Another sharp overnight frost meant only one thing - breaking ice yet again. Now you followers of my blog's know how I feel about this task, so you can feel the mood I was in - I've just about had enough of this winter already.

So it's the notorious Siblings again for me today, but as my colleagues said "well at least you get it out of the way today".....very true. Peg 5 on the horse shoe was to be my home and what greated me on arrival at the peg certainly had me thinking! Peg 4 was free of ice (I would realise later why this was) with a channel of clear water almost bank to bank and with a route to bring any fish back to my landing net - yes it would be challenging fishing at an angle but very doable (see picture). I thought long and hard about this and decided to go for it as to not disturb the peg with the iron lump might just mean a few waiting fish?.

All in and I started by lifting and dropping a single grain of corn at the bottom of the far shelf - no takes after 10 mins so I soon switched to my main approach of toss-potting a few pinkies and fishing 3 on the hook (two dark reds and one fluro). It's not long and the float dips and a small roach is on, I very gingerly ship back and guide this silver fish around the ice cap and along the inside gap. I repeat the feeding pattern and several more follow, but I'm bumping a few because my elastic is too heavy for 2 - 4 oz fish. I've been intending to set up a few top kits for this type of fishing but was lazy - poor prep springs to mind again.

It's now dawned on me why this channel of free water was created whilst 95% of the lake was frozen - my float was towing left to right regardless of fishing over depth and this was due to a under water pipe - over flow water was coming into the lake via the bigger pool of Molands. As time went by it became clear the F1s were clearly absence from this flow of cold water but the roach and ide seem to love it. I continued to catch silvers throughout the match from this line and was desperate to find some F1s, I even chucked a small maggot feeder down the peg once a sheet of ice had broken free giving me a larger clearing. I got up for a pee break and spoke to Matt Brayfield directly behind me and was astonished to get a rely that he was catching F1s from peg 13 and the favourite peg 10 had caught some too. Maybe this supported my theory of the water movement especially as at the weigh-in it went like this peg 5 (me) No F1s, peg 7 had 3, peg 9 had 6, peg 10 had 15 and Matt won the lake with 25 for 32lbs.
This is just typical of the way I'm drawing at the moment and with this harsh winter you have to be right on the money when it comes to F1 fishing at Packington - tightly shoaled up and reluctant to move when the water is ice cold.

Result - On my lake I just manage to beat Tony Taylor's 3 F1s (5.8.0) on peg 7, my 30 to 40 slivers weighing 6.1.0 but then just fell short of peg 9s 6 F1s (6.10.0). Peg 10 and 13 way out in front with 24 and 32lbs. The other Five anglers in our section on Sibs A struggled all day with 9lbs and 7lbs the two best results from their lake.

So small margins again for good points - just a few F1s would of seen me challenging for 3 points instead of the 6 that I picked up........roll on the spring.

Generally the complex fished hard as you'd expect in this sub zero ambient - however that man Phil Canning somehow manage to winkle out enough F1s from little Geary's to win the match with 48lbs and now tops the leader board.........he's soooo damn good and a sure bet to win one of the major competitions very heard it hear first😎

i do like a bit of banter during the match but unfortunately due to me having my back to the anglers around me, plus the fact it was so cold and I was trying so hard, it just didn't happen. However I did win the nugget competition from my old mucker big Keith Winn, actually I won back the one I lost the day before lol. He now leads 9 to 5 and it's getting serious as I've promised Mrs Winn a special bottle of something expensive to garnish their table at my wedding should Keith record 20 nuggets before I do.......bring it on Pat mines a bottle of Dom Perignon 2006 🍾🍾🍾🍾🍾.

Well that's it Guys - except to finally say well done to our very own TA Jason (Ducci) for winning his section today on Big Geary's.

Tight lines