Well this was to be my 2nd ever open after my first at Woodlands earlier in the year. I’ve never fished Cedar Lake up at the Oaks but was assured it was similar to fishing on Maple just that the average fish size was smaller so with this in mind I could scale down if I felt I needed too. The weather forecast leading up to Saturday didn’t look too bad apart from the wind! Averaging at 18mph all day with gusts up to 30mph, so far from ideal!
I arrived at about 9:15, had my breakfast and got booked on in the tackle shop. The 10am draw soon arrived and I was probably in the last half dozen to draw and managed peg 48. This meant nothing to me as I’ve not fished it before; in fact I’ve never even seen it!
I made my way round to my peg which was just after one bend and a couple of pegs down from another. I probably had 4 spare pegs to my right and another spare peg to my left. Tony Koz was on 46 and there were three other lads on 44, 42 and 40 which ‘filled’ our point.
Whilst setting up I realised how horrific the wind was going to be today, whilst plumbing up my sedge line the pole was getting thrown all over the place. With this in mind I set my roller fairly low so if they did blow off they wouldn’t have far to fall!
I set up two rigs for across, the first being a 4x10 Malman Cedar on 0.12 Ultima to an 0.10 Powerline hooklength with a Fox Carp Match size 20, this was on an 8 Maver latex elastic. This rig would be fished at 14m to my right in front of the sedges next to the peg dividing tree. This would be my positive line where I’d feed only maggots. My second across rig was the same float but a 4x12, mainline and hooklengths were the same yet I had a size 18 B610, this was finished with an 8 size Maver Later elastic. This rig was to fish to the other peg dividing tree at 14m to my left. I would feed this line with a couple of maggots and the odd bit of a corn as a back up line to my positive line. With the wind being pretty bad I also plumbed up down the track with a 0.5g Preston float, on 0.11 straight through to a size 20 B610, elastic was a size 10 Maver latex elastic. All my rigs were 2-3 inches over depth.
Bait for today I had a pint of white maggots and a few reds thrown in for good measure. I also had a tin of corn.
11 o’ clock soon came and with it time was called. I first went out to my left sedge and tipped in 4 maggots and 2 bits of corn. Then I got cracking with building my right sedge swim up. I went out with a single red maggot and 7-8 maggots in my pot. I forced the float tight to the sedges and tipped the free offerings over the top. I’d been told the first hour could be quite slow, you’re not wrong! I got my first bite after 40 mins and missed it! I went back out and tipped a few more maggots over the top and got another bite, I soon had a small F1 of about a 1lb in the net. Soon followed by another. I then battled through the wind until the halfway point and I think I had 6-7lb in the net at this point. I then decided enough was enough with the wind and decided to fish my track line.
I went out with double maggot and tipped a kinder pot of maggots in to try and force them onto the feed straight away. I managed half a dozen roach, a few gudgeon and a skimmer before I latched into a better fish. The awkward fight led me to believe this could have been a Barbel, I was right, a pristine fish of 1.5lb. I then managed a couple more F1’s and another smaller Barbel before disaster struck. I was playing an F1 of about 2lb which was a welcome bonus however whilst I was playing it on the top kit the wind got hold of my pole which somehow blew the male end of my number 4 between my box and box leg, a sudden gust then ripped my entire pole of the roller, with my number 4 now being wedged a crunch sounded as the top 8 inches snapped cleanly off my number 4. ‘’Bar-Steward!!!!’’
Thankfully when I bought my pole last year the bloke I bought it off also included a spare number 4, be it a repaired section it was a welcome lifeline!
When I got back up and running it went from bad to worse. I hooked a big Barbel of about 3lb, just as I was slipping the landing net under it the hook pulled, as I stretched in desperation to scoop the fish it woke up and bolted off. ‘’Bar-Steward!!!!’’
After this I think I foul hooked and lost 8 fish on the trot and just couldn’t understand it, I’d strike, slowly ship back keeping adequate pressure and the hook would pull! ‘’Bar-Steward!!!!’’ (Per fish).
So after a relatively calm start to the match and an afternoon of swearing at everything how had I done? Ghandi came round to do the weigh in, the bloke on peg 40 had 22lb, peg 42 had 15lb, peg 46 on the point with no side wind had 22lb, T-Koz on 46 had 26lb and I dumped 20-13 on the scales so in the grand scheme of things I not done too bad in the area I was fishing.
Hopefully I’ll be able to get a new section by next weekend. Next weekend I’m back up at the Oaks on Maple again but seeing as it’s the last of our club matches for the year we’re having a bit of a pairs match too.
Tight Elastics and watch that wind!