Partridge lakes winter league team match

26th February


Today i was back at Partridge lakes for the winter league team match and after the last round where we managed to finish joint second on the day so we was all upbeat of another good showing so that we could hopefully start to move up the table because we was still in the bottom third , the weather had yet again taking a turn for the worse this time we had the back-end of a hurricane to contend with and would it be too much to ask that we could have a half decent day for a change .


On arrival at the fishery everywhere was flooded after the heavy overnight downpour but at least the wind was so far manageable but it was due to increase dramatically during the day , i met up with the rest of the lads in the cabin because they wanted to be first in line for a pick in the bag of doom and strangely i had been relegated from doing the draw but i think i will be doing it for the remaining rounds because apart from one peg we had yet another shocker of a draw ;

Marsh 16

Piper 38

Covey six 139

Willow 6


The last of them would be my home for the day which is yet another last in section peg and out of the eight rounds so far i have only had two that have been able to produce a day’s fishing but at least i wasnt too far away from the café so i could get a drink or something to eat ,Willow lake was probably the only one on the complex that held a proper mixed bag of fish to target and the peg i was on had an island at 14m with an empty platform either side although i was just on the edge of the wind which was blowing from left to right but slightly over my shoulder , if it stayed at the same strength i could just about manage to hold my pole still enough so that i could present a rig tight over to the island which is where i expected to catch the most of my f1s during the match , i plumbed up lots of lines all over my peg and it stayed a constant 4ft deep from the edge of my nets too about a meter from the island although it went a few inch shallower towards my left this meant that i didn’t have a great deal in the way of rigs to set up ;

Island rig tight to the reeds at 2.5ft deep and i used a slightly heavier than usual 0.3 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern 014 garbo main line and a 010 garbo six-inch hook length which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

I set up two rigs to cover my 4ft lines a light rig which was a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern 014 garbo main line and a 010 garbo six-inch hook length which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached , the other rig was a heavier 0.4 round bodied wire stemmed float which would give my rig more stability in the worsening conditions i used a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern with 014 garbo main line and a 010 garbo six-inch hook length which had a size 18 guru maggot hook attached .

With the f1s taking a liking for pellets at Partridge lakes you would be surprised to hear that it was on my side tray for todays match ;

One pint of soaked micros

One pint of soaked 4mm pellets

One pint of crushed expander ground-bait

One pint of red and white maggots

Small tub of 2+4mm expanders


I began my match by feeding a golf ball sized nugget of ground-bait onto my right hand 11m line which i was going to leave for at least thirty minutes so the skimmers could settle on it and i then went on to my six meter swim i tapped in a dozen micros with a ten pence sized piece of ground-bait , i then lowered my lighter rig over the top and with the back shots sunk just under the water enabled me to keep my float really still , it took me a couple of feeds before i began getting indications and in the first couple of hours i had a really good run of catching skimmer up to 10oz when bites began to tail off i just topped up with another ball of ground-bait , every so often i would drop onto my right hand 11m line but strangely i never got an indication on it and maybe it was because the wind was stronger on that side although i did try my heavier rig which didn’t make any difference .


I noticed that most of the lads in my section had managed to pick up the odd f1 among the silvers and if i wanted to do any good i felt that i needed to pick up a couple myself , so i went on my long line at the side of the reeds and i decided to start on maggots because at least i would be able to put some line on the deck using them on the hook as the wind was really beginning to get strong but thirty minutes of wrestling with my pole without an indication and i felt enough was enough as i didn’t fancy breaking my pole today , when i dropped back onto my six meter line the skimmers had vanished and it never really got going there for the rest of the match so i decided to put in another swim at 11m towards my right but just fed maggots through a kinder pot because i noticed that the lads either side of me had caught f1s using it , this line was very slow although i did manage a big skimmer plus a perch about a pound but it never really got going for me and neither did my loose fed maggot swim at four meters which i had thrown a dozen maggots since the match started this just produced a couple of roach , In the latter part of the match i tried in front of my left hand platform where it was a bit calmer but all i had to show for it was a missed indication and i just had time to rotate all my swims before the all out catching a solitary skimmer .

As i began packing my gear away i couldn’t help but feel that i would have been better just picking up the odd skimmer on my six meter swim because it would have pushed me closer to my target weight of 15lb which is what i expected would be needed for good section points today , although when i saw the odd f1 come out i figured that i would need to catch a couple as well and as it turned out i was right because apart from the section winner on peg four who had 31lb plus the benefit of the calmer water where the fish had backed off to but still fished a good match , the rest of the section was pretty close ;

peg 1 had 10lb

peg 2 had 15lb

peg 4 had 31lb

I had just under 10lb from peg 6

peg 8 had 13lb

I reckon that i could have had the extra few pounds to finish at least third in section if i had fished a better match but i ended up last and the rest of the team didn’t do that much better as we totaled 16 points on the day it was only to be expected from the draw we had but at least i didn’t lose or break anything today which was a bonus in the hurricane winds we had to endure towards the end of the match , I’m back at Partridge lakes for the last round of the individual winter league on Sunday and i just hope that i can finish it with a bang which would hopefully leave me in a top ten place as that was my target at the start of the contest .




Partridge lakes , winter league team match

February 12th


Today i was back at Partridge lakes for the teams of four winter league and after a couple of poor rounds we was languishing in a mid table place so we could do with a really good day if we wanted to move up the league , I’m beginning to sound like a stuck record but yet again the weather leading up to the match was quite reasonable for the time of year before it all went downhill come the weekend as we was faced with a very strong easterly cold wind not exactly your ideal fishing conditions and it has happened time and time again this year .

On this round we decided to have an early draw because our usual late dip in the draw bag just wasnt working as we had to deal with some proper shockers so far in this winter league , we all met up at the fishery around eight o’clock which gave us enough time to get sorted before the rolling draw started and after my recent good run it was my turn to do the team draw , i managed to get third in line but the lad in front of me managed to pull out some proper flyers so maybe i could have done with an even earlier pick and when it came for my turn i luckily avoided the dodgy pegs getting ;

Spey 8

covey six 149

covey five 123

willow 2


The latter of them was my home for the next few hours and i was quite pleased with that as my mate had won the lake from peg one which gave me a good insight into how best to fish it , i did see a fish roll near the aerator which looked promising although i did have to contend with the worst of the strong cold wind blowing right into my right hand margin which was forecast to get stronger during the day and this had a bearing on how i would tackle my peg ;

Dobbing rig at 4ft , a 0.4 diamond patterned float with a wire stem which i hoped would enable me to keep the rig still and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

4ft rig which i used for fishing in various parts of my peg and i used a 4×12 maggie float with 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Channel rig set at nearly six-foot , i used a 4×14 maggie float with 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

On all my rigs i left a long lash between pole and float with a couple of heavy back shots , this should help in controlling the rig but might mean i missed the odd bite but if you can’t present a bait properly you would be unlikely to get an indication in the first place .

Bait for the day was your typical side tray for the time of year ;

pint of red maggots with a handful of whites as a change bait

slice of bread

pint of fish meal ground-bait for the skimmers

small tub of both 2+4mm expanders

small tub of corn


When the all in sounded i put a golf ball sized nugget of ground-bait on to my channel swim and i decided to begin by dobbing across a meter away from the far bank reeds at three-foot with a 7mm punch before the wind got too strong , within five minutes i had my first indication which resulted in a pound f1 hitting the net and i hoped that i might have found a little group of fish but i had to wait a further fifteen minutes before i had my next bite which i somehow managed to lose at the net , by this point i had worked all along the island and i had even gone into two foot which was tighter to the bank without success , with the wind getting more blustery i was finding it hard to control my rig so i decided to drop on to my channel swim hoping that a couple of skimmers had settled on my initial feed , but thirty minutes without a sign wasnt what i expected but as the rig was towing the opposite way the wind was blowing i needed to lay some more line on the deck so i decided to re feed with a conker sized ball of ground-bait .


My next port of call was to try dobbing along my right hand margin which is usually the best place to fish on this peg and i did manage a quick f1 at 13m just past the tree but another thirty bite less minutes had me scratching my head , although on looking around the lake everybody was struggling to cope with the worsening conditions and it looked like the f1s had shut up shop for the time being even the far side of the lake where i expected the fish to be sat in the calmer water were struggling for bites , up to this point of the match i had not really put any bait in so i decided to put in a new swim at 13m along my right hand margin in four-foot but after feeding a couple of times i kept getting snagged up no doubt down to the waves stirring up the twigs on the bottom of the lake and the wind kept pushing my pole into the trees , my next move was to plumb up a new swim at a more manageable five meters and the better presentation here helped me catch a couple of hand sized roach plus a couple of missed bites but although i was happy putting something in the net i felt that i needed f1s to be in chance of getting good section points , with the wind easing a touch i decided to risk going back across to try dobbing again and i managed a couple of quick f1s before it all went quiet but from what i could see and hear this had put me in front for the section , the wind was also getting increasingly blustery making holding the pole still very difficult and for the next ninety minutes i rotated all my swims without success but nobody within eye shot even managed a bite either .

As we was approaching the latter stages of the match the light began to fade and finally the wind relented so i could finally present a bait properly , i decided to go onto to my five meter swim and after a couple of feeds tapping in six maggots i began getting the odd indication which was a positive sign not long after i had my first f1 in what seemed like an age , quickly followed by another and thinking about things after the match i was getting movements on the bristle as soon as i put any bait in which obviously meant the f1s were off the bottom and i should have tried my dobbing rig over the top , i managed one more f1 and a missed bite before the all out sounded this put me on 7 f1s plus the two roach which would put me right in contention for my first section win in this years winter league teams of four .

When the scales arrived it was really noticeable that Willow pool had completely shut off as the weights in my section were 2lb,3lb,9lb,3lb and i had 12lb for the section win this also put me second on the lake so i  kept my recent good run at Partridge lakes going , when i met up with the rest of the team it looked like we had finally managed a good round and nine points was our total this put us joint second on the day which is a big improvement on our recent rounds .


So roll on the next match where i will be back at Partridge lakes for the individual winter league and need another decent draw to stay near the top of the table .


Blundells Fishery

November 24th

Today was the next to the last round of my Autumn-winter league at Blundells fishery in Warrington , because we had over twenty people attending i had to split the match across two waters ;

Willow lakee

Willow lake

Willow lake

This was a predominately silver fish water and those that had practised on it the previous Sunday had caught really well with double figure nets common , we had two sections of four on here which on a twenty peg water meant that their was plenty of room for everyone .

West canal

West canal

West canal

This has a large head of carp , f1s and ide . Recent match weights had been around the 50 lb mark but with them being a rover you wouldn’t get many on it , so we would have to see how it fishes under more pressure .So as you can guess majority of the anglers wanted to be drawn on here , we had three sections and gave the anglers in the harder areas more room and tightened up the better pegs , to hopefully make it a fairer competion .

With the weather recently being a tad un-settled because we had a strong frost on Saturday and cold all day with blue sky’s , compared to today’s six degree temperature and over cast . I was certainly confused at what to expect next , never mind the fish and im sure that the fishing will improve when it settles down a bit . Because we were spread over the two waters we had an early draw so every one could get to their pegs on time , when it came to my turn their was two left in the bag and one was on Willow which a quite fancied fishing , the other was in a hard section on west canal .


Un-surprisingly my home for the day was peg 12 on the canal , as my drawing arm has let me down recently .When i got to my home for the day i was sweating my knackers off in my celcious suit . The peg its self looked ok with an empty peg to my right and my mate Branny to my left , it was 13 m to the far bank with the odd fish topping down the channel which i presumed was ide .

My rigs for today was ;

13 meter I plumbed up and found 2 ft off water , so i used a 0.2 matrix float with 0.12 garbo line – 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook .

12 m  I plumbed up here and found 3 ft off water , so i used a malmam diamond pattern with 0.12 garbo line – 0.10 garbo hook length with a size 20 gamma pellet hook .


Top 3 and 10 m , here i found 5 ft of water and used a 4×14 malman winter wire float , with a 0.12 garbo main line and a 0.10 garbo hook length attached to a size 20 gamma pellet hook .


My bait was ;

1/2 pint red maggot

1/4 pint soaked micro

1/4 pint ground-bait

As the all in sounded i went out to 12 m where it was deeper and at the side of some over hanging reeds which hopefully some carp might be taking cover , i purposely left fishing tight across until it warmed up a bit . After feeding six maggots and a few micros every five minutes , i was also lifting-dropping my rig to try to entice a bite but thirty minutes in i was still waiting for an indication .Branny to my left had hooked and lost a carp  and John further too my left had begun catching tight across , so i decided to follow suit but all that followed was another thirty minutes of in activity !!!

So that was two of my swims that wasn’t producing but fingers crossed they might do later , so i decided to try my 10 m line because this was in the deepest part of the peg and hope fully a few fish might be lurking their , but two hours in and i was still waiting for my first sign .

I had been loose feeding a few maggots on to my top three-line and i had wanted to leave it until the last hour but needs must , after about twenty minutes of letting my rig fall through the water and i finally had a bite !!! This resulted in my only fish of the day and a mighty 4oz roach found its way into the net , no more bites followed on this line so yet again another change was in order and i decided to try dobbing bread along the far bank , i hadn’t fished this way before but had read a lot about it .


I worked all along the far bank going into all the fishy looking areas , changing depths and trying every thing to entice a bite from a carp but yet again nothing materialised .Branny decided after three hours of working every inch of his peg that enough was enough and decided to pack up , so that he could catch the second half of the football and if i wasn’t running the match i would have done the same because we are both half decent anglers and only one small roach between us must have meant that no fish where present in the area .

I noticed that the odd fish was topping in the channel , so i began flicking a few maggots in this area while i rotated my swims in the vain hope of picking up a few fish but nothing came of this and if my shallow line didn’t work i was stuffed because the lad on the end peg was getting the odd fish and John had about 10 lb in the net . After fishing my shallow line for an hour and even dropping down to a size 22 hook with a 0.7 hook length  still didn’t result in a bite .

With nothing happening in my peg i decided to rest my peg and have a walk to see what was happening down the bottom end of the canal , when i got their it was noticeably wider around 16 meter but it was fishing just as hard but their was the odd carp coming out and it seemed that towards the middle of the canal was the place to be .

When i got back to my peg i had a quick rotate of my swims to see if any carp had settled on my feed but as expected no more indications followed , after i called the all out i let my solitary roach go and find its friends . Me and John then started the weigh in which didn’t take to long with half of the anglers not weighing in and i was in the middle of a row of four anglers not troubling the scales .

Section A Mike Henshaw , peg 9 – 26lb 4oz

Section B Rob , peg 15 -19lb 6oz

Section C Paul , peg  18 – 7lb 2oz

When we got back to the car with the tackle , i went to help Dave with the weigh in on Willow lake and to my horror this had fished even harder with even the reliable roach and skimmers becoming non-existent .

Section D Kenny b , peg 1 – 3lb 3oz

Section E Dave Machin , peg 6 – 7lb 1oz

Well what can i say about today’s matches , they promised so much and for many delivered very little but from what i have heard from else where many waters had shut down too , so maybe its the in-consistent weather finally taking its toll on the fish . But one lousy match out of four isn’t to bad at this time of year and with one match remaining at Cunneries , i hope it fishes as well as it can do to end the Autumn-winter series  .

Off to Partridge lakes on Sunday for another crack at the open and hopefully i might get out in the week to try to catch a few fish at the Cunneries fishery . Keep coming back to see how i get on .

Cheers Gary

Willow lake

1 kenny baxter 3lb 3oz section win

2 shaun dnw

3 Chris 1lb 12 oz section 2nd

4 Andy 1lb 5oz

5 Brian s 2lb 10 oz

6 Dave machin 7lb 1oz section win

7 Alan h 5lb 7oz section 2nd

8 Chris b 2lb 11oz

West canal

9 Mike h 26lb 4oz section win

10 John 7lb 9oz section 2nd

11 martin dnw

12 Gary dnw

13 Kenny b dnw

14 Ronnie dnw

15 Robbie 19lb 6oz section win

16 Darren c 16lb 12oz section 2nd

17 Jordan dnw

18 Paul 7lb 2oz section win

19 Aidy dnw

20 Tony  2lb 4oz section 2nd

21 Gary dnw .