Rain freshens up Fenland waterways

John Whincup, winner of Barry Mason winter league fQlOluVeTLJcA8WfE7R1
John Whincup, winner of Barry Mason winter league fQlOluVeTLJcA8WfE7R1

At long last we have seen a sustained period of rain, something anglers have been waiting for to freshen up our local waterways, writes Ken Wade.

It came just in time for anglers fishing the winter league practice match on the Old Nene at Benwick and Factory Bank at Ramsey.

With the extra water going through Factory Bank was always going to be the sections to draw and so it proved as the top three positions in the result all came from the tiny drain just outside of the town. Leading the way with a level 18lb was Graham Welton.

The Stanjay Tackle backed rod caught roach on pinkie over groundbait and then switched to a worm and caster line to pick up perch and some very good eels. That was just enough to see off the challenge of James Drakulic, who caught roach and small skimmers along with a few perch to put 16lb 15oz to the scales. Then came Sensas Mark One rods Alex Bates with 16lb 14oz and Josh Pace, making the frame from the Benwick section, putting a level 16lb to the scales.

Several clubs have now finished their fixtures for this season and will not be performing on local waters until spring arrives, which seems a shame as we do have some very good waters in the area that still fish well, despite the onset of winter. Having said that we have been very lucky so far, we are close to the middle of November and we have yet to see a big frost.

That was good news on Sunday for those lucky enough to get into the very successful Decoy winter league run by March rod Barry Mason. Fished on the prolific Beastie Lake the first round honours went to John Whincup. Drawn on unfancied peg 21, he started the match on a small feeder over to the island, then soon came into the half way mark on a straight lead for a few more fish, but it was the short pole line with red maggot that did the trick as he finished on 91lb 10oz. Runner-up was Whittlesey angler Simon Godfrey, who drew peg 28 and fished the long pole, again with maggot for 70lb 11oz, followed closely by Chris Barley on 70lb 8oz.

In the Wednesday Tydd Gote match, small fish expert John Taylor came out on top with 7lb 15oz taken on a pinkie approach. Runner-up with 6lb 5oz was John Young, followed by Phil Bowden on 6lb 1oz and Ray Groom with 4lb 9oz.

The mild temperatures for this time of year are certainly helping those fishing at Rookery Waters. The winner and 4th to qualify for the winter final was Cambridge based rod Vinny Easy from peg 2. He caught on red maggot for 80lb 4oz. Runner-up with 79lb 2oz was Ricky Ashwell, followed by Geoff Arnold on 76lb 4oz.

In wet and windy conditions there was still no stopping venue expert Tony Dawson in the latest over 60’s match at Rookery, fished on the Magpie Pool. He caught on maggot close in for 62lb 8oz. Runner-up with 54lb 8oz was John Belshaw and John Millard with 53lb 14oz.

The Damson Pool at Decoy Lakes was the venue for the latest Spratts AC match, Martin Parker taking the top spot with 80lb 4oz taken from peg 4 on pellet. Trevor Cousins came in second, he caught close in from peg 10 for 67lb 10oz. Then it was Peter Spriggs, who had 57lb 10oz all on paste at 8 metres.

The Townsend Lakes open saw Dave Priestly putting 57lb 4oz to the scales to take a comfortable victory. He drew peg 19 and caught carp on the pole with pellet. Ashley Kinsey came in second on 39lb 6oz, he caught on a method feeder, while Alan Owen fished close in to take third place on 36lb 12oz.