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Would Middle Level be suitable venue for angling world championship event?

By Pete Woodhouse

Over the past few weeks there has been a big debate as to whether the Middle Level Drain would make a suitable venue for an angling world championship event.

Match results and indeed pleasure catches would show fish stocks are healthy and if need be restocking could easily be sorted.

Access is now very good and with the controlling club keen to see much bigger matches return to the Fens I am sure it’s well worth looking into. It would seem though that the two main stumbling blocks are finance and local accommodation for the hundreds of anglers and organisers.

Kev Lee 8.2018. (3439560)
Kev Lee 8.2018. (3439560)

Neither problem should be insurmountable, so let’s hope the powers-that-be can or will look into it a little further.

It would be great to see some of the world’s best anglers and teams fishing our Fen waters, apart from the commercial spin-off for businesses.

At the weekend the new Fenland Feeder Championships saw anglers lining the banks of the Middle Level Drain. Unfortunately, though, the continuing hot and sunny weather are about the worst conditions we can get for quality bream fishing and only a few big fish showed up in this match. Top rod Gavin Butler weighed in 22lb 7oz, followed by Paul Spriggs with 18lb 13oz and James Collison on 14lb 1oz.

Matt Bunning Buttonhole sat winner 8.18. (3439562)
Matt Bunning Buttonhole sat winner 8.18. (3439562)

The pairs event was won by Alex Bates and Butler – not a great result then, but considering conditions, it was far from a disaster.

Fenland Rods were on the Decoy Lakes complex at the weekend and enjoyed a good day’s action on the Six Island Pool. I was invited and drew peg 10 in the far corner.

After two hours I had three fish to my name and was feeling very depressed. Thankfully sport picked up and I managed third place with 119lb 5oz. The club’s two best meat anglers beat me though, Dave Garner on peg 24 had 130lb 12oz and match winner Kev Lee on peg 7 weighed in a fine 164lb 6oz.

This was the club’s annual Handicap Match and even with a hefty handicap Kev Lee still ran out the overall winner.

John Smith was second, followed by Mel Lutkin.

Several of our local senior anglers fished the Angling Trust’s Veterans’ National at Woodland View, near Droitwich recently and I have to say they did very well on a venue they knew very little about and were up against close to 150 anglers taking part. Tony Watling was sixth overall on High Pool with 47.575 kilo. Martin Parker a former winner of the event, was 10th from Back Deans with 43.825 kilo. March angler Mac Campbell 18th on Barley with 35.125 kilo. Match winner for the second year running was Harry Billing from Manchester.

A good turnout for the Tuesday afternoon/evening match at Buttonhole Fishery saw Paul Pleasant topping a strong field. He drew peg 10 and started on a small Method feeder to the island, in fact sport was so good on this approach he hardly needed to switch tactics through out the match which saw him weigh in 177lb 2oz, his second consecutive win. Runner up was Andy Carter, he put a respectable 141lb 11oz to the scales from peg 6, he caught in the margins with a pellet and paste approach. Matt Bunting came third with 123lb 3oz fishing to the island from peg 7.

It turned out to be a great week’s sport for Matt Bunting, after coming third in the Tuesday match he went on to top a very strong field in the Saturday festival qualifier and with 199lb 11oz grabbed a place in the grand final. Drawn on peg 5 he caught on the long pole, catching carp to double figures. Runner up with 131lb 5oz was Andy Carter catching late in the margins followed by Jason Fulcher. Just two remaining qualifiers to go now, on the 18th August and the last one on 1st September and with the prize fund expected to be up towards the £4,000 mark tickets could be hard to come by so get booked in as soon as possible calling Chris Smith on 07928222462.

The 11th “Craig Kent Memorial” drawn pairs match at Kingsland Large lake saw Dave Rawlings 186lb (2pts) and Tony McGregor top the field with 175lb 10oz (3). In second place were Ken Shearing 107lb (5) and Shaun Humphrey 65lb (12) and in third were Dan Hall 86lb 2oz (9) and Richard Humphrey 74lb 10oz (10). Individual winner was again Ian Darrington who amassed a great weight of 267lb, followed by Dave Wills 114lb 12oz, Steve Marsh 94lb and Ray Best 93lb 12oz.

A great day was had by all in somewhat breezy conditions and £650 was raised for the “East Anglian Air Ambulance”, many thanks to all who supported and sponsored the event.

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