The big Angling Trust Winter League final took place at the weekend on the Fenland drains and Decoy Lakes.
Sadly though I have to report that there was no joy for our local representatives Browning Hotrods - at least not on the team front.
They got a poor team draw and finished well down the leaderboard.
The match was huge by any standards and I know from experience it must have been a nightmare trying to sort the event out given the time of year and venues at organiser Lee Kerry’s disposal.
But from what I have heard there was universal support for the innovative idea of using two types of water for the final, which was sponsored by Ted Fisher groundbaits and pegged by England man Lee Kerry.
The weigh-in was carried out by members of the local Sensas Mark One squad. Well done to them as it’s not an easy task.
Winners were Team Ossett. The West Yorkshire lads mastered two very different waters with ease to finish a full 11 points in front of runners-up Daiwa Dorking.
Individually, Preston Innovations Delcac’s Jason Collins took a massive 86.2kg to the scales from Decoy Lakes, while Browning Hotrods’ Andrew Moss won on the drains with 10kg.
Hotrods star man Moss was glad he kept his eyes on the water when he arrived at his peg below the BMX track on the Old Nene at March.
It’s a very useful tip to us all as he saw good fish topping on the far side of the river so instead of the usual pole tactics set up a small waggler.
He caught rudd early on in the match and then a good late burst saw him finish top rod on the drains.
“The wind made casting and tackle control really difficult,” he said. “But I did catch some rudd when the float and bait were being pushed along by the wind. It looked all wrong but it worked!”
Collins fished out at 14.5m netting carp all day on maggot.
Individual Fen drains: 1 A. Moss, Browning Hotrods, 10kg; 2 S. Barnett, Drennan Bordon, 7.31kg; 3 D. White, Maver Midlands, 6.8kg; 4 P. Close, Mosella Quaker, 6.5kg; 5 J. Pantry, Sensas South East, 6.23kg; 6 C. Steffen, Preston Innovations Black Horse, 5.96kg.
Individual Decoy Lakes: 1 J. Collins, Preston Innovations Delcac, 86.2kg; 2 N. Crooks, Team Ossett, 81.7kg; 3 H. Rushden, Maver Midlands, 54.85kg; 4 R. Giffiths, Drennan North West, 49.65kg; 5 L. Barrett, Woodlands Colmic, 42.25kg; 6 R. Bond, Maver Image, 40.65kg.
Team result: 1 Team Ossett, 45pts (170.33kg); 2 Daiwa Dorking, 56pts (116.166kg); 3 Maver Midland, 58pts (130.425kg); 4 Drennan North West, 70pts (120.292kg); 5 Drennan Barnsley Black, 73pts (109.79kg); 6 Preston Innovations Black Horse, 75pts (87.472kg); 7 Matrix Leigh Tackle. 76pts (98.289kg; 8 Arun Angling, 77pts (83.65kg); 9 Saints, 81pts (93.14kg); 10 Drennan Bordon, 81pts (91.606kg); 11 Woodlands Colmic, 83pts (108.7kg); 12 Frenzee South West, 83pts (102.3kg)
HAJAC WINTER LEAGUE
Round two of the HAJAC Winter League followed the big winter league final the next day on the Fenland drains.
It wasn’t ideal but thankfully most of the waters held up quite well and Cock Bank was also used for the first time in several years.
March rod Alex Bates made the most of a fancied draw at the sluice end of Raveley Drain, bagging a net of rudd on the waggler with maggot for a match-winning 16lb 9oz.
Over on Cock Bank, Pete Vasey took two tench and a good net of roach to finish second with 15lb 15oz.
On the team front Stanjay Gold scored a respectable 20 points to top the list, just ahead of stablemates Stanjay Posh. Sensas Tackle and Bates still top the league table but Stanjay Gold are now only a point behind.
Individual: 1 A. Bates 16lb 9oz; 2 P. Vasey 15lb 15oz; 3= M. Kirby and D. Cooper 9lb 8oz.
Team: 1 Stanjay Gold 20pts; 2 Stanjay Posh 27pts; 3 Sensas Tackle and Bates and March Tackle 29pts.