This week I was trying my luck on the open up at the Oaks. One of my aims this year was to do 50lb on both Maple and Cedar, with having 56lb on Maple the other week that was one aim crossed off, now could I repeat this feat on Cedar?
After looking through my results, my personal best on Cedar was 39lb-13oz from peg 19 on the TalkAngling.co.uk Northern Intersite match back in August 2010. Cedar isn’t a lake I fish all that often, maybe three or four times a year so every time I fish it, it’s changed massively in the way you should approach it.
Today I was hoping for a good draw (though I wasn’t sure where that was!). I managed to draw peg 34 along the back straight. I’ve fished this on one of the Christmas Cheer qualifiers before and seemed to remember only weighing in because of the lucky peg draw after the match.
Peg 34 has hardly any sedges on the far bank and because of this I decided to fish at a comfortable distance of 13m where I found just less than 3ft of water. I set up two swims at 13m, one to my let and one to my right. This rig was a 4x10 KC Belter on 0.12 to an 0.10 hooklength and a size 18 Drennan Silverfish Pellet. This was finished off with a doubled 5 elastic and pull bung.
I set up an identical rig for fishing in a foot of water 14m if the fish were more confident in the shallower water. My final rig was to fish 13m to the platform on peg 35. This was a 4x12 Malman Cedar on 0.14 to an 0.12 hooklength and a size 18 Gama Pellet and Paste Hook, this was finished off with a solid 12 latex. Rob had mentioned that a chap had fished here on a previous match due to it being so windy and managed around 60lb. Though there was no really wind today, there was the occasional breeze drifting into this area of the peg so it would hopefully be good for the odd fish.
Bait for today I had a pint of soaked micros and some 4 & 6mm expanders.
At the all in I fed a golf ball of micros onto my margin swim and would top up as the day went on. I then went out with the “sedge” rig armed with a 4mm expander and half a pot of fruit shoot of micros. It took a few minutes before my first indication but I eventually hooked my first fish, an F1 about 2lb, I repeated the process and managed another two F1’s about a pound each, after this I was getting liners all the time and either lifting into thin air or foul hooking fish! I foul hooked three on the bounce and lost all of them, I decided to try my shallower line but had no indications therefore after an hour I decided to feed around 100ml of micros on the 3ft line and have a go down the margins.
This proved to be a good move as I ended up putting around twenty small stockies in the net over the next couple of hours before it started to go quiet. Before the line faded I potted half a big pot of micros and had another go across. With the fish responding so well down the edge I found myself having to soak some more feed pellets as I’d run out, the first time in a long time I’ve needed more than a pint of bait for a match!
I was continually getting pestered by gudgeon and small roach across on both lines whether I fed sparingly or heavy so gave it up and with around 90 minutes to go I went back down the edge.
I managed to get into a similar routine as previous and was putting a fish in the net on quite a frequent basis although only small I did have a couple of better fish, three for 10lb which was a welcome boost! I also hooked into another better fish down the edge and just I was about to slip the net under it we unfortunately parted company, at first glimpse it was a mirror of about 4lb, it was one of those “keep calm and carry on” moments or at least a “swear under your breath and put a new hooklength on moments”!
The match drew to a close, Ghandi had sacked up on peg 30 although claimed to have not had a bit during the middle of the match!
Ghandi was first to weight with 80 odd, the chap next to me claimed he’d been battered both sides but I didn’t see what he weighed (perhaps a week or so early for the worm and caster route!). I the weighed 46lb dead, so a personal best for me on the lake but not quite that 50lb target! There were some good weights going round the lake with Jonesy taking the section with 52lb, those foul hookers and the lost mirror might have cost me there! Woody weighed in a big 70 including a 12lber that weighed 9lb! Robbie won the match of peg 68 with 92lb, a fantastic weight for any time of year let alone march!
Suppose I’ll have to try my luck again next week!