Sweepstake, Reach Lode, Upware, 24th February 2019

Due to holidays and other commitments only ten of us were able to attend the match but at least this meant no one had to move too far downstream towards Wicken Fen; as usual for this time of year it was predicted that the lower peg numbers nearer the lock would produced the best weights and as it turned out anyone past peg 5 did indeed struggle for bites for most of the time.

Surprisingly, despite a complete absence of rain for some weeks the water was quite coloured, this was probably due to the bright sunshine and record high temperatures of the ‘false’ spring activating the algae. Nevertheless, there were no fish topping and we were apprehensive of what might be in store.

Soon after the whistle it was confirmed that it was indeed only the first few pegs that were seeing any activity, with pegs 5 onwards remaining bite less for the first 30 minutes or so. Trevor on peg 1 did his best to deny catching more than a few ounces but the splashing and silver flashes of fish being swung in were obvious. Pegs 2-4 were also producing regularly, and occasionally complaining of lost fish.

During the second ½ hour I tempted a few decent roach on punch but bites were few and far between, as they were for Kevin next door on peg 6. Once bites had ceased completely I decided to try against the corner of the boat just in my swim, even though thick sediment limited the depth to barely 18”. On the first cast the owner turned up for a DIY session, rocking the boat as he loaded wood and tools before circuiting it and leaning over to see what might be underneath, of course scaring anything that might have been! This cured Kevin’s knee and cheered him enormously, especially when he heard the owner confirm this was the first time he had visited the boat for over a year.

Before ½ time Trevor tried to feign his progress by wandering the bank to see how others were doing and to offer condolences for those like me with ‘boat’ problems. His smile though said it all and sure enough he finally weighed in nearly 10 lb including some decent roach and small skimmers.

Our next and final points match for this season is in two weeks, again on Reach Lode, Upware. Let’s hope for a more consistent settled match length and perhaps a little rain to put the boaters off! Don’t forget to book on with Trevor so he can peg appropriately.

Ian Claydon

Sweepstake, Reach Lode, Upware on 24th February 2019
Trevor Sturge950
Craig Nicholas870
Simon Deal620
Dave Keedy4140
Ian Claydon430
Ken Whitmore218
Rob Turner1110
John Read0130
Jamie BruceDNW
Kevin SandersDNW