AT long last anglers across the area were able to wet a line, after four long weeks with next to no fishing taking place across the whole country. Make the most of it, though, as the forecast is for yet more freezing cold weather descending on us.
At the weekend many of our local waters still had ice right across them, but thankfully the thaw had set in and it was nowhere near as thick as it had been.
Once again, though, ice had to be broken on the Townsend Lakes at Upwell before the matches got under way. Fishery boss Colin Begbie has worked really hard to ensure matchmen got to fish the venue and I am sure Colin and the anglers that have braved the elements have been very pleased indeed with the fishing.
The two midweek matches saw Barry Mason from March taking top spot in the Tuesday match; he fished in the 30s and took a net of small carp and silvers on soft pellet to record a match winning 17lb 120z.
On Thursday it was Adam Wainman who took the honours fishing the pole with soft pellet close in, the Ringer Baits backed rod topped the field with 30lb 6oz.
Last Sunday’s open match attracted a good turnout with anglers from across the area coming to fish the venue but it was local rod Colin Varney who put a cracking 36lb 3oz to the scales to take first place. Colin drew along the back straight on peg 6 and fished close in just down the shelf fishing small pellet. He caught steadily all day netting carp to 2lb plus to take a comfortable victory.
Tuesday: 1 B Mason, Ringer Baits, 17lb 12oz; 2 A Wainman, Ringer Baits, 13lb 8oz; 3 W Shepherd, Ringer Baits, 9lb 8oz.
Thursday: 1 A Wainman, Ringer Baits, 30lb 6oz; 2 N Rock, Spalding, 22lb 10oz; 3 T Wilson, Spalding, 18lb 1oz.
Sunday: 1 C Varney, Spratt’s AC, Cambs 36-3-0; 2 B Mason, Ringer Baits, Cambs 17-4-0; 3 R Cuthbert, Peterborough, 16-9-0; 4 A Adams, Cambs; 5 D Corcoran, Lincs; 6 T Wilson, Lincs.
The Bourne Winter League was due to be fished on venues well to the east of March but with several venues still heavily frozen over it was decided to fish round one on the Old Nene at March. Even that proved to be a little more difficult than expected as some sections were also still covered in thick ice despite the thaw setting in at the by-pass area, so pegs were spread along the length of the venue to ensure very little if any ice breaking was required.
On the individual front it was Maver Bait Tech rod Phil Chesterton who took the honours with 11lb 11oz 8dr. Drawn in the fancied pegs close to the Health Centre Bridge Phil fished pinkie over groundbait taking over 250 small roach. At the by-pass end peg was runner-up Steve Slater who fished similar tactics to put 8lb 15oz to the scales. On the team front Maver Bait Tech Black take an early lead putting a fine nine point score to the board.
The teams taking part this year are well down on numbers, in fact only the Wisbech based Sensas Mark One squad bothered to put sides in from this area, but in round one failed to make much headway.
Result: 1 P Chesterton, Maver Bait Tech,11lb 11oz 8dr; 2 S Slater, Maver Bait Tech, 8lb 15oz; 3 C Elson, Garbolino Lincs County, 8lb 12oz; 4 S Winters, Maver Bait Tech, 8lb 10oz; 5 A Ogilivie, Maver Bait Tech, 8lb 3oz.
Teams: 1 Maver Bait Tech Black, 9pts; 2 Maver Bait Tech Green, 15; 3 Maver Fox, 17; 4 Maver Image, 22; 5 Garbolino Lincs County, 23; 6 Sensas Mark One Black, 31.
With a bit of luck this Sunday should see the final round of the Angling Times Team Championship taking place. No-one is quite sure where the sections are going to be though. A lot will depend on the weather and also where venues across the fen drains are fishable or have not already been booked out. My best advice is to get in touch with your team captain later in the week to see if the match is to go ahead and if so where.
For those not involved give Townsend Lakes at try, its full of fish and red maggot, soft small pellet and even pinkie will get you a few bites.
Still be on your guard on the Fen drains the ice may look thick but if a slight thaw has taken place it will be very slippery indeed.