Blunham & District Angling Club Open Report
In my 40 years as Secretary of this club never has there been 12 months of so much up and downs. When the first lockdown came on the 23rd March we had to close off all fishing on our waters. This came with some big worries about security especially at Willington. Thanks to some vigilant bailiffs and committee members in general we only had a few minor issues. A roll of fencing and amazingly the pump in the toilet at Dovecote got stolen ( unscrewed and removed we got our toilet servicers to put a new one in). Some minor evidence of probably some spinning for pike and perch, and to be fair we had little other problems. When the fishing opened up again we had queues on the Friday waiting to get to the lakes, again the bailiffs handled this well and everyone got parked up somewhere and tackled up. Angling clubs were faced with unprecedented membership applications as people just wanted to get out and many to start up fishing again. We saw plenty of fish coming out and Dovecote, Halls Pit and Hitchcocks yielding a crop of big carp. Dailseys and the Bombhole hit it off with day fishing and the rivers added to the crop of fish. Out of the blue in September we saw a dramatic break down of the weed in Dovecote and a drastic oxygen level reduction. Angling was instantly suspended and at one stage we were down to 7% but with the excellent help from the EA we gradually managed to turn this around over the following 3 months. The club invested in 2 powerful pumps and venturi sprays which we used to good effect and are a permanent part of our portfolio of fishery management equipment. We take regular Oxygen readings with our own equipment and a few days back we had over 91% readings. We opened up angling again at Dovecote towards the end of November and it was a week or 2 before a fish was caught. A few started to show and then the FLOODS. Unprecedented rain just before and after Christmas turned the whole of Willington into one big lake. The great Ouse Flowed in at Dovecote one end and out the other, badly damaging the otter fence with washed up debris. In a situation like this you can only stand, stare and hope. The only lake that did not get flood water was the Bombhole it sat on its own less that 20 metre from a very flooded Daisleys. Even Steve our resident bailiff at Hitchcocks had to move out and he got taken in along with his dog Ted by a very kind member ( he is now back on and will start doing the bailiff rounds again).

Fishing recommenced in March and with all the cold weather the going has been tough. Despite this the rumour that DC had lost all its carp in the floods has been put to the sword with some big fish to 40Lbs coming out and many caught at 30 plus. The fish have packed on weight through natural feeding on bloodworm and are in excellent condition. Is fishing easy no challenging at best with high cold water levels and often freezing nights. Halls Pit has produced some very good fish and has proved a good venue for the enterprising angler. All our lakes need to warm up to really get going and weed growth to start up. The track to Daisleys is still under water although the levels are receding.

Membership costs for this coming season will see an increase to £80 Full, £40 Seniors, £15 Junior (12-16) key £10. The club has a lot of expense in repairs to tracks, bank clearance, reinforcing DC Otter Fence and some stocking. Although we are not for profit money is needed to provide fishery improvements and in these days contractors are the best way forward when required.

Dovecote Lake will have a new 48 hour rule on and 72 hour no return. Given the popularity of the lake we want as many persons as possible to get a reasonable chance to fish here.

The Ouse known as Davisons is now not available on our ticket as it has been turned over to Gravel Extraction. We hope to get it back when extraction has been completed. The Gt Ouse at Oakley the owners now keep the auto farm gate permanently closed other than for their own use and so we have lost the farm side. The stretch opposite the church is still available along with the weir.

Graham Secretary