Weston pools fishery


September 16th

I decided to have a change of venue today and headed off to Weston Pools Fishery for a bit of practice before next week’s natural bait festival which i am contesting for the third year running and i seem to be improving on every one of them so fingers crossed it will continue for me , with the recent drop in temperature and cold rain going in the lakes I expected the fishing to be quite tough as you are targeting mainly carp+barbel but I always enjoy fishing this venue and to be honest it is my favorite match water because it’s totally different from anywhere in the north-west i just wish it was a few miles closer .

On my arrival to Weston pools I booked on to the match then had a quick walk around belvedere and i noticed that the fishery staff had done a lot of work removing overhanging branches + general tidying up the banks in readiness for the upcoming festival , this was the only water that I wanted to be on as the other two lakes in the rover wasn’t going to be in next weekend and to be honest i have always struggled on this lake for some reason so i could do with the practice even if it did mean i had little chance of framing today , after taking note of a few pegs that i fancied i made my way back to the cabin stopping off on the way to talk too a few friendly faces who i hadn’t seen for quite some time and when i finally got there it was nearly draw time , I managed to pull out ball eight which meant i was mid way in the queue for a pick and one by one all the best pegs went.

When it came to my turn I decided to settle on peg 22 belvedere which although wasnt a fancied peg it did give me a bit of room and to be honest there isn’t much point sitting on a flyer because you don’t learn a great deal plus i would be very unlikely to sit on one in the festival with so many draw bags in attendance , I set up a few rigs to cover my options ;

Top kit line between your nets which is usually a banker method on here for the barbel , even though it was only a touch over three-foot deep i used a 4×16 joof float with all the bulk above my 4 inch hook length to get the bait to the deck really quickly .

Bottom of the near slope at three meters were it was around five foot deep and i used a 4×14 joof float with a staggered bulk starting above my four-inch 014 garbo hook length .

Margin rig top three towards my left in 18 inches of water at the side of some reeds which was the shallowest water i could find and i used a 0.4 MD margin munter float , my main line was 0.17 garbo and hook length 0.16 garbo which had a size 14 guru lwg hook .

Six meter rig for fishing on the deck under my shallow line and my float was a 4×12 joof float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern .

Two shallow rigs set at two foot + one foot , my floats were a 4×10 MD mini mag with a small bulk above a four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was;

3 pints of casters

2 pints of corn and hemp

2 pints of corn

When the all in sounded I fed my top three-line with half a cupping kit full of corn+hemp mix and while it settled I had a quick look on my top kit for hopefully a quick couple of barbel but this just produced a small silver with no more bites or liners that was a waste of time but i would keep dropping on it now + again during the match , I then went on to my top three swim and had a bite almost straight away which I pulled out of, then I hooked something a bit bigger which after a spirited fight snapped my 6lb hook length after spending the last few months just catching f1’s i needed to get my head around this style of fishing were they pulled back a bit ! !

After an hour I had next to nothing in the net so I went on my shallow six meter swim which I had primed from the start feeding a dozen casters every few minutes but all this just produced was hand sized silvers so you can safely say so far it wasn’t going to well  , i did try my deck rig underneath my shallow swim but this just produced line bites and maybe i should have set up a new rig for fishing at half depth .

Two hours of the match had already passed and i had about ten pounds in the net so I re-plumbed a new swim at top four towards my right at the bottom of the slope , after feeding some corn+hemp through a large kinder pot i began getting the odd bite from decent fish and topping up every time i caught one worked remarkably well as I had a good run of carp+barbel right up to the all out , but I lost a lot of fish today and i even did a bit of squirreling lol no doubt this was due to the fact that i wasnt used to playing fish of this size which pulled back a bit .

When the all out sounded I ended up with just short of 60lb this was good enough for third on the lake + fifth overall but with just 74lb coming third in the match it was a missed opportunity for me today and i really need to start taking these chances when they present themselves , I had probably fished my worst match in a long time today but at least I had got it out-of-the-way and I learned quite a bit which is my main reason for going.

I’m looking forward to spending most of the week re doing hook lengths and making new rigs in preparation of the natural bait festival next weekend which is always my highlight of the fishing season before it turns to scratching for bites on the multiple winter leagues i am doing this year .

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Weston pools fishery


July 8th

I made a bit of late decision this week as i choose to fish the Match anglers Matches qualifier at Weston pools which was due to be split over Stretton and Belvedere , with thirty anglers due to attend we would still have plenty of room and to be honest i was really looking forward to it as Weston pools is my favourite fishery i can’t really explain why as it is just lots of little things which build up to a fantastic fishing experience . I was up bright and early to meet up with another Daiwa Adlington team member then made the sixty mile trip to the venue which as usual went smoothly with it being nearly all motorway travel , on arrival i booked onto the match picked up some fishery pellets and then found out their had been a bit of a mix up with the draw time with it being an hour later than planned but at least it would give me some time to grab a buttie from the on site café before having a look at the lakes in the draw bag , the match results during the week showed that the complex had been fishing really well which was only to be expected and to be honest i quite fancied a go on Stretton pool as i had always done well on their it would also suit my all out pellet approach .

On arrival back to the cabin i had a quick chat with a few lads i had not seen in a while and before i knew it the draw was due to take place , when it came round for my turn in the bag of doom i pulled out 29 on belvedere my golden arm had well and truly deserted me for the time being i just hope it returns soon , if you don’t know the peg it was in the bay behind the tackle shop a good area if it was winter as it is a bit deeper than the other end of the lake but in today’s nice sunny conditions i reckoned it could be a bit of a struggle and to make things worse i had the lake flyer in my section so i was also up against it for qualifying for the final because all you had to do was win against your five anglers to make it to Herronbrook fishery .

When i got to my home for the next few hours it did look a bit promising as i had ;

an empty peg either side

an aerator at 11m to my left

some over hanging reeds in my left hand margin which was within throwing distance .

The only really down side apart from the depth was the fact that it wasnt that wide and with another angler almost directly opposite i could only go out about 11m otherwise we would be doing a bit of sword fighting with the poles .

I decided to set up ;

top three directly in front of me where it was four-foot deep and i used a 4×12 md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread down my 014 garbo main line , attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo hook length and my hook was a size 18 lwg with a micro bait band .

top four were on plumbing up i found the crease in the bottom at five foot before it started dropping off again and i used  a 4×12 md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread down my 014 garbo main line ,attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo hook length and my hook was a size 18 lwg with a micro bait band

left hand margin in between the over hanging reeds were it was three-foot deep tight to the boards and i used a diamond pattern md float with an inch spread bulk along the 014 garbo main line starting above the six-inch 012 garbo hook length .

right hand margin at the side of the empty peg it was 3.5ft deep near the front leg and i used a diamond pattern md float with an inch spread bulk along the 014 garbo main line starting above the six-inch 012 garbo hook length .

two shallow rigs at 1ft+2ft and i used a 0.2 md mini mag float because there was a lot of under tow coming from the aerator .

i also set up a 9ft carp master tip rod with a small bomb as i would only be flicking it towards the aerator just in case there might be a couple of barbel or carp lurking about .

Bait for the day was a nice simple pellet match ;

3 pints of 4mm fishery pellets but would have been better with 6mm

3 pints of 8mm fishery pellets

small tub of mixed hard pellets

When the all in sounded i began fishing on my top three directly in front of me and i was throwing a couple of 8mm pellets around my float every few minutes to try to draw some fish into my swim , this was a usually a good tactic on here but you do need to be patient and confident in your approach . It didn’t take too long before i began getting the odd indication and soon after i had my first fish which was a carp about four pounds but slowly but surely i began putting some fish in the net they was all a decent stamp to which i expected in this area of the lake , with an hour of the match gone i started getting bites which i struggled to connect with so i tried a smaller 6mm on the hook this just resulted in some hand sized crucians+stockies which wasnt a good sign . I switched rigs to my deeper one and added on another section to see if they had dropped further down the slope and this seemed to work as i caught a couple of big f1s but when the stockies moved in it was time to try somewhere different , i had been loose feeding 4mm pellets on my left hand margin in among the reeds and although it was a bit early in the match i decided to give it a try , i started on the deck and would go shallow if i got any liners but after half an hour i had not even had a bite not exactly what i had planned although i would keep feeding it as i hoped they would turn up at some point during the match .

Since the all in i had pinging some pellets at eight meters and although i hadn’t seen any fish swirling on them i decided to give my shallow rigs a go , i started on my deepest rig and kept laying my rig in through the feed but apart from a couple of stockies it was a complete waste of time which was probably due to the close proximity of the aerator making my rig tow through un naturally , so that rig went up the bank and i flicked out the straight lead on top of where i had fed but after twenty minutes my tip had not even twitched so it seemed there wasnt a great deal in front of me at the moment . For the next couple of hours i put next to nothing in the net even though i had rotated all my lines and things wasnt looking good and it’s not as if the other anglers either side of me were catching a great deal just the odd fish , we was fast approaching the last ninety minutes and in the back of my mind i had a niggling feeling that the fish were happy on the four-foot line so i put on another section and plumbed up either side of me but as it was a bit further away from me , i couldn’t get the accuracy throwing so i had to kinder pot the pellets in and it took me awhile to build the swims up but when i did i was back catching carp including some approaching the 8lb mark understandably i lost a few fish as they fight remarkably hard due to the high oxygen levels in the water .

When the all out sounded i was kicking myself for not switching earlier but at least i had managed a few fish as i had 80lb on my clicker although i doubted that it would be enough for me to challenge for the section win and after packing up i went to see how my mate had got on down the other end of belvedere , as i walked down i asked how the other anglers had got on in my section the lad on the flyer was admitting to a similar weight as he had struggled losing a lot of fish in the lily pads , the scales finally arrived at my peg my three nets went a couple of ounces short of 80lb so for a change i wasnt that far off with my clicker and i had nearly doubled the weight of the anglers either side of me which was promising but the lad on the pads managed 85lb so i had just missed out on qualifying , it seemed that the lack of barbel in the area had cost me as nearly everyone on the lake had caught at least twenty pounds of them and for some reason my banker margins never produced either plus i was kicking myself for not putting in a couple of new lines in at four-foot a bit earlier but that’s the way it goes sometimes i am sure my time will come .

Weston pools fishery , spring festival


May 27th

Today i headed down to the hugely impressive Weston pools fishery in Oswestry to contest the three-day spring festival and i was really looking forward to it as it’s probably my favorite fishery because every lake on the complex is out of the ordinary with a large head of different species including barbel , all of them are extremely hard fighting which is no doubt down to the high oxygen levels in the water due to the aerators being left on all the time .

After another early start i had a pretty stress free journey down arriving with plenty time to spare before i needed to book on , so i went for a quick walk around the complex to see if anything had changed since my last visit a couple of months ago where i struggled on Belvidere but the conditions wasnt great for catching carp+barbel and every lake looked immaculate , apart from canal which they had to shut due to a problem with the water this was a shame i usually do quite well on it and this meant they had to rejig the pegging for the festival we also strangely had a few no shows .On arriving back to the cabin i had a chat with a few of the local lads that i hadn’t seen for a while and there was a lot of sponsored anglers knocking about plus nearly all the Welsh national squad so you could say it was going to be a tough but enjoyable couple of days ,when everything had been sorted there would be a straight draw today with ten anglers on weir+belvedere and twelve on stretton+clay pit , the second day would be another straight draw with all the lakes in except clay pit so it would be very tightly pegged and the last day would be the opposite rotation to the first day .

Day one

It was soon time for the draw and we had a minute’s silence for the people who lost their lives in the Manchester bombing the previous week which was a nice touch ,then the usual scramble ensued to try to get an early dip and i hung back towards the rear and when it was my turn to have a pick in the bag of doom i pulled out peg 17 on Weir , which i was reasonably pleased with as i got my best weight from this lake during the natural bait festival last year and after unpacking my gear i had a short walk to find my home for the next few hours , on arrival i found that i was one away from the aerator but like every peg on here i had two long reed lined margins plus plenty open water and another thing i like about this lake is the fact that you can’t really see many anglers around the lake so you can just concentrate on whats going on in front of you .

I decided to set up ;

top four line where i would be fishing corn so used a 4×14 MD diamond float with a wire stem because the tow can be quite bad on here and i hoped this would make it more stable , i had an inch spread bulk starting above the six-inch 012 garbo hook length .

13m line where i was going to fish casters on the deck and used a 4×14 MD roob style float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was a six-inch 012 garbo .

Shallow for fishing over the top of my long line i had two rigs set up one at 1ft the other at 2ft , on both i had a MD mini mag float which had a few number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo and hook length was a six-inch 012 garb

margin rig at the side of the reeds at four meters where i found a flat area in three-foot and with it being relatively protected from the wind i used a 4×12 MD maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern spread along the 014 garbo main line and my hook length was a six-inch 012 garbo .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of corn

2 pints of casters

2 pints of fishery 4mm pellets

tub of assorted hard hook pellets

When the all in sounded i began on my four meter line as this was where i caught most of my fish the last time that i was on here and i deposited a large kinder pot full of corn then tried to keep my rig still over the top of it but it was towing quite badly so i needed to re adjust my rig to add a few inch of line on the deck , it took awhile for me to start getting indications which i kept missing but persevered with it as i expected the carp to turn up sooner or later but apart from a small stockie and a big skimmer the first hour was a waste of time . I had been loose feeding casters on my long line since the start and i began seeing a few swirls so i took the opportunity to pick up my shallow rig this produced a couple of decent ide straight away but then i kept missing bites which usually mean there all small fish present when using banded casters , i tried alternating the depths but never got back in touch with the fish so i dropped onto the deck underneath my shallow line and this produced a couple of barbel and f1s but it wasnt really working for me .

With half the match gone and not a great deal in the net i choose to drop onto my left hand margin were i had fed some pellets every thirty minutes since the match started and i hoped that it would produce to get me out of trouble although it was noticeable that it was fishing hard today so i wasnt that far behind ,i began picking up the odd f1 and big crucian in the next hour but i needed to catch the carp if i was going to pull back on those anglers in my section . I had purposely left my right hand margin alone which is where my empty peg was so that it would be a safe area for the carp to back off into , i changed my bait to an 8mm pellets and taped in half a dozen 4mm pellets so i was fishing for one carp at a time and i set myself a target of ten before the all out , doing this worked really well for me as i managed seven big fish in the next hour before they backed off and i added on an extra section going towards the point of the margin this got me back among the fish but only f1s+stockies .

When the hooter sounded to signal the all out i felt that i hadn’t done enough to be in chance with getting the section as i had fifty pounds on my clicker plus my silvers  , after packing up a had a chat with the other anglers in my section it seemed that a few had struggled but a couple admitted to a similar weight to me so it could be close and when the scales arrived at my peg 75lb was winning which also won the lake , my three nets went 62lb this put me second in section right to the Welsh international Darren frost who had 66lb so that pushed me back down to third and out of the default section money not the start of the festival i wanted although i did end up 5th on weir , but i did learn a great deal and i needed to catch silvers because all the other anglers had double figures of them which definitely cost me today .

After packing up i meet up with the rest of the anglers while we waited for the results and to do the draw for Sundays match , 166lb had won the match from peg six on stretton but Belvidere had performed the best with eight of the twelve anglers catching over 90lb and obviously i would like to be on that lake , but it looked like i had run out of luck because when i went to have a go in the bag of doom i pulled out peg 16 on weir right at the side of where i was today and with nearly every peg in on the lake it was going to be very hard work but at least i could hopefully put into practice what i had learned .

Day two 

The next day i headed off to my home for the next few hours i was a bit subdued as i expected the fishing to be a lot tougher today especially as i would be sat in the middle of five anglers and with three end pegs in my section i didn’t fancy my chances of getting good points but i would of course be giving it my best shot , after unpacking my gear i decided to set up a few rigs which i hoped would help me put the odd fish in the net and these where ;

13m line which i had decided to change to pellets and used a 4×14 MD wire stemmed float with an inch spread bulk starting above my 012 garbo four-inch hook length which had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached with a mini bait band .

Shallow for fishing over the top of my long line i had two rigs set up one at 1ft the other at 2ft , on both i had a MD mini mag float which had a few number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo and hook length was a six-inch 012 garbo that had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached with a mini bait band .

top four line which i also changed to pellets and used a 4×14 MD wire stemmed float with an inch spread bulk starting above my 012 garbo four-inch hook length which had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached with a mini bait band .

margin rig for fishing at five meters along both margins and i used a lighter float then yesterday with an MD 012 maggot float with a bulk plus dropper as i felt that i would pick up a few fish on the drop in three-foot , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached with a mini bait band .

Bait for the day was just ;

2 pints of fishery 4mm pellets

2 pints of casters

small tub of various size and colour hard pellets for the hook

When the all in sounded i decided to feed a dozen pellets on my four meter and thirteen meter swims before going onto my left hand margin shallow with banded caster because my mate who fished this lake yesterday caught a lot of silvers by doing it , i had missed out on catching these fish which cost me a better finishing position and it didn’t take to long before i began getting indications , with a couple of big ide hitting the net in the first ten minutes  i then had a run of tench and crucians which added about ten pounds to my net during my opening hour then things went a bit quiet . I kept loose feeding casters on my margin swim to try to draw the silvers back and i then had a look on my four meter line where i had kinder potted a few 4mm pellets every fifteen minutes so i expected a response straight away despite it fishing hard my float didn’t even move for half an hour not exactly what i wanted , a switch to my long line wasnt any better but by pinging three 4mm pellets every five minutes to try to draw something into the peg it took about thirty minutes before i finally caught a barbel it was very slow going all around the lake with not much being caught , so i spent  the next couple of hours rotating my swims trying to catch what i could but with two hours of the match remaining i only had about twenty pounds in the net .

I decided to spent the rest of my time on my right margin which i had purposely neglected to feed so that it would create a safe area for the carp to sit in which is usually a good ploy on a high pressured water and i tapped in a few 4mm pellets before flicking my rig out so it fell along the slope before keeping my float still over the top of it , within ten minutes i had a carp in the net and i set myself a target of catching ten of them if i was going to do any good on the lake after my slow start to the match . I kept putting some fish in the net and it was noticeable that you would often get a couple quickly before waiting ages for a bite so i decided to rotate both my margin swims to see if i could get them working for me but strangely the left hand one never got going as i only had small skimmers or gudgeon from it , this left me concentrating more on the right hand side but i needed to rest it from time to time so i kept having a look on my four meter swim directly in front of me this produced a couple of carp and by rotating between them both had me catching the odd fish , just as the all out sounded i lost a decent carp which i felt could prove costly and despite me not quite hitting my target i was sure that i had caught enough to compete in the section .

When the scales arrived at my peg 47lb was winning the section my three nets went an agonising 43lb just missing out on the section by a couple of pounds but i suppose when your luck is out your luck is out and the lost carp cost me which was only to be expected on these tight matches the section i was in only had ten pounds difference between first to last , although i felt that i had done reasonably well from the peg i was on finishing fourth on the lake and yet again i had learned quite a bit plus enjoyed the day which is the important thing . On arriving back to the cabin we had a bbq and a pint while we waited for the results to be announced before doing the draw , i was in the rotation of belvedere + stretton so at least i wouldn’t be on weir again and when it came round for my turn in the bag of doom i hoped for a decent peg so i could finally catch a few fish , when peg 12 stretton stuck to my hand i was reasonably pleased because 80lb had come of it today although yet again i would be up against it for good section points , as the lower numbers had produced all festival and the match was won from peg eight by Matt Godfrey with 130lb so there was a few fish present .

Day three

So here we go it was time for the last match of the festival and after the heavy over night rain plus grey skies i hoped that it might be a good days fishing with the fish having a feed , we was only allowed on the lakes after ten o’clock so i managed to have a quick word with a few of the anglers who had fished stretton over the last couple of days but to be honest i already had a plan in mind and was looking forward to finally catching a few fish . When the gates to the lakes opened i made my way round to peg 12 on stretton which would be my home for the next few hours and it was situated at the end of the leg meaning i had a bit of open water to target plus two empty pegs either side of me so it all looked promising , i decided to set up a few rigs to cover my options ;

13m line where it was six-foot deep and as it wasnt towing through i used a 4×12 MD maggot float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern which was spread along the 014 garbo main line , attached to it was a six-inch 012 garbo hook length with a size 18 guru lwg hook .

shallow line for fishing over the top of my long line i had two rigs set up at different depths both had a MD mini mag float with a bulk above the six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached to it was a size 18 guru lwg hook with a mini bait band as i was going to be using banded caster .

Top three-line where the shelf flattened out and i used a 4×12 MD roob styled float which had a spread bulk above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length that had a size 18 guru lwg hook with a micro bait band .

margin rig for fishing at the side of both platforms where it was 3ft deep so i used a 4×12 MD maggot float with a bulk plus dropper spread along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of fishery 4mm pellets

2 pints of casters

small tub of mixed hard pellets for the hook

When the all in sounded i had a quick look on my left hand margin at the side of the platform where i had felt a couple of fish when i plumbed up earlier and i hoped that i might snare a carp or two before they vacated my swim , i lowered my rig in so my 8mm pellet went in quietly as possible and after a couple of minutes i had an indication on the float which resulted in a hand sized crucians not exactly what i had in mind but i decided to give it another go , I’m glad that i did because my float had only just settled when a sharp lift of the pole resulted in the elastic streaming out of the pole tip and after a spirited fight i had a near double figure carp in the net . As there was still a few fish in the swim i decided to keep fishing the platform and began tapping in a few 4mm pellets from a couple of feet above the water which helped draw the carp back into the area , i kept alternating how i laid my rig in and dropping my pellet in right at the side of the bank helped me add some weight to my net but after an hour bites began to tail off .

I had a look on my top three-line towards my left and tapped in a couple of 4mm pellets before lowering my rig in slowly among it as they fell , by lifting + dropping i managed to attract a few bites first from small crucians then the odd big f1 or carp but if i over fed it the fizzing was awful causing me to have line bites of foul hooked fish and i had to keep setting up new swims , surprisingly i found it best not to feed more than two pellets at a time with an 8mm on the hook and then sit it out waiting for a proper bite this resulted in a few more carp and for the next few hours i was happy putting a few fish in the net . For the past hour i had loose fed casters quite heavily by hand at four meters towards my right hand margin where there was some over hanging vegetation and i hoped that i might catch a few f1s shallow underneath it , i started on the deck first getting bites straight away but not from the expected species as i had a raft of small ide + gudgeon and i even tried shallow which didn’t improve things so i decided to stop feeding it in case it interfered with my margin swim on that side .

With the last two hours fast approaching i decided to spend it rotating my two margin swims and i picked up some nice carp for the rest of the match but strangely my right hand side produced a much smaller stamp plus more f1s , apart from losing the odd fish and getting snapped i felt that i had fished an ok match but i couldn’t see anyone in my section so i was unsure how i had done . As i began packing my gear away a couple of my neighbours came down to see how we had got on and with us all admitting to a low eighty pounds i could be a very close run thing , when the scales arrived at my peg 91lb was winning the section i knew i hadn’t got that but my three nets went 83lb and as i followed the weighers up to the remaining anglers they both beat me by a couple of pounds pushing me down to 4th so yet again a solitary lost fish cost me second in section which was about right for my festival .

So i had finished in a disappointing 14th place with nine points and lack of recent venue knowledge cost me as it took me awhile to get back to grips with the place , but of course i still really enjoyed myself even if the fishing was not up to its usual standard although in my opinion this made the festival even better because every section was extremely tight with nearly all of those i contested being split by just ten pounds , i would like to thank Weston pools for running the festival plus all the anglers contesting the matches and i cant wait to get back there for another match .

 

 

Weston pools fishery , Weir pool


November 9th , Weir pool peg eight

Weir pool

Weir pool

After my eventful trip to Weston pools during the natural bait festival a few weeks previous i decided to venture down to Oswestry for one last time this year before my winter leagues at Partridge and Old Hough start , the match was due to be on Weir+Belvedere which is a couple of waters that i enjoy fishing although to be fair every lake on the complex can produce lots of fish and after looking at the website during the week the weights were still relatively high , so i was really eager to get there especially as the weather during the week had remained pretty constant which usually improves the fishing .

I arrived at the fishery around 845 and both car parks where heaving as there was two club matches on plus the open which just goes to show the popularity of Weston pools , i had enough time to book on for the match before grabbing a bacon buttie then having a look at the waters which were in the draw bag , there was plenty of locals knocking about plus a few familiar faces from Partridge lakes as well and it turned out that there would be thirty anglers contesting the event which made the pegging very tight so obviously a good peg would be required to do any good today . When i got back to the cabin it was soon time for the draw and as i was one of the last to book on during the week i was way down the list before it came to my turn , after what seemed like an age it was finally my go in the bag of doom and it looked like my good run had continued as i managed to pull out peg eight on Weir pool which was near where the rover match was won the day before with nearly a ton .

dsc_0047

On arrival at my home for the next few hours i had two nice reed lined margins plus plenty of open water to attack although fishing longer than eleven meters could be a bit problematic with the high banking behind preventing you from shipping back , as i began unloading my gear i noticed that nearly every peg was taken apart from two but at least we had plenty room on this lake so i hoped that it wouldn’t be that bad i decided to set up ;

Top four , this is where i caught most of my fish on my last visit here using corn so i figured this would be my main line today as well , it was a touch over four-foot deep so i used a 0.4 double deez float which would give me enough stability especially with all the shotting above the six-inch 014 hook length that had a size 14 guru hook attached .

My left hand margin was three-foot deep which was about six-inch shallower than my right so i decided to target their , i used a 0.2 double deez float which would give me enough stability especially with all the shotting above the six-inch 014 hook length that had a size 14 guru hook attached .

My long line was at eleven meters and after plumbing up i found a nice crease in between the two depths of water it also felt quite firm which was a positive sign , it was around five foot deep so i used a 0.4 roob style float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern my main line was 014 garbo which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached and as i was going to be using hard pellets i used a size 16 matrix rigger hook with a micro bait band .

For a change i had decided to bring my eight foot matrix carpmaster tip rod and i was going to cast this about 25 meters towards the aerator as i remembered reading that the carp usually back off to the middle when it gets pressured , i had a half ounce lead with an eighteen inch hook length that had a size 14 matrix rigger hook attached with a mini bait band and i would change the size of hook length to find out which was best as the match progressed .

Bait for the day was going to be for targeting carp which as it turned out was a mistake ;

Three pints of fishery 4mm pellets

Three pints of corn

One pint of fishery 8mm pellets

Small tub of mixed hard pellets for the hook

Small tub of 6mm expanders

When the all in sounded i began on my top four swim i through in a few grains of corn around the float every couple of minutes to try to draw some fish into my swim , it took about twenty minutes before i had my first indication which resulted in a foul hooked f1 not the start that i wanted as i expected some carp to be in this part of the peg so i continued putting in a few grains around the float but after an hour i still only had that one fish in the net .

I had been pinging half a dozen pellets onto my long pole since the match started so i hoped that a few f1s or carp had settled on it and i had bites straight away but not from the required species as all i could manage was a run of hand sized crucians , two hours in i only had 3lb in the net after looking around it seemed most anglers were in the same position and it was fishing totally different from the natural bait festival its surprising what a drop in temperature can do even if it was only a couple of degrees .

My next move was to pick up my tip rod and as i don’t tend to do a great deal of this style of fishing i decided to cast my straight lead which gave me something to aim at before feeding half a dozen pellets over the top , i was casting every five minutes and began getting liners straight away which was a positive sign after twenty minutes my rod was nearly pulled in with a two-pound f1 hitting the net ,by changing the size of hook lengths and different coloured pellets or semi buoyant bandums i had a good run of f1s+carp in a ninety minute spell although i didn’t get anything over three pounds but at least i was finally putting something in the net .

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After a while all the bites and liners stopped this coincided with the wind changing direction slightly blowing towards the car park , i wasnt sure if the fish had gone with it or sat in the calm but one thing was for certain they were no longer sat in front of me , i took a few turns of my line clip allowing me to cast further towards the middle but this didn’t produce any sort of indication so i decided to keep pinging the pellets and drop onto my pole lines but yet again apart from the odd crucian or ide it was a waste of time , back on my straight lead and my tip failed to even twitch there was just an hour left of the match and i was at a loss on what to do next but with no other option i began feeding my margin swims  i also fed a top three-line quite heavily with corn .

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After dropping onto my left hand margin with a 6mm expander on the hook and i had a bite out of the blue which i pulled out of then i had ten minutes without a sign , a change to my top three swim and i had an ide on corn not good but my next bite saw me land a carp about five pounds which was a bit more promising , although it must have been a loner because ten minutes of inactivity had me trying my long line this produced a couple of f1s and just as i thought i could be on for a few fish at last they vanished . This had me rotating my pole lines yet again which produced another f1 from my margin more annoyingly though is i got snapped on 014 garbo hook length from a big carp just as i was about to net it and that was that as the all out sounded in the distance , it was a shame that i couldn’t get my straight lead to work for longer but to be honest nothing really worked for me today and i put this down to being too positive with the feed expecting to be targeting a ton net of fish , i should have really been a bit more conservative and gone for the f1s because only 70lb was needed to win the match with 60lb making the frame but my 35lb was way off the mark .

So that’s my trips to Weston pools over with for another year and although i had only been a handful of times i did manage four ton weights so it is definitely one of my favourite fisheries and i can not wait to get back there when it starts warming up again but before then it is time for my winter leagues starting with a bit of silver fishing at Old Hough before the teams of four start at Partridge lakes .

Weston pools , open match on clay pit


September 4th , peg 24 Clay pit

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After yesterdays eventful match at Partridge lakes were i got properly soaked i was really looking forward to drying my gear out at the always impressive Weston pools and with the open being spread out over Weir , Stretton and Clay pit you always had a chance of catching a good net of fish but with the recent weather i doubt that many people would manage to catch over a ton . I slightly misjudged the time it took to get to the fishery and only just arrived in time for booking on at 930 which meant that i would be one of the last to have a go in the bag of doom but before i had to worry about that , i grabbed a bacon buttie then had a quick look at the lakes and i really fancied a draw on Weir pool or Stretton but my luck was out yet again as you will find out later . As i got back to the cabin it was time for the draw and with over fifty anglers present it took some time before it got round to my turn and after a bit of a wait i had my pick with peg 24 on Clay pit sticking to my hand , now in all my time coming to Weston pools i had not even seen this lake because it was situated a mile of sight so after getting some directions i headed of to the pit and to be honest it was a lot closer+easier to find than i imagined .

On arrival i parked up before getting a glimpse of the lake and it was quite large with the pegs well apart from each other , it was also in a bit of a dip surrounded by trees which meant that the wind was more swirling around and not blowing in a certain direction , after making my way to the peg i had a bit of a platform so i could fish back on myself if i wanted to do and after settling in at my home for the next few hours i was a bit unsure on how best to target it because i had heard it was deep , really deep in places and i decided to set up ;

Margin tight to the bank towards my right where i was going to feed maggots and after plumbing up i found about 2ft so used a 0.4 ruddy float as this would allow me to keep my rig still if any of the carp came in to feed , my main line was 016 garbo with a 014 garbo hook length which had a size 14 hook attached .

Margin at the side of the reed cover towards my left and i would feed micros+corn there as it was about four-foot deep this heavier bait would hopefully keep them pinned to the deck , my rig was a 4×12 speedy float which was a robust float that would stand up to be dragged through any vegetation and  my main line was 016 garbo with a 014 garbo hook length which had a size 14 hook attached .

Top three-line and i would have put this in further out but after finding six-foot here i felt that if i put it in any deeper water i would struggle with line bites and foul hooked fish , as i would be fishing hard pellets here i decided to use a 4×16 malman roob with an inch spread bulk above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Shallow line i set up two rigs to cover my options on this line but with it being so deep and very few fish showing on the surface plus the overnight rain i decided that i would kick of with a 3ft+4ft rig , i used a 0.2 series two matrix float on both and had an on the drop shotting pattern .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints maggots

1 pint micros

2 pints 4mm pellets

2 tins of corn

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I started my match on the top three towards my right and with the water being so deep i didn’t want to begin loose feeding so put half a cupping kit full of micros in before dropping my rig in over the top of it , i didn’t have to wait long before i had my first fish which was a hand sized carp and i then had a little run of f1s but even though i was feeding tightly squeezed balls of soaked micros i began foul hooking fish , i didn’t really know how best to solve the problem and i altered my shotting on the rig for a bulk plus two droppers this enabled me to catch a few more but it wasnt that prolific so i decided to put in a full pot of micros to see if i could get them back on the deck but as i feared doing this kind of killed the swim .

It was now an hour into the match and i had about 15lb in the net which was not to bad but i had fed my shallow swim which is where i hopped that most of my fish would come from , i went onto my 3ft deep rig first i began firing in a dozen 4mm pellets every few minutes this got the fish competing , i caught a quick six fish but I’m not sure i feed heavy enough because they kept drifting in and out of the swim i noticed that every fish i hooked pulled the pole straight down and maybe it was the clear water but they definitely wanted to be deeper , so i changed to my 4ft rig this got me catching but it wasnt long before they backed off again and i had a long spell of inactivity .

I dropped back onto my top three-line while i pondered on what to do next and i did pick up a few more fish but it wasnt right , i remembered that i had read somewhere on the internet that they had caught in six-foot when fishing shallow in the previous weeks on here and with nothing else happening i hadn’t got anything to lose , so i butchered my top three rig then gave it ago and surprisingly i was soon getting indications again but this is where my problems started because i kept pulling out of fish as i was about to net them or getting broke , i put this down to the fact that i was fishing so deep and i had to pull the elastic really tight so i could try to net the fish . A change to a heavier elastic just kept me breaking hook lengths and a lighter elastic had them running me under my platform , i finally found something in between the two and also trying to land the fish about two foot down soon had me back catching , but when i hooked a carp about six pounds i had to net it with three joints of pole in the air which wasnt an ideal situation to be in .

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With ninety minutes of the match remaining i had a look on my margin swims my shallower maggot right hand one produced plenty bite but only from small silvers where as my left hand deeper line gave me lots of liners without anything proper so i gave it another pot of feed , before going on to my shallow line a go and i added a couple more f1s but it was definitely fading because i hadn’t got another swim where i could catch a few fish which would help me rest the shallow line , dropping back onto my margin i had a proper gazunder straight away with the elastic streaming out of pole tip and i couldn’t get the right angle to enable me to add the other sections of my pole so all i could do was hang on but it wasnt long before the inevitable happened as my hook length snapped . I then had a forty minute spell where i couldn’t add anything too my net and i felt that any chance of a top three finish on the lake had gone but with a couple of pints of maggots sat on my side tray i decided to see what response this got me , i started feeding them quite heavily  too my surprise i began catching again after a while i was even getting swirls on the top so i swapped to my three-foot rig and i then went 1ft deep with a longer lash flicking my float away from the pole tip . I added about a dozen f1s in the remaining forty minutes so i was kicking myself for not doing it sooner but as i was still learning about the lake i knew that i would make a few mistakes , i had thirty fish on my clicker for about 50lb but i didn’t bother weighing in as when the scales arrived to me you needed 70lb to get in the top three and i knew that i had not got that .

Yet again it was an enjoyable if rather frustrating match which seems to be a common theme for my matches this year and i need to have a review about what I’m going to do next year , but before that i have a trip back to Partridge lakes on Sunday for the open before the North vs South 200 pegger at Tunnel barn , then the natural bait festival back at Weston pools and then i have a couple of winter leagues to target so my fishing shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon .

 

Weston pools fishery


Stretton peg 12 , 9th July

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I decided on a trip to Weston pools this weekend for another crack at the open and i couldn’t wait to get there as it is one of my favorite venues at the moment , after a bit of a lie in i set off on the sixty mile journey to the fishery and arrived just after nine o’clock no sooner had i parked up than the heavens opened , i got proper soaked as i went to book on for the match then dipped my nets because they was being really strict over this due to an outbreak of KHV in the midlands and when i got back i was dripping , about 15 minutes before the draw was due to start it finally eased off a little which enabled me to have a quick look at the lakes and i fancied a go on either Jacks or Stretton but would need an early draw to get the pegs i wanted on the former .

When i got back it was time to find out how long i would have to wait to choose a peg and as i was the first to book on i had first choice , i ended up with last pick not exactly what i wanted but at least i would be able to go somewhere with a bit of room and settled on 12 Stretton which was a good area to be in . On arriving at my home for the next few hours i decided to keep it simple so i could concentrate more on my feeding so i just set up ;

Margin towards my left it was nearly 4ft deep so i used a 4×14 speedy float which had a bulk+dropper shotting pattern , my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was 012 garbo although i stepped up my elastic to a solid 14s hopefully this would prevent me losing fish under my platform .

Top three straight in front and after plumbing up i found a flat spot just at the bottom of the shelf where it was nearly six-foot deep , i used a 4×14 roob float with a staggered bulk above my six-inch 012 hook length .

Shallow i set up two rigs one was a 0.2 crystal dibber float set at 12 inch with three number nine stotz above the six-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 matrix rigger hook attached, the other was a 0.2 crystal bristle pattern for a bit deeper at two foot i used the same shotting pattern , hook length and hook .

Bait for the day was ,

3 pints 4mm pellets

3 pints 6mm pellets

2 pints of corn

tub of mixed hard pellets

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As the all in sounded i started on my top three-line and i tapped in a kinder pot full of 4mm pellets then lowered my rig over the top , it took a couple of feeds before i had my first fish which was a carp about 4lb this give me a proper run around and i always struggle with my first fish on here for some reason , i then picked up a couple of nice stamp f1s but even at this early stage of the match i was getting a lot of line bites and when i foul hooked a carp that i luckily managed to get in i decided to go shallow a bit earlier than i planned . I had fired half a dozen 6mm pellets every couple of minutes at six meters since the match started and although i hadn’t seen anything swirl i expected there to be a few fish present and i wasnt disappointed because almost straight away i was into f1s on my two foot rig , i had them lined up for nearly an hour but it seemed that the constant feeding had brought the crucians into my peg and although i was getting them one a bung even at 8oz a piece they wasnt what i needed to be catching , a change to my shallowest rig had me catching the f1s again for a while anyway as the crucians soon returned and i had to keep working my rig up+down to pick up the odd f1 .

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I then knocked my catty in and had to began feeding by hand this turned out to be a good move because the increase in feed+regularity got the f1s competing again but after another good run the ducks started to become a nightmare but to be honest they got on my nerves more than it affected the fishing , with about ninety minutes remaining i decided to begin feeding my margin with a small cupping kit full of corn every fifteen minutes and in the last hour i dropped on it , no sooner had my float settled than it shot under with another nice carp making its way to the bank and it took me a while to get used to fishing solid elastics again but i soon had it sorted , i ended up catching quite constantly till the all out although after the match  i think i could have had a few more f1s if i had fished shallow so that’s something to bear in mind for my next visit .

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Overall i think that i had fished a steady match nothing spectacular and made a few mistakes but because i couldn’t see many other anglers i was unsure how i had got on , after packing most of my stuff away i went to see how the other lads got on Belvedere because i knew Stretton was always the last to get weighed , when i got there i saw one lad put 170lb on the scales from peg eight and the lad on twenty-five which fished well the last time i ventured down to Weston pools had nearly 240lb he caught most by fishing shallow at the side of the lily pads , the first lad to weigh in on Stretton had just over 140lb which included 40lb of crucians and my net went 106lb which was my first ton at the fishery but i was a good deal down on the framing weights as yet again it had fished extremely well with nearly half of the anglers managing a ton although i did finish second on my lake .

I’m off to Blundells on Saturday for another crack at the rover match lets hope for an early pick so i can get a peg that i want to fish and lets hope i can beat my 96lb from my last visit there .

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog Gary .