Since the turn of the year March rod Alex Bates can do no wrong, topping several big matches on different venues, writes Ken Wade.
On Sunday in Round 3 of the HAJAC Winter League once again he led the field home, this time from the Factory Bank section with an excellent 18lb 11oz net of roach.
Alex drew two pegs in from the town end and took full advantage of a good draw fishing a top three with three sections on to take a net of roach on pinkie over squatt. Runner-up was James Drakulic he drew on the Raveley Drain section and caught roach and rudd steadily all day to finish just short with 18lb 6oz. Third Andy Mead on Factory Bank, 16lb 7oz. On the team front Stanjay Posh topped the list with 27 points just one ahead of Maver Bait Tech with 28, barring a complete disaster in the final round this coming weekend the Stanjay Posh side should take the league title.
Once again Townsend Lakes produced some consistent sport for those fishing the latest fishery open. The match was held on the Woodpecker Pool which saw Colin Begbie taking the honours, he drew peg 6 and fished the long pole despite a difficult wind putting 44lb 4oz to the scales all taken on pellet.
Not far off the pace was Ricky Young he decided to fish close in on caster taking a level 39lb. In third place was Ray Cook who started on the feeder but later switched to the margins on sweetcorn which saw him take a couple of good barbel late on to finish with 35lb 5oz.
The wind got the better of most anglers fishing the latest Chatteris Workingmen’s Club match at Horseways, a modest 1lb 10oz was enough to put Steve Newell into pole position. He fished the pole with pinkie to take a net of small fish.
Runner-up was John Halverson with 15 oz followed by John Roper with 10oz. There were worrying signs for those fishing this match and indeed most anglers that have fished the venue recently as alarming numbers of cormorants have been spotted feeding on the vast stocks of small fish.
Wednesday’s Tydd Gote match fished at Clough Bridge saw Mick Asker having a fine days sport from the fancied end peg finishing top with 5lb 2½oz which not only gave him the match win but also he went home with the £50 golden peg payout. In second place was Andy Greenwood with 4lb 14oz with third place going to Don Green on 3lb 13oz.
The North Level Drain produced a reasonable result in the Sunday match despite the wind for those fishing the Tydd Gote fixture.
Out in front with a net of small roach taken on a pole and pinkie approach was Colin Gibbons with 6lb 4oz followed closely by Andy Greenwood on 5lb 14oz and Sammy McSpadden with 5lb 3oz.
Most anglers fishing the latest Buttonhole Open were extremely pleased with the form of the water. Taking the honours on Saturday with a fine 110lb 4oz was Shaun Greatbatch, he fished a pellet feeder with corn on the hook from peg 21.
Runner-up was Pete Ashton who alternated between the feeder and pole again with sweetcorn to put 67lb 6oz to the scales with Steve Burrage coming third with 49lb 6oz.