Haydock Park Farm. Lagoon 25/5/2020

My first outing since this lockdown has allowed us out to go fishing. It was my intention to fish Cow Hey Dam on this complex today as I had no maggot or pinkie, and Lagoon is not the best water to fish without the little buggers. Rolled up at 7:30 ish and Jimmy C had beat me down the track and opened the gate. Surprised to see the car park 3/4 full. A quick recce on Cow Hey showed that it was not going to be possible without making the trek to the far side pegs in the woods. So Lagoon it was, I settled down on the fist peg on the back of the lake. I started off on my 4m whip, set up as a sliding rig with most of the weight down by the hook length to make it easier to to swing out a good distance. Fished dead bottom with 2mm expander soaked in Burt Baits Polony liquid. Fed the swim with hemp and Burt Baits 50/50 Xpander/sweet F1 ground bait. Not a touch for over an hour so switched to the tip rod with a banjo feeder, corn on the hook and the Burt Baits ground bait mix in the banjo. A few liners but again nothing showing. Decided to set up my pole and fish a GORTINI 4X10 Dibber shallow out at 10m this produced me 3 large Roach and 3 skimmers. Had an hour for lunch, sausage on brown and a couple of cups of coffee, there was not rush to get back as it was slow going in the morning. I switched to my right margin, under a low hanging tree, just tempting fate here!! Pulled in to 2 foot depth, top 2 plus1, started quite well with a fair few Roach and Rudd. Feeding walnut size nuggets every 5 mins kept the fish there and I was really starting to enjoy the day. Started to see some swirls close in, tried my luck at getting in right under the branches and the float disappeared and the line tightened, landed a nice ~3lb Bream, foul hooked in it’s pectoral fin, so they were swimming even shallower than 2 foot. Took 6″ out of the depth and had 2 skimmers in quick succession. Another ~4lb Bream and then my luck ran out and I snagged a tree branch! 😫. The float and a nest of line round the branch made it impossible to pull back, ended up snapping my elastic (Slik 3-5) leaving the rig and my dacron swinging off the tree. Jimmy C to the rescue with his weed cutter attachment on his potting top 2 managed to get the rig back and a testament to the GORTINI 4X10 it was undamaged and will just need making up in a new rig. Switched top sections with another GORTINI 4×10 Dibber. A few more Roach and Rudd and a final ~4lb Bream to wrap up the day.

All the marked Bream were treated with bonjella before being released back to the lake.

25/5/2020 GORTINI 4X10 Dibber.

I had trialled this float for Bri last year, however it was a bit too late in the year to give it a full outing and a fair review. Today was perfect conditions, Sun was out, water was mill pond calm a slight tow in the water but no wind. I dotted the floats down to just the top of the bristle showing, .5mm or so, and they were accurate on every indication and as proved by dragging one through a tree very strong and resilient. I normally fish the GORTINI 4×12 in the summer months, but that is going to change with small bait as I have every confidence in the Dibber when the conditions are right. As it is so short it is ideal to present small bait like 2mm expander, pinkie etc close in without having to switch out to a mini margin. Definitely impressed.

Wednesday 13/5/2020 Back to fishing

The Angling Trust have done a great job putting forward a proposal to the Government which allows Anglers to get back out on the bank. This is welcome news and a big well done to the Angling Trust for pushing their proposal so vehemently.
I sadly will still be working and not free until Sunday, but that isn’t the day I will be back out. My wife, due to long term illness, is on the high risk register and is pretty much confined to the house and garden. She hasn’t been out since mid March. I will be isolating as much as is physically possible as I have been since lockdown to protect her health.

If you can get out, have a good look about and suck up the vista and take time to unwind mentally, I hope you have a great time fishing and look forward to all the tales of monsters caught.
I have managed to clean all my ‘stuff’, make far more rigs than I can possibly use and tie so many hooks I needed to buy more hook boxes (I did say I would not be tying any more hooks before this lockdown, but…). I have sorted out all my tackle and come up with a few bits and pieces for our Juniors program, just need to get them to the coaches when possible.
Tight lines, stay safe and blow off those cobwebs.

Sorry followers.

The stats show me that people are still visiting my blog daily, but due to this lockdown and the inability to get on the bank I am pretty much devoid of updates. I don’t wish to deviate from fishing stories as this is why I started this all up. I will get back to normal weekly input and pictures once we can all get back on the bank. Tight lines, stay safe. There are still activities that are keeping me busy, like making up far more rigs than I will actually use with what time we have left this year. I have made sure Brian @GORTINI hand made pole floats has had orders to fill from me and he is also very busy with making his floats for new and returning customers. He even had a write up in one of the Angling magazines, well done Brian.

2 trays of rigs made.

What to do while stuck at home? Cleaned all my fishing gear to a sparkling shine. Had a good clear out of ‘stuff’ I haven’t used for the last 18 months, cleaned it up documented it and put it up to our coaches who run the Junior sessions. I had an empty tray of winders and a box full of GORTINI hand made pole floats, sat down for a full day and made up rigs to fill the winders. 1 tray of light silvers rigs and 1 tray of commercials rigs.

Still in lockdown

As my blog is fishing related and we are still being sensible, staying home while the NHS and key workers soldier on trying to stem and treat this virus, there isn’t any reports from the bank side. I have run 2 “virtual” matches on my clubs facebook page and they have gone down well and were light humoured. The results of them can be found in the Match Report page of this blog, you can navigate to it from the home page menu. Had a serious clear out of fishing ‘stuff’ and have loads that I am donating to the coaches who run Junior learning and match program of Newton-le-Willows Anglers Asc. Obviously I can’t get it to them until the lockdown is over.

A weekend of cleaning.

Maver, MAP and Shimano poles washed. Hot water and a car shampoo, rinsed clean, air dried and then spritzed with silicone maintenance spray, wiped down and stored away. All luggage emptied, all the ‘stuff’ that collects in the bottom removed and binned. Hot soapy water and wiped down with a sponge, then a re-wipe down with clean water, air dried and repacked. Seatbox, stripped down to its core pieces and jet washed with car foam, then jet wash rinsed, wiped down with a microfibre cloth and air dried, re assembled. it is hard to find things to do without having to start a major project, for which we are not allowed to travel out and buy supplies. So doing things slowly and focus on making them last as long into the day as possible. If this does go on longer than the 3 weeks forecast then it really is going to be hard to find things to keep productive. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay home!

COVID-19. Country in lockdown

In case you have been living under a rock over the last few days you will know that our Government took the decision to restrict all non essential movement, close all stores other than food outlets and chemists. This included our tackle shops, and although we consider our sport to be “self isolating” on a selfish level we have to be honest and agree that ALL unessential contact and travel have to be restricted.
So what to do while ‘working from home’?
A though clean of all my tackle, poles to be washed down with car shampoo, rinsed, dried and then sprayed with a silicone lubricant. Tackle luggage emptied, all the bits of ‘stuff’ that accumulates binned and then a good wipe down with soapy water and towel dried. Seat box, jet washed and then towel dried, and a good clean of all the accessories like rollers and roosts etc.
I am also making up my summer light and medium silvers rigs, this really occupies the mind and concentration, how many do I make; well that depends on how quick I run out of floats, weights, line etc.

One of our club members and coach for the ladies and juniors made a valid point; The local tackle shops have over the years supported his efforts and the junior program he and his peers run, they have stepped up with tackle, bait and even trophies for the ladies and junior series. We should be poised to flood back into these tackle shops once they get to open again, we need to support them as they have supported us and our club activities. There is nothing you NEED right now that you have to do a major on-line shop at the box stores and big retailers that can’t wait until we get the green light to get back on the bank, most of it will be available in the local tackle shops and at a comparable price. If we don’t support the local business’ then we will lose them, these are difficult times and economy for these tackle shops.


Golborne Tackle &Bait 

These local tackle shops have all supported the ladies & junior section of Newton-le-Willows AAsc, please think when you’re buying online that these independent local outlets have been forced to close until restrictions are lifted. When that happens they are going to need your patronage more than ever in already difficult times, save your money and shop local. Other shops in the area fishing or otherwise need your support. 🎣🎣”

Paul Lucas

If the message hasn’t got to you yet or you are unsure: