Fenland angling season starts with cracking tench and bream weights in March

Geoff Rogers with a fine tench caught on the opening day of the season from the Twenty Foot Drain
Geoff Rogers with a fine tench caught on the opening day of the season from the Twenty Foot Drain
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The new season got off to a fine start right across the Fen drains with reports of some cracking tench and bream weights, writes Ken Wade.

The only real disappointment for me was the distinct lack of anglers fishing at the weekend.

That could well have been down to the scorching hot weather and it was Father’s Day on Sunday, but those who did fish found it tough. The fishing was much better than we could have hoped for. The Twenty Foot Drain saw some good nets of bream from the March section with several reporting tench also on the feed, particularly in the early morning sessions. Geoff Rogers took seven big tench from the upper end of the Twenty Foot, while over on the Forty Foot it was those fishing the Narrows section that had the pick of the action. The North Level Drain had a good opening day but the weather took its toll for those fishing the first Tydd Gote fixture of the new season. I think by Sunday the weather was so hot the fish just didn’t want to feed.

The club fished on the Main Road section of the North Level Drain which saw Colin Gibbons and Martin Roper out at the top of a good field, both putting 3lb 13oz of small fish to the scales. In third place and making a welcome return to the match scene in the UK was Ray Malle with 3lb 12oz.

On Saturday Fenland Rods fished their club’s handicap match, so the result will look a little strange as anglers that don’t normally make the frame but regularly fish the club matches get a generous weight allowance to improve their weights. It does not always work out right though – on this occasion Peter Parlett topped the field on the Six Island Pool at Decoy Lakes from peg 9 after his handicap was added to his catch weight. Second was Mel Lutkin, followed by Mick Rawson. In real time, Dave Garner took the honours with 108lb 14oz from peg 7, caught on cat meat with rod and line in the second half of the match. Runner-up with 107lb 5oz was Mel Lutkin, followed by Peter Parlett on 90lb 5oz.

The latest Rookery Waters Saturday £1,000 qualifying open switched to the Jay Lake for a change and it produced a very close match with just 2lb separating the top three. Jimmy Brooks from peg 33 just did enough to top the field, though. He caught 30 small carp on banded pellet fished tight over for 100lb 1oz.

Runner-up was Richard Bond. He also fished shallow with pellets towards the bridge from peg 47 to weigh in 98lb 3oz, then came Simon Godfrey with a level 98lb. In the Thursday £1,000 qualifying open back on the Magpie Pool it was local rod Graham Welton from peg 5 taking the honours. He opted for a worm and caster approach on a difficult day for many, weighing in 98lb 1oz. Runner-up was Simon East with 79lb 5oz, then came Rob Goodson with 58lb 12oz.

Lou’s Lake on the Decoy Complex was the venue for the Spratts AC match, another water that did not fish as well as expected. Leading the way with 132lb 14oz from peg 7 was Peter Parlett. He caught on meat close in, while John Smith on peg 6 came in second putting 80lb 11oz to the scales. In third place on a level 65lb was Bob Allen catching on paste.

The latest Tuesday match at Buttonhole produced some good weights on a very pleasant evening. Out in front from peg 8 was Jonny Clark. He caught across to the island fishing shallow with pellet, before switching to meat and corn in the margins late in the day. Andrew Carter came second from peg 1, putting 84lb 6oz to the scales caught on paste over pellet, followed by Wayne Bryan on 61lb 6oz.

Regular to Townsend Lakes Steven Hillman took the honours in the fishery’s latest open match on the Cuckoo Pool with 131lb 4oz taken from peg 18 on the pole with pellet and maggot. Runner-up was Myke Pollard on 106lb 14oz. He caught shallow, then came Martin Sheldrake on 84lb 10oz.