Fisho qualifier at Oaks Sessay

June 5th , peg three Ash pool



Today was my second Fish’O qualifier of the season and it was going to take place at the Oaks fishery in Sessay I had fished it before in last years contest where I managed a second in section from Cedar canal so I was really looking forward to it although with my van breaking down the other week I hadn’t had chance to go down for a practice but I managed to get a lot of up to date information through various social media outlets so I was pretty well prepared, it was another bit of a trek so an early start was needed again and I began packing my van just after six ready for the hundred mile trip the journey was pretty straight forward (unlike last year when they closed the motorway so I ended up late for the draw) On arrival at the fishery I met up with a couple of anglers that I knew so we had a chat on what to expect from todays match and everyone agreed that the new lakes were the place to be, after grabbing a bacon buttie I joined the growing queue for the draw and when it came for my turn I pulled out peg three on Ash pool which as luck would have it was one of the new lakes (always been good in the draw bag ) it was also somewhere that you could park behind so I had an easy day no need for my trolley, after finding my peg I was glad to see it was on the windward part of the lake although I had it blowing over my shoulder which I felt would make the other bank a lot better and I also had another angler to my left where everyone else had peg one miss one ( not the best of pegging by the fishery as putting 1+2 in leaving 3 out would have been better limiting the end pegs advantage )

On settling in at my home for the next few hours I had a good look at what was in front of me so I could make a decision on how best to target my peg , I didn’t have a lot in the way of features other than an aerator about 25m away ( which I couldn’t really take advantage of as there was a 14m limit on the new lakes ) I also had a nice cut out to my right  ( you’re only allowed to garden towards your right hand side ) so before I started I used my landing net to remove all the floating debris from inside it and I decided to have a nice uncomplicated match setting up;

Shallow , I used an 0.2 matrix series three float which had four number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line, my hook length was 012 garbo which had a size 18 matrix rigger attached.

Deck rig at 13m and as it was only a touch over four-foot deep I used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern, my main line was the usual 014 garbo and my hook length was 012 garbo which had a size 18 matrix rigger attached to it was a micro bait band.

Top four line where I was going to be using meat so I used a 4×12 speedy float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached.

Margin line after plumbing up to find two foot and wanting a stable float I decided to use an 0.4 joof float which had a spread bulk of number eight stotz along the 014 garbo line my hook length was 012 garbo which had a size 16 guru lwg hook attached.

Bait for the day was;

Three pints of 6mm cubed meat

Three pints of 4mm fishery pellets

Small tub of mixed hard hook pellets

When the all in sounded in the distance I started my match by kinder potting some 4mm pellets onto my long line before lowering my rig over the top of it and then holding my float still, not a great deal was happening around the lake for the first fifteen minutes so with a few fish cruising about I decided to begin pinging pellets to try to draw them into my swim which worked as I began putting some fish in the net it wasnt hectic just a nice steady half a dozen an hour they was all stockie mirror carp averaging two-pound a piece the bites were only little dinks on the float and I had to be on the ball to connect with them, after around ninety minutes the fish began moving up in the water to intercept the pellets this caused me to start to get liners and this is where my match began to get away from me because I really struggled to connect with the indications when fishing shallow as I was just foul hooking more and more fish, I found it best to use my full depth rig with just a couple of stotz spread down the line allowing for a very slow fall and this allowed me to pick up a few more carp, I was contemplating putting in a small cupping kit full of pellets in to get them back on the deck but with the bottom of the lake being mostly clay (with the plumet coming back covered in it ) I felt that this would do more harm than good causing lots of fizzing and even more foul hooking so I decided to catty in more pellets but less often hoping this might work for me.


When the problems started on my long line I began loose feeding my four meter swim by hand with meat and I decided to give this a go I didn’t have to wait too long before my float shot under ( a proper meat bite ) this resulted in another carp but this time a bit bigger at nearly three pounds and I went on another little run adding half a dozen similar sized fish in a forty minute spell , I was feeding through a large kinder pot after every fish or every five minutes depending which was the earliest as I didn’t want to make the mistake of keeping on feeding by hand as this might bring them up of the deck causing foul hookers again, it wasnt long before the bites began to tail off and I spent the next hour alternating between the two lines picking up the odd fish from each but it was no way as good as at the start ( I think most of the carp had followed the wind )

I noticed that a few of the anglers on the opposite bank had begun fishing their margins a lot earlier than I expected and was catching really well so with the other areas of my peg not really producing as I would like I decided give mine a try , I didn’t want to feed the peg until I knew how many fish were present so I put a kinder pot full of meat in then lowered my rig in over the top surprisingly my float had only just settled when it shot under and I was attached to another hard fighting carp which gave me a proper run around before I netted it , but it must have disturbed a branch in my cut out because my next fish snagged me up although i did manage to get it out with no float left on my rig . I replumbed up my margin with another section on this got me under the tree at the side of the reeds but it was a foot deeper not ideal for margin fishing and i did catch a couple more carp but unsurprisingly I suffered a lot from line bites, I even resorted to big potting in meat I hoped that it would pin them back on the deck but it didn’t really work and I spent the rest of the match just picking up the odd carp which was a disappointment after my good start .


I didn’t have to wait too long to find out my fate as I was one of the first to get weighed in after the lad on the end peg had put 130lb on the scales then it was my turn and my 26 carp went 55lb so a nice average stamp  it seemed that Ash pool had fished really well with a few 90lb nets and most having over 60lb, my match started well probably putting forty pounds in the net in the first couple of hours but instead of it getting better it got gradually worse and I’m sure that I could have caught a lot more from my margin cut out if that snag wasnt present but that’s the way it goes sometimes im not saying I could have framed from that peg but I should have been able to threaten a ton , so it’s on to my last Fish’O qualifier at Partridge lakes lets hope I can draw a good peg again and i am planning to go down at the weekend to contest the open on Saturday & Sunday as I have not been for a good few months.



Oaks fishery , Fishomania qualifier

Cedar canal peg 69 , May 9th


This was my next to the last attempt at qualifying for Fishomania for the year and today it was at the Oaks fishery in Sessay yorkshire and i was really looking forward to this one as most of the information that i had managed to find on the internet and social media revolved around F1s+stockies on snake lakes with pellet+meat all of which i am quite good at fishing , for a change on these big matches i had a travelling companion The Big Dipper who will also be blogging the days events which i will also publish in a couple of days .

Although the venue was only 98 miles away the Sat Nav said it would take over ninety minutes to get there so an early start was required , at six o’clock i set off on my way to pick up my mate and the journey to the fishery was problematic to say the least with ;

East lancs shut due to road works

M62 motorway closed with a police incident

Temporary lights on the detour which held up traffic causing my van to overheat as we were stationary for over forty minutes .

It was nearly 8 am and we were still over an hour away from the fishery and moving really slowly through the country roads stuck behind lorries we figured that there must be plenty other anglers stuck in the traffic so we rang the Oaks to inform them off our plight and to see what they could do because it is something that i haven’t encountered before , luckily they was quite understandable about it and said they would mark our names down as on our way so we wouldn’t lose our places to a reserve  . When we finally got to the venue the draw was well underway and we joined the queue right at the back but a few others were even later than us , as it came round to my turn to draw i picked out peg 69 on Cedar canal which was one of the snake lakes that i fancied drawing on and it will come as no surprise to hear that yet again it made the hot pegs list on the twittermania news feed my third time in my last three fishomania qualifiers .


We were both starving after the early morning start so we both grabbed a bacon sandwich and had a quick chat about how best to attack our lakes in the café before making our way to our respected pegs my home for the day was your typical snake lake peg ;

14m to the far-bank which was reed lined with a bare mud line in between

Reed lined margin which was over 2ft deep and also an empty peg to my right .

I decided to keep things simple fishing it the same as i would on any snake lake found around here and the only thing i changed was my channel swim because i found that it was only 4ft deep so didn’t bother putting that in , so my fishing lines today are ;

4ft bottom both slopes

3ft deep in margin

2ft deep a foot away from the far-bank


My bait today was ;

2 pints of meat cubed in both 4mm+6mm

2 pints of fishery 4mm pellets

small tub 4mm+6mm expanders

small tub mixed hard pellets

I was ready to go just before the 11 o’clock start then we heard that it would be delayed for another thirty minutes to give those that arrived late more time to set up this didn’t go down to well with a few anglers near me because they had travelled all the way from near London and would only be getting home around midnight but it just goes to show the popularity of the competition , when the whistle finally sounded in the distance i shipped out to the bottom of the far slope with a large kinder pot full of meat plus a few pellets it took a couple of feeds before i managed my first indication which i missed and i then proceeded to bump my next two fish off things weren’t going to well with me being fishless after thirty minutes i stepped up my hook size to an 18 LWG guru i was still able to bury it into my cube of meat and this seemed to solve my missed bite problem as i went on a run of six F1s but yet again for some reason i began missing bite after bite again with only the odd fish in between , it was beginning to do my head in but i was still keeping up with those anglers around me although i felt that i needed to catch them quicker to be in with a chance for my section or better .


I had been loose feeding meat on to my top three-line since the match had started and i needed this to work or i could be left scratching around for bites , first drop my float buried elastic shot out and i was attached to a big carp but only briefly as some how it broke my 012 hook length ! ! All the disturbance killed my margin swim so i went back out to my 11m line this produced a few more F1s before the missed bites returned i was picking up the odd fish put it began getting very patchy , for the next two hours no matter where i tried i couldn’t get a run of more than two F1s or carp and thinking back i probably spent too long chopping+changing rather than concentrating on my most successful line .


In the last ninety minutes i swapped between my two swims at the bottom of both slopes and i managed to keep the fish coming for the rest of the match with the odd skimmer in between by feeding a big pot of meat+pellets every twenty minutes this seemed to slow down the missed bites , as the all out sounded it called time on a rather frustrating match i probably had enough fish in front of me for a section win but fished it all wrong with missed bites being a proper head scratcher . When the scales came round to me 27 kilos was leading the section and i only managed 20 kilos about 45lb , my mate The Big Dipper had done a lot better winning his section and finishing in the top ten on his first ever fishomania qualifier with 29 kilos , the lessons i learned today was never leave feeding fish even if you do think that the bites aren’t coming quickly enough because by feeding correctly you can soon have them lined up like i did at the end so lets hope that i can do better on my last chance at Partridge lakes my home venue kind off .