With plenty of big money qualifiers approaching at the stunning Partridge Lakes Fishery over the next few months I have decided to spend a bit of time familiarising myself with the venue once again by fishing some of the opens at the venue over the last two weeks.
Last weeks’ Saturday open Match, I pulled peg 21 on Covey 1 from the drawbag, with it being one of poorer areas on the lake, I knew I was only fishing for my section. The first two hours of the match were spent tapping maggots in various swims towards the far bank which ended in no bites. The next move was to pick up the dobbing rig, hooking a small piece of 5mm punch covered in Marukyu’s Krill Boost Juice resulted in my first bite by fishing 16 meters across out of the peg, and a small yet beautiful Partridge F1 was in the net. With dobbing the only tactic producing a bite I spent the rest of the match searching the peg on bread and ended up with three small F1s and a lovely 5lb Mirror carp.
The whole lake fished really hard, with lots of anglers blanking, luckily I won the section and the lake with 8lb 7oz on what was a bitterly cold day.
This Saturday, I again decided to head to Partridge for the Open, with a few different lakes in the bag rather than just the Coveys, I had the chance of fishing a new lake. As it happened I drew peg 19 Willow, which, as I wanted, was a new lake for me.
The peg looked stunning with a long Island to my left, and open water to my right, so was hopeful for a few bites. I started off on the dobbing rig, searching everywhere in the peg, but only managed a couple of roach. At this point decided to pick up the maggot rig and tap a few maggots across in various swims, yet again the only bites were from the odd small roach.
After three hours, I was coming nowhere. So decided to just fish for silvers with the hope of a carp or a few F1s moving in later as temperatures increased a few degrease. I set up a line at about 6 meters in the deepest part of the peg, and started feeding a small cad pot consisting of Marukyu’s new Natural Roach groundbait, a few micro pellets and about 5 maggots, fishing just a single maggot on the hook. Straight away I started to get a few indications but was missing bites, I decided to shallow up and straight away had a good run of 6oz roach. Ended up having a lovely last hour catching about 30 roach, 2 skimmers and a stocky F1 all caught at half depth in the deep water they weighed 8lb 13oz, that was third in the section.
A few pegs on the lake caught a few F1s, with 20lb winning the section. In hindsight a silverfish approach from the start would almost certainly have been the way to go, you could quite easily do a decent weight of silvers from Willow and at this time of the year where the carp and F1s are a little hit or miss it’s without doubt a safe approach to nick the section when a framing place isn’t necessarily on the cards.
I had the pleasure of fishing with Bait-Tech Street Squad member Pete Mahoney at Partridge Lakes Fishery in Cheshire. We chose to fish Gold Lake, which is a members’ lake on the complex. Faced with a clear morning, with a forecast of sun and a light breeze, and fish topping all over the lake, we knew we would be in for a good day.
The first job was to prepare my baits, courtesy of Bait-Tech. I set about sorting my groundbait mix – 4mm Xpand Pellets and 2mm Carp & Coarse pellets. My first line of attack was to fish the pole short, top kit plus two sections, for skimmers and bream and F1s. Knowing how fishmeal-based pellets are a staple commercial fishery bait, my groundbait mix would reflect this.
I mixed up a 50/50 mix of F1 groundbait and Special G Gold. Mixing the groundbait damp, I passed it through a riddle to remove any lumps. This left me with a nice fluffy mix with a very distinctive fishmeal aroma that would hold together to get to the bottom. I started by potting in one ball that also contained 2mm Carp & Coarse loose offerings and left the swim to settle.
For my second line I chose to fish at 11.5 metres on the pole. I fished shallow using the slapping method. This involves fishing a shallow rig with a short line between pole tip and float and flicking the rig to land on the water with a plop, which imitated the sound of the feed pellets hitting the water. For this line I used 6mm Carp & Coarse pellets straight out of the bag as feed and hook bait
My third line was to fish down the left-hand margin, which I would feed through the day and fish later in the afternoon. My feed and hook bait for my margin swim was N-TICE Polony cut into 6mm cubes using a meat cutter.
Rigs for the day were my first line a 4x14 CF Pellet float to Guru N-Gauge 0.15mm main line, 0.11mm hooklength to a size 18 hook in six feet of water. My second line was a 0.3g CF Carp Shallow float to N-Gauge 0.15mm main line straight to a size 16 hook and hair-mounted bait band fishing 12 to 18 inches deep. The third was 0.3g CF Edge float to 0.17mm N-Gauge to 0.13mm hooklength to a size 16 float.
Fishing the shallow line, feeding four to six 6mm pellets every minute and slapping the rig so that the banded pellets fell through the water with the loose feed, I was in to chub, roach and skimmers.
I then moved onto the short-pole line. I fished 4mm Xpand over the groundbaited area. This resulted in five skimmers.
With this short line becoming slow, I noticed Pete catching quality fish out to the middle of the lake with a cage feeder with meat. Thinking that the fish had moved out into the deeper water, I sought his advice on the method he was using.
I set to rigging my rod up with a Guru Micro lead clip, with a small 20g cage feeder and a 12in hooklength of 0.19mm N-Gauge to a size 16 hook with a hair rig and speed stop. I loaded the feeder up and baited up with the N-TICE Polony and cast out to the middle of the lake. His advice and tips on using this method were bang on, and I was quickly into the fish. I put together a steady stream of barbel, carp and F1s, until I started seeing signs of fish in the margins. I then switched to my margin line, which I had been baiting up through the day with the N-TICE. Fishing two 6mm cubes of N-TICE Polony on the hook, it wasn't long before I was hooking into a regular stream of big F1s and carp.
The end of the session had quickly crept up on us, and what a day it was. Plenty of healthy, great-condition fish graced the nets, the sun was shining, and all shared with great company and using faultless baits.
You can purchase BaitTech baits at Angling Direct