Venue: Micklewrights

Time: 7:00 pm – 12:30pm

Weather: Overcast, Windy


It’s been my first trip out fishing in three months, the last time I fished was actually before Christmas. The weather being miserable and not even having a club membership has put a bit of a damper on the fishing side of things. But now the weathers picking up, my freshly printed membership book has arrived in the post and hopefully my rod licence will arrive before it expires next season, it’s back on.

I wanted to try a new venue to kick start 2014 season off so chose a venue I’ve always wanted to fish and heard a lot of good things about “Micklewrights“. All the gear for an overnight stay was piled into the car. I always get the feeling I’ve forgot something when I leave for fishing, this was to be discovered later on, as the title suggests “Problems”

Problem number one: After an extended trip thanks to people swan necking at an accident on the motorway, an hour and a half After I set off I was finally there. Well I thought I was, I was actually at someone else’s farm wondering around looking for a lake. The owner set me straight and gave me directions for Micklewrights at Groby Farm.

Problem number two No key. I’d finally arrived after driving ten miles an hour for twenty miles and getting lost at the wrong farm to discover the key that’s always in my car, the very one I need to open the gates to get to the lake, has GONE. Luckily the owner was around, she asked to see my membership and a quick phone call to the bailiff, it was arranged that she could let me in but wasn’t sure how I would get out the next day. I’ll address that problem tomorrow I thought and was on my way.

What a great venue, it was just as I’d imagined, if only a little smaller. After a quick scout around I’d chosen my swim. A small island just off the bank was the obvious choice.

Problem number three: With the rods cast out and line placed the into the bite alarms I was ready to set up the bivvy. WRONG! der der. That’s the sound my second bite alarm made when switched on. The batteries were dying. Great! What would Mr Crabtree have done back in the day? Used a coin placed placed on the spool with a tin underneath. If I had one maybe I could. A few text messages to Gaz Byrnes and he had the answer, put both lines through the good alarm. Obvious but I’d never have thought of it myself, it actually worked and I was back in business.

Shortly after the bailiff popped over knowing my problem with the key and let me borrow his, all I had to do was post it in the catch returns box after I’d opened the gate, if your reading mate, much appreciated.
Soon as he left the the alarm BUZZED off on a good run, dam missed it, I lifted the rod into it anyway but the fish had escaped. An hour later and the alarm was BUZZING again this time I was in luck and my first Micklewrights carp and first of the season was in the net….

Problem number four: With most of my fishing being done on rivers over the winter before Christmas I’d left my camera tripod inside that hold all. I made do with balancing my camera onto my carp porter, the pics a bit wonky and out of focus but it did the job. With a fish under my belt I’m always more confident I’ll catch a few more, I was off to a good start.


Problem number five: The rest of the night was quite uneventful apart from a few beeps off the alarms. Trouble was the wind and lack of bivvy pegs. My bivvy wasn’t blown away with me left underneath looking at the stars, my bivvy was flapping around like your mums washing on the line. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep.

I must have dropped off at sometime because I was woke up by my alarm screeching off once again. I pulled into the fish and after a short fight was into a nice Tench. It’s been years since I’ve had a Tench, I’ve even been “Lymm Anglers Clubs Tench Fish-In” twice without success, so a Tench in the bottom of my net was a very welcome surprise.


With the wind picking up again I got the rod back out with a scattering of boilies over it and got back into the sleeping bag to try and get warm and catch up on a few Z’s. This brings me onto…..

Problem number six: Sleeping bag zips! My same rod was screeming off again, BEEEEEEEEEP BEEP BEEEEEEEEEP…….. I shot up out my slumber but couldn’t escape my sleeping bag. I must have looked like Houdini performing his famous magic trick trying to escape chains submerged in a tank of water. Finally I escaped, fell on the floor and grabbed my rod, miraculously the fish was still on and I was in again, but shortly after it came off.

I got set up again, put the bedchair back together that had collapsed in my attempt to get out. The same rod soon shot off again this time I didn’t zip up the sleeping bag and was on the rod in no time. A few minutes later and I had another quality carp in the net at around twelve pounds.


Problem number seven: I was in again on the same rod and nearly had the fish in the net but then disaster struck. My stupid Diawa Emcast Evos once again chewed up my line and gave me a birds nest around the spool not allowing me to reel in and line. I had to hand line the fish into the net but it was just too tricky, the carp shook the hook off and swam back off laughing along the way.

Time was ticking away so I slowly packed up and was actually looking forward to get into the car and get out the wind. All in all disregarding the issues it was a great session, I’ll definitely be back again soon.

To do list

Bivvy Pegs
A new sleeping bag
A new set of reels

Tight lines.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,600 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Venue: Lymmvale

Time: 7:00 pm – 12:30pm

Weather: Overcast, showers

After a hectic week I needed some peace and quiet, I debated the short trip too Belmont Estate to hopefully bag a few carp but it was Lymmvale where I wanted to go, even if you blank there it really doesn’t matter, just being there is enough.

I really don’t know why I don’t go to Lymmvale more often, After the forty minute drive from my house only eighteen miles away I had arrived where some members refer to as paradise. With only two people fishing the “Sandbank” I had a good choice of swims available to me so loaded the carp porter and had a good look around the lake.

I settled on the “Boathouse” swim as the breeze had blown a lot of surface scum over to the end of the lake and it gave myself a good area of water to cover. A few casts out with a lead revealed I would more than likely be fishing over weed, I didn’t want to get the marker float out and explore the water too much trying to find the drop offs or possible gravel patches etc on only a short session. Subsequently both rods were then set up with chod rigs with so whatever I was fishing on I knew my rig would be tangle free and visible to passing fish.

A “Source” boilie with a small piece of cork inserted inside to pop it up off the leadcore was threaded onto the hair and both were fired out into open water. Half a kilo of boilies were scattered over the top of the baits roughly covering the size of a tennis court and that was it, I was happy with my tactics, my baits and my swim so made the decision to leave the rods out until I either had to leave or my buzzers screamed off. Only thing left to do was sit back relax and enjoy the sun set.

When the light had faded and the bats had come out to play it was time for me to call it a night, usually I won’t be in bed until midnight but when I’m out night fishing I must adjust to natures body clock and end up going sleep within an hour of darkness. I tend to have one eye open, half expecting the the bobbins to hit the rod butts at any moment, maybe I’d convinced myself I’d be lucky to get a bite as I’ve always blanked at Lymmvale in the past, I fell asleep easily.
But not for long. Beep beep beep…… I shot up out my sleeping bag and was on the edge of my bed chair, now staring at my bite alarm still lit up neon blue, then again beep beep beep! I
tightened the clutch and lifted into the fish. At first I was unsure if I had a fish on but then the clutch started clicking away and the fish was making its way across to the other side of the lake. I love playing fish in the dead of night, judging which way the fish is turning only by the actions of the rod and never quite knowing how big the fish might be until its hopefully in the net. This fish was fighting hard and I didn’t want to bully it to the net. After what felt like ten minutes I was getting the better of it and the fish was a heading towards the net, I slackened the clutch off expecting another mad run as soon as the fish seen the net. I was right, back off it went out into the middle of the lake, this happened at least five more times and after twenty minutes and still not catching a glimpse of what was hooked, I had dismissed it being a tench or if it was it was a big one and was beginning to think I’d hooked into a catfish. Seventh time lucky and finally the fish was safely in the net and what a beauty.

The scales read 15lb 6oz, my first carp from Lymmvale, I was overjoyed. After a few self takes I needed to get the fish back in the water. After the long battle the fish was obviously tired, I held it up in the shallow water, a few minutes later it had then regained some energy and slowly wandered off into the weedy darkness.
I viewed the pictures again on the camera and text a few people about my capture, then tried to get some sleep. I woke up around 8am to the rain beating down inside my bivvy. So got up and made a brew. I had four hours fishing time left so recast the rods and dropped the other half kilo of boilies over the top hoping to maybe bag a bonus tench.
After the four hours and without a beep it was time to leave. I’m happy now I’ve caught from Lymmvale and have more confidence to fish it again soon. More than likely ill be back again the next time I’m able to get out overnight.

Tight lines.

Venue: Sring Pool

Time: 1:00 pm – 15:00pm

Weather: Overcast, Warm

The kids have been off school nearly two weeks now, feels like two years but I’m sure it’s only been two weeks. After countless trips to the park, the swimming pool and watching The Simpsons the movie for the third time in less than twenty four hours I was definitely ready for a days fishing. Thing is they had to come with me, which they were not to keen about but that’s just tough, “were going you will enjoy it” I told them.
After a trip to asda for sweets and a colouring book each incase they didn’t enjoy it we were off to the tackle shop for maggots, or as my youngest calls them “magnets” strange as it seems this was the turning point between them not wanting to go fishing and then agreeing to go fishing, they both love maggots.
I chose to fish Spring or New Pool as its not far to drive, has toilets on site and was more likely to catch a few fish on the waggler rather than blank like I usually do trying to catch carp or catfish. We arrived at around 1pm and New pool was quiet busy, so we moved over to Spring Pool and found a quiet corner to ourselves. After distracting them both with a packed lunch whilst I set up the rod we were soon ready to start fishing. Surprisingly they were both keen to catch a fish and after a short cast in front of us and some maggots chucked in the opposite direction we were into our first fish. The look on Siena’s face said it all, she was hooked on fishing.

After a battle of who’s going to put the fish back, we had the float back in the water. After a few more handfuls of maggots thrown in nowhere near the float it was soon bobbing back under. This time a Perch was more than welcome to grace the net.

Being too keen to catch another fish the float was then expertly cast into the tree overhead. With the rod now set up again and a red “Magnet” chosen for the hook we were soon back in business and into fish number three, another small stripey.

After fish number ten they took a back seat and left me to carry on catching more perch but were secretly using their colouring books as a tally for how many fish we were catching.

Over the next few hours we counted twenty two more Perch and ten Roach between us with a few roach worth getting the net wet for. But most of all had finally taught my kids some patience and gave them an insight of what I love to do as a hobby.

I let the kids count up the fish we had caught and fill in the catch return slip. I asked if they had a good time and would like to go again sometime, without hesitation they both said “Yes”. “So is fishing still boring?” I said…….”No dad”

Happy days, until next time happy fishing.

Venue: Serpentine Pool

Time: 10:00am – 14:15pm

Weather: Sunny, Very hot

I haven’t blogged for a while even though I have been fishing. Reason being, I haven’t been fishing that many times, haven’t caught many fish and haven’t had the time to write up my exploits. From now on I will be blogging when I catch that memorable fish or visit somewhere new. This blog is about the former but ill come to that later. My main aim this summer is to catch a catfish and a twenty pound carp. All my efforts will be going into this and the main venues will be, Belmont Pool, Serpentine Pool and for the cats Spring Pool. This has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember and this year I’m determined to make it happen, at least one of them anyway.
I’ve been to Spring pool on a few occasions lately but not blogged about them, because I blanked on both visits with little else to say, although I will say I’m dying to get back on and give live baiting a go for the cats. I’ve also been to Serpentine pool and last week had a short day session resulting in a carp on the bank and another that I lost five minutes into the fight.
Anyway back to the blog, I went back to Serpentine pool, same tactics same baits even the same peg. This time the weather was absolutely baking hot without a cloud in the sky or any breeze. Although good for sun bathing I had the feeling the carp had the same idea and would be off the feed. Both rods went out to the far bank close as possible with a scattering of tutti fruiti boilies. Two hours on and with only a single beep I decided to move, I was now the only angler on Serpentine as a couple of anglers that fished overnight had left shortly after I arrived. I’d noticed that there was a lot of carp basking in the shade of the overhanging branches off the island. One of them being a obvious ghost carp and the others looked good size fish.
I thought it would be better to spook the fish with bait rather than a rig so catapulted a pouch full of boilies to the side of the island. At least five carp bolted off but were surprisingly unfazed by this as they were back as soon as I had my baited rig over the spot. The fish carried on circling the island there must have been twenty or more fish in the shade the island created. Although I was fishing on the bottom I know it’s shallow close to the island and I was using orange boilies, so whist the fish passed over my baits I’d like to think one would dip its head at some point for an easy meal. Half an hour later and that’s what happened, the carp shot off an literally nearly beached itself on the island, unfortunately soon after there was no resistance and the carp had shook the hook and escaped. I re baited and recast once again spooking more carp but with them only to return shortly afterwards. I couldn’t help thinking about trying a floating bait and luckily had packed a bread roll just incase I needed a change in tactics.
I moved once again to the next peg on the other side of the island, here there was an abundance of floating weed and to my surprise there were a lot of carp underneath too. I left a bottom bait under the lilies and then set up the other rod for a surface controller and a piece of bread flake on the hook. After half an hour trying to tempt the carp to feed on pieces of bread they were having none of it. The carp were so motionless and simply enjoying the sun on there backs. This is such an annoying scenario for an angler, what I was looking at was a few obvious twenty pound carp and the rest upper doubles and they were not at all hungry. Well if the fish wouldn’t come to the bait I’d take the bait to them, I squeezed on a new piece of bread so that I would now sink and lowered the bread right in front of a carps nose and rested the line on the floating weed so it could not sink any further. Than BOOM all hell broke loose the carp instantly took the bait and I’d set the hook. With nowhere to go and undoubtedly shocked it had been caught the fish didn’t know what to do next and after a minutes scrap I had a carp plus a lot of weed in the bottom of my net. I knew already this was a big fish and seeing it in the net I thought I had my first twenty.

The scales went to 18lb 2oz it wasn’t a twenty but it is a new personal best and I’m delighted at that I’m getting closer to the magical twenty pound mark. With the fish returned after some self takes I got the rod re baited and repeated what I’d just done to another unsuspecting carp sunbathing quietly. Five minutes after I had caught my PB I had another carp in the net exactly the same way.

This time the scales went to 15lb 8oz a lovely mirror almost a leather apart from a few scales. Just goes to show, just like us if there’s some goodies in the kitchen you may resist eating them but if someone puts them goodies on a plate under your nose, few of us would resist taking a bite.
My time was up I had to go, anyway the swim was now well and truly thrashed to bits and all the carp had now moved elsewhere. I went home a happy angler with a smug look on my face all the way home.

Happy angling

Venue: Home Farm

Time: 7:00pm -11:00am

Weather: Sunny, hot

The weathers finally warming up and it’s got me excited about catfish. I’m yet to capture my first catfish and the best place I know that’s full of them is Home Farm in Crewe. I’ve been there once before and caught a carp early on in the session, while my two friends both caught a catfish each. This only spurs me on to catch one myself and bigger.
Myself and Gaz arrived at 7pm and within ten minutes I had both rods out close to the small island, I’d made the decision to fish solely for carp and then fish over the loose feed for catfish when the light faded. A mixture of squid boilies and trout pellets baited the two spots, one with a tiger nut on the hair the other a squid boilie.

It must have only been ten minutes and the delkim was screaming of, I half believed it was mine considering I usually blank. I stuck into a hard fighting carp but soon had the better of her and slipped the net under a gorgeous looking common. It wasn’t a massive fish so i didn’t see the need to weigh it but a real beauty.

Maybe half an hour later the the tiger nut had been picked up again and was making its way to the middle of the lake, carp attached. After another spirited fight a similar size carp was in the net again. After a few quick photos the fish was slipped back into the water.

Two hours had now passed without another bite and the light was starting to fade, so decided to leave the tiger nut rod out for the carp and change the untouched squid boilie to a proper catfish bait.

I’ll give my friend Tan credit for this bait, it’s what he’s aptly named a “Medusa” and as he’s caught catfish every time he’s set his mind to catch one ill trust his judgement. A large fish meal AA Baits Catfish boilie went on the hair first followed by 5 lobworm a then topped with a squid boilie.

What catfish could resist, right. Well to cut a long story short they did. I had a few beeps off the alarms during the night but apart from that the night was quiet. I rose out of bed at 6am and changed the baits back to tiger nuts and made a brew in my lucky cup.


My girls modified my fishing mug for me. I’m not superstitious but every little helps when your accustomed to blanking.
With a few hours left before home time it was looking unlikely after the quiet night that anymore fish would be coming out. We slowly packed away letting the ducks steal the last of our bait.

Well I didn’t blank this time even though I considered it a blank as my target species still eludes me. Spring Pool will be the next time I target Catfish after the carp have finished spawning on there.
Till next time wet nets.


Venue: Doddleson Pool

Time: 12:00pm -12:00pm

Weather: Sunny, breezy

After lasts weeks blank at the help the heroes tench fish in I needed a confidence booster. It really does seen like ages since I last caught a carp, during the winter I mostly spent my time on small rivers or pike fishing on the Sankey canal resulting in only a few pike. It’s been a long winter and the fishing to say the least has been rubbish.
Without an overstamp on my Lymm anglers club membership and still pursuing my first twemty pound carp I was limited to venues, choices were Shakerley mere, Chester lakes or Spring pool. I’d always wondered what the Chester lake complex looked like and with the biggest carp being there I’d made my choice.
Chester lakes is very different to the usual venues I fish, you can park your car behind your peg, there’s showers, toilets, electric hook up points at every peg even a cafe a stones throw away from the lakes. I like the concept and it all certainly is nice to have the amenities but I prefer a more “rural” environment.

I arrived at midday and after a walk around the lake decided to fish the end of the pool the wind was blowing into, with no obvious features on the pool and a short cast around with a marker float resulting in no obvious deviations of the lake bed I thought this would be the best decision. Both rods were cast out into the middle of the pool one baited with a tiger nut boilie the other halibut pellet. After two hours and no bites I started to wonder about other tactics and other swims. After seeing a carp near enough jump clear of the water in the margins I cast one rod towards it.
For some reason I expected the carp to be climbing my lines, it just didn’t seem like a hard venue. The bailiff had told me eight fish had been on the bank over the weekend so I was still hopeful of a fish. Nightfall was approaching and still no sign of a bite and to be honest I didn’t expect one, I just didn’t have the feeling the fish were interested in feeding at all.

I think that night I probably had the best nights sleep I’ve ever had whilst night fishing, although this isn’t a good thing as I’d rather be up all night reeling in carp. I was determined to fish the full 24 hours and not blank but it wasn’t to be, once again the rods were getting packed up at the last minute and the unhooking mat remained dry. The only reason I could think of why the fishing was so slow is maybe there ready for spawning, the weather this week has started to warm up and as I did see a lot of carp boshing around the lake this may be the case.

Next trip will be Spring Pool which lymm angling club now have full control over and holds some decent carp and giant catfish.

Venue: Sankey Canal

Time: 12:00pm -14:00pm

Weather: Showers

With my car now being off the road for over a week with an unknown, lets call it malfunction, I’ve been unable to go fishing and this more than my car being broke annoys me the most. I had too stop watching other people catch fish on tv and get out there myself so walked the 500 yards to the Sankey Canal. Even though its a stones throw away from my house I always disregard it as a venue, preferring the quieter rivers and lakes of lymm anglers club. I only had a few hours spare before the kids finished school so set off with a single rod set up and a few sprats. As soon as I’d walked to the end of my road it started to rain, any sane person would turn round, go back home,
stick a film on, make a brew and put there feet up, but not an angler.
I already knew where I wanted to fish and how, so quickly arrived and got set up, within ten minutes from house to canal I was fishing, half an hour later I caught this.

Now if there’s anymore proof I needed to not ignore the canal on my doorstep it’s this. At 8lb 4oz it was a good start and even more importantly a lesson learnt . Straight away I had on another sprat and chucked it out to the reeds 10 foot away from where I’d caught. Five minutes later and my float was slowly sliding away again, I wound down and struck setting the hooks once more into another pike. After a short fight another pike was on the mat this time weighing 5lb 12oz

Another sprat was hooked on and cast back out a further 10 foot across from the second pike caught. Once again within ten minutes the float was off again slowly bobbing around, this time I struck into nothing and the float came flying out and over my head minus the treble hooks. Only guess I have is the pike had already bitten through the trace as I felt no resistance at all on the strike.
My time was up and after a lengthy chat with the bailiff revealing some interesting thoughts to go home with I was too late to drop my gear off back home before picking p the kids, so ended up turning up at the school gates looking slightly out of place dressed in camo gear, wellies, rucksack and a rod.
All in all a different kind of days fishing but well worth it ill definitely be back again…
Maybe tomorrow

Venue: Village Pool

Time: 10:15am – 14:00pm

Weather: 2 degrees, overcast

Whilst walking the kids to school a quick decision was made to go fishing, the wind and rain had finally calmed down from the past couple of days which had been putting me off wetting a line. I returned home and grabbed a few items of tackle out the shed and dug a dozen worms out of the veg patch, always a handy bait larder. Some left over luncheon meat that had been sat in the freezer got chucked into the rucksack and I was off heading towards Village Pool.
I used to fish Village Pool almost every week when I was a teenager,along with Statham Pool, Belmont Estate Pools and Lymm Dam. I’d get dropped off by my dad as soon as he had ate his breakfast and would get picked up before tea. Those were the days, no mobile phones, no petrol costs and I don’t think I even paid for my own membership.
Why I’ve never fished village Pool some twenty years later is a mystery, as its a great little water, especially as I remember in the summer when I’d stalk carp in the shadows with bread and be ecstatic with a carp nudging five pounds.

Anyway I’ve digressed into the past, Village Pool today looks just as I remembered it all them years ago, a nice quiet small pool full of quality roach, perch, bream, tench and carp. The occasional car will pass by and shouts can be heard from the school next to the pool, apart from that its a tranquil Pool dug deep into the ground surrounded by trees and wildlife.
Two other anglers were already set up when I arrived so walked the short path to the far corner and it was then I realised I’d left my chair in the garden. Ah well the empty rucksack would double as a chair. I got set up with a insert waggler with 2lb line straight through to a size 20 hook, Plummeted the depth and fished just off bottom with a worm as hook bait. After two hours of fishing the same spot occasionally chucking in some chopped luncheon meat I hadn’t even seen the float twitch at all. It was now lunch time so I changed the float for a feeder to fish further into the pool as I had no catapult to get any loose feed out that far. As soon as I put the rod down and poured a cup of soup the quiver tip twitched, I connected with the fish but failed too negotiate the tree behind me when I struck, resulting in the line going slack and the hook coming loose.
I got cast out again to the same spot and positioned the rod to the other side of me. After a few more missed bites I was starting to think I’d blank for the first time ever on Village Pool.

Lunch was finished and I was down to the last few worms, I filled the feeder with some chopped worm, chopped luncheon meat and plugged the ends of the feeder with some of the soil. Out it went on the spot as a last chance effort before I had to leave. Five minutes later the tip gave a few twitches and I was in, the way I reeled the fish in I knew straight away it had to be a bream, as a carp angler mainly I’ve never been so happy to see a bream, but it saved a blank on a relatively easy water.

With no bait left and no time I cut the line and packed away, even more lucky as soon as I got in the car it started to rain.

Tight lines.

Venue: River Bollin, Mill & Cinder

Time: 10:30am – 13:15pm

Weather: Minus 1 Celsius, light snow

The temperature was minus 1 and snow was forecast, did this put me off going fishing? It should of but for some reason on the way home from walking the kids to school I decided I’d go fishing. After grabbing a few items of tackle and making a flask of soup I was on my way. Today was only going to be a short session, but I didn’t want to be on the bank for hours to be honest and three hours would be enough hopefully to catch a river pike.
I got set up with a slider float simply fished a foot over depth by using a stop knot above the float. A quick wire trace was made up to size and a sprat was hooked on. The first swim I fished is above the weir and on a bend, there’s a good depth here of around six foot so chose this as a starting point and would make my way back downstream later on. Some maggots from last weeks trip to the River Dane that had been frozen solid outside got chucked in to attract the prey fish, therefore attracting the predators. I gave it an hour in this swim but without any signs of a pike I wanted to try a new swim.
The next swim I fished is just above the weir, it’s a little shallower here at around four foot so slid the stop knot further down the braid to stay a foot over depth. After another hour and trying a few different spots in the swim things were looking quiet on the pike front. By now my feet were like blocks of ice and I was ready to call it a day. I tried below the weir for twenty minutes, but it just wasn’t looking like I’d catch today so called it a day at 13:15 and jumped in the car and whacked the heaters on full blast.

Until next week, tight lines.