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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Anglian Water Fisheries Reports

Rutland Water A sensational week with Rutland Water producing excellent numbers of over wintered fish, culminating in not one, but two double figure specimens. Local season ticket holders Barry Thompson from Whitwell, and Dave Doherty from South Luffenham, hit the headlines both with personal bests. Barry took an 11lb brown and Dave a 10lb 14oz rainbow, not just the best fish of the week, but also the best to date this season. Both anglers boat fished the south arm and used the same methods, with the tried and tested wet cell 2 and gold and silver tube fly. Dave’s rainbow took deep and went on one screaming run taking around 80 yards of line and backing. Reeling frantically Dave managed to gain control again after a few minutes, with the fish surfacing next to the boat. Realising just how big the fish was, and with a few nerves beginning to twitch, Dave’s fish was quickly netted by boat partner Barry Thompson. The pair also had a good number of over wintered rainbows averaging around 3˛½lb with an overall weight of 44lb 8oz. The following day it was Barry’s turn to be in the limelight.

Barry took his fish at approx 5pm, being his last fish of the day! The fish followed and took just under the surface, in tremendous condition sporting its early season silver livery. Barry was sharing his boat with tackle shop assistant Tony Beresford with the pair managing 13 fish for 46lb 8oz with back up rainbows to 5lb.

Friday saw warden Paul Friend and Uppingham season ticket holder Ken Merridan joining the big fish trail with ten over wintered rainbows averaging around the 3½lb mark, with an overall weight of 44lb 8oz. Drifting the south arm the pair took their fish between the Old Hall right across to Manton bay. Ken Merridan shared a boat with his regular boat partner Jim Watts, again the pair caught well, up to 4lb, with at least half their fish being overwintered.The fish have been grazing heavily on daphnia and are literally stuffed to the gills with the plentiful supply available. Buzzers have been coming off and fish are being taken on buzzer patterns, but despite the huge numbers, and because of the daphnia levels, it seems buzzers are taking second place at the moment.

Grafham Water This has been another tremendous week at Grafham with the fish feeding on the vast hoards of buzzers hatching off or gorging themselves on the abundant daphnia shoals in the water. The main line of attack this week has been with either black or olive buzzers fished on either the bung method or on a long leader very slowly. Another alternative has been to target the daphnia feeders with brightly coloured blobs or boobies on fast sinking lines. Both methods are producing large amounts of quality fish as well as some over wintered fish. best rainbow 5lb 3oz taken by David King of Ludlow with an orange blob best brown 3lb 10oz taken by Paul Taylor of Kings Lyn with a buzzer best boat areas stumps, sanctuary bay, hill farm and G buoy best bank areas G buoy, Hill farm the stumps and the seat best methods floaters with buzzers, diawl bachs and nymphs Sinkers with black and green lures

Ravensthorpe Reservoir Michael Dickinson of Yaxham, Norfolk, boat fished the island area to take a quality 12lb rainbow – the best this week - on a black lure and sinking line. Dean Franklin and boat partner John Beeton from Potters Bar, brought 38 fish to their boat on Thursday, orange fritz with a cut down pink tail doing the damage on Di3 lines. Regular visitor Andy Ross from Burbage was again on form with a 22 fish catch taken on black buzzer and floating line from a boat. Black and green buzzers fished at depth have accounted for most fish this week. Cold mornings and bright sunny days have restricted sport in the upper water layers with fish cruising 30 yards out from the natural banks. Fishing buzzer teams from boats ‘on the bung’ has proved a very effective method with humungus and orange lure combinations on sinking lines taking some nice overwintered rainbows.

Pitsford Water Pete Bills of Papplewick, Notts fished with his regular boat partner John Brady, to take their limit of 14 fish, weighing 52lb. Pete fished in his usual style, going deep and drifting down the middle of the main basin. The pair used Di7 and Di8 lines. Pete reported to have released at least 12 browns. Senior warden Nathan Clayton said the bag of fish was excellent - the best he had seen for some time with some super overwintered fish.

Season ticket holder Bill Kingston, of Milton Malsor, is enjoying a fantastic season. Following on from his big rainbow last week, he caught a 7lb brown on Wednesday from the bank on a buzzer. Bill fished the north shore. Having landed his fish he rang warden Andy Barton who rushed over to take a photo. Bill then immediately returned the fish safely to the water.
Bill went on to catch his limit whilst fishing very close to the bank on nymphs. He reported that fish were slurping down large adult buzzers, which was fantastic to see so early in the season. It’s a bank angler’s dream at the moment, with fish rising close to the bank, it is possible to take your limit on any method from fishing dries to nymphs. Nathan said “I have not seen fish feeding close to the bank for a couple of seasons and the fish seem to be spread out a lot more. There are fish on every bank”. There is no need to wade with water levels at 100%, wading will spook the fish. Pitsford will see a dramatic rise in the rod average this week.

Coarse fishing Taverham Mills A few notable fish have come out this week with the largest being head warden bob Anderson's 27lb 2oz leather carp. This was caught on an overnighter during the week and is now his personal best carp.Season Ticket holder Darren Hardy managed to get an impressive looking mirror carp at 22lb during the weekend.

Ardleigh The Butterfly lake continues to produce some really good mixed bags and John and Matthew Regan report catching two tench, one of 2½lb and the other a magnificent 7lb 8oz. The bream in the main reservoir are still a little hard to track down but the carp anglers have caught quite a few. John Gant had 10 fish averaging over 5lb and Chris Moody had several to 6½lb. These all came from Lodge Bank South where Season permit holder Craig Harn also had a lovely 30lb mirror.

Alton In spite of bright weather conditions match anglers managed to bring several top quality fish to the net in the recent Alton Water Championship. Ian Stallard weighed in just two roach for 2lb 5oz and a number of other roach over the pound mark put in a very welcome appearance. Top weight of the day went to Ken Elmy, fishing above Lemons Hill Bridge, with two fine bream and some roach for 13lb 11oz. Ken used red maggot and a light feeder rod. Second place went to Martin Budgen with 7lb 3oz including the best fish of the day, a 6lb 9oz bream.

Martin James Fishing