On a bitterly cold winter’s day, anglers would be forgiven for giving the March open on the Old Nene a miss on Sunday, writes Ken Wade.
Temperatures failed to get much above freezing point all day despite long periods with the sun shining.
Yet amazingly the venue once again proved, if proof were ever needed, that the Old Nene is without doubt one of the best winter venues in the country.
Bill Beenham from the Stour Valley team took the top spot from his peg on market corner close to the town centre clock tower.
Bill fished bread punch for most of the day, concentrating on a four and five metre whip line.
He caught roach, skimmers and a few perch to finish with a very impressive 22lb 6oz.
Best of our local rods was Rob Wright. The in-form Browning Hotrods squad man has done really well of late in team matches as well as club and open events since his move to March.
This match saw him in fine form, netting 21lb 8oz from his peg one above Wigstones Bridge. Rob started on a bread punch line, catching a few late on with pinkie over groundbait to give him a total of just over 300 fish at the final whistle.
Third place went to Dave Cooper, again from the Wigstones Bridge section.
He weighed in 20lb 12oz, then came Alistair Ogilvie on 18lb 5oz, Mike Buckwalder with 16lb 2oz and last in the prize list was Godmanchester tackle dealer Stan Binge on a level 16lb.
There are only a couple of matches left to fish before the season draws to a close on March 14, so make sure you get booked in as early as possible as I have a feeling by the time the matches come around there will not be that many to spare, such is the draw of this top quality water.
At Townsend Fishery once again anglers were called upon to break ice before the match could get underway. In fact it took some time to clear enough ice to get a line in the water and the match starting time was delayed.
The Woodpecker Pool can be very difficult when it gets really cold but thankfully the venue fished well considering the conditions.
Top rod with a very respectable 34lb 12oz was Pearce Baxter. He drew peg 6 and caught on the long pole, taking a mixed bag on maggot for 34lb 12oz.
Fishery boss Colin Begbie came in second. He was on peg 15 and caught on a short pole line with caster. His catch included over 20lb of roach.
Third place went to Steve Sharpe. He was on peg 13 and again had a cracking net of silvers taken on the long pole with caster and maggot for 24lb 2oz.
There is a match at the venue every week and I know you will be made most welcome and, with results like that, even on a cold winter’s day you are sure to get bites.
The hardy souls from the Chatteris Workingmen’s Club took to the Forty Foot at Horseways once again and, like most venues on the Fen drains, found it frozen in places.
Amazingly they did manage to get bites and in the end quite a few fish were recorded.
Top rod with 2lb 10oz was Derek Yorke. He caught small roach on the pole with pinkie.
It was much the same for runner-up Steve Newell. He put 1lb 8oz to the scales, followed by Tom Boswell with 14oz.