Fenland Sensas Mark One angler Josh on the Pace for Midland warm-up

fenland Rods winner Kevin Lee
fenland Rods winner Kevin Lee
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Believe it or not but this coming weekend will see the start of the big East Midland Winter league series, writes Ken Wade.

It’s one of the oldest team events in the country and is still regarded as one of the “must win” titles for teams right across the country.

The opening match has always been a problem fixture with many venues struggling for form after a frost. Yet this season it’s the opposite, we have had a long spell of warm but dry weather and with the opener on the River Nene at Peterborough conditions have been going downhill recently.

Teams were lining the banks on Sunday in the final practice match before round one gets underway and it looks like being a real test for many. First place went to Steve Welford with 9lb 2oz, then came Sensas Mark One rod Josh Pace with 9lb 1oz and with a couple of other section winners hopes will be high in the Mark One camp of a good start to their campaign.

On the local match fishing scene it’s good to see how well the North Level Drain is coping with the lack of colour and flow that so many other venues are suffering from. In the Wednesday match, Rob Wright led the way with 12lb 7oz, then came Pete Emery on 9lb 6oz followed by John Youngs with 8lb 8oz. Sunday’s match saw a good turn-out again finding plenty of bites to be had. Out in front was the in-form Dave Williams with a net of skinners, roach and perch weighing in a very respectable 12lb. In second place was Andrew Kilby with 8lb 1oz, then came David Parlett on a level 5lb. The match was the last in the summer series which saw Paul Bawden topping the league with Andrew Kilby the runner-up.

I had the pleasure of fishing with Fenland Rods on Sunday which saw us over at Decoy Lakes on the Six Island Pool. It was tight at the top with Kev Lee taking the honours from peg 12 with a net of big carp taken on paste for 136lb 12oz. On peg 25 was John Smith, who caught from the margins on paste and meat for most of the day to finish with 122lb 13oz. In third place was James Garner on 96lb 9oz, followed by Matthew Lutkin with 94lb 3oz.

The Kingfisher Pool on the Townsend Lakes complex was in fine form for the latest fishery open match. Top rod with 84lb 2oz from peg 2 was Andy Adams, he caught on the long pole with pellet and later fished maggot in the margins. Not too far behind was Steven Hillman, who had 74lb 6oz from peg 12, caught on the long pole with meat, then came Sam Hawks with a level 63lb fishing a Method feeder to the island.

Spratt’s AC enjoyed another good match on the Willows at Decoy recently.

Top rod from peg 35 was Peter Parlett, who caught on meat close in for 96lb 4oz. In second place from peg 21 was Peter Spriggs fishing paste for 94lb 8oz, followed by Martin Parker on 65lb 6oz, caught up in the water on pellet.

Whittlesey rod Simon Godfrey topped the Rookery Waters open match on Saturday with a fine 204lb 12oz from peg 27, catching on meat and pellet fished shallow.

Runner-up was Chris Saunders, a close second with 204lb 2oz from peg 1, then came John Cartwright with 188lb 14oz.

In the fisheries Over 60’s match on the Raven Pool the consistent John Belshaw topped the field with 78lb 6oz taking his fish on sweetcorn and pellet.

Runner-up was Roger Abbott with 65lb 8oz, followed by Mick Curtis 47lb 10oz.