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 .



Orrcherton house fishery

Balmoral club match eight , August 3rd peg 28

Well we are soon coming to the end of my last year at Balmoral angling club and today we headed off to Orrcherton house which was somewhere that i had never done well on because it is a big open water where pellet waggler and straight lead seemed to be the method which is not my style of fishing . A few of the club had been on fishing the opens before hand trying to gain an advantage which is usual for us but i was sticking to what i had said at the start , just fishing the club match on each venue and so far it has worked for me because i am still second overall with my worst result being a sixth at Widdows which i am still disappointed with .

Anyway back to todays match after getting caught up by the cyclists doing the tour de standish on the way their i arrived a bit later than i had planned , so after having a quick walk around to check that my pegging was correct and for a change i didn’t have to change many there was only one which was a bit iffy 28 or 33 so with the wind blowing off your back on 28 we choose to put that one in . I also noticed that their was about a dozen big carp dead in various parts of the lake not really a good sign but it is a water which is put under a lot of match pressure and after paying the remaining balance to the owner i got told that it was now booked up for the next two years it just goes to show how well it does with club bookings .

When we started the draw one by one all the better pegs went and i was left with peg 28 which suited me fine with the wind blowing in a good direction for a novice pellet waggler angler , if anything it was probably a bit too sheltered and i had a feeling that the shallow fish would be down the other end of the lake but if the forecast heavy rain turned up it wouldn’t be in my face . I had been told by a few people who it might be worth trying shallow for the f1s because if they was in your peg in numbers you could compete with the pellet waggler caught carp and i was more confident fishing the pole .


Shallow fishing were Matrix series 3 floats 0.3 , 0.12 garbo main line direct to a size 18 guru lwg hook which had a micro bait band attached .

Margin fishing , 0.4 malmams speedy float with 0.14 garbo main line direct to a size 16 guru lwg hook .

Drennon red pellet waggler rod , a loaded 8 gram garbo pellet waggler with 6lb reel line and 5lb garbo hook length which had a size 16 guru pellet waggler hook attached was a mini bait band .

Maver reactorlite feeder rod ,  8 lb maver genesis main line with a half ounce straight lead and a 2 ft hook length of 0.14 garbo line and my hook was a size 16 guru circle hook which had a mini bait band attached .

With carp+f1s being the main target species and lots of small silvers present it just had to be an all out pellet attack today .


2 pints 4mm pellets

2 pints 8 mm pellets

2 pints 10 mm pellets

1 tin hemp

1 tin corn

When the all in sounded i shipped out to 14 meters and began loose feeding 4mm hard pellets , i started on my deep shallow rig it didn’t take long before i started getting indications on my float but they were very hard to hit so just your usual finicky f1 bites on pressured waters . I kept the feed going in and slowly but surely i started catching not the stamp of f1 i was hoping for at 8oz a piece , i persevered though in the hope of picking up a bigger fish or the odd carp which were topping just out of pole range .

After ninety minutes the f1s drifted out of my peg following the breeze and i also noticed the odd carp coming out so reluctantly i had to pick up the pellet waggler and i had fired out some 8-10mm pellets out at 25 meters , on my first cast the rod was nearly pulled out of my hands carp number one was in the net and at nearly 7lb a decent fish . It took a while before i had my next bite which is usual when pellet waggler fishing this one was a similar size to my other but unfortunately it broke me just as i was about to slide my landing net under it .

I hastily re-set up and on this new rig i began missing bites so i kept changing depths but i just couldn’t connect with them and after the match i found out that they had used 6mm pellets with 20-18 hooks because these little dinks were from the bigger 2lb plus f1s which had taken over from the carp in here , so obviously the 8-10mm pellets that i was using were too big and this proved a point when my next two fish came off on the way in but i did manage another decent carp and found 3ft to be the best depth .

With two hours remaining i noticed the bottom fizzing where i had been firing out the pellets so i flicked out the straight lead with an 8mm pellet on the hook and even before i could tighten the line up on my tip rod it was getting pulled out of my hands with carp number three making its way to the net .But as my peg was surrounded by reeds i couldn’t put the rod out to the side like i would normally do and i had to have it almost pointing at the lead , which resulted in a few crack offs on the take with them being so savage even on 5lb hook lengths and i had to stop fishing to make up a fresh one which had 7lb line on it this worked well with no further breakages and i began putting some carp in the net again .

We was fast approaching the last forty minutes and i had fed my left hand margin for two hours , so i decided to give it a try hoping that some carp had settled their although i felt it could be a touch deep at 5 ft ,with a piece of corn on the hook i was soon catching fish not the carp-f1s but silvers around the 8oz mark and usually i would be happy catching these but i felt that i needed another carp or two so i put out the straight lead again , as you will find out later this was a mistake because it never went round and i only missed out on third by just 2lb which i could have caught in silvers but thats match fishing for you .

Overall i think that i had fished a good match maybe a bit under prepared on pellet size and hook lengths but i felt that i did things at the correct times picking fish up from every swim and i had probably lost at least four carp if not more which would have made a huge difference in my last weight , it isn’t one of my favorite waters with the tactics needed to well not those that i am comfortable using so i was pleased to get my best result from the venue with my seven carp going just under 40lb and overall it fished very well as everyone had over 20lb with the top two weights being 68lb-65lb .

I have the next week of work so of course i will be getting back on the bank starting with the open at Partridge lakes and hopefully i will have a chance of beating my match record and then i will be back there on Sunday to fish the next to the last match of Balmoral A C season on Ribbon which is another venue i haven’t fished before , i might even try to sneak in the Sycamore evening match in to depending on the weather .


Wrightington fishery

Rivi view peg 3 .  1st September

Well here it was the final club match of the season and could i get the points required to win the club league Of course i can ,although i made very hard work of achieving it as you will find out later .

I woke up to find it over cast ,cold and windy which would hopefully get the carp feeding on the deck and stop the floating pole being dominate on the island pegs. I was the first to arrive at the venue and had a chat with Paul the owner who said it had been fishing well but the recent cold weather might mean lower weights and as you will find out he was right .

I went round to do the pegging and as we were expecting 18 today with a few anglers missing due to illness and working shifts , i decided on three sections of six with the best pegs on the lake being near the island on the high numbers so i put six pegs along their to try and stop them running away with the match . The other six peg section was in the open water as you get on to the lake three on each side of the lake and this left lots of space towards the bottom of the lake for the final section because it wasn’t great down that end although the wind was blowing that way . To my mind this was the best and fairest way to peg it but it still didn’t stop people moaning after drawing bad today .

Everyone was early  and in an up beat mood with it being the last match of the season , so we did the draw and one by one all the best pegs was going and finally it came to me and the last ball in the bag was peg three or perminate peg five . Not a bad place to be with lots of open water to go at , on the down side i did have a couple of good anglers to contend with but my main challenger wasn’t one of them thankfully .

After Thursdays venture on here i had hopefully sorted a few things out and was keen to get started ;

13m this was to be my main line of attack using meat on the hook and feeding hemp , corn to hopefully keep the fish routing about on the bottom , it was further out than i had fished in practice because i thought the bank side disturbance might have made the fish back off . on plumbing up i found it to be 6ft deep and with it being windy i used a 0.6 scone float for more stability a few inch over depth , i used 0.15 garbo line and a 0.14 hook length to a size 16 hook because i was expecting to catch mainly carp , barbel and the odd skimmer

4m this was to be my paste line for the final two hours of the match , i used a scone paste float and as it was 4ft deep it was a 0.4 gram one , line was to be 0.15 garbo straight through to a size 12 hook because their are some big carp in here my elastic was 13 hollo .

pellet waggler , 11ft drennon red pellet rod with 6lb maver genisis main line , a 4 gram middy pellet waggler and 0.14 hook length with a size 16 hook with a micro band attached .

pellet feeder , 9ft maver reactor lite feeder rod with 6lb maver genisis main line , a preston pellet feeder because im not confident in using method feeders yet , a 0.14 hook length with a size 16 qm1 hook with a micro band attached .


meat 1 pint 4mm cubed , coated in krill powder

paste half pint , tiger fish one to one paste

pellets pint 4mm hard tiger fish pellets and pint of soaked micros

hemp and corn one pint

As the all in sounded at ten i put in two medium pots of meat , hemp and corn at 11m and went over the top with a piece of 4mm meat on the hook , i kept lifting and dropping to try to entice a bite . I began getting indications but couldn’t hit any and it wasn’t the proper bites like i had on Thursday , i changed my shotting pattern to allow for a slower fall of the meat and this worked to some extent but only small skimmers where coming my way .The lads on the other pegs either side of me were struggling too , but the others on the far bank seemed to be doing well especially the guy fishing the mong rig shallow and they also had the benefit of the ripple on the water .

With nothing really happening on my pole line and with the wind blowing off my back i decided on a few chucks with the pellet waggler towards the aerator thirty meters away and i am not the best at fishing this but i felt that i would need to get on the edge of the wind to get a bite shallow , i began feeding 6mm pellets twice every minute and re casting every two minutes , after a while i began getting the odd bite that i kept missing presumably from roach and i had to get it right at the side of the aerator to get any sort of indication and of course it wasn’t long before i got snagged up on it losing the lot so that went up the bank .

Another try on the pole produced nothing and i had really wanted to leave my margin paste line for the last hour , so i gave the pellet feeder a whirl i was still casting towards the aerator every five minutes and i began getting lots of liners so i knew that fish was in the area , after twenty minutes i had a 1lb skimmer in the net quickly followed by a 3lb carp but as soon as they turned up they had gone and i was left wondering why ! ! ! All the time the lad facing me was bagging up on carp and i was now fishing for second in the section , we was fast approaching the fourth hour and i had no option but to go on my margin line sooner than i planned .

I had been cupping in 4mm pellets every thirty minutes like i had done in practice and first drop i began getting indications , it wasn’t long before it buried and after a hard scrap an 8lb carp was in the net before a few more smaller fish followed Nice start . I then had a spell of foul hooked fish in the tail which i managed to get in and it was probably down to their being a lot of fish in the swim so i cut out the pellets and only feed the hook paste .

This i think worked because my next two fish were carp approaching double figures and in the fourth hour i had put 30lb in the net proper bagging , un fortunately a carp ploughed straight through my paste swim which resulted in my swim dying on me and when they did come back the bites where now little dinks and not the proper gazunders like before , maybe the skimmers had moved although i never caught any ?

Before the all out i had another lump and a smaller carp and i found the best way to catch them was to drop the paste in on the slope and then drag it up the near side shelf slightly and as the whistle went i was unsure if i had done enough .

To be honest as i was packing up it felt like any other match and not one that would decided the league winner , word reached me that my main challenger had struggled in his section and if that was the case i would win any way because he had to do better than me . We weighed my half of the section first which i won with 41lb before leaving the other half on the other bank to try and add a bit of extra tension , but when we got to my main challenger he had to beat 24lb which my apprentice had to get in the points but he only put 15lb on the scales so that was it the leadership was mine .

Section A 77lb , peg 18

Section B 32lb , peg 5

Section C 28lb , peg 12

A hard thought match with some nice weights and a run away winner , my match was very patchy and this week my main line of attack didn’t work out but my back up plan did which was a  relief , only wish i could get them both to work then i would definatley be winning more matches which i think my fishing deserves. By the way i finished second in my section and second in the match overall , but their was no way i could catch the winner after giving him such a head start .

Not sure if i deserve to win overall because at the start of the league i fished well but it tailed off in the middle before picking up towards the end and i finally scraped over the line . Unlike the winter league last year when i think i fished really well all the time , but of course it doesn’t always go like that and it hasn’t really sunk in yet and probably wont till i pick up the trophy because it is my biggest fishing achievement so far in my match fishing . Got a month to kill before it all starts again with my autumn – winter league in October and going to have a week off match fishing before i go back on to the partridge lakes open matches .



Wrightington fishery

Rivi view 29th August

With my next and final club match being on this venue and also the last time i fished here in the Wigan and Leigh hospice charity match i blew out big time and struggled to even catch ! ! So a bit of a confidence booster was needed before Sundays all important match where i desperately want to pick up a couple of points to win the league .

After managing to finish work on time for a change , i headed off to Wrightington fishery and when i arrived the car park was chocker as it usually is on here and especially after it had been featured in Angling times the previous week . I expected Rivi view to be full but when i went to check i was surprised to see only a few fishing and i could have any of the pegs i wanted , their was loads fishing on the horse shoe and both canals though . I decided to fish an area of the lake i hadn’t fished before and i chose a peg on the left hand side of the lake opposite to where i fished in the charity match , not sure what the peg number was but it was three down from the end of the lake .

The wind was gusting into my bank and sweeping down between the island ,it was over cast and had fore cast showers , but when the sun came  out it was quite warm which meant the carp where high in the water . I was half tempted to fish shallow on the pole but after previous visits i knew that i could catch like that and today i was trying to find out a method that would catch me a few fish when my shallow line went quiet as it does tend to happen on here .

I had a couple of methods i wanted to try today ;

Meat at 11m , after plumbing up i found it 6ft deep so i used a 0.4 scone float with a bulk and dropper shotting pattern , my line was 0.16 main line to a 0.14 hook length and a size 16 hook . my elastic was 13 hollo because i was expecting some carp on this line .

Paste at 5m , i plumbed up to find the crease of the slope which was at 5m and i set it up to my left hand side where it was 4ft deep , i used a scone paste float with only a couple of number 8 down the line , my line was 0.16 garbo line direct to a size 12 hook and my elastic was the same 13 hollo .

Pellet waggler , i was using an 11 ft drennon red pellet waggler rod with a shimano reel loaded with 6lb maver genisis line , i used a middy loaded float with a 0.14 hook length and an 16 pellet waggler hook with a bait band attached . i started fishing at 2ft and would try deeper and shallow when needed .

I decided to try my meat line first because the last time i was here the club match on the other side they was catching a few barbel using it and they are getting up to the 1lb mark . I put a big pot off 4mm cubed meat at 11m and went over the top with a piece on the hook , i expected to wait a while for my first bite but it only took five minutes before i was into a nice skimmer and i had a little run off them with each one getting bigger and bigger up to 3lb . After twenty minutes it began to slow down so i began kinder potting meat in and thinking about it later it was a mistake because although i was back into the fish it did bring them up in the water , i did hook a carp which took the meat as it was falling which bottomed my elastic out then proceeded to snap my 0.14 hook length with out even being able to turn it .

After changing to a stronger hook length i went back to feeding with a medium cupping kit to get the fish back on the deck and began getting among the carp and barbel . I had got through a full tin  of meat in ninety minutes and this line showed no sign of slowing down but maybe i should add hemp and corn to bulk the feed out , to keep the fish rooting on the bottom ?

As i had run out of meat i decided to have a go with the pellet waggler this method wasn’t one that i had used a lot of recently but is one i would like to add to my armory so i wanted to give this a good go today . The wind had died down a bit but the carp had also dropped down from the surface , i was casting half way across the lake and feeding four 6mm pellets twice every cast which i was doing every couple of minutes , i had an 8mm pellet on the band . It was a good twenty minutes before i had my first bite which of course i missed but at least it gave me a bit of confidence to keep going .

Another ten bite less minutes before my float burred and my rod tip flew round , a carp had obviously hooked its self and a spirited fight followed, after a few hairy moments with the carp trying to get under my platform and i finally had it in the net a nice mirror carp of about 5lb . My next cast resulted in another carp around the same size and then i couldn’t get any indications for about twenty minutes . I know that when using the pellet waggler the fish usually come in patches but im not sure if this method is for me ? but i will continue to give it another go soon and probably need a good day on it to give me a bit of a confidence boost when using it .

For the last ninety minutes i decided to give paste a go at five meters  to see if it would work , i don’t know if it was the right time of day but it couldn’t really have gone any better because when i had finally got my rig sorted it was buried  Proper paste bites and i had five carp for 40lb in an hour ! !  i noticed that i began getting lots of little indications and then proceeded to have a run of skimmers up to 2lb before it strangely went quiet and after a few minutes i found out why , a proper gazunder saw my pole nearly ripped from my hands and i was attached to a big carp that was giving me a real scrap , nearly taking me under the next pegs platform and finally after what seemed like ten minutes i had it in the net . It was a nice fish of around 15lb and a perfect way to end the session .

Another member from my club had been fishing the floating pole to the island and was doing well getting a carp or barbel every five minutes , but their was only him fishing so it might be a bit different come match day when all the pegs along the island are put in . So got a few things to think about before match day and im looking forward to it for a change .

Dont forget to come back to see if i can get the points i need for the overall club win .

Cheers Gary

Hall lane fishery

peg 22 Bessies canal , July 28th

Well another club match has soon come round and fishing it in the week and doing really well , i was understandably looking forward to a days f1 bashing but as per usual for me in recently things didn’t go to plan . Arrived at the venue at 815 and was quite surprised at how many cars were knocking about , their was in fact five matches taking place on the three canals today and we would just have to wait to see if it would affect our catches today .

The weather was forecast to be blustery showers but after the heavy over night rain , we was now greeted to blue skies although the wind was gusty blowing towards the car park and i hoped it would stay dry to the end of the match . For a pleasant change the draw went well with out the usual disagreements and after being left with next to end peg 22 , i wasn’t looking forward to the long walk to the bottom of the canal . As i was walking down it gave me a chance to tell every one where their sections started and also think about how i would best target my peg .

I decided on three lines that had worked well for me in practice and these where ;

4m bottom near slope with paste , which i intended to fish for the first hour and get a good run of fish together . my rig was 4ft deep so i used a 0.4 paste float with 0.14 garbo line attached to a size 14 turbertini 808 hook and my elastic was the matrix orange size 10 .

11m bottom far slope with soft pellet , this was my second area to try when my paste line started dying on me or the fizzing got to bad , my rig here was a 0.3 scone float with a spread bulk , 0.14 garbo main line and 0.12 hook length with a size 18 gamma pellet hook the elastic was matrix orange size 10 .

14m far bank with banded pellet , this was were i hoped i could top my net up with the odd fish before going back on to my 4m line for the last hour . This was set 1ft deep with a 0.2 matrix float with 0.12 garbo line straight through to a size 18 f1 hook and a micro bait band , the elastic was matrix orange size 10 .

Bait for the day was ;

green swim stim paste

4mm hard tiger fish pellets

6mm soft jelly pellets tiger fish flavor

red and green 6mm jpzs

As the all in sounded i went on to my most prolific line first which was paste at 4m and as i had expected every one within eye shot went tight across so i had this line all to my self , things started reasonable well with an early fish and lots of indications although i was struggling to get my float set correct . After my good start the bites stopped i was unsure why because in practice once they arrived they were there in numbers , i began flicking in a couple of 6mm pellets but this didn’t work either and after forty minutes of struggling with my float i decided to re plumb up , to my amazement i was fishing 1ft of the deck but my paste hadn’t been taking the float under Strange 

I had noticed that the wind had got up so maybe the float drifting was pulling the paste off the hook but anyway my first hour had been a total waste of time , plus the anglers either side of me had now got a substantial lead on me by fishing worm and caster at 13m . Although they had more silvers than carp so if i could put a run of proper fish together i would still be in with a chance of catching up .

Hopefully my second line soft pellet at 13m would be a more productive area , i potted in a full medium cup of hard 4mm pellet and went over the top with a 6mm soft pellet on the hook . As i thought it took a while to start getting indications but i began getting the odd fish but it was very slow going and the bites were just slight touches on the float , i was disappointed with my self for not bringing worms and no doubt if i hadn’t practiced i would have because my results this year using them have greatly improved and it became obvious that’s what the fish wanted today .

Three hours in and time for line three which was far bank shallow , i was well of the pace required but i just wanted to put some fish in the net and try to work my way up the section. First drop and fish in the net a good start but you would get two quick bites then nothing for ages , i noticed that their was fish swirling near the far bank , so i changed the depth to 6 inch this produced a run of fish as did fishing full depth with no shot down the line allowing for a slow fall of the banded pellet . The wind was getting stronger so i decided that because i was that far behind i might as well fish comfortably .

So back i went on my 4m line for the last ninety minutes but this time with soft pellet because i knew that carp would be present along this area , began kinder potting hard 4mm pellets with a jelly pellet on the hook this picked up a few fish of a nice stamp but the bites was a bit iffy with just little touches i decided on the spur of the moment to try some red jpzs and this turned out to be a master stroke by me with 15 carp coming my way , i was catching up but unfortunately too little to late and to make matters worse when the all out sounded the heavens opened .

As i began the weigh in , in the rain my section had fished really well with the winner 58lb  from the end peg  and also the second and third best weights of the match both around the 50lb mark . My weight went the mighty total of 27lb for second last in the section with 17lb coming in the last ninety minutes and if only i could have got the paste working , i am still at a loss of why this happened and can only put it down to the under tow on the canal . But at least my main challengers for the club leadership hadn’t picked up any points either and we had yet another new winner of the match that’s seven different people in seven matches can it keep up to the end with only three matches remaining .

On the plus side the weights was respectable and my usual travelling companion had picked up his first section win in his first year of being in the club , well done mate must be teaching you to well .Back on the club scene next Sunday at Orrcherton house not my favorite venue and i can see the tip rod and pellet waggler playing an important part of my plan , just hope my luck changes .


My peg for the day... Peg 14

My peg for the day… Peg 14


Well it has finally come round to my first attempt at a Maver match this qualifier and an early start was in order for the 250 mile round trip , the alarm went at 5.45 and i woke up a bit nervous of what to expect when i got there .

Arrived at Droitwich with plenty time to spare but this is were it went a bit pear shaped because the match ticket said HAY LANE  and that’s what i put into the sat nav but when i git there the fishery was nowhere to be seen , a quick ring to Woodland view and i was told i was 20 mins away and should be on HAYE LANE not the best of starts .

By the time i got their it was 815 and after queuing to book on were it turned out i was 2nd on the list and after buying some fishery pellets which were 2 bags for 7 pound , meant i had limited time for a walk round which i wanted to do because i had only seen the venue in dvds or in magazines ,i had no time for breakfast today i would just have to make do with a mars bar and bottle of coke .

The venue its self looked really nice and i just hopped it would fish well but with it being mainly carp stocked i wasn’t confident because their was ice on some corners and the aerators had been left on mixing all the cold water together it didn’t look that promising but it was the same for all the other 80 anglers fishing today .

We were fishing on front deans , back deans and areles i didn’t really know which would be best so i was going into the draw a bit blind and was just hopping for the best but at least it would give me a better idea for when i return for the fisho qualifier in June .In the queue for the draw i was surprised and a bit star struck with all the big names present all easily recognizable with the articles they right in the fishing magazines .

My home for the day was peg 14 front deans and after a short drive which meant i could park nearly behind it so no trolley was needed today , i ended up with an end peg but at the wrong side of the lake and had two aerators to contend with which were left on all match ,mixing the cold water together and causing an under tow which would effect my presentation , i didn’t hold much hope from winning from here today but might have a chance of my 12 peg section although pole fishing editor Jon Arthur was one of many big names to cope with .

My lines of attack today were ;

13m 12 o’clock line .12 garbo main line to a 16 gamma pellet hook , 5ft deep so used a 0.3 scone float with a bulk and 2 droppers this was my pellet line .

13m 10 o’clock line , 0.12 garbo main line to a 16 gamma pellet hook , 4 ft deep so used a 0.3 scone float with a bulk and 2 droppers  this was my caster and corn line .

5m line bottom of slope .12 garbo line to a 16 banded hook , 4ft deep so used a 0.3 scone float with a bulk and 2 droppers this was my hard pellet line

11m margin line .16 garbo line to a 16 animal hook , 2ft deep so used a margin float with a bulf 1ft away from the hook , this was my caster and corn line .


4ml hard pellet 1 pint

6ml hard pellet 1 pint

caster 1pint

corn 0.5 pint

4 ml expander for hook

My thinking behind these lines were that the two 13m lines are to see which bait would work best today and they would have been wider apart but for some tight pegging . The 5m line was were i had information on saying it was the best area to start while your 13m line was settling down , i wouldnt have normally put in a margin line with it being so cold but it was an end peg after all and just maybe there might be a few carp present . I did have a pellet waggler and straight lead set up but with the angle of my peg and close proximity of the aerator meant i would be only able to fish these 6m out from the margins so decided not to bother but would keep an eye out on what other people were doing .

The 2hr setting up time was plenty for me and i was ready well  before the hooter sounded , first thing to do was feed my margin line with a medium cup of corn and caster next was to feed both 13m lines with a small pot and then i was ready to start fishing , i started on my 6m line with a hard pellet on the hook this was within throwing distance but the 4ml fishery feed pellets floated and you wasn’t allowed to soak them , so the only thing i could do was kinder pot them in and soak them as i was shipping out .

The first hour was a non starter for me and majority of the anglers on my end of the lake which wasn’t a surprise after the cold over night temps which went down to minus 4 degrees on the way here in the car , the weather today was sunny with a blustery wind into my face but hopefully it would warm up enough to start the carp feeding , i kept rotating all my swims but the lack of bites were beginning to become a bit worrying , after 90 minutes i finally had a bite on my 6m banded pellet line which took me by surprise but that was my only action from that swim .

I then had a spell of bites on my 13m 12 o’clock expander swim and caught a few 2lb bream mixed with the odd roach and this turned out to be the only line which produced  any fish , i tried altering my shotting pattern for an on the drop set up and began loose feeding casters to see what response it would make , this kind of worked but they were only silvers and the guy 4 pegs to my right well away from the aerators was catching carp on the pellet waggler and i also needed to find them to be in with a chance of winning my section .My margin line didn’t produce anything which i was kind of expecting in the conditions even though i had been feeding it all match , so for the last hour i tried banded pellet shallow on a longish line in case they were backing of from the pole , i kept altering the depth of it but this didn’t work for me either and when the all out sounded i was happy that i had got the best out of my peg and no carp were present up this end of the lake , all the anglers around me hadn’t caught as much as me apart from the guy on the pellet waggler who won my lake and got 2nd overall with 39lb of carp and even lost a 6lb mirror after the whistle and a guy in the far corner who caught 29lb all on the straight lead they were both in front of me for my section  i had 9lb so third in my section against some top anglers , not the best of starts to my qualifiers but you need to draw well to compete at the and i just hope it improves for my next attempt here at the fisho match in June were it should be warmer and the carp will be feeding although 120 anglers will be fishing it .


Jason brown on pellet wag didn’t feed anything all match and caught carp at full depth , he had 6 carp in last hour when normal matches would have finished , he was casting well away from the aerator because he was told no carp was present near them.

The anglers near aerators on all lakes seemed to struggle not just me.

Role on summer the carp must be starving ,





thanks for reading and any comments would be appreciated .