Ron Hassall pool, club match 18/10/2020. Gudgeon only.

Due to putting my back out and not being able to lift my seat box I opted for this club match, if not just to get me out the house. 20 peg venue, 17 fishing, tight pegging but it was for fun and any fishing is better than no fishing. This pool is predominately a pleasure fishing venue and has very few matches on it during the year. Some of the anglers had mentioned (harped on!) that it was full of Gudgeon. It was decided to hold a Gudgeon only match on there, several dates had been proposed and due to this covid-19 lark it ended up that this was the most appropriate and available day. There are no permanent peg numbers on this water, Ian Alexander (Burt Baits) was running it and paper pegged the pegs. I was drawn peg 11, the right side of the water as far as I was concerned, just not the peg I would have chosen. Due to me putting my back out I decided to fish from my carp chair and with just a 4m whip, feeding Burt Baits Darkside ground bait with pinkie on the hook, hoping that I didn’t get into one of the lumps that are in this water. We all had visions of hundreds of Gudgeon in our nets at the All Out! Painfully it wasn’t to be, although it was a clear and calm day they just were not feeding, no one was really having a good haul other than Chris G on peg 8 off to my right who went on to win the match with a tad over a pound. My net full was an unmemorable 12 Gudgeon for 5oz 7grams. Everyone was catching plenty of silvers and a very nice 8lb Carp and F1’s but we were only netting Gudgeon everything else went back.

Partridge Lakes, Covey 1 Peg 12. Sunday 11 Oct 2020.

Pulled up in the carparking area on arrival and when I got out the car I managed to get one foot on a half brick and the other twisted as I stepped out! Really tweaked my back, to the point I was getting pins and needles down my right thigh and leg, not a good start. Nel drew me Peg 12, not a peg I have fished and knowing peg 10 is consistently a flyer fancied a good weight from this area of Covey 1. Sat in full sun and it was pleasantly warm, that was until the sun went behind clouds and the wind got up, you could still feel the overnight cold then. I had to get help to get my box out the car and onto my trolley as I just couldn’t lift it out with my tweaked back. Got set up, slowly. Good that all in was 10:30 and I had 1 1/2 hours to get all sorted. Kept it simple with 3 lines;

1. Left and right margin constant 24″ of water out to 13m. GORTINI .6 margin float, 0.19 mainline to 0.13 hook length, SWL 16 #hook. Burt Baits 6mm pellet, soaked in Burt Baits F1 pellet enhancer or corn, soaked in Burt Baits F1 pellet enhancer or 3 maggot red/white mix.

2. Pellet line, short top kit plus No4 section 1.2m of water. GORTINI 4.12 NiTi wire stem float, 0.19 mainline to 0.13 hook length, SWL #16 hook. Burt Baits 6mm pellet, soaked in Burt Baits F1 pellet enhancer.

3. Mudline, 12m, 20″ of water. GORTINI .6 margin float, 0.19 mainline to 0.13 hook length, SWL 16 #hook. Burt Baits 6mm pellet, soaked in Burt Baits F1 pellet enhancer or corn, soaked in Burt Baits F1 pellet enhancer or 3 maggot red/white mix.

Feeding Burt Baits sweet carp ground bait sprayed with Burt Baits Sweet F1 liquid. Potted in and cad pot on top kit.
At the All In, potted in 2 balls of GB to my left margin @10m just past a group of sedge, 2 balls of GB right up close on the mud line. Dropped in a handful of 4mm Burt Baits pellets on my pellet line and shipped out to this line for starters, float settled and I could see knocks on the line so there were fish in this swim, unfortunately they were not feeding with their heads down, took a while but eventually the float dipped and I struck into a carp, foul hooked and I ended up with a scale on the hook after a few minutes. When across to my mud line for nothing after 20 mins of cadpotting GB and swapping hook baits. Switched to my 10m margin and the float hadn’t even settled when to elastic took a venture off towards peg 10, managed to control the fish and after 5 mins had a nice ~8lb carp in the net. It was hard and the bites were sparse, ended up with 6 Carp and 2 F1 for 36lb 12oz. The carp were real weight makers, just not enough of them in my swim to make a mark. 5th on the lake but nowhere near the venue framers. I had some Ibuprofen in the car but they only just took the edge off. Had help pulling my nets and getting my box onto the trolley and into the car, but a good days fishing.

Whitedoor Dam, over 60’s and disabled match 01/10/20.

Back on this venue today and hoping for a far better result than Sunday, which was dire.
I was drawn permanent Peg 16 which is on Beech, the better of the 2 waters, yippee. Peg 16 is an end corner peg which I have not fished before. Setting up lines was going to be easy as the depth is pretty constant after 6 m out, to over 16m. I had 3 lines set up:
1. 10m, 11 – 2 o’clock. #3 ProGen elastic, GORTINI 4×10 chianti, 0.09 mainline to 0.05 #24 hook, pinkie on the hook, potting Burt Baits Natural Silvers groundbait laced with pinkie and big red.
2. 13m, 11 – 2 o’clock. #4-6 NuFish Zipp elastic, GORTINI 4×12 clear diamond, 0.09 mainline to 0.06 #20 hook, big red on the hook potting Burt Baits Natural Silvers groundbait laced with big red and chopped worm.
3. Shallow slapping rig. 4-6 NuFish Zipp elastic GORTINI 4×10 chanti, 0.09 mainline to 0.05 #24 hook, pinkie or Big red on the hook.

I had one of my short shallow TKS top kits ready with 0.13 mainline to 0.11 #16 hook, just in case the bream and carp turn up.
At the all in I decided not to feed any balls of groundbait and just see if the fish would play ball from the off, started on my 1 line with bites few and far between. Potted in 2 small balls of GB which brought them in and I started to catch more frequently. Had a chat with one of the club members who was having a mooch round the complex, as he left my peg my 1 line float buried and the elastic was off on a run through the peg to my right (occupied!). With such light tackle I just dropped my top 2 in the water and waited for the inevitable hook snap, which happened as soon as my elastic bottomed out, oh well! Spent the best part of the next hour searching or a bonus fish with Burt Baits 6mm F1 sweet pellet or 1/2 a worm, which was wasted time in this 4 hour match to be honest. Went back to switching my lines, had a few skimmers and a nice baby Ide/Chub? and ~60 roach over the last few hours for 5lb 7oz which gave me 4th in my section, just outside the coin and only 3oz from 3rd. A far better day than last visit and it was a great turn out with 19 fishing. Sunday is a charity match on Havannah Flash in Parr.

Whitedoor Dam, Oak and Beech pools. Sunday 27/9/2020

It was a gruelling day, cold over night again and the fish haven’t been showing much this week as the temperature has dropped. 10 pegged on Oak and 11 pegged on Beech to be fished as 2 matches, top 2 on each pool to frame. I was drawn Peg 10 which was pegged on Oak, an end peg but the wrong end! I was in shadow from the trees all day and it was a relief when the All out was called as I was cold all day. The pool was littered with debris and leaves from the trees and a constant bombardment of acorns falling was another hazard. But it was a day fishing so not as bad as I make out 😉.
3 lines today;
1. top 2 to my right at 2 o’clock, just under a meter deep. GORTINI 4×10 chianti, 0.9 main line to 0.6 hook length #24 hook, pinkie on the hook. Feeding Burt Baits worm slop, over wetted to cloud the water.
2. 13m straight out front. 1.2m deep. GORTINI 4×12 clear diamond, 0.9 mainline to 0.8 hook length #20 hook, big red on the hook. Feeding Burt Baits worm slop, over wetted to cloud the water and caster.
3. short top +2 left at 11 o’clock, 1m deep. GORTINI 4×12 NiTi wire, 0.9 mainline to 0.8 hook length #20 hook with a Maver bowtie band, Burt Baits 6mm Sweet F1 pellet. Feeding Burt Baits 4mm and 6mm Sweet F1 pellet.
Reports this week were that Oak and Beech were struggling to produce anything and lots of ‘blanks’ on pleasure days.
We weren’t expecting much and knew it was going to be hard going, bonus fish were going to be the difference between poor and not too bad a day. I started out on my 2 line, potting in groundbait and pinging caster over the float. not even a knock for over 10 mins, I managed to hook a Gudgeon on a retrieve, didn’t even see the bite. That was me for the next 4 1/2 hours, switching lines and depths, bait etc not even a knock. Had my 8 foot Omni out with a method feeder with a full worm on a #12 hook in the hope of enticing a bream or 2, but nothing. Tried a bomb, tried a cage, tried a pop up!! This was terrible rather than just poor. This end of the pool was doing nothing and the far bank was just as bad with a number of anglers calling it early. I stuck it out and made a 100% improvement on my weight, another Gudgeon! And that was me 2 Gudgeon, but no blank for Johnny boy. I started to pack up 15 mins before the All out, with my feeder out at 16m. A day best forgot but got to take the rough with the smooth and things can only get better!!

Jumped on the Old and Bold Match (over 60 and disabled) club match today, 24/9/2020.

Decided the other day to jump on this weekly match program as I haven’t any work. Todays match was on Haydock Park Farm complex, Cowhey and Lagoon lakes. Got drawn peg 7 on Cowhey, happy with that as it has been fishing a little better than Lagoon lately. Pegs 1-8 on Cowhey, 9-16 on Lagoon with 13 fishing. Got set up in the dry but it was threatening rain. An hour into All in and the heavens opened, pretty much constant rain all day with spells late on of torrential downpours.
3 line today;
1. 4m to the front left of the lily pad. GORTINI 4×10 chianti, 0.9 mainline to 0.6 hook length #22 hook with pinkie or big red on the hook. Feeding Burt Baits 50/50 Expander/worm slop ground bait in walnut size lumps, over wet to make a nice cloud up in the water.
2. 10m to the back side of the lily pad. GORTINI 4X12 clear diamond, 0.9 mainline to 0.7 hook length #20 hook with worm or big red on the hook. Potting in Burt Baits 50/50 Expander/worm slop ground bait, over wet to cloud up in the water.
3. 10m off the corner of my box in open water. GORTINI 4×10 chianti, 0.6 mainline to 0.5 hook length #24 hook with big red on the hook, half depth, pinging maggot.

My short line was very productive at the All in so stayed on it for some time, occasionally feeding my #2 line potting in 2 balls of Burt Baits ground bait, the stamp was small, but no one else was pulling in at the rate I was putting in the net, the cloud of ground bait were keeping the fish there and they were liking the pinkie. Switching out to big red got me some better stamp and a few blades and perch as well. Moving out to my #2 line after an hour and it was quiet, the hope of skimmers or bream moving in didn’t happen, but still I was putting fish in the net while not seeing anyone else making any headway. Spent the next 2 hours switching between these two lines and it was starting to get a bit barren. Last hour odd (4 1/2 hour match) and it was tipping down, switched to my #3 line, pinging maggot over my float and lifting and dropping and I started to get the roach and rudd feeding, I could only just see my float tip in the rain and had a few blank strikes on what must have been rain drops planting my float! Ivor to my right had got his waggler out and had found the range of the bigger skimmers and was clearly catching me and soon overtook my haul. At the All Out the rain stopped, sods law but welcome not packing up in the rain. Seems everyone was downhearted as Lagoon had fished hard and there were 4 DNW. My 4lb 14oz gave me a second place and some beer tokens, beaten by Ivor to my left with 6lb 02oz. Can’t complain at that.

Painful start back to work!

After a welcome Section win on Partridge Lakes last Sunday and a fantastic 2 weeks off work, Monday was a bit of a shock. First thing back I had a conference call, which is not unusual as there are handover ‘stuff’ I need to be told about after holidays. I got told that my position is to be made redundant, along with 3 area managers and 5 field engineers! This week has been a bit of a whirlwind as you can imagine. Loads of things I needed to sort out and left it too late to book on anywhere. I owed the club a few hours work on one of our waters, so decided to do a half day work and then sit on one of the waters on this complex with my whip and have a relaxing, head clearing day.

Its not that often that I get to go fishing with next to nothing. Chair, 4m whip, landing net and a small bait bag, butties and flask was my stall for this afternoon.

Fished a flick tip 4m whip, 2BB float on a slider set up, 20″ depth in 4 foot of water, 0.6 hook length to a fine wire 24 hook. Bait was Burt Baits 2mm F1 sweet pellet soaked so they were just soft enough to slide on the hook, feeding soaked Burt Baits 2mm F1 sweet pellet. Nothing like an afternoon fishing to clear the mind and put things into perspective.

Fishing extra light and getting a 3lb bream on 0.6 to 24 hook sure makes the sphincter tighten and the level of concentration go up as you watch your flick tip bend 180 degrees for the initial strike.

Back match fishing next week, on a 20 pegger on Whitedoor Dam. Got some new design floats from GORTINI that are going to get a full match day on them. 4X12 and 4X14 diamond pattern glass stem, cheers Bri.

Early retirement is sounding more and more attractive.

Partridge Lakes, Sunday Open 6/8/2020. Covey 1 Peg 20, on an Island again.

I can put my bridesmaid outfit away, today I am the Bride. Won my section and the lake. 89lb 1oz had me reaping the honours, with 87lb something taking the other section off Peg 10.
19:30 Update, Peg 10 got 97 odd not 87 as I was told. Still got the section though.
A nice start to the day, the sun was out and there was little wind. Peg 21 was in so I had to keep the feed going and stop the carp moving past me to peg 21. I had soaked my 2mm and 4mm Burt Baits pellets in F1 sweet pellet enhancer yesterday in preparation, so I was feeding them dripping with more Burt Baits F1 sweet soak.
3 lines today:
1. Shallow, 12″ and 18″ GORTINI 4×10 chianti, 0.18 straight through, #12 SWL hook, Maver bowtie band to Burt Baits 6mm F1 sweet pellet. Feeding caster and Burt Baits 4mm F1 sweet pellet.
2. In front of my nets, 4′ GORTINI 4×12 NiTi wire stem chianti, 0.18 mainline, 3″ hook length 0.13 to #20 SWL hook, Maver bowtie band to Burt Baits 4mm F1 sweet pellet. Feeding Burt Baits 4mm F1 sweet pellet.
3. Edge, 24″ started out at 14.5m and drew back to 9m GORTINI 4×14 Margin, 0.18 mainline, 3″ hook length 0.13 to #16 SWL hook, 3 white maggot. Feeding Burt Baits 4mm F1 sweet pellet, Burt Baits 2mm F1 sweet pellet and Burt Baits X-pander ground bait. All dripping with Burt Baits F1 sweet pellet enhancer.
Before the all in, I got a phone call off Ian Welsh one of the Partridge regulars, passed some good advice on fishing this peg and tactics to employ. Cheers Ian, you are a star.
At the all in, fed my margin @14.5m with 2 big lumps of ground bait. Tried my hand shallow, just to see if they were up in the water. As per the advise off Ian, they weren’t but it gave the carp enough time to move in on my feed in the margin. After 10 mins of nothing I switched to my margin line and pulled a nice 2lb F1 first drop in. Moved the feed back towards me every other fish to get them feeding at a manageable 9m. Stayed on this line for the rest of the day, had a couple of foul hooked fish while dropping my feed in off the cad pot and missed a few. Tally for the day was 21 Carp and 2 F1’s. 2 of the Carp were well into 12lb+ and most were over 6lb, the last fish of the day was a stunning 15lb common which took an age to net as I wasn’t going to rush it with only 10 mins to the All Out.
I will have to wait for the full results off the complex as Covey 1-4 and 6 were fishing today. Took the section and Lake but have no idea how the other lakes have done yet.

This was Net 3 of 3 at the weigh in.

Partridge Lakes, Sunday 23/8/2020 Open. Covey 6, peg 159

Never fished covey 6 before so this was all new to me. The swim was ‘meh’ 😝 at best. No mud line to speak of, just a 2 foot gap in the sedge very undercut and full of root snags. Took an age to find a flat spot with my plummet, the wind making it almost impossible to present accurately. Sedge left and right margin with again no flat spots the bank being really undercut with high spots and dropping off into snags. Started off in heavy rain and wind, blowing right to left right across the swim. Nothing too complicated as the conditions made choices difficult.
4 lines:
1. Right margin, top 2 plus 1, 15″. 0.19 mainline to 0.13 hook length, #14 SWL hook. GORTINI 4×14 margin float. Feeding Burt Baits Sweet F1 carp groundbait and Burt Baits 2mm Sweet F1 pellet. 3 maggot/Burt Baits 6mm hook and hair Polony pellet.
2. Mud line, 13m, 18″. 0.19 mainline to 0.11 hook length, #16 SWL hook. GORTINI 4×14 margin float. Feeding Burt Baits Sweet F1 carp groundbait and Burt Baits 2mm Sweet F1 pellet. tripple maggot/Burt Baits 6mm hook and hair Polony pellet.
3. Shallow track line, 0.19 mainline to 0.13 hook length, #16 SWL hook. GORTINI 4×10, 3 maggot, feeding maggot and caster.
4. Hard pellet line, 6m on the slope, 5 foot. 0.19 mainline to 0.13 hook length, #20 Guru F1 pellet hook fitted with a 2mm Maver bow tie band. GORTINI 4×14 NiTi wire stem chianti, 4mm Burt Baits Sweet f1 hard pellet.

I did fish a line with the new GORTINI 4×14 clear diamond float for about 30 mins. It coped really well with the wind and chop and it presented the bait nice and steady. First impressions are good, can’t wait to give it a longer session, even managed to land a 5lb Common off this line 👍.

Bait presentation has been a total nightmare all day with the constant wind and at time torrential rain. Spent the day just picking off fish here and there, Shallow was a waste of time, even switched to a jigger late on to see if that would help, for nothing! Hard pellet line didn’t even produce a bite. All the fish, bar the one on the new GORTINI 4×14 clear diamond float line were from my mud line, when I could get over there, and the right margin. A poor show with 1 F1 and 7 Common carp for about ~30lb which I tipped back. Start of the day being told by chap on 161 and 157 that I was on a crap peg didn’t do too much to drown my spirits, but reality proved that advice to be sound.
On holiday end of next week so I wont be on the bank that weekend as we are off to Scotland for a short break, just about the only country left where we won’t have to isolate for 14 days when we get back into England.