New season on drains and rivers

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A new season starts on Saturday (June 16) on Fenland drains and rivers right across the area.

But does it hold that magical draw it used to for anglers right across the country? For some it may do, but I am sorry to say for the majority it’s just another day in the life of a modern day fisherman. Gone are the days of a proper close season and that great anticipation of a brand new season.

Commercial stillwaters have taken over fishing as we used to know it, do not get me wrong they have been the lifeblood of fishing for several years now, without them I suspect quite a few anglers would not be fishing today. My only real worry is that the art of roach fishing with hemp seed, tench fishing on the fen drains with worm and caster on the float or bream fishing with a small feeder will eventually be lost forever.

That may be a little pessimistic so let’s look forward to another good season in our area.

The Fenland waterways have not been that badly affected by the drought like conditions we have been through and recent rain has ensured good water levels throughout the system. So if we can just get a little more warmth or even a few sunny days sport could well get off to a flying start.

You can expect both tench and bream from the Twenty Foot Drain, as always pre baiting is a real bonus if you have time and of course a weed rake and a bit of hard work preparing your swim would not go amiss either. The March sections do look every inviting, a good tinge of colour should see some fine weights.

The Old Nene through March and back through Benwick is a noted winter venue but over recent years many anglers have taken some good nets of skimmers, plenty of roach and some excellent nets of tench too. The Forty Foot is also a tench and bream hotspot early season as is Cock Bank and Glassmoor Bank.

Over the past few seasons the North Level Drain has fished really well, so on most sections you should have a fine day’s sport for roach, skimmers, bream and tench.

Then there are all the smaller drains right across the area that rarely get heavily fished but are full of fish. Good luck whereever you decide to wet a line over the first weekend, let me know if you have any good nets of fish, with a photo, and you may just see your name in the paper!

Local stillwaters have been gradually improving as summer tries to arrive, at the weekend we did see more in the way of normal temperatures for this time of year, the only problem was some waters saw carp looking to spawn again.

Headfen Fishery

Fenland rods found fish willing to feed on the popular fishery although even here for some of the competitors it was a real struggle.

March rod Tim Bates took the honours. He drew well on peg 5 and fished the maggot close in netting a fine 86lb 5oz. After a really slow start the fish eventually turned up and by the end of the match he was getting a fish just about every put in.

The win also gave him the Golden Peg bonus pay packet of £100.

Mac Campbell pushed hard for the top spot but had to settle for second place on 83lb 13oz, all caught close in on meat, followed by Kev Beavis with 73lb 12oz.

Buttonhole

The Tuesday Evening match should start attracting a few more anglers now, particularly as weights have been very good indeed of late. Last week’s match saw Mark Bradford out in front with 115lb 8oz taken from peg six on the pole with pellet. Close by fishing a similar method was runner-up Lester Pratt on 102lb 8oz followed by Phil Hurn on 78lb.

In Sunday’s Buttonhole Qualifier local rod Sammy McSpadden took the honours, he fished the pole with pellet approach on peg one putting a fine 150 lb 12oz to the scales. John Smalley on peg 5 came in second on 86lb followed by Les Barry with 85lb 12oz.

Spratt’s AC

The season is off to a flying start and in their latest match fished on the Horseshoe Pool on the Decoy Complex more cracking weights were recorded topped by Trevor Cousins with 104lb. Trevor drew peg 11 and fished a pellet waggler netting fish to 5lb.

Second place went to Mac Campbell with 94lb taken from peg 2 with meat close in followed by Martin Parker with 89lb.

Tydd Gote AC

Sunday’s match is on the Main Road section on the North Level Drain, draw 11am.

Tuesday and Thursday matches: draw 5pm.