The big Drennan Pairs series got underway on Sunday with the match split between the River Welland in Spalding and the River Glen.
Although all the leading weights came off the Welland it was the Glen that turned out to be the more consistent venue.
Stanjay Rod Dale Stone took the honours on the River Glen with 12lb 6oz of roach taken on groundbait and pinkie fished down the middle. Runner-up was Clive Fletcher on 12lb 2oz followed by Michael Buckwalder 11lb.
The big weights on the River Welland all came in a small stretch around the town centre bridge, Dave Burns taking the honours with 27lb of roach all taken on bread punch. Close by was Steve Winters with 20lb 12oz followed by Tony Burns on 20lb 10oz. Top pairs were Clive Fletcher and Tom Burch, 32lb 12oz.
Factory Bank at Ramsey has been a very popular venue for both clubs and pleasure anglers; it always seems to fish well after a good downpour or two.
Last Friday local match organiser Roy Whincup ran an impromptu open match which saw some cracking weights.
The more sheltered early pegs produced all the leading weights topped by Neil Newby with 16lb 13oz.
The Wisbech based Sensas Mark One rod took a net of small roach on pinkie over groundbait from fancied peg 1 on the mooring. Not too far behind was Anthony Watling who alternated between a long and short pole line, again with pinkie for 15lb 14oz. Then came Martin Caldecote with 13lb 12oz followed by former World Champion, now living just outside of March, Bob Nudd with 13lb 3½ oz to take fourth place.
In the Sunday Ramsey AS match on the same venue weights were not so good. Either the frost affected it or it was just the sheer amount of anglers wanting to fish the in-form water.
Top rod from the un-fancied end peg away from the town was Paul Kilby, he caught on the pole with pinkie for the only double figure weight on the day, putting 12lb 7oz to the scales. Matt Page came in second with 8lb 4oz followed by John Price with 7lb 11oz.
Kingfisher Lake on the Townsend Lakes complex produced some very respectable results over the holiday period. Ray Cook ran out a comfortable winner in the open match on the lake netting 59lb 2oz of carp taken on a small feeder with sweetcorn.
Runner-up was Colin Begbie, he also fished a feeder catching on red maggot for a level 44lb. Third Ashley Kinsley with 29lb 1oz, followed by Brendon Strowgler on 27lb 14oz.
On the Woodpecker Pool fishery boss Begbie stole the show with 24lb 10oz, a respectable weight considering the bitterly cold wind and a heavy overnight frost. He took a couple of early fish on feeder with maggot on the long pole and pellet with a late change to the waggler being a wise move catching a couple of carp to clinch the top spot.
Runner-up Geoff Arnold also fished the pole with pellet putting 18lb 2oz to the scales followed by Ricky Young on 14lb 14oz, Ricky caught short taking small silver fish.
Sunday’s Tydd Gote match on the North Level Drain at Clough Bridge saw Andy Greenwood out in front with a net of small fish weighing 5lb 3oz. Runner-up with 4lb 14oz was Colin Gibbons followed by Phil Parnell on 3lb 13oz. The club will now resume their regular Wednesday open match in the new year.
Over the next few days the victorious Stanjay Gold team, winners of this year’s East Midland Winter League, will be deciding which of the semi-final venues they will be fishing in the new year. Angling’s governing body the Angling Trust have just announced the venues to be used this season.
In the South it’s going to be Coleman’s Cottage and the Kennet and Avon Canal, while in the northern section in which Stanjays have been placed will see them either on the Lindholme Lakes or the Stainforth and Keadby Canal on April 5 and 6, 2014.
Neither are going to be easy but confidence is high in the camp after a very successful year. I think they will go for the canal but we will have to wait and see.