information@bighitaa.co.uk

News Update: 19th March 2023

This past week saw the end of the river fishing season when anglers had to face flooded rivers and strong winds. Nevertheless, Fraser Hayden was determined to make the most of it and still managed to bag four chub from the Ivel weighing between 2lb 12oz and 4lb2oz. National chub study group member Karl Franklin was also able to catch a couple of nice chub each weighing well over 3lbs.

Carp fishing has been difficult with some awful weather to contend with at times but Craig Leitch still managed to catch a 20lb 8oz mirror from Swan Lake using mini-boilies as bait fished close to the margins. Chris Jefferys made his first visit to the lake this year and managed to catch two of the recently stocked mirror carp. Later in the week, Trevor Richardson had a fantastic session landing four big mirror carp weighing 34lb 2oz, 33lbs, 31lbs and 23lbs.  

Tim Odell decided on a day session on McGregor Lake where he caught a double-figured fully scaled mirror carp. This lake had been recently restocked with around 100 C3 carp, mainly mirrors.  

The Board are grateful to all who replied to our surface fishing survey last year. There were some strong views, the majority based on fish welfare. Two topics dominated the replies; ‘Spodding of mixers’ and ‘Fishing beyond weed beds’. The Board debated further rule changes but concluded that, if the small number of ‘offenders’ did not appreciate the spirit of our rules, they should be educated, and potentially removed. The ‘problem’ exists with approximately six anglers; should they not reappear this Spring or re-join next season then most of the membership would be delighted!  Without reciting them all here, those who surface fish (especially at Gingerbread Lake) need to respect and obey the following rules; then ask themselves if they are affecting other anglers on the water, they are fishing. Rules – 1, 4 and 12 apply.

Surface fishing will be stopped when the weed is considered to be too dense. Notices informing the membership will be placed on fishery gates.

Recent widening of the gate holes on Swan Lake resulted in an otter gaining entry and the subsequent loss of one of our recently stocked carp which cost around £100 and the beheading of a goose. Board members have since inspected all our fencing around the lakes and fitted shutters over the gate holes. These shutters are simple to use but members must ensure that they are closed after use and the gates are as tightly closed as possible. We are pleased to report that there have been no more losses since this work was undertaken.

The Association held its AGM at Tempsford Village Hall on Thursday, 16th March. It was a little disappointing that there were more board members in attendance than members but, at least, it meant that the meeting concluded in good time! There were no rule changes proposed and the Board agreed that subscriptions would remain unchanged for the coming year. Neil Sampson informed the meeting that he would be stepping down from the position of Membership Secretary but would still remain as Chairman. Angela Davies will be the new Membership Secretary combining this with her role as Night Permit Secretary. The position of Fisheries Officer was ceasing and instead a new position of Fisheries Management Officer created with Louis Horne elected. Existing members are encouraged to re-join for the coming year as there is a growing list of anglers wishing to fill any vacancies from April. The Chairman reported that a substantial grant had been received from the Environment Agency to enable a feasibility study to be carried out on possible ways to improve the River Ivel in the Sandy area. This would be a joint study with Vauxhall AC who have a stretch of water in the area too. A substantial number of small crucian carp have been stocked into Grace Lake and a further stocking of larger crucians is to be made imminently.