West & Fens Fishing: Dredgers finally move in to start work in Old Bedford

Dredgers have moved in to start restoring the lower end of the Old Bedford River.

Anglers have been lobbying for the work since water was routinely let into the drain from the tidal river a couple of summers back, to replenish levels after abstraction.

This soon led to the Salter's Lode reach of the drain silting up, but it looks like the EA means business, with a pontoon dredger and a larger version operating from the bank.

Predator anglers having a difficult start to the season could do a lot worse than head for the William Burt Club, at West Winch tonight (7.30pm).

Steve 'Rodders' Rodwell is the guest of the King's Lynn Pike Anglers Club, for what is certain to be an entertaining talk.

While he's caught a few big fish from elsewhere, the mainstay of Rodders's success has been on the Fens and Norfolk Broads – so if nothing else, it should spur a few people on to renew efforts, after a shaky start to he season.

A still-smouldering barbecue greeted me on the bank of the drain when I turned up to throw some wood – as we lure experts call it – on Sunday.

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I fished my way up and down, with nothing falling to my lures apart from a fertiliser bag which took a yellow Glidin' Rap.

Deciding to try some reverse psychology on the way home, I tried a water where there aren't supposed to be any pike and nailed one third chuck. Fish weren't exactly throwing themselves on the hooks, but Hunstanton Sea Angling Club reeled in �200 for the RNLI at their annual Phil Bird Memorial Match.

Bird was well-known on the local angling scene. When he passed away, his family donated a trophy to the RNLI, to be fished for annually.

This year's competition was won by Rob Dix, who caught the only fish. Geoff Needham, from Hunstanton Lifeboat Station, thanked every one involved, for the support given to the RNLI.