For the second weekend running anglers right across the country were forced off the banks of our waterways.
Heavy snow made it all but impossible to get to venues and now last weekend we had to contend with some of the most severe frosts of the winter so far. Some waters had up to six inches of ice on them making it virtually impossible to break the ice let alone try and fish them, while others had a relatively thin covering but access was extremely poor.
One winter water that never ceases to amaze is the Old Nene through March which saw the second match of the year take place on Sunday, drawing anglers from far and wide.
On Saturday when match organiser Bob Fitzjohn pegged it out the ice did not seem too bad but by Sunday morning anglers could not break the ice no matter what they did so he had to hastily rearrange the pegging to accommodate those that could not fish.
It all worked out well in the end though, in fact the river was in cracking form considering the conditions with 5lb plus winning every section and the top five anglers all breaking into double figures.
Top rod on the day was Roy Whincup, he drew the hot pegs in the town centre under the clock tower. Fishing at four metres with the whip Roy had a good match catching both roach and skimmers for a fine 16lb 10 ½ oz victory. Pushing all the way was Gary Miller, he drew along Nene Parade and caught 16lb 6oz of skimmers several weighing 12oz, again on the bread punch approach. In third place with 11lb 9oz was Adam Wakelin.
There was never any doubt a match on each day of the weekend was going to take place, even through the very thick ice anglers managed to break enough to fish through.
On Saturday it was fishery boss Colin Begbie that took the honours with 9lb 14oz, all small carp taken on red maggot. Weights were a little lower than the previous week, but that was only to be expected after the -14 temperatures the night before.
Result; 1 C Begbie, 9lb 14oz; 2 D Burns, 7lb 12oz; 3 R Young, 6lb 9oz.
I missed a match result which took place recently at the fishery so as we are short I thought I would include it in this week’s column. It was the charity team, Reel People, that had a match which saw Don Burns taking a very comfortable victory with 66lb 2oz of carp all taken on the straight lead with pellet. The same approach saw Darren Howling come in second on 40lb 4oz followed by Ted Ward with 12lb 8oz.
Prospects for this coming weekend look much better if we are to believe the forecasts, milder weather coming in should see the majority of the ice gone and although it will not be easy at least most of us will be able to wet a line again without the threat of all the line and rings freezing up.
On Sunday it’s another round of the HAJAC Winter League, with round two being cancelled the teams will be eager to get a few more points on the board in what has turned out to be a very competitive league.
It is just possible round two may yet be fished; but with all the Sundays taken up with arranged fixtures right through to the end of the season, if it is to be fished then it would have to be on a stillwater.
Not impossible to arrange but may not fit in with anglers’ plans, I will let you know after this weekend’s fixture when teams will be consulted.
The in-form Roy Whincup, winner of the March Open fished on the Old Nene on Sunday.