Throughout the winter we have seen some remarkable catches right across the Fenland waters, but a week of much colder weather saw weights plummet as a bitterly cold wind set in, writes Ken Wade.
That was reflected in the match report from round two of the HAJAC winter league fished on the Old Nene at Benwick, Factory Bank and Raveley Drain.
On the individual front it was Paul Kilby taking the honours from the Old Nene at Benwick. Fishing for March Tackle and Bait Paul drew one of the fancied areas for tench just a few pegs down from the village bridge.
Fishing a chopped worm and caster approach he caught three tench and a few perch for a match winning 9lb 11oz.Team mate Ian Warby took the runner-up spot from Raveley with a net of small roach taken from the pegs close to the sluice gates. Rob Hewison came in third on 8lb 2oz. On the team front the consistent Sensas Tackle and Bates took the top spot on 22points, followed by Stanjay Gold with 24 and Maver Image on 25. With two rounds completed its Sensas Tackle and Bates leading the way with Stanjay Gold and Maver Image joint second three points behind.
In the midweek Tydd Gote match fished on the North Level Drain it was Andy Greenwood stepping up to take the top spot with a net of small fish taken on the pole with pinkie over groundbait for a weight of 8lb 11oz. John Taylor was not too far behind, he put 7lb 5oz to the scales followed by John Young with 5lb 6oz.
Sunday’s match saw some disappointing weights as the bitterly cold north wind took its toll. Out in front with a modest 3lb 1oz of small roach and skimmers was Paul Dawden, then came Andy Greenwood on 2lb 6oz followed by Darren Williams with 1lb 4oz.
Considering the conditions those fishing the latest Rookery Waters Magpie Winter Qualifying open on Saturday saw some very respectable leading weights. In fact it was very tight at the top of the leader board which saw venue newcomer Tom Cole on fancied peg 33. He started on the straight lead with bread before switching to the long pole line to catch carp to 6lb for a weight of 65lb 10oz.
Pushing the winner all the way was venue expert Tony McGregor who fished bread dobbed around the reeds from peg 5 to just finish short with 60lb 8oz. Ricky Ashwell came in third on 56lb 12oz.
Paul Robins put a fine 94lb 6oz net of carp to the scales to top the regular Townsend Lakes open match. Fished on the Cuckoo Canal Pool Paul fished a long pole line for most of the day from peg 37. Runner-up was Steve Locke, who fished down the middle with maggot putting 56lb 12oz to the scales, then came Andy Adams on 55lb 3oz.
If you are looking for a big match and rubbing shoulders with some of the country’s finest anglers then get onto the Saturday Decoy Lakes open. Lots of top anglers are heading over to the fishery at Eastrea to practice for the forthcoming Angling Trust Winter League Final.
On Saturday former World Champion Alan Scotthorne was lining the banks. He came fifth with just over 78lb. Top rod was Graham Weston, the Black Horse team man drew on Six islands peg 11 and put 104lb 12oz to the scales. Most of the match saw him fishing at 16 metres with maggot, although he did have a few carp to double figures in the margins late on in the match.
Runner-up from peg 19 on the Horseshoe pool was the in-form Richard Bond. The Maver Image rod fished the long pole with soft pellet on the deck, although he had a few at half-depth in the last hour, finishing with 103lb 13oz. Dave Smith was third on 81lb 5oz.