Twenty Foot and Old Nene at March in top winter league form

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Sunday saw the final round of the HAJAC Winter League take place on our Fenland waters, writes Ken Wade.

Considering the pressure each venue has been under over the past few weeks it was something of a surprise to hear that it fished well.

That is apart from Raveley Drain which was disappointing for those drawn on that section as its form has been poor and was no better on the day. However the Twenty Foot Drain and the Old Nene at March were in sparkling form despite heavy rain and strong winds for most of the match.

The individual winner was Mark Pollard, drawn on the end peg out at March Bypass on the Old Nene.

His usual small fish approach went out of the window after an attempt to catch roach all but failed. A more positive approach with the long pole in conjunction with chopped worm and caster saw him walk away with the match, bagging eight tench and four bream for 44lb 13oz. Runner-up was John Taylor, who drew on the hot pegs close to the bridge on the Twenty Foot Drain at March and caught small fish really well to finish with 32lb 15oz.

On the team front it was Stanjay Gold taking the honours on the day with a 17-point score. Then came Sensas Mark One White with 20, followed by Stanjay Silver on 24. Overall winner of the league were Sensas Mark One White. They had 9 points, well clear of runners- up Stanjay Gold on 13.

A special mention for Martin Roper who topped the individual list with a fine total points score of just 9 points – a great achievement in a very strong league this year.

With a lot of local rods taking part in the first-ever Golden Reel Qualifier, Decoy Lakes was chosen as its venue for the day so hopes were high of a good match and a Fenland angler going through to the £50,000 final later in the year.

One of the country’s top rods at the moment, Peterborough’s John Whincup, took the honours with 137lb 15oz from Oak Pool 20, catching on the long pole with pellet. Richard Bond came second with 131lb 1oz, followed by Daz Brighton on 120lb 14oz.

The Kingfisher Pool at Townsend Lakes was the venue for the Saturday Pairs match which saw Colin Begbie and Andy Adams top the list with a three-point score.

Colin caught on peg 28, winning his section with 71lb 4oz of skimmers and carp, while Andy came second putting 33lb 1oz to the scales. Runners-up were Dave Rodwell and Sammy McSpadden, who had three points but fell just short on weight.

The last big match of the season takes place this Sunday on the Old Nene at March and with all the rain we have had it could well be coloured and running, which in turn should see some big fish weights as well as the usual roach and skimmer nets.

The form of the water has once again been very good through the winter months and March match organiser Bob Fitzjohn will be expecting a sell-out event. If you have not yet booked in, get on the phone right away.

Don’t forget that all fishing on Fenland drains and rivers stops for the close season with next Tuesday, March 14, the last day to fish until our waters open up again on June 16. We can fish commercial waters right across the area, so do not put your tackle away. We have lots of waters across the area that are just starting to run into form with plenty of bites, even if the warmer weather has yet to arrive.