Darren Tracey on Gold Lake!

Darren Tracey heads back to Partridge Lakes Fishery to fish the members only Gold Lake!

So after what felt like an eternity, the weekend has drifted back around meaning it’s time to go fishing. With everythingimage3 loaded and ready to roll – it’s back to Partridge Lakes in Cheshire.

Today my home for the day was to be the members only Gold Lake. Heading to an area of the lake I’ve not fished before, I settled on Peg 33. With an island out of pole range, but with some nice marginal features and good open water, it give the opportunity to fish a few different tactics.

With the island out of reach of the pole, this would be targeted by fishing a method feeder onto the island shelf at an 11 o’clock position. For the method feeder I chose to fish a groundbait feeder. The groundbait of choice was Bait-Tech Big Carp Method MixTiger and Peanut. This would be used in conjunction with Bait-Tech 8mm Carp and Coarse Pellets and Bait-Tech 8/10mm Hi-Viz White Boilies. On the pole lines, I set up to fish top 2 + 4. Line 1 at the 10 o’clock feeding dampened 2mm Carp and Coarse pellets, with 6mm Xpand Pellets soaked in Bait-Tech Liquid Pellet on the hook. Line 2 at the 12 o’clock, I would fish meat. For this I put some N-Tice Polony through a meat cutter to give nice uniform 6mm cubes. I took a handful for the hook, and passed the rest through the cutter again. This cut the cubes down into smaller irregular pieces that I would mix with some of the dampened 2mm pellets for feed. Line 3 would be my margin line. This would be fed and fished with the meat/pellet mix and 6mm cube of meat on the hook.

As Partridge Lakes allow use of the Guru X-Safe system, this made setting up for method fishing simple. A 24 gram Guru method feeder with a 4″ hooklength of Guru N-gauge 0.19 to a 14 QM1 hook with a bait band on the hair. This would be employed for pellet hook bait. A second 24 gram Guru method feeder was set up, again with a 4″ 0.19 hooklength, to 14 QM1 hook with a bayonet on the hair. This would be employed for fishing boilie. The bait is applied by simply pushing the bayonet into the boilie. Rigs for the pole lines meant 3 set ups today for the differing approaches. Line 1 – 0.4g Dino York float to Guru N-gauge 0.15 mainline, 0.11 hook length to a size 16 hook. Line 2 – 0.4g Dino York, N-gauge 0.15 mainline, 0.13 hook length to size 16 hook. Line 3 – 0.3g Dino Trux float, N-gauge 0.17 mainline 0.13 hook length to a size 16 hook.

image2Bait and rigs set up, it was time to wet a line. Given how the already warm sun was shining on the island, my first approach was method feeder to the island. Taking the lid off the bucket to get some of the groundbait out, the aroma is unmistakably nutty. And containing crushed nuts would ensure that feed shouldn’t be wafted about too much when the fish move in. Loading the feeder up with the groundbait and an 8mm pellet on the bait band, I made my first cast that landed close to the island bank. After a very short wait, the tip flew round and after a hairy fight were the lump of muscle on the end of the line wanted to dive into the marginal reeds, I slipped the net under a beautifully conditioned mirror carp. Feeder reloaded and back out again. Slightly longer wait, but again the tip flew round and another fighting fit carp was mine. This continued until the sun moved and cast the island method swim into the shade. By reloading and recasting the feeder every 10-15 minutes and alternating the baits between 8mm pellets and 8/10mm boilies meant I was still connecting with the carp, and occasional skimmers. But bites were now taking a while to produce. On that note I moved onto pole line 1. Feeding a cad pot of the 2mm feed pellets each put in with 6mm Xpand on the hook, bites on this line were slow to come. After only a handful of roach and skimmers, I decided to give line 2 a try. With that I put a cube of the N-Tice Polony on the hook and some of the Polony and 2mm pellet mix in the cad pot. Shipping out and tipping the feed out of the pot and lowering the hook bait in among the feed, a bite almost in an instant as the float settled. Bingo!

After a short fight, a lovely little stockie carp was in the net. By continuing to feed each put in, I was getting a bite a put in resulting in carp, f1s and skimmers gracing the net. Bites had begun to slow to an almost stop going into early afternoon. Encouraged by the signs of fish along the margins, I thought the time might be right to give my margin line a whirl. I had been feeding this line with 3-4 cubes of the N-Tice every 5 minutes for an hour now. So, I baited my hook with a single cube, loaded a cad pot with the meat/pellet mix and lowered in my bait with the feed. It took a little time, but I finally got a bite from something that had no intentions of being caught. It took off from the swim, and straight into the marginal reeds on my right side and I was snagged solid. Unfortunately, I did not manage to recover the fish, but did recover my rig minus the hook. New hook length on baited and back in. After a long wait, the float buried and I managed to land the carp before it had chance to run into the reeds. Only 1 more carp followed from the margin, before it was time for me to end my session and pack up for home.

Today was 1 of those funny sessions that we all encounter from time to time, when the conditions strike you as being spot on for a great day’s sport. Although the fish were showing signs of being in the swim, it was a case of having to really work to catch them. Unfortunately not every day can be an absolute bagging session. But on the flip side, it is these sessions that we learn from. Don’t feel down hearted if your swim becomes difficult. Being out on the bank in the fresh air and the sun, catching fish can sometimes rank as a bonus of the day.


Tight Lines

Darren Tracey

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