My year in fishing 2017

As the year turns i always like to have a look through all my match results to see how well or badly that i have done , after deciding not to do any of the major qualifiers this time as i have usually struggled to get a day’s fishing on any of them preferring to take my chance on a few of the local festivals and team events as i had been invited to join the Daiwa Adlington squad this turned out to be a good decision for me as i managed ;

Partridge winter league individual ended up 13th with ten points from five rounds but an extra point here and there would have made all the difference .

Weston pools spring three-day festival a bad last day pushed me out of the top ten into 14th .

Cunneries spring league teams of three which was my first attempt at team fishing and Adlington ended up 4th overall .

Mossella summer league after missing two rounds i had no room for error and one bad match dropped me down to 9th .

Weston pools natural bait festival ended up joint 5th with 3 points although i tried to force my peg on the last day because i needed a good weight to make the frame which didnt really work out for me .

Cunneries autumn league teams of three were we ended up 5th .

Old Hough winter league after winning the first three matches i am now second with one round remaining but there’s only one point in it so hopefully i can pull it back next year .


I also did a few one-off events which i did reasonably well on ;

Cunneriers charity match win with sixty anglers contesting the event my biggest match win to date .

Golborne miners charity match win at cunneries fishery

Cunneries pairs event finished sixth overall with three points and i managed a section win .

Bradshaw’s inter club challenge i ended up third overall but the team struggled .

Partridge pairs event were we had a top 12 finish .

Angling times supercup  where i managed a section win for the 4th year running but the team got beat 4-2 .

North vs South at Tunnel barn farm i was second in my ten peg section which helped the North win for the second year running .

Hooked for heroes match on Wrightington canals were i ended up third overall .

Lloyd’s meadow interclub match i ended up fourth and the team won on the day .

In the few open matches that i managed to squeeze in during the year i had a mixed bag of results which was only to be expected on the venues that i fished , my best match was a third place finish at Partridge lakes although i was on a very good peg ;

Wins — four

Second — two



In the heart of summer i went on a good run of getting five straight ton plus weights from three different venues ;

Hall lane bessies pool on the mossella league 170lb and 103lb

Cunneries s canal 110lb and 100lb

Weston pools belvedere 100lb

Of all the matches that i have contested during this year the one which sticks in my mind the most is the open about a month ago at Partridge lakes when i just missed out on getting on the board with just twelve f1s for 17lb and i had to work really hard for every single one of them , missing a grand total of just two indications i felt that i had made the correct decisions and got the most from a very average peg which means more to me than winning any open match .

So all in all i feel that my year has gone really well for me as i am just an average angler who lacks a winning mentality but if i want to keep improving that will be something that i need to work on , my plans for next year will be very similar but i need to give myself a better chance on the festivals and leagues by doing more practice on the venues rather than trying to wing it which gives me little room for making bad choices , i would also like to thank Leigh tackle for inviting me to be part of the newly formed match group which i am really looking forward to and also everyone that has taken the time to read and like my blog because after four years it is still going strong even after the influx of blogs which have made their way onto Facebook .


Partridge lakes , individual winter league

March 5th

Today was the last round of the Partridge lakes individual winter league and as i was lying towards the top of the table i was quite looking forward to it even after last weeks disaster were i finished last in section on Willow lake , but as usual the weekend weather had put a dampener on things in more than one way because we had very heavy rain overnight and on arriving at the fishery most of the pegs where under water as the lakes had risen a good few inches plus it was forecast to be constant showers all day , which wasnt ideal for a good days fishing but i would just have to make the most of it as the conditions would be the same for everyone i suppose and after meeting up with a couple of lads that i haven’t seen for a while it was time to join the queue for the bag of doom , i could do with a top two in section but when i pulled out peg ten on marsh canal that looked very unlikely and to be honest i wasnt very happy because apart from one round it had struggled to compete with the lower numbers .

On getting to my home for the next few hours the far bank was nearly 14m away with a bare bank directly in front with a dead reed bed either side and it did look ok especially when the odd fish topped towards the empty peg towards my left , the only trouble i had was that there was a big hill right behind and i would have to ship back twice when fishing across this would also have an impact on my channel swims because the furthest i could comfortably go was nine meters .

My rigs for the day was ;

Four foot rig for fishing across to the far bank and i used a 4×10 maggie float which had four size eleven stotz spread down the 014 garbo main line , this had a six-inch length of 010 garbo that had a size twenty guru hook attached and i also had a slightly heavier 4×12 maggie float in case the wind increased during the match on this rig i used 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 twenty guru hook attached .

Three foot rig for fishing right in front of the dead reeds and also down my left hand margin ,  i used a 4×10 maggie float which had four size eleven stotz spread down the 014 garbo main line , this had a six-inch length of 010 garbo that had a size twenty guru hook attached.

Channel rig at nine meters on both sides of me because i wanted to feed pellets on one and maggots on the other , i used a 4×12 maggie with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern along my 014 garbo main line and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo that had a size 18 guru hook attached .

Bait for the day was the usual partridge stuff although i decided to try feeding ground-bait and micros after reading an article in this months pole fishing magazine ;

1 pint red and white maggots

1 pint soaked micros

1 pint of f1 ringers dark ground-bait

When the all in sounded i fed both my channel swims then began by shipping across to the mud bank and after a tapping in some micros dusted in ground-bait , i lowered my rig in among it with a 4mm expander on the hook and it took a couple of feeds before i had my first indication which resulted in a nice sized f1 hitting the net , so things looked promising especially as in the next hour i added another four but i also lost a couple on the way in due to my pole sticking in the monsoon conditions as i needed to break down twice as i was playing them .After awhile all indications stopped so i replumbed up a few new swims along the far bank but for the next ninety minutes i remained bite less even after trying both rigs and various feeding methods and on looking around lots of people were struggling as well although i could only see one lad in my section so i was unsure on how the others were getting on , i had a quick look on my pellet channel swim but i only had a solitary missed bite in twenty minutes and things wasnt looking good but after having a quiet word with myself i decided to try in three-foot in case the f1s had sheltered in among the reed bed to my right , i began by tapping in six maggots then lowered my rig over the top and after a couple of feeds i had my first indication but i could only catch small roach . I dropped onto my left hand margin which i had fed with a dozen maggots every twenty minutes since the match started but yet again when my float settled i had a quick bite and another roach came swinging its way to the bank , maybe i had not been aggressive enough with the feed and decided to up it to half a small cupping kit of maggots .

A return to my three-foot rig at the side of the reeds but this time with pellets and after about ten minutes i had another f1 in the net , for some reason i found it best just feeding a small ball of neat micros rather than those mixed in the ground-bait or even loose micros which took me a bit longer to work out than i had hoped and in the next hour i added another five fish to the net which put me on double figures it was similar to the lad on my left , i felt that if i could keep up with him then i might have a chance of some good points but like i mentioned earlier i couldn’t see the other lads in my section .

When bites began to tail off i put in numerous new swims along the reed bed without success which was strange as the lad to my right was catching in a similar area in my direction , with ninety minutes remaining i had my first look onto my maggot channel swim hoping that a few f1s had settled on it and my float had only just settled when it dipped under and i thought that i might have a few lined up but yet again all i could catch on maggots was small silvers . As the rain finally relented i rotated all my swims which didn’t produce an indication so i decided to go towards the dead reed beds on my left but on plumbing up it was a bit snaggy and it took me awhile to find a clean area where i could present a good hook bait , i tapped in a nugget of micros then lowered my rig in over the top of it no sooner had it settled than it buried with a big stamp f1 hitting the net and i managed a few more plus a four pound carp before the all out sounded .

To be honest i felt that i had not made the most of the peg but in the rainy conditions my mind wasnt fully focused and i also lost half a dozen fish due to having to break my pole down twice but that’s the way it goes sometimes , after packing all my soaked gear away i had a quick chat with the others in my section and apart from peg six the others had struggled a bit , when the scales arrived i was the first to weigh in and managed 24lb my main danger had 36lb so those lost fish had cost me a better finishing position I end the winter league second in section just like i started it .

1st round peg 167 covey six ended up second in section fished a good match only getting beat by the last on the split which won the match .

2nd round peg 151 covey six ended up winning the section fished a good match by chasing the fish out into the bowl as the match progressed .

3rd round peg 2 ribbon ended up second in section struggled until the last couple of hours when caught well down the track , got beat by lad on peg 4 who also won the match .

4th round peg 103 covey five ended up third in section my worst result in the league .

5th round peg 10 marsh canal just scraped second in section after making a few bad decisions .

I ended the individual winter league on ten points from five matches and this put me joint 9th overall  which i would have been happy with at the start because i was up against some good partridge regulars , although i was pushed back down to 13th on weight countback and i was quite happy with the result but as only eight points got in the top five im sure that i had a chance on a couple of rounds to get an extra point or two which is something that i need to improve on this year .

I would like to thank Partridge lakes for running the individual winter league which as far as I’m aware went without a hitch , also to all the anglers that fished who all played their part and especially those that finished in the top five .


Partridge lakes , individual winter league

19th February


Today was the penultimate round of the individual winter league at Partridge lakes and after having had a few good draws plus the odd slice of luck i was sitting towards the top of the table in sixth place , i seemed to be in good form at the moment picking up money in my last five matches which was no doubt down to fishing here every week for the last couple of months and i was obviously really looking forward to the contest today especially as at long last the weather was showing signs of improvement  with temperatures hitting double fingers .

I had another early start to make the rolling draw at 815 and after speaking to a few of my 2+2 team mates i joined the queue for the bag of doom although to be fair it had been really kind to me in the last few rounds , when it came to my turn i pulled out peg 103 on covey five which isn’t want i would have liked because it is probably one of the worst in the section and i would be up against it for good points today . When i arrived at my home for the next few hours i had the young guru superstar on the flyer peg 101 and another partridge regular on 105 which had the benefit of the warmish breeze blowing into his margin so it looked like i could be in for a hard day , as i began setting up and time was passing by there was still no sign of any anglers on 107 or 109 even after going to speak to my mate on 120 when i got back they still hadn’t turned up so it looked like it was just a three peg section today which was a bonus .


I decided to set up just the three rigs ;

Three foot maggot rig for fishing tight to the far bank and also to the dead reeds on my left hand side , i used a 4×10 maggie float with a spread bulk along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 hook length attached .

Four foot maggot rig for fishing a bit further down the far shelf and also 11m down my left hand margin because i felt that the f1s would have followed the breeze today ,i used a 4×12 maggie float with a spread bulk along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 hook length attached .

Track line at six meters towards my left ,i used a 4×12 maggie float with a spread bulk along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 hook length attached .

Bait for the day was your standard partridge winter league stuff ;

Two pints red and white maggots

One pint soaked micros

One slice of bread

Small tub of 2+4mm expanders

After plumbing up a few areas along the far shelf i finally found a couple of flat areas at ten o’clock and two o’clock when the all in sounded i began on my right hand swim by tapping in a few micros then lowered my rig over the top , which had a 4mm expander on the hook because i had heard a few rumours that some people caught well using it the day before and it looked like i had made the right decision as my float had only just settled when it shot under i then had a spirited fight with a four pound common carp before anybody else had managed a bite , not long after i had an f1 in the net as well and it looked like i could be on for a good day but when i pricked a fish on the strike which came off at the net it killed my swim , so i swapped to my left hand swim although this time i decided to use maggots and i managed an f1 fairly quickly  i chose to feed one line and fish the other as i didn’t want to unsettle the fish so early in the match this worked quite well as i kept putting the odd fish in the net i was also holding my own with the other lads in the section , in the second hour the far swims were dying on me so i opened up a new line long down to my left so that i could rest them and after tapping in a few maggots i flicked my rig into open water then held my float tight so it fell against the shelf , by doing this i managed a couple of quick f1s before i lost a foul hooker at the net and i was now beginning to fall behind the other anglers who was both beginning to catch well down the track .


The middle part of the match was a total waste of time as i just couldn’t get a bite even though i was rotating my swims all the time and i put in two more lines along the far bank at thirteen meters as well but this didn’t produce for me either , i had wanted to leave my channel swim for as long as possible but with nothing working for me i had no option and i did have an f1 straight away although no other bites on it had me scratching my head maybe i had gone on it too soon or got the feeding wrong because the lad on peg 105 was catching quite consistently on it .

With just over an hour of the match remaining i decided to change my furthest right hand swim towards the point of the island to pellets and after tapping in a few micros i then lowered my rig over the top of it , it took a couple of feeds before my float buried and at last i had another f1 in the net after what seemed like an age , i then had another straight away and another then another i wasnt sure if they had suddenly just come on the feed with the drop in light or been sitting there all the time and just wanted pellets , i managed to catch twelve of them including one right on the whistle it definitely slowed towards the end of the match and i really needed another swim to catch from so i could rotate between them both , but i didn’t have time to put another in so i just ended up plundering the one swim till the all out and i also pulled out of a couple at the net plus got broke by another under the platform which proved costly .

when the scales came round peg 101 had easily won the section which wasnt a surprise he had 43lb , i managed 20 odd f1s for 30lb the lad on 105 had 34lb which pushed me into third and yet again i was left ruing those lost fish at the net , this put me on eight points and in joint eighth place overall so i think that has cost me any chance of getting in the money but at the start of the winter league i would have been happy to finish in the top ten with the calibre of angler contesting it so that is my target on the next round, I’m having a little knock up with the rest of the team on Saturday to try to find a decent home venue for the supercup then I am back at Partridge lakes at the weekend for the team event and i just hope that i can have a bit more luck then .


Partridge lakes , individual winter league

February 5th



Today i was back at Partridge lakes for the third round of the individual winter league and after last weekend when i had a pretty awful match but somehow still managed a third in section in the team match , i was hoping for a decent draw for a change because my last five here have been shockers . The weather during the week had finally taken a turn for the better with a rise in temperatures and as a consequence the f1s had decided to have a feed with some big weights coming out on the mid-week opens , but yet again by the time match day came round it was all change with lots of cold rain going in over night and a very thick frost on the car in the morning , it was about time the weather settled a bit because yet again it is forecast to be up and down in the next few weeks .

My planned early arrival to the fishery so i could catch up with a few lads that i had not seen in a while was put right out of the window as i had forgotten that the bridge leading up to the venue had been closed due to road works so i had to make a bit of a detour , when i finally got there the rolling draw was well under way so i joined the queue at the back and after picking up my section money from the previous round it was time for a dip in the bag of doom , to be honest i was quite surprised after my recent run when i pulled out the most in form peg on the complex and now the pressure was on for a good result , i spoke to a couple of lads who had fished it recently and they kindly pointed me in the right direction


When i arrived at my home for the next few hours i had a reed lined point of island directly in front plus a bowl towards my right which has held lots of fish recently probably down to the fact that it gets lots of winter sun and it was glaring directly into my face , after plumbing up around my peg i decided to set up ;

4ft rig tight to the far side reeds , with the conditions being calm i decided to use a 4×10 maggie float with a staggered bulk of number 11 stotz my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length and hook was a size twenty guru f1 maggot .I also used the same rig for down the side which was a top kit plus one to my right near the overhanging tree and top four towards the left which was as far as i could go .

Dobbing rig which has worked well in the first couple of hours during matches and i used a 0.2 matrix series three float with a bulk + 2 dropper shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length and hook was a size 16 guru f1 pellet  .

I set up two channel rigs for the bowl towards a 4×10 and a 4×12 maggie float towards my right at 11m because i wanted to try something new today and apart from being different float sizes everything else was the same , after plumbing up i was surprised to find just over five foot which wasnt ideal but nothing i could do about it now and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length + hook was a size twenty guru f1 maggot .

Bait for the day was the standard ;

1 pint of maggots

1/2 pint micros

1/2 pint ground-bait

small tub of 2+4mm expanders


When the all in sounded i began by dobbing a 7mm punch of bread in three-foot towards the far bank reeds because i didn’t feel that putting any bait in would be the right thing to do at this early stage of the match and i started directly in front of me as i  want to push the fish into peg four , the high numbered pegs to my left are usually barren of fish although i did notice a couple of f1s top that way as i began setting up and after a bit of a slow start by working all along the reeds changing depths plus punch sizes i finally managed a few liners , but i wasnt unduly worried because i had been told beforehand that would be the case and after twenty minutes i managed my first f1 around the 2lb mark towards the point of the island , it took another twenty minutes for my next indication which came off on the way in due to my elastic sticking in the top kit and i knew it needed changing but got a bit lazy .

In the next hour i managed a couple more f1s , a ide by dobbing but i felt that the chance of winning the section was other because the lad on peg four was catching really well by fishing long down the margin towards peg one and i couldn’t get towards the side due to the over hanging tree , with things slowing down i decided to risk putting in some maggots to see if this would get me a run of fish because i was at risk of blowing a flyer and i picked two lines across tapping in six on each , after a couple of feeds i began getting the odd bite which i kept missing then i foul hooked an f1 i put these indications down to line bites so i picked up the dobbing rig again before i did too much damage feeding , this seemed to have worked because i managed a couple more fish and when i noticed a fish swirl in the bay i took the opportunity to flick my rig over the top of it which resulted in another f1 then a carp .


With two hours of the match remaining i started dripping in some maggots onto my channel swim while i continued dobbing along the far bank reeds it wasnt hectic by any means but the fish i was catching were of a nice stamp and i just hoped that a few fish might settle on my 11m line to my left , i saw another fish swirl in the bay and another flick of the rig over the top saw me hook a big carp which i played for over five minutes before losing it at the net when the hook pulled . I went on my channel swim with my 4×10 rig and began getting indications straight away but i foul hooked four f1s on the trot losing all of them but i did manage a small tench , so i decided to up my feed to try to get them on to the deck and i then went back dobbing which got me a bonus 4lb carp plus another f1 , with time running out i had to go back on to my channel swim and thankfully they had settled down a bit as i had a couple on the bounce before the lad on peg four decided to put his channel swim facing me , then i pricked three fish on the strike with just a foot of elastic coming out and i need to have a review on rigs + elastic before the next round after losing those fish the f1s backed of towards the lad opposite and we spent the rest of the match bouncing fish off each other .

When the all out sounded i had not fished a great match losing at least twenty pounds of fish but luckily the peg was guaranteed second in section at worst because the other pegs aren’t the best , i didn’t have to wait that long before the scales arrived  peg four managed 62lb that was enough for the match win , i managed 37lb for second in section and another default pick up this put me on five points for seventh overall with two rounds remaining so i am still in contention for a top ten finish which i will be more than happy with competing against these class of angler .