Round Two of the HAJAC Winter League was fished on three drains in what turned out to be some of the worst conditions of the winter so far, writes Ken Wade.
Considering the weather anglers and indeed the venues had to suffer they did produce some reasonably good winter weights.
A huge cheer went up when match winner Abbi Kendal picked up the individual honours.
We should not really be so surprised she topped some of the best local anglers around as she is already performing really well on the local and national match fishing curcuit and her form over the past couple of years has not gone unnoticed by the England selectors. She is now a fully fledged member of the England Ladies squad and most expected her to be picked for more and more international events over the next few years. This match saw her draw half way along Factory Bank, fishing the long pole with a light rig and feeding squatt Abbi bagged 8lb 10 1/2 oz of small roach to take first place. Not far away was runner up Andy Mead, he fished bread punch then squatt and pinkie to record 8lb 10oz. Over on Raverly Drain Trevor Oakman took third place with 7lb 12oz, just ahead of Roy Whincup on 7lb 11oz.
On the team front it was Stanjay Gold and Stanjay Silver that came joint top with 20 points apiece. Third place going to Browning Hot Rods Elite with 27 points followed by Sensas Mark One Black on 29 points. So after two rounds its Stanjay Gold leading the way with three points with Stanjay Posh hot on their tails with five and Browning Hotrods Elite with seven.
Conditions were so bad on Sunday with the wind whipping across the lakes on the Decoy complex that those that did fish the JVAC match on the Yew Pool all failed to catch in fact I hear in the end the match was abandoned.
After the very cold week it was thought that bites would be hard to come by, for those brave enough to fish the Saturday Whittlesey club match on the Bevills Leam along the Carrot Wash section. But despite hail, sleet and snow right from the off the fish were in a feeding mood with everyone catching. From a peg near to the bridge Jeff Tuttlebee caught a net of small roach and perch for a weight of 7lb 7oz, very respectable indeed but he had to share the spoils with Sensas Mark One rod John Taylor, he had a net of better sized roach also to finish with 7lb 7oz. Third place when to Mel Saggers he stuck it out for tench, but instead caught a good net of small perch and a few roach to finish with 5lb 13oz.
l With temperatures set to plummet yet again this week and many fisheries already iced-over, the Angling Trust has re-issued advice to managers of still water fisheries and anglers about how to protect fish from the weather conditions.
For quite some time now there has been a touch of controversy about anglers breaking the ice to fish. In fact I remember well in the late 1990’s breaking ice on the River Nene along the Embankment for over an hour. The Trust advises against trying to break the ice because it can cause lethal shock waves and would be unlikely to help the fish.
These days there are mixed feelings about ice breaking especially on still waters. There is no doubt that ice breaking does draw fish in for some reason. But there is a train of thought from well respected anglers, fishery management teams and other experts that say it can be harmful to fish stocks. They say frozen lakes can prevent fish feeding and make them more susceptible to parasites, and can lead to oxygen dissolved in the water being replaced by harmful by-products of decomposing food and organic matter. Shallow lakes less than 1.5 metres deep are particularly at risk. Experts at the Angling Trust recommend using sub-surface air diffusers to maintain oxygen levels and to keep water moving as a preventative measure. In emergencies, fishery managers should consider dropping water levels by a few inches and employing a specialist to inject hydrogen peroxide into the water.
At the East Midland Winter league AGM Roy Whincup announced that he was officially stepping down from the secretary’s post.
A decision that was not unexpected and the league regretfully accepted Roy’s resignation and thanked him for the fine job he did whilst in office. He will be a hard act to follow, so hard in fact that at the moment it would seem that the job is going to be shared. Chairman Bob Bates will be overseeing the show to ensure everything runs smoothly, but I can’t help thinking a new secretary will eventually have to be found.
That was the big talking point of the night. Pools will go up, venues will be much the same such was the success of the fixtures this year and there will be a captain’s meeting in September to ensure everything is running smoothly in the build up to the new campaign.