Heronbrook fishery , winter league


October 1st

I have been to Heronbrook fishery today for the first round of the angling trust winter league and I was guesting for the Stockton heath lads because we struggled to get a team together in time , even though it was only sixty miles away I hadn’t been here for over 12 months since one of the big qualifiers and I was really looking forward to fishing it , on arrival to the venue there was your usual smattering of high-profile anglers plus lots of the midlands top guys , there was even a few people from Partridge lakes in attendance so it was going to be fun competing in this match and after grabbing a bacon buttie i caught up with the rest of the lads then had a look at the waters in the draw bag , nothing had changed since my last visit it was all really tidy and well looked after i couldn’t wait to get started .

On this event you are allowed to place your anglers it was decided that I was going to be on either match lake or match pool as i had fished the first one of them a couple of times and after the team captains did the draw which made a nice change from me doing it , I ended up on peg one on the later of the two and these end pegs seem to follow me around at the moment but im not complaining although it turned out to be one of the few lakes that I hadn’t fished on here and in fact I hadn’t even seen it , i made my way to the lake and after getting there it turned out i could have driven to it but at least i will know for the next round .

The lake itself was oblong in shape with an island 14m away on my side but a bit wider on the opposite bank there was a lot of overhanging reeds so i struggled to get really tight across , there was hardly any margin vegetation and i was unsure that fishing would be an option although i did see plenty of bubbling but with it being a new lake it was very muddy in colour so it could just be the bottom settling down a bit .

I decided to set up ;

Top kit plus one which was at the bottom of the near slope i was going to fish it the same as i would at the cunneries with hard pellets and my float was a 4×14 Md roob style float which had an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 hook length attached to it was a size twenty guru lwg that had a micro bait band .

Channel swim at six meters were i would be cupping in maggots and as it was six-foot deep i used a 4×12 Md maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shoting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached .

My across rig was just in front of the over hanging reeds where it was just over two foot deep and i also used it for fishing four meters along my right hand margin , 4×12 Md roob styled float which had a staggered shotting pattern starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of soaked micros

1 pint of soaked 4mm pellets

2 pints of red and white maggots

Tin of hemp and corn

small tub of mixed hard pellets

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded I began on my top kit at the bottom of the near slope with hard pellets throwing a couple of 4mm pellets every few minutes and flicking my rig out so that it fell along the near slope , I began catching hand sized f1’s pretty constantly for the first forty minutes and i changed my shotting to a bulk just above my hook length this enabled me to get my hook bait straight to the feeding fish , I began getting line which signified something a bit bigger in the swim and i then had a carp about 8lb which took me by surprise as it just plodded around the peg before popping up at the net , all the information i could find was it was a stockie bashing water and I didn’t know they was this big in this lake .

When my near swim slowed down I then had to resort to going across at 14m to keep catching but it wasn’t really my style of fishing and I am not great doing a shipping race so i was falling a bit behind in the amount of fish i was putting in the net . With the bubbling still coming up along my right hand margin so I decided to plumb up at four meters and i managed to find a good shelf half way down the margin , i began kinder potting in some maggots and i managed a few stockies but it wasnt great i was thinking of changing it to pellets , when my float shot under and i had another decent carp in the net , after that i was back picking up the odd stockie so i put a medium cupping kit full of maggots in a hope that it would draw some more carp into the swim .

While i left it to settle i went back on my top three-line and had a good run of fish before i hooked and lost another carp so it seemed there was a few in the area i just had to work out how best to catch them ,i had another go across to the far bank but the bites wasnt coming quickly enough for my liking so i decided to spend the rest of match fishing my close in swims .After thirty minutes i went back on my four meter margin line and this got me a 4lb carp before getting broke by another , so i decided to set up another rig with stronger lines and elastic i also switched to kinder potting corn+hemp instead of maggots with ninety minutes remaining i concentrated on this swim , after shipping out with a piece of corn on the hook to see if I could get any more carp and I managed another six but also lost a couple plus got broke.

When the all out sounded I followed the scales around the lake and i ended up fifth on the lake with 70lb those lost fish cost me challenging for at least second which was a low 90lb , but I have learned a great deal and i definitely need to brush up on my shipping match if i want to challenge towards the top of the ten peg section I’m really looking forward to the next round in a fortnight but will probably end up on match lake instead , as a team we didn’t do to well and ended up towards the bottom of the league but it’s very early days yet .

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Cunneries hawk pool


10th September
Today i was back at the cunneries fishery as a guest with the Stockton heath lads and I don’t usually do club matches but as it was on Hawk pool I made an exception because it will be in both of the teams of three league’s I am doing on here , have only fished it once before so needed to try a few things out and like they say practice makes perfect .At the draw I had the last ball in the bag ending up with peg 18 which i was very happy with as it is in a good area to be in and I had a bit of room , so i fancied it for a few fish even though we have had a lot of rain in the past few days and was due a bit more during the day .
I decided to set up ;
2ft rig for margin + across and i used a 4×12 MD pellet float with a spread bulk along my 014 garbo main line starting above my four-inch 010 garbo hook length .
 4ft rig at top kit plus one with maggots and i used a 4×10 MD maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , with the usual 014 garbo main line and six-inch of 010 garbo hook length .
Bait for the day was ;
2 pints of red+white maggots
1 pint of bagem soaked micros
1 pint of bagem 4mm pellets
1 pint of bagem crushed expander ground-bait
On the all in I started at the bottom of the near slope feeding maggots through my hand and I had a great run of ide all though they was averaging six-ounce a piece , my constant loose feeding had brought them up off the deck and there was a few swirls on top , I was missing a few bites and i didn’t expect to be catching shallow today so I changed to kinder potting the maggots in which brought the fish back to the deck. In the first hour I caught about 18lb of ide plus a few barbel and It was all going really well i even picked up a couple of f1s+carp , but i was using today as a learning exercise plus I was running out of maggots so I decided to change it to pellets to try to get some more f1’s into the swim and i put in half a cupping kit full of micros+crushed expander.
While it settled I went across to the far bank and picked the spot where i had earlier plumbed up then taped in half a dozen micros before lowering my rig in over the top , i caught a couple of quick f1s before things got a bit difficult because for the next two hours i had a nightmare with liners and foul hookers, I tried setting up new swims all along the far bank and i would get a couple of early fish before it went tits up as i just couldn’t get them to settle no matter what depth I went into and I put next to nothing in the net so I went back on my near line while I had a review on what to do next .
I started by taping in some micros then lowered my rig in over the top and i soon started catching some carp+f1s but the bites were very finicky more like winter fishing when using pellets , I had to be really careful with the amount of feed i began putting in because the bottom would fizz up quite badly if I over did it and I decided to change it back to maggots because I was catching ide a lot quicker , i  set up a new swim for pellets I slightly deeper water towards my right at six meters but this time kicked it off with a nugget of crushed expander and some micros .
For the rest of the match I rotated between them both catching a few from my pellet swim and when it began fizzing up i went go onto my maggot swim which was by far the best line but i didn’t have enough bait to do it justice , at the all out I had 54lb which consisted of 22lb of ide+barbel the rest carp + f1’s which was just enough for the match win but more importantly I learned a great deal and maybe i had suffered a bit with having too much room because at times i had a lot of fish in my peg but at least i have more of an idea if i ever draw on the lake again .

Bradshaws lake four , inter club challenge


January 28th , peg twenty lake four

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Today i was contesting the inter club challenge against some top teams in the Bolton area and i was fishing with Stockton Heath angling group , it was due to take place on Bradshaw’s lake four which is a fishery that i do not frequent that often , in fact i had never fished this lake before so a bit of internet home work was required and i got in touch with a couple of lads that have contested the silver fish matches who pointed me in the right direction . Although any fish was allowed in the match i was looking forward to doing a bit of silver fish fishing for a change and if any carp came my way then that would be a bonus , but to be honest i didn’t expect many of them to be caught especially after the recent drop in temperatures and we was faced with constant rain today which would make things a bit tricky but at least we only had a slight breeze to contend with .

After my short twenty-mile drive to the venue which took a bit longer than i had originally planned as i had to travel through the town center and i arrived just after eight which gave me plenty of time to meet up with the team before having a quick look at the lake which was tree-lined on one side with some floating islands , along the other side it was more open water with a bit of a drop off behind you which would make shipping back a bit awkward when fishing long and every peg had a new platform , when i returned to the cabin it was nearly draw time and i was charged with doing the team draw i cant rember the exact pegs but i was going to be on twenty which didn’t mean a great deal because like i mentioned earlier i had not fished this lake before .

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I had quite a long walk before i reached my home for the next few hours and on reaching it i had two bushes either side of me which looked like they might hold a few fish , but i also had another lake behind me which meant placing my rollers a bit awkward and i also had to ship back over the water as well so i made sure my pole was put together tightly because i didn’t fancy going for a dip if they came apart .When i had finished sorting my gear out i decided to mix my ground-bait so it would have time to settle before the match started and after speaking to a couple of lads they put me on to a mix of 40% ringers green + 60% frenzied hemp i hoped this would help me target the skimmers and the odd f1 , i then started plumbing up my swims and surprisingly it was quite a flat bottom with only a few inch difference between my 11m loose feed line and my 14m ground-bait line , i also put a swim in towards the rushes to my left at 6m where i would throw a few maggots every ten minutes until i went onto it and then alter things as needed .

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11m+14m swims i used a 4×14 maggie float that had a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern with 014 garbo main line and hook length was 010 garbo that had a size twenty guru maggot hook .

6m swim i used a 4×10 maggie float that had an on the drop shotting pattern with 014 garbo main line and hook length was 010 garbo that had a size twenty guru maggot hook .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of red and white maggots

3 pints of ground-bait

When the all in sounded i put five tangerine sized balls of ground-bait onto my 14m line i would have liked to have used bigger ones but had stupidly left my larger cupping kit at home and there was no point rushing because i didn’t want to be spreading my bait everywhere , i was going to let this line settle for as long as possible so i began on my 11m line loose feeding maggots and at first all i could catch was 2oz roach , i was beginning to think i had got it completely wrong as my neighbour had started feeding pellets really negatively and began catching some hand sized skimmers + f1s plus a carp around 2lb which meant i was always playing catch up although he was already fishing at 14m and i had that to fall back on later in the match .By constantly feeding a dozen maggots i was soon getting a small silver every five minutes which doesn’t sound a great deal but on looking around everyone seemed to be struggling so i was happy just putting something in the net for the time being , i did manage to pick up a couple of bigger roach but i was eager to give my 14m swim a try to on my first drop resulted in a 10oz skimmer which was a nice start , i hoped that a shoal of them had settled on it but it turned out to be a false dawn as i had to wait 15 minutes before i had my next indication and even though i was fishing nearly dead depth with my float shotted to a tiny pimple the bites were hardly noticable especially at 14m , it seemed like the fish had just stayed over the top of the feed without moving and i did try slowly dragging my hook bait from right to left which did produce a couple more skimmers but it just didn’t seem right , so i went back onto my loose fed 11m line while i pondered on what to do next and yet again all i could catch was small silvers plus the odd netter roach mixed in .

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With ninety minutes of the match remaining the rain finally relented and in the calm conditions i went back on to my 14m swim but this time i decided to feed a small ball of ground-bait through a kinder pot to see if i could get them back on the deck and this worked remarkably well , as i had a skimmer every chuck for nearly an hour most of them was about 4oz but i did have the odd better one mixed in and i did bump a couple of smaller ones of on the way in , which i didn’t think anything of it until the weigh in later , with thirty minutes remaining the rain returned with a vengeance it might have been coincidence or not but the bites suddenly stopped and i spent too long catching next to nothing before the all out sounded .

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After hastily packing my gear away i had a quick chat with the lads around me to see how they had got on they guy to my right wasnt giving much away but i figured he was my main danger for the seven peg section , it didn’t take long before the scales arrived and i awaited my fate as i expected my main danger had 11lb 14oz then i put 11lb 10oz on the scales getting beat by a few ounces it looked like those couple of bumped fish had cost me 70 quid but you win some you lose some , on the team front i think we finished last after some shocking weights which was only to be expected on our first try on the lake and as it turned out i ended up third out of the 35 anglers as only a handful of people managed to break double figures with 17lb winning the match .

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Tomorrow i will be back on the bank at Partridge lakes for yet another team match but this time the 2+2 lads just hope we can get a better draw because we have had some shockers so far this year .