Triple match success - Andy Bennett

On Saturday I was at Partridge Lakes for the open, on peg 97 to be precise. After a week of hard frosts the ice was around 3/4 inch thick so it required some breaking.

When the fishing is like this it pays to have a look at your peg first to inspect the peg before breaking as you don’t have the luxury of searching the peg once the ice is broken, so I decided on two lines - one long down towards the bridge and one across to my right.

The fishing was rock hard though and I only managed six decent fish plus some rudd, perch and gudgeon to finish with 14lb odd, which was enough to win the lake and section. The highlight of the day was a lovely 4lb 8oz F1 but, barring that, it was pretty uneventful.

Sunday was the third round of the individual league on there and my draw saw me on peg 18 on Spey. This peg narrows off ever so slightly, so the best way to attack it is to start in-front of yourself to try and catch any mug fish that are feeding early before chasing them long out of the peg.

The plan was to fish maggots in 3-4 feet across, and then have a track line for later on. The track is only 5 feet deep here so I set three rigs up to cover my options - one at 3 feet, one at 4 feet and then one at 5 feet, so I had every base covered.

I had a brilliant start and was quite surprised when I had 13 fish for around 22lb in the first 90 minutes, all down the first hole in-front of me. I was beginning to think I could go on to win the match at this point as I was expecting it to be even better when I went long to the left where it widens out slightly.

How wrong I was. I only managed another five fish the rest of the day plus a few bits an bobs to finish with 31lb. Peg 14 had a fish a chuck late on but with a poor start it made for a tense weigh in. 27lb was put on the scales, which meant i had won the section with 22lb and 18lb next best.

The match itself fished really well with Connor Barlow winning the match comfortably with 62lb from peg 151 on pool 6, so well done to Con. This meant there are four people lying on three sections wins with myself leading on weight. Connor also has three wins now too thanks to his match win.

With the fishing being hard, patience is key with sparse feeding the order of the day and light rigs can also get you that extra bite. I fished a 4x10 float tied on 0.15mm N-gauge to 0.11mm hooklink of the same material. Shotting was just a simple strung bulk of number 11s finished off with a size 20 hook.