Fishing is slowly getting more rewarding as the lighter nights and slightly raised temperatures help.
At Aldin Grange, despite a water temperature of around three degrees, fish are starting to show signs of coming out of their winter slowdown. All three lakes have had some good fish showing, and on Blackbird Lake roach to 10oz and skimmers to 1lb are falling to maggot. Woodpecker Lake and The Match Lake are where the Ide have been packing on weight and fish to 3lb are featuring in catches.
On The Angel the fish are still shoaled up so some good catches are possible. With water temperature still 3.5 degrees, feed needs to be very little and light tackle essential. Baits working this week have been maggot, caster, sweetcorn, peperami, pellet and feed angel pellets.
At Whittle Dene some of the better skimmers of the year have been turning up to boost catches of small roach on The Lower Reservoir. Fish around the 2lb mark have been featuring in catches of 5 to 6lb, despite the weather making fishing difficult, but things can only get better as the winds drop, and a knock-up match is being held on the water on Sunday. Just turn up at 8.30 and ask for Steve Wood.
A knock-up on Sunday saw Nick Jose win with two skimmers for 5 lb 4 oz from Steve Jacques on 4 lb 3 oz.
Sunday’s Open on Lookout was fished in heavy rain and strong gusty winds, but Chris Pine managed to put 59lb 12oz onto the scales to win from John Nelson on 41lb 11oz and Richard Wildman with 24lb 4oz.
A flooded River Tees was out of sorts for Sunday’s Yarm AA match, yet fish showed and Andy Hamilton took a winning weight of 5lb made up of eels, skimmers and roach. Ian Lumb was runner-up on 4lb 14oz and Dave Smiddy third with 4lb 13oz.
Big Waters AC recent winter league match at Brafferton saw Nigel Ripley win with 12lb, while Lee Richardson was runner-up with 8lb10oz and Andy Bell was third with 7lb 6oz.
Northumbrian Water will be sponsoring a Spring Series to be run by Steve Wood on Whittle Dene. The NWA will donate a free Whittle Dene season permit for 2015 to the winner of the eight-match series, which will be fished bi-monthly with a two-match disregard. The dates are March 23 and 30, April 13 and 20 , May 11 and 18 , and June 1 and 8.
Pike fishing on the Tees has been surprisingly successful considering the flooded condition of the river. Kevin Leigh took four fish all on deadbait from the “quay peg” at Stockton. Esthwaite Water, where car park banking is getting the best results, has seen plenty of high doubles and low twenties being caught, topped by Fonz Howard, who took a superbly conditioned pike of 23lb 4oz.
Anglers will be interested in a film being screened at the Forum Cinema, Hexham on Sunday at 4.45pm. Kiss The Water is a rich documentary inspired by the life and workof Megan Boyd, a legendary Scottish maker of salmon flies, filled with tributes and recollections.
Season tickets are now available from the Northumbrian Anglers Federation to fish their stretches of the River Tyne and coarse permits at £30 can be had from head bailiff Willie Farndale. Visit www.northumbriananglersfed.co.uk for full details of how to apply.
SATURDAY: An Open takes place on The Angel, and a RSPS Team Masters event takes place from Morton to Asenby.
SUNDAY: Aldin Grange host a Winter League match on Blackbird Lake, £12 all in £5 peg fee £7 pools (including golden peg), while a knock-up match is being held on Whittle Dene. Just turn up at 8.30 and ask for Steve Wood if you want to fish. Yarm AA hold their Harry Wilson Memorial match on their stretch of the Tees, and elsewhere on the Tees Darlington Brown Trout fish their Combined Cup Match. There are Opens on the Swale, Woodlands, The Oaks and Lookout Lake, and the Film, Kiss The Water is showing for one day only at at the Forum Cinema, Hexham at 4.45pm.
WEDNESDAY: There are midweek Opens on both Woodlands and The Angel.
THURSDAY: Another Open takes place on The Oaks at Sessay.