Benwick waters in cracking form

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Frost and freezing fog descended on the area over the weekend, presenting anglers with a completely different scenario to what they have been used to since Christmas.

In fact the unseasonably mild weather has seen some tremendous catches of late on many of our local venues. The Old Nene at Benwick has been in cracking form with both roach and tench showing, while on the Forty Foot anglers have reported roach being taken on pinkie and perch to chopped worm and caster.

It was much the same on the March end of the Twenty Foot drain, but that all changed with the onset of a couple of heavy frosts.

The first big March Open of the year saw a big attendance line the banks of the Old Nene through the fen town, many I expect still anticipating some big roach weights. It was never going to happen though the two very heavy frosts saw ice covering many of the sections and that should have told everyone tough times lay ahead.

Cambridge rod Dave Cooper is a regular to the venue and after drawing well in the town centre he got off to a great start with a good run of roach taken on bread punch. It did go quiet through a mid match period but thankfully roach to 4oz came back and he finished top on a modest 11lb 5oz.

Local rod Martin Roper pushed him all the way with an excellent 11lb 2oz taken from an unfancied peg just below the by pass bridge. Third went to Steve Slater, the only other angler to break into double figures, he weighed in 10lb 10oz.

Result: 1 D Cooper, 11lb 5oz; 2 M Roper, 11lb 2oz; 3 S Slater, 10lb 10oz; 4 T McGregor, 9lb; 5 R Lamiter 8lb 7oz; 6 M Asker, 8lb 2oz.

Not the best of conditions greeted Tydd Gote anglers in either of their matches. Top rod in the Wednesday event was Mick Asker, the Emneth tackle dealer finishing top with 5lb 8oz of small fish taken on the whip with pinkies.

It turned out to be a very profitable match for Mick as for the second week running he took the £50 golden peg prize.

Runner-up with 5lb 3oz was David Parlett followed by Andy Greenwood with 4lb 10oz. Sunday’s match proved to be a real struggle for most, top rod with 4lb 3oz was Colin Gibbons followed by Ray Groome on 3lb 9 ½ oz and Phil Parnell with 1lb 11oz.

Headfen

Many will be surprised I am sure that some stillwaters still fished quite well despite the dramatic change in conditions. March rod Ian Warby took first place in the latest Headfen Open fished on the Snake Pool.

Ian drew peg 6 and alternated between bread punch and red maggot fished tight across to the far side netting carp to 3lb for a winning 39lb 14oz. Local rod Steve Jackson took the runner-up spot with 39lb 8oz followed by Vinny Easey on 36lb 6oz.

Rookery Farm

Rookery Farm Fishery at Pidley also produced some reasonable weights in the latest open match fished on the Jay Lake.

Top rod was match organiser Roy Whincup, he drew peg 28 and caught 55 small carp on small pellet fished down the middle to record 14lb 9oz. March rod Gary Burton came in second with 11lb 10oz, again on the pellet but he fished the long pole line. Then came John Calder with 11lb 8oz followed by Kevin Peacock on 10lb 12oz.

These Friday matches have proved to be quite popular, give Roy Whincup a call on 07817 694359 for all the details and get booked in. You will be made most welcome.

HAJC Winter League

This Sunday will see the start of the usually popular HAJC Winter League, it will be interesting to see how the venues perform after last week’s frosts.

Milder weather should help and with the split venues chosen to provide as must sport as possible it could once again be a competition worth fishing.

There are places still left for teams of six. I know the area will already be well represented by the strong Sensas Mark One side, but with not a great deal of travelling involved and local venues to fish perhaps at least one more team from the March area could come forward.

Fixture list for the next few weeks - Sunday, Jan 22: HAJAC WL Round 1; Narrows/St Mary’s/Raveley; George, Forty Foot. Sun, Jan 29: Bourne League 2; TBA; TBA.

Sunday, Feb 5: HAJAC WL Round 2; Factory Bank/Benwick; George, Forty Foot. Sun 12: Open; March; Station Hotel. Sun 19: HAJAC WL Round 3; Narrows/St Mary’s/Benwick; George, Forty Foot. Sun 26: Bourne League 3; TBA; TBA.

Sunday, March 4: HAJAC WL Round 4; Narrows/Factory Bank/Raveley; George, Forty Foot. Sun 11: Open; March; Station Hotel. Wed 14: End of season HAJAC open? TBA; TBA. Sun 18: Bourne League 4; Westwood Lakes; Venue.

Contacts: HAJAC/Rookery Waters: Roy Whincup - 07817 694359. Bourne League: John Spalton - 07808 750779. March Opens: Bob Fitzjohn - 07970 673439.