With all the recent pressure on the fenland drains due to the Angling Trust Winter League final, it would have been no surprise at all to hear that the final round of the HAJAC Winter League last Sunday was something of a disaster.
But thankfully just about all the venues fished held up remarkably well with the Twenty Foot Drain once again providing the hot pegs.
Going into the match it was tight at the top of the league with several teams in contention, but the consistent Sensas Mark One White side cruised to the top after taking second place on the day just behind Stanjay Gold.
On the individual front two anglers shone through from different sections.
Topping the field with a fine net of tench and bream taken on a chopped worm and caster approach was Mark Pollard, who put 44lb 13oz to the scales.
Runner-up from the bridge pegs on the Twenty Foot was John Taylor. He fished a short pole line feeding heavily with groundbait and catching on pinkie and maggot to finish with 32lb 15oz.
A special mention should go to Martin Roper. He was top individual over the four-match series with an eight-point score.
Final League positions: 1 Sensas Mark One White, 9 pts; 2 Stanjay Gold, 13pts; 3 Fab Trays Bate and Tackle 13pts; 4 Stanjay Silver, 17pts.
GOLDEN REEL QUALIFIER
On Saturday some of the country’s top commercial fishery anglers dropped in at Decoy Lakes to fish the first ever Golden Reel Qualifier, an event that will see the eventual winner pick up £50,000.
Local ace John Whincup turned in another fine performance of long pole and pellet fishing to take the top spot with 137lb 15oz and win through to the grand final to be fished later in the year at Larford Lakes.
He drew peg 20 on the Oak Pool and caught well all day netting carp to 6lb to see off the challenge of some very good anglers.
Not too far off the pace was Richard Bond. He was on the Yew Pool and put 131lb 1oz to the scales.
In Saturday’s Whittlesey match held on the Twenty Foot at Beggars Bridge it was Mel Saggers topping the field with a fine 15lb 2oz fishing on the first peg the other side of the railway bridge. He caught his fish on the whip with pinkie over groundbait.
Similar tactics to the winner saw Mike Mohan put 13lb 4oz to the scales and then came Andy Lawrence, who opted for a caster hookbait and feeding casters over groundbait for 11lb 9oz.
Despite wet and windy conditions those fishing the Cock Inn match on Four Islands on the Decoy complex saw plenty of fish willing to feed with those on red maggot having the best of the action.
Returning to form after a lengthy barren spell was matchwinner Steve Smith. He drew peg nine and put 61lb to the scales, most fish falling to the feeder to the island with micro’s and maggot hook bait.
Runner-up from peg five was Colin Buckingham with 44lb 1oz. He feeder fished maggot to the rushes.
Third was Chris Shortland with 35lb 11oz from peg eight, again on red maggot.