Just a couple of weeks before the HAJAC Winter League got underway there were doubts that not many more than half a dozen teams were going to compete, despite some of the better venues in the area being used.
Thankfully a late rush of entrants boosted the numbers up considerably, in fact the league looks as strong now as it has done for several years.
Sensas Mark One entered a couple of teams and it was good to hear that March AC had also come forward with a strong looking team to compete on the fenland waters.
Round One got underway on Sunday with the Old Nene at Ramsey St Mary’s, the top end of the Forty Foot and Raveley Drain being used. The hot pegs close to Raveley Drain Bridge saw a head to head battle for the top spot between Mick Kelly and Bob Nudd.
Mick just edged it at the final whistle, he fished on the whip close in and up in the water taking around 500 small rudd for 15lb 13 ½ oz. Bob fished the other side of the bridge and caught roach on pinkie and maggot for 15lb 6oz.
Third place went to Ben Jackson, he drew the early numbers at Ramsey St Mary’s and finished with 13lb 8 ½ oz.
On the team front Stanjay Silver topped the strong field with 28 points, then came the two Sensas Mark One teams, the Whites on 30 points and the Blacks with 31.
A solid performance from the March lads saw them taking fourth place which keeps them well up with the leaders going into round two in a couple of weeks time.
Result: 1 M Kelly, Stanjay Silver, 15-13-8; 2 B Nudd, Maver Bait Tech B, 15-6-0; 3 D Jackson, Stanjay Bronze, 13-6-8; 4 A Bates, Maver Bait Tech A, 12-14-0; 5 C Jackson, Maver Bait Tech A, 11-5-0; 6 J Pace, Sensas Mark One Black, 11-0-0.
Match results have not been quite as good as expected recently, I am sure that must be down to the unsettled weather. A few heavy frosts then the mild weather returning never seems to produce the best action on stillwaters.
Sunday’s match was fished on the Kingfisher pool which saw fishery boss Colin Begbie out in front from peg 17. Colin fished the pole with maggot taking a net of skimmers and roach.
Runner-up with 13lb was venue regular Ricky Young, he opted for a small maggot feeder approach taking chub and roach. In third with 8lb was Derrick Upson, he fished the long pole with red maggot.
This coming weekend the fishery will have two matches, on Saturday it’s on the Woodpecker Pool, while on Sunday its back to Kingfisher.
With the weather changing towards the weekend I, and I think many others, thought the North Level Drain would fish really well, but both the Wednesday and weekend matches did not live up to expectations.
I doubt matchman Jon Young will be too disappointed though as he took the honours in both events.
On Wednesday he put a net of small skimmers and roach to the scales for 4lb 9 ½ oz on a pole and pinkie approach, following that up on Sunday with an almost identical catch weighing 4lb 8oz.
Weds result: 1 J Young, 4lb 9oz 8dr; 2 M Asker, 3lb 4oz 8dr; 3 A Greenwood, 2lb 14oz.
Sunday: 1 J Young, 4lb 8oz; 2 D Parlett, 3lb 14oz; 3 P Parnell, 3lb 7oz.
Draw for this week’s Wednesday and Sunday matches at 9am at Clough, fish 10-3.
If you are looking to fish a decent match on a Friday, why not give Roy Whincup a call on 01487 822333. Roy runs a cracking little match each week on the popular fishery at Pidley.
In the latest match March rod Gary Burton topped the field with a net of small carp taken on the pole. Gary fished the long pole line opting for pellet instead of the usual red maggot approach to finish with 22lb 4oz from peg 39.
Matt Roberts came in second on 20lb 8oz from peg 46, followed by Dave Reece with 11lb 4oz.
The big pike match at the weekend run by Whittlesey AA on the Twenty Foot Drain saw a whole host of top quality anglers from across the country taking part.
The winner was Dick Band, he took two fish, the best weighing in at 13lb 2oz. Dick took home a massive £1,100-plus winner’s purse for all his efforts.
Runner-up was Brian Green with one fish for 14lb 5oz followed by Bryan Jones on 13lb 14oz, Bryan took two fish. Headfen
In Saturday’s open match on the Snake Pool, fishery manager Marcus Bailey took the top spot with 62lb 12oz all taken on the maggot from the long pole line. Runner-up was Vince Easey on 61lb 4oz followed by Dave Rodwell with 50lb.
Sunday’s match on Trev’s Pool was a Headfen £2,450 Qualifier which saw Dave Rodwell in first place with 42lb 11oz alternating between a maggot feeder and the long pole line.
Second place went to Mark Cross with a level 42lb followed by Bob Coulson, on 35lb 10oz.