Monday, 3 June 2013

Lathom Fisheries 2nd June 2013

The latest Horwich Old Anglers match was at Lathom Fisheries on number 1 on a glorious sunny day which provided plenty of optimism of a good days fishing and so it was decided we would fish six instead of the usual five hours

I have only ever fished number 4 on Lathoms before and tried to get as much info as I could beforehand. Unfortunately some of it was contradictory so I had decided just to see how the land lay when I got to my peg. It was certainly a day of highs and lows.
The first thing I did notice on arriving was the island I was told about was no longer there; apparently the lodge has had a remodelling. On seeing that I decided to leave the method rod in the car.

At the draw I drew peg six. The lodge is in a tear drop sort of shape and peg six is on the narrower part and happened to be the end peg for the match.
I decided on a few lines of attack for today.
1)    First 13 metres fishing a few 4mm pellets every 30 seconds or so to get the fish shallow. I decided to fish a deep shallow line of around 5 foot and a shallow rig of around 2 foot. The deep shallow rig was a 4x14 Chianti style 0.16-0.14 with a size 16 Drennan bandit. Shallow rig would be a small dibber style margin float with same lines and hook, all matched to 13 hollow elastic
2)    Second line would be around four metres at 10 o clock position feeding meat and hemp with meat on the hook. This was very shallow, around a foot and a half so the shallow rig from the 13 metre line would be used here.
3)    Third line was again around four metres at 1 o clock position. This was a paste line where I intended on using Bait Tech Special G groundbait as paste and feeding micros. The rig was a Middy 4x14 paste float with 0.17-0.15 and a size 12 Drennan Wide Gape hook.
4)    The final line would be a margin line. The margins were very shallow less than a foot and with the pegging being very tight I was sceptical about this line. I had decided on feeding micros and using corn dead reds or meat on the hook. This rig was very similar to the shallow rig but with a size 16 Drennan wide gape hook.
With around five minutes to go to the all in I was just about ready when I suddenly decided I would go get my method rod and fish it tight to the pegging opposite. I got the rod out of the ready made bag only to find the rig was in a right tangle. So I had to snap it off and start again. By the time I did this the match was well under way. I had been trying a new method feeder today, the Korum duro method feeder. I was impressed by it and especially the mould that I think is actually better that the Preston version.

So when I was finally ready I filled the feeder with micros and banded a 6mm pellet and cast within about two foot of the opposite margins. I clipped up and then started feeding my 13 metre line.
I had a few liners on the method feeder and somehow after half hour or so on the third retrieval I managed to get the rig in a right tangle so the rod was thrown to ground in favour of the pole.
I started to ship out and suddenly crack the number 5 section of my pole snapped. God knows what I had done with my roles but they were not level and I paid the worst punishment for it. I quickly sleeved the section and shipped out. I then say biteless for another 45 mins. I swapped rigs with no avail. During this time I had feed a large pot of hemp and meat on one line and was throwing small handfuls of micros and bits of paste on the other.

I came onto the meat line and got absolutely nothing for 15 mins so onto the paste line I went. Now I have stopped fishing paste as I really can’t get my head round it and struggled all last year with it but as I was told the venue responded well to paste I thought I would give it another bash. I baited the hook with a 50p size piece and as soon as I put in I began getting knocks, lifts and pull unders. I was really unsure what I should be striking at and really struggled. After about half an hour I did managed to catch a 5oz F1 which hook itself.  I continued on this line but could not hook another fish.
I then started alternating these three lines for another hour without getting a fish. Three hours gone a cracked pole, a mess of a method rig, numerous other mistakes and one tiny F1 to show and I was ready for giving up and going home.
I decided I would stop fishing and sort out the method rod, which proved to be a good idea. Eventually I was able to cast it out and I got into a steady run of fish, mainly carp of around 2-4lb plus my first ever barbel and a chublett.
With two hours to go I potted in two large pots of micros & hemp with a few bits of corn and meat right in front of the next peg along. Fifteen minutes later this line was bubbling with fish and I couldn’t resist it any long. I ended up catching fish regularly, including two lumps. Dead reds being the favoured hook bait. I alternated between the next peg and my top two to avoid spooking the fish. Unfortunately I lost what was probably the biggest fish of the lot which I hook as the all out was called, it snapped my hook length clean off.

I was first to weigh and was chuffed with 33lb dead, which was enough for third, considering I didn’t catch in the first three hours.

The ever consistent Dave Dermott and Matt Goulding came first and second with 50lb and 40 odd pound respectively. I think a lot of their fish were caught short and shallow from what I could see during the match, but I didn’t get chance to ask them at the end.
It was very eventful day which turned out ok in the end and I went home with a smile on my face. Plenty I still need to learn and improve and the only way I am going to do that is to practice more and prepare better, something which is non existent at the moment

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Rosemary Wood 12th May 2013

The 3rd club match of the year was on Rosemary Woods Moss Lake ( I have fished Rosemary Woods Isalnd pool a couple of times but never fished Moss Lake. But I was aware it was a larger open water with a lot of skimmers and stockies to target.

Unfortunately only seven anglers turned up and we fished the far bank. However with the clubs better anglers missing there was a big chance of getting a match win.
 It was decided we would leave a spare peg beside each angler so everyone would have a bit of room, this turned out a false promise as each peg had rushes going straight our for about eight metres.

I drew peg 29 which was about in the middle of the bank. The weather was overcast but very windy with rain expected later in the day.

I decided on a simple approach, method feeder about 25 yards and two pole lines at the end of the rushes on both sides as it was too windy to go any further out. Plumming up the two pole ines I found I only had two foot of water and was sceptical about catching this shallow with the recent cold weather.
The pole rig was 0.15-0.13 with a 16 hook. I decided to feed one line with meat, throwing 5-6 6mm cubes every min or so with a 6mm piece on hook. On the opposite side I would feed 4mm pellets the same way with 4mm expander or corn on the hook.
For the method feeder my mix was 50% micros 25% Sonubaits F1 and 25% Sonubaits Crushed Expander. For the hook I had a few different baits to play with but I decided to mainly use Sonubaits Krill or White Chocolate band ums and dead red mags.

At the all in I feed both lines with a large Frenzee Soft pot before casting the method feeder. Five minutes in and the tip shot round and the first fish of the day was on, however a eight ounce skimmer managed to shed the hook at the net.

The next hour went by with plenty of liners but no bites. I chaged baits and how ofgten I left between casts in an attempt to get a bite. Eventually, just over an hour in, a decent pound plus skimmer made its way to the net; this was caught on dead reds.
The next two put ins resulted in two stockie carp, one probably only six ounce the other a good pound and half. Then no more bites just the odd liner.

By now the rain had come and was the lack of bites was making it a very miserable session.

After two and a half hours I tried my pole lines, I had ten minutes on each but with not even getting a liner these lines were ditched to sit it out on the method.
I managed another couple of skimmers and a stockie all on dead reds. It seemed that if I was going to get a bite it would be around ten minutes after casting. There were plenty of liners, especially in the first minute or so after casting but nothing that would develop.
In the final hour I had another ten minutes on each pole line with no joy so back to the method and I managed one more stockie on a krill band um.

At the all out I knew most hadn’t caught too many but George Boydell one peg down had certainly seemed to catch double the fish I had.

At the weigh in I had 8lb 2oz which was good enough for 3rd with Alan Bennett catching 26lb and George Boydell 16lb. Both anglers caught on the method.

Afterwards we was told 80lb had won the previous day, all had been caught up in the water on the pellet waggler. Which now makes sense with all the liners I was having more likely to have been fish up in the water rather than fish attacking my feed. Bit disappointing really as I had my pellet waggler set up but never used due to the wind.
Something I need to improve is watercraft and decision making as if I had realised the liners were fish up in the water I may have been able to get a few more fish. Especially as no one else was fishing up in the water.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Cunneries Sunday 28th April 2013

The second Horwich Old Anglers club match of the season was at Cunneries Fishery (, Eccelston on the S Canal on Sunday28th April.
We had the two right hand canals for the match and with only ten anglers able to fish there was to be plenty of room for everyone.
On arriving the weather was overcast and calm with a bit of moisture in the air and seemed good for fishing but there had been frosts over the two previous nights. That however was to change to driving rain and gale force winds through the match. 
Come the draw i picked out what was peg 6. This was the far end peg of the left hand canal. I was chuffed to bits to get an end peg as I knew all the end pegs were the form pegs, but I also felt a bit of pressure knowing I would be expected to catch well.

The Cunneries S Canal is stuffed with F1s and a few skimmers (which rarely show). Plan wise was pretty simple. One line was at around 4 metres at the bottom of the slope, one line tight across to the island and a couple of lines across to the end of peg.
All rigs were made up with 0.13 to 0.11 line, Preston Chianti floats in 4x12 for island swims and with it being cold overnight I started on 20s Drennan Silver fish hooks.
Elastic wise was doubled up 6 for the short line and 11h for the lines up to islands.

At the all in I decided to go the opposite to everyone else who shipped straight across to the island. I decided to fish the short line and try and catch a few quick fish and give them chance to back off towards the island.

I shipped out and fed a full large Frenzee soft pot of micros with a few pieces of corn to kick off and a piece of corn on the hook After a few minutes of lifting and dropping I started to get knocks and it wasn’t long before the first fish of the day was on. That was quickly landed and I went straight back out feeding with half a pot of micros. Again a few knocks before the next bite. I struck and fish on but it came off pretty quickly. This happened on my next two bites resulting in me changing hooks to an 18 Drennan Wide Gape Pellet.

I was getting plenty of knocks but no proper bites. I then tried a corn skin on the hook which immediately resulted in a F1. In the next half hour or so I managed to take four more fish before the swim completely died. I topped it up with another full pot of micros and few grains of corn before moving tight across.

Feeding was exactly the same, a full pot of micros and few grains of corn with corn on the hook. Straight away I was getting indications and no long later float went under and I landed probably what was the biggest F1 of the day, around 2lb. I went back out and refed half a pot of micros. I got plenty of indications but no bites. I tried corn skins and a 4mm expander on the hook as well but it made no difference.

By this time the wind had got up and it started to rain which was making things really difficult with the float being pushed into the island a couple of times as I was lifting and dropping. I felt I wasn’t getting the presentation right so decided to leave this swim and come short again.

Feeding half a pot of micros with a skin on the hook I took a couple more F1s but it was very slow.

Eventually I decided to battle the elements and try the swims to the end of the peg which meant putting my pole directly in the path of the gale force wind. Same feeding method with corn on hook resulted in a bite straight away, however the fish dove straight into a snagged plant just under the water and got me in a right tangle. I couldn’t get my line to break and the fish couldn’t free itself! After ten minutes and using my pole to drag the plant I managed to free the fish and land it.
I decided to move further up the edge to avoid the snag but it was slightly deeper. I was hoping to use the same rig here and just adjust the depth but after five minutes of not being able to control my float and decided to quickly tie another foot of line to the top.
This immediately did the trick as I got a bite straight away but disaster struck, I had not closed the cap on my connecter properly and the whole rig came free.
A new rig was applied and going back to the same spot I had my most successful period of the match catching another eight or nine F1s in about a half hour spell before the swim died.

I then started rotating swims but could only take one or two fish from each line before bites would die and I would have to rotate again.
I even set up a new line on my top two in the corner margin of the bend which resulted in three fish but a hell of a lot of liners (I guess these were gudgeon as everyone else in the match was plagued by them, I think I was the only one not to catch one). But these fish took a long time in coming so I continued to rotate and pick of one or two fish.

At the all out I reckoned I had a total of 27 F1s for 18-20lb. I suspected it wouldn’t be good enough as there was two very good anglers on the opposite two end pegs and Tony Rawly a few pegs down had been catching steadily most of the match on his top two.

I was last to weigh and with 22lb 10oz was enough for third was I was happyish with but I was a bit disappointed I didn’t make more of the end peg I had got and yet again errors cost me fish. But on the positive I finished in the top 5 which is where I am trying to target finishing in more of our matches this season to be more consistent and I felt this was probably the best I had ever fished for F1s. 
Dave Dermott won with nearly 36lb on the other end peg on my bank catching with pellet fihing into the end of the peg I think. Tony Rawly was second with 27lb

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sunday 7th April 2013 Beacon View Fishery

Well last seasons blogging didn’t go too well, never seemed to have the time to get it written.
Going to try harder to make sure every match I fish this year is covered, so here is the first:

Sunday 7th April 2013 Beacon View Fishery
The first Horwich Old Anglers match of the season was at Beacon View Fishery in Wigan, a fishery I had never fished before. The fishery is almost a tear shape and we fished the wide end.
I managed to find out a bit of info before hand, mainly it’s very deep, stuffed with skimmers and some big carp. Also the fish like to come shallow.
Arriving at the fishery I felt very under prepared as I had just got married and been on honeymoon so had no time to sort rigs and get my kit in order that coupled with the very cold weather I wasn’t overly confident.
I drew peg 9 which was basically an open water peg with a bit of room (as most were). I decided on fishing two pole lines at 13 metres.
First line was straight in front of me and I set up two rigs. First rig was on the deck around 9 foot and the second was a shallow rig of around 4-5 foot. This line was a catch all line and the plan was to simply use maggots firing 8-10 maggots every minute.
The second line was at about 2 o clock, again to be fished on the deck. The plan for this line was to target skimmers. I decided to feed a orange sized ball of groundbait with a few maggots pellets and grains of corn mixed in and fish the different offerings on the hook to see what the fish wanted.
For the rigs I used a 1 gram Diawa Tipo float 0.15 main and 0.12 hook length with a size 16 B911 hook. The shallow rig was the same lines and hook with a 0.5g Chianti style float
I also set up a banjo feeder and a pellet waggler rod as alternatives to enable me to rest my pole lines.

As per usual the all in I was not ready as it took me forever to get the depth on my lines and had to use two different rigs. So five minutes or so later I was finally ready. I started off my priming my groundbait line before starting on the maggot line.
I decided t start on the shallow rig as I had been told more often than not someone will catch a fish shallow straight away whilst everyone else is on the deck and it won’t start fishing for at least an hour.
After half an hour shallow without a touch I went onto the deck and another hour hour later still biteless I decided to change to my groundbait line. I topped this up with a small nugget of gb and started on a 4mm Ringers Expander. I gave this line half an hour and again no bites, I tried pellet corn and maggot with no joy. Looking around the lake and it didn’t seem anyone was catching.
I decided to go back on the maggot line which I had continued feeding every minute. Before doing so I again topped up the gb line with a small nugget. First put in on the maggot line and a line little dip on the float resulted in my first skimmer of the day, around 6-8oz. I went back out expecting a few more bites but nothing materialised.
For the next couple of hours I rotated lines and gave the feeder and waggler a chuck but nothing seemed to work.
With about an hour and half to go I finally had another bite and land two more skimmers in quick succession. However I went and wrecked the good work because the next bite I managed to drop my pole when striking and the fish came off and I couldn’t get another bite.
I went back to rotating swims and without about an hour to go I got an almighty stroke of luck. On my maggot line I was shipping back to change bait and rotate swims when all of a sudden elastic came streaming out of my pole and a fish went charging into the next peg. I was only on 11 hollow elastic and after about 15 minutes I managed to land a nearly 8lb mirror carp which had been foul hooked.
After sorting out the mess of my rig it had caused I went back on the maggot line and immediately hooked another carp. After a shorter battle I went to scoop the fish but as i did it dived under my landing net and managed to snap my line on the handle.
After that I got no more bites but was confident with my foul hooked carp I must have been close to a win as I hadn’t seen anyone else catch a carp, only a handful of skimmers.
The scales came round and I weighed 9lb 8oz which was good enough for second place.  Dave Dermot won with around 15lb I think after catching a couple of carp late on.
Mixed emotions at the end because I was happy that I had snatched a frame from jaws of defeat but gutted I didn’t land the second carp as it may have made the weigh very interesting.
Over all apart from taking far too long to get ready I thought I fished OK. I made some silly mistakes which can be easily rectified with a bit of concentration. But I don’t actually know what more I could have done. On the day the fish clearly were not for feeding and a lucky carp got me a few quid.

Roll on the next match at Cunneries!