Sycamore fishery

January 27th

I decided to stay local today for a change because I needed to be back early as my Mrs was going out and I went to sycamore fishery in Golborne which used to be a regular haunt for me with it only being fifteen minutes from my house but I haven’t been here for nearly two years , as we are quite spoiled with the amount of fisheries on our doorstep in the Wigan area and I was quite looking forward to seeing how much it had changed since my last venture here .I arrived at the fishery a bit earlier than i planned so had plenty time to have a walk around the two canals which would be in the draw bag and  it all looked really nice , the trees had grown quite a bit which blocked out most of the strong breeze and they had a stone path all around the lakes . When i got back to the cabin i managed to get a chat with a couple of lads that i had not seen in ages and i was told about the recent netting + restocking of Silver birch with all the big carp going in David’s pool which was replaced with a lot of stockie carp this should hopefully get the original fish back feeding again .

At the draw I pulled out my usual end peg this time 21 on rowans but like most water’s at this time of year all the weights had come out from around the middle of the canals so not the ideal place to be and it’s just a shame it was not summer when i could make the most of these end pegs , but I was still looking forward to catching a few f1s and after speaking to a few anglers they said that the fish were all of a nice stamp with a few carp approaching 8lb so i needed to up my terminal tackle a bit .

My rigs for the day was quite simple for a change because with the weather still being cold i expected the fish to still be in the deeper water so i just set up ;

4ft rig which would cover most of my peg and i used a 4×14 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru Lwg hook my elastic was size 13 Preston hollo .

3ft rig for just down the near shelf and i used a 4×12 Md slim float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru Lwg hook my elastic was size 13 Preston hollo .

Bait for the day was going to be mainly maggots with some corn if I needed it ;

1 pint of red and white maggots

1 tin of corn

When the all in sounded i began on my 4ft rig along my right hand margin at nine meters at the bottom of the near shelf and after tapping in a dozen maggots I foul hooked my first two fish , so I reduced the amount to just four maggots and this solved the problem as I then had 4 nice F1s in the first hour but i had to play them a bit carefully because my elastic was a bit on the strong side . With this swim beginning to fade a little I put in a new one still in 4ft this time against the island it also produced another four F1’s during the next hour and with not many people catching a great deal I decided to be a bit more patient than I usually would thinking about it now i would have been better rotating between the two lines .As the wind started to blow stronger this become a bit of a problem making presentation a touch awkward , so I switched back to my original right hand margin putting a couple of f1s in the net before putting in another swim at 11m and by carefully tapping in maggots on these swims I had another run of fish , for the rest of the match I had an easy time as i just followed the F1’s along my right hand margin and i did suffer the odd foul hooker but all in all it was plain sailing to be honest although i did miss a couple of indications . At the all out I had managed to catch 18 F1’s which went over thirty pounds this put me in second place getting agonizingly beat by just four ounces  missing out on a chance for the bonus pot but I still enjoyed my day and felt that if I had fished a bit lighter+rotated my swims more often than I might have caught a few more , at least I will know for my next visit in a few weeks because it made a nice change getting home when it was still light and also catching a few fish at last .


Sycamore fishery

April 1st , peg 17 Silver birch


With a few things going on at home i hadn’t planned on going fishing over the weekend so i took the opportunity to grab a few hours on the Friday which was more to clear my head than the actual fishing , with it only being a short three-hour session i decided to stay local and headed off to Sycamore fisheries in Golborne as it was only ten minutes from my house and was another place i hadn’t visited in some times but i had kept an eye on recent results which showed it was fishing quite well for the time of year .  With the weather being rather breezy plus scattered showers i was quite surprised to see a couple of other anglers and they had settled on the low numbered pegs along Silver birch this was the lake that i had also wanted to fish as it held more f1s , i plonked my gear down on peg 17 which is usually a reliable area for a few bites it was also just on the edge of the breeze although it did get a lot stronger as the day progressed .

As i mentioned earlier i was only here for a few hours so decided to just bring pellets with me because it was a method that i could do with the practice using , i also just set up the one rig which in the cold conditions was set at four-foot so i used a 4×14 malman roob float my shotting pattern was an inch spread bulk my main line was 014 garbo and i had a three-inch 010 hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached .

After i had set up my gear i plumbed up trying to find a flat area which would allow me to present my pellets correctly , i did manage to secure one towards the left of my peg right on the joint of my eleven meter section this would make things a lot easier . I started my session by tapping in a small kinder pot full of soaked micros and held my rig directly above it which was similar to how you would fish with a small method feeder , it took a couple of feeds five minutes apart before i had my first indication this resulted in a hand sized skimmer but it wasnt long before i was attached to something a bit bigger which put up a spirited fight i just had it under control and was about to net it when it smashed my hook length .After changing up to an 012 i was back out again and didn’t have to wait long before i was back among the fish this time a nice stockie carp around the three-pound mark , a couple more of similar size quickly followed before the bites became a bit iffy and i started losing fish again , i felt that the carp were brushing against my bulk so i decided to move it further away from the hook length and spread it an inch apart this seemed to solve the problem but i needed to settle the fish down again , i resorted to sprinkling in micros every few minutes and after about half an hour i had the carp lined up again including some around the four pound mark. After about ninety minutes the wind got steadily stronger and it became increasingly difficult holding the pole , as a consequence bites began to tail off and i felt that by using expanders my hookbait was getting wafted around so i decided to use my heavier pellets which would help me present a static bait this worked extremely well and i was back catching carp again .

As i approached the final hour of my session i decided to set up another swim towards my right and start my feeding approach again but this time using 4mm pellets as i wanted to see what response i would get using just these , to be honest it was a bit inconclusive as i caught the same stamp of carp and a similar amount as on my other swim but it did take a bit longer to get going .After three hours i called time on my fishing and had really enjoyed working things out as the session progressed ,it is surprising how changing little things can have a big impact on your fishing and i ended up catching a dozen carp upto four ponds , a few f1s plus a solitary skimmer for nearly 50lb which i was very pleased with in the conditions although there is a few things i would still like to try .

Below is a short video on todays fishing trip i hope you enjoy it ,


Sycamore fishery open match Rowans canal

Rowans canal peg 28 , October 25th


After last week’s struggle at Partridge lakes i decided to let the fishing there settle down a bit which would hopefully be soon and choose to go to Sycamore fishery instead i hadn’t been back there since my mini meltdown after an evening match around three months ago but felt it was the right time for a return , with the extra hour in bed i was up mega earlier and as per usual i was the first to arrive but at least this gave me chance to have a walk round the match canals to see if anything had changed i was glad to see that the path around the canals had been done as it can get quite waterlogged during the autumn months , plus i also wanted to check where the fish was showing themselves i noticed that there was some occasional bubbling coming up from the 3ft deep lines on either channel especially on the thirty numbered pegs which is usually a good area to be in any way .

On getting back to the cabin i booked on all the usual faces were in attendance and it soon came round to draw time , i was a bit disappointed with the turnout as only twelve had turned up so they put us all on Rowan canal which was fishing the best  but a match is a match and as it turned out i was last to pick with peg 28 Rowan sticking to my mitt not the best area to be in but i should be able to catch a few if im lucky . The weather leading up to today’s match was a bit indifferent to say the least with plenty of rain and cold overnight temps even a touch of ground frost for the first time this year it was also calm and bright not your ideal conditions , yesterdays match here was won with just fifty pounds so i expected a similar weight to be needed today which with the stamp of fish in here you wouldn’t need a great deal and every bite matters .


I had decided to try a new method today which was dobbing because this seems to be the best time of year to give it a whirl and to be honest it isn’t something that i had even given much thought in the past but if it can pick you up a few extra fish then every little helps i felt that here would be an ideal place to start with the big carp hugging the far-bank reeds .

Dobbing rig , plumbed up along the far-bank and found an average depth of around 2.5ft so i set my rig to start at 2ft which would be six-inch of the deck i also had quite a long lash between pole + float this would enable me to keep the pole tip out-of-the-way in the clear shallow water ,float was a 4×10 malman roob which had two number 11 stotz down the rig and I’m not to sure this was the right float to use a heavier one might have been better my main line was a more robust 0.14 garbo this would allow for a slower fall of the hook bait and i had a 4 inch 0.12 hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook attached .

Pellet rig set at three-foot which was where i had earlier seen the fish bubbling , i used a 4×12 malman roob float which had a spread bulk above the short 4 inch hook length line was the usual 0.12 garbo and main line was 0.14 garbo .

Channel maggot rig , i was surprised to find under five foot as the deepest part of the peg which was a good bit shallower than the other side so i wasn’t too sure that it would work today and i used a RW slim float the shotting pattern was a bulk with two droppers my main line was 014 garbo with a 012 garbo six-inch hook length which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook attached .

Elastic on all rigs was my orange size ten matrix hollow which is ideal for this time of year .

Bait for the day was the usual ;

Two pints of red and white maggots

One pint of micros

Small tub of 4mm pellets

One slice of steamed and rolled bread cut into four pieces .

As the all in sounded i put a piece of punched bread on my hook and pushed my rig out towards the right of my swim where there was a nice patch of overhanging reeds the ideal place i thought to get me a fish or two , i lowered my rig in a gap between them and after about five minutes i had my first bite which took me a bit by surprise because there was no signs of any fish being present before it buried of course i missed it thought . I re baited the hook then shipped back out to the same place this time i was a bit more on the ball as it soon flew under and my first fish dobbing was a mirror carp nearly 5lb which was a good start , it took me a bit longer to get my next fish which was an f1 about a pound this took the hook bait just as i was lifting the rig and at first i thought it was foul hooked but the hook was right in the middle of the top lip , i then had a spell of missed bites which began doing my head in as no matter what i did i couldn’t hit them and after moving a bit further in front of me i then managed another carp which was similar size to the other one .

After an hour i had over 10lb in the net which was the start to the match i wanted as those anglers within eye shot seemed to be struggling and i know decided to target my peg with the more usual tactics starting with my 3ft pellet line i planned on feeding this swim by tapping in some micros rather than my usual dump of bait because i didn’t want to over feed in the cold conditions , after working my rig and tapping some micros in every couple of minutes i was still bite less so i decided to feed a bit heavier by filling a small cad pot full of micros then lowering my rig in over the top then keeping it really still this is a tactic that has worked well for me on other waters but this also failed to work which was a bit puzzling , I set up another line to my right in the same depth before starting again i began with the same feeding regime but yet again i was still bite less no matter what i tried and before i knew it over an hour had passed without me adding to my net .

All the time i had thrown a dozen maggots on to my channel swim at six meters so with nothing else working for me i had no option other than to go on it a bit earlier than i would have liked , first drop on it and my float had only just settled before it dipped under with a 10 oz f1 hitting the net which was a bit more promising i missed my next bite but by working out how to lay my rig in as the fish wanted i managed a little run of fish for half an hour but i then started foul hooking or bumping them off and this must have disrupted the shoal because they seemed to drift off , as i had caught a few fish on maggot down the track i decided to re-try my far-bank 3ft line with the same bait i altered my shotting pattern for a more staggered bulk and only trickled the maggots in but yet again i struggled to get a bite on either of my swims across which was strange as i was catching at 2ft when dobbing with bread .

I had noticed a couple of people on the other bank catching a few carp along the near shelf and it’s always worth keeping an eye on how your fellow anglers are getting on , i decided to follow suit and plumbed up a line on either side of me using top 2 plus 2 after a couple of feeds with maggots i managed a solitary carp about 3lb on my left hand swim before another long period of inactivity it seemed there was a lack of fish down this part of the canal , I had continued to feed my track line and i hopped that the f1s had settled back on it but they hadn’t as all i could catch were small chub not a good sign .

As we was fast approaching the last hour of the match and with me being well out of contention for a framing position i decided to spend the remaining minutes back dobbing bread because this was my only line which had produced a prolonged run of bites and as i hadn’t done a great deal of it i could do with the practise , yet again i started at 14m to my right four-inch off the deck i had another decent carp virtually straight away and just maybe if i could get another five i had an outside chance of getting in the money because they seemed to be a decent stamp using this tactic . By changing to two pieces of punch on the hook and leaving more bristle showing i slowly began to add some fish to my net i really had to work at it though altering depths before trying every little nook and cranny , with ten minutes left i felt that i needed a couple more fish but unfortunately i lost another big carp but i did manage one right on the whistle and with only 36lb on the clicker i was sure that i hadn’t done enough .

Hind sight is a lovely thing though because i reckon if i had stayed dobbing all match i would have caught enough to frame because low 50lb nets got second +third with 70lb winning and my net went just under 40lb which was a bit more than i had thought , it was still puzzling why my pellet lines didn’t really kick of today as they failed to produce a solitary bite and i felt that the depth of my channel swim might have been the reason why the fish didn’t want to settle but i couldn’t be certain . I have decided to fish the big open at Weston pools next Sunday its been awhile since my last visit and I’m quite looking forward to it just hope the weather isn’t to bad .


fishing plans

After getting my notifications the other day on which fisho tickets that i was successful in getting at Moorlands and Partridge lakes  it looks like i will be spending my summer on the later with a fisho qualifier and two maver match this on their this year , but before that I’m really looking forward to my first visit to Tunnel Barn Farm on the three-day festival and it will be nice fishing somewhere that i have read an awful lot about as nearly every F1 article in the fishing magazines has taken place on there .

I have also decided to enter a team in the Angling times supercup for the first time this year after my exploits with Farnworth tackle in 2014 and our home venue is at Sycamore fisheries where we have all done well so lets hope we get a home draw and make it past the first couple of rounds , i also intend on contesting a few different open matches with venues like Herronbrook , Old hough and Lindholme being on my radar so after leaving my Balmoral AC it looks like i will be keeping myself rather busy .

This weekend I’m off to the Cunneries on Saturday to contest the open match which is taking place on the old canal were I haven’t been for nearly two years  then on the Sunday im off to Heskin hall for a bit of silver bashing and a catch up with my mate The Big Dipper , so lets hope for a good couple of days with plenty bites .

Partridge lakes

Peg 59 covey three , January 3rd


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

1 pint red and white maggots plus a few pinkies

1/2 pint soaked micros

1/2 pint dark ground-bait

small tub 4mm expanders normal and white

slice of bread with 4mm punch for dobbing

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

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

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

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


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

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



Sycamore fishery

Peg 18 Silver birch , 24th June

A bit of a different blog for you to read today , as i was left at home looking after the kids while my wife was away at work which meant i couldn’t get on the bank as much as i would have liked , so i light-heartedly suggested to my little lad who is only six if he wanted to go fishing for a few hours and to my amazement he jumped at the chance because  i thought it would be a real challenge dragging him away from his tablet and cartoon network but he wanted to go and he was even telling all his friends at school how he was going to catch a whopper .


On my way home from work i picked up a pint of maggots and sorted out a bit of fishing gear it will make a nice change travelling light and not taking a barrow load of gear , so after picking up the lad from school and getting changed then off we headed to sycamore fishery but after the recent sunny weather it was forecast for a few scattered showers so when it started drizzling on the way their i wasn’t expecting it to last long .

There was only a couple of other anglers on the complex and i presumed most people would be watching the england football team get beat in the world cup yet again , so we settled on Silver birch and with little in the way of breeze we choose peg 18 .There was plenty of fish topping along the far-bank but that didn’t concern me because i couldn’t see my little lad holding 13 meters of pole , so we concentrated on just the top kit and after plumbing up to find the required 3ft depth off we started .


After getting my little lad in a comfy place for holding the pole i began flicking a few maggots at the float every few minutes the fish were swirling even at this close range and the float was getting knocked about all over the place , so i decided to try shallow which worked a treat and he began getting lots of bites . Of course he was missing plenty of them because he was using the top kit more like a whip , the ones he was connecting with were the ones that ripped his elastic out and the look on his face the first time the top kit nearly got pulled out of his little hands was priceless .


After about twenty minutes the rain started getting a bit stronger and i was just waiting for him to ask to go home but surprisingly he ignored it all , as he was really enjoying himself and apart from a couple of lapses of concentration when he got side tracked with the ducks he couldn’t take his eyes of the float . Towards the hour mark i felt he had caught enough and didn’t want to over do it on only his second ever fishing trip , he was definitely getting in the swing of things and even saved the biggest fish for the last with a 2 lb mirror carp making its way to the net .


All in all he caught ten f1s plus a 2 lb stockie for about 15 lb and he really enjoyed himself which made my day so i treated him to a mcds on the way home , i am not going to push him into going again but if he asks to go then i will be keen to take him because i never had anybody show me how to fish and it would be nice to have another angler in the family .


Off to Partridge lakes on Saturday to contest the Maver match this which was a bit of a last-minute decision but i just hope i make a better job of it this year and lets hope for a good draw .

Sycamore fishery

27th Oct , peg 37 ROWANS

Today was the second round of my Autumn-winter series of matches , taking place at Sycamore fishery on Rowans canal but with a full pond of anglers and the water level going up a foot since Tuesday plus the fore cast stormy weather , I wasn’t expecting the fishing to be very good with a mid twenty pound winning weight .

On arrival at the venue we where greeted to sodden ground all over the complex after the heavy over night rain ,but at the moment we had blue sky’s and a light breeze towards the car park but as you will find out later it was definitely the calm before the storm . Because we was here early yet again !! I took the opportunity to take my travelling companion John for a look round as he had only fished two of the waters on here .

When we got back to the car park a lot of the anglers fishing my match where present and people being on time , paying without me asking is something i could get used too and just hope it continues next year when my club season starts in May . Any way back to today’s match and with every one present I began the draw , the only section I didn’t really want to be in was the one with flyer peg 40 in and guess what I was left with in the bag number 37 , not the best of starts to the day and I even had the lad who won the last match on Gwens canal at hall lane in my section so I was up against it today .

After wadding through the muddy puddles I finally made it to my peg and my section had the worst of the wind which could make presentation problematic if it got any stronger, but to be honest I was in an area which produces results in the open matches so I should hope fully catch a few today .

Taking into account on what I had learned from last weeks match on here , I decided to target ;

Margin with it only being 2ft deep I decided to use a malmans diamond patterned float which had a spread bulk starting 6 inch above the 0.10 garbo line which had a size 20 gamma black hook because I expected to be using mainly maggots today .

4m after plumbing up I found a depth of three-foot at the top of the slope and this area is where I expected to catch for most of the match , going from previous experiences on here . I used a 4×12 malmans winter wire which had a spread bulk of number 10 stotz starting 8 inch from the size 20 gamma black hook , I had noticed that spreading the stotz 2 inch apart got better indications and i was using a 0.10 garbo hook length and 0.12 garbo main line .

5m this was at the bottom of the near side slope , it was four-foot deep here so i used a heavier float which would hope fully give me more control over the float in the wind and would allow me to drag my rig up the slope slightly to keep my bait still . I used a 4×14 malmans winter wire with my usual spread bulk starting 8 inch from the 0.10 garbo hook length , my main line was 0.12 garbo and my hook was a size 20 gamma black hook .

11m I plumbed up to find the bottom of the far shelf and it was 5 ft deep here , so a 4×16 malmans speedy float were used which had a thicker tip because my eyes struggle to pick up winter wires at distance unless in calm conditions , yet again i used a spread bulk of number 10 stotz starting 8 inch above my 0.10 garbo hook length and 0.12 garbo main line but this time i used a size 18 gamma pellet hook because i was expecting to use pellet on this line .

My elastic of choice theses days for f1 fishing is size 10 orange matrix because it allows the fish to swim away from your feeding area before getting it under control with the pulla kit .

Bait was the usual ;

1 pint mags

1/2 pint soaked micros

1/2 pint sweet fish meal ground-bait

Small tub 4mm expanders

As the all in sounded I went out on to my 4m line with a single maggot on the hook and as expected it took me a while to entice my first bite and for a change I managed to hit the little dink which resulted in a 1lb f1 , but no matter what I did with my rig or feed I couldn’t tempt another sign !!!!

Thinking that the fish could have dropped further down the slope I tried my 5m rig and this also produced a quick fish but with only two fish coming in the first hour I was up against it . Worse was to come with heavy rain and strengthening wind , a few brollys took a battering but my little bait brolly stood up well to the test which was a good job or my maggots would have done an escaping act .

Another change of line was in order this time to my right hand margin , were I had flicked a few maggots every five minutes and first drop another big f1 , then I foul hooked one in the pectoral fin which must have weakened the hook length because on my next fish it snapped and this disturbance caused my swim to die on me as is usual on here .

So yet again another change of swim was in order , so this time i tried my eleven meter line but this time with pellets and it took a couple of feeds to get my first bite but after lifting and dropping i got the slightest of dink which resulted in a f1 gracing my net , a further three followed before the wind and the sun prevented me from seeing the indications . I tried using maggots on the hook because f1s usually hang on to them a bit longer to enable you to connect with the bites easier , but after struggling with the strengthening wind I decided to stop fishing this line with fear of breaking my pole because I had heard two snap in the previous fifteen minutes .

For the rest of the match I had two lines left for me to fish which were my five meter and margin , by swapping between them both I finally put a run of fish together . But I did deep hook a couple on my five meter line as I had to go over depth to keep the bait still long enough to get a bite , so I was probably getting indications that I wasn’t seeing in the conditions and I could only pick up the odd fish from the margin but they was twice the size of any I caught else where in my peg .

When the all out sounded I was a bit disappointed with how my match had gone , I don’t think that their was enough feeding fish present in my peg to compete against the end pegs and my best swim i could only fish in bursts because of the wind but I had at least beat both sides of me so that proves I fished well and worked hard for my fish today .

Me , Dave boss baits and John started the weigh in and it was plain to see that as expected it had fished hard , but all the sections were even with most only having 1lb between first and second so although it may have been a difficult day it was the same for every one .

Section A Darren Clough peg 21 15lb 4oz

Section B John Unsworth peg 29 12lb 11oz

Section C Mike Henshaw peg 31 16lb 11oz

Section D Dave boss baits peg 39 21lb 8oz

I ended up with 14lb 8oz from only 12 fish which got be fifth out of the twenty anglers today , but only third in my section ,I have a lot to think about after this match because im not sure if i am over working my peg and putting too much bait in all over the place . Special mention must go to Dave from Boss baits because he set his stall out to fish tight across to the island all match and struggled with the wind although from where i was sitting his diawa g20 coped with it extremely well , he has also won the first two matches of the series and is on a role , we will have to see if some one can put an end to it just hope its me .

peg 21 Darren 15lb 4oz section win

peg 22 Jordan 11lb 15oz

peg 23 Brian 12lb 6oz

peg 24 Allen 11lb 13oz

peg 25 Martyn 14lb 6oz section 2nd

peg 26 Tim 9lb 7oz

peg 27 Tony 11lb 14oz section 2nd

peg 28 Kenny baxter dnw

peg 29 John 12lb 11oz section win

peg 30 Bob 11lb 5oz

peg 31 Mike 16lb 11oz section win

peg 32 Kenny baxter dnw

peg 33 Chris 12lb 14oz

peg 34 Chris b 14lb 12oz section 2nd

peg 35 Rob 12lb 13oz

peg 36 Steve dnw

peg 37 Gary 14lb 8oz section 2nd by default

peg 38 Aidy dnw

peg 39 Dave 21lb 8oz section win

peg 40 Mac 17lb 15oz

Also i must mention my travelling companion John who picked up his section today fishing against some good anglers from my Balmoral club and been winning a few matches on his local water , he has only been with me for less than a year and is coming on really well picking up all the little tricks . So very well done mate and i expect you to be challenging me in the club next year , have been teaching you to well .