Weston pools , open match on clay pit

September 4th , peg 24 Clay pit


After yesterdays eventful match at Partridge lakes were i got properly soaked i was really looking forward to drying my gear out at the always impressive Weston pools and with the open being spread out over Weir , Stretton and Clay pit you always had a chance of catching a good net of fish but with the recent weather i doubt that many people would manage to catch over a ton . I slightly misjudged the time it took to get to the fishery and only just arrived in time for booking on at 930 which meant that i would be one of the last to have a go in the bag of doom but before i had to worry about that , i grabbed a bacon buttie then had a quick look at the lakes and i really fancied a draw on Weir pool or Stretton but my luck was out yet again as you will find out later . As i got back to the cabin it was time for the draw and with over fifty anglers present it took some time before it got round to my turn and after a bit of a wait i had my pick with peg 24 on Clay pit sticking to my hand , now in all my time coming to Weston pools i had not even seen this lake because it was situated a mile of sight so after getting some directions i headed of to the pit and to be honest it was a lot closer+easier to find than i imagined .

On arrival i parked up before getting a glimpse of the lake and it was quite large with the pegs well apart from each other , it was also in a bit of a dip surrounded by trees which meant that the wind was more swirling around and not blowing in a certain direction , after making my way to the peg i had a bit of a platform so i could fish back on myself if i wanted to do and after settling in at my home for the next few hours i was a bit unsure on how best to target it because i had heard it was deep , really deep in places and i decided to set up ;

Margin tight to the bank towards my right where i was going to feed maggots and after plumbing up i found about 2ft so used a 0.4 ruddy float as this would allow me to keep my rig still if any of the carp came in to feed , my main line was 016 garbo with a 014 garbo hook length which had a size 14 hook attached .

Margin at the side of the reed cover towards my left and i would feed micros+corn there as it was about four-foot deep this heavier bait would hopefully keep them pinned to the deck , my rig was a 4×12 speedy float which was a robust float that would stand up to be dragged through any vegetation and  my main line was 016 garbo with a 014 garbo hook length which had a size 14 hook attached .

Top three-line and i would have put this in further out but after finding six-foot here i felt that if i put it in any deeper water i would struggle with line bites and foul hooked fish , as i would be fishing hard pellets here i decided to use a 4×16 malman roob with an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Shallow line i set up two rigs to cover my options on this line but with it being so deep and very few fish showing on the surface plus the overnight rain i decided that i would kick of with a 3ft+4ft rig , i used a 0.2 series two matrix float on both and had an on the drop shotting pattern .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints maggots

1 pint micros

2 pints 4mm pellets

2 tins of corn


I started my match on the top three towards my right and with the water being so deep i didn’t want to begin loose feeding so put half a cupping kit full of micros in before dropping my rig in over the top of it , i didn’t have to wait long before i had my first fish which was a hand sized carp and i then had a little run of f1s but even though i was feeding tightly squeezed balls of soaked micros i began foul hooking fish , i didn’t really know how best to solve the problem and i altered my shotting on the rig for a bulk plus two droppers this enabled me to catch a few more but it wasnt that prolific so i decided to put in a full pot of micros to see if i could get them back on the deck but as i feared doing this kind of killed the swim .

It was now an hour into the match and i had about 15lb in the net which was not to bad but i had fed my shallow swim which is where i hopped that most of my fish would come from , i went onto my 3ft deep rig first i began firing in a dozen 4mm pellets every few minutes this got the fish competing , i caught a quick six fish but I’m not sure i feed heavy enough because they kept drifting in and out of the swim i noticed that every fish i hooked pulled the pole straight down and maybe it was the clear water but they definitely wanted to be deeper , so i changed to my 4ft rig this got me catching but it wasnt long before they backed off again and i had a long spell of inactivity .

I dropped back onto my top three-line while i pondered on what to do next and i did pick up a few more fish but it wasnt right , i remembered that i had read somewhere on the internet that they had caught in six-foot when fishing shallow in the previous weeks on here and with nothing else happening i hadn’t got anything to lose , so i butchered my top three rig then gave it ago and surprisingly i was soon getting indications again but this is where my problems started because i kept pulling out of fish as i was about to net them or getting broke , i put this down to the fact that i was fishing so deep and i had to pull the elastic really tight so i could try to net the fish . A change to a heavier elastic just kept me breaking hook lengths and a lighter elastic had them running me under my platform , i finally found something in between the two and also trying to land the fish about two foot down soon had me back catching , but when i hooked a carp about six pounds i had to net it with three joints of pole in the air which wasnt an ideal situation to be in .


With ninety minutes of the match remaining i had a look on my margin swims my shallower maggot right hand one produced plenty bite but only from small silvers where as my left hand deeper line gave me lots of liners without anything proper so i gave it another pot of feed , before going on to my shallow line a go and i added a couple more f1s but it was definitely fading because i hadn’t got another swim where i could catch a few fish which would help me rest the shallow line , dropping back onto my margin i had a proper gazunder straight away with the elastic streaming out of pole tip and i couldn’t get the right angle to enable me to add the other sections of my pole so all i could do was hang on but it wasnt long before the inevitable happened as my hook length snapped . I then had a forty minute spell where i couldn’t add anything too my net and i felt that any chance of a top three finish on the lake had gone but with a couple of pints of maggots sat on my side tray i decided to see what response this got me , i started feeding them quite heavily  too my surprise i began catching again after a while i was even getting swirls on the top so i swapped to my three-foot rig and i then went 1ft deep with a longer lash flicking my float away from the pole tip . I added about a dozen f1s in the remaining forty minutes so i was kicking myself for not doing it sooner but as i was still learning about the lake i knew that i would make a few mistakes , i had thirty fish on my clicker for about 50lb but i didn’t bother weighing in as when the scales arrived to me you needed 70lb to get in the top three and i knew that i had not got that .

Yet again it was an enjoyable if rather frustrating match which seems to be a common theme for my matches this year and i need to have a review about what I’m going to do next year , but before that i have a trip back to Partridge lakes on Sunday for the open before the North vs South 200 pegger at Tunnel barn , then the natural bait festival back at Weston pools and then i have a couple of winter leagues to target so my fishing shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon .


Tunnel barn farm M and M match

May 28th , peg 27 Jennies pool

Today i was contesting a match at Tunnel barn farm which had been organised by David Marshall through his Facebook page Match anglers matches its format was a dozen qualifiers taking place on various dates over the coming weeks and if you win your five peg section you would qualify for the big money final that was back here at Tunnel barn it sounds simple enough but this competition has grabbed the attention of some big name anglers which should make things interesting , i originally was going to use it as some practice for the Pole Fishing Masters due to a few personal matters meant i had to cancel the festival but i was still looking forward to fishing this match because Tunnel barn farm is a very impressive fishery on its day although recently the weights had been a bit patchy especially on Jennies pool which was one of the lakes in the draw bag the other being Club pool so you can guess which everyone wanted to be on .

With the venue being over a hundred miles away so another early start was required and i began packing the van at around six o’clock ,the trip down went pretty smoothly and i even had time to stop off for some breakfast on the services before arriving at the fishery just after eight . As i was a bit early i had a quick look round the two pools and i noticed that they had done a bit of work since my last visit cutting down quite a lot of trees overhanging the water on the islands , after walking back to the cabin i met a couple of friendly faces so we had a chat while we where waiting for the draw to take place when it came for my pick i pulled out peg 27 on Jennies pool not exactly were i wanted to be but at least i had a bit of ripple and i also had one of my mates a couple of pegs down in the same section so it should be an interesting few hours .


My peg was a touch over 14m wide towards the far-banks although i didn’t have a proper mud bank to target , i also had an aerator towards my right but i had the rope preventing me from going right into the corner so i decided to set up ;

Top three margin where it was three-foot deep on either side and i felt this would cause all sorts of trouble in the sunny conditions , i used an 0.4 joof float with a staggered bulk along the 014 garbo main line and with the average stamp being quite big in here i also stepped up my hook length to an 012 garbo which had a size 16 lwg attached .

Top five in the channel it was five foot deep and as i would be feeding meat by hand there i used a 4×12 speedy float with a bulk plus two droppers which would allow for a slow fall of the hook bait in the bottom third of the water , i had my usual 014 garbo main line and a six-inch length of 012 garbo which had a size 18 lwg hook attached .

Far-bank towards the left of my peg at the side of the reeds after plumbing up i found 3.5ft in a couple of spots but nothing any shallower so i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and i used 014 garbo main line with an 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 lwg hook attached .

Shallow for fishing among the far-bank reeds and also in the channel at 11m , i used an 02 matrix series three float with 012 garbo main line which had an 010 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

three pints of meat

three pints of fishery 4mm pellets

small tub of mixed hard pellets

Just before the all in i had a nice ripple blowing into my peg with a few carp milling about in the margins and i couldn’t wait to get started , i began my match by feeding a small cupping kit full of meat on my channel swim before dropping onto my right hand margin hoping that i might snare a quick carp or two i did manage one nearly 4lb but it was hard work especially when the wind dropped and all the fish were more interested in sunbathing , i decided to give my margin swim a big hit of bait thinking that it might get them back on the deck feeding but it turned out to be a big mistake as i got liner after liner and i had to stop fishing there until it settled down a bit .

I had been loose feeding meat on my channel swim for the past forty minutes and i had noticed some bubbles coming up so i felt a few f1s might have settled on it , i layed my rig in to the side which would allow for a slow fall of the hookbait and every time my float settled i had a little dink on the float but yet again when using meat i just struggled to hit them it was really doing my head in ! ! I began firing some pellets against the far-bank rushes as this would be my next move if i couldn’t get the channel swim to work , i shortened my lash between float+pole tip plus added a couple of back shot to help me hit the tiny indications and to some extent it worked because i had a little run of four f1s all of which were over a pound , i had fed a large kinder pot of meat after every fish and it seemed that i had over done it even feeding that little amount because the f1s moved out being replaced by tiny hand sized skimmers not what i wanted to be catching.

I decided to go on my long line starting on the deck with a 6mm cube of meat and this got me a couple of quick fish including a carp about 4lb but with the sunny weather all the fish were cruising along the island causing me to have lots of liners so out came the shallow rig set at half depth , i began pinging pellets across and also onto my 11m swim to try to get them competing up in the water because a couple of lads towards my left were catching well shallow but they had the benefit of a little ripple whereas the anglers near me were struggling for bites . My across rig really failed to get going as all i could manage was a couple of lost foul hooked f1s and it seemed the fish was more interested in sunbathing than feeding , i then suffered a ninety minute spell of failing to put a single thing in the net and i had to resort to big potting on all my lines but this did not work either and probably made things even worse , it was only in the last hour when i started catching it coincided with the sun going in plus a move of swims along the far-bank closer to the right hand side aerator rope and i just kinder potted four cubes of meat then kept my rig still over the top by doing this i managed five f1s in a twenty-minute spell , i was just getting into the swing of things when disaster struck as i foul hooked a carp which took me around the corner under the rope as i tried to stop the fish going into my neighbours swim the hook pulled causing my rig to tangle around the rope and on pulling for a break the float shattered , so with time running out i dropped onto my right hand margin and i managed four f1s plus two carp on meat before the all out came it was far too soon for my liking .

The tunnel barn staff came round to do the weigh in and i was first with my two nets going a very disappointing 36lb there was also a similar weight to my left before they got better around the corner where there was two high 80lb nets but they was far from the norm as most people had less than fifty pounds , the lads on club had got on a lot better with a couple of tons plus lots of high 70lb so well done to everyone who qualified for the final and it was a strange old match giving me plenty to think about and with my van breaking down on the motorway on my way home meaning i had a four-hour wait to get towed home it gave me plenty of time to asses how it went , so if i manage to get it sorted in time my next match will be the fisho qualifier at oaks next saturday i just hope that i have a bit more luck on that one .


Coppull mill lodge

28th December

coppull lodge

coppull lodge

Well today was my first venture out to the banks over the Christmas holidays because my wife had been ill after having her operation , so making the most of her feeling better i decided on a trip to Coppull lodge and i had been offered the option of fishing a couple of matches but after putting up with the kids i just fancied blowing away the cobwebs . After me getting a bit of flack recently because i have done a lot of f1 matches recently , so what i like fishing for f1s !!!! so i decided to have a got at fishing a natural water for roach to prove that i have more strings to my bow than just f1 catching and to make it even harder i left my pole at home and decided to use my waggler rod but i did also have my tip rod to use for when the wind made fishing the float problematic .

The weather leading up to today was best described as a bit dodgy with gales , heavy over night rain and a drop in temperature , so fishing on most waters would be hard but after last years trip when it was frozen it still fished well and you can always rely on the plentiful head of roach to turn up . As i set off to the venue there was plenty of dark clouds and just as i got to coppull the sleet started coming down but their was blue sky in the distance which was promising for the day ahead .

After a ten minute wait in the car for the rain to subside i made the decision to begin tackling up and luckily on Coppull lodge the best pegs are right near the car park , today the wind was also in my favour with it blowing off my back so i wouldn’t need the hassle of carrying my gear round to the far side of the lake to get better presentation on the waggler. The down side was that these pegs can often get over fished but in winter this shouldn’t be a problem because their isn’t many anglers brave or daft enough to venture out in the conditions over winter and in fact only four anglers graced the banks on here today .

Upon settling in at my peg i decided to make it a really un complicated day because the roach respond well to shallow fishing on here and in fact their was a few topping when i got their , after my past visits i knew that it was about 12 ft deep so i decided to start at 6 ft which was mid depth and then go shallower as the day progressed .


12 ft drennon red float rod

shimano reel

4 lb Maver genisis main line

3 bb clear insert waggler with three number 10 stotz as droppers

3 ft of 0.10 garbo hook length

size 20 gamma pellet hook


1 pint red maggots with a few fluro pinkies mixed in as a change bait if it fished harder than expected .

With my rod already set up it wasn’t long before i got started , the back ground reflection on Coppull mill lodge was a little patchy and it took me a while to find some where i could see the dimpled float tip which was needed for the delicate roach bites on here . I found a patch of dark in the water at about 16 m and this where i began fishing , i was loose feeding six maggots every minute and was also re casting every five minutes . After about 15 minutes i had my first bite which of course i missed and in fact i didn’t hit any of my first eight because i was struggling to get my line sunk but after a quick squirt of watered down washing up liquid and flicking my rod tip under the water solved the problem .

I began hitting the bites now and every fish i caught was over 4 oz but they would come in patches and seemed like a big predator was making them un easy , in fact about an hour in i hooked some thing a bit un expected and after a spirited fight i saw the erect dorsal fin of a big perch in the clear water but un fortunately after seeing it i began to play it a bit more gingerly which was a big mistake because this resulted in the hook pulling out of its boney mouth just as i was reaching for my landing net, i was under stand-ably gutted because perch are my favourite fish and i haven’t caught one that size for a few years .

average stamp

average stamp

After getting my composure back from losing that fish the roach where back feeding again but no matter how many depths i tried  i was still missing plenty bites and it was only when i re sorted to putting a single pinkie on the hook that i found out why because my next three bites resulted in three 1 oz roach not exactly what i wanted to catch so i decided to go back on red maggot and put up with the missed bites for better quality fish .

We soon had another hail storm and this made the roach go lower in the water, i had a thirty minute spell without even a bite and i tried at the deepest depth i could manage on the float rod and i was on the verge of getting my tip rod out before the sun came out and i started getting bites again, it seemed strange that you would catch five or six then nothing for about ten minutes and i finally worked out that the best depth was 3 ft , i began putting a run of fish together which included a couple over 1 lb although it was a shame they wasn’t in better condition .

final catch

final catch

After four hours fishing it looked like it was going to rain again and with all my gear just beginning to dry out i decided on one more fish before i packed up and just as i was about to net it when i noticed that their was a swirl behind it and some thing had followed it in but i have no idea what it could have been . I ended up with nearly forty roach with the biggest being over 1 lb and i was well into double figures weight , un fortunately my usual travel companion decided to fish a match on Hewlit pond where he had done extremely well , so the pictures today aren’t really up to scratch especially the final catch shot which is a shame .

After speaking to the balief he informed me that their was no pike present in the lodge so it must have been another big perch , so if you fancy a dabble at the plentiful head of roach or even the big perch give it a go because its fishing well and only three quid for a day’s fishing .

I am off to fish a match at Hall lanes Gwens canal that my mate the big dipper is arranging on Monday for my last match of the year , so lets hope its a good one .


Hall lane fishery

peg 11 Bessies canal , July 26th

After how well my last trip on here went , i decided on another visit because i had a nagging feeling that fishing pellet at 4m might work better for me as im not that great at paste fishing . Arrived at Hall lane at dinner time and for a change their was actually a few people knocking about , the weather was still warm and sunny but the wind had changed direction blowing away from the car park . Decided to fish in the middle of the straight to give me a better idea of how it might fish come match day .


0.3 scone float with spread bulk 1ft from the size 18 pellet hook and 0.14 garbo line with matrix 10 elastic

After settling on peg eleven , i planned to concentrate my efforts on my 4m pellet line and plumbing up on this line i found it to be 4ft deep , i fed a medium cupping kit full of 4mm tiger fish pellets and wanted to fish this out before topping up because i felt that on my last visit here when i began loose feeding it just brought the fish up off the bottom were they was harder to catch .

15 minutes in and i was still waiting for my first bite and all sorts of things were rushing through my head ;

Was last time a fluke catch ?

Had i choose a bad peg ?

Had i choose the wrong bait ?

After remembering that last time the carp was being attracted to the plop of the paste going in , so i decided to begin loose feeding a few 6mm and to my relief this worked . My first fish was an 8oz barbel which was a surprise because i didn’t even know they were present in this lake , it wasn’t long before the carp bullied them out of the way and i began catching quite well with ten fish coming to the net for over 10lb , if it carried on this way i would hopefully be on for at least 60lb in five hours . But un fortunately the bites began getting noticeably dodgy and just as i thought would happen with the continued loose feeding they had come up off the bottom .


matrix 0.2 float with a bulk shotting pattern set half depth , 0.14 garbo line to a size 18 f1 hook with a micro bait and matrix 10 elastic

I quite like fishing shallow and had wanted to give it a try on here so a change of rig was in order and because their wasn’t any surface activity i decided on my shallow deep rig set at 2ft i would search up wards till i found the feeding fish .I carried on loose feeding the 6mm pellets but every thirty seconds and i began getting little dinks on the float but nothing positive so a change of depth by six inch was in order , i tried slapping , tapping , double pouching , increasing and decreasing the amount of pellets but still no proper bites . After thirty minutes of trying and ninety minutes of feeding i was about to give up because i just couldn’t hit the dinks , then finally i hooked one and a 2 oz ide dropped off on the way in so that went up the bank , but at least i know it wont work in the match and that’s why you come to practice .


matrix 0.2 float with a bulk shotting pattern , 0.14 garbo line to a size 18 f1 hook with a micro bait band and matrix 10 elastic .

With the wind dropping a touch i decided to try tight against the island , so after plumbing up to find 1ft depth which turned out to be at 14m when using the short number four section . Decided to feed this line by big kinder potting hard 4mm pellets , began getting indications straight away and was soon into some fish but not what i was hopping for with barbel and skimmers making their way to the net . But by re feeding after every fish i soon brought the carp to my swim and at last my catch rate began improving with a fish every five minutes .

After three hours i had 25 fish for 30lb but couldn’t get that four meter line out of my mind and felt that i would need to make it work in the match , so i abandoned my productive far bank swim and after giving my near swim a few hours rest i went back on to it but this time with paste which worked really well on my last visit here .


0.4 scone paste float set 4ft deep using 0.14 garbo line direct to a size 14 turbertini 808 paste hook and matrix 10 elastic

Their was still the odd bubble coming up so i was confident of an instant response and that’s exactly what i got with a bigger stamp of fish coming my way , my paste was a bit sloppier than usual after de frosting but the carp certainly liked it , i began getting lots of fizzing on the deck and this coincided with me getting missed bites which were probably from skimmers which can be notoriously hard to hit . The sun was also glaring straight in my face too so i moved 1ft to my left and began catching carp again so by chance i had solved the problem .

It soon came to 6pm and after five hours fishing i had 37 fish for around 50lb because the paste fish were averaging nearly 2lb , it wasn’t as good as my last visit on here but would be more than happy with that come match day and at least i know how to target this venue , cant wait for Sunday so come back soon to see if i can get another all important section win .

On a side note you might remember on my last visit here i decided to change all my fraid 11 hollo elastic and i went to the matrix 10 elastic which after using today performed really well although i did suffer a few hook pulls when using the pullar kit because im not used to it yet but cant see their being any problems with it . I found out that after i had been fishing that the owner of the fishery has been feeding his fish with barely so it might be worth a try on their .