Safety issues mean it's all quiet on western front

Chris BishopWEST & THE FENS: This is the scene across the Fens, as snow melt begins to swell the rivers and drains. Not an angler on the banks of the Delph at Welney, which was rising fast and running through like a train.Chris Bishop

This is the scene across the Fens, as snow melt begins to swell the rivers and drains.

Not an angler on the banks of the Delph at Welney, which was rising fast and running through like a train.

In years gone by, predator anglers who knew where to find the fish holed up would sometimes have a bumper day.

Pitch up in one of the better known ones and you'll end up with a warning letter now that fishing has been banned for health and safety reasons.


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There are health and safety issues aplenty out there with frozen banks - let alone the drive to the water. Bearing in mind you've got 20ft of water under your rod tops on some stretches of the Ouse and there are probably swims best avoided until conditions improve.

One place I did find a few pike on the river last winter when it was raging through was lying in the slack water where a pump outfall had blasted a gap in the reeds. It looked a daft place to fish until the float skated off.

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Stillwaters can sometimes pick up after a few milder days. Pentney has been frozen on and off for weeks but there have been fish to be caught for those prepared to try a few more out of the way areas which remained clear.

There are plenty for whom the cold snap was the final straw, coming after a slow start to the season. Pike thrive on neglect, the saying goes. They're getting plenty this season on some waters, which have hardly seen an angler.

They could go crazy as the weather warms and spawning time approaches. It would certainly make a change if they did.

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