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I was at Partridge Lakes for the Golden Reel on Saturday; with the recent change in temperature the fish have really started to get on the feed in the last couple of weeks. 

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.

Finally managed to get back in the bank for my first match of 2018. I decided to fish the Open match at Brookside Fisheries in Warrington.

Brookside will be my new local venue as from next month once I have moved house, so it is safe to say I will be spending a few hours at the place, over the next few years.

Having not fish the venue in well over a year, I was a little in the dark about the place, looking at the previous match results, the majority of the framing weights were coming from the pegs 17 -31 or pegs 41-59. I drew peg 31 so was pretty please to be honest. I decided on a simple maggots and bread approach which is always a good way to approach any F1 snake lakes at this time of year.

Started the match on bread to try and pick up a few early fish, after dobbing all over my peg I only had one bite, which I missed, so it wasn’t the greatest of starts.

I picked up my maggot rig, I found a few areas of my peg where it was flat across and had it had a nice depth of just under 3ft deep. Started by tapping about 8 maggots coated in Marukyu’s Amino Scopex fishing a couple of Scopex maggots on the hook and got a response straight away, with a lovely F1 of about 2lb in the net.


I spent the rest of day rotating three maggot lines across, tapping maggots, nicking a fish or two of each line. Feeding about 6 maggots every time I got a bite.
I did try a deeper line fishing down the track later on in the day but it didn’t produce a bite. I finished the match with 13 F1s and one carp.

It was clear that a few anglers really struggled, with a few deciding to pack up before the all out. I ended up weighing 22lb 10oz, surprisingly it was good enough for third overall in the match, with the top two weights coming from the ever consistent pegs in the twenties.

It’s was an hard but enjoyable winters day fishing, and can’t wait for my next visit to Brookside Fisheries.


Tight lines

Martin James Stokes

Marukyu’s Amino Scopex is available from Benwick Sports


One angler who certainly doesn’t lack effort is current Parkdean Masters champion & former Fish ‘O’ Mania champion Andy Geldart. We joined him many, many miles from his home in Leeds on the picturesque River Thames at Culham.

When it comes to F1 fishing some anglers prefer pellets and some anglers are sold on the maggot route. But how did this division of opinion start? Dale Calvert explains…

Now summer is here the fish will often be found up in the water, where Darren Cox is waiting to catch them.

Fishing is never an exact science, and as Lewis Breeze discovered, you have to be quick to react when Plan A turns out not to be the best option.

Losing is never easy! But what’s worse, losing by a huge mile or falling agonisingly short of victory? We join young-gun Cameron Cross on the banks of Lindholme Lakes to discsuss.

We join MAP-backed Tony Curd on one of the smaller lakes at the fantastic Barston Lakes complex, Solihull, for a close look at capitalising on F1s.

Joe Carass shows you that you can have a great days fishing, right by your feet.

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