The first big frost of the winter took its toll on the angling scene right across the country at the weekend.
Temperatures dropped well below zero and gave us a heavy frost on Sunday morning and anglers almost everywhere struggled for bites throughout the day.
But the big March Winter Open on the Old Nene proved to be an exception as once again this venue produced what can only be described as a brilliant result considering the conditions.
Most sections were won with double-figure weights with the bypass sections out in the open the only poor areas of the day.
Pick of the sections was down at Wigston Bridge where the top five anglers battled it out for the top spot.
Leading the way was John Weedon with 24lb 3oz. He caught down the middle in the deeper water on bread punch to see off the challenge of runner-up Reece Horn just a few pegs away. He fished a short whip line, again with bread to put 20lb 9oz to the scales.
Still in the same area was March resident and former world champion Bob Nudd, who was third with 19lb 2oz.
This Sunday the venue will be put to the test again as it hosts the penultimate round of the East Midlands Winter League.
I think most matchmen that regularly fish Decoy Lakes agree that it is one of the best venues in the area. Yet even this cracking water was tough going at the weekend.
On Saturday Rob Goodson topped a small field on the Beastie Lake with 67lb 8oz of carp from peg 30, catching most of his fish on a small Method feeder with double red maggot on the hook.
Robbie Charlton came in second with 65lb 7oz followed by John Whincup with 64lb 9oz.
Sunday’s winter series run by Barry Mason saw the weights drop with those on the in-form pegs taking the honours.
Leading the way from peg 24 was Yaxley rod Simon Dow. He caught on a straight lead and then the pole with pellet to weigh in 80lb 3oz.
Runner-up was Kevin Wadge on 73lb 3oz, followed by Andy Leathers with 61lb 7oz.
Over on Six Islands, JVAC anglers found bites at a premium, although Terry Tribe made light work of the conditions from peg 15 to catch a respectable 53lb 5oz, all taken on the pole with red maggot.
Second was Roy Whincup, who caught on the pole with maggot from peg 17 to net 36lb 14oz, followed by Nick Carlton with 32lb 2oz from peg two.
Weights fell dramatically in the popular Decoy Over 55s match held on the Beastie Pool where there was little evidence of the big carp feeding.
That left the way clear for Roy Whincup to comfortably take the honours with 47lb 4oz of F1s taken from peg 12 on a small maggot feeder.
Runner-up was Ted Rowe, who fished maggot and pellet on the feeder and pole for 32lb 2oz. He was followed by Mick King with 31lb 8oz.
I got a late invite to fish with the Cock Inn lads on the Four Island Pool at Decoy, but had to decline.
I was extremely disappointed at the time as I fancied peg four which would have been home for the day. But after hearing all about the match l don’t think l missed too much action.
Having said that the empty peg played into the hands of the two anglers pegged either side. Making it two wins on the trot was Steve Smith with 43lb 7oz from peg three and runner-up was Gary Sell with 22lb 12oz from peg five.
Third was Bob Mills with 17lb 10oz from peg two.