We were lucky enough to miss the snow over the weekend but several heavy frosts put paid to any hope of quality fishing, writes Ken Wade.
In fact the Old Nene at March produced one of its worst results for some time as anglers struggled for bites, which is most unusual for this venue.
The big March open attracted a huge field of match men from across the country eager to get a glimpse of the length, getting in some early preparation work for the forthcoming Angling Trust Winter League final. The big final will see half the field on Fenland drains and the other half on Decoy Lakes at Eastrea.
This match was not a complete disaster as some had predicted but just about all of the leading weights came from the Wigstone’s Bridge area, topped by Will Freeman. He fished bread punch down the middle for most of the day, switching to hemp seed in the last 90 minutes. The switch to a long pole line with hemp was the deciding factor as he took roach to 12oz in a good run in to the final whistle to finish with 16lb 11oz. Runner-up was Adrian McTiffin. He came all the way up from Devizes. He stayed on the groundbait and pinkie approach to put 15lb 1oz to the scales. Then came Ray Durram on 14lb 4oz.
It was a busy weekend at Townsend Lakes. Andy Adams went home a happy man, topping his own “Birthday Bash” match with a fine net of skimmers and roach on a day when not a single carp was taken. He fished the pole with red maggot to finish with 20lb 8oz.
It was no better in the regular Sunday open fished on the Woodpecker pool as anglers had to break ice before they could fish. Top rod with 20lb 2oz of silvers taken on the pole with worm and caster was Colin Begbie. Runner-up Steven Hillman who fished the pole with pellet to finish with 13lb 10oz, followed by Bob Coulson on 12lb 14oz.
There were some fine catches recorded in the Tydd Gote midweek match on the North Level Drain. Topping the field with 20lb 12oz was Don Green. He fished the pole with worm and caster. Len Chucksmith took second place with 7lb 2oz, then came John Taylor on 6lb 8oz.
It was a very different story on Sunday as anglers had to make holes in the ice to wet a line, Paul Bawden taking the honours with a modest 2lb 10oz of roach taken on squatt. Barry Stacey took 1lb 6oz for second, followed by Darren Williams on 11oz.
In the Rookery Waters Winter Qualifying open a very heavy overnight frost meant various parts of the lake were frozen, making it very difficult for most. Vince Cross made the most from a favoured peg to blitz the field with a very impressive 104lb 2oz winning net catching on bread from peg 38.
Runner-up Tony McGregor fished bread at 16 metres for a respectable 54lb 8oz, followed by Richard Linnell on 27lb 6oz.
In the midweek over 60’s open fished on Jay Lake it was John Millard taking the honours with 76lb 14oz, then weights dropped a little. Runner-up on 30lb was Nigel Locker, followed by Jim Garratty with 26lb 12oz.