Signs look good for the 16th

The advent of all-year-round fishing on stillwaters and canals might have robbed the glorious 16th of some of its magic.

But I bet I'm not the only one thinking five more sleeps until the start of the season.

Will the rivers and drains treat anglers to the stonking start they've enjoyed on the King's Lynn AA stillwaters, which have been fishing their heads off? I'll stick my neck out and say they might well do.

The Ouse didn't get off on the right foot, with most for the first few weeks last time around, but we've had plenty of rain amid the sunshine and we all know that's what makes the big river and its tributaries kick.

Pre-baiting, cutting swims off the beaten track and night fishing still ticked all the boxes with some in the early weeks of the last campaign – even though Ten Mile Bank was outshone at times by the Littleport AA stretch upstream of the bypass.

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You've still got to fancy St Mark's, the Brown's Farm straight downstream of it and Wissey Mouth, to do the business early on. Some favour less-fished swims upstream of Modney and at Danby Drove, while others will just be glad to get out on the river again.

The drains are harder to call. While the Relief and Cut-Off channels didn't produce big nets at the start of last season, the Relief threw up arm-aching ton-up hauls for three anglers who'd baited up a spot in its lower reaches.

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Finding the fish – or holding them on their wanderings up and down the drain – is obviously the key to a big bag.

Wherever you go on June 16, I hope you have a great start. I'll be out and about trying to beat my perch on lures hoodoo, so say hello if you see a clueless idiot chucking the rubber.

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