The winter weather certainly took its toll on fishing right across the area – indeed many parts of the country had a covering of snow by early Sunday morning.
So it followed that most matches would be cancelled or, at the very least, postponed.
However there was a little confusion at the headquaters of the East Midland Winter League as anglers turned up through the snow to fish the final round of the Angling Trust’s major winter event.
A captains’ meeting was called and after discussions it was decided to cancel the match.
With no reserve venue or date, and league rules stating if a match was called off the league result would stand, a couple of very disappointed teams left the HQ to head home without the chance to fight for a place in the final.
Considering the weather I think we could understand calling the match off – perhaps on Saturday evening would have been a better option, but not to have a reserve venue or date does seem a little strange. I have a feeling the rules may well change for next season’s campaign, but they are in place, teams voted for them and as they say, rules are rules!
Well done to Browning Hotrods who I am sure would have been crowned league winners even if the sixth match had been fished.
They proved to be the most consistent team emphasised by individual performances too, Colin Oakman putting in a fine run of match results to claim the Stacey Cup with just six points (four section wins and a second).
So Stanjay Gold along with Browning Hotrods go through to the final, which just happens to be on Fenland drains and Decoy Lakes. The match takes place early next year and given that both teams know both venues really well I would not be at all surprised to see them looking at a top five position or even higher. A lot will depend on the weather though, the last final on the same venue saw some sections very difficult indeed – but we, of course, wish them both the very best of luck.
Final league positions after 5 rounds: Q-1 Browning Hotrods, 10pts; Q-2 Stanjay Gold, 13 (145 points); 3 Matrix Image, 13 (148 points); 4 Sensas Mark One White, 15; 5 Sensas Mark One Black, 25; 6 Stanjay Silver, 29.
Those fishing the midweek Tydd Gote match on the North Level drain missed the worst of the weather.
They did have a bitterly cold wind to contend with but plenty of fish still fed.
Top rod was again Andrew Kilby. He put a fine mixed bag to the scales weighing in 19lb 8oz. Runner-up was John Taylor on 16lb 2oz and the rest of the field all caught well, so a good venue in form and worth a visit.
The only other match I could find over the weekend that was not called off was at Rookery Waters.
It was a bitterly cold weekend but still quite a few turned up to fish the latest winter qualifier, split over two lakes, once again, so a continental pay out was envoked.
Top spot on the Jay Lake was Wayne Shephard on peg 2. He fished bread on the long pole to put a very respectable 72lb 6oz on the scales for a very comfortable win. Runner-up was Tony Lee on corner peg 11, who weighed in 49lb 6oz.
Over on the much harder Magpie pool it was Dave Walker on peg 19 taking the honours. He fished bread long to put a hard-earned 30lb 10oz of carp and rudd on the scales.
Tim Bates came in second he fished bread in the lilies to put together a mixed bag for a total of 22lb 15oz.
1 – Wayne Shepherd Peg 2 Jay – 72lb 6oz; 2 – Dave Walker Peg 19 Magpie – 30lb 10oz; 3 – Tony Lee Peg 11 Jay – 49lb 6oz; 4 – Tim Bates Peg 36 Magpie – 22lb 15oz.
Hopefully we will get back to normal winter fishing this coming weekend as it’s the big March AC open on the Old Nene and several stillwaters have also arranged fixtures.