Woodlands lakes, Thirsk

Sat 20 June 15


It’s good to be back! Today I attended the open match at woodlands lakes in thrisk. This is the second match I have attended since the operation I had on my hand just 5 weeks ago! The first match back three weeks ago didn’t go to plan, as I struggled most of the day even to do simple tasks, such as putting a pellet on a band! With my hand feeling better, plus now having more movement In it, I decided it was time to go back and get back into it!

Upon arrival I went for a walk around the lakes being used Partridge,Skylark, Curlew and Kestral. I really fancied a draw on the early numbers of partridge, as it was clear carp were there in numbers. The surface was alive with cruising fish, boils and swirls! As I made my way round to the bottom end of skylark it was exactly the same! Carp were defiantly there in numbers! Surely a draw here would bring a big weight, if they decided to have a good feed!

The office for the day

Time for the draw, I drew partridge 26! This is a peg in the middle of the lake, I wasn’t too disheartened by the draw, as I fancied it for a few fish although I would of rather been in a corner! When arriving at the peg I noticed there was a few fish moving, this gave me some confidence as at least I knew there was some fish here! A shallow rig was a must! Although where I was it was flat calm, I knew this would make things difficult. Upon setting my box up I got my garden cutters out, and proceeded to cut down the reeds to my left and right!

Gardening is allowed at woodlands, and I believe it is a must! Margin fishing can be deadly here, you can very quickly amass a huge weight in under a hour when you get them feeding! Where I can I try to fish to the next platforms in order to get in the shallowest water which in my opinion makes a huge difference!


Deck rig: 4×14 Carpa chimp 0.15 mainline 0.13 hook length with white hydro elastic
Shallow rig: 0.3 Drennan crystal dibber 0.15 mainline 0.11 hook length with white hydro elastic (x2)
Edge rigs: 0.3 Garbolino DC6 0.17 0.15 hook length with white hydro elastic

I also set up three rods;

Maver reactorlite 10ft 6- preston 15 gram method feeder
Maver reactorlite 10ft 6 – bomb
Garbolino g system 11ft waggler – 5 gram drennan “shorty” pellet waggler

The all in;

I started the match at two plus two just down the slope. I started on this line with a 8mm hard pellet on a band. I always like to start short when possible as it allows you to get a feel for what is going on, and also gives you a idea of how your match may pan out. After 20 minutes on this without a bite I started to feed my shallow line at 14.5m. Another 20 minutes past without a Carp, I knew that today was going to be a very hard day! With only two carp being caught on the whole lake after 40 minutes, I soon realised that the match wasn’t going to be as good as I first thought.

A look shallow……

I picked up my shallow rig and went out over my shallow line, I noticed a few swirls over the top, and after 5 minutes my float buried and I was into my first carp of the day. It came in without much fight and was quickly in the net! I quickly shipped out and again another carp quickly followed, this gave up more of a fight but again was quickly in the net! After catching these carp I thought I’d got them! Generally when you can get them going shallow at woodlands, you can catch for the rest of the match! However this wasn’t to be as for the next half hour I struggled to get a bite! I tried “dobbing” several carp that swam past, however it was clear that feeding was not the main thing on their mind! A quick look around the lake and it was clear to see no one was catching, a call to my friend on the other lake confirmed this as he also had just 2 carp.

I came off my shallow line and had a chuck on the method feeder to the middle of the lake. Around the method I used fishery micros with a 8mm fishery pellet on the band. After a few chucks on this without a carp it was time to change. Another look shallow produced another two carp, but then nothing again! I had a look out with my deck rig, I was instantly overrun with line bites! After preserving on this line with nothing resulting from it, it was time to change again! I had a chuck over the shallow line with my method feeder and before I could even sink my line, my rod tip flew round and I was into another carp! This again resulted in another carp safely in the net. Another cast with my feeder over my shallow line produced another carp however disaster!! I safely landed this carp however the next carp broke me!!! I quickly set up and chuck it again over my shallow line however the tip sat motionless! This was the story for a further 20 minutes, before I decided to feed my edges!

Left hand margin

I fancied it for a few carp down my edges especially to my left, as I had two empty pegs! I fed my margins with a third of a pot of 6mm fishery pellets, and a third of corn. I fed this down both margins! After another bite less 10 minutes shallow, I went down the edge to my left platform! Although I had down some gardening it was still difficult to see my float, due to the tree stumps that were in the way! I lowered my rig in and waited. It was only about a minute before my float buried resulting in a decent bream around 3lb! I went back with double corn, as my float was pushed out of sight with line bites I peaked over the stump to see my float had shot under! A quick strike resulting in a carp! It swam out the peg with little disturbance, and I landed it no problem with my white hydro elastic! A carp around 8lb was in the net. Another look down the edge but no bite followed. I then had a look down to my right after a biteless 10 minutes I was stumped! I picked up my method feeder a plopped it next to the pallet to my left, this was a wise move as it resulted in 3 carp before the match had finished!

Right hand margin

The weigh in…..

The final whistle came and it was time for the weigh in, no one around me had caught they had all struggled so much so the angler to my left had 3 carp, and the angler to my right didn’t have a single carp! The whole complex had struggled, with the exception of the end peg on partridge, which we assumed before the match would be the case! I had 10 carp and weighed in 49lb to win my section. Although i was disappointed with how it fished, I won my section which was all I could do really as I didn’t feel I could win the match from here! I was happy with how it went, considering just 6 weeks ago I was laid in a hospital bed, having undergone a operation on my nerves, and not being able to move my hand! I’m on the long road to recovery, and it really did feel good to be back!

Tight lines


P.S Remember to move your tins when your cutting meat!


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