Our local venues are in great shape for the big final

Darren Frost.

Darren Frost.

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Over the past few years the Old Nene running through March has without doubt been one of the top winter venues in the country.

And it once again produced some fine catches in Sunday’s open match.

It is of course being used for the big Angling Trust Winter League Final on Saturday (February 25) so the result will be music to the ears of those taking part.

Leading the way was the in-form Mark Pollard. Be it stillwaters or carp venues, this man is unstoppable right now.

He finished on 17lb 11oz of roach and skimmers taken on the pole fishing a squatt and pinkie match from the noted pegs close to the swimming pool in the middle of the town.

Runner-up Andy Gregory drew out on the by-pass section, which no-one fancied. But he took a few roach before switching to a chopped worm and caster line. From that he had two good tench and a net of perch for 14lb 10oz.

Third place went to Richard Guest on 12lb 12oz, then came local rod Alex Bates with 12lb 11oz.

TWENTY FOOT DRAIN

Over on the March Twenty Foot Drain and Factory Bank, which will also be used for the winter league final, Stanjay Tackle ran an open match and what a match this turned out to be.

It’s been in top form for many weeks now and I for one expected the fish to move off, or at the very least, spread out. But they have fed in numbers on the same pegs since the Christmas period.

Darren Frost put a massive 62lb 4oz to the scales to take a comfortable victory.

He drew at the footbridge and caught 11 big tench, a big bream and a few perch on a chopped worm and caster approach.

Then came all the big roach and rudd weights from the other bridge pegs. Leading the chasing pack was John Carty with 32lb 9oz followed by Simon Mottram on 31lb 14oz.

DECOY LAKES

Over at Decoy Lakes, venue for the other half of the winter league final, a couple of poor draws could see your team out of the running.

The milder weather has seen a massive improvement in form at Decoy but there are still going to be poor areas, after all it’s still only February and the carp have yet to start feeding in any real numbers.

There have been lots of practice matches on the venue which is no bad thing as it will keep the fish on the move.

In the Saturday open match fished on Beastie, Cedar, Oak and Willows, Richard Knowles took the honours from peg 20 on the Oak Pool.

He alternated between the pole and bomb with pellet to finish with 162lb 8oz.

Runner-up was Richard O’Connor. He weighed in 100lb from Cedar 24, netting barbel on maggot and carp on a pellet and pole approach. Neil Fisher came third on 90lb 8oz.

Sunday’s match attracted by far the biggest field of the year so far with pegs on Yew, Damson, Elm, Willows and Beastie.

Yorkshire rod Andy Geldard made the long trip down pay off handsomely going home with the winner’s envelope after weighing in 154lb 6oz from Yew Pool 21. He fished pellet on the pole and straight lead.

Richard Taylor took 95lb 10oz for second place then came Zak Brown on 84lb 8oz.

I wish our two local sides Sensas Mark One and Stanjay Tackle the best of luck in the weekend’s final.