Some of us still get a buzz on June 16th
IT’s a big week in the world of angling as the new season gets underway tomorrow.
I have been fishing for more years than I care to remember but like many others around the country I still get a buzz about fishing on opening day.
I know we can all fish stillwaters and even some canals all year round these days, but to fish a river on opening day is just, well, special.
Angling is still by far the biggest participant sport in the country and over the next few days and throughout the first weekend of the season anglers young and old, experienced and novices, will be testing their skills against the fish, hoping for that catch of a lifetime, but also just enjoying the pleasure of being able to get out and fish natural venues around the country.
There is no doubt that a lot of anglers have deserted rivers, fenland drains and canals for stillwaters. Even they can be challenging at times but to be able to master a difficult river or drain still gives many a great deal of satisfaction.
So where can we head for over the next week, and what will the quality of sport really be like?
On the River Nene I would like to say that it should get off to a cracking start but in reality we could find it testing to say the least.
A very cold winter and with summer not really with us yet, I do believe we are a little behind in our seasons this year and it could well take a couple of weeks yet before sport picks up.
Elton and Orton locks will be a favourite venue for those after barbel and they should be the exception to the rule. In fact I would say almost guaranteed to produce the goods.
Chub should show at Stibbington, Water Newton and Alwalton and I have been told a couple of huge shoals of bream have been spotted in the Milton and Alwalton sections of the River Nene.
The city centre could also produce some bream weights right though to Fitzwilliam Bridge.
If you are after early season tench action then the Oundle area should be the sections to head for.
Best approach will be worm and caster on the pole line or a small feeder with red maggot and worm hook bait.
If you are looking for something a little different then why not try for a River Nene carp.
There are a lot more carp in the river than was once thought, particularly from Milton down to the city centre.
You may have to do a little secret pre baiting but you could well be rewarded with some fantastic action.
My tips for just a few of the hot spots are Alwalton, Milton Ferry well below the stone bridge and above the locks at Orton.
The fenland drains should be in a little better form with the likes of the North Level, South Holland and the top end of both the Twenty Foot and Forty Foot Drains all capable of skimmer and bream weights.
We may well have to wait a little longer for the roach to start feeding in earnest.
It’s at this time of the year where feeding a sweet smelling groundbait often brings the best out of a swim, especially on the drains, where skimmers and bream are the main feeders.
If you are looking for plenty of bites you could give Fields End Bridge a try with Ashline, Bower and Briggate at Whittlesey also well worth a visit.
With some better news coming from a few anglers that have regularly fished Ferry Meadows now that both lakes have been opened up to angling I think we can.
Weed is always going to be a problem, but not insurmountable.
Fishing a long hook length and floating hook baits could well be the answer, but with more fish showing a conventional feeder approach should also work well.
Finally do not forget your club handbooks of which all are available from your local tackle shops and most important of all your rod licence.
You may depend the Environment Agency bailiffs will be out in force over the next couple of weeks. You have been warned!
AT long last it looks as if something is going to be done about unruly behaviour along the city embankment and indeed on the River Nene through the city centre.
We have all heard the fancy words for years about what should be done, what might be done and what could be done to improve the whole area, but the rhetoric has not been put into practice.
However, that all seems to have changed, mainly thanks to constant pressure from anglers and a staunch supporter of the clean up campaign of the Embankment and River Nene, the ex-mayoress of Peterborough Marion Todd.
I have known Marion for a very long time now and her straight talking, no-nonsense approach looks to have finally paid off.
Anglers should be very pleased and grateful for the time and effort she has put in on our behalf.
FISHINg the last match in the South Holland League Series at North View fishery, gedney Hill, last Sunday Spalding AC angler Andy Wilson only needing a top 10 finish and two points to seal a second victory in this league in the last five years, having led the field from the second round match back in April.
As it turned out Wilson’s third place weight of 45lb 3oz was more than enough to finish with a 9½ point lead over runner-up graeme Foster from the host club Deeping St James AC. The same club were also represented by third-placed angler David Pearson.
A late run of form with a matchwinning weight of 66lb 11oz came too late for george Bates to affect the outcome of this six-match league but the 10 points that came with this win did move him into joint fourth place and among the prize money.
WEBB’S AC took on Aquaflow from Northampton at the weekend fishing a new lake to them at Rushden Hall.
This old estate lake turned out to be a mixed fishery which took our local lads by surprise as they had gone expecting to fish for carp.
Nick Carlton took first place with 42lb 12oz of carp but then the weights dropped. Darren Pegg had a net of roach on maggot for second place weighing in 26lb 4oz followed by Lol Smith who had a mixed bag of roach, rudd and carp for 24lb 10oz.
The team match was very close with the host side, Aquaflow, weighing in a total of 142lb to Webb’s 151lb.
ROBERT Bell was a comfortable winner in the JVAC match fished on the Horseshoe Pool on the Decoy complex at the weekend.
He fished up in the water netting carp close to double figures for a fine 120lb 12oz. Mick King took second place on 98lb followed by Will Hadley with 87lb 6oz.
FENLAND Rods also fished the Decoy complex at the weekend, their match taking place on the Oak Pool.
Top rod with a fine rod and line caught net of carp was Neil garner. He fished paste really close in to record 95lb 7oz. In second place was the in-form Kevin Lee on 76lb 12oz followed by John Smith with 71lb 12oz.
This coming weekend the Fenland Rods are at Kingsland Fishery on the small carp lake.
ONCE again local angler Pat North will be running the Craig Kent Memorial match.
As usual it’s going to be a drawn pairs event at Kingsland Fishery with the emphasis firmly on the light -hearted side but also hoping to raise a good sum for charity.
It takes place on Sunday July 11. Please tell anybody who is interested to contact Pat on 01354 653247 for a peg and all the information.