Stacey hits form to win Eastern Region Shield

The North Level fished well for the Eastern Region Shield on Sunday, with 120 anglers from 20 teams across the region lining up on the Tydd Gote stretch of the drain.

While the day started with a sunny autumn morning and ended wet and windy, winner Trevor Stacey (Matchpack Black) put 9.3kg of tench, bream and perch on the scales from a peg in C Section, coming home a kilo ahead of second-placed Graham Welton (Garbolino RAF), who weighed in 8.2kg.

Third-placed Colin Gibbons (Tydd Gote B) weighed in 7.85kg, fourth-placed Mark Davis (Browning Northants) 7.6kg and fifth-placed John Weeden (Maver Image) 7.55kg.

The winning team was Sensas Mark One White, made up of John Bates, John Price, Rob Hewitson, Joe Crofts, Dan Hall and Josh Pace.

With more than 5kg (double figures in old money...) needed to win five out of six sections on the day, the North Level showed itself as a pretty consistent venue.

Match and pleasure anglers have good reason to talk up the rivers and drains these days, with the Middle Level continuing its run of form. But things aren't currently quite as rosy on one or two other waters around.

Talks are going on behind the scenes over the state of the Old Bedford at Salter's Lode, where the stretch which was dredged last season looks as bad as it did before tens of thousands of anglers' rod licence money was ploughed into it.

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Levels are down by more than a foot and flag rush is growing from one side to the other in places. Perhaps it's time the abstraction plan was reviewed, because something clearly isn't working somewhere and it's time it was finally sorted.

Middle reaches of the Cut-Off Channel are currently unfishable, with a carpet of azolla stretching from bank to bank.

Another water giving cause for concern on a number of fronts is Tottenhill, where Lynn AA officials have brought in an immediate keepnet ban in response to low water levels.

While this has been a historical problem on the pit, it remains a good mixed fishery thanks to the efforts which the club has put into keeping it that way. Bailiffs are growing concerned at the amount of litter left on the bank.

One stillwater which continues to show good form is Shepherd's Port, where Snettisham-based Dennis Kinsella recently banked a new PB and venue best carp of 22lbs 8oz on luncheon meat.

Feeder also attracting some of the bigger bream to 5lbs when cast towards the middle of the lake.