The close season certainly makes you realise how good we have it as members of a club like KLAA. With our waters all closing at midnight on 14/03/09 I needed somewhere to fish this weekend to keep me going as I am not very good at going cold turkey when it comes to fishing.

I took my 6 year old son to a well known local commercial fishery, mainly because when taking a child as young as 6 fishing you need to be almost able to grantee a fish or two or they lose interest very quickly. Also a well known angling paper had just done some two for the price of one vouchers for that venue so I should have been on to a winner on both counts.

We turned up at our chosen fishery at 9.30 am and I was disappointed to see how busy it was and that the swims I fancied from trips in the past were filled. As we set up I was immediately put off by the loud talking of a group of three teenagers some 50 yards away, talking so loud that I could hear almost every word. Then there was the constant beep beeps of alarms being set or having runs. I was using two such alarms myself but had my volume turned right down so as not to disturb others. I think some anglers just feel they have to advertise to a whole lake complex when they have a bite!

As I was setting up my sons whip pole and feeding his swim my mind drifted back to sessions on the Level or Cut Off with my older son. I was having distinct Fen Drain withdrawals and it was then that I suddenly realised what a lasting effect it had on me fishing those drains solid for the previous six months. They have a distinct beauty which in the less used stretches is totally unspoiled. Afternoons sat watching kestrels, harriers and other birdlife seemed a long way away as we sat by this more recent man made complex of lakes.  There would be no observing a stoat and rabbit play out a battle of survival of the fittest which I had watched in December on The Level here.  What wildfowl was present seemed almost domesticated and the geese had made a right mess of the bank, no doubt through scoffing the copious amounts of pellets and boiles being piled in to the water.

After my wife took the nipper home (two hours is his limit) I had the rest of the day to myself and sat back in my bed chair contemplating my summer attack on the Middle Level and Ten Mile Bank where

specimen Tench, Bream and maybe one of those rare river Carp might just grace my net. Roll on the glorious 16th, it’s going to be a long hard wait for me and in the meantime I will have to find quieter venues to fish as the hustle and bustle of a busy commercial does not do it for me at all anymore.

Martin Chandler March 2009