THE first signs of winter seem to have got quite a few anglers remaining closer to the television over the weekend.
The first real frost and a bitterly cold wind saw match attendances and indeed pleasure anglers conspicuous by their absences.
Those anglers that did line the banks of the Great Ouse at Littleport for a practice match in preparation for this weekend’s round two of the East Midland Winter league saw the venue fail to impress, in fact such was the form of the river that after the match there was a captains’ meeting and it was decided to switch the round on to the North Level Drain at Tydd Gote.
Picking venues a year plus in advance is always a tricky proposition, particularly for winter matches, but perhaps a little more care should be taken when the decisions are made. Switching venues at the last minute is far from ideal and will eventually lead to discontent within the league’s structure.
As to the match itself, three sections were so poor that not a fish was taken and but for bonus tench the top three anglers would also have struggled along with the rest of the field. Holbeach rod Arnie Palmer topped the field, fishing for league leaders Sensas Mark One he drew peg 36 and caught a few small fish together with a tench taken on a slider float to weigh in 5lb 4½ oz. Andy Spencer fished a feeder to take the runner-up spot with 4lb 14oz followed by Richard Martin on 4lb 8oz.
The Fenland Rods anglers had a much better day’s sport on the Old Nene at March, fishing the Bypass section just out of the town there were plenty of bites for just about all of those that fished.
March rod Tim Bates knows the venue really well and made his local knowledge pay off handsomely as he bagged 12lb 3½ oz of roach, perch and skimmers taken on the pole with red maggot. Darren Ogden also put a double figure catch to the scales, he caught on bread punch to taken the runner-up spot with 10lb 13½ oz followed by the consistent Kevin Lee with 6lb 14½ oz.
Even those fishing the usually productive stillwaters across the area did not find it quite as easy as has been the case throughout the past couple of months. In the latest Spratt’s AC match Ted Lloyd put a modest 57lb 9oz to the scales from peg three on the Horseshoe Pool at Decoy Lakes to take the honours. Ted fished up in the water on pellet and also caught a few fish on the waggler too. Mick Ramm took second place with 46lb 10oz taken close in with pellet followed by Shaun Buddle with 39lb 2oz.
Metal box also fished at the Decoy Complex, their match took place on the Elm Channel. In first place with a weight of 44lb 11oz was Roger Archer who fished close in with dead maggot hook baits, a new trick that has worked well this season. In the runner-up berth with a weight of 41lb 10oz was Peter Harrod, fishing similar tactics to the winner and ran him close and in third place was Richard Della on 39lb 7oz
This match also included the final of the knockout cup between Richard Della and Shaun Buddle. Richard Della came out on top and picked up the winner’s trophy.
One venue that did fish really well at the weekend and seemed to be unaffected by the cold snap was Headfen Fishery and the Snake Pool produced some outstanding weights. Top rod was the ever-consistent Matt Ayers who drew peg 5 and caught carp steadily all day on both punched bread and maggot for 165lb 12oz. Dave Cook took second place with 103lb 10oz followed by Dave Rodwell on 92lb 8oz.
Tydd Gote AC
Tydd Gote AC fished two matches last week on the Black Dyke drain. In the midweek event Alex Rawlings topped the field with 11lb 14oz, a net of small roach and skimmers taken on the waggler with caster. Not too far behind was Mark Lynn with 9lb 11½oz followed by Paul Haker on 7lb 10½oz.
On Sunday weights dropped off and Colin Gibbons took the honours with a net of small fish taken on the whip for 6lb 14½ oz. Just behind was Ray Groom on 6lb 12oz followed by Andy Greenwood with 6lb 11oz.
On Sunday the club ran an Angling Trust Pike Qualifier match and even these usually prolific winter feeders refused to show in any numbers on the North Level at Clough Bridge, Barry Frost topped the field with 9lb 8oz, B Keepin was second on 5lb 11oz followed by R Newton on 3lb 3oz.
The Tydd Gote AC fixtures for this week are: Wednesday draw at 9am, at Black Dyke fish 10-3 and on Sunday it’s the first winter league match, draw 9am at Black Dyke fish 10-3.