Bank anglers were out in very good numbers on the opening day of the season at Rutland Water.
The day dawned with frosty, flat calm conditions. Surprisingly there were fish moving in quite a few areas, despite the bleak weather. Fish quickly responded for many. However, the abrupt arrival of fog put the fish down for a while.
Things improved again when the sun came out, with fish coming out from Old Hall Bay, East creek, either side of Normanton church down to the blue pipes and a few on the far side of Whitwell creek. The rod average on opening day was four.
Darren and Luke Dodd both returned to the lodge with 20lb plus eight fish limits apiece. The pair bagged up off the Normanton bank with small damsel flies accounting for most fish.
Season ticket holder Rob Keeber of Leicester caught nine fish by lunchtime including a 5lb plus Brown.
Tony Bower from Mansfield also managed the same amount with his fish falling to mainly Diawl bach. Mark McLeod took 11 fish and Graham Willis had nine fish.
It was noticeable that a lot of fish were falling to nymphs with Hilary Tomlinson netting a mint conditioned 3lb plus rainbow that fell to a black buzzer from Old Hall Bay.
Boat anglers had a slightly delayed start with ice a problem on both the pontoon and the boats themselves.
Things thawed out, with boats well spread out at first, with the Normanton shoreline eventually providing some of the best sport on the day.
Si Gaines and 11 others fished the Peter Porter boat pairs competition and between them they managed a very creditable 53 fish.
Si, who fished with Keith Jones, won the event with 15 fish weighing 33lb 6.25oz. Lloyd Thompson caught the biggest fish at just over 3lb.
Not surprisingly out of season browns were encountered. Guide Al Owen’s first two fish of the season were quality 5lb plus specimens.
Season ticket holder Mick Connor returned a superb 7lb 12oz fish off the shoreline while Rob Keeber claimed good quality 5lb plus fish.
Team England squad members Ash and Tom Davis took to the boat on Saturday and had plenty of sport on Di5/Di7 lines with boobies and blobs fished deep within 50 yards of the bank.
They took a number of quality rainbows with Ash recording one around the 4lb mark. Some of the fish contained a lot of bloodworm which is a good sign for buzzer sport in the coming months.
Bank anglers have continued to catch steadily throughout the weekend with the lodge to the blue pipes holding the largest concentration of fish.
East Creek, Stocky Bay, Whitwell Creek and Old Hall flats on the peninsula have also seen good numbers of fish banked.
Floating lines and intermediates have been employed off the bank with fish generally close to the bottom but moving up in the water column as the day progresses and air temperatures rise. In these circumstances the washing line with FAB on the point and nymphs are working well.
Retail team leader Neil Atkins had a short session after work concentrating on the harbour, he was rewarded with 10 rainbows in a couple of hours all falling to an intermediate and black and green tadpole.
Rutland park manager Will Kirstein joined Neil on the bank and not to be outdone took three rainbows in quick succession including a 3lb plus specimen, all safely returned.