Bob takes top Benwick spot

March angler Bob Fitzjohn in action, winner of Sundays HAJAC Winter League on the Old Nene at Benwick
March angler Bob Fitzjohn in action, winner of Sundays HAJAC Winter League on the Old Nene at Benwick

The weather conditions improved dramatically at the weekend and it was good to see quite a few more anglers out on our local waters.

Winter does seem to have dragged on this year so let’s hope we have seen the worst of it and we can look forward to spring and much better action.

The last round of the HAJAC Winter League certainly saw weights improve, three venues were used with the Old Nene at Benwick, Factory Bank at Ramsey and the Carrot Wash just upstream of Ponders Bridge all performing well.

Benwick was the pick of the bunch with March rod Bob Fitzjohn claiming the top spot with a fine 18lb net of fish taken from halfway along the match length. Bob elected to fish the chopped worm and caster approach, a brave decision, most had settled into the small fish, whip and groundbait approach. He finished with four tench along with a couple of big perch to seal a fine victory.

Runner-up on a level 16lb was John Hazelden, one tench and a cracking net of roach from Benwick. On Factory Bank Martin Caldicote was top rod, third overall with 14lb 3oz.

A cracking team card from Maver Bait Tech Gold saw them record just 13 points to comfortably take the honours on the day. It was Stanjay Silver that came out on top of the league though after four rounds, they had 11 points one ahead of stable mates Stanjay Gold with 12 points. Equal third were Browning Hotrods and Maver Bait Tech Gold with 14 points. There was a tie for the top overall individual trophy between Bob Fitzjohn and Martin Caldecote both scoring nine points with John Hazelden third with 12.

Just one match result from Tydd Gote this week, that’s the weekend match fished on the North Level Drain which saw some very consistent sport. Top rod was Phil Parnell, he put 14lb 1oz to the scales, all roach taken on the whip with pinkie close in. John Young was not too far away, he finished on 11lb 3oz followed by Colin Gibbons with 9lb 9oz.

This coming week there is a Wednesday match but Sunday and the pike matches have both been cancelled due to other fixtures in the area.

Sport at Horseways Sluice was not as brisk as expected, despite much better conditions match winner Tom Boswell needed just 3lb 15oz to top the field. Tom fished close in for most of the day fishing pinkie to take a net of small roach. John Roper came in second with 3lb 5oz followed by Fred Hart with 2lb 9oz.

At Townsend Lakes the weekend match this week saw anglers around the Woodpecker Pool. The venue is starting to fish well, although weights in this match were not quite as good as some had expected. Out in front with a mixed bag taken on the pole with maggot and pellet was Ashley Kinsey. He drew peg 19 and weighed in 36lb 8oz. Colin Begbie second 31lb 5oz, Dave Priestley 19lb 7oz.

The season is all but over on the fen drains with just one full weekend left and attention turns to our local stillwaters. Why not give the Sensas Mark One event a try? It’s run on points which will be allocated for carp and silver fish weights with the top three scores from the four matches to count. Non league entries will also be welcome. First match on Townsend Lakes on April 7; plus two on the popular Buttonhole Fishery on April 14/28; and Townsend Fishery on May 5.

Top local matchman John Bates will be running it; contact him on 01945 467144 / 07709282965.