Club Match, Summer League, Havannah Flash, 28/6/2020.

It was a wet and windy one today! Rain was forecast so it wasn’t a surprise it was raining on and off during set up and at the All in. Wasn’t expecting the high winds, massive gusts and torrential rain though! All in 10:00. Less than 5 mins in had a nice perch and 2 small blades, on the 4m whip. That was it for the next 30 odd minutes. Switched to a waggler and chucked out to 18m with a half dendra on the hook hoping to find the Bream that patrol out at that distance. Stayed on the waggler for 25 mins without any indications, hybrid feeder out to 20m with Burt Baits 2mm feed pellet soaked overnight in F1 sweet enhancer, dendra on the hook. Nothing, nada! Came back on the 4m line with a top 2 +1, #2 elastic 0.09 mainline to 0.06 hook length #20 SWL hook. GORTINI 4×10 dibber, 24″ with single maggot. Trying to see if they were up in the water, moving up 6″ every 5 mins until at 6″ for nothing. Pulled out to 30″ and the float buried and the elastic was about 10m from my topkit! Started to reel in some elastic on the side puller and could see the slimy little barsteward trying to get to the lily pad and snag me, eel! yuck. 3 attempts with the net and I had it in and unhooked and in the keepnet. This is when the wind and rain really started to come down in torrents. Huddled up, got the whip out and stayed on this line for most the rest of the day, I had no indications on any other line. Took another ~1lb eel on the flick tip and a couple of more blades and a roach. 7 in total for the day! Diabolical conditions and fared no better than those anglers to my left and right, we all had a mare of a day with an average of just over a pound. Brolly got blown inside out a few times, on the 3rd time 2 of the tines got ripped out of the stay and that was it for the brolly, collapsed it and threw it to the back of my peg, roughed it in the rain from then on. Weighed in with 1lb 8oz. I am sure there were spells where the ducks were laughing at us from the cover of the trees to our backs. Fingers crossed for the golden peg draw later, for some funds.

Partridge Lakes Open. Covey 3 Peg 73. 21/6/20.

20% chance of rain today – which means there is an 80% chance it wont. 🔆 It didn’t, hooray.
Turned up early giving me enough time for a bacon barm and a cup of coffee before booking on and getting my peg. I had peg 73 on covey 3 picked and knowing it to be an island peg wasn’t too chuffed. Had an update off fellow Burt Baits angler Stewart Jolly that he had 90lb off this peg, shallow down the track and straight across, so that was going to be my plan of attack.
Set 4 lines:
1. Left margin. 13.5m to the the vacant platform. GORTINI margin float. 0.16 mainline to 0.11 hook length to SWL #16 hook. Burt Baits 4mm hook and hair F1 expander and corn. Feeding nuggets of Burt Baits 50/50 Krill/X-pander ground bait.
2. 9m straight out. GORTINI 4×12 round body, on the deck. 0.16 mainline to 0.11 hook length to SWL #16 hook. tipple maggot. Feeding nuggets of Burt Baits 50/50 Krill/Xpander ground bait and maggot.
3. 9m straight out. GORTINI 4×10 Dibber, 6″ to 18″. 0.16 mainline to 0.11 hook length to SWL #16 hook. tipple maggot. Feeding nuggets of Burt Baits 50/50 Krill/Xpander ground bait mixed to a sloppy paste and maggot.
4. Mud line 12 – 13.5m. GORTINI margin float, 24″. 0.16 mainline to 0.11 hook length to SWL #16 hook. Burt Baits 4mm hook and hair F1 expander, corn and maggot. Feeding nuggets of Burt Baits 50/50 Krill/X-pander ground bait.
Fed the left margin with a couple of cups of Burt Baits ground bait 50/50 Krill/Xpander and corn. Started off on the mud line for nothing in 20 minutes, switched to my left margin and had nothing with corn, switched to triple maggot and had a nice 1.5lb F1, stayed on this line for 40 mins picking off several F1 all under 2lb. I was hand feeding the 9m line with maggot while fishing the left margin. Went out with the GORTINI 4×12 on the deck and this was quickly seen to be doing nothing, I could see the F1’s coming up in the water to intercept the hand fed maggot, switched to the GORTINI 4×10 dibber @ 18″ and had 2 or 3 in the next 20 mins, I could see the F1 coming up for the maggot I was hand feeding but not really interested by the hook bait at @18″ pulled up to 12″ and then 6″ where I was getting some good mirror and common along with the F1’s. Rotated my lines during the match and my clicker had ~45lb, not a huge haul but I was happy with that. All out sounded and I started to pack up. As the weigh team came towards my peg I released my net and like a clutz I stood on my EPS bait box I have full of water and slipped, my right foot and leg went in and I let go of my net so I could grab my box and stop myself falling in!! Got my net back and lost all but 12lb odd of fish. I wasn’t going to break the scales anyway and was no where in the rankings, but haste and clumsiness just let me down.

Havannah Flash, St Helens. 14/6/20.

The thunder storms we had last night and through the night put paid to the good weights coming out of this water the last few weeks. It was hard for everyone, just 6lb 9oz taking the glory! I was drawn Peg 4 today, not a shabby place to sit and it has been fishing well for the last 2 weeks or so. Pegging on the front of the flash can be dodgy as there is a packed stone track running parallel to the water and it gets busy with fat men in Lycra so you really do have to be aware all the time about your pole and shipping back as some of them are the same one’s who don’t stop for red lights either! This was a well anticipated start to the Summer League and more than me were looking forward to a good days silver fishing. 25 anglers booked on which for this water is amazing, last year we were getting maybe 10. 3 pole lines and feeder rod today:
1. 4m whip, flick tip, slider float set up and dotted to 2mm as it was calm. #20 SWL hook, white maggot and hemp as hook bait. Feeding nuggets of Burt Baits natural silver ground bait @6m.
2. 3-4 solid elastic, @9m, 0.09 main line, GORTINI 4X12 round body float to 0.06 hook length to #20 SWL hook, caster, white maggot and hemp as hook bait. Feeding nuggets of Burt Baits natural silvers ground bait.
3. 4-6 solid elastic, @13.5m, 0.09 main line, GORTINI 4×12 round body float to 0.06 hook length to #20 SWL hook, caster, white maggot and hemp as hook bait. Feeding nuggets of Burt Baits natural silvers ground bait.
Feeder rod @19m hybrid feeder, worm and sweet corn as hook bait.
Started off on the whip after hand feeding a bit of ground bait and hemp. Tiny roach first put in, skimmer and then nice size roach within 10 mins. Thought I was on a flyer, for the next 4 hours and 50 minutes I didn’t even have a bite on any lines or my feeder. I could see the pike patrolling the swim and with these pike and the change in air pressure due to the storm, this end of the Flash was dead, My 12oz was pathetic! Peg 3 didn’t have a bite all match and Peg 2 had a few bits and an eel. No one was really doing anything, the winning weight was only 2 Small bream and an eel with bits. That’s fishing!

Partridge Lakes, Sunday Open, Covey 1-4 &6 7/6/20

Today was always going to be difficult. Due to a bit of a family emergency on Saturday late evening I didn’t get home until 05:20 on Sunday morning from Whiston Hospital A&E. I wasn’t really up for this and almost never attended in favour of some sleep. Anyway, rocked up at 09:00 as per the fishery Covid-19 instructions, only to find that most everyone had rocked up early and there was no parking spaces on the Covey road. Thankfully I had been drawn Peg 40 Covey 2 so not to much of a walk from the main car park. Started to rain as soon as I started to set up, thankfully it stopped just 5 minutes before the hooter for All In sounded. I had an aerator and cables to my right so pretty much had no margin or mud line on that side. Set 3 tracks:
1. 7m out front, 8-10 elastic, 0.16 mainline, 0.11 hook length to Preston SWL #16 hook. GORTINI 4×10 Dibber. Shallow Maggot
7m out front, 8-10 elastic, 0.16 mainline, 0.11 hook length to Preston SWL #14 hook. GORTINI Johny paste.
2. 13.5m right margin, 8-10 elastic, 0.16 mainline to 0.13 hook length to Preston SWL #16 hook. GORTINI Mini Margin. Burt Baits Hook and Hair 6mm sweet F1 expander.
3. 12m mud line, 10-12 elastic, 0.16 mainline to 0.13 hook length to Preston SWL #16 hook. GORTINI Mini Margin. Maggot Burt Baits Hook and Hair 4 and 6mm sweet F1 expander.
Forgot my sweet corn, hemp, bread and meat! Still in the fridge.
Had a single F1 and 5 common with a couple of roach for 14lb 9oz. All the carp were caught on my right margin track. A bad days fishing with the consolation that the peg to my right tipped back with 8 small F1 for even less than I had. Peg to my left was pulling them out 1 a chuck almost for 80 odd lb and a section win. Seems none of the path pegs did any serious weights just the end Pegs, and that is the end of my excuses.

3rd Outing this week 🤩 Today I ventured out to Newton-le-Willows, Lyme and Wood Country Park.

This Country Park encloses 3 of the 19 waters on our club permit. Ron Hassall Pool, Lyme pool and Wood Pool. Today I fished Lyme Pool, this is only my second time on this water.
Rocked up nice and early, I put it down to these beautiful sunny mornings we are having a spell of.
Set up on the back side of the pool, middle peg. There is some good F1 sport in this water by all accounts and a few Barbel as well. 2 lines:
1. Mud Line 9 meters, 8-10 Slick elastic, 0.16 through to 0.11 hook length, 16 Preston SWL hook. GORTINI Mini Margin, maggot or Burt Baits 4mm Polony hook or hair expanders.
2. Track line 9 to 3 o’clock, 6-8 Slick elastic, 0.16 through to 0.11 hook length 18 Preston SWL hook. GORTINI 4X14 Round Body float, maggot or Burt Baits 4mm Polony hook or hair expanders.
Feeding a mix 70/30 of Burt Baits Stillwater Silver Stimul8tor/X-pander.
Started off on the mud line and it only took 3-4 mins and the first 4lb F1 was in the bag. The rest of the early morning was pretty much a busy period. 6F1, 11 Crucian Carp and 11 Tench, peppered with the odd good stamp roach throughout the day. Switching about on the track line mixed in with Roach, Rudd and Perch was a brace of Chubb to 2 lb. The Barbel never showed. Fishing the mud line I got dragged into the reeds and snags, lost a GORTINI mini margin! Lost a few hooks and had a hook straightened. It was a busy few hours, finished with 76 and no bait left. Early dart home then!

Some of the days catch.

Another great day on Haydock Park Farm Complex. Lagoon 27/5/2020

Up bright and early again, just needing to get out and drown some maggots. Set up on the first peg on the front of the lake, opposite the peg I was on on Monday. I had 2 pints of maggot with me today and the plan was to target the silvers as the Carp and Bream seem more interested in spawning.
2 rigs set up:
1. #3 solid elastic, 3lb straight through, GORTINI 4×10 Dibber, #20 Guru F1 with maggot on the hook. 10″ depth. Fishing top 2, top 2 plus 1 and 8 meters
2. #3 solid elastic, 3lb straight through, GORTINI 4×12 short, #20 Guru F1 with maggot on the hook. 2 foot depth. 13.5 meters
Ground bait was Burt Baits 50/50 Xpander/blood worm glow. Feeding walnut size clumps every couple of minutes.
The first 20 minutes and I had 10-12 on the score board, all roach or rudd. After feeding a few more clumps of Burt Baits ground bait the skimmers showed up and these peppered with the roach and rudd kept me busy for a couple of hours.
Late morning I was getting a few hybrids ~1lb or so and a nice 2lb chub broke up the roach, rudd repeat. My hook buried and the elastic was at full stretch, put the tip in the water and waited to see what was going to be the first thing to snap. Luck had it my hook straightened and my rig returned undamaged. A quick hook swap and I was back fishing.
It slowed down after lunch, Ham and mustard on brown and a few cups of coffee, still getting bites and managed the first and only gudgeon of the day! Fishing top 2 right in under low hanging tree branches, you would have thought I would have learned my lesson on Monday!!, the GORTINI dibber shot off like a scalded cat and my #3 elastic was well and truly tested, first thought was I had a carp, but the fight didn’t last too long and I thought it may be one of the big chub we have in this water. Played the fish for a while not wanting to bully it on such light tackle. Got it’s head up and it was a bream. Nice ~3.5 4 lb beauty. Getting on for 1/4 to 4 and I was going to fish until 4. Again my float buried, shipping sections on to my top 2 as quick as I could the elastic was at full stretch, put my tip in the water and this time the hook let go, rig back safe minus the hook. Decided this was a good opportunity to pack up for the day. 60 fish in the bag, not a shabby day.
Another day with the GORTINI Dibber and again I am impressed with this little gem of a float, this is becoming a firm favourite.

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.