I had a funny start to Sunday morning, I was awoken at 7.15am by the sound of a van outside my house, it was Paul Elmes and Mike Nicholls. Unfortunately I had not been able to confirm if I could get a lift with Paul so I decided to lie in, and so I had to let them go on without me while I got ready. The match that we were all going to was a Tony Rixon open at Sedges Tile lake. A lake I have only match fished once before and that was 2 years ago. Had my first breakfast today at Fountain Cafe, and it was a really good one too.
Once again I was allowed first dip in the drawbag, and I pulled out corner peg 40, I had been told 21 (opposite 40) was a flyer and then I was told so was 40! Seem to be doing well at the drawbag this last week! It was only a very short walk for me and my bag carriers, and behind me on brick lake peg 1 was John Dursley who was fishing a silvers match (his peg was solid with carp he he!). John told me it would be worth starting on a method feeder, and lent me his made up rod, which was nice! I also set up the pellet wag and 3 pole rigs for the margins to my left which I was told would be solid, but there's no point talking rigs because the margins never produced a bite. The pellet wag was 4 swan, and I used 0.16 Exceed to a 16 PR36.
On the whistle I launched the method feeder as far as I could and it landed nowhere near the island. I started feeding 8mm pellets as far as I could (no where near the island!) and also fed them to the end bank past some trees. I had 3 chucks on the method and got bored, and as Tom Magnol next to me had taken a carp and was getting bites on the wag and pellet I followed suit. I could not get my feed anywhere near the island, and decided to feed it where I could do so comfortably (Tom was feeding 10mm pellets and getting to the island). I started by fishing about 2ft deep and whilst I was not getting as many bites as Tom I was on a par with him on fish. I was getting mainly 1lb to 1.5lb carp, although I did have an 8lb fish in the first hour. I didn't feel I was emptying it because the fish came in bursts with long gaps with nothing. I tried upping the feed and changing depths all without any real difference, so I just kept going as I seemed to be doing well.
3 hours in and I decided to try the end bank with the wag as I had seen fish moving there, I was into carp straight away but after a few 3lb fish it was back to the smaller fish. I had a really good run here, and started to hit a fish nearly every cast, inevitably it slowed and I rested it and went back in the open water. However, I was soon forced back down the end bank as it was dead out in front. I put a 2nd keepnet in with just under 2 hours left, and to give you some idea of my catch rate that net eventually weighed 42lb. I did catch the willow tree 3 times, and the grass once, but I always got the float back (my lucky day!). I did re set the wag up twice during the match though, this was because the line around the weights was damaged and I have learnt by experience that not doing this means you will crack off eventually!
By the end of the match my arms and shoulders were aching, and I was pleased that my workout yielded 119lb 9oz and that was enough to win. Tom Magnol was 2nd with 99lb of carp (in one net when the limit is 100lb!) and Tony Rixon was 3rd with 92lb from peg 23. Steve Hutchinson won the silvers with about 40lb+ he had 5 big slabs and skimmers and crucians. Tony's blog will have all the details.
It was nice to get my first win this year, quicker than I thought if I'm honest, but a very good peg does help. A lot of casting, a lot of bites, a lot of carp, a lot of sun and I love it!