West and Fens angling: Drains set for bonanza

There's a bit of a buzz going around about the start of the river season next week. The recent downpours might just mean the rivers and drains are going to be in reasonable fettle when the Glorious Sixteenth comes round.

When you compare the last few seasons, the first few weeks have often seen some cracking catches.

June can be a funny month, weather-wise. But while our waters are often full of life, with everything from insects to fish fry sheltering amid rapidly-growing plant cover, the temperatures haven't reached their summer heights.

Many eyes will be on the Relief Channel, where King's Lynn AA chairman Kelvin Allen and two friends bagged 600lbs of bream over two trips last opening day. Heavy pre-baiting lured a to-die-for shoal of slabs averaging 6lbs, with the best going 9lbs.

For those who knock the Fens or say the rivers are finished, there can't have been many better bags of fish than that anywhere on opening day last year.

The Middle Level also fished well from the off, with 100lb-plus nets around St Mary's and Neeps, with good mixed bags also coming out around Pingle.

Over the last couple of seasons, the Ouse has also started the season well. Swims between Brown's Farm – the long straight upstream of the railway bridge – and Wissey Mouth were turning up skimmers, roach and tench from the off, with plenty of fish also showing between Denver and the Piggeries.

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Wissey Mouth often has a bream shoal in residence, but they're a fair old chuck to the far side with a feeder away.