Partridge Success – Darren Tracey


Bait-Tech Street Squad angler Darren Tracey heads off to Willow Lake at the brilliant Partridge Lakes Fishery in Cheshire for a session to hopefully put a few tough days over the last month behind him!

September has not been the kindest of months for me, fishing wise. 2 very poor sessions and 2 weekends without image1bank time. So I was determined to get out on the bank to at least end September higher than the start and middle. With that I had decided to load up and make the short 20 minute drive to Partridge Lakes Fishery in Warrington.

Arriving at the fishery, my mind was made on fishing Willow Pool. Willow is connected to piper offering a combined 35 pegs. Willow itself has 2 islands with a channel separating the 2. The water is very well stocked with common and mirror carp, F1s, Barbel, Chub, Bream, Golden Tench, Roach, Rudd and Perch. Walking up to the water, I chose to fish peg 7. This peg offered me a few different options, with a nice easy chuck to the island with a 20 gram feeder, plenty of open water for a bit of shallow fishing, and some very inviting marginal features to go at.

Going through the bait bag and bucket for the session, I pulled out a bag of Bait-Tech F1 groundbait that would be mixed up mixed up for the feeder line to the island. Carp and Coarse Pellets in 4, 6 and 8mm, and a tin of Super Sweetcorn Natural for the left and right hand margin swims. I also bought 1 pint of maggots from the on site shop that I would use with pellets for the shallow line and also for feeding off the edge of the platform.

Starting off on the feeder to the island. I planned to work the feeder by recasting after 10 minutes if no bites were forthcoming. So, with a feeder loaded with groundbait and an 8mm pellet in the band. After 2 casts, the tip went round like a good’un. After a short scrap, 1st F1 of the day was in the net. Reloaded, rebaited and recast, the tip was around within a couple of minutes was round again with another F1. Despite the odd 10-15 minute quite spell, the feeder line continued to produce a lovely stamp of F1s up to the 2 lb mark, until the rain come down hard enough for me to seek salvage under the brolly and ditch the feeder.
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From the start of the session, I had plumbed up my left and right hand margins, finding around 2-2.5 foot of depth on the top 2. The left side I had been feeding 6-8 grains of corn and the same of 6mm pellets. The right hand margin with 6 and 8mm pellets. I was also feeding maggots and 4mm pellets off the front of the platform. Dropping in on the left margin with a single grain of corn, and there was instant indications on the float and it quickly buried and first carp was on. Dropping more loose feed in while playing the fish so the swim was primed ready to drop back on. After netting and returning a lovely conditioned common carp, I dropped back on the corn margin and after a short wait had a big F1 in the net. Dropping over onto the right margin, and despite a few indications, the only result from the pellet swim was a small F1. I continued to feed the margins and come off them for a short while to hopefully give any feeding fish a little more confidence

Moving onto my 2+2 line…..I’d been feeding this line with a regular helping of 6 maggots 6 4mm pellets. Shipping out with a single maggot on the hook at 6-12 inches, I slapped the maggot while still feeding maggots and pellets which resulted in a short run of small roach. I changed to a 6mm pellet on a band, shipped and began slapping the pellet. Almost immediately on the slap, the elastic shot out the tip with what turned out after a good scrap on light elastic, to be a lovely deep bodied F1. Back out again but with maggot on the hook, and I started getting small roach again. Change back to 6mm pellet, bigger roach and f1s. I stayed with the shallow line for an hour, until bites slowed right down.

image5I decided with around 1.5 hours of my session to go, and with no let up from the rain, that I would stick with my 3 margins until the end. So, I give my swim straight off the platform a go, that has been drip-fed maggots and pellets. I put a bunch of 5 maggots on the hook and dropped straight in. Took 5 minutes for indications to start But they quickly developed into a positive bite and I had what was my biggest fish of the day, a 7lb mirror carp, on the end. Dropping back on the platform line this time with an 8mm pellet, and the float quickly buried and before I could do anything, the fish shot straight under the platform and the hook length gave way and the fish was lost. New hook length on, and for the rest of the time I rotated between the corn and pellet margins, and also looked at the platform swim with bunches of maggot or pellet, with each swim producing fish in turn until I brought my day to an end.

Despite a not so great month with regards to my fishing, today was just the tonic I needed. With some poor Autumn weather to contend with, It wasn’t all plain sailing and the session did have its quiet periods. But with regular loose feeding little and often, and by rotating the swims, I was able to bring fish in to the swims and confidently feed. With some lovely fighting fit fish caught today, it has given me a good and much needed boost to see me into my upcoming sessions.

Tight Lines

Darren Tracey
Street Squad


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