The big matches at Decoy Lakes got under way with anglers from all over the country getting in practice for the Angling Trust Winter League Final in a couple of weeks time.
Weights on the whole held up well at the weekend considering the very windy conditions.
Unfortunately several poles were broken and I also heard of sections being blown into the lakes as the wind swirled around the complex.
Top rod on Saturday was Roger Beal, who drew peg 10 on Six Islands. He was unable to hold his pole so decided on a small feeder approach and a short cast to the corner of the lake and his tactics were spot on.
He caught carp on a banded pellet for most of the day to finish with 89lb 2oz.
Over on Horseshoe peg 13 was local rod Josh Pace and he fished a short pole line out in front of him with pellet and also caught in the margins with red maggot to come a close second with 88lb 8oz.
Carl Meadows came third with 80lb 3oz, followed by Whittlesey rod Simon Godfrey weighing in 70lb 1oz.
The following day the Decoy Lakes Winter League match was again spread over several lakes.
Fancied peg six on Lou’s Pool produced the winner and Matt Parkin was the lucky man who drew it. He put 122lb 14oz to the scales taken on a straight lead then pellet and sweetcorn on the pole.
Second was Ramsey rod Andy Rayment, who was also on Lou’s and put 102lb 1oz to the scales from peg one catching on several different methods. Third was Wayne Shepherd with 92lb 11oz.
Only a small field showed up to fish the JVAC match on the Oak Pool at Decoy on a very wet and windy Sunday morning.
Perry Briggs on peg seven won it, catching 80lb 11oz of carp with Ernie Lowbridge second off peg 11 with a level 63lb. Then came Mike Mitchell with 61lb 4oz.
The Decoy Over 55s match was on the Horseshoe Pool and it turned out to be a good choice.
Keith Rayment made the most of an end peg draw on seven, fishing maggot on the top kit to put 113lb 6oz to the scales for a comfortable win.
In-form Kev Wilmot also caught on maggot close in from the other end peg 20 to weigh in 69lb 1oz to claim the runner-up spot with third place going to Gordon Parker with 53lb 4oz.
HAJAC WINTER LEAGUE
The big HAJAC Winter League on Sunday was spread right across the fens to include five different venues and what a good idea it turned out to be with only Raveley Drain under-performing.
In first place from the Twenty Foot at March was Alistair Ogilvie, who caught 33lb 1oz of roach on the pole and whip with maggot and pinkie.
Runner-up was local rod Rob Hewison, who drew in the same section, and had 29lb 15oz. Next was Anthony Watling with 27lb 5oz.
On the team front Stanjay Gold and Tackle and Bates both did well to score 20 points to finish equal first.
Stanjay Gold and Bagpuss Select lead the way overall with eight points each followed by Sensas Mark One Black with 10 points and Tackle & Bates with 12.
Webb’s AC fished Kingsland Fishery on Sunday and Colin Clark topped the field with a net of carp taken on the pole with red maggot weighing in 29lb 9oz from peg 12.
Runner-up on four was Chris Knevett, who fished a small feeder approach for 22lb 7 oz, then came Andrew Perry with 14lb 4oz and Cameron Stokes on 11lb 4oz.
Castaways’ match on Factory Bank, Ramsey, saw some very respectable weights taken with Alan Jopling out in front with 12lb 9oz of roach and perch caught on the whip over groundbait.
Runner-up Peter Molesworth caught 112lb 1oz on the pole with hempseed, then came Mike Smith with 11lb 11oz.
The Tuesday Club match on the Old Nene at Ramsey St Mary’s was won by Mike Smith with a modest 5lb 13oz. He caught small roach on a long pole line fishing pinkie over groundbait.
Keith Rounding with 2lb 15oz of roach and perch came second and then came Dave Steels with 2lb 14oz.