Goose green fishery

Goose green fishery

Goose green fishery

Today’s match was going to take place on Goose green fishery which was where Trafford angling had decided to take us for the first round of the Angling Times super cup and as none of our squad had even seen the water before, obviously we wanted a practice chuck before the match took place in a fortnight’s time, I managed to find a bit of information about the venue through social media and I got told that it was a very deep lake with the main species to target being skimmers averaging two pounds and roach , so using this info i could put a plan together and as a result I felt pretty happy with my tactics for the day.

The weather leading up to the match hadn’t been great as we had to contend with strong winds plus heavy rain and today was no different we also had the added threat of a thunderstorm , luckily on the morning i woke to find it draw and i just hopped that it would stay that way for most of the day , after packing the van with my fishing gear and putting the address in my sat nav i headed off on my short thirty mile journey to the fishery , it took me nearly an hour to get there with lots of roadworks and temporary speed limits i even drove past the complex as it wasnt sign posted and you had to go down an unmarked road to get there . As a result I was one of the last to arrive and i only expected to know the organiser of the match but as usual for me i found a couple of friendly faces that i recognised from various matches around the north-west , i was a bit surprised to see the size of the lake we would be fishing it also had no permanent pegs so we had to put them where we thought they should go and as the wind was blasting towards the disabled pegs those were left out which meant everyone was a lot closer together and i mean close together being four meters apart at a push which was far from ideal .

After the hustle+bustle of the draw it was time for my pick and there was two left to choose from one which was in the teeth of the storm the other with the wind of my back this time i got lucky picking out the latter one , on settling in at my home for the next few hours i had already got a plan in mind but i was unsure whether it would be worth setting up the tip rod as nearly every one around me would be chucking to the very small island i decided i would give it a try but fish it around twenty meters ;

Six meter line , i plumbed up to find it was nearly 6ft deep so i used a 4×14 maggie float with a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was 009 garbo which had a size 20 matrix silver hook attached .

Thirteen meter line , here i found it was over 9ft so i used an 0.6 scone float with a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was 009 garbo which had a size 20 matrix silver hook attached .

Feeder line at twenty meters i used a twenty gram open-ended swim feeder which had a six-inch twisted loop boom and a 2ft hook length of 010 garbo that had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached.

Bait for the day was ;

Two pints of red+white maggots

Half pint of pinkies

Three pints of pro natural groundbait mixed 50/50 with brown crumb

When the all in for the match started i fed four balls on my six meter line and six balls onto my thirteen meter then went on to my feeder line while it settled , i cast every five minutes so i could get some bait down and after four casts i had my first indication on the tip which resulted in a skimmer around the pound mark not a bad start to the session , i then began getting lots of little shakes on the float but nothing positive and then i picked up a small silver around 2oz not what i wanted to be catching after forty minutes without another skimmer i decided to go on my pole line to see what had settled on it . By now the wind had got a lot stronger which made holding the pole a lot more difficult this obviously had a bearing on my presentation and i also had to go lay six-inch of line on the deck to counter act the undertow i began catching a lot of silvers but they was a smaller stamp than i would have liked , since the match began i had loose fed maggots on my six meter line so when i dropped on it i expected an instant response and that’s what i got yet again they were smaller than i would have liked but at least i was catching quicker .

After a couple of hours the sky went black and we could see the thunder-storm heading our way in the distance , the heavens opened and not only put a dampener on the anglers but also on the fishing as the bites slowed right down which wasnt surprising , gradually it began getting better and it was noticeable that more and more skimmers were hitting the bank around the lake as the match progressed but my peg seemed to be getting worse as the bites deteriorated .With an hour of the match remaining the storm settled above us and we was greeted to some nice natural fireworks it didn’t look like it would be moving anytime soon so we called a halt to the match , after packing up it was time for the weigh in and it would be interesting to see how everyone got on as we all had a slight twist on how we attacked our pegs today , apart from two of us who struggled by fishing in a similar way me being one of them we all managed over double figures with nearly 30lb winning which wasnt bad in just four hours and it gave us a good idea on how to target the match but it will be very difficult beating Trafford angling on their home patch .

Tomorrow i will be back at Weston pools for the Drennon backed bank holiday open i just hope this weather improves and i can get back among the fish , below is a short video on todays match hope you enjoy it .

Hewlit pit


After missing last weekend due to the freezing conditions i decided to grab a few hours fishing on my local water Hewlit pit which is only a ten minute drive from my house but is somewhere which i don’t visit that often , in fact i only managed to grace its banks once last year even though the fishing can be extremely good as it has a very high stocking plus i heard that they had added even more to it this time some chub+ide . I arrived at around one o’clock and i was surprised to see another two hardy souls sitting on the best pegs so i settled down on unlucky for some number thirteen which as far as i can remember was a good area the only trouble would be is the sun glare on the camera this is something that i will need to be aware off if i want to make good recordings , as i was in silverfish mode after my recent winter league exploits that is what i set out to target on today’s session and as i was in an experimental mode i decided to have another go at balling in ground-bait because my only other attempt at doing it was at Horns dam which didn’t go too well and i would be interested to see how i fared using it today even though the conditions for doing so wasn’t the best after all the ice had melted into the water and made it a bit clear .


I decided to fish two lines today one at six meter the other at thirteen meters and as there was only four-inch difference i was able to use just the one rig which was an 0.4 scone float , my main line was 014 garbo which had a six-inch length of 009 garbo that had a size twenty matrix silverfish and my elastic was solid six preston slip .

I was only fishing for a couple of hours i didn’t need too much bait and i took with me ;

One pint of red and white maggots .

Four pints of mixed frenzied hemp and brown crumb ground-bait .

I started my session by cupping in five orange sized balls on my short line and another three on my long line , not surprisingly it took a good twenty minutes before i started getting indications but not from the silvers i expected to be catching but hand sized f1s and i was thinking that i might have made a mistake so i began cattying in a dozen maggots on my thirteen meter swim to see what response this got me . After a while the roach got in on the act and i had a run of about a dozen fish around the four-ounce mark it was nice fishing just a shame they wasn’t a bit bigger when bites began to tail off i fed another ball of ground-bait and then went to try my long line , i had a lot of trouble trying to get my bait to the deck because the newly stocked finger length chublets were nailing the maggots as it fell through the water they were obviously being attracted by the loose feed i had fired in , i thought it would be best to stop feeding that way preferring to big pot the bait instead this at least allowed me to get my hook bait to the bottom even if i was still catching the small chublets . After a couple of feeds i began to attract a bigger stamp of silver even a few pound sized f1s got in on the act and i was enjoying myself catching a fish every few minutes , with it only being a pleasure session i wanted to catch at a more comfortable six meters because the steep banking can be a bit of a pain when fishing long , first drop on this line and i had a chub nearly two pounds then another and another it was all going swimmingly until a bank walker wearing a fluro jacket put paid to that line unsettling them in the clear water .


I decided to spend the final thirty minutes back on my long line and started catching hand sized f1s which were fun but it suddenly dropped in temperature and started to get a bit dark so i thought i better start packing up , just as i got home the heavens opened so it looked like i had made the right decision and on the fishing front i had a good three hours catching a dozen f1s a similar amount of big silvers and countless little chublets so a fun packed three hours which blew away the cobwebs . Looking forward to the next to the last round of the winter league at Old Hough on Sunday so lets hope for a good draw and i can catch a few fish , i will be putting up a short video of today’s session in the next few days so keep an eye out for that .

Wrightington rivi view

17th September , peg twenty


After booking a few days off work which included my birthday i chose to spend it fishing for a few hours and with me needing to pick the kids up from school i couldn’t travel too far away so decided so settled on Wrightington mainly because it was closest in resemblance to Weston fisheries were i would be contesting the natural bait festival next weekend , the weather leading up to today was a bit iffy with a drop in temperature plus some pretty consistent rain but luckily it was forecast to be a lot dryer although it was still cold . On arrival at the venue i was surprised to see only a few other anglers as it can be a popular place for pleasure anglers and i just hoped that it was the inclement weather that put them off rather than the fact it had fished hard , with all the high numbered pegs being free i decided to fish an area i hadn’t tried before and settled on peg twenty which was towards the end of the island on the rear bay this gave me two nice reed lined margin although I’m  not too sure it would come into play during today’s session .


On getting to my peg i choose to fish just two lines ;

Bottom near slope where it was 4ft deep and here i was going to use paste so i used a sconezone jadz float with 014 garbo direct to a size 14 tubertini 808 hook and the new Nick Gilbert size 10-12 red elastic .

Eleven meter line where it was 5ft deep and here i was going to fish corn+pellet rather negatively so i used a 03 joof float with 012 garbo main line and the same line for the hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook , elastic was the same Nick Gilbert size 10-12 red .

My bait for the fishing session was ;

Two pints of green swim stim paste

Two tins of corn

Two pints or 4mm soaked pellets


At ten o’clock i was ready to get started and deposited i small cupping kit which was half full of corn+pellets and rather than pour the bait in i choose to scatter it over a one meter square area i hoped this might help with the peg fizzing as it can be a problem on here as like most venues that are quite old they usual have a heavy buildup of silt , i carefully lowered in my rig with a piece of corn on the hook and after about five minutes my float dipped a sharp lift resulted in yards of red elastic streaming from the pole tip after a spirited fight i struggled to fit a low double figure carp into my landing net which was a good start to the session . After going back out i had a ten minute wait before i had my next carp which was a more manageable 5lb but it wasn’t long before the solitary bubbles changed and i began suffering with the dreaded fizzing , this also coincided with lots of missed bites as i had expected so i choose to change my shotting pattern to a bulk+dropper plus i squeezed the middle out of the corn so it could slowly flutter through the water layers i hopped that this would allow me to grab the attention of any passing fish before it got to the deck where it would be harder to find among the muddy bottom and by doing this i caught a couple more carp but i began getting plagued with small 4oz mirror carp this was a good sign for the fishery because they haven’t been stocked  but are a proper pain in the neck at the moment .


After an hour my long line did not show any signs of getting any better so i went on to the near slope paste rig i had dropped a few conker sized balls of paste on this line every ten minutes to allow a few fish to settle , it took a few attempts to get my rig to settle correctly and after having had no indications on my float for fifteen minutes i began to think it wasn’t going to be a paste day then bang my float buried i didn’t even have time to strike before the elastic ripped out this resulted in another double gracing the bank this time a mirror carp . Another long wait before i had my next fish this turned out to be a nice sized skimmer before a couple more carp got in on the action but unfortunately i began getting all sorts of strange indications on the float and it took me a little while to figure out what was causing them i hopped that they might be from finicky skimmers but no the tiny carp had returned so that was the end of the paste swim for the time being .


So back i went onto my long rig still with corn on the hook and another couple of quick carp before the attack of the dreaded tiny carp which began doing my head in , it was at this point that i had a light bulb moment it must be the pellets drawing the small fish as it was only when they began breaking down did they move in with this in mind i set up a new swim more towards my right here i just fed a couple of grains of corn and after a few feeds i began getting the odd bite but at least they was from a better stamp of fish mainly carp with the odd big skimmer mixed in . I felt that giving this line a rest would be beneficial but i did not want to go back on my paste line so i jumped off my box and set up a margin swim i wasn’t to sure it would work although with it being nearly three-foot deep i might just get away with it , i put in half a cup full of corn as i didn’t want to over do it until i knew what if any fish would be present and after picking a couple more carp from my long line i was eager to try my margin swim because secretly it was a method that i am beginning to enjoy , it didn’t take too long before my first bite which resulted in the jag jag of a barbel next exactly what i wanted but at nearly two pounds it was a nice fish pristine condition as well and a few carp got into the action too .



I was spending longer and longer on my margin swim before i knew it i was beginning to run out of corn as i was feeding a large kinder pot after every fish , i had no option other than to start mixing pellets in with the corn i just hoped it wouldn’t be a mistake to do so as i was catching quite well and didn’t want the small carp to make an appearance and strangely or luckily my peg got stronger and stronger with more carp making their way to the bank , with just an hour of my session remaining i just concentrated on my margin and i even tried the tactic of dumping all your bait in like you was packing up this produced some more near doubles i had to keep a couple of sections close to hand because when hooked they shot off like a scalded cat but by following the fish out on their initial run it meant i suffered minimal breakages or hook pulls .


After about four hours it was time to pack up so i could get home in time to pick my little lad up from school and it called time on another enjoyable session on Wrightington fishery with plenty carp and a couple of low barney roubles too i can not wait to get back but I’m afraid that will have to wait till next year as the nights are drawing in so i doubt i will get chance for an after work session and my weekend matches will be taken up with Partridge lakes of course that is after the little matter of the natural bait festival at Weston pools , regular readers might remember that a couple of blogs back i said i was getting a birthday surprise well as it turns out my lovely wife booked me a coaching session with the f1 master which I’m really looking forward to as it will no doubt help my fishing immensely .

Wrightington fishery

Peg seven Rivi – view , August 18th


After booking a few days off work and with the weather still being nice i decided on a day’s fishing i didn’t fancy doing a match because i don’t tend to do that well mid-week so choose to have a few hours at Wrightington fisheries with Rivi-view my first choice if there was any half decent pegs left as it is a popular venue for pleasure anglers , yet again i had a crap nights sleep and woke up at the crack of sparrows so i decided to head off a bit earlier than i had originally planned wishing the fresh air might help clear my head the weather was forecast to be warm with blue skies but it didn’t look like that when i began packing my gear into the car as it was overcast+misty i just hoped that it would get better as the day wore on .


As i expected on arriving at the venue there was plenty cars knocking about even at 9 o’clock on a Tuesday and after looking at Rivi – view i could see eight other anglers scattered about but there was a bit of room along the narrower island side so i settled on peg seven and my plan was to have a nice easy day setting up just three rigs to cover my options ;

Margin which was 2ft deep at the side of both sets of reeds i used an 0.4 Jeff’s Ruddy float with 0.16 garbo main line and 0.14 garbo hook length which had a size 14 LWG hook my elastic was Matrix 14 yellow elastic .

Shallow which was 2ft deep i used an 0.2 scone zone pea float with 0.12 garbo direct to a size 18 Matrix rigger hook which had a micro bait band attached to it , my elastic was red size 12 Matrix .

Six meter line which was 5ft deep i used a 4×14 Malman Roob with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern my main line was 0.14 garbo and 0.12 garbo hook length which had a size 18 matrix rigger hook that had a micro bait band attached elastic was red size 12 matrix .


My bait today was ;

tub of mixed hard pellets for the hook

2 tins of corn

2 pints 4mm pellets

1 pint 6mm pellets

1 pint micros

3 pints of margin ground-bait


I mixed and riddled the ground-bait before adding the micros plus one tin of corn and a handful of 4mm pellets . all in all it cost less than a fiver which wasn’t too bad , i decided to start my session at six meters where i had earlier plumbed up to find a flattish area and it got gradually deeper the further out you went , i purposely left a longish lash with a couple of back shots to help counteract the strong cross wind it would also give me the option of putting in a new swim at 13m underneath my shallow line if required . I put in a cupping kit full of 4mm pellets then a ball of my ground-bait mix and i then lowered my rig in down the same hole with a hard 6mm pellet on the hook it didn’t take to long before my float dipped a firm strike resulted in the elastic streaming out of the pole tip after a spirited fight i had a 5lb carp in the net , i then started getting the dreaded fizzing as a shoal of skimmers settled on my feed and i began missing lots of bites it just wasn’t working for me upon looking around everyone seemed to be fishing the same way as me they were also struggling to get a steady run of fish so i decided to try something a bit different by going out to 13m and began pinging 6mm pellets at the float so i wouldn’t overfeed my peg thus hopefully stopping the fizzing .



I began firing half a dozen pellets at my float every five minutes if i started getting liners i would obviously pick up my shallow rig but i hoped to keep them on the deck , it didn’t take too long before i began getting indications and i was soon into a stream of barbel averaging 2lb but strangely no carp or f1s  , i was really enjoying catching them as they are a very hard fighting fish IMG-20150818-00708although it was noticeable that i did get the odd indication on the float a few seconds after i pinged the pellets in so i picked up my shallow rig and i began getting bites straight away although i missed more than i hit but as they were only from silvers so i decided to go back on to the deck altering my feeding to keep them there , but it seemed that all the disturbance of slapping+tapping had disrupted the barbel shoal although a few carp up to 5lb had taken their place and i decided to begin feeding both my margin swims for later in the session with the ground-bait mix .I started picking up the odd skimmer among the carp which wasn’t a good sign i occasionally tried my margin swims but only for a couple of minutes at a time because if there was any fish in the vicinity i would get some sort of indication straight away , i had nothing on my left hand side but on my other side i began missing lots of bites so i tried using the smallest piece of corn i could find which resulted in me getting a big fan tail carp then a few of the recently stocked hand sized carp .



By keeping feeding and rotating my lines i kept fish coming but it was only when i saw a swirl on my left hand margin that it really kicked off as my first drop saw me catch a bream around 4lb which did its best dolphin impressionIMG-20150818-00710 before the carp moved in and although i was waiting longer for a bite every fish was over 5lb some approaching double figures and even when a guy came talking too me standing just 2ft from where i was fishing i was still getting bites , i was enjoying myself that much i decided on an extra thirty minutes while i used up my remaining bait but when i hit something a bit bigger which bottomed my elastic out before snapping my hook length trashing my rig in the process so i reluctantly called it a day and i had nearly 150lb on my clicker plus a sore shoulder but more importantly i had really enjoyed my day’s fishing i am having a weekend away from match fishing but hope to get out for a pleasure session some were before the bank holiday open at Weston pools plus my ticket for the subscriber classic at Tunnel barn farm has turned up so it looks like i have a busy September planned .



Weston pools , open match

Belvedere peg seven , August 16th


Well another Sunday soon came around and i had really been enjoying the fishing at Weston pools and couldn’t wait to get back for another try at the open because it is totally different to the waters we find around here with them being mainly lakes and it isn’t all about BB tangling as a variety of methods can catch you lots of fish . The match was taking place on three different waters this week which where Weir , Clay pit , Belvedere and the only one that i had fished before was the latter which was a month ago although it was only a pleasure session but i did catch extremely well my mate The Big Dipper had been in the week leading up to the match and also done really well fishing shallow so i fancied drawing on their today .


My day didn’t start particularly well with my van failing to start in the morning which i put down to the damp conditions in the previous few days also i hadn’t used it on the Saturday , i think a new battery might be needed as after a jump-start it worked fine and off i headed on the sixty mile trip to the fishery a bit later than i had planned but i made good time arriving there at 920 . After booking on for the match i saw a few lads from Leigh tackle and we are bringing quite a few people from up our way as they hadn’t been here before  we had a walk around two of the lakes not surprisingly they was really impressed with them both especially Weir as every peg was the same with plenty open water to target plus six meters of reed lined margins on both sides in my opinion it would back a good replacement for the Fisho final if it was ever to leave Cudmore Arena, the one thing that gets a bit of getting used to is the fact the aerator are left on all summer this makes the fish fight extremely hard but also causes a bad undertow so heavier floats than usual are needed to keep a static bait .

It soon came round to draw time and i was about halfway down the list to get my name called and it seemed most of the anglers before me was heading to Clay pit but i managed to draw peg 7 on Belvedere only a few away from where i fished the last time i was on it and at first i was quite happy with my draw although i got told as i was walking to my peg i was just off the better pegs and was in a poor area not what i wanted to hear although as the saying goes fish have fins so can be anywhere and i would target it just the same as any match that i had fished on here ;

Shallow , 0.1 preston chianti float taking two number 11 stotz my line was 012 garbo direct to a size 20 matrix bagger hook and i had two rigs set up one at 2ft the other 1ft , elastic was orange size 10 matrix .

Margin 4ft deep , 0.4 sconezone doubledeez float with a spread bulk of number 8 stotz above the 014 garbo hook length and my main line was 016 garbo , elastic was yellow size 14 matrix .

Top kit 4ft deep , 0.6 malman roob float with an olivette plus a dropper shotting pattern my main line was 014 garbo with an 012 garbo hook length attached was a size 16 matrix bagger hook , elastic was red size 12 matrix .

Last time i fished Belvidere i caught well using pellet and should really have taken some with me today but as i was fishing the natural bait festival on here i wanted to use the same bait i would be using then but i did sneak a few 4mm pellets on my side tray for when i needed them ;

2 pints casters

2 pints corn + hemp

1 pint fishery 4mm pellets

With the match only starting at 1130 i was ready well before the all in and was eager to get started after hearing the hooter in the distance i proceeded to put a cup full of corn+hemp on my top kit line before going on it with a piece of corn on the hook , i was getting the odd indication on my float but no proper bites it took thirty minutes before i had my first fish which was a pound F1 and although i had heard it fished hard on the club match the day before plus there was 16 on the lake i still expected to catch a few . In the first hour i only had 4 fish in the net using my top kit all the time i had thrown a few casters on to my shallow line i hadn’t seen any swirls but i had nothing to lose by giving it  a try so i started with my deeper rig and began laying my rig in through the falling bait by doing this i started getting a few bites it didn’t take long before i had a run of Ide all over the pound mark when i began getting liners i changed my shallower rig and only fed when my rig wasn’t in the water this kept me in touch with the fish but after an hour they disappeared and i really should have followed them out but the fence behind made doing this a bit problematic .


I had another look on my top kit line which i had topped up every twenty minutes with a kinder pot full of corn+hemp while i was fishing shallow this gave me another run of F1s but it was very slow going and i needed my margin to work other wise i was screwed , i fed my left hand side with a small cupping kit full of corn+hemp and the other side with casters i deposited it about six-inch away from the bank then went over it with a piece of corn on the hook pulling my rig right to the side of the reeds . It didn’t take long before i had my first fish which was a nice size mirror carp and they were coming quite sporadically but at least i started putting some weight in the net i was even pulling back on those around me , i really struggled to get a bite on my caster margin strangely so i decided to increase the feed on that line but i went through a spell of foul hooking fish on my corn line and felt that i had too many fish in the swim .


While i let my left hand margin settle a bit i went back shallow and picked up a few more Ide but the F1s were not really feeding but at around 2lb a piece they was worth catching yet again they began to back off , with ninety minutes of the match remaining i decided to concentrate on my margins and i had to resort to using corn skin with my shotting pattern a bulk with a dropper so it would flutter down through the water this was totally against what i thought would work as i was sure a heavier more static hook bait to counteract the under tow should be best . I began catching the odd carp averaging around 5lb on my corn line my clicker was ticking over nicely but it was too little too late and this seemed to be the pattern for my matches on here which i need to sort out if i want to contend for a framing place , when the all out sounded i had 50lb on my clicker plus my silver net and i didn’t have long to find out my exact weight  as the scales man arrived my three nets went 60lb that was a bit more than i had thought .

It turned out that 100lb won Belvedere from peg three then two mid 80lb weights which were facing each other with a lily bed in between i think it was pegs nine and 23 most of the other anglers on the lake had around 50lb so it fished reasonably well just not how i expected it too , the other lakes fished about the same with 117lb winning Weir and 103lb winning Clay pit . So although it fished hard it was a lot better than most of the venues around here and it is turning into one of my favorite venues as i enjoy the variety of species+tactics needed to compete even if it takes an hour to get there i would recommend it to anybody so go give it a whirl .

Cunneries S canal

February 7th , peg one


I decided to give the open match a go at Cunneries fishery today as i wanted another go at those pesky f1s which had done my head in on my last visit there two weeks ago and i had a few things that i wanted to try , we had suffered some really cold weather in the days leading up to today and every lake i passed on my way there was froze solid with an inch or more of ice covering the surface but at the Cunneries they like leaving the aerator on so that it never freezes but by doing that it mixes up the waters natural thermocline and as a result makes the fishing even harder .

O arriving at the complex i parked near the old canal because that was where the open was scheduled to take place but after walking over to the cabin to book on i was informed that because of the big turn out the match would also be on the first leg of the S canal too , i didn’t really think that by doing this was going to make it a fair match as the old canal holds bigger f1s plus more carp and one of the 12 man sections would be split over the two canals but there wasn’t a great deal i could do about it now .


The draw was done the same as on Sycamore fisheries where they call your name out in order of when you had booked on the match , when it was my turn to pick it looked like my drawing arm had returned as out came peg 21 which meant i was on peg one of the S canal a nice end peg but on the down side though was i had the aerator in my swim which had blown out all the ice water since Weds when they had broken it up . I decided to put all my swims well away from the aerator but with it being peg two miss one i didn’t have a great deal of room to work with .

When the all in sounded i proceeded to dob bread at 2ft which was a foot off the deck , my rig was a light 4×8 scone float with 012 garbo main line and a 010 garbo hook length which had a size 18 gamma pellet hook . I left a longish 2ft lash between pole and float so i could easily alter the depth but more importantly keep my top kit well away from the float in the clearish water i had a couple of back shot on too which helped me control the rig and also connect with any bites , i worked my rig all along the far bank going into any little holes between the reeds changing depths to try to find the fish and i even tried maggots but i never had a sign in thirty minutes . Luckily i hadn’t fallen too far behind as no one within eye shot had caught either so i decided to change to my 4ft rig which was a 4×14 malman roob with 010 direct to a size twenty matrix bagger hook , i started directly in front off me with an expander on the hook and a few micros in the preston cad pot i decided to kick off with these because it’s what i had the most success with on my last visit but even after setting up multiple swims along the far bank and even changed to maggots but i had only one lost or bumped fish to show for it in an hour not the start that i was looking for .


So i changed to my third rig which was a malman roob on 010 direct to a size twenty matrix bagger hook but this time it was set at 3ft so i could go further up the slope closer to the far bank reeds , i purposely left using this rig for later in the session because i wanted the sun to warm up the water a bit and it was also the depth that i had originally expected to do the business going from previous sessions i had on here my reasoning behind this was i wanted to leave a safe area for the fish to settle in and feed more confidently . So i was somewhat surprised that yet again after setting up a few different lines i only had another lost or bumped fish to show for it but it looked like it was fishing extremely hard as the guy on the next peg had suffered with bumped fish too but at least he had one fish in the net , my mate also came over saying he was still fishless but rather than getting down heartened this just spurred me on to try to find those elusive f1s .

The only place that i had left to go at was somewhere that i least expected the fish to be which was the reed lined banking in between the aerator and bridge , i plumbed up to find 3ft depth at nearly 11 meters to my left hand side and i tapped in six pinkies with a red maggot on the hook a few lift-drops resulted in the slightest blink and you missed it indication , a sharp lift produced my first f1 of the day and after nearly three hours it was more than welcome i hoped a few more would follow . On my next ship out i was unsure whether to re-feed or not so i decided to put a few pinkies in the cad pot but not tap them in just yet and see what happens first , it looked like i had made the right decision on holding back because  i had a quick bite and soon f1 number two graced the net .


After managing a further six f1s in an hour they understandably backed off from the feed or had moved up in the water because i began getting all sorts of funny indications on the float and i even had a run of foul hooked fish so i decided to put on another section going closer to the bridge , i started the feeding process again but made a determined effort not to over do the feeding and i even cut out the pinkies in case that had been the reason for them coming up off the deck . By changing between the two swims i managed another six f1s which put me on a total of 12 and i just wished that i had found them sooner but thats all part and parcel of winter f1 fishing location location location is the key .

When they began the weigh in my net went 13lb 8oz which was more than double that of the next best weighed on the S canal but like i mentioned earlier it was a split section of 12 anglers and the remaining two was on the old canal , luckily i had beaten those two so at least the section was mine but could i do any better and manage to frame .The old canal fished a lot better in parts with 43lb winning from peg 17 and 18lb coming second from peg 18 both of these nets consisted of mainly carp so you didn’t need to catch a great deal for a nice weight , there was also a 14lb from peg two so i ended up 4th overall which wasn’t to bad i suppose because after giving them all a three-hour start i couldn’t really expect a better finishing position .

Next week it will be taking place on all four legs of the S canal which will make for a fairer match , i wont be able to make that one but will be back in a fortnight as it made a nice change fishing against different anglers on a new venue . I am off for a bit of silver bashing at Heskin tomorrow so icebreakers at the ready and next Sunday im standing in for my mate on the Leigh tackle and bait winter league where i will be on covey five lets hope it fishes as well as it did on my last visit their where i managed second on the lake with 45lb .

Partridge lakes

Peg 59 covey three , January 3rd


After not getting on the bank at all during December due to various reasons but mainly because i just didn’t want to sit in the cold being a soft arse a break does you well every once in a while , today i made the decision to brave the elements and test out my new matrix suit . I  planned on having a double-header with Saturday being at Partridge lakes and on Sunday at Sycamore fisheries , when i woke up for todays match the weather forecast had been for consistent light rain but little in the way of a breeze and unfortunately even after bouncing it down all night they had got it right . As i set off in the car to the fishery the dashboard showed a mighty three degrees and i wasn’t expecting it to rise above that during the day either .

Their was 54 anglers due to contest the open match so i was a bit surprised when as i joined the queue for the draw we were informed that they were only going to pay out on the top three plus sections of eight anglers and with covey 1 to 5 being in you would have to nearly win your lake to pick up any money which seemed a bit strange , so it was a nice easy match to blow away the cobwebs and worse was to follow when i pulled out peg 59 on covey three ( as per usual )  this was a peg that i had struggled to catch f1s on in summer but did get out of trouble by catching a few big carp in the margins for a section win .


On arrival at my peg i found it to be only ten meters wide so i decided not to over complicate things and put feed all over the swim so settled on just the three rigs ;

Two foot for dobbing along the far-bank with bread or white pellet i used a 4×10 scone float with just two number 11 stotz along the 012 garbo main line to allow for a slow fall of my hook bait , my hook length was 010 garbo which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

I decided against a three-foot deep rig and went for a four-foot one to fish on both slopes although finding a flat spot against the far-bank was a bit tricky with the point of the island coming quite far under the water , i hopped this was to be my main line of attack and i used a 4×12 malman roob float with a one inch spread bulk of number ten stotz starting above a 010 garbo hook length which had a size 20 matrix bagger hook .

My other rig was for the channel which i placed at eleven meters to my left into the wider bowl out-of-the-way , this is a line that lots of people use on here to a great deal of success but it is something i just can not get to work and because i don’t have any confidence in it i probably dont give it enough time , my float was a 4×14 malman roob which had a staggered bulk of number ten stotz the main line was 012 garbo and hook length 010 garbo which had a size 20 matrix bagger hook attached .

My bait was the usual for on here but with a couple of winter baits included ;

1 pint red and white maggots plus a few pinkies

1/2 pint soaked micros

1/2 pint dark ground-bait

small tub 4mm expanders normal and white

slice of bread with 4mm punch for dobbing

When the all in sounded at ten i went out to the far-bank and began dobbing bread against the reeds at two foot deep which was six-inch of the deck , i spent the first hour working all along the extremes of my peg with only two bites to show for it but luckily for me i hadn’t fell to far behind because all the anglers in my eye shot hadn’t caught either and they were all fishing at different depths so i had no clues at what the best area to go on next as usually f1s tend to stick in a certain depth of water where they feel the most comfortable .

I decided to give my four-foot deep rig a go and plumbed up three areas of the peg i purposely didn’t plumb up at the start of the match here because i didn’t want to disturb my far-bank before i began dobbing also i tend to have the memory of a goldfish so forget the exact positions to fish .I went out directly in front of me with a single red on the hook and tapped in six maggots over the top of the float i began lifting-dropping or slowly dragging the hook bait for about twenty minutes without any success , i was then off too another part of the peg and started again but this did not produce either so yet again a move was in order i was working my peg from right to left towards the bowl at the end of the split were it was at its widest part and i was now at the point of the island . After working my rig here i had the slightest dink on the float i had hoped that i had found a nest of f1s but my luck was out when a big ide surfaced at the net and at least i had got rid of the dreaded blank because after two hours it was looming large .

With no more bites forthcoming i decided to re-feed all three of my four-foot lines each with six maggots before giving my channel line a try but as per usual for me on here this failed to produce a bite even after being fed for half the match i did continue to drop a dozen maggots in every thirty minutes for another try later in the match , with the lack of action from the fish and the constant raining my hands began to cramp up so i decided for a ten minute time out to try to get some blood circulating in my fingers it was at times lack this that i remembered why i don’t like winter fishing .

It seemed that the rest had done my swim some good because first drop with my four-foot rig directly in front of me  and my float slowly slid under a firm strike saw yards of elastic dragged out of the pole , this was not going to be an ide and after five minutes of careful playing i had a carp of around 4lb in the net .Another ten bite less minutes past before i had another little dink on the float and another slightly smaller carp made its way to the net things were beginning to look interesting as these two carp had put me level or even slightly in front of the six anglers within eye shot apart from the guy on peg 73 who every time i looked up seemed to be playing a fish and after the match i found out he had won it with 110lb all on dobbed bread the Sunday open was also won from the same peg using the same method .


I rotated my swims again but i only managed two more ide from the point of the island and as we was fast approaching the final hour of the match i felt that i needed another carp or a run of f1s to be in with a chance of my section today as i figured that a low weight would be good enough , with forty minutes remaining the rain stopped the sun came out and the fish began feeding with seemingly a life less area of covey three now producing the odd fish . I was back on my original swim but unfortunately for me the next bite resulted in being attached to another big carp which lead me a merry dance and when i failed to net it not once but twice it made a bid for freedom dashing under my platform , i could see the carp of about 5lb near the leg of my stage and when i tried to scoop it the fish bolted breaking the hook length my lack of recent match practise had cost me today as i waved bye-bye to a no doubt section winning carp .

Before the all out sounded i managed one more bite which resulted in my only f1 of the day being added to the net , when the scales arrived at my peg i had 16lb to beat but could only manage 12lb consisting of three ide , two carp and a solitary f1 for i think third on the lake plus if they had paid normal sections of five anglers i would have picked up the section but also if i had managed to land that carp then i would have been second on the lake but that’s match fishing for you and with my first contest of the year over with its hopefully onwards and upwards starting at Sycamore fisheries tomorrow .