Andy Bennett's Blog - Partridge Lakes

My local venue, Partridge lakes in Warrington was the venue for this blog. I spend most of my time here, as the turnouts are good and the fishing's superb. I arrived there early to find 49 booked on for the Saturday open, with all the Coveys (lakes) being in Pools one to five, I was hoping for a draw in either Pools one or three. Pool five stuck to my hand though, in the form of peg 113. Now, this isn’t a lake I’m familiar with as I’ve only been on there once before and that was two months previous. I did manage to win the match then though, with 80lb, which consisted of more than 200 fish on sloppy ground bait, shallow.

Knowing how small the fish were, I knew I’d need a lot of them to compete with the original Coveys, so my plan of attack was to fish pellet across and to fish maggots shallow down the middle, as this would be the quickest way to catch fish over the five-hour period. Forty fish per hour takes some doing fishing at 13m across all day, and although there is a lot of bigger fish, the majority average out at around 8oz apiece. Rigs for the day would be a 4xno12 wire-stem float for pellet across. This was tied up on 0.15mm N-Gauge to 4 inches of 0.11mm N-Gauge for the hook length of the same material. This was shotted with a simple strung bulk starting four inches away from the hook. The hook was a size-18 LWG. The shallow maggot line was to be fed by hand at 6m down the track and the rig for this was a 0.1g carbon-stem diamond pattern set around 12 inches deep. I also had a 4xno10 set up around 2ft deep. These were tied up on the same line and hooks as the pellet rig but with a strung-out shotting pattern to give it a slower fall. To start the match I fished pellet across for the first 40 minutes, feeding a small amount of micros with a 4mm expander on the hook, while I primed my maggot line. I was catching steadily across and had around 12 fish, but this was only going to catch me around 100 fish at this pace. Knowing I needed to catch quicker, it was time to have a look shallow. First chuck in and I was getting linered out at 2ft deep so I picked the 12-inch rig up and started to catch really well, having around 50 fish after two hours. I caught shallow for the remainder of the match, alternating between the two rigs and different depths, as the fish moved up and down. I ended the match with around 220 to 240 fish.

I’d had some better stamp fish but I’d also had a lot of little ide an chublets, so didn't have a clue what I had in the net. When the scales arrived I put 114lb on them and was winning the match but there were still lakes three and four to weigh yet. When I got back to the cabin I found out that 116lb had won the match and 115lb was second, so I ended up 3rd overall. Looking back, I didn't do much wrong, maybe I could have gone shallow 10 minutes earlier to catch the extra 2lb, but with no signs of fish I wasn't to know they were there, as being smaller fish, they didn't give themselves away. Mark Lucas won the match off peg 72 on Pool Three so well done to him.