Moorlands farm fishery , Fisho qualifier

April 25th , peg 6 Bank pool

Moorlands Bank pool

Moorlands Bank pool


Well it has soon come round again with my first attempt at a Fishomania qualifier for this year and this one was at Moorlands fishery which was a new venue for me , like i always do when attempting a big match like this i made sure i did my homework getting plenty information from the angling community on social media so i was well prepared before i went . I know a lot of people feel that you are just wasting your money trying to compete in these sort of matches because they are usually very tightly pegged making the fishing extremely hard with normally a low winning weight required and luck in the draw bag is also essential both of which suit my style of fishing , you do get a very high level of angler contesting them but you would anywhere that has matches these days no matter how big they are with venue regulars being just as good on there own water as your so-called big name anglers .

The weather leading up to today had been warm+sunny with a light breeze but predictably this all changed for the day of the match with it forecast to be exactly the opposite although i felt it could make the fishing better with the carp having a feed rather than sun bathing , i was up at 530am for the two and a half hour drive to the venue apart from the 50 mph zones on the motorway it was all straight forward getting there with it being one of the better fisho venues to find and on arrival at Moorlands fishery it looked a nice set up with four smallish twenty peg water and two larger ones i did notice that the pegs themselves where on the small side just big enough for you to fit your box on they were also very close together being about top four distance apart .

Grant Albutt catching a carp on Bank pool , in the far ground you can see me third angler from the left it also shows how tight the pegs are

Grant Albutt catching a carp on Bank pool , in the far ground you can see me third angler from the left it also shows how tight the pegs are

After buying the obligatory bag of fishery pellets i joined the queue for the draw which surprisingly went extremely well considering the amount of anglers present , when i picked my peg i ended up on Bank pool six one of the smallest waters on the complex and some where that i hadn’t got much information on and after driving around to the car-park near the lake i found it to be very heavily pegged with it having nine anglers on each bank although predictably i wasn’t far away from the Twitter mania hot pegs , mine was also one of only a handful which had a high bank behind me making shipping in+out a nightmare and i had to be really careful carrying my gear down the steep steps as i had visions of me slipping ending up in the water .


Moorlands hot pegs


I decided to set up four rigs which would cover all my options and i didn’t want to fall into the trap of going over board which would only end up confusing me ;

Margin – not sure it would work with the pegs being so close together

Bottom near slope – positioned this towards my right as this angler was going to fish the pellet waggler giving me a bit more room to draw fish from , i also felt that this would be my best line

Long deck 13m – ideally i would have gone out further but for the high bank behind me hindering my shipping

Long shallow – their was a few fish showing up in the water mainly in the ripple towards the opposite bank

With Moorlands having a strict five pint limit you needed to be careful on what you chose to put onto your side tray ;

2 pint fishery 4mm pellet

2 pint red maggots

1 pint corn

tub mixed hard pellets

tub 4+6mm expanders


I was set up well before the 11 am start and was eager to get going ,on my lake i had last years Fisho finalist Ben Emery on my right , Simon Fry a few pegs further down and Grant Albutt , Ste Openshaw , a top female angler plus a venue regular on the opposite bank which would make winning the lake extremely difficult . All too soon i heard a whistle in the distance which signaled the all in and i proceeded to put two cups of pellets +corn on to my top three-line then went out to 13m with the on the deck rig depositing a kinder pot of 4mm pellets and dropped my 8mm hard pellet among it , i began flicking half a dozen pellets at my float trying to attract a few fish but also being careful not to overfeed because as you can imagine a lot of bait had been deposited at the start of the match all over the lake .

After about 15-20 minutes i noticed a few bubbles coming up then i had a little dip on the float and my first fish of the day hit the net a nice 2lb skimmer quickly followed by one half of its size , i then struggled for forty minutes to get a bite so i went onto what i thought would be my main line and when the float shot under straight away i thought great but missed bite after missed bite wasn’t what i expected . I kept coming back with half a 6mm pellet so i figured these were just small silvers i decided to re-feed two cupping kits of pellet+corn and left it to rest for a while , i went back on to my deck rig at 13m there had been a few fish caught on the opposite bank by fishing shallow so i decided to catapult six pellets every couple of minutes at my float and keep an eye out for any signs that there was carp present either by swirls or line bites .


Twenty minutes of me doing this i finally had a bite which i missed thinking that it was a liner i picked up my shallow rig , the rules on here regarding up in the water fishing are a bit complex ;

No slapping

No tapping

No cupping in water

No dobbing

12 inch minimum amount of line between pole and float

So basically all you were left with is flicking your rig out letting the hook bait fall through the water and after thirty minutes of trying resulted in just a solitary missed bite things weren’t looking good with nearly half of the match gone and just two skimmers in the net , so i went for another look on my top three-line to see if any carp had settled but yet again i was back missing bite after bite from small silvers so i tried a piece of corn on the hook and waited for a more positive indication this never materialised so i decided to feed my margin with two cups of maggots then sat and waited on my 13m deck line the only swim which had given me any proper bites .

Surprisingly my float was only settled for five minutes before it slide under which resulted in a near double figured carp hitting the net which put up a spirited fight on my size 12 matrix hollo elastic , i decided to use this elastic as it would give me a bit of leeway when shipping over the high banking behind me and i then went on a bit of a run catching four decent carp plus a big skimmer in twenty-minute spell i was just beginning to think that i had a chance because i had heard the complex was fishing harder than expected then the bites suddenly stopped , i put this down to their not being enough bait left to hold them but i couldn’t big pot with the angle of the hill so out came the catapult and i put three pouches of 4mm pellets in .


While i let this settle i tried my margin swim but yet again i was getting all sorts of indications from the silvers , when i went back on to my 13m line i had another quick carp from exactly where i kinder potted the bait in but then had to work around the area where i had catapulted the bait in earlier to get another bite if i hit it or missed it the result was just the same a dead swim so i feed another three pouches and went else were to try to get a bite while it rested , i managed to do this another two times before the all out and both resulted in a brace of carp so i had stumbled on how the fish had wanted to feed a little too late and if i had another line which produced carp it might have been a bit different because my eight carp + four skimmers weighed 46lb ninety percent of it caught in the last half of the match which was good enough for a default section win as Ben Emery got second fishing the pellet waggler to the aerator .


Partridge lakes , Holbar lake

April 23rd , peg 46


After the recent sunny weather i decided to make the most of it and grab a few hours fishing after work and with Partridge lakes being only ten minutes away i decided to head their but i was unsure on just which lake to fish on as all the waters there are highly stocked with fish , with my first fisho qualifier coming up on Moorlands farm which are mainly big lakes and catching carp in the margin will play an important part to doing well i decided to see how many anglers were on Holbar as this is the only place on the complex which respond to this method .

After parking up my car on the road near covey i went for a look to see just how many people were fishing on it and i was surprised to see nearly every other peg taken in fact it looked like their was a match taking place but i spotted on the opposite bank a gap of four empty places so i hastily drove to Holbars car-park and made my way to the peg after speaking to a few anglers on the way most had said that it had been hard going in the spring sunshine , when i approached the group of pegs i settled on the last one which gave me a bit of space plus there was plenty carp showing in both margins  .


I decided on a nice easy day so concentrated just on both my margin as i could do with the practise because it is something that i don’t do a great deal off these days in fact my last try was in the second round of the Angling times super cup at chapel pool , i plumbed up to find 2ft against both sets of margin reeds which i felt would be a bit too deep but that was as shallow as i could find and i would no doubt suffer with foul hookers if i got my feeding wrong .


My bait today was going to revolve around using particles as ground-bait wasn’t allowed at Moorlands fishery so i had ;

1 pint of corn

2 pints of 4mm pellets

I hoped that this would last me for a few hours , at 3 o’clock i was ready to get started and i put in two cupping kits full of pellets+corn on to my left hand margin within minutes i began getting line bites before my float shot under with a nice 2lb f1 being my first fish of the day not a bad start but better was to follow when my next fish was a double figure carp that only just fitted into my landing net and it is times like this that i wished someone had come along with me because the catch picture does not do it justice .


After landing the carp i stopped getting liners so i decided to feed another two cups of bait then went on my right hand margin there i decided to kinder pot the bait in to see what response this would get me , the reeds on this side were already knocking so i expected an immediate response and that i did as first drop my matrix 14s hollow elastic shot through the water then after a five-minute fight a double figure mirror carp hit the net quickly followed by another of similar size so with thirty minutes gone i had caught nearly forty pounds i just hoped that it would continue .


I started getting little knocks on the float which i thought at first were just liners but i soon found out that they were from some roach at over 8oz nice fish but not what i was looking for on my heavy carp gear , i re-feed again then swapped sides again to my left and this produced a couple of smaller 5lb carp plus the odd big f1 i then hit something that was a lot bigger than i had caught or it was foul hooked because it just took of giving me no chance of stopping it so predictably we soon parted company and a new 014 garbo hook length was required .

Losing this fish disturbed the bottom of my margin peg because i started getting caught up on an underwater obstruction every time i hooked a fish and i also began foul hooking fish in fact i had a spell of five in a row so i decided to rest this side choosing to concentrate on my right hand swim , i didn’t feel that kinder potting was bringing in enough carp so i choose to begin feeding here a bit heavy with a cupping kit this worked really well as i was soon back catching the lumps again with the odd f1 mixed in .


After about ninety minutes the wind picked up a bit and started blowing into my peg , i thought that this would make my margins even stronger but it kind of killed it because i couldn’t even get the silvers which were their in numbers before . I decided to re plumb a bit further along both margins and decided to mix up a bit of ground-bait to see what response this got , i put two cup full in on both my margin swims making as much disturbance as i could to try to draw some fish back into my peg after a while i began getting indications again first from silvers plus the odd big skimmer but it wasn’t long before i got back into the carp again  .


The only trouble with my new swim was that it was a lot nearer the reeds and if i didn’t connect quick enough or struck in the wrong direction they would bury me into them i managed to only lose a couple of carp that way but it wasn’t long before i trashed my rig so i decided to call it a day at 630 , i ended up with six doubles , eight singles plus lots of big f1s+skimmers and a sore shoulder not bad for a few hours fishing after work it also set me up nicely for Saturdays Fisho qualifier at Moorlands fishery .