Martin Barnatt decided to fish on a BHAA-controlled stretch of the Ivel after trying his luck on some mor.e popular stretches of the river. Fishing only short morning sessions, Martin’s change of venue brought him the good fortune he was after in the form of a 5lb 13oz chub. However, he is still desperate to break the 6lb barrier before the end of the season
Whilst most carp anglers have put away their rods until the Spring, Pete Housden has continued fishing at Swan Lake where he has been introducing a small amount of bait during the week. Pete’s reward has been to catch 4 20lb plus carp, his latest a 22lb 4oz fully-scaled mirror, and a couple of good-sized doubles. Bailiff Dave Hallybone has employed the same tactics too and has taken a couple of small commons in recent trips.
Alan Wilkie has been putting in the time on the rivers Ivel and Ouse and has caught chub to 6lb 5oz by being prepared to fish into the dark and by keeping his regular swims topped up with a few freebies. Alan fished recently on a BHAA controlled stretch of the Ivel near Sandy from where he caught a 5lb 15oz chub using link ledgered luncheon meat to tempt it.
Biggleswade & Hitchin AA was delighted to be declared as being the best club in the Midlands and East Anglian Region by ‘Anglers’ Mail’ despite competition from a number of much larger fishing clubs and associations. The award took into consideration the quality of the waters and the proactive approach of the club in promoting its fishing.
Rapidly falling temperatures have brought about a dramatic slowdown in sport but nevertheless some BHAA members have made some great catches. Ollie Jenkinson fished a BHAA-controlled stretch of the River Ivel from where he caught a new p.b. pike, a super 19lb 20z specimen. Club Secretary Alan Davies, a keen pike angler, went after chub fishing on an undisclosed stretch of the river and landed three big chub with two over 5lbs. His best was a 5lb 12oz specimen followed by a 5lb 8oz fish and a 4lb plus one too.
Around 240 chub were recently stocked into the lower Ivel at Tempsford by the Environment Agency. These young fish will provide a welcome boost to this section of the river and will be able to swim downstream into the Ouse if they should choose to do so.
Work has begun on the drain down of Grace Lake at Sandy in preparation for the creation of a new fishery which it is planned to open from next June. The residual fish are to be transferred into McGregor Lake and then the lake will be restocked with specimen crucian carp and tench.
Anglers fishing BHAA’s river stretches have found it hard going with little or no flow and clear water to contend with. Many of the fish continue to hold up near weed beds or close to snags for much of the day only venturing out as light fades. Neil Sampson has continued in his quest for a big Ivel chub though targeting one of the club’s stretches of the River Ivel near Sandy. Neil has landed the second 5lb plus chub of his campaign, a 5lb 8oz specimen that is sure to top 6lbs by the end of the season.
Pike fishing has been in full swing at Gingerbread Lake although no monsters have yet been reported. Alex Smalley fished with a ledgered smelt to take a nice 11lb 11oz specimen. John Lincoln tried his luck in the deep water catching two pike weighing 11lbs and 5lbs. The odd carp keeps getting caught but the successful anglers spend a lot of their time trying to locate where the fish are holding up and occasionally feeding. Steve Bull has been particularly successful in recent weeks landing several big carp, his latest being a 30lb specimen caught during an overnight session.
The most sought after fish in BHAA’s Gingerbread Lake for the last few years has been the mirror carp named ‘Cluster’ particularly as it was the only fish in the lake to top the 40lb mark. However, it now has a rival that looks to be well on its way to claiming its throne. Chris Tyrell fished an overnight session at the lake and landed another huge mirror carp weighing 41lb 8oz. The fish was in immaculate condition and has rapidly gained weight as a few years ago it only just tipped the 30lb barrier. It was caught around two years ago weighing 38lb but has since piled on even more weight to join the ‘40’ club. A number of the lake’s other large carp look set to exceed this barrier in the next couple of seasons helped on by the considerable amount of bait being introduced by carp anglers throughout the year. Dave Jones fished a short mid-week session in the factory bay catching a nice common. Most other anglers have found it difficult to get fish to feed despite signs of carp moving from time to time.
Barry Fox’s haul of pike from Gingerbread Lake reported last week consisted of fish weighing 10lb 2oz, 14lb 4oz and 18lb 4oz. Carp have been active throughout the week but have been reluctant to take anglers’ baits. However, the previous weekend Dale Walters went into the Dugout swim where he spotted some good-sized carp crashing out in the lake. He managed to get his baits into the area where the fish were active and, within a short time, caught mirrors weighing 26lbs and 28lbs. Thereafter, he fished on without another bite.
Alan Lawrence spends much of his fishing time in pursuit of specimen fish in the River Ouse from where he has caught barbel well into double-figures and carp over 30lbs in recent years. However, Alan decided to fish for pike on a BHAA controlled stretch of the river using float-fished lamprey as bait. Trotting his bait alongside an old reed bed, Alan landed pike weighing 14lb 7oz and three others around the 7lb mark but capped his day with a huge 26lb 5oz specimen. This is the largest pike reported from a club stretch of the Ouse although a 27lb specimen from the Ivel remains the club’s river caught record
Inspired by recent catches made by his grandson Conor, Angus ‘Jock’ Young decided to take up angling again after a gap of many years so that he could accompany him on his fishing trips. Jock had never caught a carp and it was not long before Conor was able to catch a small mirror weighing 7lb 10oz whilst the pair were fishing at McGregor Lake. Shortly afterwards, Jock hooked but lost a good-sized carp within yards of netting it which left him feeling distraught. However, Jock was determined to break his duck and returned to the lake and soon landed a couple of bream around the 4lb mark. A screaming run followed and Jock found himself connected to another carp which this time he was able to land. It turned out to be a 9lb 14oz mirror, his first ever carp at the age of 74!