OVER the past few years there has been a push from several big angling clubs to get the close season lifted on rivers and drains across the country.
I do not think there can be any doubt that year round angling on commercial waters has seen the demise of many clubs that control lengths of rivers and drains.
Some have been fortunate to also have stillwaters on their books while others have moved quickly to purchase or lease stillwaters, but unfortunately all too many have suffered as anglers moved away during March to June and have not returned in numbers once a new season got underway.
A recent survey suggests that on the whole anglers want to keep a close season on rivers and drains to preserve fish stocks while spawning and generally give the fish and bankside a rest.
It would seem to be pretty conclusive and I doubt we are going to get many more opportunities to state a case for the abolition of the close season so for some of our local clubs to survive they are going to have to move with the times, give anglers what they want or I fear that some may not be with us much longer.
Thankfully those authorities that own waterways have also seen the problem these clubs have and many have responded by reducing rents and lease fees, so there is still hope that our local waters and drains will remain open and controlled by clubs that have worked really hard to maintain the waters for our pleasure.
At the weekend the Golden Lion club had their first fixture of the New Year at Headfen Fishery. The hot pegs were in the 50s, unfortunately those drawn on the lower numbers could not find quite so many fish willing to feed. Top rod was Kev Bridgement, he caught a few good chub on the waggler with maggot along with plenty of silvers to record 32lb 14oz.
A mixed bag of silvers, bream and tench taken on the pole close in on meat saw Dave Beeken take the runner up spot with 32lb 8oz, followed by Gary White on a level 29lb.
Next match: Saturday on the Six Island Pool at Decoy Lakes, this pool has been one of the best on the Decoy complex.
Fields End Water Fishery at Doddington is running into fine form, the ide have grown on from last year and the carp are also fighting fit which should see big weights over the next few months.
At the weekend the Queens Fishing Club were on the venue, Wayne Mortimer taking the honours with 63lb 12oz of carp taken on a Method feeder on meat from peg 3. Runner up was Jamie Watts on 47lb 2oz followed by Ian Ellis with 37lb 1oz.
Quite a few clubs made the most of the day off for the Royal Wedding and celebrated the happy couple’s day with a fishing match. Fenland Rods decided on an extra fixture on the Friday fishing the Six Island Pool at Decoy Lakes.
Dave Garner drew fancied peg 18, won the match and also went home with the Golden Peg money as well. Dave put 99lb 11oz to the scales all taken on meat across to the far side and also in the margins.
On peg 7 was Dick Warrener, he put 95lb 5oz to the scales followed by Mac Campbell and Les Bedford who tied for third place on 90lb 6oz.
Sunday’s Fenland Rods match was at the North View fishery at Gedney Hill on the old match lake. The blustery and sometimes cold easterly wind made life difficult for several anglers although Matthew Lutkin made light work of it all finishing comfortably top with 61lb 5oz all taken on the tip with hair rigged pellet. Bill Foster fished similar tactics to the winner putting 45lb 15oz to the scales for second place followed by Kev Lee on 41lb 13oz.
Spratt’s AC fished a midweek match on the Horseshoe Pool recently which saw Colin Varney top the strong field with a cracking 148lb taken from peg 11. Colin fished the pellet around his swim and at various depths to keep the small carp coming all day.
Ted Lloyd came in second, he fished unfancied peg 15 and caught carp in the margins on meat to weigh in 75lb followed by John Smith on 73lb from peg 4.
There have been some cool evenings of late yet Button Hole Fishery continues to produce some fine weights in their evening events. In the latest Tuesday night match Dave Rodwell came out on top putting 82lb 7oz to the scales. Runner up was Lester Pratt on 69lb 6oz followed by Dave Corcoran with 56lb 12oz.
If you are looking for a midweek match where you can get plenty of bites then the series being run at Rookery Farm Fishery, Pidley, is well worth a try.
Both the Jay and Magpie Lakes are producing some of the best results the fishery has seen. In the latest Thursday event fished on the Magpie Pool Pete Holland once again took the honours, he drew peg 7 and fished pellet close in to record 159lb 12oz. Graham Welton came in second with 93lb 14oz followed by Kevin Peacock on 93lb 12oz.
Friday’s hastily arranged match was fished on the Jay Lake with Stuart Redman taking the honours from fancied peg 29.
Most of the bigger weights have been coming to those fishing close in but Stuart fished long with sweetcorn to record 88lb 14oz. John Price came in second with74lb 3oz, a good effort from peg one, followed by Graham Welton with 55lb 4oz.