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:


Partridge Lakes Open, Covey 1-4 Sunday 22/4/2020

Packing the car and there was still a chill in the air and the wind was cutting. Social distance was well observed at Partridge and the staff are doing a great job in policing the situation and the separation of match anglers was evident. Booked in and headed to the cafe, take out only but other than being in a styro box it is the same great food. Bacon on brown toast and a cup of coffee was my starters. At the draw again there was separation from contact, you name was called as it was listed on the booking sheet and your peg was pulled for you. Peg 46, bugger, Covey 2 island peg. I had a bad day last time out on this peg.

It was freezing at the peg, the sun was up but having the trees directly behind meant that it was never going to get high enough to radiate some heat to the island pegs. Wind was blowing right to left straight through the swim.

I set out 3 lines:
(1) Left Margin to pallet on 45 11m, 10 solid elastic. GORTINI 4×14 margin float, 0.19 hook length to 16 SFL-B hook 0.13 hook length. Burt Baits hook and hair 4mm sweet F1 expander and maggot.
(2) Track line 9m, 8 solid elastic. GORTINI 4×14 ultra NiTi wire stem float, 0.19 hook length to 16 SFL-B hook, 0.13 hook length. Burt Baits hook and hair 4mm sweet F1 expander and maggot.
(3) Mud line 14.5m out opposite 45 to 12’oclock 11.5m, 11-14 hollow elastic. GORTINI 0.6 Margin float, 0.19 main line to 16 SFL-B hook, 0.13 hook length. Corn and bread disks.

At the all in my plan of action was to dob out to the mud line, starting opposite 45 and work my way to 12o’clock. Then dob the left margin. Hooter goes and I stick an 8mm bread disk on and ship out to the mud line. Float settles and then takes off like a freight train, 10 mins later a nice big double common in the net. Dobbing for the next 5 mins on the mud line, sticking to opposite 45 (ish), again float settles and not expecting it, but float rockets off, 10 mins later another double common in the net. Looking good this peg so far… 30 mins later and still not another touch, fed my left margin with Burt Baits 2mm and 4mm feed pellet soaked with sweet F1 pellet enhancer. Moved to my track line and started to get mithered by gudgeon and the odd roach, it’s all weight and adds up I suppose. Spent the rest of the match switching and feeding every 20 mins or so for 4 3-4lb F1 and a brace of small mirrors, 2 dozen gudgeon/roach but the big commons had done one! Watching peg 23 at one end and peg 34 at the other having one a chuck of F1 all day re-enforced my thoughts that I had no chance of framing. The lad on 48 was having a few f1 but nothing steady and consistent. At the all out I had 37lb for nowhere and a thanks for coming, 48 had just over 20lb. I believe winning weight today was 90 odd lb. Not planning on a match next weekend, but I have the Maver Match This qualifier on Sat 4 April.

A bit of a knock up at Moathouse Fisheries, Teal pool. 14/3/2020

The day started off dry (ish) and calm. This was a knock up match, 16 were booked on but only 10 turned out, absents due to illness and other priorities! The top of this doughnut lake are the pegs to be on. the wind was blowing from peg 1 up the lake to 5. It was pegged 1 to 5 on the left bottom to top and 6 to 10 on the right top to bottom. 5 or 6 is what I need to draw. Hand in the bag and pulled out peg 5, no cheers for me as I had drawn for Tony who was running the match!! My peg was peg 1 the place I didn’t want to be! At the all in the wind had got up and there were squally showers on and off. Started dobbing bread disks to the mud line @ 13m and absent left peg margin for 20 mins, GORTINI 4×14 margin float, not even a line knock, the bonus fish were definitely at the top of the lake. Fed 13m with Burt Baits 50/50 F1 sweet/Xpanda. started to pull out small roach, rudd and tiny skimmers but it was never going to be enough as 4-5 and 6 were pulling out F1’s and small mirrors. So another weekend match fighting with my pole over the wind. I had a 2 foot square on the mud line that was semi shaded from the brunt of the wind and this is where I had to try and keep my float to have a chance of a decent presentation. The left margin and track line produced nothing, mid match I had the fortunate visit of a ~8oz mirror which took up residence in the carp keep net like billy no mates! Not the day I had in mind, congrats to Tony peg 5 for his 17lb 10oz win, my 49 silvers and lonesome mirror for 3lb odd was never going to be close.
Zone A
Zone winner (peg 5) Tony Smith ( Newton ) 17lb 10oz
Section winner (peg 4) Ian Alexander ( Burt Baits ) 11lb 9oz
Zone B
Zone winner (peg 6) Paul Lucas ( Bait Tech ) 16lb 15oz
Section winner (peg 7) Lee Cooper ( Haydock ) 9lb 7oz

Congratulations to the framers.

Time for the fish to move into the margins?

As a precursor of this happening I made an order with GORTINI hand made pole floats. 2 sets of mini margin, a set of 0.6g heavy margin and for good measure a set of the new and recently released 4×14 ultra, wire stem floats. I have a good selection of all GORTINI pole floats and exclusively use them in my days on the bank side. The 0.6g heavy margin were an addition to the fantastic 4×14 margin and 4×12 mini margin I have been using for the last 2 years +. The NiTi wire stem, Johny paste and 4×10 dibber are new to the inventory and enhance the already great selection of floats available from GORTINI. Today was filled by making up ‘more’ rigs with this order.

Partridge Lakes Open Covey 1-4 Sunday 8/3/2020

Cup of tea and a bacon on brown toast as a starter for the day. Already had 3 Weetabix at home. At the draw pulled Peg 20 Covey 1, island peg! Not impressed as told this peg wasn’t ‘on it’ yesterday either for the MMT qualifier. Oh well, beats shopping.
I’ve not fished this Peg before, so on advise, set 2 lines:

(1) 11 o’clock, 13m, 11-14 hollow elastic, GORTINI 4×14 yellow tip margin float, 0.13 main line to 0.11 hook length, 16 forged hook. 40cm, BURT BAITS 4mm expander soaked in BURT BAITS F1 sweet Carp additive/maggot.
(2) 9 o’clock, 13m, 11-14 hollow elastic, GORTINI 4×14 red tip margin float, 0.13 main line to 0.11 hook length, 16 forged hook, 35cm, maggot and BURT BAITS 4mm expander soaked in BURT BAITS F1 sweet Carp additive/maggot.

At the all in, fed my (2) line with 2 balls of 50/50 Burt Baits Expanda/Sweet F1 ground bait spiced with big red and 4mm Burt Baits feed pellets soaked in Burt Baits F1 pellet enhancer. Dobbing 6mm bread disks on my (1) line, my float took off and really put my elastic under pressure, played this big double, not wanting to rush it, for 5 mins odd. As it was getting near the net it nodded its head and threw the hook 😟. Re-baited the hook with another bread disk and again within 5 mins the float dipped and I struck into a 5-7lb common, yet again after playing the fish it threw the hook. Checked my rig and I was using one of the old PR456? preston hooks that I had had issues with on previous matches. Swapped this out for a SFL-B 16. The next few hours were spent trying to find some fish. I had a 1/2 dozen gudgeon, and these were taking big red, 4mm pellet and 6mm bread disks and being a total pain and 1 2lb F1. I had a period of over 2 hours without a decent bite, just mithered by gudgeon. With 90 minutes until the all out it was shit or bust, switched back to bread disks and pulled up the depth on my margins by 20cm each line. Bang! big common, 12-14lb, this bugger stayed on the SFL-B, followed by a 4lb F1 and another couple of commons.
22lb 6oz at the all out. A disappointing day as hook choice ruined the chance of a good weight.
Next week is a Saturday match on Teal pool Moathouse fisheries.

Partridge Lakes open, Covey 1-4 and 6. Sunday 1/3/2020

Another blustery day, but hopefully dry. After a nice cup of tea and a chat with Martin Egan, who was there to do a spot of pleasure fishing, the draw. I decided to pull my tally left handed hoping for a flyer. Peg 85, well chuffed as this has shown to have been a consistent peg over the winter, so I was pretty happy……..hold that thought.

At the peg it was obvious it was going to be hard, the wind was blowing left to right straight through the swim, 20 mph with gusts of 30+mph. Setting up and my top kit roost went west 3 or 4 times, I weighted down my rollers with bungees to my bait bucket and tackle bag. At the all in I was still tidying up my top kits for the 4-5th time. I decided they were safer laid on the ground. I only set 2 lines, straight out top 2 plus 1 and 3 o’clock at 9m. I had no chance of holding for the far bank or the pallet to my right. Started off with GORTINI 4×14 but soon switched to 4×16, and to be honest these were still presenting horrible in the high wind. I had over 60cm of line from my dacron connector to the float and I was still wafting about like a blanket in the breeze. I settled for fishing top 2 plus 1 and hoped for the best. I fed this line with Burt Baits 2mm sweet f1 pellet, wetted out and then f1 pellet enhancer to really make them enticing and big red. What started off as a windy day just got windier as the hours rolled by I was constantly having to stop and retrieve something else of mine that had either blown into the water of off down the track. With a little over an hour to go I yet again had to stop my pole sections from blowing off the rollers, at this point I decided to bail as I had no intention of having to pay out out for broken pole sections. Tipped back 15 odd pound of mainly small f1 stockies and a dozen gudgeon. A great draw spoiled by horrible weather, peg 83 to 79 were sat in near mill pond conditions due to having the 2 tree covered islands as a wind break. These pegs were pulling some nice carp out!

Next Sunday back at Partridge for hopefully a better days fishing.