put in a swim down my right hand margin but this just produced a small silver so that went up the bank for the time being but i kept throwing in a few maggots all through the match .

I chose to have an early look on my track line which i had fed a nugget of ground-bait+pellets at the start and i caught two big skimmers almost straight away but that soon faded so I reefed it and went back across, but half way through the match I was struggling as i had just six fish but thankfully they was all a good stamp and on looking around nobody was running away with it so i kept plodding along trying to put something in the net , i had another look on my top kit plus one swim towards my left were i had thrown in half a dozen maggots to try to make something happen , this produced a couple of fish and with ninety minutes of the match remaining I went long under the bridge and I managed to find a depth of 3ft at last , by trickling in a few maggots i managed to get four quick f1’s before the wind totally changed direction making presentation awkward and i was kicking myself for not going on it earlier but i didn’t expect the conditions to alter that much during the contest .

When the all out sounded I had managed a dozen decent fish which went 21lb but this was only good enough for 5th on the lake beating a few which was a bit disappointing, I felt that if I had fished a bit better making the correct decisions at the right times and I could have added at least another 10lb to my total but thing’s aren’t working out for me at the moment.

Partridge lakes winter league


January 21st

I have been to partridge lakes today for the second round of the individual winter league and after missing the first match because i was a bit rough due to my wife’s birthday I was always going to be up against it to make the top ten like last year ,with the weather forecast due to be shocking with snow, sleet plus an easterly wind it was never going to fish well and i couldn’t afford to miss another of the rounds , so a good draw would obviously be an advantage as there is certain areas which threw up a good weight all over the winter months , but after arriving at the fishery a bit later than usually there wasnt a great deal left to go at in the bag of doom and peg 141 covey six was going to be my home for the next few hours which wasn’t great but also not the worst in the section either so i hoped that i might be able to get a bite or two during the next five hours .

After arriving at my home for the next few hours i decided to set up the usual f1 rigs minus the Dobbin rig because i figured that i had wasted too much time trying to make it work on my matches over the colder months ;

3ft rig for fishing maggots and i used a 4×10 Md slim pattern float with a spread bulk of number eleven stotz along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was a six-inch 010 garbo hook length with a size twenty gamma black hook .

4ft rig for fishing maggots on both far and near slopes , i used a 4×12 Md slim pattern float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern along my 014 garbo main line and attached to it was a six-inch 010 garbo hook length with a size twenty gamma black hook .

Channel rig at six meters towards my left in the deepest water that i could find and i used a 4×12 Rw maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern along my 014 garbo main line and attached to it was a six-inch 010 garbo hook length with a size twenty gamma black hook .

Bait for the day was really simple ;

1 pint of red maggots

1/2 pint fluro pinkies

1/2 pint micros

small tub of 4mm and 2mm expanders just incase .

When the all in sounded i started the match by trickling in half a dozen maggots at 4ft across to my marker and after about 20 minutes i had an f1 in the net which thankfully saved the blank , a further 20 minutes passed with just a missed bite to show for it , by now the wind was gradually increasing and the snow coming down quite thickly thinking back now i probably neglected my feeding during this time because my hands were beginning to crap up a bit . When the conditions began to improve i decided to put in another swim in at the same depth a meter further to the right and i pricked a fish straight away which came off on the way in, .but after a bit of a wait I had my next f1 in the net which was slightly deep hooked so no doubt i was not seeing a lot of the bites from the f1s , I then went nearly two hours without an indication despite setting up numerous new swims in 4ft going to both extremes of my peg .

 

I made the decision to switch to my 3ft rig and I was a bit reluctant to do this as i didn’t expect the f1s to be sat in this depth of water with all the snow and rain going in , i was kind of right because although i was back catching again they was only small chub and i was just glad to be putting something in the net , i had been putting in a few maggots down the track since the match started and with the last hour fast approaching i decided to drop on it hoping that a few fish might have settled on it but i never had a sign , with the anglers towards my left catching the odd f1 across I went back on to my 4ft swim and managed two more f1’s before the all out sounded , when the scales arrived I ended up with just 7lb which beat all the angler’s towards my right but unfortunately unlike on the first round they wasn’t in my section and I ended up fourth leaving me on nine points .

Not a great day but at least I caught a few fish on a very cold days fishing and there was a few weights lower than me today , i think i ended up 5th or 6th on the lake and it’s just that i was in the section which fished the better of the three on covey six .

Cunneries fishery pairs match


January 6th

I went to the cunneries fishery yesterday to contest the pair’s match which i think is a really good idea and something that other venues should look at doing because it certainly breaks the monomity of matches in the winter months , my pair for the day was my old Adlington angling captain Jordan Cameron who I fished with on the last pair’s match here were we just missed out on a top three finish so understandably we was both looking forward to it , the weather during the week had been cold+wet and on arrival to the venue the water levels were quite high plus the bright conditions would make things a bit difficult today .Unsurprisingly I was in charge of picking the pegs and I put myself on end peg 38 s canal which I would normally have been happy with but just recently all the f1s had shown on the middle part of the canal , with my mate sitting on peg eight on the old canal so not a very good draw and i have not been having a great deal of luck in the draw bag recently .

On settling in at my home for the next few hours i set up my usual rigs ;

3ft maggot rig 4×10 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Channel rig towards my right were it was six-inch deeper and i used a 4×12 Md slim float Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

4ft maggot rig 4×12 Md slim float Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Dobbin rig 4×12 Md diamond float Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

My bait for the day was ;

2 pints of red and white maggots

1 pint of micros

1 pint of black swim stim ground-bait

1 slice of bread .

When the all in sounded I began the match by Dobbin bread all along the far bank reeds and for the first forty minutes I was fish less but I was getting all sorts of strange indications on the float which kept me interested , but despite changing depths+punch sizes i just couldn’t get a proper indication and it seemed there was a few fish in the area but I couldn’t work out how to catch them .With other anglers around me putting the odd fish in the net by feeding so I decided to follow suit and began trickling in a few maggots through a small kinder pot , I began in four foot towards my left about a foot away from the far bank cover and I managed a little run of fish but I must have over done it with the feed because I started foul hooking the odd fish , i tried three-foot rig which didn’t produce a bite so for the next couple of hours I set up multiple new swims in four-foot picking up a few f1’s from each but I didn’t think there was much in front of me as i had to work really hard for them , after yet another quiet spell I went long towards the left hand corner and worked all along the far bank without any success which was strange because i expected there to be a few f1s sat there out of the cold easterly wind .

I kept trying my channel  swim which i had trickled in a few maggots all through the match but i never managed a bite from it so with an hour of the contest left I finally found a couple more f1’s at 13m towards the point of the island in three-foot and I felt that I might have missed a trick not searching in that area earlier because at this time of year the fish don’t come to the bait and you need to find them but fishing at this angle it made shipping back awkward , to be honest I expected the fish to be in the deeper water due to the conditions but I never had an indication over four-foot which just goes to show you can’t turn up at a match with a pre set plan in mind as you can be made to look a bit foolish .

At the all out I had managed to catch 15 f1’s which went 21lb and this put me third in the section getting proper smashed up by the pegs in the middle of the canal who both had around 50lb but it was still a good days fishing for this time of year , Jordan had also finished third agonisingly missing out on the section and lake win by just over a pound this left us on a disappointing six points for no good . Well done to my mate John Unsworth and Shaun Welsh on the win and all the other framers , both the Leigh tackle team’s did really well in the match today as well which is hopefully a good sign for future matches .

 

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.