Tench catches make up Old Nene Benwick bulk

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Winter weather finally arrived and with several waters frozen midweek it did look as if there would be very little action on our local waters, writes Ken Wade.

Yet once again unusual weather patterns saw almost spring-like conditions for the weekend. Fishing was far from spectacular but at least we were out and about on drains and stillwaters.

The Stanjay Tackle Winter series saw round three move onto the Old Nene at Benwick where tench weights made up the bulk of the top three catches from the early numbers at the village end.

Leading the way was Tony Hobbs. He fished a chopped worm and caster approach feeding heavily down the middle. He finished well clear by the final whistle, netting seven tench and a few small fish for 23lb 5oz.

Runner-up at the very next peg was Gary Barkley. He fished similar tactics to the winner, putting four tench to the scales for 14lb 3oz. In third place with two small tench and a net of roach was Ian Young on 12lb 3oz, followed by Justin Mabere with 10lb 14oz.

The winter series on the Beastie Lake on the Decoy complex run by March rod Barry Mason came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday. John Whincup took the title with a fine 8-point score over the four matches.

Runner-up was Chris Barley on 9 and then it was a three-way tussle for third place. In the end Barry could only separate them on weight and, even then, just a few pounds covered them throughout the series and it was Kevin Wadge who came through on 10 points.

On a difficult day for some Adam Wayman topped the field with 69lb 14oz from peg 13, catching well on the long pole with pellet. Charlie Lawrence was second from 24 fishing a maggot feeder to finish on 68lb 6oz, then it was John Smalley with 64lb 14oz.

A cracking well-run winter event that I am sure will be very popular once again next year.

Sensas Mark One rod Josh Pace qualified for the final of the Rookery Waters winter event thanks to a comfortable match win on the Magpie pool on Saturday. Drawn on fancied peg 1 the Mark One rod caught at 16 metres to the lily pads and tight into the corner up to the reeds with 8mm bread punch to catch 30 carp for 62lb 8oz.

Pushing him close was Somersham-based rod Neil Kidd who fished similar tactics with bread dobbed to the reeds from peg 31 to finish on 53lb 2oz. Then came Rob Humphries with 39lb 4oz.

They had to break ice for the midweek over 60’s match but still caught fish in freezing conditions. John Belshaw topped the field from peg 9 with 51lb 10oz of carp up to 4lb all caught on the straight lead right to the island. Runner-up was Warboys angler Chris Saunders with 44lb, followed by John Millard on 35lb 2oz.

Townsend Lakes saw their regular open match fished on the Kingfisher Pool. Top rod with a very respectable 38lb was Colin Begbie. He fished the long pole with worm and caster for a level 38lb.

Runner-up with 16lb 8oz was Trevor Haycock, then came Derrick Upson on 13lb 10oz.

The Winter Pairs series on the River Welland and River Glen saw Josh Pace round off a cracking weekend of action by taking the top spot from the River Glen with a net of roach taken on bread punch weighing in at 17lb 4oz.

Emneth rod Mick Asker came second with 13lb 12oz with Alistair Ogilvie third on 12lb 12oz. Over on the River Welland some huge nets of roach were taken, but unfortunately it was also very poor in some areas.

Topping the list with a fine net of roach was Dave Thornton with 30lb 9oz. Joe Roberts came a close second on 27lb 9oz, followed by rising star Josh Newman with 25lb 9oz. Winning pairs on the day were Dave Thornton and Dale Stones with a combined weight of 41lb 10oz.

In the Tydd Gote matches fished on the North Level drain, John Taylor and John Young tied at the top with 6lb 2oz in the midweek match, then it was Mick Asker third with 4lb 3oz.

Sunday’s match saw Paul Bawden topping the field with a net of skimmers and roach for 5lb 14oz. Andy Greenwood was second with roach and a few perch for 5lb 9oz, followed by Darren Williams on 5lb 7oz.