Bradshaws fishery , last round of the winter league


January 14th

I have been to Bradshaw’s fishery today for the delayed last round of my winter league and it was due to take place on lake’s 5+6 both of which I hadn’t much experience on , because i had fished lake six just once before which was a couple of years ago and i didn’t do that well on that match . Thankfully the weather had improved during the week although there was still a cold easterly wind but with the two lakes we would be fishing in a slight dip i hoped it wouldn’t be too bad , after meeting up with the rest of the lads which i had not seen since before Xmas and it turned out a few decided not to fish the match so we had 16 anglers split over the two lakes this would give us all a bit of room .

At the draw I pulled out peg 11 on lake six which didn’t mean a great deal and after the very long walk  to my home for the next few hours I decided to set up ;

6m pellet rig , after plumbing up i found just over four-foot on the crease of the lake bed were it sloped off very slightly and i used a 4×14 Md pellet float with an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 010 garbo hook length .

13m caster rig which i positioned at an angle towards my left in a depth of five foot and i used a 4×16 Md silver float which had a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo attached to it was a size 16 guru pellet hook .

16m caster rig which was the same depth as my 13m line but i decided to use a lighter float with an on the drop shoting pattern because i felt the extra distance might enable to catch a few fish as my rig fell through the water , i used a 4×12 Md slim float and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Shallow rig just in case set at three-foot deep which was just over half depth , i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk and dropper shoting pattern spread along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Bait for the day was ;

1 pint of casters

1/2 pint dead maggots

1/2 pint micros

small tub 4mm expanders

2 pints of ground-bait black swim stim and frenzied hemp mixed 50/50

When the all in sounded I fed three balls of ground-bait mixed with 50ml of casters + dead maggots on my 13m line and started on my 6m swim while it settled , thing’s didn’t begin to well as I was bite less for thirty minutes but nobody else was catching a great deal either just the odd little roach coming out and i was thinking that i might have over done it putting too much bait in on my long line ,a switch to my 13m line after an hour and I was soon catching some small silvers with the odd better skimmer mixed in but nothing decent , it was only when I began cattying in half a dozen casters in every five minutes that I managed to drag some ide+chub into the swim and with half the match gone I had a dozen of them all around the 10oz mark.

The only trouble was that the lad’s opposite were beginning to catch f1’s so I needed to find a way of catching them if i wanted to do have a chance of framing in the match , so I went out to 16m because the only people catching f1s were fishing long and they must have been a group of fish sat in the middle of the lake , i began by kinder potting in micros mixed in a nugget of micro+black swim stim and after a while I had my first f1 , for the remainder of the match I decided to sit it out on this line catching well in spells but they wasn’t the same stamp as those angler’s facing me , at the all out I managed 19lb which was good enough for third on the lake and match behind a 23lb + 27lb .

This result consolidated my 2nd place in the overall winter league standings and I was only two points away from winning it which was more than possible if luck had gone my way on a couple of the rounds , but I had managed to pick up money on every match and caught plenty of fish along the way so all in all another enjoyable winter league.

Advertisements

Old hough winter league


December 12th

Today was the penultimate round of my winter league and with the last round being cancelled due to the snow i hadn’t been out for a few weeks so was really looking forward to it , although the weather wasnt going to make things easy because it had taken a dramatic drop in temperature with every were being frozen solid . The day before i had rung the fishery to find out the conditions of boulders+goose and they told me it was mostly free from ice with just the odd peg being covered in cat ice which sounded promising , i did decide to take my ice breaker with me just in case and it turned out i had made the right decision because on arrival there was a lid on the lakes .

In the conditions a good draw was going to be a massive advantage because there was a few areas that had fished hard on the earlier rounds , it was soon time for the draw and i left it till late to have my pick in the bag of doom pulling out 14 on boulders not what i wanted especially after leaving the lakes flyer in the bag which my main rival for the winter league was going to be on . When i arrived at my home for the next few hours i decided to break out three channels in the ice to eleven meters because i did not feel that the carp would want to be tight towards the far bank , after removing all the floating icebergs from my swims i had a quick plumb up and after finding just over four-foot everywhere in my peg i figured i was on for a tough match but at least i wouldn’t need lots of different rigs so i decided to set up ;

Pellet rig i used a 4×14 Md wire stemmed float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 010 garbo hook length , i expected this to be my banker swim with all the hand sized skimmers in the lake .

Maggot rig i used a 4×12 Md maggie float which had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached to it , my hook was a size twenty guru maggot hook and elastic on both rigs was Preston size six hollo .

Dobbing rig which i would use along the edge of my ice channels and if it melted i would search all along the far bank , i set it at four-foot which was six-inch off the bottom and i used a 4×12 Md diamond float with all my bulk under the float then two size eleven stotz spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was a six inch 012 garbo hook length with a size 16 guru lwg hook .

Bait for the day ;

1/2 pint of soaked micros

1 pint of red maggots with a handful of fluro pinkies mixed in

1 slice of bread

Small tub of 2+4mm expanders

When the all in sounded i began on my right hand swim and i tapped in half a dozen micros every couple of minutes but a bite less twenty minutes wasnt what i expected especially with the amount of small skimmers in here , i switched to my maggot line directly in front of me and bearing in mind what happened on my pellet swim i went even more negatively just trickling a couple of maggots in through a kinder pot , after ten minutes i had my first fish which was a small roach but at least it saved the blank because i had only seen one other fish get caught although that was a four pound carp so we was all playing catch up if we wanted good points today . I kept trickling in the maggots and i was slowly building up the swim putting some roach in the net with the occasional decent ide among them , after a while my bites stopped and i soon found out why when i hooked a carp which shot off under the ice towards my right , all i could do was put my pole under the water and pray that it stopped i did manage to get on to my top kit but it bolted again in the clear water resulting in the hook bending out slightly which meant it pinged off , so for the second round running i had lost what turned out to be at least second place on the lake fish .

Understandably the disturbance had disrupted the peg but slowly i got the fish back feeding putting some small silvers in the net , when the rain started it began melting the ice this had a disastrous impact on the fishing because everyone on the lake stopped getting any sort of indications for at least two hours , with all the ice now gone i picked up my dobbing rig to see if i could snare myself a carp but despite working my rig to the extremes of my peg both left and right i didn’t manage a single bite . With ninety minutes of the match remaining i was back plumbing up to see if i could find any sort of depth variation and i finally found an area about a meter square which was a couple of inch deeper at eleven meters towards my left so i put a swim in there with another at 11m to my right so i could rotate between them both , i started trickling in maggots on both but i only managed bites on my left hand swim and i was soon catching some small silvers with an occasional decent ide mixed in , when the all out sounded i was kicking myself for not finding the slightly deeper swim sooner and it goes to show how important it is to search all your swim but with the lake being frozen i was a bit limited on where i could go .

When the scales arrived at my peg i put my ten ide plus a smattering of silvers on the scales which went just short of six pounds this was enough for a comfortable third place but with only nine pounds + eleven pounds filling the places above me i just needed a bonus carp to challenge them , this result pushed me down to second in the league table just a point behind the leader but at least i know which anglers i need to beat on the last round although i will have to wait nearly a month to do it and it will take place at Bradshaw’s on lakes five+six somewhere i haven’t fished before so i will be up against it a bit .

 

 

lloyds meadow , heron pool


December 3rd

I have been to Lloyd’s meadow today to contest a team match with my mates from the Stockton heath angling group against fishing in the north-west and with it being the latter teams home water we was up against it some good local anglers , even though i had never been here before I was quite eager to fish this match as it was due to take place on heron pool which held some very big perch with the record on here being over 5lb and the perch is my favourite species , i can not remember the last time i caught a decent one because they don’t tend to be in many of the commercials that i fish .

On arriving at the fishery i met up with the rest of the lads and we was all looking forward to a light-hearted competition we decided to run it like the angling times supercup were you only had to beat the angler at the side of you to get a point for the team , after unpacking my gear i took it round to Heron pool and it was more like a natural lake than your standard commercial water it was tear drop in shape with an island about twenty meters away , personally i felt that it was a bit small too have a dozen anglers on it especially with them putting six of us on each bank with no empty pegs between and with it still being frozen a couple of days previous then things might be a bit tough , although we had decided that it would be a silver fish match with carp counting as a pound so we should be able to get a few bites .

At the draw I was going to be on peg five which didn’t mean a great deal to me because I was new to the water and i ended up halfway along the left hand side but i was up against it for the section because my opposing angler had the end peg , I set up three rigs to cover my options ;


Margin rig set at three-foot deep which was about a meter away from my right hand bank were there was a bit of reed cover , i used an 0.3 Md diamond float my shotting pattern was a tapered bulk starting above my six-inch 012 garbo and i was going to feed maggots quite heavily here then fish either a small worm or double maggot on the hook .

Top six rig where it was just over four-foot deep but it was six-inch deeper than my far swim and i hoped that i could catch skimmers here so i used a positive rig with a 4×14 Md maggot rig which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached and my hook was a size 18 guru maggot .


13m i was going to be loose feeding maggots with a catty here so i used a 0.2 Md maggot rig with size eleven stotz spread along my 014 garbo main line and hook length was size inch of 010 garbo which had a size 20 guru maggot hook attached .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of red and white maggots

1 pint of fishery micros

small tub of worms

small tub of white expanders

After plumbing up i found that it was deeper on my top six line so I started there first and after sprinkling in half a small cupping kit full of micros i hoped that a few skimmers might settle on it , i was picking up the odd small roach but didn’t feel they was coming quickly enough and i decided to leave it for a while to settle , so I switched to my 13m line and i had been loose feeding maggots on it for nearly an hour so i expected a good response but all this produced some hand sized roach but it was really hard work , other anglers around me was in a similar situation and it looked like the pressure on the water had caused the fish to back off into the space because the only people really catching was the end pegs to my right on both banks .

With two hours of the contest remaining i needed to have a review on my tactics because i wasnt catching a great deal and maybe i had over done it with the feed at the beginning of the match , so i decided to put in a new swim at 11m towards my right and I began kinder potting in conker sized balls of micros then fishing maggots over the top which was similar to how i had fished for f1s recently , by doing this simple change my catch rate and stamp of fish increased dramatically I even managed a couple of decent skimmers i found it best to fish out the ball of micros and when the bites tailed off put in another little ball , with the light beginning to fade i hooked something more substantial because when my float dipped under i lifted into the indication but even though a meter of elastic had come out of the pole tip it just stayed there before powering off towards my left before my hook pulled , it could have been one of the big perch but i will never know but i haven’t had a fish fight like that before and after my swim had settled down again i caught well up to the all out .

At the weigh in I had managed just over 10lb of silvers which was a good days fishing as i only managed a couple of fish over eight ounce but i need to stop giving people a head start because recently the early part of the contest had been a waste of time , although i got away with it a bit today as this got me 4th in the match although another pound would have put me second and more importantly the team won on the day by 3-2 with one section drawn so it was a very close run thing because they had a far superior weight difference.

Bradshaws fishery , winter league round five


November 19th

I have been back to Bradshaw’s fishery today for round five of my winter league and with the first proper frost of winter plus blue skies meant i expected things would be tough going , on arrival to the venue the wind was blowing from right to left it was feeling really chilly and i was glad that i had wrapped up warm before i had set off on my journey to the fishery , even in these conditions there was nearly a dozen anglers already fishing and it looked like we could be tight for space on the match . It soon came round for the draw I pulled out peg 31 which was not too far from where i was last week and they struggled down that end so i wasnt expecting things to be great , although on the plus side it was an end peg for the competition but I had to put up with pleasure angler’s to my left throwing in corn all over the place and I also had every peg in towards my right.

I began setting up and disaster struck as my recently repaired 11m section wouldn’t fit into the number seven one so fishing long was out of the question so I was at a disadvantage straight away , with limited options i decided to set up ;

Four meters towards my left just at the bottom of the near slope and i was going to fish pellets here so i used a 4×14 Md pellet float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Eleven meter directly in front of me which was the furthest that i could safely go and i was going to fish maggots over ground-bait , i used a 4×14 Md silver float which had a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern and my main line was the usual 014 garbo that had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached .

Six meters slightly towards my right where it was the deepest part of my peg and i used a 4×14 Md maggot float with a staggered bulk shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo that had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached .

Bait for the day ;

3 pints of ground-bait

2 pints of soaked micros

3 pints of red and white maggots

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded I started at 5m with pellets as i felt this was my best bet to catch some f1s+carp i began by clumping in some micros so that they fell in a heap directly to the bottom but i only managed a few small silvers doing this so i tried taping in some feed which i hoped would drag some better stamp fish in to the swim but after an hour had passed i still hadn’t seen any net fish , so i went out to 11m were I had earlier put in 3 balls of ground-bait and i began getting indications straight away but yet again they was just small silvers , i began cattying in some maggots every few minutes to try to draw some bigger fish this just produced more tiny fish and i was at a loss on what to do next but with the anglers all around me struggling it could just be a lack of anything decent in the area .

With half the match gone I was still really struggling so I put in a new swim towards my left kinder potting maggots in just to see if the ground-bait was attracting the small stuff and to an extent it did work because the silvers improved in size , i even managed a lonely f1 and then a perch around the pound mark which was nice catching as they aren’t in many commercials these days but it wasnt long before the tiny bits returned . With an hour of the match remaining and the light beginning to fade the pleasure anglers to my left began to pack up which gave me a bit of room so I put in yet another new swim this time directly in front at 6m , I began feeding small marble sized balls of sloppy ground-bait through a kinder pot before pinging a few maggots over the top and this finally got me some decent skimmers and f1’s but it was too little to late because i was quickly running out of time as the all out sounded to early for my liking .

I was the last to weigh in and when they arrived at my peg I ended up with 12lb which i caught most of it in the final hour it was easily enough for me to win my section , but I’m kicking myself a bit because just 16lb was required to come third overall and i felt that was manageable today if I had fished a bit better , the match was won from peg 25 with just under 40lb than second came from peg 7 with 25lb after that there was a couple of 16lb nets before the weights really dropped of which was no doubt down to the conditions .

I’m back at Old Hough on Sunday for the next round and with the weather going colder a good draw would be needed but hopefully i can keep away from the bad areas and consolidate my place at the top of the league as im on ten points at the moment after five rounds , fingers crossed i can drop at least one of my Bradshaw results then it will be a good winter league for me .

Bradshaw hall fisheries , round five winter league


12th November

I have been to Bradshaw’s fishery today for the 4th round of the winter league and it was due to take place on lake four which is somewhere that I had only fished once before coming third in the inter club match there this January , so I was really looking forward to it even though it was proper cold outside with plenty over night rain going in because you are usually guaranteed a few bites from the silvers and f1s . After my short drive to the fishery which only took about twenty minutes and i really need to make the effort to go more often next year , i met up with the lads contesting the winter league and everyone was looking forward to it as it had fished quite well on the recent club matches , we had most of the lake but with a few pleasure anglers on the early part it was going to be peg two miss one which could make things a bit interesting .It soon came round to draw time and i pulled out peg 27 which was half way along the far straight with your back to lake six , i was a bit unsure what to expect because i fancied a go on the opposite bank but at least i had a lot of open water to target although the wind was gusting from left to right and was forecast to get stronger as the match progressed .

With this in mind I decided to set up ;

Top four line just as the bottom levelled out a bit and as it was nearly six-foot deep here so i used a 4×16 Md maggot float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

Thirteen meter line it was six-inch deeper than the above swim and i decided to use a lighter 4×14 Md maggot float with a staggered bulk in the bottom third of the rig ,  my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached with a micro bait band .

Two shallow rigs set at four-foot one with a bait band the other a normal maggot rig my float was a 4×12 Md maggot hook with an on the drop shotting pattern ,  my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

Bait for the day ;

3 pints of maggots

3 pints of soaked 4mm pellets

small tub of mixed 4mm and 6mm pellets

A mixture of ground-bait 50/50 frenzied hemp and f1 dark

When the all in sounded I fed 3 small balls of ground-bait on my four meter swim and began loose feeding a dozen maggots over the top every couple of minutes It wasn’t long before I began catching hand sized skimmers which was a good start to the match , the wind + tow was making presenting my rig really awkward and bites began to tail off after forty minutes so i fed another ball of ground-bait and decided to let it rest for a bit , I had fed pellets with a catty at 13m so i gave that a try I went on it expecting to catch small stockies with the odd better fish mixed in and i had a good run of fish on it including a bonus three-pound carp but yet again the wind was making presentation on the deck difficult , i knew that they had caught shallow on here and although i wasnt sure it would work today in the colder conditions but with my rig set at 4ft  i took the gamble of getting them up in the water this didn’t really work out for me and mid match i really struggled to put anything in the net I also lost two big skimmers when they jumped out of the water when hooked .

With just two hours remaining I put in a new swim at 11m towards my right were my pole was more manageable in the conditions and i fed a smaller softer ball of ground-bait with a dozen maggots through a cupping kit , my rig kept getting held up by small silvers as it fell so i bulked all my shotting a foot away from my hook length and this solved the problem as i was now catching a hand sized skimmer nearly every put in , when bites began to fade i put in a nugget of ground-bait in with a kinder pot which kept the fish interested and it wasnt long before i noticed the bottom fizzing away this resulted in a run of small f1s , the wind was getting continually stronger making my rig tow through pretty badly so i decided to double bulk my rig laying six-inch of line on the deck this kept my rig stationary and i was now waiting for positive lift bites I stayed here for the rest of the match catching skimmers + f1’s quite frequently.

At the all out I ended up third in the match and section with 34lb and 37lb won the opposite bank fished a lot harder with 20lb winning the section , I’m a bit disappointed with the result because I should have caught those extra few pounds and i did some things wrong but at least i have a better idea on what is required now , plus we are back there next week for round five so i don’t have long to wait to hopefully put things right , fingers crossed i can use this as one of my dropper results as i am on six points now after four matches and going from previous years ten points will be good enough to be the winter league champion .

Old hough fishery , winter league round two


October 29th

Today i have been back  to Old Hough fisheries for the second round of my winter league and this time it was going to take place on boulders + goose which is somewhere that i have not fished for over twelve months so i was really looking forward to the contest especially after my good result in the first round , after yesterday’s very blustery conditions I was glad to wake up and see it a lot calmer but with bright skies plus colder conditions it could make things a bit difficult although on these lakes you was targeting silver fish with the odd carp coming out .

On arrival to the fishery i meet up with the other anglers and a few of them had fished a couple of matches on these waters which would obviously give them an advantage but from what i heard there seemed to be a lot more carp showing than i thought , it soon came round to draw time and when i had a dip in the bag of doom pulling out peg 11 which i was pleased with as it was an area that I had fished before , doing well winning the match with nearly 50lb of ide although I was definitely on the colder side of the lake with the trees blocking out the sun.

I decided to set up ;

Two foot rig for fishing tight to the far bank and i used a 0.4 Md diamond float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Three foot rig for fishing at 11m which was about half way up the far slope and i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Five foot rig for fishing at six meters down the track and i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Bait for the day was ;

Four pints of red maggots

Two pints of 4mm pellets

Two pints of ground bait

When the all in sounded i started my match by fishing across at 14m tight to the over hanging reeds i put in a large kinder pot of maggots and a nugget of ground-bait  but this only produced a stockie carp plus a few small silvers in the first hour , looking around i saw everyone fishing in the same area and was struggling just like me but in the back of my mind I knew that the fish wouldn’t want to be in the shallow water but i got suckered into going tight across . I decided to drop further down the shelf in a depth of 3ft at 11m and by feeding maggots through a kinder pot then letting my rig fall up the slope , doing this produced a few nice ide but I made the mistake of changing my feeding to using a catty which didn’t work for me and i switched because i hoped that it would drag more fish into the peg which it did but only tiny silvers .

Since the match started I had potted in maggots on my left hand channel swim at six meters and when I dropped on it after two hours I caught some decent ide between the small silvers but it gradually got better , as i began catching a few small carp and i felt that with it being hard going i needed to rest this line for a while so I put in another track swim six meters to my right but this one I fed with a big kinder pot of maggots , it didn’t take to long for the fish to settle on the bait and i had a good run of fish including a couple of barbel but as the contest went on with the conditions getting colder ( on my side of the lake anyway as the opposite bank they were sitting in t-shirts ) the bites were getting really delicate and often the slightest of dinks on the float would result in a big carp and for the rest of the match I rotated between them both, the swims got better and better as the bigger fish bullied the smaller silvers out of the peg.

The all out called time on a really enjoyable match as I caught a proper mixed bag of fish not knowing what i would be putting in the net next which made a nice change from all the f1 fishing i had done recently and when the scales arrived I had 27lb to beat , my net went 44lb which was enough for the lake and overall match win so thats two out of two lake wins in the winter league I’m back there next Sunday for round three on boulders and goose again where i am sure to come crashing to earth with a bump .

Old Hough Fishery , Winter league


Peg 16 Goose lake , December 11th

Goose lake

Today i was back at Old Hough fishery in Cheshire for the next to the last round of my winter league and after missing a couple of matches due to other fishing commitments i needed a framing place on both remaining matches if i was going to stay towards the head of the table , but this would need a lot of luck in the draw bag because it has emerged from this years results that there was a few areas on boulders+goose that you just couldn’t compete from , after last weeks frozen spell it had finally began to warm up a touch as we was nearly touching double figures  but this meant we had a lot of rain to contend with especially overnight and as result i was unsure how things would pan out today although with lots of silver fish being in the lakes i was sure that i could Winkle out a few bites .

After a pretty straight forward drive to the fishery for a change ( M6 is a nightmare ) i arrived with plenty time to spare and after having a quick look at the lakes in the draw bag i noticed that they was pretty coloured which is only to be expected with all the recent rain , i felt that this wasn’t ideal when targeting silvers plus there was an easterly wind to contend with although to be far it was only a slight breeze but might become a problem if it increased during the contest , i also expected the fish to be settled out of it as well which is where the normally bad pegs are found so it could make things a bit interesting today .It was soon time for the draw  and i decided on another early dip in the bag of doom as it worked for me last time , lo and behold i ended up with the exact same peg as my last match here peg 16 goose which i was really pleased with because it had framed on nearly every match on the winter league plus i had a couple of ideas on how to drag out a few more pounds because i don’t feel like i fished it to its full potential last time even though i managed second with 13lb of silvers .

dsc_0163

On settling in at my home for the next few hours i decide to set up ;

4ft maggot rig this would cover both margins against the dead reed beds and also half way down the far bank slope , i used a light 0.2 maggie float with a bulk+dropper shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo and attached to it was an 010 garbo hook length with a size 20 guru maggot hook .

Channel swim were it was nearly 6ft deep , i plumbed up various parts of my peg 6m right+left then 13m towards my left where it was the widest part of my peg and i had noticed a few fish topping on both my last matches here ,it sloped slightly from left to right but only by about two-inch so i was able to use the same rig and my float was an 03 maggie float with a bulk+2 droppers shotting pattern  my main line was the usual 014 garbo and attached to it was an 010 garbo hook length with a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Farbank rig for fishing corn against the reeds , i found a touch over two foot at the point of the island to my left and similar to my right were there was a dead reed bed , i used a matrix series three float which had my usual 014 garbo main line and upped my hook length to an 012 garbo because i expected to be targeting carp on these two swims .

My bait for the day was ;

2 pints of red and white maggots

1 pint of maggot mulch ground-bait

1 tin of corn

Small tub of 2+4mm expanders

When the all in sounded i began by feeding half a dozen grains of corn plus a nugget of ground-bait on both of my across swims i planned on trying here occasionally during the match hoping to catch an odd carp which is something that has let me down on my matches in this winter league because the lack of a bonus fish has cost me a better place on nearly every one of them and also put half a cup of maggots onto my 13m left hand long line as i wanted to leave this as long as possible so that a few of the bigger ide might settle on it . i started my match on my left hand channel swim which is where i caught most of my fish when i last fished this peg although i was using pellets then and this time i decided to use maggots because i did catch quite a few fish but they was mainly small crucians+skimmers but as i really wanted to target the ide today which weighed twice as much so it would be easier for me to build up a good weight , things started really slowly for me as i only managed to catch two ide but i hoped that by continuing to feed my swim regularly with a kinder pot of maggots every few minutes i would then hopefully be able to draw a few more fish into the peg .

After twenty minutes it wasnt really improving but on looking around the lake it seemed nobody was catching a great deal and most of those within eye shot had decided to sit it out for a bonus fish  , i felt that i might have made a mistake not starting with pellets because no doubt this would produce a few bites for me and i really needed to be catching constantly incase somebody was going to bag a couple of carp ,so i set up another line to my right at six meters where it was only a couple of inch deeper but this time i fed a small ball of ground-bait then fished a 4mm expander over the top and this finally got me a run of fish but as i expected they were off a small stamp but at least i was putting something in the net while i had a think about my next move . The first hour flew by and i had less than two pounds in the net but i had seen the lad to my left catch a small carp which was bigger than my net of fish , so i decided to give my far bank swims a try to i began on my right hand one at the side of some over hanging reeds , i lowered by rig in with a small piece of corn on the hook then had a bit of a wait which is something that i am not comfortable doing because i like being busy and after what seemed like an age i had a couple of indications on the float before it buried , a firm strike resulted in a hand sized skimmer making its way to the bank  ( not really what i expected to be catching ) i decided to try my left hand swim but after ten minutes my float handed even twitched so i re fed both of the far bank lines with half a dozen pieces of corn and hoped that i might have better luck on my next try on them .

My next swim to try was the long left hand one as i had seen a few fish top in the open water and i had fed a few maggots with a catty over the area i had cupped in the bait at the beginning of the match , i shipped my rig in with double maggots on the hook then flicked my rig out and held it on a tight line so it would fall slowly through the water , it didn’t take long for me to start getting indications on the float but it was only when i adding a couple more stotz to my float so it was the slightest pimple on the surface (more like you would when f1 fishing ) that i managed to hit any of them  it was strange because they was all ide around the 8oz mark and every one of them that i caught had a load of maggots in the back of their throats it seemed like they was just sitting over the bait gorging on the bait going in ,after around thirty minutes it seemed like they had gone out of the swim because i could only catch small skimmers again i decided to put in another half pot of maggots in and then rested it for a while .

I went onto my four-foot rig which was half way up the far shelf i began by kinder potting in some maggots but quickly changed to cattying in them because i felt that it gave me a better chance of drawing some fish into the area , by laying my rig in so that it fell up the far slope on a tight line i managed to pick up the odd ide or chub quite constantly and although they was only  averaging around the 4oz mark i was quite happy putting them in the net , by alternating between this swim and my long line i kept putting something in the net right up to the all out but although i had a proper mixed bag  i never did manage to snare a bonus fish . I’m still getting used to this silver fishing with regards to weight so i hadn’t a clue what i had caught but reckoned it was about ten pounds and speaking to a few of the other lads on the lake they had a similar weight although every one of them had at least one carp , my main challengers for the winter league was also on my lake so i could really do with beating them today and when the scales arrived i followed them around writing the weights down , peg 3 had 11lb , peg 8 had 12lb , peg 11 had 15lb which was a remarkable weight from there as it had finished last on every round he caught five carp dobbing bread at 16m right+left of his peg , yet again i ended up second with 14lb so a lack of a bonus fish had cost me and it was exactly the same on my winter league last year but i had really enjoyed myself nonetheless which made a nice change from f1 chasing , i had managed to pull a couple of points back on the leaders but with just one match remaining i feel that i was going to struggle to get in the top three overall although you never know because there is some shocking areas on both lakes which will get you last on the lake every time so you just never know .