For as long as I can remember the Fenland waters and surrounding rivers across eastern England have been recognised by anglers around the country as some of the best venues on offer to anglers for the price of a day ticket.
At this time of year, though, one venue stands head and shoulders above just about every other natural venue and that’s the Old Nene at March.
Year after year it produces fantastic sport and at the weekend once again it showed us all just how good it can be, even after the first heavy frosts of winter.
A good turnout for the March open, which also incorporated a practice match for this weekend’s East Midland Winter League, saw the top six anglers putting 15lb plus of fish to the scales.
None better than the 23lb 1oz net of roach and rudd taken by Rob Hubbard. He drew peg 40, just two pegs above the Health Centre footbridge and took full advantage of a good draw starting on a short pole line with bread punch before switching to a long pole line with squatt and pinkie for the rest of the match. Tony Watling was not too far behind. He was pegged just below the bridge, catching on the whip then switching to a waggler approach to finish on 20lb 15oz. Third place went to the in-form Kye Jerrom with 19lb 10oz, followed by John Taylor with 17lb 2oz. So round five on the winter league coming up this weekend should be a cracker and anglers will be expecting good weights throughout the match length. The team result will be very keenly fought and indeed very interesting with four teams all in with a good chance of topping the league and a place in the grand final.
For a midweek match on the Fen drains I can recommend the Tydd Gote matches on the North Level Drain. The venue has been in good form and last week saw some very good nets recorded. Top rod was Andrew Kilby with 17lb 10oz of roach taken from bridge peg 1. Mick Asker had a better stamp of fish but just not quite enough, finishing second on 17lb 7oz, then came John Taylor with 12lb 10oz.
Spratts AC were on the Damson Lake on the Decoy complex for their latest fixture which saw Mick Linnell continue his good form, topping the field with 43lb 2oz from peg two. Mick caught carp to 5lb fishing pellet and maggot on a short pole line. Runner-up from peg 5 was Mac Campbell, who caught well late in the match weighing in 27lb 2oz, then came Peter Spriggs with 24lb 7oz.
In the Buttonhole Lakes latest match the venue was still producing some fine weights, Mykie Pollard topping the field with 113lb 4oz taken from peg 17, all taken on the long pole with pellet. Not far off the pace was John Whitcombe, who fished a small feeder with hair rigged corn but fell just short of the top spot with 112lb 13oz. Third place went to Gordon Harmer, who fished a method feeder for 104lb 12oz.
The next Buttonhole open will be on Saturday, tel Chris Smith to book in or for venue information on 07928 222462. The lake is still fishing well for carp and good nets of roach have also been taken by pleasure anglers who can now use their keepnets at this venue until March 31, 2018.
The Mainline Baits sponsored Team Winter League got underway at Rookery Waters at the weekend and, despite the bitterly cold day, some good nets were taken over the three pools. Richard Bond took a fine 184lb 7oz net from peg 11 on the Jay Pool fishing bread on a long pole line.
On Magpie fishery regular Josh Pace won the lake from peg 8 with 149lb 5oz and on the Raven Pool Ricky Ashwell with 55lb 1oz topped the lake.
It was tight on the team front with Pools Fodder and SAS joint first on the day.
1 Simon Bond – Matrix/Dynamite – Peg 11 – 184lb 07oz, 2 Will Hadley – Pools Fodder (B-Team) – Peg 41 – 142lb 05oz, 3 Nigel Fawkes –ABC – Peg 23 – 102lb 12oz.
1 Josh Pace – Yerr Whatever – Peg 8 –149lb 5oz, 2 Jamie McGuire – Moaners – Peg 34 – 58lb 6oz, 3 Paul Swan – Team S.A.S – 57lb 5oz.
1 Ricky Ashwell – Team SOS Peg– 5 – 55lb 1oz, 2 Andy Adams Pools Fodder (B-Team) – Peg 6 – 41lb 14oz, 3 – Roger Gowler – Rookery Waters – Peg 2 – 36lb 10oz. Teams: Jt 1st SAS and Pools Fodder (B Team), 10pts; jt 3rd Matrix Dynamite and ABC, 12pts; 5th Rookery Waters, 17pts.