Weston pools Belvedere lake


Sunday 20th March, peg 27 Belvedere

I had looking forward to getting back to Weston pools for some time because it is turning into my favourite fishery, not sure why but it just keeps me coming back and with all my winter leagues having finished I jumped at the chance especially, as I would be contesting the Easter bank holiday contest, I hadn’t been for nearly five months since the big autumn match in October, I was going to use it as a bit of a fact finding mission so I could reacquaint myself with the fishery. I had been keeping an eye on the recent results which showed winning weights around the sixty pound mark a lot less than could be expected in the height of summer but as we were just on the cusp of spring, I thought it was pretty reasonable for the time of year.

The draw time at Weston had just been changed so there was no need for an early start and I headed off on my sixty mile journey just before eight o’clock as it was nearly all motorway miles , arrived with plenty time to spare this gave me chance to have a walk around the fishery. It looked a lot different with all the vegetation, not in full bloom and strangely the lakes looked a lot smaller than I remembered. When I got back to the cabin it was nearly time for the draw as there would be 36 anglers contesting the match they decided to put a dozen on Weir, Belvedere and Stretton; this would give everyone a spare peg when it came for my turn at the draw bag I picked 27 Belvedere. not where I wanted to be, I had fished the area twice before struggling both times but there isn’t much I could do about so off I went to my home for the next few hours.

Open settling in at my peg I decided to keep things simple setting up;

Top three swim, here I was going to be using pellets so I used a 4×14 malman roob float which had a split bulk starting above the four-inch garbo 010 hook length.

Margin swim, I positioned this at the side of my empty left hand platform were I plumbed up to find just under 4ft and I used a 4×12 malman speedy float which had a staggered bulk above the six-inch garbo 012 hook length.

13m swim, I set two rigs up on this line so I could fish on the deck with a 4×12 RW maggie float with an on the drop shotting pattern so, I could fish through the water and my other rig was for fishing shallow incase they came up in the water.

My bait for the day was;

2 pints of red and white maggots

2 pints of fishery micros

1 pint of fishery 4mm pellets

small tub 4mm expanders

small tub of white hooker pellets

For a change I was ready well before the all in and, at eleven o’clock it sounded in the distance I began on my top three pellet swim, I tapped in a few micros then lowered my rig carefully in among it and waited, nothing happened for five minutes so I trickled in a few more. I was being really careful with the feed as the water was still cold, another ten minutes without a sign and I made a decision to flick three 4mm pellets around the float every couple of minutes to try to force the swim, because trickling in micros wasnt working if it didn’t work I figured that I wouldn’t be staying too long on that line anyway, luckily the noise of the pellets hitting the water attracted some fish into the swim as, I began getting indications but for some reason I missed them all even though they were proper gazunders and they might have been line bites because they wasnt your normal expander bites.

I had been cattying in a dozen maggots on my 11m swim since the match started and, after forty minutes I went on it hoping that some fish might have settled on it, but another twenty minutes without an indication had me a bit worried because other than the two anglers facing the pots to my left had caught a fish. Finally I had a little dip on the float which took me by surprise as I hadn’t had a sign in nearly ninety minutes but this got my attention and it wasnt long after when I had another bite. This resulted in an Ide around the pound mark hitting the net one more quickly followed, I hoped that a few more might of settled on the bait but for some reason they just disappeared on me, I was puzzled at the reason why maybe the splash on the surface after I hooked it had disturbed the shoal my 8-10 NG gilbert elastic being too strong for them but its hard to get the balance right between being soft enough for Ide and strong enough for the Barbel.

With no more bites coming on my long line I gave my margin swim a go, mainly to see if I could sneak out a bonus barbel or two but not even a liner after twenty minutes. Soon it had me picking up the long rig again, yet again I picked up a couple of Ide pretty quickly before they backed off and I decided to plumb up another swim at the same distance to my left I found it to be four-inch shallower but I could still use the same rig for both. My reason for doing this was that I could hopefully pick fish off from both of them and rotating between the two should keep me catching for most of the match, but it didn’t work out like that and as it turned out I could only catch from my original deeper one, I should have gone further out or put another one to my left were it was a similar depth but I was being a bit lazy.

Altering my feeding from the catty to using a medium sized cad pot and shotting to a bulk+dropper, my reason for changing was that all the fish seemed to be coming from the deck and luckily it got me the response I required because it got me back among the fish again mainly Ide but I did manage two f1s, I kept rotating my lines but I could only get indications on my original far line which was strange. So with just twenty minutes of the match remaining I dropped onto my barbel line, between my nets and my float buried straight away which took me by surprise as I didn’t react quick enough and it had me under the nets before I could blink. I did manage to get one out around the 3lb mark and I was kicking myself for not going on it sooner as the all out sounded in the distance.

The scales soon arrived at the lake and the anglers opposite had caught quite well, especially the ones that had some sort of feature to fish against; there was a forty pound weight and a couple of low thirty pound nets before they arrived at my peg, the dozen Ide, two f1s and a solitary barbel I managed went 19lb so I was a bit off the pace which, was only to be expected after not visiting Weston pools for over five months! I’m back there on Easter Monday for another try before that I have a practice match on Goose green fishery for the super-cup which, I’m looking forward to although the weather isn’t forecast to be great with it being a bit damp+breezy good for skimmer fishing though.

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Bradshaw hall fishery , lake six


March 6th , lake six peg 15

This weekend i decided to fish a match with the winter league lads on Bradshaw’s fishery lake six and even though it is only ten miles away from my house this is only my second ever visit which i will be rectifying in the coming months because it is a well established venue with all the lakes being well looked after , there is nine different styles of waters on the complex with canals 8+9 being the main match lakes where they get attendances in excess of forty anglers , they have also run a very successful silvers contest over winter producing plenty double figure nets of quality fish these took place on lakes 3+4 .

On the morning of the match i woke to find a frozen windscreen which was a bit of a surprise even after all the snow we had on the Friday i hopped that we had seen the back of all that cold weather , the van on the trip to Bradshaw’s showed a mighty minus one degree and it failed to rise above three degrees all day plus i had only been driving for ten minutes when it started snowing again the closer i got to the fishery the stronger it went not exactly what i was expecting the weather to be like today . When i got to the complex it had relented a bit and didn’t take too much longer before it stopped all together , as per usual i was the first of our group to arrive so i had a quick look at lake six which is the one where the match would be taking place the video gives you a look at the water .

As i arrived back at the car-park there was a couple of lads that i knew so had a chat with them while i was waiting for my group of anglers to finally turn up , around ten to nine they arrived and it was then a bit of a rush to collect the pools then start the draw when it came for my turn i pulled out peg 15 which to be honest didn’t mean a great deal as i had not fished it before . On getting to my home for the next few hours i found it situated on the far side with your back to the stream at the side of the water outlet which was pumping through because all the cold water from the other lakes where running into it , i felt this could have a big impact on how it fishes today and i would be really negative with the feeding until i knew what the response would be . The species i was looking at catching today was f1s+skimmers and i hadn’t really done a great deal of lake fishing for f1s preferring to contest matches on your typical snake lake waters so i was well up for the challenge of chasing them around the peg , i decided to set up three rigs to cover my options and these were ;

Top four line which was five foot deep and as i would be loose feeding maggots on this line i used a 4×12 maggie float with an on the drop shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo that had a six-inch length of 009 garbo .

Pellet line which when plumbing up i found it to be seven-foot so i used a 4×16 roob float that had a spread bulk an inch apart just above the four-inch hook length .

Three foot shallow line because i had heard there was plenty chub in it  and they just might come shallow but i wasnt that confident but set up a rig just in case , i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a strung out shotting pattern allowing for a slow fall of the hook bait my main line was 014 garbo and hook length would be a six-inch length of 009 garbo .

Bait for the day was ;

Three pints of soaked f1 micros

Two pints of red and white maggots

Small tub 4mm expanders

Small tub 4mm white pellets

The all in sounded and i began on my top four line feeding half a dozen maggots by hand every couple of minutes , i noticed that nearly every other angler had gone straight out to 14m with some even deciding to feed with a big pot and i hopped that with them doing that it would play right into my hands as it would give the fish a safe zone for them to back off in too . The first twenty minutes was a complete write off as my maggot swim failed to produce a bite and it was only when i went onto my pellet line at ten meters did i begin to get a few indications , i kept trickling in a few micros every couple of minutes and began lift+dropping my rig to try to entice something more positive but it was very hard work it was only when i changed to a heavier hook bait that i caught my first fish a skimmer around the ten ounce mark .

By keeping on doing the same thing with my rig i began to pick up a few f1s but i got a bit keen with the feed and they backed off even though i was only putting in half a dozen micros every few minutes it just goes to show how finicky the fish were being today , so i replumbed up a new swim a couple of feet to my right and started again it took about ten minutes before i was back catching a skimmer got into the act first then the f1s moved in , i really struggled to get my feeding correct as i either put too many pellets in my pot and spilled them when i struck or didn’t put enough in so was forever shipping in and out . When the bites tailed off again i put on another section and started again chasing the fish all over my peg by doing this i kept putting fish in the net up to the last forty minutes when i pushed them out of reach going past my sixteen meter pole limit , my top four maggot line which i had fed since the match started failed to produce a single sign and i even resorted to trying to catch shallow without success i think this was down to not preparing it properly as it was more of an afterthought rather than a preset plan for me to do it.

When the all out sounded i felt that i had fished a really good match and enjoyed myself chasing f1s all over my peg it certainly made a change from fishing snake lakes where everything is done at set times during the day , i noticed that a heavier pellet produced more positive indications some of which were lift bites and every fish was hooked in the top lip a sure sign of good presentation ,i followed the scales round the lake and the leading weight up to me was 22lb my 34 f1s+skimmers went thirty pounds to take the lead which lasted just one more weight because the next angler at the other side of the water outlet had 36lb and that went on to win the match with me finishing second , there was lots of weights around the twenty pound mark and i was surprised that it had fished so well in the cold conditions .

I am off to Herronbrook next Sunday to fish the teams of four standing in for a mate in the Ted Carter team , which I’m really looking forward too as i have only been there once before and have my first fisho qualifier there in April so need to see how it is fishing , after that i have some super cup practice on Goose green fishery before the Easter match at Weston pools so i have got a busy few weeks coming up a sure sign of summer and it’s just how i like it .

Welsh national , Weston pools


Weir peg 17 , September 27th

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I had somehow managed to sneak into the five man Matrix team which was contesting this event today after fishing Weston for the previous few weeks they must have felt my experience there would help them i wasn’t to sure though, it was my first attempt at proper team fishing i had done a few angling times supercup rounds over the previous few years but nothing like todays match their was 16 teams here and some proper good anglers including most of the Welsh national squad , the points would be decided by sections and not your final place on the lake with five waters in the draw bag your team could place anglers on each of them and i ended up on Weir which i was a bit surprised about as i had not fished it before but i was looking forward to the challenge . At 1030 we had to endure the Welsh national anthem before the draw started as you would expect the Matrix team had a couple of good draws the odd bad one and i was on peg 17 usually a reasonable area but after looking at yesterdays results i felt i was a few pegs away from the main area of the lake , after wishing the rest of the lads good luck i headed off to my home for the next few hours and on arrival it looked really nice with two long margins plus plenty open water to target but the good thing about Weir is that every peg is the same so in theory it should fish the same although the down side is with everything being equal the weather would have a big impact on were the fish would be most comfortable and those anglers further to my right with their backs to the campsite had plenty sun on the water .

On settling in i decided to fish just three lines and these were ;

Margins both sides at four meters as it was only three-foot deep tight to the reeds i used a 4×12 malman speedy float which should withstand plenty pressure from the big fish that congregate in this area of the lake , my main line was 017 garbo this had a six-inch length of 014 garbo and my hook was a size 16 guru lwg .

Six-meter line here i decided to use pellets so i used a 4×12 malman roob float which had a spread bulk just above the six-inch garbo 012 hook length and my main line was 014 garbo the hook was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Thirteen-meter line here i choose to use maggots so i used a 4×12 Jeefs joof float which had a carbon stem my shotting pattern was a bulk and two droppers , i used 014 garbo main line and a 012 garbo hook length my hook was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

With the natural bait festival just finishing i along with plenty others felt that the fish would be eager to taste a bit of fish meal so pellets were a main feature on my bait table today ,

Two pints 4mm fishery pellets

One pint of 1mm fishery pellets with a touch of ground-bait

Two pints of white maggots

Small tub of 4mm expanders

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In the distance i heard the all in so i shipped out to my long line where i fed a small cupping kit full of maggots i planned on doing this every twenty minutes for at least an hour before going on to it after putting that in i went on to my six-meter pellet swim i deposited a kinder pot full of micros with the odd bigger pellet mixed in and i then lowered my rig among it , i purposely kept the rig still so as not to scare any fish that was in the vicinity and every five minutes i would ship back out to put some more pellets in i hoped that this would draw any passing fish into my swim . I was getting the odd sign to keep me interested especially as nobody near me was catching anything but it took nearly thirty minutes before i hooked my first fish but this was foul hooked and came off at the net , after another bite less ten minutes my float suddenly dipped and a sharp lift saw me attached to something decent as it headed off to the center of the lake this understandably saw my hook pull out and all i was left with was a scale about the size of a fifty pence piece not the start i wanted .

I noticed the lad too my right had caught a fish out long so i decided to follow suit hoping that a few fish had settled on to my maggots that i had fed since the match started , almost instantly my float dipped with a 2oz skimmer coming to the bank but at least it had saved the blank and apart from a couple of lads opposite everyone was struggling for a few fish it was fishing a lot harder than i had imagined but after all the pressure of the previous few days i suppose it wasn’t unexpected . Eventually i managed a good run of ide which got me in front for the section but i needed to find a way of catching the bigger f1s+barbel if i was to keep in front today , i decided to set up another swim at the same distance to my left using pellets as i still felt that it would be the correct bait to use today and i fed it through a kinder pot but i didn’t have a single indication over it which i couldn’t get my head round . With two hours of the match remaining the bites from the ide faded so i decided to have a look at my margins which i had fed for the past hour while fishing long but as i had limited myself to a mainly pellet approach i wasn’t really expecting it to produce a great deal , no sooner had my rig settled than my float dipped under and i was hoping that it would be a proper fish but up popped a 1.5lb tench not bad but it wasn’t exactly what i was looking for no more bites followed from either side .

As my long line was the most consistent i set up another line towards my right and i choose to feed through a kinder pot here basically just trickling the maggots in being really negative , after a couple of feeds on this swim i finally managed to pick up a better stamp of fish mainly barbel with the odd carp mixed in with this feeding pattern working sort of i changed my center swim to another negative swim this meant that i could rotate the two and i managed to keep putting fish into the net including a near 5lb carp right on the all out which was a nice bonus , i felt that i had done enough to beat the anglers either side of me but the positioning of the pegs meant you couldn’t really see what was going on so i wasn’t to sure . After packing up i had a quick chat with those in my section and we was all admitting to the same weight apart from one lad who was a Weston regularly i had seen him catch constantly most of the match so we was all aiming for second in section which will make things interesting , finally the scales arrived my net went forty pound this was only good enough for fourth in the section but seventh on the lake which would have been good enough for some decent points if they had done lakes rather than sections so yet again i had been on the wrong side of how they dished the points up , i also think that i had missed a trick by not fishing right in between my nets as a couple of lads who beat me had done really well fishing that way in the last forty minutes pushing themselves right up the section .

weston pools team matrix

On getting back to the clubhouse i caught up with the rest of the matrix team we ended up with a couple of seconds and thirds then my 4th which put us on 14 points , a couple of lads had been really unlucky with one  missing out for his section by just 1oz the other by a 1lb and another beating everyone around him getting third in his section because he got put in with the better pegs on the opposite bank . As the results began to be read out team matrix ended up sixth with 14 points not that far away from the top three positions ;

Tri-cast Weston wales first 10pts

Weston methods  second 12pts

Tri-cast Weston peanuts third 13pts but better weight

Connah’s quay fourth 13pts

Well done too those taking part and helped in running the event everything went like clock work which is usual for here and i can’t wait to get back there next year as over the winter my attention will be turning to some f1 fishing at Partridge lakes now that it’s turning back to pellet work .

 

 

 

Hall lane Merlins , Supercup round one


April 4th , peg 16

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Today was the Matthews580 first attempt at the Angling times Supercup and even after suffering a few drop outs from the squad plus a couple of our better anglers missing i felt that we should still have enough descent people capable of doing the job especially after our recent practice match where we caught plenty fish and worked out a good method to catch in the poorer areas . The weather leading up to todays match had been awful with strong winds plus constant heavy rain , but it looked like it had broke just in time for the weekend as the day before it had got a lot better with blue skies and just a light breeze thankfully it was the same on the day of the match too .

On arrival at Hall lane our team was the first they’re so it gave us chance to have a talk on how best to fish it and after meeting up with Fir tree AC who we was fishing against today we began the draw , there was a choice of two envelopes to pick from which would show the sections we had but to be fair there wasn’t a great difference in either of them as each team would have three end pegs . Without going into the overall draw too much we had a couple of our better anglers in poor areas which cost us in the end but their was nothing we could do about that and we was all capable of putting fish in the net if it came down to weight , yet again i got left a good peg in the envelope as you all know it is nothing new and my home for the day was peg 16 which is situated at the bottom of the middle island in between the two pegs where we caught well in practice .

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As i thought that i would be in a good area for carp i decided to fish three lines ;

Across , top four , margin

With my bait consisting of ;

4mm pellets , corn , 4+6mm expanders

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When the all in sounded i put a cupping kit full of pellets +corn on my top four line before shipping out to 14m with the same bait in a large kinder pot and corn on the hook , i was quite confident of catching carp across because when i began plumbing up i felt a couple of fish bumping in to the line and i was proved right as first drop i lost a carp and then put 7 nice fish in the net in the first hour by fishing corn or pellet two-inch of the deck .I thought that i might be on for a shedfull but they strangely disappeared and i don’t know if i had got the feeding wrong or they had just backed off round the corner of the island into the area where no one was fishing , but thinking back that was exactly what happened on our practice match and even those that bagged up had a quiet spell.

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While i had caught well in the first hour i had text a few of the lads in the poorer areas to let them know how i had caught but it seemed a few of us where struggling to get any carp which wasn’t a good sign , for the next couple of hours i could only catch tench +f1s across even after setting up multiple swims and i even resorted to big potting on one of them as this worked for me in the practice match , i ended up putting my 16m section on going further around the corner this didn’t make much difference either as i was still not picking up any carp but while i was well in front for my section i just kept putting fish in the net rather than pushing the peg (not sure if this was the right decision )

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The lad to my right started getting the odd carp from his margin in the last ninety minutes and as i had been big potting mine with corn+pellet since the match started so i decided to give mine a whirl , i went out with a piece of corn on the hook and after five minutes my float dipped but the culprit wasn’t the carp or barbel required just a chub about 8oz no further indications ensued so i didn’t want to waste anymore time here so another re-feed before going back across . As we where approaching the last hour i decided to concentrate on one swim and hope that either the carp returned or i just get my head down catching the f1s+tench , i kept plodding away putting fish in the net when it suddenly went quiet i didn’t have to wait long to find the reason as my float shot under and i became attached to my first carp in ages but as i was finally getting it under control so i could ship back it popped off (not what i wanted )

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I quickly went across again wanting to waste no more time as it was running out fast and finally i managed to put a few more carp in the net including one right on the whistle for all out , i knew that i had done my job but i also could see two other team members which struggled so i felt that the best we could hope for would be a draw .

The sections went like this ;

A section 33lb – 13lb lost

B section 6lb – 9lb won

C section 20lb – 5lb lost

D section 22lb – 43lb won

E section 43lb – 17lb lost

F section 16lb – 22lb won

So in the end it was a tie but we lost out on total weight by 30lb so just an extra 5lb a man would have got us through and a couple of lost carp here and there made a big difference to the final outcome i managed to get second but that was our only weight in the top four , but in the end we just wasn’t good enough so well done and good luck in the next round to Firtree AC. Not to sure yet if i am going to put a team in for next year because it takes a certain type of person to take a result like this on the chin and to be honest it really gutted me as i thought we could do well when we got the missing squad members back in the team .
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Hall lane Merlins


March 28th , peg 22

After our last team practice i wanted to go and try a few things out which some of the lads had caught well on before , so after an early start i arrived at Hall lane fishery at around 8am and headed off to the bottom of Merlins canal settling on peg 22 the conditions were best described as awful with a strong gusty wind blowing towards the car-park and heavy bursts of cold rain and this would make fishing further than six meters really difficult but as i had planned on fishing maggot at top four and ground-bait in the margin i thought i would be ok . I  started on my top four line as i couldn’t throw maggots accurately in the conditions i put a big pot in and would then top up with a kinder pot when required , the wind was pulling the rig through quite badly so i went a float length over depth but should have gone for a heavier float as well .

Thirty minutes in i was still bite less even after topping up every five minutes but maybe they needed time to find the bait with only me and my mate fishing today , i put in two cupping kits full of ground-bait in my right hand margin and went over the top with a 6mm expander and i began getting the odd indication but couldn’t hit the bites a change to double maggot got me my first fish which was a 4 oz roach quickly followed by a chub of similar size not really what i wanted to catch so i decided to re-feed and go back on to my maggot line .

After an hour my mate started getting the odd skimmer on his 5m pellet line and as my maggot line wasnt producing i choose to risk putting in a swim at 7m where i fed 4mm pellets through a large kinder pot and i had a 6mm expander on the hook ,as expected it took a good thirty minutes before i had my first fish which was a 6oz skimmer and i finally began getting a run of bites this also coincided with the rain stopping and sun coming out .

With less than an hour remaining i decided to concentrate on my margin swim and chose to cut the ground-bait replacing it with kinder potting maggots , i was getting plenty indications from silvers and i noticed that i would get a quick bite as soon as i tapped in my bait .I was a bit surprised when it suddenly died on me but i didn’t need to wait long to find out why as my float shot under and i was briefly attached to what felt like a big barbel unfortunately it popped off , when i checked my hook i noticed one of my maggots had gone over the point looked like it wasn’t going to be my day .

At 12 o’clock i decided to call it a day i was pretty disappointed with my catch of about 8lb but i wanted to try a few things out and i think they can be consigned to the dust bin , my mate had a far better days fishing at five meters with 4mm expander over micro+ground-bait catching skimmers+f1s plus the odd carp . So even though it wasn’t a great days fishing i learned a lot and i think that i have a plan in mind which will get me among the fish if the carp decide not to play ball on match day .

 

Hall lane Merlins canal


March 22nd peg 8

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With the upcoming Angling times Super cup looming large on the horizon i thought it was about time that i got the team together so we could try to sort out a plan which would give us the sections required to enable us to get through to round two . The weather leading up to the match had been nice sunny with blue skies and more importantly light winds as it can be a bit of a wind trap on Hall lane , luckily when i woke in the morning it looked like it was going to stay the same .

On arrival at the complex their seemed to be a congregation of cars that i didn’t recognize at the drop off point near Merlins canal i soon found out why though , as the left hand side where the super cup was going to take place had been double booked normally this wouldn’t have been a problem as i would have just suggested to have one big match and this would probably given our team a better idea on how it should fish on the big day .

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It had not only been double booked but it was with Fir tree AC the side we was going to face in our knock out competition , i had a chat with their team captain to try to resolve the situation and as the other side of the canal was free we decided to toss a coin for which side to go on luckily for me i won and we could fish the super cup length .I hastily did the draw and choose to put a couple of anglers on each island , i really didn’t fancy drawing on the first stretch especially the first peg because it can be totally devoid of carp at times . The last ball in the bag was number eight so i was unfortunately in the worst area but at least i was on the better side and not far from where i fished the other week .

I decided to fish four areas today ;

Margin , Across ,Near slope , Far slope

As i was targeting a big stamp of fish so took with me ;

Corn , 4m pellets , 6mm expanders

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When it was time for the all in i decided to start on my far-slope at 11m because the wind had begun to blow quite strong towards the drop off point and fishing any further across could become a bit awkward , i fed a medium cupping kit full of corn+pellets and a piece of corn on the hook . I had left about 5mm of the bristle showing on the float because i wanted to get a positive indication from the carp as their was a lot of small silvers in here too which could get in the way , i began getting little dips on the float which i left waiting for a proper bite but these never materialized i found out after the match from my mate that the little indications i was leaving where proper carp bites because he was hitting these and putting some nice fish in the net .

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Forty minutes past with only a few skimmers to show for it wasn’t exactly the start i wanted and with the lads to my left catching carp across i decided to follow suit , i had earlier plumbed up two areas so that i could pick up carp from one while resting the other and by doing this i hoped i could keep catching for a lot longer . I went across with a kinder pot full of pellets plus a few grains of corn and a 6mm expander on the hook , my float had only been settled a few minutes when it shot under and carp number one made an appearance at around 5lb it was well worth catching too .

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By rotating my two lines i kept the fish coming it was far from hectic but i kept putting the odd carp in the net and with about two hours remaining the wind surprisingly relented and so did the bites which was a bit puzzling , i choose to begin feeding my right hand margin at 4m with pellet+corn while i pondered on what to do next the lads to my left in the better area was still catching carp across so they must still be there . So i plumbed up a new line a bit further round the bend of the island and started kinder potting the pellets this worked well and i finally began catching decent fish again but this time they were barbel , i knew that i wasn’t in contention of getting in the first two so i decided to try something a bit different just too see what would happen and i big potted two lots of pellets+corn on my right hand swim across which had not produced an indication for awhile .

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I left this to settle for a bit so gave my margin ago i had a couple of indications which showed there was fish present i was on the verge of giving it another feed before going back across when my float suddenly buried and after a short fight i had a nice barbel in the net , five minutes later my float shot under again but this time it snagged me up before i could get it away from the bank side reeds and i needed to pull for a break understandably this killed my margin so i put another two big pots in before going back across .

I had virtually a bite straight away on my kinder potted swim from a carp and the same on my positive swim , i began getting the odd fish from each and by swapping between them i kept them coming right to the end of the match but i never had another bite from my margin swim .After packing up i went down to peg 23 to begin the weigh in and Jordan who was on this peg had done really well managing to put a nice net of F1s together it seemed to be devoid of any carp which wasn’t surprising as it was flat calm here with no far-bank cover and he did well to weigh in thirty pounds .

Tony was next on peg 18 and with the bit of ripple on the water in front of him he had managed to get a good net of carp together catching both at 11m bottom of far-slope and at 14m tight across he weighed in 70lb including some nice lumps . Rob had similar conditions to contend with and caught across all match putting 80lb on the scales for the match win , he seemed to have caught more carp than Tony but were a smaller stamp .

Stu had not fished this venue before and struggled to get to grips with it but did manage a mixed bag of fish for a weight of 25lb from peg ten , he did stay on after the match had finished managing to catch some proper lumps on his top four feeding heavy with maggots . I was on peg eight and managed 16 carp+barbel for 50lb which i don’t think was to bad from an unfancied area , i lost about four fish and didn’t catch in the first forty minutes either .

Aidy was on peg two somewhere no one wanted to draw and he struggled most of the day catching silvers on maggot but he did manage to lose four carp so his final weight of 20lb could have been considerably improved upon . Well that was our main team practice over with and we have all learned a lot especially those that hadn’t seen the venue before , no doubt we will be giving it another try soon and then we will be getting together to discuss the best way to fish it so hopefully you will soon be reading how we got through to the second round of the Angling times Super cup .

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Sycamore fishery– Rowans canal


March 15th , peg 28

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After yesterdays fishing trip to Hall lane where i went to practice for the up and coming super cup match where i caught some big carp , i fancied a change of pace today and decided to go for some f1s so a trip to Sycamore fisheries was in order somewhere that i hadn’t been for a good few months because it was only ten minutes drive down the road i had a later than usual start but of course i still arrived their first . So i decided to have a quick walk around to reacquaint myself to the match canals , my mate had fished Silver birch canal on Weds and said that it had fished quite hard so i didn’t fancy drawing on their especially as the weather hadn’t got any better since then with an easterly wind , cold temps and overnight rain Will spring ever arrive .

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When i got back at the cabin i went to book on their was a couple of people knocking about all the usual faces plus a few new ones , when it came to draw time i pulled out my usual flyer or is it i just the fact that i make them look good anyway off i headed to peg 28 Rowans canal and after making my way through the sluch i finally arrived at my home for the day , it was just your run of the mill peg on here 13m wide two far-bank reed beds which had a mud bank in between and the only different thing it had was a bush in between my peg and 27 which was a good area to target in summer but I’m not to sure it will have a bearing on things today so after looking at my peg i decided to fish three areas ;

Bottom near slope at 4ft – 4×12 malman roob float with 012 garbo main line which had a 010 garbo hook length and a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

Channel at 6m – 4×14 malman roob float with 012 garbo main line which had a 010 garbo hook length and a size 18 gamma pellet hook .

Far slope at 3ft – i set up two rigs for this line a 4×10 and a 4×14 malman roob  my main line was 012 garbo which had a 010 garbo hook length and a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

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My bait was ;

Micro pellets

4mm expanders normal + white

1 pint red + white maggots

At ten o’clock it was time to get started so i shipped out to my far-bank marker with a few micros in the cad pot and a 4mm expander on the hook , after working my rig for nearly ten minutes my float dipped and f1 number one made its way to the net at nearly 1lb they had certainly packed the weight on since my last visit . For the next hour i was having my own little duel with the f1s and i was winning with six of them coming my way , in the second hour the stockie carp had muscled their way into my swim and although they were bigger they seemed to be coming into the peg in pairs with long waits between bites .

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I had been loose feeding maggots on to my near slope since the match started and as it would also allow me to rest the far-bank i decided to give it a try but a bite less twenty minutes wasn’t what i expected because this line has worked really well for me on here in the past , the middle part of the match was a complete non event for me as i didn’t put a single fish in the net during a ninety minute spell despite rotating my swims and even set up a new one at 4ft across in case they had dropped further down the far-bank slope but this didn’t work for me either .

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In the later stages of the match the cold easterly wind dropped a little with the sun finally showing itself and this seemed to spark a response in the fish as my seemingly lifeless far-bank began producing a few bites , by swapping between the three swims i had earlier set up across i finally started putting some fish in the net again and i felt that i was clawing my way back into contention of a framing place . The final whistle soon sounded and not for a long time had i not wanted to hear it as an extra thirty minutes would have given me chance to get the couple more fish required for a better finishing position .

I knew that corner peg 31 had caught well and so had the guy opposite me so i would just have to wait and see what the scales had to say  , when they arrived at my peg i needed to beat 33lb to take the lead and although i had only caught twenty fish i felt it could be close but unfortunately my net fell a bit short with the scales showing 29lb , i followed the weighers up the remaining pegs on Rowans canal and it turned out that i had done enough to get second on the canal plus third overall which wasn’t to bad on my first visit here in a while . Although i know that i did a few things wrong or failed to try today and if i fished it again i would have done better but that is why we keep going back because we are always learning especially when targeting those pesky f1s.

This week i will be mainly preparing for Sundays squad practise at Hall lane merlins pool where the first round of the super cup will be taking place and i then have the fun job of picking the team which will get us through . On a lighter note i have just watched the new Des Shipp e magazine which is all about winter_spring f1 fishing on tunnel barn and the fifty minute video is well worth watching because i haven’t seen that much about this subject on the screen although their has been a great deal written about it .