Try March Twenty Foot as venues in good shape for new Fenland fishing season

Mick Raby, Spratts
Mick Raby, Spratts
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I think everyone is really looking forward to the start of the season on rivers and Fenland waters, writes Ken Wade.

Although we have not had the amount of rain we would have liked in recent weeks most venues I have seen look to be in good shape.

Spratts winner Mick Raby,

Spratts winner Mick Raby,

The North Level Drain could well be the place to head for early season if you are after tench and bream. It rarely fails to produce and if you get it right, either on the pole or feeder, you can expect a great day’s sport.

The Twenty Foot Drain at March is bound to be another hot spot for bream and tench if previous early season action is anything to go by. If you are able to pre-bait or at least rake your swim out all the better. The Forty Foot could also be a winner, too, and with the weed not yet present in most areas you should have a good choice of pegs.

The Great Ouse, like most rivers at the start of a new season, often takes a little time to get going but conditions look spot on this season for a very good start. Don’t forget your rod licences before you start fishing and remember the season on rivers and drains starts on June 16 (Friday), not before. I am sure bailiffs will be out in the first few days of the season, so you have been warned.

It’s been a very busy time over at Rookery Waters and with the fishing so good right now it’s easy to see why so many anglers are heading over to the fishery.

In the latest big Saturday open fished on both the Jay and Magpie Pools it was the in-form Rob Goodson taking the honours with a massive 254lb 14oz net of carp taken from peg 20 on Magpie.

He caught well on the pole with pellet, only coming into the margins late in the match.

With the two lakes in action a continental payout was introduced which saw the runner-up coming from the Jay Lake, Steve Freeman weighing in with 162lb 14oz from peg 2. Back on Magpie Gavin Butler claimed third place, putting 203lb 11oz to the scales.

In the regular Thursday £1,000 qualifying open on Jay Lake high winds saw anglers struggling to get tight over to the far bank with poles but having a sheltered peg helped winner Tony Dawson capitalise, fishing shallow towards the bridge with banded pellet to win with 159lb. Runner-up Graham Welton fished the Method feeder presented tight over for 140lb 12oz, followed by Rob Goodson on 134lb 9oz.

Some anglers struggled in the latest Buttonhole Tuesday match on a very wet and windy evening, although match winner Mark Grange topped the field with a respectable 135lb of carp to double figures from peg 20 with a few fish to the feeder and the rest from the margins on meat and corn.

Andrew Carter came in second on 81lb 4oz from peg 10 with a few fish to paste and the rest from the margins on meat, followed by Andy Lawrence with 49lb from peg 8.

Spratts AC fished on the Kingsland Silver Lake last week and saw some fine weights, not from silver fish though as the lake now holds a big head of carp.

Top rod was Mick Raby with 153lb 7oz. Mick fished meat close in from peg 4, catching carp to 8lb.

Runner-up with 126lb 13oz was Terry Tribe. He fished sweetcorn close in, then came Trevor Cousins with 118lb 2oz.

Jay Lake on the Rookery Waters complex was the venue for the latest Fenland Rods match which saw weights badly affected by the strong winds we have had to endure for over a week now.

Leading the way was Kev Lee on peg 18, who put a modest 63lb 10oz to the scales catching on meat and paste from the margins. Runner-up on 56lb 2oz was John Garner, then came Mel Lutkin on 49lb 1oz and Les Bedford with 43lb 3oz.

l Saturday’s Richard Button Memorial match at Buttonhole fished reasonably well but perhaps not quite as good as expected. There was a good turn-out and everyone enjoyed the day.

Mike Whittaker won the match and the trophy was presented by Richard’s grandson Danny Button.

Results: 1 Mike Whittaker with 110lb of carp taken from peg 8 caught on a variety of methods including fishing shallow to the island, down the track and a flurry of big fish from the margins late on; 2 Mark Grange, 105lb of carp taken from peg 20 again on several different methods; 3 Jonny Clark, 85lb of carp taken from peg 4.

l There are still good weights coming from the Townsend Lakes on the Cuckoo Canal Pool.

On Sunday Alan Owen put 146lb 12oz to the scales for the win, catching on maggot close in. Second was Myke Pollard on 136lb 6oz, followed by Martin Shelldrake with 98lb.