Bradshaws fishery , last round of the winter league

January 14th

I have been to Bradshaw’s fishery today for the delayed last round of my winter league and it was due to take place on lake’s 5+6 both of which I hadn’t much experience on , because i had fished lake six just once before which was a couple of years ago and i didn’t do that well on that match . Thankfully the weather had improved during the week although there was still a cold easterly wind but with the two lakes we would be fishing in a slight dip i hoped it wouldn’t be too bad , after meeting up with the rest of the lads which i had not seen since before Xmas and it turned out a few decided not to fish the match so we had 16 anglers split over the two lakes this would give us all a bit of room .

At the draw I pulled out peg 11 on lake six which didn’t mean a great deal and after the very long walk  to my home for the next few hours I decided to set up ;

6m pellet rig , after plumbing up i found just over four-foot on the crease of the lake bed were it sloped off very slightly and i used a 4×14 Md pellet float with an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 010 garbo hook length .

13m caster rig which i positioned at an angle towards my left in a depth of five foot and i used a 4×16 Md silver float which had a bulk plus two dropper shoting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 010 garbo attached to it was a size 16 guru pellet hook .

16m caster rig which was the same depth as my 13m line but i decided to use a lighter float with an on the drop shoting pattern because i felt the extra distance might enable to catch a few fish as my rig fell through the water , i used a 4×12 Md slim float and my main line was the usual 014 garbo which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Shallow rig just in case set at three-foot deep which was just over half depth , i used a 4×12 Md maggot float with a bulk and dropper shoting pattern spread along the 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch 010 garbo hook length attached .

Bait for the day was ;

1 pint of casters

1/2 pint dead maggots

1/2 pint micros

small tub 4mm expanders

2 pints of ground-bait black swim stim and frenzied hemp mixed 50/50

When the all in sounded I fed three balls of ground-bait mixed with 50ml of casters + dead maggots on my 13m line and started on my 6m swim while it settled , thing’s didn’t begin to well as I was bite less for thirty minutes but nobody else was catching a great deal either just the odd little roach coming out and i was thinking that i might have over done it putting too much bait in on my long line ,a switch to my 13m line after an hour and I was soon catching some small silvers with the odd better skimmer mixed in but nothing decent , it was only when I began cattying in half a dozen casters in every five minutes that I managed to drag some ide+chub into the swim and with half the match gone I had a dozen of them all around the 10oz mark.

The only trouble was that the lad’s opposite were beginning to catch f1’s so I needed to find a way of catching them if i wanted to do have a chance of framing in the match , so I went out to 16m because the only people catching f1s were fishing long and they must have been a group of fish sat in the middle of the lake , i began by kinder potting in micros mixed in a nugget of micro+black swim stim and after a while I had my first f1 , for the remainder of the match I decided to sit it out on this line catching well in spells but they wasn’t the same stamp as those angler’s facing me , at the all out I managed 19lb which was good enough for third on the lake and match behind a 23lb + 27lb .

This result consolidated my 2nd place in the overall winter league standings and I was only two points away from winning it which was more than possible if luck had gone my way on a couple of the rounds , but I had managed to pick up money on every match and caught plenty of fish along the way so all in all another enjoyable winter league.

Heronbrook fishery

October 15th

Today i have been back to heronbrook as a guest for the Stockton heath lads it was the second round of the winter league and as it would be my last match here due to another winter league commitment at Old Hough that i have contested for the last few years so i was looking forward to getting a good draw plus catching a few fish but how wrong was i and after yesterdays good result at Partridge lake I came back to earth with a bang .On arriving at the fishery i caught up with the rest of the team before grabbing a breakfast and all the talk was on how hard it might fish because the weather recently had been awful with heavy downpours plus strong winds although it was still quite warm , at the draw i was handed peg sixteen on match lake i got told it was the worst one on the lake and i already knew the lake wasnt fishing great i would have much prepared to be on match pool as at least you was guaranteed a few bites on that water .

At least i could drive round to my home for the next few hours which i knew was a good winter peg due to the fact it was at least five foot deep all over the peg but today though it was very warm for the time of year and I knew it was going to be a struggle , i decided to set up a few rings to cover my options ;

Top kit plus one at the bottom of the near slope were upon plumbing up i found five foot so i used a 4×12 joof float with a staggered bulk starting above my six-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 lwg hook with a micro bait band attached to it and my main line was the usual 016 garbo main line .

Thirteen meter swim where it was nearly a top kit deep and i used a 4×14 joof float with a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 lwg hook with a micro bait band attached .

Right hand margin in 4ft a couple of feet away from the bank because it fell away quite steeply and this is where it levelled out before dropping off again , i used a 4×14 Md diamond float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my six-inch 014 garbo hook length which had a size 16 lwg hook attached .

Left hand margin in three-foot tight to the bank because the slope was a lot more angler friendly on this side and i decided to fish a negative swim with pellets here , i used a 4×12 Md pellet float which had an inch spread bulk starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length and attached to it was a size 16 lwg .

As i had an island around twenty meters away i set up a feeder rod with a 1/8 ounce straight lead  which had an eighteen inch hook length and my hook was a size 16 lwg .

Bait for the day was ;

2 tins of corn

3 pints of soaked 4mm pellets

2 pints of 8mm pellets

When the all in sounded i started my match at the bottom of the near slope with hard pellets i kept flicking half a dozen 4mm pellets around my float and it was unbelievably slow going , i missed a couple of indications and i altered my shooting pattern so that my hook bait fell slower this got me two quick f1’s , i felt that i had it sorted but i only had a couple of missed dips on the float in the next half hour but as no one around me was catching I didn’t panic . All the time I had been pinging a couple of 8mm pellets towards the island and this was my next line to go at with the straight lead but all I managed was the odd liner which had me scratching my head as i really felt this would get me a few fish but especially as the lad towards my right was catching f1s on the tip rod although he was using a method feeder I found out later this never works on the match lake so I wasted another hour.

I went on to my 13m swim next at the bottom of the far shelf and after kinder potting in some hard 4mm pellets a few times from a height to try to draw some fish into the swim , this kind of worked for me as I caught two quick f1’s then nothing so I was back to square one and that seemed to be how my match panned out today as i added on another section going out to 14m where it started sloping up to the island which got me a couple of fish then nothing , in the back of my mind I just knew that I should be concentrating in shallower water with it still being quite warm . After re plumbing up along my right hand margin at six meters I managed to find 2ft but the slope was too steep to fish there and I found 4ft just as it levelled out a bit before another drop off, I began by kinder potting in a few grains of corn and after a couple of feeds i caught an F1 before twenty minutes without a sign .

A switch to my pellet line got me a couple more fish and I knew that I had made the right decision to fish in shallower water it was just that i made the switch three hours too late , for the rest of the match I rotated between them both catching fish from each before resting it and I did lose a barny rubble with a hook pull after a five-minute fight on my corn swim which cost me at the end , but i must have doubled my catch in the last ninety minutes from down the edge and maybe it was just the time of day but im not too sure .When the all out sounded I had a very long wait before i put a very disappointing 30lb on the scales for last in my ten peg section although I had 31lb on one side of me, 33lb the other and 46lb won the money section so i wasnt too far away but it was still a bit gutting the team didn’t do great either so all in all a very poor day , but like they say you are only as good as your last match so hopefully i can put it behind me when i contest the first round of my winter league at Old Hough next weekend .

Partridge lakes open match

February 28th , peg 25 covey two

With all my winter leagues having finally finished where i had a fair bit of success and enjoyed doing them a great deal even though they revolved around silver fishing which I’m not to comfortable in doing , so now i was free to do a bit of f1 chasing and after blowing away the cobwebs on a short session at the cunneries i decided to book on the Sunday open at Partridge lakes i hopped that i wouldn’t be too far of the pace even though i had not been for almost four months . The earlier part of the week leading up to the match had seen a prolonged cold spell dropping to minus four during the night but as the weekend arrived the temps gradually increased and on the day of the match we was treated to blue skies , a light easterly breeze and a high of six degrees not exactly the weather required to get the fish feeding in numbers .

With Partridge lakes only being a fifteen minute drive away i had a bit of a lie in which made a nice change after all the early starts i had done over winter and i arrived just after 8 o’clock to be greeted with a choka block car park as the penultimate round of the team matches was taking place , i managed to catch up with a couple of lads from the Matrix LTB who had done extremely well in the Angling Trust winter league finishing seventh out of thirty high-class teams taking part . Before i knew it the draw was taking place so i made my way to join the queue in the cabin when it came round for my turn i pulled out number 25 on covey two not exactly the place i wanted to be especially as the lads fishing in my area the day before had really struggled but i was here now and i wanted to get a feel back for the place after spending so long away .

On arriving at my home for the next few hours i found it just a couple of pegs away from the bridge with my back to Willow lake with the breeze blowing into the bay near the bridge and it was only eleven meters wide so it wasnt looking too promising especially as it was peg two miss one so not a lot of room to be had but on the plus side i had an empty platform towards my left , i decided to set up a few rigs to cover my options today which where ;

3ft and 4ft i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a staggered bulk starting above the six-inch 009 hook length and my main line was 014 garbo , i feed these swims with a small kinder pot just trickling in a few maggots every couple of minutes to try to drag some fish into my peg but being really careful not to overfeed .

Channel rig with the conditions being reasonably calm i got away with a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern although i could spread it out if i required a slower fall of the hook bait , i used an 009 six-inch hook length and main line was my usual 014 garbo i feed it with a small cupping kit of maggots every thirty minutes hopping that a few f1s would settle on it in the latter part of the match .

Dobbing rig set up at three-foot to start with which was set six-inch off the deck i used a 03 matrix series three float with all the bulk under the float and just one dropper down the line , my main line was 014 garbo and hook length would be 010 as there could be a few carp caught by doing this as expected i wouldn’t feed a thing but push my rig in amongst all the dead reed beds along the far-bank .

Bait for the day couldn’t be simpler just a slice of toastie with a 7mm punch and two pints of maggots .

When the all in sounded i thought it would be best to start on my four-foot rig because it was still cold and then work my way further up the slope as the day progressed , i tapped in six maggots then laid my rig in so it fell up the shelf giving me a tight line between float+hook my rig hadn’t even settled when the elastic came out unfortunately it was a foul hooked f1 which came off after a short fight but at least it showed there was fish in the area . It took a couple more feeds before i finally had another indication which resulted in my first f1 hitting the net and i was rather optimistic of catching a couple more from the same line but thirty minutes without another sign had me scratching my head especially as the lads either side were picking up the odd fish , i replumbed up another swim at the same depth towards my left which was strangely a lot further out from the far-bank yet again this produced a solitary fish with no other indications .

I noticed that the other anglers were fishing in a lot shallower depth really tight to the far-bank so i figured that i was fishing in the wrong depth so i followed suit and picked up my three-foot rig then plumbed up to find a suitable flat area , a couple of feeds resulted in a quick bite which i missed but it was a positive sign the only trouble was my next indication resulted in a small silver hitting the net which as you all know isn’t what you want on the coveys as it’s a sure sign that the f1s are not present . At this point i noticed a swirl in the reeds to my left so i quickly picked up my dobbing rig and dropped a piece of bread among them my float had not even settled when the elastic shot out after a short fight the hook pulled on what i thought was a nice carp , after a few choice swear words i dobbed around for a while longer without another sign so i plumbed up with my three-foot rig at the side of the reeds and began trickling in some maggots it took about twenty minutes before i had another bite which resulted in another f1 coming to the bank but yet again no more indications followed .

Yet another swim was called for so i went further along the left hand margin at 11m but this time further down the slope incase the fish had backed off into the quieter water between the two pegs after a while i managed another f1 then nothing else and a theme seemed to be recurring today because no matter what i did i just couldn’t put a run of bites together , i could see the reeds knocking like mad in between the empty platform and the angler on peg 27 but he was oblivious to it so i stuck a couple more sections on taking me up to 14m , i went as close to them as i was allowed after plumbing up i was surprised to find a touch over three-foot and this made controlling my rig a bit awkward it was a good job the conditions weren’t to bad , after a while my float buried and i was attached to another carp this put up a very spirited fight when i got it to my top kit i found out why as it couldn’t be far off double figures , i just felt that i had it under control and was about to net it when it wouldn’t fit my struggle trying to get it in the landing net causing it to bolt this resulted in the hook pulling it just wasnt going to be my day .

i did another rotation of all my swims without a single sign and as we was approaching the final hour i gave my channel swim a try which i had fed since the match started with a small cupping kit full of maggots , i hopped that it could pull me out of the shit as it is normally a reliable tactic for the latter part of matches but yet again i had a quick fish then nothing and after rotating my swims once more without success then the all out sounded in the distance calling time on a very frustrating match . The lad to my right who had the benefit of the ripple blowing into the bay plus the bridge had picked up the odd fish all day and i noticed he had limited himself to just four different swims by being really patient on this tough day he managed to put 34lb on the scales which put him 4th overall , the guy to my left had also fished a similar match but caught less f1s but had a carp in the last twenty minutes this gave him a low twenty pounds my six fish would have gone about ten pounds but i didn’t bother weighing in today .

So that was another Partridge match over with and yet another struggle from a bad draw im sure my unlucky run at the draw bag will end soon fingers crossed but to be fair i have had my run of flyers on here its just that i haven’t made the most of the situation ,hopefully i will be back for another attempt at the weekend and this time fish a more patient match to see if this produces better results it cant make it any worse anyway .

Old Hough Big Max

January third , peg ten Big Max


At the weekend i was due to fish the latest round of the Diggle AC winter league at Old Hough but in the week i found out that there had been a mishap with the booking of the venue , rather than be on lucky dip + prospect we was going to be on Big Max which at first i was rather happy about as it has a big head of large f1s +carp and i had also won my last match on it with a near ninety pounds . Although my happiness soon faded when i found out that the match on it the previous day was only won with thirty pounds with only low teens being required to frame plus they had decided that the match wouldn’t be part of the winter league , the weather over the weekend was forecast to be pretty damp to say the least and on the day of the match it rained constantly from start to finish but at least we hadn’t had a concerted cold spell yet which is good for the start of January .

After my short thirty mile journey to Old Hough i was one of the first to arrive the conditions didn’t look that bad with light drizzle and a slight breeze from left to right although it was due to increase considerably as the day progressed , as the hustle + bustle of the draw took place i ended up with peg ten which i found round the far side of the lake and on arriving at it i had the misfortune of a head wind meaning i was going to get proper soaked it was also noticeable that it was quite colder than the far side i felt it could have an effect on the fishing as well , the peg itself had an island chuck of at least thirty meters and some reed lined margins but the front of my platform was also weedy i don’t think that this peg had been fished a great deal in the past few weeks.


On settling in at my home for the next few hours i decided to attack it by setting up ;

Matrix 8ft carp master tip rod which i clipped up at 25m because i remembered on my last visit that it was weedy + shallow tight across i also felt the carp or f1s would be happy sitting in the deeper water and as it was a bit colder on this side of the lake i decided to start by using the straight lead with a two foot hook length of 014 garbo that had a size 16 guru hook it also had a bait band attached .

Pole line i plumbed this up at eleven meter which was manageable in the conditions and it also gave me options of going further out later in the match , i decided to use a heavier more stable float with a 4×16 malman roob coming out of the box my shotting pattern was a bulk with two droppers and it had 014 garbo main line which had a six-inch hook length of 008 garbo , attached to it was a size twenty Matrix bagger hook this would allow me to use either pellets or maggots on the hook .

When the all in sounded i cast my lead out to my far bank marker with a yellow buoyant bandam in the bait band which i hoped would stand out in the muddy water and i had intended on pinging a couple of pellets over the top , but the wind was that strong i just couldn’t reach i had to make the most of any quite spells that came along . After ten minutes of inactivity i recast my rig out but this time with a hard 8mm on the hook which was the same as i was trying to feed , this seemed to do the trick because 15 minutes past before my rod was nearly dragged in and i was attached to one of the many large carp in the lake , i was just getting it under control when it darted to my right which broke my hook length and it was probably my fault as i had not tied up a fresh hook choosing instead to use one from a few years back worse was to follow when i found out i didn’t have any more long enough .


After rummaging through my hook length box i found one that was around a foot in length but after casting back in it just didn’t feel right and i decided to start using a pellet feeder as at least this would allow me to get some bait near my hook bait , i had three quick casts every five minutes to try to get some fish to settle in the area and then began the wait for a bite , ten minutes passed then twenty without even a liner and i was on the verge of giving up before going on the pole when my tip pulled round by keeping my rod low , bumping and winding i soon had a big 2lb f1 in the net . I cast back out with renewed vigour hoping that a couple more had settled on the feed but yet again i was in for a bit of a wait and it took another ten minutes before my next pull round but it did result in a similar sized f1 on looking around the lake this put me in front , i then had a thirty minute spell of inactivity and decided to go on to my pole line to pick up a few silvers and maybe the odd f1 as this would at least allow me to keep adding fish to my net , i began by feeding a full kinder pot of pellets before lowering my expander hook bait among it and then proceeded to keep my rig still over the top of it this resulted in a couple of missed indications but when i did finally connect with one it turned out to be a 4oz skimmer not exactly what i was looking for especially as bites were really hard to come by .


Another thirty minutes on the tip did not produce a single liner so back on the pole i went but i decided to change it for maggots hoping this might get me among the large head of roach , i began catching small silvers around 1oz a piece but i was struggling to get a bigger stamp and i started to feed a full kinder pot after every fish to try to get a bit of bait on the deck , i also changed my shotting pattern to a bulk + single dropper because i felt that the small roach were intercepting the bait as it fell so hopefully my increased feed would help pin them to the deck and might even drag in a bigger stamp by doing that i did pick up the odd four ounce silver among the bits . When the bites began to slow down i had another look on my tip rod but this time i began getting the odd liner which at least showed that a few bigger fish had made their way around from the other side of the island , although i didn’t get any proper indications and thinking about it now i should have kept clipping up closer + closer towards me until i had a proper pull round because it seems obvious that the fish were settled in deeper water .


Back on the pole and i was considering putting in a line further out but with the wind still gusting badly plus the lads either side of me who was fishing at 16m were not catching any quicker than my short line and in fact it was easier for me to put a few fish in the net , i spent the last hour fishing the pole on my short six meter line and among the plentiful small silvers i managed my biggest fish of the day which was a 3lb f1 it came in really easily even on my solid six elastic but it felt like a block of ice , unfortunately i didn’t manage any more before the all out sounded and to be honest i was glad to call time on what was a pretty poor match as i hadn’t caught a great deal like most people around me plus i was soaked through . When the scales arrived at my peg 13lb was in the lead and my net went a surprising 10lb that lost carp cost me dear you just can not make mistakes at this time of year because it would have been more than three-quarters of my match weight , as i began packing up the rain stopped wind dropped and the sun came out Typical ! !

As i got back to the van i heard that 20lb had won so i ended up third which i was sort of happy with because other than the lost carp i don’t think that i could have done a great deal different , back on the winter league next weekend this time it’s on boulders+goose lets hope i can finish in the top three which should keep me in contention and I’m looking forward to getting amongst the recently stocked f1s let’s just hope the weather is a bit better for fishing .





Diggle AC winter league old hough

November 10th , peg 18 goose lake old hough


Today was the first round of the Diggle AC winter league at old hough with eight matches taking place on goose,boulders,lucky dip and prospect , it has been awhile since i had contested a winter league and was quite looking forward to it even if it was going to take place on waters i had yet to try at the fishery which would make it more of a challenge . Yet again the weather leading up to todays match was pretty lousy with lots of rain and gale force winds although the temperatures were still high for the time of year , i just suppose it is something that we will have to get used to but it is a lot better than snow and ice in my opinion .When i woke on the morning of the match the weather didn’t look that bad it was a bit breezy but at least it was still dry well for the time being anyway ,i set off on the short thirty mile journey to the venue at 730am and just as i got of the motorway it went ominously dark with black clouds congregating above the inevitably soon happened as the rain absolutely lashed it down for a full twenty minutes only easing when i pulled into the fishery but luckily it was the only down pour we saw during the day .


Obviously i was the first to arrive but i didn’t have to wait too long before all eighteen anglers turned up and the draw began , i waited for the crowd to die down before taking my turn and strangely for me i pulled out number 18 on goose the out-and-out flyer for the lake although to be honest i would have rather been on the same peg on boulders , on arriving at my peg you could see why it has the recent form as it had a bridge plus aerator to my right and it was also only 13m wide which would be handy if the wind increased during the day as it was forecast to do .As it was a new venue for me today i had done my homework on it and was told that it had a good head of 3 to the pound ide , barbel , carp plus the usual smattering of f1s and as recent winning weights were around the forty pound mark rightly or wrongly i felt that targeting ide was out of the question preferring to go for the bigger stamp of fish and i decided to fish three areas of the peg ;

Dobbing across to the far-bank reeds i plumbed up to find three-foot in front of them so as usual i began six-inch of the deck before working through the layers if i began missing bites my rig was a matrix 0.2 series three float with a spread bulk of number 11 stotz along the 012 garbo line which was direct to a size 16 lwg hook .

Pellet rig i managed to find a flat bottom around 11m at a touch under three-foot my rig was 4×12 malman roob float which had a bulk shotting pattern on the 012 garbo main line just above the short three-inch 010 garbo hook length and my hook was a size 18 lwg .

Channel line i put this towards the aerator at six meters were i found just over five foot my float was a 4×14 malman roob with a carbon stem which had the usual bulk at two foot + two dropper shotting pattern the main line was the usual 012 garbo with a six-inch 010 hook length that had a size twenty lwg hook attached .


My side tray consisted of the usual ;

Two pints red and white maggots

One pint soaked micros

One pint soaked 4mm pellets

One slice of steamed and rolled bread

Small tub of 4mm expanders

The all in sounded at ten o’clock and i decided to spend the first hour dobbing bread across until it got to windy plus it will also give me chance to see where everybody else was fishing before i put bait in on the wrong areas off my peg , i started towards the reeds on the left six-inch of the deck with a 7mm punch of bread on the hook i was lift+dropping the rig so that it fluttered down slowly hopefully catching the eye of a passing carp . It took me awhile to find an area of the far-bank where i got any indications but i still needed to find the depth which the fish were comfortable in and i finally got my first fish at two foot deep it wasn’t the hoped for carp but a barbel not really what i expected to catch , by working my rig in all the gaps between the reed bed i was getting lots of indications which kept me interested although i was struggling to connect with them a change to an 11mm punch before pushing it tight to the tins produced a 1lb chub yet again not what i wanted to be getting and i was on the verge of packing it in when my float buried a sharp lift resulted in yards of elastic disappearing under the bridge before the hook pulled .

The dobbing line really wasn’t working out as i had planned so i decided to bin it off and went on my eleven meter pellet line i tapped in some micros before lowering my rig in among it then waited for a sign of fish , nothing happened so i repeated the process every couple of minutes i hoped that the falling bait would attract the attention of an f1 but thirty minutes past and still nothing nearly two hours of the match had passed with only three fish in the net i was on the verge of blowing another flyer so i needed to have a re-think on what to do next . Every twenty minutes i had put a pot of maggots under the aerator this could be my make or break method today first drop on this line and a little dip on the float resulted in a hand sized skimmer coming to the bank i began a little run of these fish although they wasn’t massive at least i was adding to my net , a change to feeding through a kinder pot resulted in a bigger stamp of silver fish and i had an hour of catching these but i still needed to catch some bonus fish to do any good so when bites on this line died off i decided to rest it for a while .

The wind was gusting quite strong into my right hand margin so i decided to plumb up my three-foot rig along here and started again first with pellets then going to maggots if i needed to with the wind blowing hard it made controlling the rig pretty difficult and a really should have changed to a heavier one , instead of tapping in pellets i decided to feed a full kinder pot then try to hold my rig still over the top of it and it took a couple of these before i had my first indication which was a positive sign not long after i had a skimmer over a pound it didn’t take much longer before i finally had my first carp which at 7lb doubled my weight two smaller ones quickly followed then it understandably slowed so i changed back to my channel line while it rested .

I had kept feeding my aerator swim and first drop i noticed a little dink on the float i half expected it to be another silver but a little shoal of barbel had settled there i managed six on the trot before they backed off , by rotating these two lines i managed to keep a nice stamp of fish coming to the net and it was all going reasonably well until the final forty minutes when back on my channel swim i hooked another big carp it was just about in netting range when i noticed that my landing net had become loose so stupidly rather than scoop it i let the elastic go from the side pulla while i tightened up the net , i replayed the carp again got it back to the net then the hook pulled after a few choice swear words i shipped back out another quick bite and i was attached to a barbel which was no bigger than any other i had caught but for some reason the hook length broke I’m not sure if losing the carp before had weakened it but i couldn’t quite get my head round the reason why , back out again with a fresh hook length on another quick bite resulted in another bumped barbel that was nearly ten pound lost in 15 minutes things were going a bit pear-shaped but i did kind of pull things back with a carp and an f1 strangely my only one of the day .

As the all out sounded i thought i had done reasonably well but as i would be the last to weigh in i would have to wait and see , after i had packed up i caught up with the scales man on Boulders lake as i could be drawn on their next week it was noticeable that this lake was not as affected by the elements the weights were all around the mid twenty pound mark with the top two anglers having over thirty pounds from the high numbered pegs . Back on goose lake and weights again was very similar to Boulders  i was a bit surprised in just how many nets of ide had been caught maybe i had dropped the ball in not fishing for them today , when they got to my peg i had 32lb to beat and i was rather confortant of having more than that although when the scales went round to 36lb it was a bit closer than i imagined .

All in all i ended up first on Goose and second overall so not a bad start to the winter league sitting joint top of the table but very early days yet , i think i have learned a great deal about the lake which i think will put a few extra fish in the net so i will have a think during the week on how best to carry out my ideas and can’t wait to get back there on Sunday .

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 .