March rod Bates tops big pairs match

Alex Bates
Alex Bates

I think anyone would be forgiven for thinking angling would come to a standstill over the weekend as high winds and torrential rain swept across the fens, indeed right across the country, writes Ken Wade.

However where there is a will there is always a way and several matches did indeed take place.

I took a trip around the fens and have to say I did not find that many anglers willing to brave the elements, yet anglers were out and fishing for fun and competitions.

The big Drennan pairs match was scheduled to be fished on both the Rivers Glen and Welland but with the Glen in a very poor condition and unfishable the match was switched onto the River Welland through the town of Spalding.

Inevitably it did not all fish well but on the whole it was a cracking match topped by March rod Alex Bates. These days Alex is in charge of a fishing complex at Boston which concentrates on carp fishing but he proved he has lost none of his touch when it comes to roach fishing after putting a fine 17lb 12oz net to the scales from A section close to the town bridge. Mark Griggs came second on 16lb 5oz followed by Steve Hemmingray on 16lb 3oz.

The B section was expected to be poor but Wisbech rod John Bates found a level 15lb of roach to take the sections top weight, again all roach taken on bread punch. Runner-up was Steve Slatts with 14lb 10oz, followed by Michael Buckwalder with 14lb 2oz.

On the pairs front there was more success for Alex Bates. He teamed up with Steve Slatts to run out comfortable winners with 32lb 5oz.

In the first Chatteris WMC angling match of the New Year Shane Webb topped the field with 5lb 1oz of small fish taken on the whip with pinkies. Tom Boswell came second on 3lb 9oz followed by Norman Knightly on 2lb 9oz.

It was back to two matches a week for the Tydd Gote AC.

In Wednesday’s match on the North Level Drain it was Colin Gibbons coming out on top, he fished the pole with pinkie for 6lb 3oz.

Mick Asker came close on 5lb 12oz followed by Dave Parlett on 4lb 12oz.

On Sunday Dave Parlett took the honours with a very respectable 11lb 9oz of small fish. Phil Parnell came in second on 9lb 6oz followed by Andy Greenwood with 9lb 2oz.

Considering the weather Townsend Lakes fished well with the Cuckoo Canal producing a tight battle for the top spot, Robert Betts topping the field with 55lb 4oz taken on the pole with pellet and a few even taken close in with caster.

Colin Begbie put 51lb 4oz to the scales again taken on the pole with pellet for second place followed by Steve Hillman on 24lb 12oz.

Finally I am sure many of you will be saddened to hear that Whittlesey stalwart Dave Jarrett passed away over the holiday period. Dave fished many waters right across the fens and will be sadly missed.