There might be fewer teams in the East Midland Winter League this year compared to previous seasons but it still looks as if it’s going to be very competitive, writes Ken Wade.
Points are going to be hard to come by in every section and a good series could also attract a few more teams back to our local waters.
Round one got underway on Sunday fished on the North Level Drain, a venue that has come in for a lot of criticism in the past. Thankfully though its form returned and with the help of a mild day, weights look to have secured more action on the venue for another year or two.
Leading the way on the individual front was Sensas Mark One rod Andy Ellis, drawn on the Owl Box section. He caught a net of skimmers and a couple of bonus bream alternating between the pole and feeder to record a match winning 22lb 7oz. Dave Tebbutt, fishing for Image came second. He caught skimmers on the pole with maggot over groundbait for 18lb 9oz. On the team front Image took round one honours, scoring 28 points. Hotrods came second with 31.
Full result: 1 A Ellis, Mark 1 Black, 22lb 7oz; 2 D Tebbutt, Image 18lb 9oz; 3 C Oakman, Hotrods, 15lb; 4 A Ogilvie, Mark 1 White, 14lb 14oz.
Teams: 1 Image, 28pts; 2 Hotrods, 31; 3 Stanjay Gold, 34; 4 Mark 1 Black (section wins), 35; 5 Mark 1 White, 35; 6 Stanjay Silver, 48.
Spratts AC found the fish in a feeding mode on the Decoy Lakes complex recently fishing the Elm Pool. Peter Spriggs topped a strong field with 139lb 9oz from peg 15. He fished a pole and paste approach netting carp to double figures. Runner-up was John Smith, who fished meat close in from peg 7 to finish on 127lb 10oz, followed by Mac Campbell with 127lb.
Over at Townsend Lakes the weekend open match saw Ben Lawrence put in a cracking performance to completely dominate affairs, topping the field with a fine 116lb 6oz.
He drew peg 13 and caught on a small feeder to the island to start with before switching to a pole and maggot approach in the margins.
Runner-up was Ashley Kinsey, who fished the long pole with caster for 43lb 8oz, followed by John Whitecombe on 36lb 12oz.
Buttonhole Fishery on the outskirts of Wisbech has been a favourite venue for a long time with local anglers and clubs and it’s due to get something of a make-over as the venue now has new owners, Chris and Bev Smith.
I had a long chat with Chris last week and he has great plans for the fishery – all in good time, obviously, but the plans are in place to start work soon on the platforms, sorting the vegetation out and then look forward to some major alterations to establish Buttonhole as one of the leading waters in the area.
Moves are already taking place on the match fishing scene, too, as Chris is keen to see not just club matches at the fishery but open events, too, and I hear the first open will be on October 16 (call Chris on 07928 222462).
Buttonhole is well worth a visit now for pleasure anglers and matchmen – it’s full of carp going well into double figures as you can see from the regular Tuesday matches.
In the latest match it was local rod Sammy McSpadden out in front with 128lb, all taken on the pole with sweetcorn and meat from peg 4.
The match win was also off the golden peg so a healthy pay day for Sammy! Across the other side of the fishery on peg 20 was Andrew Carter; he weighed in 123lb for second place, followed by Andy Rose with 76lb 4oz.