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Ice fishing on cards for frozen anglers


A bitterly cold weekend saw several of our local waters literally frozen overnight which saw anglers having to break ice before they could even start fishing, writes Ken Wade.

With the temperatures barely reaching much above freezing point all day those that did venture out saw rod rings constantly freezing up and pole elastic iced up inside the pole.

Thankfully though some waters fished very well, the Old Nene through March saw pleasure anglers catching roach weights to double figures on bread punch.

Still on the Old Nene the Benwick section was in fine form for the Stanjay Tackle winter series, top rod in this one was March angler Rob Wright. He fished the pole fishing groundbait, squatt and pinkie from one of the unfancied pegs going out of the village.

He put a very respectable 15lb 4oz to the scales. Second place went to tackle dealer Stan Binge, he fished the whip with pinkie for 13lb 8oz, followed by Graham Welton on 12lb 6oz and Abbie Kendal with 10lb 15oz.

One of the top commercial carp anglers in the area March rod Barry Mason has been running a very successful and indeed competitive Decoy Lakes winter series. In the penultimate match fished on the Beastie Lake Simon Godfrey topped a class field with 77lb 11oz from peg 24. Simon fished a straight lead approach half way across to the island and caught carp and F1’s steadily all day, alternating baits between red maggot and pellet.

At the next peg was Steve Freeman, who fished the pole with maggot to take the runner-up spot, putting 69lb 14oz to the scales. In third place was John Whincup with 56lb 3oz. It’s tight at the top with several anglers all in with a shout of taking the series, which draws to a conclusion this Sunday and with slightly better weather forecast for the weekend it looks like an exciting end to the six matches.

It was hard going on the Horseways drain for the Chatteris Workingmen’s Club fixture, the first of the New Year. With ice and freezing fog, conditions were far from ideal!

However there were a few small roach willing to feed along the match length which saw Steve Newell run out a comfortable winner with 2lb 1oz taken on the pole with pinkie. Runner-up was John Roper with 1lb 1oz, followed by Tom Boswell with 15oz.

Once again ice had to be broken on the Cuckoo Canal pool at Townsend Lakes before anglers could settle down for a day’s fishing. Quite remarkably the lake fished very well indeed with Brendan Strowgler on peg 13 putting a fine 102lb 9oz to the scales, all taken on the pole with maggot over caster. Considering the match times had to be cut short because of the ice breaking activity that was a very good day’s sport.

Local rod Andy Adams continues his return to competitive fishing in fine style. He came second from peg 7 with a level 49lb. Andy fished the long pole with pellet. Third place went to Steve Sharpe. He fished the pole with pellet down the track and over to the far side for 42lb 12oz.

This weekend it’s round one of the HAJAC Winter league and it will be interesting to see which venues are chosen.

There was a time when there just was no choice at all as you had to book up early and fish the venues allocated. These days though with very few matches taking place at this time of year match organisers have more scope to move around the fenland waters.

I would be very surprised though if the majority are not close to home on the Old Nene at Benwick given that it fished so well on Sunday and the fact that Raveley Drain was difficult to say the least. Factory Bank has also been very reliable so far this winter, too, so we should see some cracking action for round one.

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