IT’S been more like a winter week than spring these last few days, with temperatures of minus five recorded overnight on The Angel and several lakes frozen.
Snow, sleet, hail and major high winds made angling almost impossible.
Any anglers out had to be dedicated, yet catches have been reasonable for the conditions.
Good number of green and golden tench are being caught on Lookout Lake and on Bowes the best bream taken weighed 7lb 3oz.
Carp and skimmers are also feeding well with good roach and cracking ide coming out to maggot, but with such low water temperatures anglers need to be careful not to over feed and are best off offering small groundbait balls to attract fish to your swim.
Considering how desperately cold the winter has been so far, it takes a lot to entitle the first of the Angels Spring Series Match fished on Sunday as the toughest yet in 2013, but that was the way it was described.
Only two anglers braved the freeze to weigh in and congratulations go to Alan McGuire, who won with 13lb 12oz, ahead of Neil Brown, with 3lb 14oz.
Sunday’s match on The Oaks attracted 48 anglers and was the last match in the current series.
The winner was Joe Sutcliffe with 25lb 4oz from Pete Fraser on 24lb 10oz with Brian Avery third on 18lb.
However, overall series winner was Dave Bauja with a weight of 32lb from peg 53 on Cedar.
With everyone’s current rod licence ending over the weekend, the Environment Agency are reminding anglers a new rod licence will be needed for those fishing from Monday onwards, and they risk prosecution if they fish illegally.
Licence costs have been kept the same for the third year running – £27 for coarse fish and trout, £72 for salmon and sea trout.
Concessions and short-term licences are available by visiting the Environment Agency or Post Office websites.
All anglers need a valid Environment Agency Rod Licence if they are aged 12 or over and fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel in England (except the River Tweed), Wales, and the Border Esk and its tributaries in Scotland.
The EA also point out if you see any illegal fishing, please report it immediately using the 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
Memberships for Sunderland Freshwater Angling Club, who control the lakes at Silksworth, can now be purchased at Fishing Republic Tackle Shop in Sunderland, which has a number of application forms. Prospective members need to take two passport-standard photos.