Predator anglers right across the area are usually out in force at this time of year, but because of the unusually mild weather conditions very few waters have been anywhere near their best, writes Ken Wade.
A few frosts will make all the difference – for some reason it encourages the pike to feed, perhaps due to the smaller fish being less active.
Whatever the reason it’s just not happening right now.
Thankfully there are the exceptions and for those that put the time and effort in the rewards are still there to be had.
The Glassmoor Bank out at Whittlesey has seen some good fish taken – not that many, but those that have been caught run into double figures.
The North Level Drain is another venue well worth a visit – on a recent trip to the Fenland drain Holbeach rod Ryan Lawrence put a fine 16lb 14oz specimen to the scales taken on a small dead bait, so we all know there are some big fish just waiting to be taken.
The practice match for the last round of the East Midland Winter League took place on Sunday and was spread over three venues: the Old Nene at Benwick, Factory Bank at Ramsey and Raveley drain.
Just about everyone wanted to draw Factory Bank but it was the sections at Benwick that produced the winning weight taken by Mick Kelly.
The Stanjay Tackle squad member has not had the best of seasons but it all came good in this match as he put a fine 26lb 6oz to the scales.
His catch consisted of six tench and a brace of bream. The shock of the day was Pete Wills producing 17lb 10oz of rudd and small roach from Raveley Drain, a venue that had not been in great form but, in fact, fished very well.
Andy Mead came in third from Factory Bank with 14lb 9oz, then came Rob Hewison with 14lb 7oz and John Price with 14lb 4oz.
It turned out to be a good day for the Sensas Mark One side with three anglers in the top five, but I fear it’s all too late for our local side to make it through to the final.
Browning Hotrods look to be too far ahead, so the runner-up spot and the last remaining place to go through to the final will be a battle royal between Maver Image and Stanjay Tackle.
There is just no stopping John Taylor right now in the Tydd Gote midweek matches as once again he stole the show with a fine net of fish to top the field on the North Level drain with 16lb 1oz.
Runner-up was Dick Paul, who weighed in 10lb 6oz, followed by Ian Benton with 8lb 6oz.
The club also had a Sunday match which saw club regular Andy Greenwood topping the field with 10lb 4oz.
Colin Gibbs came second on 8lb 2oz and it was a welcome return to form for Dave Williams coming third with 4lb 10oz.
The Townsend Lakes weekend open match on the Cuckoo Canal Pool saw fishery boss Colin Begbie back in form, topping the field with 113lb 2oz taken on the long pole line with pellet and a few better samples down the middle on sweetcorn.
Coming close was Andy Adams on 106lb 10oz. He also caught on the pole with pellet, then came Trevor Haycock on 103lb.
Another difficult day weather-wise, with gales pushing 60mph recorded at Rookery Waters.
This saw weights drop off rapidly as anglers struggled.
Top rod from peg 30 on the Magpie Pool was Stewart Bracey. He fished a feeder for a respectable winning weight of 60lb.
Vince Cross came second on 57lb 8oz, followed by Tony McGregor with a level 50lb.