Partridge lakes winter league teams of four

March 12th

Today was the penultimate round of the teams of four winter league at Partridge lakes and our 2+2 team was languishing in the bottom third of the league after some pretty average draws at best , but it was still a great experience fishing against some top-notch sponsored anglers and partridge regulars plus it gave me a chance to fish on the old lakes which no doubt helped me to compete in the individual winter league held here where i managed to finish 13th out of the 75 anglers .

At last the weather had showed signs of improving with temperatures rising slightly during the week although we had a cold wind to contend with today but as i arrived at the complex it was rather warm and i had to take a couple of layers off before i met up with the rest of the lads near the cabin , the captain decided to do the draw today and we all prayed for some decent pegs for a change but it looked like we had upset the draw gods as yet again we had some shocking pegs ;

Willow peg eight not great and 4th in section at best .

Spey peg eighteen can be good if the wind is blowing that way but surprise-surprise it wasnt .

Covey five 119 for the third time this winter league 4th in section at best .

Covey six 153 probably the worst peg in the section and my home for the next few hours .

After driving round to the back car-park near Holbar i started un loading my gear out the car and after speaking to a couple of Partridge regulars who was sat on the better pegs in my section , i went round to my peg and i had a reed lined far bank about 13m away but i also had a hill behind me which would make shipping back a bit awkward especially if i needed to chase the fish out of my peg , the wind was blowing from right to left but it shouldn’t cause much of a problem if it stayed the same but as usual when the all in sounded it increased dramatically.

As i didn’t really fancy my chances of getting good section points i choose to use todays contest to practice my pellet fishing and set up a couple of rigs to cover my options ;

Three foot rig which was about a foot away from the far-bank and surprisingly it plumbed up really nice because i managed to find three flat areas , i used a 4×12 malman roob which had an inch spread bulk starting above the short four inch 010 garbo hook length and i also set up a 4×10 rw maggie float which had a few number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Channel swim which i positioned at nine meters either side of me and i plumbed up to find a touch over five foot so i used a 4×14 malman roob which had an inch spread bulk starting above the short four inch 010 garbo hook length and i also set up a 4×12 rw maggie float which had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern along the 014 garbo main line with a six-inch 010 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

1 pint of soaked micros

1 pint of soaked 4mm pellets

1 pint of crushed expander groundbait

Small tub of 2+4mm expanders

I started the match by loose feeding half a dozen 4mm pellets along my left hand margin and then fed a golf ball of groundbait onto my left hand channel swim , before finally i could get fishing and shipped out to my far bank directly in front of me , after tapping in half a dozen micros i lowered my rig over the top and no sooner had my float settled than it dipped under as a small chub had taken a liking for my 4mm expander but at least i was off the mark , by being careful with my feeding and keeping the rig still directly over the top of it i managed to catch eight f1s in a forty minute spell before the bites began to tail off . I plumbed up another swim along the far bank towards my left and i fed a few micros while i was doing so , i let it settle for a bit and had a quick look onto my margin swim where i had been loose feeding six 4mm pellets but a bite less ten minutes had me going back across onto my new swim , i didn’t have to wait too long before i began getting indications and i had another run of five f1s which was no doubt down to the fact that i was being a bit more patient today than i usually am , i was just getting into the swing of things when i managed to stupidly loose a big f1 under my platform which was easy to do when I’m using the short shallow kits and this trashed my rig but it turned out to be a bit of a god send as it allowed me to change to a float with a slightly thicker tip because with the wind getting stronger i was struggling to see the little dinks on the bristle .

The disturbance of replumbing up killed my original across swim so i decided to put in another line towards my right which was further away from where i thought most of the fish would be because they had been situated in the bowl towards my left nearly all winter but i noticed that when i hooked an f1 it would go in the opposite direction towards peg 151 , after a couple of feeds i began catching fish again but they was only small stockies and i choose to rotate my two far bank swims picking up a couple from each before switching, it was noticeable that the bigger stamp was found on my left hand swim and if the wind relented enough i picked up my lighter 4×10 rig this got me a few nice f1s taking my hook bait just as my float settled but i couldn’t use it that often due to the conditions .

Before i knew it we was into the last forty minutes and i had a look on my track swim , i had twenty minutes earlier fed it with a golf ball of ground-bait no sooner had my rig settled than it buried and i managed five fish before the all out including a couple of ghosties . I really enjoyed my match today even though i was up against it from the start but i suppose thats what happens when your not under that much pressure , i hadn’t done a great deal of soft pellet fishing in the last few months and knew that i could improve on a few things today but i still managed to catch 34 f1s which went a shade over 40lb this put me third in section as peg 157 had 48lb and 155 had 50lb , yet again the team had another bad round getting 17 points which was only to be expected from our poor draw .

Having a weekend away from Partridge lakes my first in about three months as I’m fishing the charity match at cunneries fishery on Saturday and a team match Sunday at Widdows .



Bradshaws lake four , inter club challenge

January 28th , peg twenty lake four


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 .


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 .


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 .


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 .


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 .


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 .