Anglers from across the country have been heading our way in preparation for the huge Angling Trust Winter League Final which will take place in just over a week’s time.
The Old Nene at March and Benwick will be used along with the Twenty Foot Drain at March and there is also expected to be a section or even two on Factory Bank on the outskirts of Ramsey.
That will be half the match length with the Decoy Lakes complex completing the match venues.
Last weekend saw Godmanchester tackle dealer Stan Binge running a practice match on the fenland waters for those involved in those sections.
With some good weights taken from most sections considering conditions and some huge weights from the Twenty Foot Drain it looks as if we could be in for a cracking final.
Matchwinner on the day was Lancashire rod Steve Gent.
He made the long trip pay off handsomely, putting a fine 31lb 13oz net to the scales from the hot pegs between the bridges.
He caught at a whirlwind pace bagging over 700 rudd and a roach.
On the opposite bank was runner-up Michel Buckwalder, who fished similar tactics to the winner but was just short with 26lb 5oz. Third place went to England star Steve Hemmingray on 25lb 11oz.
This Sunday, March match organiser Bob Fitzjohn will be running an open match on the Old Nene. It’s the last day anglers fishing the final will be allowed to practice so tickets will be at a premium. If you fancy taking on some of the best in the country, give Bob a call right away on 07970 673439.
Full result: 1 S. Gent, Sensas North West, 31lb 13oz; 2 M. Buckwalder, Dorking, 26lb 5oz; 3 S. Hemmingray, Drennan, 25lb 11oz; 4 D. Massey, 25lb 5oz; 5 J. Roberts 23lb 15oz; 6 B. Sharratt, 23lb 3oz.
With two local sides fishing the big final, Sensas Mark One based in Wisbech and Stanjay Tackle in Godmanchester, both teams will be keen to know the form of the other half of the final which is going to be fished at Decoy Lakes.
Looking at the results from last weekend’s matches on the venue, I noted John Bates from Mark One making the frame in the Tony Evans Winter League.
It’s been tough going on all our stillwaters right across the area, as you would expect at this time of year, and Decoy has been no exception.
I have a feeling it will be won or lost at Decoy, so hopefully our local lads will put the practice in and get it right on the big day on February 25.
Most of the leading weights at the weekend belonged to anglers from out of the area as they get in much needed practice time on the venue.
Decoy Lakes (Saturday)
Yew, Beastie & Horseshoe
Yew: 1 D. Wynn, 119lb 10oz; 2 M. Wainwright, 97lb 5oz; 3 T. Evans, 65lb 9oz;
Beastie: 1 A. Henry, 17lb 7oz; 2 D. Lewis, 13lb 5oz.
Horseshoe: 1 S. Clark, 32lb 11oz; 2 N. Haynes, 15lb 9oz.
Decoy Lakes (Sunday)
Oak, Damson, Lou’s
1 J. Robinson, 99lb 7oz; 2 M. Balziel 94lb 3oz; 3 J. Minter, 73lb 12oz;
Decoy Lakes (Tony Evans Winter League, Sunday)
1 J. Taylor 149lb 13oz; 2 B. Gibbons, 77lb 1oz; 3 S. Freeman, 73lb 10oz; 4 J. Bates, Sensas Mark One, 70lb 8oz; 5 J. Whincup, Frenzee, 49lb 13oz.
PETERBOROUGH & DAA
Persistence has yet to pay off for the Peterborough & DAA anglers on the River Nene at Stibbington.
Not for the first time, sport was nowhere near as good as expected.
A bitterly cold wind on the water spoilt the action as the river had colour and flow.
Topping the field with 4lb 11oz from peg seven was match organiser Mike Smith.
He caught on the pole catching roach and skimmers.
Nathan Minter came in second on 4lb 9oz, followed by Steve Stones in third place with 2lb 12oz.