It was good to get an opportunity to fish Sedges again, a venue I like, it's well run, without loads of OTT rules and is usually a decent days fishing. Steady drive down and met with with pairs partner Ken Rayner, not much to discuss in the way of tactics, the only decision to make was which lake to fish and in the end we did that on the toss of a coin - me ending up on Brick this week and Tile next.
Ken did the draw and put himself on 32 and me on 4. In my section I had a couple of guys who's names I didn't know and Dan White on peg 1, he was lucky enough to have peg 2 not drawn, so it was likely that he was the one to beat.
I was confident that 4 would produce a few, given that Dan had pleasure fished peg 5 in the week and had 94lb of skimmers, I set up a full depth waggler, a straight lead and a small Guru hybrid feeder, which Jamie allows to be used elasticated. 3 topkits, a double bulk rig for skimmers, 0.10 hooklength and a 18 6313 hook. A rig to fish pellet at 14m and I was trying out for the first time today Malman Roobs, one of which I set up to fish meat at 7 sections.
It was a slow start, two hours in and I had a rudd, that was it, the guy to my left had a big skimmer on a cage feeder and Keith to my right had a carp on the pellet waggler, he had that fish or second chuck on it - had me worried, as my pellet wagglers were at home in the garage, hadn't considered that an option for March, he'd also had a couple on the bomb..... Dan had a few on the waggler up on peg 1 and I could see Bob Gullick on 9 catching, Tom Mangnell on 11 was also catching well.
I had a look on the meat line and it was as dead as the rest of the peg, I decided to give it 5 more minutes when the float disappeared, lifting into the bite, it was obviously a decent fish, it tested the 0.18 Stroft and the No12 elastic to their limits and when I finally saw it, I knew it would be a 'weigher'. (Fish over 15lb have to be weighed and put straight back). I had no idea how heavy it was, continuing my being hopeless at guesstimating fish weights and was surprised when the scales registered 25lb 8oz, a new PB for me.
There appeared to be a total lack of skimmers in the peg, then I had one about 1.08 and thought they might show up, but it was a false dawn and it was frustrating as those of us in the middle of the lake were struggling, whilst the ends were catching steadily.
The last half an hour I decided to stick with the waggler at full depth, nothing down the line and a banded 6mm pellet, this gave me two more carp and Nicky Ewers opposite who had been struggling as well managed a couple of late fish, so maybe the match finished too early!!
That gave me a total of 48.12 and second in section behind Dan who had 86lb. Unfortunately Ken had a, in his own words, 'a bit of a nightmare' and was last in his section, not sure if two section wins next week could put us in the frame.