The best opening day in 29 years

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ANGLERS enjoyed a bonanza of over-wintered fish on the opening day of the season at Rutland Water.

Almost half of the fish recorded had over-wintered at the reservoir and were in top condition for the start of the season.

Winner of the Independence Day Trophy was Northampton’s Peter Webb who took a superb 7lb 13¾oz rainbow while boat fishing in Yellowstone Bay with a Di7 line and a green and white booby. Neil Squires came a close second with a 7lb 9¾oz Brown Trout.

Fishing was so good, Rutland Water senior warden John Seaton said: “In 29 seasons of fishing at Rutland Water I’ve never seen so many over-wintered fish caught so early in the season. We are delighted with the positive comments from both boat and bank anglers and wish everyone ‘tightlines’ for the rest of the season.”

The rod average on opening day was a healthy 5.3 with bank and boat anglers taking top quality fish in several areas and with most methods working.

Martin Hearth of Hambleton caught 8 fish for 25lb 6oz from the bank at the mouth of Whitwell Creek. Other areas that produced limits were the Dam, Old Hall, Yellowstone, Whitwell car park frontage, the Mound and Barnsdale Creek and Sykes Lane.

The majority of the bank anglers took fish on floating lines with various nymphs and black and green lures. Fish were also taken on sinking lines with black, green and orange lures taking the majority of fish.

The best bag weighed in on opening day fell to Jim Watts and Ken Merriden who took 16 fish for 57lb 11½oz – all taken from the North Arm.

l The Alan West Memorial Match takes place tomorrow, and the Lexus European individual qualifiers on Monday, and the team event on Tuesday.