Time for fish to start biting

WEST AND THE FENS: Things are warming up, relatively speaking – now all we need are some fish.

Last weekend saw the last of the ice persisting on many local stillwaters and drains.

I found a couple of pike in a clear windward corner of a lake, only to find myself frozen out of the action after a massive sheet of ice drifted over.

I wonder how the rest of the day would have panned out if this hadn't happened, as two fish on the bank and a missed run in an hour is pretty well as good as it's got for me in a while.

Needless to say a move to another ice-free spot failed to live up to the first swim. The river looked better than it has for weeks. It was bowling along with a fair old flow, but the colour was dropping out and the great chunks of debris which have made fishing difficult of late seem to have washed through.

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Once again next to nothing was caught, apart from a jack or two around the railway bridge.

A handful of pikers seemed to be the only anglers out and about – has a mystery virus wiped out all the pole fishermen, or made them take up DIY..?

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Perhaps the dire accounts of how bad things have got in all the papers, websites, blogs etc have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Perhaps if more people were out, more fish would get caught which would encourage more of same.

Several waters which have had a lid on for weeks will be clear this weekend, with temperatures tipped to bust double figures – notably the Relief Channel (who remembers that frozen for weeks...?), Middle Level and Cut-Off.

There's two months left of the season, so here's to hoping you find a few if you're returning to the banks after a few weeks' weather-imposed DIY this weekend.

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