Sometimes I don’t think anglers in the area realise just how good our local fenland waters are, particularly at this time of year when winter settles in and we have some heavy frosts to contend with.
There are already lots of waters that are fishing well but one always stands head and shoulders above just about every other natural venue and that’s the Old Nene at March.
Year after year it produces fantastic sport and at the weekend once again it showed us all just how good it can be even after the first heavy frosts of winter.
A good turnout for the March Open, which also incorporated a practice match for this weekend’s East Midland Winter League, saw the top six anglers putting 15lb plus of fish to the scales.
And there was none better than the 23lb 1oz net of roach and rudd taken by Rob Hubbard. He drew peg 40, just two pegs above the Health Centre footbridge and took full advantage of a good draw.
He started on a short pole line with bread punch before switching to a long pole line with squatt and pinkie for the rest of the match.
Tony Watling was not too far behind. He was pegged just below the bridge, catching on the whip then switching to a waggler approach to finish on 20lb 15oz.
Third place went to the in-form Kye Jerrom with 19lb 10oz, followed by John Taylor with 17lb 2oz.
So round five of the winter league this weekend should be a cracker and anglers will be expecting good weights throughout the match length.
The team result will be very keenly fought and indeed very interesting with four teams all in with a good chance of topping the league and securing a place in the grand final.
The Old Nene fished well in the midweek open for Ramsey & District Angling Society anglers. In fact, it produced one of the best results to date.
Leading the way from peg three was John Price, who fished the whip with bronze maggot to put 22lb 15oz to the scales.
Keiron Payne on peg five came a very close second. He caught small fish for most of the day but had a good run on better roach on tares in the latter stages to finish with 21lb 5oz.
Vern Edgley was third on 16lb 12oz, followed by Keith Rayment with 14lb 7oz.
Sunday’s Ramsey club match was fished on Factory Bank, yet another water in great form at the moment.
Paul Kilby put 14lb 3oz to the scales to take pole position after drawing peg five and catching a net of small fish on the whip and pole.
Runner-up was Ivan Steels, who had some good roach on hempseed for 10lb 12oz, then came Malc Hobbs with 8lb 14oz and Keith Rayment on 8lb 11 oz.
Last week’s good result on the Cock Bank Drain in the Whittlesey Saturday series prompted the organisers to return to the venue for the latest match in the winter series.
But what a difference a week makes at this time of year.
Mark Baron put just 3lb 14oz of small fish to the scales to top the field catching on the whip with squatts.
Arthur Smallman and Mike Mohan came in joint second, both putting 3lb 7oz to the scales.
The Mainline Baits sponsored Team Winter League got underway at Rookery Waters at the weekend and despite a bitterly cold day some good nets were taken over the three pools.
Richard Bond took a fine 184lb 7oz net from peg 11 to claim top spot on the Jay Pool fishing bread on a long pole line.
Over on Magpie it was fishery regular Josh Pace who won from peg eight with 149lb 5oz and on the Raven Pool it was Ricky Ashwell with 55lb 1oz who did best .
It was tight on the team front with Pools Fodder and SAS finishing in joint first place on the day.
Jay: 1 Richard Bond, Matrix Dynamite, Peg 11, 184lb 7oz; 2 Will Hadley, Pools Fodder B Team, Peg 41, 142lb 5oz; 3 Nigel Fawkes, ABC, Peg 23, 102lb 12oz.
Magpie: 1 Josh Pace,Yerr Whatever, Peg 8, 149lb 5oz; 2 Jamie McGuire, Moaners, Peg 34, 58lb 6oz; 3 Paul Swan, Team SAS, 57lb 5oz.
Raven: 1 Ricky Ashwell, Team SOS Peg 5, 55lb 1oz; 2 Andy Adams, Pools Fodder B Team, Peg 6, 41lb 14oz; 3 Roger Gowler, Rookery Waters, Peg 2, 36lb 10oz.
Teams: 1= SAS and Pools Fodder B Team, 10pts; 3= Matrix Dynamite and ABC, 12pts; 5 Rookery Waters, 17pts.
Webb’s AC took a trip over to Rookery Waters on Sunday to try out the new Raven Pool and although weights were not quite as good as expected a return trip will be on the cards in the warmer months as most anglers had plenty of bites.
Out in front was Andrew Matthews. He weighed in 42lb 8oz, all small carp caught on the pole with red maggot and bread.
Runner-up was Martin Parker, who fished similar tactics for 32lb 5oz, and David Marzell was third alternating between the pole and feeder for 25lb 6oz.
FLOAT FISH FARM
In the midweek Float Fish Farm Over 50s Open on the Two Islands Pool it was John Final out in front from fancied peg eight. He caught on a small feeder weighing in 40lb 1oz.
Runner-up was Bill Boyne on peg five fishing similar tactics for 39lb 14oz.
It was peg eight that produced the winning weight in the Saturday open match as well. This time Mick Linnell drew it and the Yaxley rod used all his years of experience to winkle out a few carp to finish top with a modest 28lb 2oz. Stan Dow came second with 21lb 7oz from peg 22.
Haddon Lodge: 1 Tony Moulds 16lb 5oz; 2 Cliff Fuller 10lb 1oz; 3 Martin Harwood 5lb.
Tydd Gote AC, North Level Drain: 1 Andrew Kilby 17lb 10oz; 2 Mick Asker 17lb 7oz; 3 John Taylor 12lb 10oz.