Hotrods bidding for March and Benwick Angling Trust Winter League glory

William Bates with a big pike taken from the North Level drain recently
William Bates with a big pike taken from the North Level drain recently

The Angling Trust Winter League final at the end of the week is going to be really exciting, writes Ken Wade.

It is a final like no other as it’s split into two completely different types of venue with Decoy Lakes hosting half of the match, and the other half on the Fen drains, March, Benwick, the Twenty Foot and Factory Bank.

Tony Watling with his winning catch at Rookery Waters

Tony Watling with his winning catch at Rookery Waters

Browning Hotrods will be representing this area and as they are no strangers to the big time matches they are expected to be one of the favourites.

Talking to the club’s press officer, Kye Jerrom, recently he said: “It’s the big matches like this that we fish for, and make the effort of fishing three months solid in the East Midlands Winter League, worthwhile.”

He added: “Getting to the Angling Trust Winter League Final has taken a lot of work, but we love the challenge of fishing against the bigger teams like Drennan Barnsley and Daiwa Dorking and know we can be very competitive in whatever match we fish.”

They do have home advantage but it isn’t as good as it could have been as the venues really are changing from week to week. Angling pressure takes its toll too as more and more teams from around the country travel to fish the fens.

Team wise, Hotrods look very strong in both departments although they will miss Steve Welford. He was involved in a serious car crash and won’t make it for the final. He will however be a huge influence in their team plans and will pick the team later in the week.

In the Wednesday Tydd Gote match a good net of skimmers and roach saw Don Green topping the field with 12lb 12oz.

Fished on the North Level drain Don caught on the pole with pinkie.

Runner-up was Mick Asker with 8lb 4oz.

On Sunday top weight with 16lb 6oz was Colin Button, once again a net of skimmers and roach taken on the pole with pinkie over groundbait. Second place went to Paul Dawden with a level 3lb, caught on the worm.

Booking his place in the Easter weekend two-day final at Rookery Waters was Tony Watling who put a fine 120lb onto the scales.

He caught carp around the 4lb stamp all caught at 7 metres and 9 metres on corn from peg 12.

The back-up weights were close with one fish separating the chasing pack. Tony McGregor, who has been in good form on the venue, came second with 57lb 4oz, closely followed by Tony Dawson with 55lb 6oz.

l Match organiser Bob Fitzjohn showed a big field how it should be done in the last big open before next Saturday’s Angling Trust winter league final on the Old Nene at March.

Drawn five pegs above the bypass bridge the March rod took 5lb of roach early on in the match, then switched to a chopped worm line which saw him take five big tench and a good net of perch to finish on 23lb 15oz.

Drawn on the same section but on the end peg of the match was Simon Wilsmore, who took six tench to finish with 21lb 4oz.

Third place went to Dave Brooks. He had a net of roach and a few skimmers for 17lb 3oz.