Local stillwaters showing good form

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With the close season on river and fenland drains starting on March 14 as always anglers will be turning their attention to local stillwaters across the area.

Already they have shown some really good form thanks to a relatively mild winter compared to last year.

Buttonhole Fishery at Marshland St James has been a favourite for local anglers for several years and has already produced some outstanding sport.

It is a small but well stocked fishing lake containing 24 wooden platform pegs, which caters for pleasure and match anglers. Pleasure anglers have seen catches to three figures already but have yet to see the full potential of this water.

Owner Richard Button has worked hard to attract some of the area’s top matchmen to the fishery and thanks to a well thought out plan the Buttonhole £1000 Challenge has done just that. They even spread over a 10 month period ensuring that most have a good chance of qualifying for the grand final which this year will take place over two days on Saturday and Sunday, August 18/19 which will be counted on points over the two matches.

Opening times at the fishery, which is open all year round is dawn till dusk, with day tickets at £6 for adults and £3.50 for juniors.

Directions: Once at Marshland St James turn at the crossroads onto School Road (next to Hickathrift Residential home) carry on to the Marshland Arms pub, directly opposite is Rands Drove which leads to the lake.

Buttonhole Lake, Rands Drove, Marshland St James, Wisbech, Cambs, PE14 8HA; Richard 01945 430629.

Another fishery in the area which is rapidly gaining a fine reputation is Townsend Lakes, Upwell.

I must admit to having a soft spot for the Cuckoo Canal Pool, I fished it quite a few times last year and expect to visit any time now. The pool is full of fish giving the pleasure angler and matchman alike bites all day.

You do not need to do anything fancy, a pint of maggot will be more than enough along with a tin or two of sweetcorn to feed the margins for the bigger carp that come along later in the day.

There are a few rules to remember when fishing the Cuckoo: No groundbait not even in feeders or for dusting; no meat or paste of any kind not even bread; no bread; Fishery-only feed pellets; use any hook pellets on the hook only and not thrown in for feed. Remember, size 14 maximum barbless hooks and all fish to be netted.

For those after bigger fish why not try the Kingfisher or Woodpecker Pools, both have a good mixed head of fish. You’re more than likely to see carp to 8lb and quite a few bigger samples on a good day. On the Kingfisher carp have been recorded at 20lb plus so make sure you fishing tackle is up to scratch or you could be talking about the big one that got away.

The Woodpecker Pool looks ideal for the pleasure angler, it has 20 pegs and is very even all round and offers a wide selection of species including common carp, barbel, tench, skimmers, ide and even the odd goldfish a lovely selection of some of the prettier species.

No floating baits or bread to be used in this pool and only one rod is allowed.

There are different rules in this lake, please check before fishing.

Day tickets are £6 for adults and £4 for juniors, please purchase tickets before fishing and ensure you know all the fishery rules. The fishery is now open seven days a week from 7am-7pm.

Townsend Lakes Fishery, Colin Begbie, 72 A Kingfisher Lodge, Townsend Road, Upwell, Wisbech, PE14 9HJ. Tel: 01945 774008.