Hall lane fishery , Bessies pool

June 17th

Hall lane Bessies

Today was the fourth round of the summer league at Hall lane that Mosella north-west was running and after missing the last two rounds i needed a good match to move up the table because at the moment i was languishing towards the bottom of it , the weather had stayed surprisingly nice with blue skies plus a light breeze but as you all know Hall lane is notorious for being a wind trap as it is situated at the bottom of Parbold hill with it being flat all the way to the coast so i hoped that things wouldn’t change as i drove to the fishery .On arrival i was glad to see that the conditions remained the same and what ever breeze there was blowing away from the car park , as i had plenty of time to kill i had a quick chat with the Mosella lads and as usual there was a smattering of big name local anglers , when draw time came around i decided to have first dip in the bag and pulled out peg 22 which was at the end of the long stretch with your back to Gwen’s canal , a few people told me it had been poor down that end on previous rounds but today conditions were very different and i had plenty room towards my left so things looked promising .

When i arrived at my home for the next few hours i had ;

a mud line between some over hanging reeds and i used a 0.4 muddie float as when i plumbed up i managed to find 18 inch of water where on plumbing up it was quite flat , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was four-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook .

a reed bed on either side of me the one on my left had collapsed so it gave some shelter from the sun and i used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern as it was just over three-foot deep , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was four-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook plus a micro bait band .

a cut out in the reeds a top kit on either side were i could get really tight to the bank and i used a 0.4 muddie float after plumbing up i found it to be around twelve inch deep , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was four-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of white maggots

2 pints hard 4mm pellets

3 pints ground-bait

small tub of mixed hard pellets

When the all in sounded i began on my top three at the side of the left hand reed bed because when i plumbed up earlier i had felt a few fish so i expected a good response and after tapping in a few 4mm pellets i laid my rig in so that it fell up the near slope , i didn’t have to wait long before i had my first fish which was a carp around 3lb and i managed six similar sized ones in thirty minutes for some reason i began getting snagged up on some dead reeds , the next half hour produced another four carp but i also lost a couple due to the underwater obstruction and with about forty pounds in the net you could say it was a good start to the match . With one of the top guru anglers to my right catching well across to the mud bank i decided to follow suit as my near side swim had tailed off and no sooner had i cupped in some maggots across then there was tails waving at me , so i quickly shipped back out and caught some carp pretty constantly for an hour just by kinder potting in maggots after every fish , understandably things didn’t carry on this way and i had to replumb up closer to the reeds in twelve inches of water because the fish were swirling as soon as put some bait in , this new line produced a lot of fish as well including a few chub about 2lb and it looked like i was going to be on for a very good day .

With ninety minutes of the match remaining i began feeding my margin swim with ground-bait and it only took a matter of minutes before i had some proper munters down the edge so before i went on it i changed to a stronger elastic , i carefully lowered my rig in tight to the edge within seconds it buried after a spirited fight i had an eight pound carp in the net a few more quickly followed but i was getting a bit worried about my net limits because it was a strict fifty pounds and although i had already got three nets in i had to go searching for another but before i went i put in a couple of cups of ground-bait , luckily i managed to borrow one from a lad towards the top end of the lake and when i got back i carefully put my net in before settling in on my box thankfully the carp was still there , for the remaining forty minutes i caught quite constantly but i did pull out of a couple during the match which as you will find out they cost me .

When the all out sounded it called time on a really good match and i was really unsure how much i had caught but i knew i had well over a ton which would be my first for here , when the scales arrived at my peg the net which i used for the last forty minutes in the margin went 43lb in total i ended up with 161lb i was over the moon with that weight although i felt that the peg was worth a lot more but im not used to catching these big weights and did a some things wrong plus pulled out of a few fish at the net , after packing up i made my way to the car park and it turned out i had ended up second in the match behind a 169lb net from the opposite end peg to me so it seemed there was a few fish down my end , overall Bessie’s had fished well in places but yet again some sections had been a proper struggle and its in these areas that are going to make or break your chance of doing well in the league .



Partridge lakes fishomania qualifier

14th june

I had booked the week off earlier in the year because i had planned on contesting the pole fishing masters at tunnel barn but due to various family reasons i couldn’t make it and as there was still tickets left for the fishomania qualifier at Partridge lakes so i decided to jump on that , although i had planned on not doing any  this year because last years attempts were pretty woeful and i didn’t even get a day’s fishing on any of them due to them being extremely tightly pegged , at least Partridge lakes was big enough to cope with the pressure well i hoped that it would anyway .

The weather during the week had been really good almost summer like and today was no different with blue skies plus temps in the mid twenties although we did have a bit of a blustery breeze to contend with blowing towards spey so at least we knew which area of the coveys we wanted to draw as like most f1 venues the fish definitely follow the wind , i arrived at the fishery with plenty time to spare which gave me chance to catch up with a few lads that i hadn’t seen since my last match here on the Preston pairs at the beginning of May so you could say i was a bit out of touch .

With the draw fast approaching i joined the queue towards the rear and awaited my fate , when it came round for my turn i managed to pull out peg 64 on covey three another bad peg on a fisho qualifier but i decided to give it a go because with a few no shows you never know i might have a bit of room , but on arrival to my peg i wasnt that lucky as it was peg two miss one in my area and i was also one of only a couple that had not got a ripple so things didn’t look too promising but i would give it my best shot anyway .

On settling in at my home for the next few hours i had quite a few options to go at but didn’t want to confuse myself so just set up ;

Mud bank across in 18 inch and i used a 0.4 muddie float with a bulk of number eight stotz above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Two shallow rigs set at different depths and i used a 0.1 md mini mag float which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length that had a micro bait band attached so i could fish banded casters .

Pellet rig for in front of the far bank and near side reeds in 2ft depth and i used a 4×12 roob float with a spread bulk of number ten stotz above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of casters

2 pints of crushed expander ground-bait

1 pint of micros

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the match started i began on my top three at the side of my left hand reeds in the margin i began by feeding a small kinder pot off crushed expander ground-bait to try to draw some fish into the swim it also didn’t have a great deal in the way of food content because i wasnt sure how the f1s would respond to the pressure , after tapping in a nugget of bait i lowered my rig in over the top and i got indications straight away not long after i had my first fish , in fact the first hour went extremely well one of the best i had ever had at partridge lakes as i put 15 f1s in the net all caught from the same swim and i thought that i might be on for a good day but how wrong was i because my match went downhill fast as the bites tailed off .

With bites grinding to a halt close in i decided to give my across pellet line across in front of the reeds a go and with them knocking like mad i expected to catch a few fish so i tapped in a few micros and lowered my rig in among it , i caught a couple of stockies straight away before i began foul hooking a few and it seemed that they was hiding in the middle of the reeds  , so i went back across with my shallow rig and started pinging half a dozen casters towards them this caught be a couple of f1s but they wouldn’t settle due to the lack of breeze .

I dropped onto my mud line although i couldn’t get as close to the bank as i would have liked as there was a few reeds and crap on the bottom plus i struggled to find a decent flat spot , i began by kinder potting in ground-bait because with me fishing in slightly deeper water i didn’t want to draw too many fish in the peg which could cause chaos with line bites etc , things didn’t really work out for me on this line because i just couldn’t get any indications there so i decided to bite the bullet and put a couple of big pots of feed in .

While it settled i went onto my shallow swim at six meters as i had fed it with a dozen casters every few minutes since the match started but with me having no ripple in front of me i thought it might be tough to catch this way and after twenty minutes without an indication i was proved correct , although to be honest i couldn’t really fish it properly as i had to keep shipping across to the far bank to prevent the ducks from dive bombing my mud bank . I went back across to see how much damage my feathered friends had done and surprisingly i got indications straight away as the stared up bottom must have attracted the fish , i managed to catch a few f1s+carp but in the depth of water it wasnt long before i began foul hooking the odd one and after a fish snagged me up in the reeds i needed to rest the swim .

I plumbed up a new swim  towards the empty platform towards my left and started tapping in some micros , i didn’t have to wait long before i caught a couple of nice sized f1s but due to the depth of water i was fishing in i foul hooked a big carp which bolted off under the aerator rope breaking my hook length , so i decided to go at the side of an over hanging plant where it was 18 inch deep and i put in a small cupping kit full of crushed expander plus a few micros as i hoped some more carp might be in the area .

For the rest of the match i rotated between my mud line and margin picking up the odd fish from each but it never really got going for me due to the lack of breeze it seemed all the fish followed the wind to the other end of the lake , this was proved correct when the all out sounded because the lad who came second was on my lake catching 146lb and when the scales arrived at my peg my thirty fish weighed in at 48lb , although i got told that it was a good weight from it which i was pleased with , so that was my fisho qualifiers over with for another year and i might have another try next year because i did enjoy travelling to different venues and rubbing shoulders with some high-class anglers on the previous few years .

Partridge lakes , fisho qualifier

June 18th, peg 98 covey four


Today was my last attempt at qualifying for the Fish’O Mania semi final at Cudmore and it was at my local water partridge lakes which is only ten miles away it is used to holding big matches regularly having over eighty on the opens but with it being a two hundred pegger there would always be places where you was going to struggle, after fishing it last weekend I felt that I had a reasonable idea on what was going to work so I just hoped that I could draw on one of the original coveys although these waters have not the best record in this match but it is a place that i am comfortable fishing .

It was a later than usual start for me today and I arrived at the fishery just after eight o’clock which gave me time to grab a bacon buttie before having a chat with a few lads that I knew we was all unsure of which water would through up the winner although ribbon has a tremendous record here in fisho qualifiers , there was also quite a lot of big name anglers knocking about which is nothing new for these contests and before I knew it there was a long line waiting for the draw so it looked like I would be having one of the last picks when it finally came for my turn I pulled out peg 98 on covey four not the best but at least I was in an area which usually holds a few fish mainly carp.


On arriving at my home for the next few hours I was faced with flat calm conditions although there was some fish across in the far-bank reeds I also had a nice mud bank to target and an empty platform to my right which I had been told would be my best area to target, as I began sorting my tackle out I was waiting for someone to get down on peg 97 but nobody ever did which was obviously a bonus, it turned out that there was at least thirty no shows and that was after all the reserves plus walk ins had got on to the match I’m afraid that’s the way this contest seems to be going with majority of the qualifiers not being full, it’s just a shame that they can’t let the match organisers know because not for the first time it made a mockery of the match with some lakes being very tightly pegged and other anglers having up to four empty pegs either side of them it really needs sorting before next year I have my own ideas on how it could be changed but that’s for another blog.

I decided not to over complicate things today so I just set up ;

Margin at the side of 99 platform were after plumbing up I found it to be a touch over two foot so I decide to use a 0.4 joof float and main line was 014 Garbo which had a six-inch length of 012 Garbo my hook was a size 16 lwg.

Top four swim this was positioned just at the bottom of the near slope and I would be feeding it by hand during the session it was nearly five foot deep so I used a 4×12 speedy float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern my main line was 014 Garbo and hook length was 012 Garbo.

Mud bank and I expected this to be my main line of attack so after having a good plumb around I was pleased to find a nice flat area tight to the far-bank where it was a touch over a foot , so I used a 0.4 joof float which had a strung out bulk this would give me a nice stable rig helping me keep everything still among all the line bites, my main line was the usual 014 Garbo and my hook length was 012 Garbo which had a size 18 lwg hook attached.

Shallow I set up two rigs to cover my options one at a foot and the other at two foot both of them were set up the same I used a 0.1 matrix series three float which had a couple of number eleven stotz spread down the 014 Garbo main line and I had a four-inch 012 Garbo hook length that had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached

Bait for the day was going to be ;

Two pints of 6mm cubed meat

Two pints of casters

One pint of riddled meat

F1 dark groundbait



When the hooter sounded in the distance signalling the start of the match I put in two pots of ground-bait with a hand full of riddled meat onto my mud line and while it settled I tried to see if I could mug a carp shallow among the far-bank reeds, the stems were knocking like mad and i was shoving my floats right in among them but I just couldn’t get an indication even after changing depths plus feeding a dozen casters every few minutes to try to get them competing didn’t work ,so I decided to keep the feed going in but with fish showing on my mudline I was eager to give that a try and after changing rigs I shipped out with a cube of meat on the hook I expected an immediate response all I could manage was a couple of line bites thinking that they might not want meat I changed to double caster but this didn’t work either which was a bit of a head scratcher.

I had been throwing half a dozen cubes on my top four line since the match started and with a few bubbles coming up I decided to re-feed my mud line before giving that swim ago, I didn’t have to wait too long before I began getting indications and after missing a couple I did finally connect with one but my elastic only came out a foot before pinging off then my next one did exactly the same I had made the mistake of upping my elastic because I expected to be catching mainly carp, so I was back rummaging in my holdall for a lighter grade of elastic but it seemed that the disturbance of the lost f1s had unsettled them and bites were now hard to come by and with over an hour of the match gone I was still fish less.


I began loose feeding casters at seven meters towards peg 97 in open water hoping that I might be able to catch a few shallow and while I prepared it I rotated my other swims but another thirty minutes passed without anything to show for it, I couldn’t really wait any longer and decided to see if anything had settled on my caster line but apart from a few missed bites which I think were from small silvers there wasnt a lot happening I really worked hard to try to get them up in the water without success , so I tried my deck rig underneath my loose feed and I have found this to be working really well on waters that allow the mong rig I’m not to sure why maybe they are backing away from the disturbance or just feel safer on the deck but you wouldn’t really be expecting to be fishing this way in the middle of summer as it’s more of a winter method, yet again it got me out of trouble as I finally began to put some fish in the net but after being fishless for nearly two hours my match was almost over as I would struggle to even have a chance for the section so I just tried to enjoy what was left of the day.

I had a little run of six f1s but they just wouldn’t settle for me and I found it best to feed a couple of big pouches of caster then give my meat line a go this seemed to produce a bigger stamp of fish including the odd carp by rotating between the two lines I kept putting the odd fish in the net but they wasnt coming quick enough, I wasnt really going anywhere so I decided to begin feeding my right hand margin at the side of the platform with ground-bait and it didn’t take long before I saw a couple of swirls, this was all the incentive I needed to pick up my margin rig and I pushed it out to the side of peg 99 I didn’t have to wait long before a carp took a liking to my double meat hook bait at nearly four pounds it was a good start , with carp being more predominate in this area I decided to put in a small cupping kit of feed after every fish hoping that this would keep the fish settled and finally it looked like I had done something right as I went on a run of fish mainly carp with the odd big F1 mixed in.


I was beginning to think that I might have a chance of doing a nice weight which after my start to the match I thought was never going to happen and this was when I started to rush things of course this resulted in things going a bit pear-shaped, first I lost a fish under the platform causing me to break my hook length although this gave me the opportunity to up it to an 014 and this gave me the confidence to bully the fish a bit more which made me lose focus as I hit my line when trying to rush one in causing me to trash my rig , for some bizarre reason I decided to put a lighter 0.3 float on the difference was remarkable because the carp were just wafting the rig out-of-the-way and in the last thirty minutes all I could catch was f1s .

The all out soon came it called time on a frustrating match because I had done numerous things wrong and even though i got told before the match that my peg wasnt the best I still feel that with the bit of room I had it was capable of throwing up at least a ton or more for a better angler, so I was very disappointed with my performance to say the least and when the weighman arrived I put just over 65lb on the scales which about forty pounds of that I caught in an hour down the side but you just can’t give anybody a two-hour start and expect to compete.

The lad on peg hundred had just scraped ninety pounds and he also struggled to catch on his mudline having most of his fish from round the side but lost a few carp too which probably cost him a chance of framing so it showed there was fish in the area ,as it turned out peg 85 won the lake with a low ton caught yet again from the margin although he had the benefit of what ever breeze there was blowing his way for the past few days causing a nice scum line and I later found out he had five empty pegs to his right plus the lad to his left packed up after an hour.

On arriving back to the cabin to watch the presentation most lakes had fished ok with nearly all the lakes having produced over a hundred pound , three of the top five weights coming from covey six including the winner although yet again he had the benefit of plenty room which made a mockery of the competition of course he still needed to catch them having over forty pounds on the second place angler and as the results were read out I also found out that there was lots of split sections including mine with me being in with covey six which I thought was a bit strange because i can not remember it being done like that in previous years but was probably down to the increase in attendance .

Well that’s my last Fish’O over and done with for another year I have only had one poor match at herronbrook where I drew shocking but the other two at the oaks and here at partridge I felt that I have drawn ok caught a few fish, I haven’t got much planned until September and next weekend i will be heading to the impressive Weston pools hoping to get back among the hard fighting barbel.



Fishing tight across to islands


Because i have concentrated a lot recently on fishing snake lakes especially tight across towards the far bank which is often called mud line fishing and there is lots of different rigs and bait that works on specific venues . This is a little piece on how i go about tackling them and if you do it right you can be on for a really good day .

Choosing the right time of year to fish this method is essential and it really comes in to play after the first spell of warm weather because the shallow water against the far bank stays warmer for longer which of course attracts the fish .


Where to fish

Fishing against the far bank on lots of snake lakes are usually reed lined and over grown , so the first thing i do is look for 2 or 3 areas where i can get as tight to it as possible and i would then be able to rotate them by taking a few fish from each which could also prolong the catch rate . Maybe a gap in the reeds or a little cut-back area were i would ideally find around 18 inch which i have found to be the perfect depth and with a gentle slope away from the mud bank because if it is to steep then your feed would roll away down the hill .

The advantage with getting tight across as possible is that is where the carp want to be , a good idea at the start of the session is to start in the slightly deeper water at about 2 ft deep before following them up to the mud bank when liners or foul hookers become a problem , as you can usually have a good first hour before later in the session bagging up with carp and f1s .

Nice stamp f1

Nice stamp f1


There is two ways that you can go regarding rigs one is the more delicate style were the fish can follow the bait down in a natural way which works better in slightly colder weather and by working the lighter rig the hook bait mimics the bait falling through the water all the time , bites will normally come just as the hook bait hits the bottom .

The other way seems to be the one in the vogue at the moment which is using heavier than normal rigs tight across in the shallow water because the disturbance that feeding fish make under the water can some times cause the lighter rig to be dragged out of the swim and by using the heavier rig greatly increases the amount of time that you can be fishing .

By positioning the shot close to the hook about 2 or 3 inch away makes for more stability and you need a float that is stable because it helps you to distinguish between proper bites and line bites which can be a problem when fishing in such shallow water , also it makes it quicker for you to see the bite but they are really positive when using this rig when the fish are having it .

Fishing across can be a time in motion exercise with plenty of fish coming your way , so you need to make sure that every thing is at hand and more importantly the roller placement makes shipping in-out a bit quicker . Also the rig line needs to be stronger to with stand a lot of punishment with it rubbing against the far bank all the time and fishing this method gives you the chance of a bonus carp , also there is no need to go over board with your elastic strength because soft elastic allows the fish to swim out of the peg and not bolt in to the reeds .


Lighter rig

I have used a small matrix number 3 float which is a 0.10 gram and the shotting is equally spread down the line this is the rig that i usually start with but when a lot of fish are present then it can be easily wafted out of the swim before the fish manage to find the hook bait .

Heavy rig

This doesn’t look right for fishing in such shallow water but if the island was 30 meters away you would think nothing of casting a 30 gram method feeder to it and expect to bring back a fish every cast .But by using a matrix number three float in a 0.4 weight this allows me to keep the float more stable and stability is the key to catching big nets of fish , i put all my shot just above the short four inch hook length which works like a bolt rig and the first thing you see is your elastic streaming out of your pole tip .

Just a quick thing for you to think about is because you are fishing in such shallow water by using a long length of line between float and pole tip , can stop you spooking the fish or you could paint the top part of your top kit white so it blends in with the sky so the fish can not see it when they look up .



A lot of fisheries go through spells on the in bait to use when fishing and the mud line is no different , so it would be a good idea to find as much info as you can before attending the match but if the info isn’t as forth coming as you would like then a good starting bait to use is maggots because they attract all sizes of fish and work on lots of different venues .

Another good thing to try is big potting up to the mud line with ground-bait , start the swim with a 250 ml cup with 40% ground-bait 60% maggots and then feel your way into the match , by either continuing big potting or kinder potting after every fish to do this you fill it 3/4 full of maggots then cap it with ground-bait and this has the extra benefit of preventing you spilling your pot as you are shipping out .

Using a big target bait like three maggots will hope fully help you avoid the attention of the silvers and when proper fish are in the area the small fish activity will completely stop before the float gets buried properly and your attached to a nice fish .


By feeding after every fish you can usually keep them coming all day but if you are struggling for bites then i trick for you to try is reached for your catty because loose feeding can some times transform your peg by attracting fish into your swim and a way to cut out line bites is when you are tapping out your kinder pot keep it low to the water because even in this shallow water the fish rise to intercept it , to get around this feed balls of pellets or ground-bait almost level to the water to get them to the deck in one piece kind of like trying to sneak the bait in un-noticed .


By doing what i have described above will hopefully get you among the fish and if you can get the fish slurping against the far bank you can be on for a massive weight because you can catch the better fish closer to the island and plenty of them too . hope this helps a view people .