James heads outstanding March Open

Bob Fitzjohn
Bob Fitzjohn

The big March Open at the weekend once again produced some outstanding fishing, writes Ken Wade.

The Old Nene rarely lets anyone down and over the past few years has become one of the top winter waters in eastern England.

Thankfully it would seem winter has not arrived yet and the rain we had only helped to see the venue in top form producing a string of 20lb plus weights. Out in front with 26lb 1oz was Dan James, he drew one of the fancied pegs in the town centre close to the clock tower. He alternated between a whip line and long pole fishing bread punch for most of the day, netting over 250 roach.

Runner-up was March rod and match organiser Bob Fitzjohn. On the day he drew peg 1 down by the BMX track and fished pinkie over groundbait to take a net of skimmers and a few roach for 23lb 13oz. Dan Mason continued his run of form on the venue netting 22lb 3oz to claim third.

This weekend the venue will host round four of the East Midland Winter League. Our local team Sensas Mark One lead the way at the half-way stage in the event but they will have to remain consistent to the end to see off the challenge of Maver Image and Browning Hotrods. They know the Old Nene well though and had two anglers in the top six on Sunday so hopes are high they can consolidate at the top of the league.

Decoy Lakes at Eastrea is recognised as one of the top fisheries in Eastern England but unfortunately over the past week sport has taken a turn for the worse – possibly due to the extreme weather we seem to be having at the moment. In the latest Spratt’s AC match fished on the Beastie Pool, Mick Ramm topped the field with a modest 35lb 1oz from peg 18. He fished close in with meat and pellet for a long over due win. Runner-up was the in form Trevor Cousins. He caught on a straight lead approach for 27lb 13oz followed by Brad Oughton who fished similar tactics weighing 24lb 15.

Also at Decoy at the weekend were Fenland Rods. They fished the Cedar Pool which fared no better, although top rod Mel Lutkin on peg 19 had a decent days sport. He caught on meat close in for 47lb 5oz and also went home £100 better off as he took the top spot from the Golden Peg. Weights fell off dramatically then, Dick Warrener came in second with 16lb 12oz, with John Smith third on 10lb 13oz. This weekend the club fish their last fixture of the year and will be hoping the Six Island Pool at Decoy fishes a little better.

If you are looking for a consistent lake to fish then you could do worse than try Kingfisher Lake at Townsend Fishery. On Sunday Ray Cook topped the field with 71lb 11oz from peg 13. He caught on the feeder to the island and a chopped worm line on the pole. Runner-up was Alan Owen, he caught on a pole and pellet approach, followed by Andy Adams on 47lb 2oz.

There were plenty of small fish showing at Horseways and a few better samples too for the Chatteris Workingmen’s Club fixture, the in form Steve Newell topping the field with 5lb 10oz. Runner up was Norman Frear he came close on 5lb 3oz, then came Derek Leek with 3lb 13oz.
Horseways is again the clubs venue for their next match on Sunday, November 23. Draw 08:30.

I have just received early notification of an innovative enforcement initiative taking place in this area in November targeting fisheries crime and involving the key enforcement agencies. The major initiative on fishery enforcement will take place across Fenland Fisheries and waters. Operation TRAVERSE will be launched on the 12th November and will be a joint partnership between the Angling Trust, Police, EA, CEFAS and two visiting fisheries enforcement officers from Poland. An environment Agency press release said “This is a clear demonstration of taking rural fishery crime seriously and clubs and fisheries should take any opportunity for providing support where needed as reporting incidents of fishery crime still remains the key to success”