Shepherd’s Port is the pick of the West Norfolk venues

There's plenty being caught as the lakes start warming up and the carp get their heads down.

Shepherd's Port the pick of the bunch, with all three lakes on the complex fishing well.

Shepherd's Lake has bream, and tench showing well on the tip, with most baits producing. Queen's Lake's bigger bream have also been on the feed along with silver fish to waggler.

Springside offers a more mixed day's fishing, with carp, tench, roach, rudd and perch all on the feed.

As the stillwaters get into top gear, I wonder how many anglers will tear themselves away from the platforms and pellet wagglers to give the rivers and drains a go when the season opens in a couple of weeks' time.

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Predictions are notoriously unreliable, especially mine, but a drive along the Ouse one recent evening revealed a river that really did look in top nick.

Perhaps the colder spring – remember, this time last year they were predicting drought – could help slow down the onset of algae and azolla.

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One thing which will help the Ouse even more is recent rain has helped de-silt the sluices at denver, meaning the river should run off into the tidal channel instead of the relief channel.

This alone could have far-reaching effects if the situation prevails. For one thing, it will mean less of the prolonged, harsh run-offs the channel has suffered, which should mean more fish stay in it, instead of getting washed out to sea.

We think of it as a man-made river, but really it's a reservoir which stores excess water between tides. Having seen its ups and downs last winter, it really is a formidable place to try and fish when they're running the Ouse off into it. These conditions aren't good for the fish, for reasons above. But past history has shown it can recover in the space of a few seasons, as fish replenish themselves and fill the vaccuum.

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