THE season has only just begun and already we are all talking about a disaster on our local waters, with yet another fish kill on the South Holland Drain system.
By Sunday night it was clear that again this once prolific water had been hit hard and fish were constantly being reported dead or really struggling. Some said salt water had got high up the drain while others suspected a poisonous algae. Sport is not going to be good for a few weeks.
Thankfully I had reports of good weights being taken over the first few days of the season. Fewer than ever anglers were lining the banks. Possibly a sign of the hard times, possibly due to the unfavourable weather.
March AC bailiff Sid Starr told me of quite a few good catches taken, on the March end of the Twenty Foot Drain at Sheppertons Bridge. One angler bagged a net of tench and bream on the pole with maggot and caster weighing over 130lb.
Close by another rod bagged 60lb of skimmers and the odd bream. Further along the drain a massive 9lb bream was taken while at Chain Bridge tench were being caught on a worm and caster approach. The Old Nene at Benwick was in cracking form with lots of tench being taken, as also happened at Staffurths Bridge.
We should see more anglers on the fen drains this week as the weather improves. A tip: get yourself a weed rake and perhaps even a spade.
Our local clubs have been out preparing pegs but there is very little they can do about weed in the water and some pegs will need a little “gardening” to make yourself comfortable.
With all the problems on the South Holland drain it was little wonder the Holbeach club’s first match of the season was not too good.
They have gone metric, with 900gr for match winner Jonathan Stubbly – that’s around the 2lb mark! Runner up was Darren Crofts on 700gr followed by Allan Palmer with 630gr. The next match will be at Firmans Bridge on Sunday.
In an open match on the Farm Shop Lake at Dents Fishery, Hilgay, Shaun Strachan took first place with a net of rudd taken up in the water along with crucians and skimmers caught at full depth on pellet to record 59lb 8oz. Runner up with a level 40lb was Paul Ringham followed by Dave Edgoose with 26lb.
Peter Spriggs and Martin Parker could not be separated at the final whistle in the event fished on the Small Carp Lake at King’sland Fishery. Peter drew peg 17 and fished paste on the long pole line, catching well late in the match while Martin Parker on peg 5 fished the feeder with both weighing in 53lb. Third Bob Allan with 43lb.
March rod Barry Mason showed the field a clean pair of heels in the Tuesday evening event, weighing in a fine 122lb 8oz net of carp all taken on the feeder. Andrew Carter came in second with 59lb 4oz followed by Pete Lambdin on 44lb 15oz.
In the weekend qualifier Geoff Arnold took the honours with 105lb, runner up was Barry Mason on 81lb, third Simon Godfrey with 52lb 12oz.
Despite difficult conditions everyone fishing the match on the Forty Foot put a few fish to the scales.
Top rod was John Roper with a net of small skimmers and perch weighing 5lb 6oz.
Runner up was Steve Newell on 5lb 5oz, followed by Mark Dunham with 4lb 10oz.
The Saturday open match on the in-form Cuckoo Canal Pool saw a really close finish, Trevor Haycock inching home with 122lb 2oz followed by John Buckingham with 121lb 14oz and Harry Morgan with 121lb.
Sunday’s match on the Kingfisher Pool was more clear cut, fishery boss Colin Begbie taking the honours with 64lb 6oz.
Colin fished the feeder taking a net of small carp and skimmers on meat and corn. Runner up with 39lb 4oz was Peter Carter, followed by Ricky Young on a level 37lb.
No big weights heralded the start of a new season on the North Level Drain system.
The Thursday evening match was won by Dave Hall with a net of small fish taken on the pole for 5lb 5oz. Runner up with 3lb 1oz was Bob Fitzjohn, then came Andy Lawrence with 2lb 11oz.
Sunday’s match on the same venue saw much improved weights topped by Dick Paul on 11lb 6 ½ oz with a net of skimmers and perch. Runner up with 11lb 4oz was Paul Constable, then Ray Groom 9lb 7oz.
Further along the drain John Spalton ran a practice match for this weekend’s King of the Fens League curtain raiser. The drain was in cracking form.
Top rod from the end peg at Raisons Bridge was local angler Andy Spencer.
He took two bream, a decent perch and a net of skimmers on a chopped worm and caster approach to record 18lb 14oz.
Result: 1 A Spencer, Tydd Gote AC, 18lb 14oz; 2 B Harding, Maver Bait Tech, 13lb 10oz; 3 B Bates, Sensas Mark One, 13lb.
In a good turnout for the match on the Six Island Pool at Decoy Lakes, the honours went to popular club member John Garner with 94lb 14oz taken from peg 2 on the pole with pellet and meat.
Les Bedford, in fine form, finished second with 89lb 10oz, just ahead of Dave Garner on 89lb 6oz.
This Sunday the club have a pairs match on the Yew Pool.