I’ve missed the last couple of matches due to holidays, weddings and performing at Lodestar Festival in Cambridge, I had however managed a trip up to the Oaks to fish Maple on the bank holiday Monday where I managed a few fish by switching between, pellet on the sedge, paste on the slope and corn down the edge.
Seeing as this season hasn’t been going too well for me I’ve started preparing for next season already, essentially I’ve compiled a list of hooklengths that I’ll need for any eventuality and there’s plenty to keep me busy once the cold nights draw in! With this however, means that I’m also just using what I’ve got for the rest of this season. I had plenty of rigs and hooklengths tied up but felt they were a bit light for fishing Maple (the fixture list had changed without me knowing) but I was just going to make do and have a days fishing.
By the time of the draw (still thinking we were fishing Maple) Owen had struck a quid and was drawn on 58 and I was to be on 40 for the day. Now on Maple I’d have rather been on 58 as I like it down that end.
Owen said “You were on 40 for the Intersite weren’t you?
“No” I replied, “but we’re on Maple today aren’t we?
“No, the fixture list was changed ages ago!”
Good job Owen filled me in on this vital information otherwise I’d have arrived at my peg and tried to kick some pleasure angler off their peg!
So as it turned out my rigs would be more than adequate for the day as they’re not as big in Cedar as they are in Maple.
I go to my peg and had Jonesy for company on 41, Martin Dodsworth on 43, Kev Armitage on 45, Bob the Builder on 37 and Tupperware on 35 to make up my section. So my first thought was why I was on 40 and not 39 to make it peg one miss one, but hey ho!
The wind was getting up as we were all setting up and knowing what Cedar is like when it’s windy I made sure to get the method rod set up mainly to protect the pole from any breakages. The sedges on peg 40 aren’t as good as I’d have hoped, there’s a decent patch on the right hand side but then there is a long mud line before a cut back stretch of sedges. Not wanting to fish long if I could help it, I set up a sedge rig for the right hand sedge at each end of it. I also set up another rig for fishing to the mud although I wasn’t too confident in it today with the wind being so strong. I’d imagine the fish would back off from the strong ripples in the shallow water (so with this in mind you’d think I’d set up a line down the track where it gave the fish some shelter and it would also be easier to control a rig, erm no, don’t know why I didn’t set one up here? Out of practice perhaps!). My final rig was to fish both margins with a corn attack seeing as it had paid off the last time on Cedar and also on Maple a couple of weeks ago.
At the all in I swung the cupping kit down each side to act as a marker and threw a couple of grains of corn down either side. It was then across to the sedge armed with a 4mm pellet and a fruit shoot half full of micros. I lowered the rig in slowly which was difficult against the wind and the tow and eventually tapped my bait in over the top. The wind was proving difficult even with an 18 inch lash and two bulked number 8’s as a backshot. Eventually I started getting a couple of indications, and after 20 minutes I put a gudgeon in the net followed by a skimmer, nect I had my first F1 at just over a pound, another skimmer and a further F1 were the ripe old pickings before the gudgeon moved in. this is where I’d have normally pushed into the shallower water but I was less confident catching there today due to the weather. I had a quick look down either edge and to my surprise I managed a lonely F1 off the left sedge. After a further five minutes down either edge I decided to big pot a handful of corn down either side and then go out on the method.
Even though I’d had a few practice cast to get the clip set the wind and added weight of the feed were making it not quite go to plan, perhaps I need to clip up with a heavier lead to compensate for the weight of the feed, the added weight obviously arcs the rod further round on the cast making it go a bit further than expected? However after my first couple of naff chucks I’d got the clip set to drop it in between the front of the sedges and the mud. After ten minutes the rod was tapping round and another F1 was in the net, I carried on in the same vain but to no avail.
So at the half way stage I had 5 F1’s of no particular size and a few bits, not quite going to plan, Jonesy was now catching well heavily feeding maggot down the edge and rumours of Bob catching well the other side of me so I was getting battered!
The second half of the match was pretty much the same as the first, a further two F1’s off the sedge, two little mirrors on the tip and another little mirror from the right hand edge. So six hours and only ten proper fish! Although I got the opinion that no one had caught particularly well so planned on weighing in to see if I’d won any of the quids.
Me and Jonesy were the only ones to weigh in on our section as the rumours about Bob catching were simply that, rumours!
The weigh in ensued and Gordon shouted “I hope you’ve got more than 20lb” hmmmm not quite I thought to myself, weighing in 12lb dead I had a look at the board and I’d done it, Gordon holding up the rear with 11lb 7oz! Jonesy then weighed 50lb odd to cement my battering! Ian Bailey who decided to join us for the day comfortably won the match fishing maggot to amass over 90lb.
Back at the café and it was a quid to Acko and a quid to Owen and just as I was finishing my tea and thinking what a crap days fishing it had been I was awarded our section prize! With me and Jonesy being the only ones to weigh in and Jonesy’s weight being good enough for second meant I got the section by default! I almost felt embarrassed winning the section with 12lb but as its my first pick up of the year I couldn’t care less, its not always about picking up in style now is it!