Anglers and teams from France and the UK came together for the final of the Sensas Challenge fished on the Great Ouse on the last full week of the season, writes Ken Wade.
Unfortunately the river had not settled down after weeks of rain and then a huge influx of water from the tributaries that just could not be carried away. That left the anglers struggling to present a bait and also saw many areas all but void of fish as it did look as if they had moved out of the main flow and into the River Wissey and River Lark.
It’s so disappointing to see international anglers hunting around their peg for a single fish just to avoid a blank, even the leading weights were not impressive to say the least. I think everyone knew it had nothing to do with the local organisers, who I might add put in a lot of time and effort to get this prestigious match onto a fenland water.
The only bright spot of the weekend for locals was on day one which saw Mark One rod Arnie Palmer topping the field with a net of bream weighing in at 17lb 12oz taken from Ten Mile Bank. On the second day Rob Perkins also found a few bream feeding and a bonus tench, putting 11lb 15oz to the scales. On the team front Maver Image saw off the challenge from France and the rest of the UK with 38points well clear of runners up Tri Cast Weston Team Wales on 52.
Top individuals over the two days were Rick Richards on four points, winning on weight followed by Huntingdon based Browning Hotrods star Will Freeman also on four points but recording a smaller weight.
Sensas Mark One rod John Taylor rounded off a cracking run of form throughout the winter months by yet again taking the honours in the Tydd Gote Wednesday open fished on the North Level drain. Fishing the pole with pinkie over groundbait John caught 300 small roach, skimmers and perch for a match winning 14lb 14oz. Phil Parnell came in second on a level 6lb followed by Len Shucksmith on 5lb 13oz and Ian Benton with 5lb 6 ½ oz.
Quite a few local clubs will be getting ready for their spring and summer campaign on stillwaters around the area now, at the weekend though it was particularly quiet at most fisheries despite the welcome warmth of the sun. At Buttonhole Fishery some very good weights were recorded right down the line suggesting the venue is running into top form. Way out in front from peg 20 was Marc Bradford he fished the long pole with banded 6ml pellet up in the water to weigh in 127lb 2oz. Ian Warby fished a waggler from peg 3 to record 81lb 10oz followed by Danny Button on peg 18 with 73lb 6oz.
On Townsend Lakes the Cuckoo Pool saw some big weights too as carp start to feed up. Sunday’s open match saw Brendan Strowgler putting the first three figure net of carp to the scales since the turn of the year, finishing with 107lb 7oz. Brendan alternated between the long pole with pellet and sweetcorn in the margins from peg 38. Runner-up was Brian Arliss, he fished a short pole line just into the deep water for 36lb 3oz followed by Steven Hillman, he fished caster across to the far side and pellet down the middle for 64lb.
This Sunday the action at Townsend Lakes switches to the Kingfisher Lake.
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