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Gary Matthews reports back from Old Hough!

Today I have been back  to Old Hough fisheries for the second round of my winter league and this time it was going to take place on boulders + goose which is somewhere that i have not fished for over twelve months so I was really looking forward to the contest especially after my good result in the first round , after yesterday's very blustery conditions I was glad to wake up and see it a lot calmer but with bright skies plus colder conditions it could make things a bit difficult although on these lakes you were targeting silver fish with the odd carp coming out .

old hough sign

On arrival to the fishery I meet up with the other anglers and a few of them had fished a couple of matches on these waters which would obviously give them an advantage but from what I heard there seemed to be a lot more carp showing than I thought, it soon came round to draw time and when I had a dip in the bag of doom pulling out peg 11 which I was pleased with as it was an area that I had fished before, doing well winning the match with nearly 50lb of ide although I was definitely on the colder side of the lake with the trees blocking out the sun.

I decided to set up ;

Two-foot rig for fishing tight to the far bank and I used a 0.4 Md diamond float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern, my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook.

Three-foot rig for fishing at 11m which was about halfway up the far slope and i used a 4x12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern, my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Five foot rig for fishing at six meters down the track and i used a 4x12 Md maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six inch of 012 garbo my hook was a size 18 guru maggot hook .

Bait for the day was ;

Four pints of red maggots

Two pints of 4mm pellets

Two pints of ground bait

old hough peg 1

When the all in sounded i started my match by fishing across at 14m tight to the over hanging reeds i put in a large kinder pot of maggots and a nugget of ground-bait  but this only produced a stockie carp plus a few small silvers in the first hour , looking around i saw everyone fishing in the same area and was struggling just like me but in the back of my mind I knew that the fish wouldn't want to be in the shallow water but i got suckered into going tight across . I decided to drop further down the shelf in a depth of 3ft at 11m and by feeding maggots through a kinder pot then letting my rig fall up the slope , doing this produced a few nice ide but I made the mistake of changing my feeding to using a catty which didn't work for me and i switched because i hoped that it would drag more fish into the peg which it did but only tiny silvers.

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Since the match started I had potted in maggots on my left hand channel swim at six meters and when I dropped on it after two hours I caught some decent ide between the small silvers but it gradually got better , as i began catching a few small carp and i felt that with it being hard going i needed to rest this line for a while so I put in another track swim six meters to my right but this one I fed with a big kinder pot of maggots , it didn't take to long for the fish to settle on the bait and i had a good run of fish including a couple of barbel but as the contest went on with the conditions getting colder ( on my side of the lake anyway as the opposite bank they were sitting in t-shirts ) the bites were getting really delicate and often the slightest of dinks on the float would result in a big carp and for the rest of the match I rotated between them both, the swims got better and better as the bigger fish bullied the smaller silvers out of the peg.

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The all out called time on a really enjoyable match as I caught a proper mixed bag of fish not knowing what i would be putting in the net next which made a nice change from all the f1 fishing i had done recently and when the scales arrived I had 27lb to beat , my net went 44lb which was enough for the lake and overall match win so thats two out of two lake wins in the winter league I'm back there next Sunday for round three on boulders and goose again where i am sure to come crashing to earth with a bump.

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