West & Fens Fishing: Wait for the mercury to drop and autumn to arrive
Roll on autumn.
I don't know whether everything's going to start going right or not when the temperatures start their slide towards winter, but it might just settle things down enough to see the fish stick about and shoal enough for some decent catches.
Bream, skimmers, roach and tench have all been coming out on the Ouse. Bream catches have been from the swims around Wissey Mouth, roach showing at Danby Drove – but mind the mad, mad, bit of road near Manton's.
Early season might have been disappointing for some on the river, but it's clearly not down to any lack of fish. Maybe yet another spell of unseasonably wet weather has unsettled them and kept the shoals on the move.
Early last autumn, I saw a to-die-for bream shoal (if you're a bream angler... ) on part of the river hardly anyone fishes because it's a bit of a steep climb to get to.
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The Middle Level's been fishing well, with Morton's Bridge, Crooked Chimney and Pingle the best sections for bream, skimmers and tench.
Floating weed has also started to move along some stretches of the lower half of the drain after recent pumping. At least this should mean it's out of the way sooner rather than later. Parts of the Old Bedford are also unfishable, while early reports suggest an experiment elsewhere using bugs to eat the dreaded weed – which is actually a floating fern called azolla – have not exactly been an unqualified success, as in the whole lot got washed away.
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Other bugs appearing to be faring better, judging by the number that bit me when I sneaked an hour with the lures.
Muggy, overcast weather used to be the time to go eeling, if you liked catching eels. If you didn't, it was probably another excuse to stay indoors. Eels are now in steep decline across both the Fens and elsewhere, so it will be interesting to see if the EA's new siphon pass on the Wissey will give them a short cut from the badlands on their way to the sea.
Due to be unveiled next month, the siphon is believed the first of its kind in the country.