With the Fish o’ Mania qualifier at Sessay next week there was quite a few in attendance, a few not so familiar faces obviously wanted to get a feel for the place. I arrived at the fishery at 9:30 giving me enough time for a bite to eat and get booked on. I think I was the 42nd name down and a few more booked on after me and in total 55 fished. The sun once again was beating down and it was predicted that we’d all struggle today. A weight of around 40lb should get you in the spoils, with a top 5 payout and 5 man sections there was plenty to play for.
The draw was a little late, so at 10:15 I decided my fate for the next 5 hours. Peg 43, this didn’t rally mean a lot to me as I’ve not fished the lake since the Christmas series. I’ve fished 47 and 48 before so I knew that 43 was on a point. When I got to my peg I was in a mixed mood about it, with the peg being on a bend it means you have plenty of water to go at, the only thing was that there wasn’t a breath of wind which might make the day even harder than predicted! To complete my misery I was pegged in an all star line up, Maver Barnsley’s Ian Bowman was on peg 41 to my left although he wasn’t in my section. Peg 42 was left out, Chris from Browning Quaker was on my right on 44, Preston’s Lee Kerry was on 46, not sure who was on 47 and Mark Coyne was on 49. So as with any open you have to be on your game if you want to pick up at the end of the day. I spoke with Chris on 44 and we both agreed that our pegs were good for 20lb but not much more. So I set about catching 20lb of fish and anything more would be a bonus, I was more bothered about keeping pace and not embarrassing myself though!
Cedar is an odd lake in the fact that basically the ‘in’ method changes so often, luckily it was either meat or pellet that would do the business, or so I was told. With not having vast experience with meat I decided to go down the pellet route as I’d have a bit more confidence in what I was doing.
Rigs for the day were as normal for the Oaks; I had a couple of 4x10 Malman Cedar’s set up on 0.14 Ultima Power Match, Hooklengths of 0.12 and B911’s in 16 or 18. I had one rig for in front of the sedges and one rig for the mud, or at least trying to get to the mud as the sedges were quite dense. I also set up a track rig at 4m so I was able to feed by hand through the match and hopefully snare the odd fish when I was struggling. I also had my method rod set up as a last ditch attempt but mainly if the wind picked up.
Bait was simple, some 4mm expanders, some micros and a tin of corn as a change bait, although I didn’t think it was a day for corn today, just a gesture for my side tray!
At the all in I threw a small handful of pellets to 4m and then shipped out to my first sedge, on the far left at 13.5m, tipped in some micros and dropped my 4mm expander into the ripples. I didn’t have to wait long before my first indication but the excitement was short lived when I dropped a gudgeon into the keepnet. Straight back out again and yet another gudgeon, I did this one final time before deciding to feed a full fruit shoot and move to another line. This was straight in front of the right sedge, there were a few sedges in the water which meant it was a difficult task to drop the bait in the right place, but perseverance soon paid off and I was into carp number one of the day. I thought it was bigger than was but a lovely mirror of about 2lb soon joined the gudgeon. Two small F1’s later and the gudgeon had moved in once again so I moved to another line to my right. This is how carried on for the rest of the day, sport was very slow but I was picking the odd fish up by changing lines and trying to catch one or two before moving on.
The middle of the match was very quiet so I went 15m to my left in front of the tree and managed to hook one first put in, a foul hooker, next put in another foul hooker, one final time and I was losing my rag. I put the shallower rig on and managed two carp of about 2lb a piece again before having to move swims again. It was a frustrating day not being able to get onto a ball of fish but I seemed to be fairing relatively well in my section.
In the last ten minutes I put 4 F1’s in the net and on time missed another bite, typical they turn up once time has gone!
At the all I reckoned on about 18lb, maybe a bit more, when the scales came round Ian Bowman weighed in 31lb, he’d caught all his shallow with plenty of tapping. I then put 21lb 8oz in the sling and was glad to have beaten my 20lb target. Chris next door weighed 17lb8oz, mainly silvers and he’d fed 4 pints of maggots through the match. Lee Kerry Tipped back, as did the lad on 47. My weight was looking good for a section prize until Mark Coyne weighed in 26lb 5oz. Still second place in a very difficult section, I can’t grumble at that!
Final result looked like this
James Dent (Maver Barnsley) 49-2-0, carp and F1s, pole and pellet, peg 52
Keith Mitchell (Garbolino Elton) 48-5-0
Brian Clarke (Oaks) 44-2-0
Chris Hall (Oaks) 43-12-0
Steve Rothery (Garbolino Ossett) 41-4-0
Adie Mitchell (Oaks) 40-12-0.