FOR once let’s start with some really good news about the River Nene.
Lack of colour and flow over the past couple of years have made it tough going at times but the one saving grace has been the barbel fishing at Orton Locks.
I can now confirm that at long last the Peterborough DAA along with the Environment Agency have performed a major restocking programme along the river in several areas with barbel.
It’s going to take a little time for them to get established but the club have high hopes that this influx of hard fighting barbel will rejuvenate sport and see anglers back in numbers along the banks of the river around Peterborough.
n The bad news of the week is that nets have been found in the Castor area of the river. Thankfully the bailiff for that area was on the ball and quickly removed them.
It’s up to us all to keep a keen eye open for any lines you may see along the bank going into the river and report it to the local club or indeed the Environment Agency. We have enough natural problems with predators so the last thing we need is people stealing fish with nets.
n Sunday saw the first of the winter March AC open matches on the Old Nene that runs through the fenland market town.
This winter series has been very popular since they began attracting anglers from all over the country.
Sunday’s match run by March angler Bob Fitzjohn was no exception as top rods from far and wide came to sample the fishing.
They were not disappointed but had to settle for the minor places as local rod Paul Ringham took the honours with 15lb 12oz.
The March rod knows the water well and when he drew close to Wigston’s Bridge knew he was in with a chance of making the frame.
Fishing pinkie over groundbait Ringham took a net of skimmers and roach to claim first place.
Cambridge rod Dave Cooper who drew a few pegs away, came second with 15lb 6oz followed by Adam Wakelyn with 13lb 10oz.
The next big open on the water is sure to be a sell-out as it doubles up as a Team Champs East Midlands practice match so get in quick if you want a piece of the action.
Call match organiser Bob Fitzjohn on 07970 676439 as more than 100 tickets have already been ordered.
n The tiny Factory Bank Drain at Ramsey was in cracking form for Sunday’s club match which saw Ivan Steels win with 13lb 12oz of roach.
Steels fed with a little groundbait, loose feeding pinkie over the top to keep the fish coming. Runner-up was Andrew Kilby on 10lb 14oz followed by Paul Kilby with 10lb 10oz.
The Ramsey club also ran a pike match on the St Mary’s section on Sunday which saw city rod Andy Bell out in front, netting five fish for a total of 27lb 3oz.
Second was Martin Smith with three fish for a level 14lb, then came Tony Jolly with one fish for 13lb 6oz.
n The Willows on the Decoy Lakes complex was again in good form for the JVAC lads considering the time of year.
Andy Gausden won from peg 29 at the back of the island. He fished pellet at full depth weighing in 80lb 2oz.
Runner-up Roger Gowler alternated between the feeder and pole to finish on 61lb 13oz followed by Dave Parson with 60lb 7oz.
n Deeping St James AC members fished a sweepstake on the new lake at Northview Fisheries in Gedney Hill last Sunday, probably not the best time of year to test its potential.
Stuart Redman needed a modest 27lb 14oz to take the honours.
As the first club to fish a match on this recently-completed venue, most anglers relied on tried and tested methods that has worked for them elsewhere - Redman taking his fish on double red maggot in open water over micro pellet feed.
Second-placed Rob Allen took five good carp in the last hour, fishing maggot on the waggler at long range for 22lb 5oz. Andy Wilson completed the placings with 14lb 13oz.
n The annual Tony Copeman Cup was at stake for Yaxley, Farcet, Holme and DAC members on the Bower at Whittlesey.
With the river gin clear and still, bread punch seemed to be the order of the day.
It was the punch that winner Paul Marriott used to catch most of his fish, topping up the quality roach with a few perch taken on small red worm. His 2lb 14½oz saw him well clear of the field.
Second-placed Lindsay Horsman took 1lb 12oz of roach and perch while third place went to John Furnell with 1lb 7½oz.
n SMALL fish experts seem to have worked out how to fish Cock Bank Drain at the moment as proved in Saturday’s Whittlesey match.
Stuart Redman took the honours again with an all-small fish catch with pinkie on the whip fished through cloud ground bait for a weight of 4lb 4oz
He was closely followed two pegs away by Paul Wright with 4lb 2oz, again all small fish caught on the pole with pinkie over ground bait.
Roger Biddle on the far end peg came third with 3lb 5oz - including a tench to 2lb on the worm and the rest small fish on the pole with pinkie over ground bait.
Although the club will be hosting the big Pike Championship on Saturday, Paul Wright will still be running a match on the Queensway section (draw 10.30 am).
n Pellet was by far the best bait for the Haddon Lodge match at the weekend, Lee Annis running out a comfortable winner with 38lb 9oz.
George Scally came second on 24lb 7oz followed by Brian Cannon with 9lb 11oz.
n There were some very good leading weights in the latest Fenland Rods match on the Cedar Pool on the Decoy Lakes fishery.
Out in front from peg 25 was Lee Burton, who fished really close in with red maggot weighing 83lb 4oz.
‘Mr Consistent’ Kev Lee took second with 72lb 6oz followed by John Garner on 62lb 10oz.
n IN the Tydd Gote Wednesday match at Clough on the North Level Drain John Taylor topped the small field with 6lb 2oz of small fish taken on the pole with maggot.
Runner-up on 3lb 14oz was Sammy McSpadden followed by Mick Asker with 3lb 10oz.
Sunday’s match at the same venue saw Ray Groom put a level 7lb to the scales, a net of roach and skimmers taken on the pole with pinkie, to claim top spot.
Dave Parlett came second on 4lb 5½oz followed by Colin Gibbons on 4lb 2oz.
n ON Saturday the country’s top predator anglers descend on the area to fish the British Pike Championship.
Once again Whittlesey AA will host this major event and they will be hoping for some big fish to be taken.
The club have asked all anglers to keep off the Whittlesey drains for the day as most will be pegged out for competitors.
BANK fishing at Grafham is coming into its own now with the fish moving right into the shallows feeding on either shrimps or snails, with a few fish along the Dam face feeding heavily on daphnia still.
The best method from the banks seems to be small nymphs in front of a two tone booby on the point, especially diawl bachs or hares ears.
The boat anglers are now finding it harder as fish have moved right into the shallows but they are still having a few fish from the North shore along the points.
Anglers are also enjoying an excellent back end to the trout season at Rutland Water with fish again coming from many areas.
David Cannon netted a fine North Arm brown trout weighing 7lb 7¼oz. The fish fell to a daddy long legs.
Boat anglers should try areas like the main basin or any windward shore at the moment.
Anglers are reminded that brown trout are now out of season and any caught must be quickly returned alive to the water.