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BROOM LAKE TRACK OPEN

We would also remind all members to ensure the new gate at the bottom of the track leading to Broom Lake and the Alcove Syndicate is left closed and locked at all times.  The gates are there to secure our fisheries from unwanted visitors.  Members failing to close and lock this (and any other fishery gate) will be reported to the committee and can expect to receive disciplinary action.

Week ending 9th Dec 2018

The latest round of the Shefford & District AA pike series was held at Willington Lake and produced an excellent result with all seven participants catching and a total of 21 pike to 10lb 15oz landed.  James Turvey won the match with a total weight of 35lb 2oz comprising of 5 pike to 8lb 3oz.   Second Hos Graham 25lb 2oz (4 pike to 8lb 3oz); third Kevin Wilkins 23lb 7oz (3 pike to 10lb 15oz); fourth Tony Archer 18lb 0oz (4 pike to 5lb 15oz); fifth Nigel Gilbert 9lb 11oz (2 pike to 6lb 11oz); sixth Aiden Bone (junior member) 7lb 0oz (2 pike to 4lb 13oz); seventh Dennis Thompson 6lb 13oz (1 pike).  The next pike match will be the one off Christmas Pike Pairs Match fished on Saturday 29th December at Willington Lake with the draw at 8.00am and fishing from 9am to 3.00pm.  The Christmas Pike Pairs Match has an entry fee of £20 per pair, with all monies paid out as prizes on the day and details can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).  All members must vacate Willington Lake by midnight on Friday 28th December and the venue will reopen for general fishing at 5.00pm on 29th December. 
James Turvey and Kevin Wilkins visited The Airman to target both the pike and specimen roach.  James managed two pike of 10lb and 5lb on deadbaits.  The specimen roach proved elusive on the day, but James landed a ‘nuisance’ mirror carp of 26lb 14oz on his roach ledger tackle whilst Kevin managed to land a 15lb ‘nuisance’ common carp on his roach rig. 
The overhanging branches on all the islands at Broom Lake have been cut back by tree surgeons.  Plenty of lost rigs were recovered during this process, including those that incorporated a leadcore leader that have been banned on all SDAA waters for several years.  Whilst the tree surgeons worked on the islands, volunteers helped to open up several swims, cut back undergrowth encroaching on the track and several other maintenance tasks.  Siltex has been delivered to the lake but unfortunately there were insufficient volunteers on any one day to apply the 5 tonnes of Siltex to the lake.  Work party regulars Brian Sellars and Tony Hickmott were the only two non-committee members to attend the work parties, with Tony bringing along two ‘friends of the countryside’ who are not members to help on one day.  Committee members attending during the week were Andy Riley, Colin Smith, Colin Stitt, James Turvey, Mick Burley, Phil Belfield and Richard Bell.  A further lake closure for a work party will be arranged for the early part of 2019 to apply the Siltex and hopefully enough volunteers will attend to enable the task to be completed.
 
Shefford & District AA ‘half year’ membership books are available from all our usual outlets and remain are valid through to 15th June 2019.

Week ending 2nd Dec 2018

The next round in the Shefford & District AA pike series will be held at Willington Lake on Sunday 9th December with the draw at 8.15am and fishing from 9am to 3.30pm.  The pike matches are free to enter and details can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).  All members must vacate Willington Lake by midnight on Saturday 8th December and the venue will reopen for general fishing at 5.30pm on 9th December.  Young Aidan Graham recently found the pike at Willington Lake in a feeding mood and landed two pike during an afternoon session. 
As water temperatures continue to drop carp will often remain dormant and only feed in short spells.  However, the deep water at The Airman ensures water temperatures are less prone to fluctuations, which results in the carp normally remaining more active and feeding throughout the winter months.  James Elliott reported a mirror carp of 15lb 3oz from the venue last weekend, which was identified as one of the VS Fisheries carp stocked in November 2014. 
With weed and undergrowth now dying down along rivers, these venues should prove more popular between now and the end of the river season on 14th March.  Members have access to several miles of river bank along the Flit, Ivel and Great Ouse and we are keen to hear how these river venues are fishing. 
Shefford & District AA ‘half year’ membership books are now available from all our usual outlets and remain are valid through to 15th June 2019.



Week ending 25th Nov 2018

There was a much better turnout for the latest  round in the Shefford & District AA pike series with 9 members spread around the banks of The Airman.  Unfortunately the pike were not in an obliging mood and only three anglers managed to catch a single pike each.  First was Steve Millward with a pike of 11lb 6oz, second John Dickman with 6lb 1 oz and third Tony Archer 4lb 6oz.  Current standings in the series are Tony Archer 7 pts with James Turvey, Nigel Gilbert and John Dickman all on 2 pts.  The next round of the pike series is being held at Willington Lake on Sunday 9th December with the draw at 8.15am and fishing from 9am to 3.30pm.  The pike matches are free to enter and details can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).  All members must vacate Willington Lake by midnight on Saturday 8th December and the venue will reopen for general fishing at 5.30pm on 9th December. 
John Dickman had not publicised his catfish captures at The Airman over the warmer months, but has now revealed that he managed 6 catfish over 45lb this season with his best fish weighing in at 50lb 3oz.  Many anglers are convinced that catfish only feed during the hours of darkness, but John only fishes day sessions.  Whilst the catfish tend to be dormant during the colder months they can sometimes to be tempted to feed at this time of year with Stefan Canny landing a catfish last weekend. 
A final reminder that Broom Lake will be closed to fishing from 8am on Monday 3rd December until 5pm on Friday 7th December whilst contractors work on trimming back trees on the islands.  During the closure, volunteer work parties will take place to undertake a variety of maintenance tasks around the lake and apply Siltex to the water to keep silt levels in check.  If you wish to help out on these work parties please contact Richard Bell in advance so that work can be scheduled against the number of volunteers likely to attend on each day. 
Shefford & District AA ‘half year’ membership books are valid from 1st December 2018 through to 15th June 2019, and available from our usual outlets.  Prices are Full £42.50, Concessions £32.50, Partners £27.50, Juniors £10.  Please note that night fishing at The Airman, Broom Lake and Willington Lake requires optional Night Permits (there is no part year discount on these Night Permits).



Week ending 18th Nov 2018

The cooler weather appears to have kept many Shefford & District AA members away from the banks this week.  With water temperatures cooling down many of the silver fish are now tightly shoaled on our stillwater venues, so locating the shoals is the key to success, and anglers seeking the pike will often find these predators in close proximity to the silver fish.  Alan Forster reported float fishing The Airman and after regular feeding the roach started to feed after two hours and then Alan went on to have a ‘bite a chuck’ for the rest of the session and put together a good net of roach.  A second pike rod resulted in three hooked fish, but all three managed to shake off the hooks.  
The third round of the pike series is being held at The Airman on Saturday 24th November with the draw at 8.15am and fishing from 9am to 3.30pm.  The pike matches are free to enter and details can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).  All members must vacate The Airman by midnight on Friday 23rd November and the venue will reopen for general fishing at 5.30pm on 24th November. 
Broom Lake will be closed to fishing from 8am on Monday 3rd December until 5pm on Friday 7th December whilst contractors work on trimming back trees on the islands.  To make best use of the closure, volunteer work parties will take place to undertake maintenance tasks around the lake and apply Siltex to the water to keep silt levels in check.  If you wish to help out on these work parties please contact Richard Bell in advance so that work can be scheduled against the number of volunteers likely to attend on each day. 
Shefford & District AA ‘half year’ membership books, which will be valid from 1st December 2018 through to 15th June 2019, will be available from our usual outlets.  Prices are Full £42.50, Concessions £32.50, Partners £27.50, Juniors £10.  Please note that night fishing at The Airman, Broom Lake and Willington Lake requires optional Night Permits (there is no part year discount on these Night Permits).

Week ending 11th Nov 2018

A further batch of top quality VS Fisheries C4 mirror carp were introduced into Shefford & District AA waters last Saturday as part of the long term stocking policy for carp.  30 carp were stocked into The Airman and Willington Lake with the fish ranging from 9lb 4oz to 14lb 4oz.  Both lakes received 15 mirror carp with an average weight of just under 12lb.  We urge members to submit photos of both sides of any mirror carp caught on club waters so that we can monitor the progress of stocked fish as this information helps to influence the future stocking policy. 
To demonstrate this point, Michael Broomfield reported catching two mirror carp and a bream at The Airman on Sunday.  Michael’s biggest carp weighed 21lb and was identified as a carp stocked in 2011 as part of a batch of AJS Fisheries C3 carp.  Michael’s other mirror was a 12lb mirror carp that was identified as a VS Fisheries C4 carp stocked in 2014. 
The third round of the pike series is being held at The Airman on Saturday 24th November with the draw at 8.15am and fishing from 9am to 3.30pm.  The pike matches are free to enter and details can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).  All members must vacate The Airman by midnight on Friday 23rd November and the venue will reopen for general fishing at 5.30pm on 24th November. 
Shefford & District AA ‘half year’ membership books, which will be valid from 1st December 2018 through to 15th June 2019, will soon be available from our usual outlets.  Prices will be Full £42.50, Concessions £32.50, Partners £27.50, Juniors £10.  Please note that night fishing at The Airman, Broom Lake and Willington Lake requires optional Night Permits (there is no part year discount on these Night Permits).



Week ending 4th Nov 2018

Several Shefford & District AA members switch their attention to predators such as pike and perch during the colder months, so it was a surprise that only two members turned up for the recent pike match at Willington Lake that has produced a number of double figure pike in recent weeks.  Tony Archer made it two wins out of two matches with a total of exactly 21lb, made up of 4 pike weighing 2lb 15oz, 3lb 4oz, 5lb 11oz and 9lb 2oz.  Nigel Gilbert had to settle for second place with 19lb 9oz made up of 3 pike weighing  3lb 3oz, 4lb 14oz and 11lb 8oz.  Nigel’s two smaller fish came on his first two casts in the first 40 minutes of the match.  Hopefully the third round of the pike series being held at The Airman on Saturday 24th November will be better attended.  The pike matches that are free to enter and details can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).  All members must vacate The Airman by midnight on Friday 23rd November and the venue will reopen for general fishing at 5.30pm on 24th November. 
On their latest session at Willington Lake, brothers  Barry and Dean Jarvis caught eight pike to 8lb, but the main focus of their trip was the carp.  Barry was delighted to land a hard fighting mirror carp of 27lb 1oz during the hours of darkness, which was identified as VS Fisheries fish stocked as a C4 in 2010.  A further batch of these top quality VS Fisheries carp is on order for stocking later in the year. 
The rebuilding of pegs 1-12 at The Airman (part-funded by a grant from the Angling Improvement Fund) has received favourable feedback from members.  Those fishing shortly after the reopening of the venue found most species willing to feed, with tench that are normally associated with the summer months featuring in a number of catches.
 Shefford & District AA will once again be offering ‘half year’ membership, which will be valid from 1st December 2018 through to 15th December 2019.  Full details will appear on our website and Facebook pages later in November and ‘half year’ books wil be available from our usual outlets towards the end of November.



View Airman Swim photos here
Week ending 28th Oct 2018

Shefford & District AA members will find that pegs 1-12 at The Airman have been completely rebuilt during the recent closure.  A work party was held last Saturday to remove wood and metal debris from the old swims, and give the venue a general tidy up.  Volunteers also tackled the large willow that had fallen into the water next to peg 2, which took several hours to drag from the depths to the margins.  Thanks go to the twelve volunteers who attended the work party, namely Andy Riley, Brian Sellers, Carl Vernon, Colin Stitt, James Turvey, John Dickman, Kevin Wilkins, Mark Palmer, Mick Burley, Richard Bell, Tony Hickmott and Tony Scarrott.
 
Alan Forster spent a few hours at Willington Lake and landed two double figure pike on deadbaits, whilst catching silver fish on his float rod.  The wind blew floating leaves into his swim making float fishing impossible, so Alan packed up and moved to Broom Lake where he managed to find the silver fish feeding landing roach to 14oz along with numerous smaller roach and perch.  The next round in the pike series will be held at Willington Lake on Sunday 4th November (draw 8.15am, fish 9am to 4pm).  Details of the pike matches can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).  All members must vacate Willington Lake by midnight on Saturday 3rd November and the venue will reopen for general fishing at 6pm on 4th November.
 
Finally, advanced warning that Broom Lake is due to be closed from Monday 3rd December to Friday 7th December whilst contractors cut back overhanging branches on all the islands.  During the closure we also plan to hold a number of work parties where members can volunteer to help, including applying Siltex to the lake.

Week ending 21st Oct 2018

A reminder to Shefford & District AA members that The Airman will remain closed to members until 9am on Saturday 27th October when a work party will be held before the venue is opened up for fishing later in the day.  Contractors are currently rebuilding swims 1-12 and work is expected to be completed by the end of the week.  Volunteers attending the work party should bring suitable footwear and gloves, and a wheelbarrow would also be useful.  Old swim materials will need to be cleared away and the newly built swims dressed with wood chippings.   
The first round of the pike series was fished by five anglers at Broom Lake and the result suggested fish have already started to shoal tightly ahead of winter. Tony Archer ended up the clear winner with 5 pike for 17lb 5oz, his biggest weighing 5lb 14oz.  James Turvey was the only other angler to catch with a pike of 5lb 13oz.  The next round in the pike series will be held at Willington Lake on Sunday 4th November (draw 8.15am, fish 9am to 4pm).  Details of the pike matches can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).  All members must vacate Willington Lake by midnight on Saturday 3rd November and the venue will reopen for general fishing at 6pm on 4th November. 
Steve Burbidge has been limited to short day sessions in recent months but has been successful in tracking down at least one carp on most of his sessions on club waters.  Steve’s latest trip to Willington Lake produced a 14lb 8oz mirror carp, which was identified as one of the stockies introduced in recent seasons.

Week ending 14th Oct 2018

Although the majority of Shefford & District AA members restrict themselves to fishing stillwater venues all year round, there are still a significant number who turn their attention to the rivers at this time of year.  With several miles of river venues to choose from, and a range of species to target, it is surprising river venues are not more popular.  For the second week in a row a specimen barbel has grabbed the headlines, this week in the shape of an 11lb 2oz barbel caught by Alan Lawrence on our Pavenham stretch of the Great Ouse.  In addition, Alan also landed two decent chub of 5lb 3oz and 4lb 12oz.  For anglers visiting Pavenham for the first time it pays to travel light, as it requires a walk of at least 400m from the parking areas to the river.  Access along the river bank was vastly improved during the close season by replacing two dilapidated stiles with two new kissing gates and a refurbishing the footbridge that crosses a ditch, which was part funded by a grant from the Angling Improvement Fund. 
The Airman is currently closed to fishing whilst contractors undertake an extensive swim rebuilding programme.  The lake will remain off limits to all members until Saturday 27th October when a work party will be held to tidy up the lake before The Airman is opened up again for fishing.   
The popular pike series begins with the first match at Broom Lake on Saturday 20th October (draw 8.15am, fish 9am to 5pm).  Details of the pike matches can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).  All members must vacate Broom Lake by midnight on Friday 19th October and the venue will reopen for general fishing at 7pm on 20th October.

Week ending 7th Oct 2018

With water temperatures still relatively high Shefford & District AA members have continued to enjoy some good catches, including species often associated with the height of summer.   Paul Williams landed catfish of 34 and 46 lb from The Airman during a recent weekend session.  Steve Burbidge landed two mid double carp and three tench around the 5lb mark during a day session on the same venue.  The Airman will be completely closed to fishing whilst contractors undertake an extensive swim rebuilding programme for pegs 1-12.  The lake will close at 7pm on Sunday 14th October and will remain off limits to all members until Saturday 27th October.  A work party will be held on Saturday 27th October to tidy up the lake before The Airman is opened up again for fishing. 
 
Many local anglers still think that barbel only exist on the Great Ouse on the stretches above Bedford.  However, our stretch at Little Paxton is also a noted venue for barbel with fish from 1lb to double figures caught each season, but rarely publicised.   Local tackle dealer, and life member, Andy Davis was delighted to land a 14lb 8oz barbel from the venue, albeit the capture was a few weeks ago.
 
The popular pike series begins with the first match at Broom Lake on Saturday 20th October.  Details of the pike matches can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).



Week ending 30th Sept 2018

There is some important news for Shefford & District AA members.  Last weekend a number of volunteers (Sam Fairey, Colin Stitt, Colin Smith, Carl Vernon, Paul Williams, Mick Burley, Les Old, Tony Hickmott and John Dickman) assisted a tree surgeon in removing a large dangerous willow at The Airman.  The committee can now confirm that The Airman will be completely closed to fishing for almost two weeks whilst contractors undertake an extensive swim rebuilding programme for pegs 1-12.  The lake will close at 7pm on Sunday 14th October and will remain off limits to all members until Saturday 27th October.  A work party will be held on Saturday 27th October to tidy up the lake before The Airman is opened up again for fishing.  The contractor’s insurance stipulates the venue must be completely closed during the works.  No members should try and visit the venue between 15th and 26th October and we will hopefully be able to give updates as the work progresses.
 
A reminder that from 1st October members (but not juniors) are permitted to use three rods at The Airman, Broom Lake and Willington Lake, provided they have the appropriate number of EA licences.  To safeguard catfish at The Airman, use of double hooks, treble hooks or uncoated wire traces is banned until 31st October.
 
The popular pike series begins with the first match at Broom Lake on Saturday 20th October.  Details of the pike matches can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).

Week ending 23rd Sept 2018

Plenty of fish are still being caught across Shefford & District AA venues with The Airman recently producing a string of large catfish.   Dave Hedges put together a grand total of 354lb of catfish during a recent four day session, topped by a specimen of 55lb, as well as several 30s and 40s.  Steve Osborne’s first trip to the venue also produced his first ever catfish of 46lb and 34lb, plus a mirror carp of 15lb 6oz.  Kevin Wilkins also reported a catfish of 45lb 13oz that was caught as light was fading on a miserable wet day. Sam Fairey landed three catfish of 34lb, 31lb and 28lb, plus two carp around the 15lb mark.  Other species are also being caught with Nigel Gilbert managing 9 bream to 5lb on a method feeder and followed this up on his next trip with a 25lb bag of roach and skimmers on the pole. The Airman will be closed for a work party on Saturday 29th September when a dangerous willow will be removed and other maintenance work undertaken.  All volunteers are welcome to attend the work party. 
 
The strong winds last weekend brought down a large willow tree at Broom Lake that fell across the track.  Three committee members James Turvey, Gary Taylor and Colin Smith gave up several hours of their time on Monday to remove the fallen trunks and branches so that the track can once again be used by vehicles. 
 
Nigel Gilbert recently made his first visit to the Little Barford stretch of the Ouse and finished with a mixed bag well over 20lb.  Most of the catch was made up with roach to 12oz, but a switch to worm produced a number of perch to 1lb. Nigel described the session as a ‘bite a chuck’ and would probably have caught even more if he had not been troubled by pike activity from time to time during his session.





Week ending 16th Sept 2018

Members have continued to enjoy some good catches across Shefford & District AA lakes during the last week.  The 24h Dean Johnson memorial match held at Broom Lake saw all 18 competitors managing to catch.  Five carp over 20lb were landed during the event and the winning team weighed in 125lb with the second team on 115lb.  Broom Lake was also fishing well earlier in the week with several anglers enjoying multiple catches of carp.  Bailiffs witnessed Sandie Cornell land a carp on her very first cast and she had already landed three double figure carp by the time the bailiffs had completed their tour of the lake. 
Publicity shy members have reported carp to just under 20lb Willington Lake during the week and we continue to urge members to submit photos of mirror carp (ideally both sides) so that we can monitor the growth rates of the carp we have stocked, which influences our future stocking policy.   James Turvey has struggled to catch significant numbers of tench on club waters but has become a ‘bream magnet’ in recent months landing 12 bream to 7lb 2oz from Willington Lake during his latest session. 
The Airman has continued to fish well for a number of species.  One carp angler had a couple of low doubles that proved to be fish stocked two years ago that had put on an extra 5lb in weight and he also managed several tench.  James Turvey targeted the venue’s tench earlier in the week but was ‘pestered’ by bream.  A reminder that The Airman will be closed for a work party on Saturday 29th September when a dangerous willow will be removed and other maintenance work undertaken.  All volunteers are welcome to attend the work party.  The venue is likely to be closed for two weeks during the second half of October whilst contractors rebuild a number of the swims, and full details will be published once everything has been finalised.

Week ending 9th Sept 2018

September is often one of the most productive months and Shefford & District AA lakes continue to produce some good catches for a variety of species.  We recently reported Mick Baldwin enjoying a catch of mainly bream for just over 100lb from Broom Lake.  Not surprisingly Mick has been a frequent visitor over the last two weeks and his last six trips have produced total weights of 76lb, 51lb and four nets around the 30lb mark.  Mick has caught all his fish on white maggots using standard ledger rigs.  Mick’s seven daytime sessions have produced a total of around 350lb of fish, which have comprised of 67 bream from 1lb 8oz to 7lb 2oz, five carp, two tench, two pike and several roach and perch.  Broom Lake will be closed to members from midnight on Friday 14th September until 11am on Sunday 16th September for a memorial match, which is by invitation only. 

Prior to these latest trips, Mick Baldwin had been fishing Willington Lake where he was finding it difficult to get through a constant stream of 2-3lb bream to any bigger fish.  Other anglers trying to target the tench and larger bream have also commented on the apparent explosion of smaller bream that quickly home in on their baits.  Chris Thripp, Duane Richardson and Bill Mann have recently landed a number of decent carp from Willington Lake all caught on Thripster baits.  In addition to the carp, Duane Richardson landed a 10lb 6oz bream on Thripster bream mix. 

Alan Lawrence enjoyed a good mornings roach fishing on The Airman landing around 20 roach, with 11 all over the 1lb mark.  Alan employed a slider float setup with punched bread as bait, and added two tench that tested his roach tackle. A reminder that The Airman will be closed for a work party on Saturday 29th September when a dangerous willow will be removed and preparatory work will be undertaken ahead of a significant swim rebuilding programme. 

Michael Webb thought he had finally cracked the 4lb mark when he first landed his latest perch from the Broom River stretch of the Ivel, but on the scales it was just short of his target, weighing in at 3lb 14oz.  Members should avoid fishing near Stanford Lock on Sunday 16th September due to a ‘duck race’ event.









Week ending 2nd Sept 2018

Several Shefford & District AA members have enjoyed some good catches from a variety of club waters during the last week.  Michael Webb fished the Broom River stretch of the Ivel and managed two perch of 3lb 5oz and 3lb 3oz, which took Michael’s tally to 10 perch over 3lb from this fishery.  Michael commented that with the warm water temperatures and lack of flow the fish seemed very tired after fighting strongly when hooked.  Michael took great care to ensure the perch were fully recovered in the landing net before being released. 
Gary Barnes has not been fishing for some time but was over the moon with his latest session at Broom Lake.  Gary started off with a mixed net of roach, rudd and perch to 8oz and then added a 25lb common carp and 6lb 8oz bream.  Michael Purday also landed a good common carp that looked over the 20lb mark, but unfortunately Michael forgot to take his scales.  Broom Lake will be closed to members from midnight on Friday 14th September until 11am on Sunday 16th September for a memorial match, which is by invitation only. 
Alan Forster made his first trip to Willington Lake this season with the aim of targeting the better quality roach.  Alan’s favourite swims were all occupied so settled into an unfamiliar swim and balled in some groundbait to the edge of a weedbed.  30 minutes later the fish had shown no interest in his double sweetcorn bait.  Dropping down to single grain of sweetcorn as bait resulted in an instant response and it was a bite every cast from that point on.  Alan stopped counting after landing his first 50 roach with most in the 4-8oz bracket. A switch to bread on the hook resulted in the same stamp of fish being caught.  The roach were still feeding hard when Alan had to pack up and the only issue Alan had was a number of pike that intercepted several roach as they were being reeled in. 
The catfish match fished at The Airman last weekend resulted in nine catfish being caught.  Kevin Wilkins won the contest with a total of 60lb 10oz made up of four catfish of 23lb, 19lb 8oz, 9lb 9oz and 8lb 9oz.  Sam Fairey was second with two catfish of 27lb 12oz and 17lb 4oz for 45lb.  James Turvey landed the largest catfish of the match at 34lb 10oz for third place.  Martin Sharpe was fourth with a 25lb 15oz catfish and Paul Williams fifth with a 13lb 11oz catfish.  This result meant James Turvey was the clear overall winner of the four match night series.   Wendy Smith has just returned to fishing after a break of several years and was delighted to land a mirror carp of 13lb 2oz from the same venue.  The Airman will be closed for a work party on Saturday 29th September when a dangerous willow will be removed and preparatory work will be undertaken ahead of a significant swim rebuilding programme that is planned during the second half of October (further details nearer the time).





Week ending 26th August 2018

Cooler temperatures are likely to lead to more consistent results across Shefford & District AA waters, and as we move into autumn several species will start to feed heavily to put on extra weight to see them through winter.  Mick Baldwin arrived at Broom Lake to find ideal conditions for the bream with an overcast sky and a strong breeze blowing steadily throughout the day.  Mick fished a feeder set up and soon had the fish feeding, going on to land a total of 20 bream ranging from 3lb to just over 5lb, plus three carp.  Mick’s total catch came to just over 100lb and is the best bag of bream reported from the venue for some time.
 
A reminder that the catfish match is being fished at The Airman from 6pm on Friday 31st August through to 9am on Sunday 2nd September.   The Airman must be vacated by 3pm on Friday 31st August and will reopen to members at 11am on Sunday 2nd September.  Broom Lake will be closed to members from midnight on Friday 14th September until 11am on Sunday 16th September for a memorial match, which is by invitation only.
 
The committee are currently finalising plans for several maintenance projects at our major lakes from late September through to December.  Some of these projects will involve closure of the lake whilst the work is being carried out.  We will try and provide at least two week’s notice of these works, especially when they will  involve closure of a lake.

Week ending 19th August 2018

Several Shefford & District AA members fishing The Airman last week found the catfish were well and truly in a feeding mood.  Although many anglers still consider catfish as a species that only feeds under the cover of darkness, many of the captures were during daylight hours. The first report received was from new member Stuart McLean who landed a 48lb catfish at 8pm on ‘meat’, to better a 47lb catfish landed on a previous visit.  Chris Jenkins fished a 48h session and caught 8 catfish over 20lb, with four over the 30lb mark. Successful bait was 28mm halibut pellet and all but one of Chris’ catfish was caught in darkness.  Douglas Reynolds dropped a yellow pop-up tight up to a reed bed during a day session and the bait was taken on the drop by a fish that powered off.  Douglas was targeting carp at the time, but after an epic 45 minute battle he finally managed to safely net a 51lb 3oz catfish.  Douglas also managed to stalk an 18lb mirror carp from the margins.  Dave Claydon landed a 30lb catfish during daylight hours over the weekend. 

Hopefully the catfish will be on the feed for the catfish match that is being fished at The Airman from 6pm on Friday 31st August through to 9am on Sunday 2nd September.  The match is now fully booked and this year pegs will be chosen by a normal draw rather than a ‘walk off’. The Airman must be vacated by 3pm on Friday 31st August and will reopen at 11am on Sunday 2nd September



Week ending 12th August 2018

Cooler air temperatures and some welcome rain greeted Shefford & District AA members last week, but it will take some time for water temperatures to fall back to normal levels.  The latest round of the 24h series was fished at Willington Lake and James Turvey made it three wins out of three.  James had been regularly enjoying nets well over 50lb of bream and the odd tench from the venue in recent weeks, but struggled the weekend before the match to catch just two small bream.  However, in the match James managed to land 14 bream for 54lb 3oz, which included bream of 7lb 4oz, 7lb 3oz and two others over 6lb for a comfortable win.  Neil Bygrave secured second place with 17lb 4oz made up of 5 bream and a tench.  Lez Reed’s 3 bream and a tench for 12lb 6oz proved just enough for third place with match organiser Nigel Gilbert finishing fourth on 12lb 3oz comprising of 2 bream and 4lb of roach.  The points total for the series has James Turvey on 15 points with Lez Reed second on 11 points.  The final match in the series will be the catfish match fished at The Airman from 6pm on Friday 31st August through to 9am on Sunday 2nd September.  The match is now fully booked and this year pegs will be chosen by a normal draw rather than a ‘walk off’. The Airman must be vacated by 3pm on Friday 31st August and will reopen at 11am on Sunday 2nd September. 
 
Several members have enjoyed some good bags of quality roach from Willington Lake in recent weeks on float tactics.  The key to catching the larger stamp of roach appears to be leaving your maggots at home and having faith in fishing with more selective baits such as sweetcorn and pellets.  After landing 16 tench in a single session on his previous trip, Alan Lawrence returned to Willington Lake but could only manage to tempt two tench, before eels moved into his swim.  Therefore, Alan decided his next session would be at The Airman where he enjoyed a great mornings fishing catching 9 tench to 6lb 11oz and 3 carp to 13lb 10oz before the heavens opened up and gave him a good soaking.



Week ending 5th August 2018

Despite the high temperatures Shefford & District AA members have found several species of fish willing to feed on both stillwater and river venues.  Twin brothers Dean and Barry Jarvis have been enjoying some good sessions at Willington Lake recently with both catching a variety of species.  Dean has landed a common carp of 21lb 12oz, whilst Barry has landed mirrors of 19lb 4oz and 17lb 6oz.  In addition to the carp, their tactics have produced lots of bream and tench to 7lb 4oz and 4 quality roach up to 1lb 4oz.  Steve Burbidge has also enjoyed some success at the venue on recent day sessions landing 4 double figure mirror carp to 16lb.  Interestingly on one session Steve was plagued by eels all day.  Steve only landed 2 eels, but he could tell from the bites and whittled down boilies that eels had homed in on his baits.  Willington Lake will host the third leg of the 24h series starting at 9am on Saturday 11th August and finishing at 9am on Sunday 12th August.  The match is open to all members, entry is free with an optional pools and you do not require a night permit to take part.  Please note Willington Lake must be vacated by midnight on Friday 10th August and will reopen for fishing at 11am on Sunday 12th August.  Further details about the 24h series can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only). 

The catfish match will be held at The Airman from 6pm on Friday 31st August through to 9am on Sunday 2nd September and the match is now fully booked. The Airman must be vacated by 3pm on Friday 31st August and will reopen at 11am on Sunday 2nd September.  

Regulars report that Broom Lake has continued to fish well for carp up to low 20s with one member landing six carp in a single day session.  Please note that Broom Lake is also used as an irrigation lake and the farmer is permitted to lower the water level by up to 24 inches.  Pumping activities have currently lowered the water level by approximately 18 inches so extra care is needed in some swims, especially when landing and returning fish. 

The club’s sections of the Ouse near St Neots have been fishing well recently with the river seemingly stacked full of silver fish.  Gary Taylor visited Little Paxton and put together a decent bag of quality roach using pole tactics.  Initially Gary had trouble getting through the bleak and commented he has never seen so many bleak in the river.  Later in the day Gary swapped to feeder tactics and found numerous bream up to 6lb to round off an excellent day’s sport.  Members have also been enjoying good mixed bags of fish on the Little Barford stretch where many of the swims in the trees offer some welcome shade.  Depending on the tactics employed catches have mainly been made up of roach, dace, chub, bream, perch and eels.





Week ending 29th July 2018

Shefford & District AA members have reported some excellent catches from club waters during the last week.  Alan Lawrence enjoyed an excellent days tench fishing at Willington Lake landing a total of 16 tench between 4lb and 5lb 11oz.  Willington Lake will host the third leg of the 24h series starting at 9am on Saturday 11th August and finishing at 9am on Sunday 12th August.  The match is open to all members, entry is free with an optional pools and you do not require a night permit to take part.  Please note Willington Lake must be vacated by midnight on Friday 10th August and will reopen for fishing at 11am on Sunday 12th August.  Further details about the 24h series (including the catfish match) can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).
 
Matt Naylor enjoyed a productive overnight session at The Airman in pursuit of the catfish.  Matt landed four catfish in total topped by catfish of 46lb 4oz and 32lb.  A reminder the catfish match will be held at The Airman from 6pm on Friday 31st August through to 9am on Sunday 2nd September. The match is limited to 18 anglers and there are already 12 entrants, so please contact Nigel Gilbert as soon as possible if you want to reserve your place.
 
Despite the hot weather Broom Lake has been producing some good bags of carp.  Sandie Cornell landed a new PB common carp of 23lb 8oz, part of a 4 carp haul caught in 30 degrees heat on boilies.  Mick Rosendale also reported a 22lb common from the same venue.
 There have been few reports from the rivers but the Ivel has continued to produce a few decent fish with Jay O’Neil managing to track down a couple of river carp.





Week ending 15th July 2018

With temperatures forecast to remain in the mid to high 20s through the rest of July Shefford & District AA members are reminded to immediately report any signs of fish in distress at any of the club’s waters and to follow recent advice about handling any fish caught with great care.  Last weekend The Airman hosted the second round of the 24h series where James Turvey again won the match.  James winning 55lb 9oz catch was made up of 11 bream and a few roach.  Lez Reed secured second spot with 42lb 1oz comprising of 3 carp to 13lb 3oz and two bream.  Third place went to Neil Bygrave who weighed in 22lb 9oz of roach caught on sweetcorn. 

Chris Thripp landed a specimen 14lb 3oz bream from Willington Lake caught on Thripster bream mix. 
James Turvey and Kevin Wilkins have been enjoying some good catches at Willington Lake with both enjoying bags over 50lb during a recent trip.  James catch was comprised of bream and tench to 6lb 3oz, whilst Kevin catch also included other species.  Willington Lake has also produced several carp to over 20lb in recent weeks.  We encourage members to send in photos of any mirror carp caught so that we can continue to monitor growth rates, even if members do not want the photos published.  For example a recently caught 16lb mirror was shown to be a VS Fisheries carp stocked at 9lb in October 2016, i.e. 7lb weight increase in 20 months. 
There have been few reports from the rivers where the lack of rain has resulted in lower than usual water levels and flows.  Michael Webb reported a 3lb 1oz perch from Broom River, which is his eighth perch over 3lb from this venue.  Stephen Creasey also reported a 3lb 8ox chub from the IPA section just downstream of Jordans Mill.





Week ending 8th July 2018

With higher than average temperatures forecast to continue and little or no rain likely, there is a danger of fisheries suffering from low oxygen levels and  Shefford & District AA members should immediately report any signs of fish in distress at any of the club’s waters.  Any fish caught should be returned to the water as quickly as possible to minimise any stress and the use of keep nets is discouraged, and they should never be used in shallow margins during hot weather.  For those targeting larger fish, do not place any fish on a dry unhooking mat that has been left baking in the sun.  Unhooking mats, weigh slings, etc must be wetted before coming into contact with any fish using freshly drawn water, rather than water from a bucket that has been left for several hours to warm up.  Fish are also more susceptible to diseases when water temperatures are elevated so make sure you “Check, Clean & Dry” your angling equipment after each fishing session.  Thoroughly drying for at least 48h (preferably exposed to sunlight) is the best way of disinfecting equipment.
 
We are aware of double figure barbel and 20lb+ carp being caught recently  from club waters by some of our publicity shy members.  This weekend will see the second match in the 24h series fished at The Airman starting at 9am on Saturday 14th July and finishing at 9am on Sunday 15th July.  The match is open to all members, entry is free with an optional pools and you do not require a night permit to take part.  Please note The Airman must be vacated by midnight on Friday 13th July and will reopen for fishing at 11am on Sunday 15th July.  Further details about the 24h series (including the catfish match) can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).

Week ending 24th June 2018

Bream have featured in several Shefford & District AA members’ catches during the latest hot spell whilst the carp have continued to go through spawning on several venues.  Sean Roberts returned to the Ouse at Little Paxton to find the river had changed a lot since he last fished the venue some 20 years ago.  However, Sean has been delighted with his early season catches with numerous chub up to 4lb and plenty of bream.  Sean has landed three bream over 8lb with his largest bream weighing 10lb 4oz, which is a notable fish as double figure river bream are rarely reported. 

James Turvey’s first night session of the season at The Airman produced a 44lb 2oz catfish, 8 bream all between 5lb 2oz and 5lb 14oz and 2 double figure pike.  One bailiff reported that a catfish was recently caught trailing a second rig constructed of leadcore.  Leadcore is banned on all SDAA waters.  Members must sign their membership books to confirm they have read the contents and will abide by all the club’s rules before they fish any SDAA water.

The carp at Broom Lake have often been seen cruising in the surface layers during the heat of the day but a few have fallen to angler’s baits, including a mirror carp to Jack Lancaster.  Anglers targeting the silver fish have found the roach, perch and rudd to be reliable feeders on float tactics.  Last weekend saw the first round of the 24h series fished at Broom Lake with six members taking part.  First place went to James Turvey who landed six bream for a total weight of 26lb 4oz.  Lez Reed was second with 19lb 2oz comprised of two bream, a 9lb 9oz carp plus a few silvers.  Jack Lancaster was third with 17lb that included a 13lb carp and 4lb bream.

Members heading to Willington Lake should note Barford Road in Blunham is closed from 25th June to 6th July.  Therefore, access is via Willington village from the south or Great Barford from the north.  With increased traffic passing the lake, members should take extra care when exiting the lake.



Week ending 17th June 2018

Firstly a reminder to Shefford & District AA members that the 2017/18 membership book has now expired and membership needs to be renewed in order to continue fishing the club’s waters.  Andrew Garner enjoyed success at Willington Lake during a short 4h session by getting the carp feeding on the surface.  Andrew managed to land three mid double carp (two commons and a mirror) but also missed several ‘takes’.  
With storm Hector passing through, Tony Hickmott decided to fish the relatively sheltered west bank at Broom Lake but found the fish fed well in the strong winds.  Tony landed a 4lb bream, 4lb 8oz tench and a 20lb common carp, all caught using a small method feeder; the bream and tench on maggot, and the carp on hair rigged dendrobaena worm.  Tony also fished double maggot under a homemade ‘wind cheater’ float that produced endless small perch, roach and a couple of small rudd.  This weekend will see the first match in the 24h series fished at Broom Lake starting at 9am on Saturday 23rd June and finishing at 9am on Sunday 24th June.  The match is open to all members, entry is free with an optional pools and you do not require a night permit to take part.  Please note Broom Lake must be vacated by midnight on Friday 22nd June and will reopen for fishing at 11am on Sunday 24th June.  Further details about the 24h series (including the catfish match) can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only). 
Several members took the opportunity to return to fishing the rivers from 16th June.  Michael Webb was hoping for a specimen perch on his first trip to the Ivel but instead hooked a hard fighting common carp of 11lb 10oz, which he did well to land on relatively light tackle.



Week ending 10th June 2018

The Airman has once again proved to be a popular venue for Shefford & District AA members and whilst noted for carp and catfish during the summer months, many members have been content to target the roach, tench and bream.  Jason O’Neil managed to tempt a 23lb mirror carp off the surface with Danny Wright once again managing to tempt an 18lb mirror carp on a humble piece of bread dunked in DNA betastim.  Carp on some venues have already been observed spawning, so any carp that are caught should be handled with great care and returned to the water as quickly as possible. 



Week ending 3rd June 2018

There was a good turnout of Shefford & District AA volunteers for the latest work party at The Airman, namely Sam Fairey, Colin Smith, Colin Stitt , Carl Vernon, Kevin Beswick, Graham Smith, James Turvey , Chris Jarvis and Tony Hickmott.  Swims were strimmed with the reeds at the front of each swim removed to aid landing fish.  Trees and hedges encroaching on the footpath  were trimmed back to aid access and the entrance strimmed to aid visibility when exiting.  A recently fallen tree was removed from between pegs 18 and 19.  Hopefully no further major maintenance work will be required at this venue over the summer.  Danny Wright was again successful during a short session at The Airman netting a 14lb 8oz common carp on bread soaked in DNA Betastim, but losing another carp. 
Elsewhere Gary Taylor and his son have been busy strimming paths and swims at both Little Paxton and Little Barford in preparation for the river season that restarts on Saturday 16th June.  Some small fallen trees blocking the path at Little Barford have been removed.  However, members should be aware that a fallen willow at Little Paxton is currently partially blocking the path in the weir pool, which is being dealt with by the land owners. 
Broom Lake was again a popular venue with members targeting  both carp and silver fish enjoying success.  One venue regular has encountered several lost carp rigs left hanging from bankside trees close to the swims, presumably snagging the branches whilst casting.  It looks like the line has been cut close to the reel with long lengths of line left dangling down, which creates a hazard to wildlife.

Week ending 27th May 2018

Shefford & District AA members who are keen river anglers are already looking ahead to Saturday 16th June when they can return to fishing river venues.  The Ivel Protection Association (of which SDAA is a member) is currently reviewing the fish stocks, habitats and general environment of the River Ivel on the stretches it controls the fishing on.  Therefore, we request that SDAA members let us know their experiences on IPA waters and suggestions on what the IPA could do to improve the fishing on the Ivel.  Please email your comments and suggestions to members@shefforddaa.org.uk by Sunday 10th June.  Please include reference to the IPA waters you have fished (if any), whether you caught and how the fishing compares with previous years.  Your feedback is important and will help to shape the IPA’s action plan for the future. 
Earlier in the year Shefford & District AA was successful in securing a grant from the Angling Improvement Fund to make some significant improvements to access on our Pavenham stretch of the Ouse.  During the close season volunteers have replaced two dilapidated stiles with new kissing gates and refurbished a footbridge that crosses a ditch, which now means members can walk safely along the bank from the downstream boundary to the railway bridge without having to climb over any structures. 
A work party is planned for The Airman from 8am on Saturday 2nd June and the lake will be closed to fishing whilst the work party is in progress.  All volunteers are welcome to attend, please wear suitable footwear and clothing, and bring a pair of gloves. 
Willington Lake is still proving a frustration for many anglers who have been trying to target the tench.  James Turvey finally managed his first tench of the year weighing 5lb bream along with 7 bream to 7lb 9oz.  Odd tench continued to fall to baits intended for carp.  Plenty of bream have also been caught at Broom Lake in recent weeks and anglers float fishing for roach have been picking up the better quality fish by fishing either with selective baits such as sweetcorn or feeding heavily when fishing with maggot.



Week ending 20th May 2018

The warm weather has seen water temperatures rise and some species of fish clearly getting ready to spawn on Shefford & District AA stillwaters.  Carp have been very visible at The Airman with bream also cruising around in the surface layers, whilst the larger roach have been elusive.  However, The Airman has still produced some good bags of tench to 7lb and bream to just over 8lb in the last week.   Although the carp have been very visible they have not necessarily been easy to catch with Andrew Garner managing to tempt a mirror carp on a 4 foot zig rig, followed by a common carp taken on a surface bait just as light was fading.  Danny Wright could not get the carp taking off the surface, so squashed down a bit of bread and soaked it in DNA Betastim liquid and 10 minutes later he landed an 18.5lb mirror carp.  A work party is planned for The Airman from 8am on Saturday 2nd June and the lake will be closed to fishing whilst the work party is in progress. 
At Willington Lake bream continue to be far more responsive to most anglers baits than the tench.  Whilst bream to 7lb have been reported, scaling down tackle and the size of bait can produce endless bites from skimmer bream to 2lb from some areas of the lake. 
Alan Lawrence has enjoyed some good bags of tench from Shefford & District AA water this spring, and last week had a cracking session on an undisclosed water that resulted in 14 tench going from 4lb to 6lb 9oz and 4 bream averaging about  5lb to 6lb, all taken using maggots and a block-end feeder.





Week ending 13th May 2018

With  the track around Broom Lake now open to cars and small vans the venue has proved a popular destination for Shefford & District AA members. Gary Taylor made a successful return to Broom Lake, which he had not fished for over 20 years.   Gary had a really good bag of roach on the pole and whip which was over 20lb that contained a healthy number of really good sized roach. 
At Willington Lake anglers are currently finding the bream far more responsive that the tench.  However, anglers targeting the carp have accounted for a few tench during the week as well as owning up to a number of the smaller carp being landed. 
Advanced warning that a work party is planned for The Airman from 8am on Saturday 2nd June.  Full details will be available nearer the date but the work will include a general tidy up of the venue including cutting back the undergrowth and nettles that are encroaching on the footpath and car park.  The lake will be closed to fishing whilst the work party is in progress.
 

Week ending 6th May 2018

The Airman was once again the stand out venue for Shefford & District AA members as the tench and catfish came on the feed.  Alan Lawrence managed an incredible catch of no fewer than 16 tench to 7lb in a single session.  Several anglers caught catfish over 40lb during the week with a couple of fish topping the 50lb mark.
 
Members will be pleased to learn that the track around Broom Lake has been repaired and reopened thank to the hard work of the seven volunteers who attended the recent work party, namely Dave Baker, Phil Belfield, Andy Riley, Colin Smith, Tony Hickmott, Keith Parker and Paul Dale.  The Committee will be taking a 'zero tolerance' approach to anyone misusing the track and we urge members to report any vehicle (registration number) breaking the rules governing use of the track.
 Shefford & District AA membership books for the 2018/19 season are available from local tackle shops and will be valid from the date of purchase.    Please note night permits and associate junior membership are only available by postal applications to the Registrar.  Full details about 2018/19 membership, night permits and application forms are available on the membership section of the SDAA website.  New members should take care to read and sign their membership books before fishing any club water as there have been some rule changes, e.g. prebaiting on stillwaters is now banned following a vote at the AGM.  The committee had received numerous complaints about excessive baiting by some anglers, including turning up to prebait swims (often with several kilos of bait) whilst other members were actively fishing.  Prebaiting whilst others are fishing a water is unacceptable as it potentially reduces the chances of those already fishing being able to catch.

Week ending 29th April 2018

The first reports of tench being caught at all three major Shefford & District AA lakes are beginning to filter through as they become more active with water temperatures rising.  At Willington Lake many of the tench have been accidental captures by members targeting the carp.  Roach once again grabbed the headlines at The Airman where John Wiigg has enjoyed some wonderful bags of redfins in recent weeks.  John has managed one specimen roach of 2lb 1oz and another at 1lb 13oz, with well over a dozen fish between 1lb and 1lb 8oz along with numerous smaller roach.  Danny Wright has been fishing short after work session at Broom Lake and was rewarded with a common carp of 17lb 4oz, tempted on a DNA Milky Malt pop up over 20 DNA Nuttas/Switch boilies. 
Last week’s work party  at Broom Lake that was cancelled due to the ground being waterlogged will now take place from 9am on Saturday 5th May to repair the track around the lake. The lake will be closed for fishing from 7am until the work party has been completed. The work will involve levelling out the ruts and filling holes in the Type 1 ‘tram lines’. Volunteers should bring along spades/shovels, wheelbarrows, tampers, etc and wear suitable footwear and gloves. It is hoped that there will be a good turnout of volunteers so that the repairs can be completed and the track reopened.  An announcement will be made on Facebook if the work party has to be cancelled at short notice. 
Shefford & District AA membership books for the 2018/19 season are currently being distributed to local tackle shops and will be valid from the date of purchase.    Please note night permits and associate junior membership are only available by postal applications to the Registrar.  The membership fees for 2018/19 will be: Full £75; Concessionary £55; Partner £45; Junior £20 (no change); Associate Junior free; First night permit (Airman/ Willington or Broom/Willington £53; Second night permit £26.50; Junior night permit and Non Fishing Night Guest permit £26.50.  We are keeping the existing A10 key, £5 if required.  Full details about 2018/19 membership, night permits and application forms are available on the membership section of the SDAA website.



Week ending 22nd April 2018

Shefford & District AA members have been hoping the catfish at The Airman would come on the feed with the water temperatures rising.  However, it was Les Reed who enjoyed a ‘session of a lifetime’ in pursuit of the large roach.  Les decided to adopt a different approach to normal roach tactics and only caught ten fish, but this included a 2lb 7oz specimen roach and another 8 roach between 1lb 1oz and 1lb 10oz, plus a bonus 6lb 13oz bream. 


Julian Peacock reported catching a distinctive 22lb 10oz ghost carp from a ‘Shefford water’ on a boilie, adding the fish fought hard by making several runs from the near bank to an island.  Danny Wright managed four carp in a single session at Broom Lake between 12lb-16lb 10oz. The first mirror fell to bread dipped in DNA betastim liquid on the surface, whilst the others (one mirror and two commons) were caught on the bottom using a white milky Malt DNA pop up over DNA nuttas boilies fished to the islands. 
Two new kissing gates were installed by club volunteers at Pavenham last weekend with the project partly funded by the Angling Improvement Fund.  A work party  will take place at Broom Lake from 9am on Saturday 28th April to repair the track around the lake. The lake will be closed for fishing from 7am until the work party has been completed. The work will involve levelling out the ruts and filling holes in the Type 1 ‘tram lines’. Volunteers should bring along spades/shovels, wheelbarrows, tampers, etc and wear suitable footwear and gloves. It is hoped that there will be a good turnout of volunteers so that the repairs can be completed and the track reopened. 


Shefford & District AA membership books for the 2018/19 season are currently being printed and should be available from local tackle shops from early May and will be valid from date of purchase.    Please note night permits and associate junior membership are only available by postal applications to the Registrar.  The membership fees for 2018/19 will be: Full £75; Concessionary £55; Partner £45; Junior £20 (no change); Associate Junior free; First night permit (Airman/ Willington or Broom/Willington £53; Second night permit £26.50; Junior night permit and Non Fishing Night Guest permit £26.50.  We are keeping the existing A10 key, £5 if required.  Full details about 2018/19 membership, night permits and application forms will soon be available on the membership section of the SDAA website.





Week ending 15th April 2018

The Airman has again proven very popular with Shefford & District AA members as the improvements to access in recent years ensured anglers could get to their pegs despite the surrounding land being totally waterlogged.  The Airman has also benefited from an influx of water that has produced a significant rise in the water level.  Many anglers have continued to target the roach with at least one member landing a fish over 2lb during the last week.  Members are reminded to fish from marked pegs only and should not attempt to fish from (or access) any area of bank between these pegs (e.g. the bank between pegs 1 and 24, the bank between pegs 12 and 13 or any of the reed beds).  The company carrying out pest control has asked us to remind members not to leave any excess bait or litter that encourages the rodents to forage and the black plastic bait stations must not be moved or tampered with in any way.
 
The rainfall in recent weeks has also had a beneficial effect at Stanford Pit where water levels have risen considerably in recent weeks, but it is doubtful many fish survived the low water levels experienced towards the end of last summer.  A work party is being held from 9am on Saturday 21st April at Pavenham to install two new kissing gates and all volunteers are welcome to attend.  As many members as possible should make an effort to attend a work party that will take place at Broom Lake from 9am on Saturday 28th April to repair the track around the lake. The lake will be closed for fishing from 7am until the work party has been completed. The work will involve levelling out the ruts and filling holes in the Type 1 ‘tram lines’. Volunteers should bring along spades/shovels, wheelbarrows, tampers, etc and wear suitable footwear and gloves. If insufficient volunteers attend the work party and the repairs are not completed the track will remain closed.

Week ending 8th April 2018

The rivers may be closed to angling until 16th June, but Shefford & District AA members still need to keep an eye on river levels.  Both Willington Lake and Broom Lake were subject to some minor flooding last week, with at least one angler having to beat a hasty retreat during the hours of darkness when they suddenly realised they were surrounded by rapidly rising water.    The Airman continues to attract plenty of members and produce some good catches, although not always the species the angler intended to catch.  Alan Lawrence had a strange days roach fishing using his typical roach setup consisting of 4lb main line and 3lb hook length to a size 16 hook.  Alan landed 4 carp from 10lb 9oz to 19lb 3oz, before finally catching a roach at 1lb 9oz.  Alan joked that perhaps he would catch more roach on carp tackle (NB Darren Seeney landed 5 roach over 2lb in a single session on carp tackle and 10mm boilies in December 2015, plus a 28lb carp!).  Andy Richwood was fishing with carp tackle when he landed a 22lb pike that took a liking to his carp bait. 
Now we are in April members need to be reminded that to safeguard catfish, use of double hooks, treble hooks or uncoated wire traces is banned at The Airman between 1st April - 31st October.  Members without night permits are limited to two rods on all venues between 1st April - 31st October.  Night permit holders can use up to 3 rods in accordance with Rule 16.3.  Members should also check they have an up to date rod licence as the EA enforcement officers do have access to our waters, and anyone without a valid licence can expect to end up in court and face a hefty fine.



Week ending 1st April 2018

The Shefford & District AA Ltd AGM was held last week and members were kept informed of key developments within the club as well as voting on rule changes for next season.  The club’s finances remain in good shape, but the committee have decided to increase subscriptions for the 2018/19 season to provide additional funds for future fishery maintenance projects.  Membership books for next season will be available from local tackle dealers in early May and will be valid through to 15th June 2019.  Please check the club’s website towards the end of April for full details about membership for next season.  Following the formal AGM, trophies were presented to the winners of the specimen and match competitions.  Sandie Cornell secured the Tookey Trophy for the best overall specimen for her 3lb 5oz crucian carp.  James Turvey was the winner of the 24h match series trophy (as well as bream and dace specimen trophies) and Tony Archer winner of the pike series shield.  Nigel Gilbert was awarded the Centenary Cup for the many years he has actively served on the General Committee, acting as Fisheries Officer and Match Secretary.  Nigel always put the needs of the Club first and has been a regular work party attendee since joining SDAA. 
Mick Baldwin has been out of action for 6 weeks following a knee operation, but revealed he enjoyed a tremendous spell at The Airman just prior to his operation.  Mick used slider tactics, 4lb main line, 2lb 12oz hook link and a size 14 hook and over 7 sessions amassed a total of 186 fish.  The vast majority of the fish were roach to 1lb 10oz, but he also landed 7 carp between 14lb and 23lb 6oz, one perch and a fish he was convinced was a dace. 
Following a sustained period of heavy rain, water levels have risen slightly at Broom Lake and many areas of the track around the lake are again waterlogged.  Danny Wright reported  a 17lb 2oz common caught on a DNA Baits pineapple and banana pop-up cast to showing fish. 
Willington Lake was brim full as it was briefly connected to the river over the weekend and with rain water still travelling down the river from above Bedford there is a chance of flooding before the end of the week.






Week ending 18th March 2018

The last few days of the river season provided Shefford & District AA members with some good catches from the Ivel and its tributaries, whilst those targeting the Ouse struggled with the river running high and coloured.  Dave Baker decided to rove along the IPA controlled Biggleswade Common and managed to hook 6 chub using breadflake as bait, employing both ledger tactics and trotting with a float with his trusty centrepin reel.  One chub managed to shed the hook and the five that Dave landed weighed 2lb 12oz, 3lb 2oz, 3lb 12oz, 4lb 12oz and 5lb 8oz, which shows there is a good spread of chub from different year classes in the river.  Elsewhere Julian Peacock tempted a new PB 13oz dace caught from a ‘local river’ at dusk.  Julian’s successful tactics were red maggot under a stick float again using a centrepin reel.  Kevin Williams decided to target the perch on Broom River and was rewarded with a 3lb 9oz specimen caught on lobworm. 
Stephen Creasey fished Broom Lake at the weekend, and despite conditions being so cold that his reel and rod rings were icing up, his efforts were rewarded by landing a 9lb 8oz pike. 
Thankfully the river levels at Pavenham had fallen sufficiently by last Friday to allow the first work party to go ahead.  The seven volunteers who attended managed to clear access to the footbridge and remove the two dilapidated stiles downstream of the railway bridge.  The next work party is being held on Saturday 24th March from 9.30am and will focus on reboarding the footbridge and (if water levels allow) opening up adjacent swims, so volunteers should bring loppers, bow saws, etc.  Further work party dates have been provisionally set for Friday 30th March and Saturday 31st March to install the kissing gates. 
The Shefford & District AA Ltd AGM is being held on Wednesday 28th March 2018 and the formal agenda for the AGM is now available on the club’s website.





Week ending 11th March 2018

Shefford & District AA members enjoyed some good catches along the Broom River stretch of the Ivel despite the influx of melted snow and then rain water.  Mick Webb was delighted to catch a brace of perch weighing 3lb 1oz and 3lb exactly, but was upstaged on the same day by Mick Burr with a perch of 3llb 6oz.  Paul Gurton alternated lobworm gear and trotting for roach in several swims, and as is often the case did not get his first bite until late afternoon.  The next two hours produced at least 10 roach between 8oz and a pound, plus a few smaller roach and a couple of nice dace.  The larger roach fought brilliantly in the flow using light tackle.  Meanwhile one of Paul’s fishing companions managed a perch over 2lb 8oz, whilst another landed two smaller perch and a couple of pike to 8lb. 
With the river season ending on 14th March, members will now have to concentrate on the stillwaters until the river season resumes on 16th June.   The club will be carrying out some access improvements at Pavenham during March, which will  include replacing a couple of dilapidated stiles with kissing gates and reboarding a footbridge that crosses a ditch.  The first work party is being held on Friday 16th March from 9.30am with the focus on preparing the area around the footbridge and adjacent swims, so volunteers should bring loppers, bow saws, etc.  Further work party dates will be advertised once confirmed.  This work is being part funded by a grant from the Angling Improvement Fund that is administered by the Angling Trust. 
The Shefford & District AA Ltd AGM is being held on Wednesday 28th March 2018 and the formal agenda for the AGM will appear on the club’s website.

Week ending 4th March 2018

The ‘Beast from the East’ resulted in most of Shefford & District AA’s stillwaters becoming totally covered in ice and the freezing temperatures and snow also kept most members off the rivers.  The final leg of the pike series had to be cancelled as Willington Lake was still covered in ice on Sunday.   
With only a few days of the river season left, Mick Burr has spent several sessions on Broom River in pursuit of the large perch.  Several perch graced his landing net, topped by a 3lb 13oz specimen.  Mick’s tactics also produced a 3lb 8oz bream that have become an increasingly rare sight on this stretch of river in recent years.   
The last day of the river season is 14th March and all specimen fish claims must be received by 16th March 2018. 
 

Week ending 25th Feb 2018

Prior to the arrival of the ‘Beast from the East’, several Shefford & District AA members had been out on the bank enjoying the dry and bright conditions.  The Airman was once again the most popular venue with most anglers either targeting the carp or roach.   Although carp had been feeding through most of the winter they seemed more interested in finding shallow areas in the margins that were warmed up by sun.  Roach were once again intermittent feeders with short bursts of feeding activity sandwiched between long periods of inactivity.  Kevin Donovan also had his roach tackle tested by a carp of around 15lb that was safely brought to the net. 
There have been few reports from the river venues and members are reminder that the river season comes to an end on 14th March.  Broom River has seen far fewer anglers than normal this season but reports have been received of perch to well over 3lb and chub over 5lb in recent days.   
Weather permitting, the final round of the pike series will be fished at Willington Lake on Sunday 4th March with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819). 
 
The committee would like to thank the members who attended the work parties at Broom Lake last weekend.  Work parties will concentrate on Pavenham during March to improve access along the river bank, with the work being part funded by the Angling Improvement Fund and work party dates will be publicised once confirmed. 
A reminder that the Shefford & District AA Ltd AGM is being held on Wednesday 28th March 2018 and all specimen fish claims must be received by 16th March 2018. 

Week ending 18th Feb 2018

The penultimate round of the Shefford & District AA pike series was held at Willington Lake last Saturday under bright and mild conditions.  First place was taken by Tony Archer with pike of 9lb 9oz and 7lb 12oz for a total weight of 17lb 5oz.  Second place was taken by Dennis Thompson with 3 pike up to 3lb 7oz for a total weight of 8lb 1oz and Bryan Lancaster was third with a single pike of 3lb 1oz.  With one match remaining Tony Archer has an unassailable 11 series points and is in pole position for the best fish in the series with his 9lb 9oz specimen.  The final round of the pike series will be fished at Willington Lake on Sunday 4th March with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819).  
Mick Webb is usually found on the club’s river sections but decided to fish for the roach at The Airman.  Mick set up a small feeder and enjoyed a ‘fish a chuck’ with 46 roach in just 4 hours for just under 20lb, and thanked Mick Baldwin for giving him some top tips.   
The next work parties are scheduled for Broom Lake with the lake closed to fishing from 8am Saturday 24th February until 4pm  Sunday 25th February.  We will have the tree surgeon trimming overhanging branches and those thought likely to cause problems in the future.  Volunteers are welcome to attend to help deal with the felled branches and timber. 
The Shefford & District AA Ltd AGM is being held on Wednesday 28th March 2018 so all nominations for director, officer or committee positions and requests for any business to be moved at the AGM must be received by 28th February.  All specimen fish claims must be received by 16th March 2018.  There are vacancies for both committee and officer positions for any member wanting to take an active role in managing the club, with committee meetings taking place on the second Tuesday evening of each month.

Week ending11th Feb 2018

Catch reports from Shefford & District AA members have been rather thin on the ground with those who are catching often reluctant to give away too many details.  Alan Lawrence fished a club stretch of the Great Ouse and was rewarded with four good chub of 4lb 10oz, 5lb 3oz, 5lb 5oz and 5lb 9oz.  There are only four weeks left of the river season (last day 14th March) and this is the time of year when many river species are at their top weights. 
The penultimate round of the pike series will be fished at Willington Lake on Saturday 17th February with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819).   
The next work parties scheduled at Broom Lake are on Saturday 24th February & Sunday 25th February, when we will have the tree surgeon trimming overhanging branches and those thought likely to cause problems in the future.  If enough volunteers attend we can hopefully start to make repairs to the track around the lake with the aim of reopening it in the spring when the waterlogged areas have dried out.   
The Shefford & District AA Ltd AGM is being held on Wednesday 28th March 2018 so all nominations for director, officer or committee positions and requests for any business to be moved at the AGM must be received by 28th February.  All cups and trophies must be returned by 20th February 2018 and all specimen fish claims must be received by 16th March 2018. 



Week ending 28th Jan 2018

Thanks go to those Shefford & District AA volunteers who were busy over the weekend undertaking a variety of maintenance work at Broom Lake.  Aided by a tree surgeon, several dangerous trees were made safe and the large (partially submerged) branches that were growing horizontally across peg 2 almost to the island were successfully removed.  Volunteers collected a large amount of litter from around the lake and also found several areas being used as a toilet.  Please bag everything up and take it home, otherwise the club risks losing the fishing rights.  The prize find was a broken wash hand basin, presumably dumped out the back of a vehicle by a so called member, behind peg 42.  Volunteers once again went around the islands in a boat recovering various items of lost tackle and line, including a spomb that had been left trailing over 50 yards of heavy braid in the water that had collected an array of other tackle and probably led to hooked fish becoming snagged.  The next work parties scheduled at Broom Lake are on Saturday 24th February & Sunday 25th February, when we will have the tree surgeon trimming overhanging branches and those thought likely to cause problems in the future.  If enough volunteers attend we can hopefully start to make repairs to the track around the lake with the aim of reopening it in the spring.  The lake is still producing carp and venue regular Danny Wright tempted an 18lb 4oz common during one of his regular short afternoon sessions. 
The Airman has proved popular in recent weeks with the new car park and solid footpath around the lake making access to swims far less of an ordeal than other venues where the ground is waterlogged.  Good nets of roach have again featured in catches, and whilst most anglers are happy with nets of roach to just over the pound mark some anglers are trying to deliberately target the larger redfins that exceed the 2lb.  Whilst most anglers fish with feeder tactics and red maggot on the hook, Alan Lawrence decide to try float fishing with a 17ft rod, 2lb 8oz line and a size 16 hook using  punched bread as bait.  Alan succeeded in tempting 14 roach to 1lb 12oz but also had his sport interrupted by two carp.  In Alan’s own words “the fight of the carp on this tackle can only be described as squeaky bum time.”  One member landed a double figure common from one of the car park swims with a bait place closed in the margins. 
The penultimate round of the pike series will be fished at Willington Lake on Saturday 17th February with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819).  The Council is carrying out some tree work within one of the fenced off areas to make safe some willows that were in danger of falling onto the path used by anglers accessing swims. 
The Club Secretary has requested a reminder to members that all specimen fish claims must be received by 16th March 2018.  Also all cups and trophies must be returned by 20th February 2018.  The SDAA Ltd AGM is being held on the 28th March so all nominations for director, officer or committee positions and requests for any business to be moved at the AGM must be received by 28th February. 



Week ending 21st Jan 2018

Most of Shefford & District AA’s river venues have been swollen by recent rainfall with some venues threatening to top the banks, but hopefully sport should improve as water levels begin to recede.  On the stillwaters roach and pike have been the most reliable feeders during the recent spell of colder weather.  The Airman has continued to produce some good nets of roach for those locating the feeding shoals.  A common theme is to have long periods of inactivity followed by the roach suddenly switching on the feed with anglers catching fish in quick succession, before bites dry up.  The Airman also hosted the latest pike match that proved to be an ordeal for those who attended with the overnight frost followed by snow that slowly turned into heavy rain.  Bryan Lancaster ran out the clear winner with two pike of 8lb 6oz and 5lb 15oz for a total of 14lb 5oz.  Tony Archer landed the only other pike caught that weighed 4lb 2oz.  This result leaves Tony Archer ahead in the overall pike series with 8 points, whilst Bryan Lancaster and Alfie Archer are tied for second place with 5 points each. 
The penultimate round of the pike series will be fished at Willington Lake on Saturday 17th February with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819).  A member recently landed a 5lb pike at Willington Lake that was in poor condition as it was trailing another set of trebles on a trace that had appeared to also snag other lost items of tackle including various hooks, leads and line.  All the hooks and tackle were removed and the pike returned safely to the water.  From the photo provided this looked like another example where inappropriate tackle had probably been used and rigs had been poorly designed such that leads, etc could not be discharged in the event of the main line breaking.   
A reminder that the track around Broom Lake is now closed to vehicles.  Work parties are scheduled at Broom Lake on Saturday 27th January & Sunday 28th January and on Saturday 24th February & Sunday 25th February, when we will have a tree surgeon trimming overhanging branches and those thought likely to cause problems in the future.  The lake will be closed during the work parties and volunteers are encouraged to attend (start time around 9am) to put cut wood into the chipper and helping to pull cut wood out of the lake with the ropes provided.  
The SDAA Ltd AGM is being held on the 28th March so all nominations for director, officer or committee positions and requests for any business to be moved at the AGM must be received by 28th February.   We have already received a positive response from several members regarding volunteering at future work parties and/or acting as ‘Fishery Wardens’ for a specific venue.  If other members are interested in these (or other) volunteering opportunities within the club can you please contact us ASAP, ideally by email to: info@shefforddaa.org.uk

Week ending 14th Jan 2018

Sport on Shefford & District AA stillwaters has continued to produce some good catches.  However, the first issue to highlight is that a sheep at Willington Lake was found by the farmer with fishing line wrapped around its legs, which had broken through the skin and caused an infection that required treatment with antibiotics.  There is no excuse for any angler leaving line (or any other form of litter) on any of our waters.  Willington Lake is still a productive venue for pike anglers and the secret for success is often to locate where the silver fish are shoaled up.  Members have also enjoyed some good catches of roach, with some pegs producing quality redfins where all the fish are ‘netters’. 
Andy Richwood is a regular visitor to Broom Lake and despite the odd blank his day sessions have produced a string of good carp with several commons over 20lb, topped by a fish of 25lb 1oz.  James Lamb and Dan Tadgell managed 7 carp between them during a recent 24h session, which included some fin perfect commons and a stunning looking mirror carp.  James commented that they caught nothing during the hours of darkness and the carp started to feed in areas where the sun hit the water during the morning.  The track around Broom Lake is now closed to vehicles and it is anticipated the track will remain closed until repairs have been undertaken in the spring.  Work parties are scheduled at Broom Lake on Saturday 27th January & Sunday 28th January and on Saturday 24th February & Sunday 25th February, when we will have a tree surgeon trimming overhanging branches and those thought likely to cause problems in the future.  The lake will be closed during the work parties and volunteers are encouraged to attend to put cut wood into the chipper and helping to pull cut wood out of the lake with the ropes provided. 
The Airman has continued to produce some good nets of roach with fish seemingly shoaled in several areas of the lake.  The perch fishing has also shown improvement with 2lb fish being caught regularly and the odd perch occasionally topping 3lb.  The next match in the pike series will be held at The Airman on Sunday 21st January with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819). 
There have been surprisingly few reports from our river venues.  Stephen Creasey landed a 5lb 5oz jack pike from downstream of Stanford Lock, whilst further downstream on Broom River several perch to over 2lb have been reported but the bigger specimens are proving elusive. 
In the build-up to the AGM on the 28th March the Committee is reviewing how maintenance work is carried out on SDAA waters and who does it. We are evaluating what we can do ourselves and what we need to get contractors in to do for us. Like all clubs we do not usually get as many volunteers as we would like at work parties, so we are putting out a special request to all members. If you are interested in volunteering at future work parties can you please let us know in the near future, ideally by email to: info@shefforddaa.org.uk 
As part of our review of the maintenance of SDAA waters, the Committee also want to recruit volunteers to act as 'Fishery Wardens' for each of our waters. The role involves identifying and reporting on issues arising on each water and putting forward solutions to these issues for Committee consideration. One for Broom Lake is already in place, so ideally we would like ones for The Airman, Willington & Stanford Pit and at least one for our river portfolio. It would also be ideal if the 'Fishery Wardens' were on the Committee as well, but this is not essential. The Committee meets 12 times per year on the 2nd Tuesday evening of each month in Shefford.  If you are interested in volunteering as a Fishery Warden contact us ASAP, ideally by email to: info@shefforddaa.org.uk



Week ending 7th Jan 2018

With fish now more acclimatised to colder water temperatures sport on Shefford & District AA stillwaters has started to show some improvement.  After a string of common carp to 23lb from Broom Lake towards the end of last year, Danny Wright’s last 3 carp have all been mirrors from the batches of AJS Fisheries carp stocked a few years ago.  His last two short stints have produced mirrors of 9lb and 10lb.  The smaller mirror managed to find a snag close to the bank that Danny managed to free the fish from.  Pulling part of the snag out of the lake, Danny found a mid double carp tethered to a lost rig and the carp was safely freed, unhooked and returned to the lake. 
The depth of The Airman means the water temperatures remain fairly constant at this time of year and members are now reporting some good nets of roach from some areas of the lake.  Kevin Wilkins managed to land a 18lb 2oz mirror carp on his latest trip.  The next match in the pike series will be held at The Airman on Sunday 21st January with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819).



Week ending 31st Dec 2017

With temperatures constantly fluctuating over the holiday period none of Shefford & District AA waters has shown any consistent form.  The rivers were worse hit with snow melt and then heavy rain seeing levels rapidly rise, with several stretches of the Ouse being in flood.  However, anglers catching the rivers fining down should expect improved sport.  Michael Webb fished Broom River on Christmas Eve and was rewarded with a solitary 5lb 4oz chub on homemade cheese paste, which was his only bite of the day. 
The Christmas pike pairs match held at Willington Lake on Saturday 30th December saw eight anglers fishing under what appeared to be perfect conditions.  However, the pike were not in an obliging mood and Stuart Lancaster landed the only pike of the day with the 3lb 8oz jack ensuring Stuart and his brother Bryan secure the prizes for both the winning pair and the biggest pike of the day.  The next match in the pike series will be held at The Airman on Sunday 21st January with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819). 
Members will find a new vehicle gate at the bottom of the track leading to both the Alcove Syndicate (formerly known as Ivel Valley Fisheries) and Broom Lake.  This gate is fitted with a single lock and members should ensure the gate is left locked after entering or leaving. The lock is fitted with a special barrel that works with both the SDAA A10 key and the Alcove Syndicate's key, thus avoiding the need for two separate locks.  All other locks on SDAA waters will only accept the A10 key.  With the ground becoming increasingly waterlogged it is likely that the track around Broom Lake will soon need to be closed to avoid further damage caused by vehicles straying onto soft ground. 
With the vegetation dying back the perennial problem of litter being thrown into the undergrowth is once again evident.  The worse effected fishery is The Airman where litter and discarded bait help attract vermin.  A small minority of anglers show no respect for the fisheries and one member fishing The Airman packed up in disgust after discovering the swim he was fishing had recently been used twice as a toilet by another thoughtless member.

Week ending 17th Dec 2017

The melting snow saw most Shefford & District AA members struggling on river venues with levels rising rapidly and water temperatures just above freezing.  Stillwater anglers have also had to endure some waters being covered in ice following several frosty nights with pike and roach being the most reliable feeders.  Fortunately milder conditions are forecast over the festive period and this should see fish being more inclined to feed. 
A Christmas pike pairs match will be held at Willington Lake on Saturday 30th December with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match.  Match entry fee will be £20 per pair with all monies paid out as prizes on the day.  Please note the rules for this pairs match differ slightly from the rules in the pike series, i.e. livebaiting will not be allowed and each competitor is limited to fishing with two rods (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819). 
With several new public and permissive footpaths currently being created between Broom and Stanford, members will notice some changes to access over the next few weeks.  The first will be an additional vehicle gate at the bottom of the track leading to both the Alcove Syndicate (formerly known as Ivel Valley Fisheries) and Broom Lake.  This gate will be fitted with two locks and one will be the SDAA lock that requires the ‘A10’ key.  Members should ensure this gate is left locked at all times and in such a way that the Alcove Syndicate lock is not by-passed.  Contractors working on behalf of Tarmac plan to fit a vehicle gate to the small parking area near Jordans Mill and a pedestrian gate on the track leading up to Broom River from Broom Lake.  These will also be fitted with the club’s lock to deter unwanted visitors.

Week ending 10th Dec 2017

Despite the excellent sport that can be enjoyed on Shefford & District AA river venues, relatively few members fish the rivers these days and with only 3 months left of the river season left perhaps it is time to give the rivers a try.  Two recent captures should help convince members to head for the rivers.  Julian Peacock was absolutely delighted to set a new personal best in the shape of a 2lb 5oz 12dr roach caught on a ‘local river’ using a single caster as bait.  Alan Lawrence loves fishing for chub and a recent session on the River Flit produced three chub between 2lb and 4lb, but just on dusk Alan was rewarded with a fine specimen chub of 6lb 4oz.  With fish often tightly shoaled at this time of year it is often best to adopt a mobile approach until the fish have been located.
The arrival of the snow led to the cancellation of the latest round of the pike series.  A one off Christmas pike match will be held at Willington Lake on Saturday 30th December with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match.  Match entry fee will be £20 per pair with all monies paid out as prizes on the day (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819).



Week ending 3rd Dec 2017

Shefford & District AA is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the Angling Trust through the latest round of the Angling Improvement Fund to help improve access across field boundaries and to swims at Pavenham.   Tasks will include replacing dilapidated stiles with kissing gates, reboarding a footbridge across a ditch and tree work to reopen some popular swims.  The club will be providing additional funding and the volunteers who will undertake the work during a series of work parties in the New Year.  A condition of the award is that work must be completed by the end of March.  Any volunteers wanting to help should contact Richard Bell (info@shefforddaa.org.uk) as the work party dates could be impacted by the weather and/or state of the river. 
Danny Wright has continued to enjoy success in his short two hour sessions at Broom Lake squeezed in after work.  Danny has mainly been catching common carp to over 20lb, but a recent trip included a 10lb beautiful ‘fully scaled’ mirror carp that was identified as one of the 75 C3 AJS ‘scaley’ carp stocked a few years ago.  Elsewhere, Michael Webb probably thought he had latched into a monster perch on Broom River, but when the fish came to the net it turned out to be a hard fighting 4lb carp.  Michael Webb also visited the river Flit and managed three plump chub of 3lb 12oz, 3lb 14oz and 4lb 2oz. 
Please note the fourth round of the pike series will be held at Willington Lake on Sunday 10th December with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819).

Week ending 26th Nov 2017

Nine anglers attended the third round of the Shefford & District AA pike series fished at The Airman last Saturday.  Kevin Williams landed four pike between 6lb and 7lb 12oz for a winning total weight of 27lb.  Tony Archer was second with two pike for 8lb 7oz whilst junior Alfie Archer was third with a single pike of 6lb.  The fourth round of the pike series will be held at Willington Lake on Sunday 10th December with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819). 
Young 8 year old Jack Gaby enjoyed a mixed bag on a recent trip to The Airman consisting of an 11lb mirror carp, a jack pike and some roach.  Several anglers have enjoyed some good bags of silver fish comprising of roach, skimmer bream and perch, with several perch well over the 2lb mark being reported. 
A weekend work party is being planned for Broom Lake to manage some of the trees around the lake.  The date has been provisionally set for 9th and 10th of December. 
Shefford & District AA is again offer ‘half-year’ membership this season that will be valid from 1st December 2017 through to 15th June 2018 (prices: Full £40, Concessions £30, Partners £25, Juniors £10).  Full details can be found on the membership section of the SDAA website.  Half year books are now available from all our usual outlets, except Shaden Fishing Tackle in Luton who will have them available the week commencing 11th December

Week ending 19th Nov 2017

As autumn draws to an end the more hardy Shefford & District AA members are preparing for their winter campaigns.  The key to success during the colder months will be being in the right place at the right time to locate the fish that are willing to feed.  Danny Wright has been squeezing in short two hour trips to Broom Lake after work.  Danny’s latest trip produced common carp of 23lb and 12lb 8oz, whilst his previous session resulted in a 21lb 8oz common. 
The silver fish are now tightly shoaled on many venues and bumper catches will still be possible throughout the winter if the feeding shoals are located.  Where there are shoals of silver fish the predators will not be far away.  To prove this point Kevin Wilkins had a bumper catch of twelve pike from a small area of an undisclosed SDAA venue on Sunday. 
Shefford & District AA is again offer ‘half-year’ membership this season that will be valid from 1st December 2017 through to 15th June 2018 (prices: Full £40, Concessions £30, Partners £25, Juniors £10).  Full details can be found on the membership section of the SDAA website. 
Recently a SDAA bailiff summoned the police to deal with individuals who were found on a club water without membership books.  The police escorted them off the fishery for fishing without permission,  which is a criminal offence under the Theft Act.  The club is working with local police forces under ‘Operation Traverse’ to deal with illegal fishing and fish theft across both Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.   
Members should also be aware that Environment Agency enforcement officers actively visit our waters and unfortunately several members have been prosecuted by the EA in recent years and received hefty fines.  The most common offences have been fishing with 3 rods with a rod licence that only covers the use of 2 rods and fishing with multiple rods where the butts of the outer rods were more than 3m apart.  Please make sure you are familiar with all the EA bylaws and a link to these can be found on the SDAA website. 
Finally, the Angling Trust have asked us to make it clear that the club’s public liability insurance only covers SDAA members when they are engaged in activities connected with the club.  Therefore, members are usually only covered whilst fishing or carrying out volunteer work on SDAA and IPA waters.  The policy wording also states members are also only covered whilst conforming to the club’s rules and by-laws.  Individual membership of the Angling Trust can  provide public liability insurance for all your other angling activities worldwide.



Week ending 12th Nov 2017

The Shefford & District AA committee have agreed to again offer ‘half-year’ membership this season that will be valid from 1st December 2017 through to 15th June 2018 (prices: Full £40, Concessions £30, Partners £25, Juniors £10).  ‘Half-year’ membership books will be available from our usual outlets towards the end of November.  The membership section of the SDAA website will also be updated with details of the ‘half-year’ membership fees and a ‘half-year’ application form for those wanting to submit a postal application.  Please note that night fishing at The Airman, Broom Lake and Willington Lake requires optional Night Permits (there is no part year discount on these Night Permits). 
Following work done by IPA appointed contractors, the Sandy New Road fisheries on the River Ivel are again accessible and fishable. The paths have been strimmed and some 25 swim access points created.  Some of the swims still have marginal reeds and weed in front of them, so an extending landing net handle would be useful.  Historically these stretches produced fine chub catches as well as other species during the winter months.  We encourage members to go and try this welcome return to the fishable river portfolio and look forward to receiving reports from those who do. 
More locally the EA will be carrying out maintenance on Broom sluice (Jordans Mill) for up to 8 weeks from late November and the club has been assured these works will have no significant impact on the water levels on Broom River. 
Please note the highly invasive Floating Pennywort is present on most sections of the Great Ouse downstream of Bedford.  The river at Willington is currently the worst affected SDAA water but is also present at Little Barford and Little Paxton.  Members should adhere to the ‘Check, Clean and Dry’ procedures for all tackle, nets, boots, etc to ensure this non-native species is not spread to other rivers or stillwaters. 

Week ending 5th Nov 2017

The second leg of the Shefford & District AA Ltd pike series attracted 9 members to Willington Lake and 14 pike were caught in total.  Tony Archer landed five pike to 8lb 3oz for a total weight of 25lb 14oz to win the match.  Alex Mortimer was second with three pike for 14lb 3oz and junior member Alfie Archer third with 3 pike for 10lb 9oz.  Jack Lancaster had two pike for 4lb 3oz and Hos Graham a single pike of 4lb 2oz.  The third match in the series will be held on Saturday 25th November at The Airman and further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster (07810 454819). 
 
Michael Webb managed to net three good perch from an undisclosed club venue with perch of 2lb 9oz, 2lb 14oz and a cracking 3lb 11oz specimen.

Week ending 22nd Oct 2017

Firstly, a reminder about Shefford & District AA Ltd matches for the rest of the season.  The standard monthly matches usually held on the last Sunday of the month have been cancelled for the rest of the season; therefore, the match planned for 29th October at Willington Lake will not take place and the whole venue is available for members.  The pike series will continue as advertised in the membership with the next round being held on Sunday 5th November at Willington Lake and further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster (07810 454819).   
The path leading from the designated car park and along the allotment bank at Little Paxton has been recently strimmed to allow members easier access to the swims in the weir pool.  Similarly, the brambles have been cut back along the footpath leading off Alington Road to the club’s new stretch at Little Barford.  Please note the Environment Agency have been informed of the highly invasive non-native Floating Pennywort that is present at both of these venues, in common with many parts of the Ouse in this area.  If any member spots Floating Pennywort at any other club venue please inform a member of the committee immediately. 
Broom Lake has continued to fish well for carp during the week with Jay Plume managing to tempt a 21lb 8oz common carp on his latest session.  There are plans to install an additional gate at the bottom of the access track leading to both Broom Lake and the adjacent syndicate lake in order to deter members of the public straying off the new public footpath.  Existing keys will fit the SDAA lock and the syndicate will have their own lock.  Several work parties are being planned at Broom Lake and advanced notice will be given as they will involve closure of the lake.

Week ending 15th Oct 2017

The first round of the Shefford & District AA Ltd pike series was fished in unseasonably warm and bright conditions at Broom Lake.  Although none of the larger pike put in an appearance, several anglers managed to catch.  First place was taken by junior member Alfie Archer with pike of 3lb 2oz and 5lb 5oz  for a total weight of 8lb 7oz.  Second place was taken by Bryan Lancaster with pike of 3lb 10oz and 3lb 5oz for a total weight of 6lb 15oz.  Third place was taken by Tony Archer with pike of 3lb 2oz and 3lb 3oz for a total weight of 6lb 5oz.  The next round of the pike series will be held on Sunday 5th November at Willington Lake, a venue that has produced some excellent pike catches in recent seasons (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819).  Due to poor attendances the standard monthly matches have been cancelled for the rest of the season and therefore the match planned for 29th October at Willington Lake will not now take place.
 Darren Brown fished a recent 24h session at The Airman and was rewarded with  a single run just before he packed up that resulted in a 25lb 4oz mirror carp, one of the older residents of the lake.  Broom Lake has seen plenty of carp being caught and Jay Plume tempted an 18lb common carp from only a few rod lengths out as darkness fell and the high winds caused by Hurricane Ophelia began to abate.  Earlier in the week David Hawkes was pleased to catch a mid double common carp on his ‘sleeper rod’ whilst concentrating on fishing for silver fish on his other rod.  Venue regular Andy Richwood landed several carp in a single session choosing to fish on the windward bank, which is often the most productive area on a windy day.  Although the grapevine is full of tales of good captures from both lake and river venues it would appear there is a growing trend amongst members who are unwilling to publicise their catches. 

Week ending 8th Oct 2017

It is worth reminding Shefford & District AA Ltd members that there are only 5 months to go until the end of the river season.  The weed on most river venues has now started to die back giving members the opportunity to explore the many miles of the club’s flowing water fisheries.  Mick Burr has kicked off his annual campaign on Broom River with a 3lb 3oz perch, a venue where Mick has an excellent record of perch over 4lb in recent seasons.  Other anglers have also reported some good roach turning up in catches along this length.  
The first pike match of the season will be held at Broom Lake on Saturday 14th October with the lake closed to anglers not taking part in the pike match (further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster 07810 454819).   Broom Lake has continued to produce a number of carp to just over 20lb, with several anglers enjoying multiple catches when fishing in open water, rather than tight to the islands.  Please note that the use of bait boats is banned on all club waters. 
Although The Airman is often associated with larger species, several members have been enjoying good catches of roach on both float and ledger tactics.  With little or no colour in the water the roach tend to be tightly shoaled.  Catches regularly feature redfins over the pound mark and there is always the chance of catching one of the sought after 2lb specimens.

Week ending 24th Sept 2017

With water temperatures dropping, autumn is often the most productive time of the year for many species on Shefford & District AA Ltd waters.  Regular carp anglers at Willington Lake are often reluctant to share information about their captures, so we thank Richard Hodges for reporting his 28lb 4oz mirror caught on a recent trip to the venue.  Pleasure anglers are still enjoying good mixed nets of roach, rudd and bream on both float and feeder tactics. 
Sport on river venues should start to improve once some colour gets back into the water and the weed starts to die off.  Our new venue at Little Barford has already produced some good mixed bags of predominantly roach with dace, chub, perch, bream and tench also featuring in catches.  Large carp have been spotted over the summer months, but there are no reports of any being caught.  Like all SDAA waters, this venue is strictly members only and day tickets are not available. 
Many traditionalists view 1st October as the start of the pike fishing and SDAA offer plenty of suitable waters for pike anglers to target.  Despite their ferocious appearance, pike are very fragile fish and need to be handled with great care and anyone fishing for this species should do so with appropriate tackle.  The Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain website provides some excellent advice about how to fish for pike.  Please note that at The Airman the use of double and treble hooks is banned until the end of October as the catfish are still active.  The club runs a series of pike matches from October through to March.  The first pike match is being held at Broom Lake on 14th October and further details can be obtained from Bryan Lancaster (07810 454819).  Members wanting to fish for zander will find this species in our Great Ouse venues at Little Barford and Little Paxton. 

Week ending 3rd Sept 2017

One of our club members enjoyed a very productive few hours fishing on the river Ouse  behind Willington Lake and managed a great mixed bag of half a dozen chub and perch and a small Ruffe on the float. This club member reported his success through the clubs facebook page. This is a good medium for other club members who can appreciate where the fishing is best and is encouraged for and by all. It doesn’t matter if you catch a specimen or a narly old tiddler,report it in and let club members enjoy your success.
The dive planned for the 16th September has been cancelled therefore the Airman will not be closed on that day. The cancellation is unavoidable, due to illness, however Bedford Sub-aqua are still keen to re-visit the Airman and assist with the removal of the obstructions when they are in a position to do so. The committee will advise when re arranged. 
Anyone visiting the Airman and seeing the dive notice still displayed on the gate please feel free to remove it, thanks. 
It was pleasing to see 15 anglers turn up to the cat match. what a shame the fish didn’t show up in numbers ! However those that caught,caught!!
 
1st Richard Mcglory. 1 cat of 44lb 6oz
2nd James "jammy" Turvey. 1 cat of 16lb 13oz.
 
Ron Holmes & Mark Elek Palmer had a kitten each but did not get them witnessed so one of them missed out on 40 pounds for second in the pool that meant Richard walked away with all the prizes. 
Lez Reed managed a carp, 8 bream & a Tench. Most of the anglers, as expected had tales of  lost fish & dropped runs and what might have happened if… 
The committee and particularly, the Match Secretary Nigel gilbert would like to congratulate James as his second place wins him the night series. This was a hard fought series which did come down to the last match where Nigel had to finish (at worst) 2 places behind James to win but with so much pressure on the last match could only manage to blank. 
On other matters looking after the husbandry of the club several of the committee members have been out in recent days clearing up various venues. Thanks to Nigel for strimming some of the swims at the Airman to reduce the encroachment of nettles. Many thanks to club member, Martin Sharpe for being Banksman. 
New speed limit signs have been placed around Broom Lake and the deeper holes around the track have been filled.Memebers are requested to keep to the speed limits and keep to the track to avoid new holes appearing and the edges of the track becomes a mud bath. 
Again a thanks to a new member Dave ? who handed a reel he had found in peg 2. To one of our Bailiffs. It is a Shakespeare xk 3000. 
if anyone reports it missing please get in touch with a member of the committee 
Unfortunately some club members continue to infringe the rules and make life difficult for others and I would like to bring to everyone’s attention two incidents: 
A club member left a carrier bag full of rubbish in “the bay”. It contained 3 large empty pellet bags, pizza boxes, coke bottles a hemp tin & an empty packet of b&h dual. Can club members remember to take their rubbish home with them and leave the swim clear for the next occupants use. Every page in your membership book states “Strictly no alcohol OR LITTER 
I have reported on incidents such as this before however another “death rig” was found as Andrew Riley was clearing lost tackle from the islands at Broom Lake.The line was an excessive breaking strain around 50lb I have mentioned the clubs coaching team and all members have access to them and they will be delighted to show any club member how to fix competent rigs which are fish friendly. Details of who to contact are at the back of your membership books. 

Week ending 27th August 2017

Good conditions saw our anglers returning to the waters in numbers and one, James Turvey was rewarded with a specimen bream of9lb 1oz a weight some of our carp anglers would be proud of which he took from Willington.
I have attached a picture of the 9lb 1oz Bream that he caught from Willington on the 19th August 2017.
Willington also proved fruitful for last week's match with all anglers catching mixed bags of silverfish. Pike were problematic nipping off the smaller fish (one being feisty enough to nip at Nigel's hand and draw blood! One up to the fish I think) Nigel if you need any help with handling Pike the club has a full coaching team who would be delighted to help)
Results were;
 
1st david baker 5lb 6oz  mixed silvers on the waggler
2nd john salmon 5lb 2oz mixed silvers on the pole
3rd nigel gilbert 4oz  on the waggler. (2 roach in the last 5 minutes) 
 
A reminder for the next catfish match to be held at the Airman, whilst you can turn up on the day the pegs are limited to 18 and 12 anglers have already subscribed. If you are looking to take part it is recommended you apply through the club website or speak directly to the match organiser, Nigel whose telephone number is on your club books. You can text or e mail him.

Week ending 20th August 2017

As the summer weather remains temperate the fish are continuing to feed and from reports being received of good catches across all our fisheries it seems dads are heading back to the waters after a long summer break to get some down time away from the kids!! Dads ;the club encourages our next generation of members and with the fisheries being so productive at the moment now is a great opportunity to get your kids back to nature, bond with them and set them up with a fulfilling lifelong hobby. The likely hood is they will catch a whacker and be hooked for life like the rest of us. We would expect reports of large perch being caught from the Broom river and from behind Jordan's mill as the summer fades and there is nothing simpler than a bit of stalking fish with a link ledger set up and a lobworm on a size ten. There has been a 4pounder out of those rivers in the past, imagine a young anglers face if they caught one like that!One angler reported a good mixed bag from Willington earlier in the week on the float.  He fed positively to retain the fish in his swim.  His catch consisted mainly of roach up to a pound with a few bream and a decent perch.  He bumped off a couple of larger fish that were probably tench. Asking for further information , the angler, who doesn’t use a keepnet  said he had over 30lb of fish.  The bream were in the 2lb bracket so relatively young fish.  He only joined this year but is a very experienced ex-match angler.  He has had a number of good catches, but believes he is still only scratching the surface of what the lake is capable of producing.
One of our lakes gave up a lovely 20plus ghostie to one of our members, Tony who does not wish to disclose where he caught such a prize specimen, the capture was witnessed by one of the committee.
The exploratory dive which was scheduled for the 19th August was postponed due to ill health of one of the divers but this does give members the opportunity to report any snags at the Airman which may need to be removed so that , when the dive is rearranged we can send them down to see if such snags can be removed.

Week ending 13th August 2017

Broom lake proved just how well it has been fishing recently at last weekend’s 24 hour match which was attended by 7 anglers in a keenly fought competition, all anglers caught fish in a variety of species:
 
1st nigel gilbert 53lb 1 1/2 oz made up of 10 bream  bream to 6lb 3oz & a few silvers.
2nd james turvey 44lb 4oz. 4 bream to 4lb 4oz, 2 carp at 15lb 2oz & 11lb 3oz & some silvers.
3rd alan harrison 35 lb 14oz. 2 carp at 17b 12oz & 12lb 4oz, a 3lb 14oz tench & some silvers
4th andy riley 29lb 4oz. 2 carp at 19lb 10oz & 9lb 10oz.
5th matt simcock 24lb 15oz. a 9lb 10oz carp & beautiful looking ghostie of 15lb 5oz.
6th barry cook with a single 14lb common.
7th kevin wilkins 13lb 2oz. 4 bream with the biggest at 5lb 12oz.
 
The next match is scheduled for 27th August at Willington with the draw commencing at 08.30 a.m, details in the club book and on the websiteSheffordDAA.org.uk
Meanwhile one of the clubs respected specimen hunters, Alan Lawrence found himself at Willington Lake where he had an exceptionally productive session on block end feeder and two maggots on the hook. Alan took a haul of 8 quality fish being. 4 tench from 5lb 11oz to a classic looking tench of 8lb 5oz and 3 good roach about the 1lb mark.
The club is looking to recruit bailiffs to join an already established team, any club member wishing to learn more about the role and responsibilities please contact Kevin Williams on 07921 517683 who will be delighted to talk you through.
After several months of negotiations, Tarmac have agreed to put a gate on the car park by Jordans mill. Whilst no date has been finalised this will be a welcome to anglers using the river by the disused lock and behind the Jordans factory.
It has been highlighted that divers have been invited to the Airman to conduct searches for snags which will be subsequently removed. If any club member has knowledge of swims which may contain substantial snags then the committee would appreciate you making us aware so that the divers can be directed to them.

Week ending 6th August 2017

The rivers are now beginning to show their true summer colours with reports of barbel being regular visitors to the bank at Little Paxton together with the attendant chub. The smaller shoal fish such as roach and dace are featuring regularly so for those hardy enough to be caught by the rivers in between showers there is a good chance of a high quality mixed bag with the opportunity of a specimen. Earlier in the year a plus 13lb barbel was taken so the chances are high.
Those fishing broom Lake are saying that the bream are on the feed and it is likely those taking the more relaxed approach can bag up on skimmers to slabs, method or feeder being the chosen approach.
The recent 24 hour match at the Airman last weekend confirms that fish from all species are feeding well  
1st Nigel Gilbert 63 lb 10 oz consisting of 8 bream from 4lb 1oz-5lb 15oz. 2 cats 5lb 4oz & 14lb 6oz & 4lb 4 1/2  oz of silvers.  Nigel also lost 3 other cats through the course of the match.
2nd James Turvey 20lb 14 oz. a cat of 18lb 4oz & a tench of 2lb 10oz.
3rd David Baker 4lb 7oz of silvers
4th Kevin Wilkins 2lb 10oz silvers but would have had more if it wasn’t for pike taking many of his roach. 
Things are certainly looking promising for the 24 hour catfish match scheduled for 1st September. 
The next match is to be held at Broom Lake and this is another 24 hour event 12 and 13th August. Details are in your club books or on the website.  
A reminder to members is that work is to commence shortly at the Airman to clear some of the snags which have been causing problems with lost tackle and this will commence with a test dive which will show exactly what can be removed. After discussions with Bedford Sub-Aqua club the test dive has been scheduled for Saturday 19th August. This will not involve closure of the lake however swims at the far end of the lake will not be available during the dive. It is hoped the test dive will identify snags in the lake and enable plans to be made for their removal during the 16th September dive. 
Finally whilst the waters are being so productive there is always the opportunity to land a specimen and win one of the annual club trophies. Several entries have been received and claims remain open until the 18th of March 2018 when they must be in the hands of the club secretary.

Week ending 30th July 2017

There was a disappointing turnout for the latest Shefford & District AA Ltd monthly match fished at The Airman.  Dave Baker won the match with a repectable 8lb 6oz net of roach caught on waggler and maggot, second was Nigel Gilbert with 6lb of roach and a single skimmer bream using waggler and sweetcorn, with John Harrison third with 9oz of roach.   The next two matches form part of the 24 h series contested at The Airman on 5th/6th August and Broom Lake on 12th/13th August.  Night permits are not required to fish these overnight matches and the venue will be closed to anglers not fishing the 24h matches from midnight on the evening prior to the match, please contact  Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only) for further details.
 
SDAA are pleased to welcome back Bedford Sub-Aqua Club to The Airman to investigate the removal of snags from within the water. They will be attending on Saturday 19th August to carry out test dives to identify areas requiring attention. This will not require closure of the lake but will restrict swim availability and cause some disruption during the test dives, especially at the northern end of the water.  They will then return on Saturday 16th September to try and remove some of the snags, during which time no angling will be permitted. Further information will follow and notices will be posted at the venue.
 Contractors have started cropping the cricket bat willows behind Broom Lake and this work could take several weeks.  Please take extra care when driving around the lake and respect all notices, as the contractors will be using the track for access and removing the timbers and some of the trees being cropped are close to the track and the path leading up to the river. 

Week ending 23rd July 2017

There are plenty of catch reports from Shefford & District AA Ltd waters this week from both river and Stillwater venues.  On the rivers Julian Peacock tackled the river Flit after some recent rain and landed a new PB dace of 11oz 8dr, not the biggest fish reported this week but a very notable dace and this species appears to be flourishing in several sections of this tiny river.  Come the back end of the river season the Flit could produce a dace over a pound, which is a very rare sight on any river.  Alan Lawrence paid a visit to the Ouse at Pavenham were he tempted 4 chub of 3lb 9oz,  4lb 11oz,  5lb 14oz  and a pristine looking specimen of 6lb 2oz, all taken using a one swan shot link ledger with a paste bait wrapped around a 14mm cork ball. 
Prior to his river trip, Alan Lawrence had visited The Airman where he had no fewer than 10 tench during a day session, the best going 8lb 1oz taken just on dark, plus two bream around 6lb each.  All Alan’s fish were caught  using maggots as bait in conjunction with a block end feeder.  Jay Plume also reported a nice tench on ‘the method’ feeder with a cut down boilie as bait.  Other anglers have enjoyed good nets of roach with an abundance of redfins in the 4-6oz bracket, these fish often being caught relatively close in on the pole.  Carp and catfish are being caught but the captors are reluctant to publicise their details. 
A reminder that cropping of the cricket bat willows behind Broom Lake was due to start on 24th July.  Last Thursday a committee member reported tench up to 4.5lb were being caught along the farmer’s field side.  One of the captors, Michael Ward, commented he had been enjoying some good night sessions, including one catch of 9 bream, 2 carp and a tench.  Thomas Parker had caught  a 19lb common and an 8lb mirror and reported that, apart from the previous couple of weeks, he been catching regularly with his best fish a common carp over 25lb.  Sandie Cornell had only one bream to report on the day, but she had recently landed her PB carp of 23lb 3oz, which was a common.  She had also enjoyed  5 fish and 6 fish carp hauls recently during her regular day sessions.  Martin Reynolds was catching bream, perch and a crucian over 3lb, whilst venue regular John Wigg was catching plenty of roach up to 8oz.  Jay Plume fished the pole with 6mm pellets and included a 3lb 8oz tench.  Ian Palmer landed 4 carp in two hours on Friday night, between 10pm and midnight, comprising of commons of 11lb, 17lb and 22lb, and a mirror of 12lb.  Ian reported that the smallest common was trailing another rig in its mouth with poorly tied knots and the hook length attached to a length of line in excess of 20lb breaking strain, also as the bait was a fake pellet bait it would be a permanently fishing rig that could be repeatedly picked up by other fish.  Fortunately Ian was able to remove the offending rig and the fish swam away strongly.  Unfortunately we have also had reports of several vehicles speeding along the track around the lake.  Not only is this potentially dangerous to other anglers present it also causes damage to the track, especially when the track is damp, which will ultimately lead to the track being closed.   
Anglers are still enjoying good catches of silver fish from Willington Lake on a variety of tactics, although sport is often interrupted when pike are attracted to the feeding activity.  Andy Garner managed to tempt pike using lures, but members should remember that despite their fearsome reputation pike need to be handled with great care, especially during the summer months, and may need to be held in the water for several minutes before release to ensure the pike has fully recovered.
 A number of matches are coming up in the next few weeks and all matches are free for members to enter with an optional pools, please contact  Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only) for further details.  The Airman will host the next monthly match on Sunday 30th July with pegs 2-12 reserved for the match.  The 24 h series is then contested at The Airman on 5th/6th August and Broom Lake on 12th/13th August, please note night permits are not required to fish these overnight matches and the lake will be closed to anglers not fishing the 24h matches







Week ending 16th July 2017

Catch reports from SDAA waters are few and far between this week, but The Airman produced a 49lb 12oz catfish for Martin Sharpe whilst peter Gill tempted a 26lb 8oz carp on a surface bait.  Some members have again commented that anglers appear to arrive at The Airman with the intent of using it as a land fill site and proceed to fire out several kilos of bait irrespective of whether the fish are feeding or not.  The committee would recommend that anglers feed in moderation and not attempt to feed every fish in the lake.  The Airman is only 4 acres in size and there is a finite limit to how much bait the fish can feed on. 
Despite a lack of reports on carp captures, Willington Lake continues to produce some excellent nets of silver fish.  Nigel Gilbert targeted one of the swims along the track and took a procession of roach to just over the pound mark using sweetcorn as bait on float tactics.  Most fish were in the 4-6oz rand and a switch to method feeder resulted in a similar stamp of fish. 
The club held a fishing tackle auction and sold several items which had been collected by the club and held in a library raising £172 that has been donated back to Club Funds.  SDAA has also supported the Leiston Youth and Community Angling Society, a small fishing club in Suffolk, by donating a range of tackle to support their efforts to support juniors taking up angling.   Leiston Youth & Community Angling Society (LYCAS) are currently teaching 32 children between the ages of 6 and 14 how to fish, which is a really worthwhile venture, especially as there has been a dramatic fall in national junior rod licence sales in recent years. 
With the continued hot and dry weather it has been decided, that for the benefit of the fish in Stanford Pit, that fishing be suspended with immediate effect until further notice.  Water levels continue to fall and any members walking past the pit who see fish in distress are asked to contact any of the committee so that the committee can decide upon next actions. 
Whilst on the subject of fish welfare, several dead fish have been reported across SDAA waters.  Dead carp may be the result of stress due to spawning whilst dead  pike may simply be due to the stress of being caught and hand handled during hot weather.  The SDAA committee recommend that all fish are returned to the water as quickly as possible during the summer months.   This includes those targeting smaller species and  anglers are asked to consider whether they need to retain fish in keepnets. This is entirely voluntary and if keepnets are used can members ensure they are pegged out fully and not overfilled. 
We have a team of bailiffs who regularly patrol our waters, their main  objective  is to ensure that members enjoy the facilities of the club and the rules are respected.  Another part of the role is to report back to the committee the health of our fisheries and to do this they are charged with speaking to anglers about catches made and obtain a general picture of how productive our waters are.  There is no compulsion on any club member to give specific details of the swim occupied, the baits or tactics used but the club would appreciate direct feedback from members either via the bailiff team , directly through Facebook or to the club publicity officer, so that members can keep updated with the quality of the fish being caught across all our waters. 
Specimen trophies including The Tookey Trophy, for best overall capture are still up for grabs and several entries have been received. The overall winner also receives free SDAA membership for next season. Details of how to claim a specimen capture are in your club book. 
We have been given notice that tree work is scheduled at Broom Lake during the period 24th July to 30th September as some of the cricket bat willows will be felled.  Whilst it is understood that there will be some disruption to anglers it is not expected that the lake will have to close.  Please respect any notices posted at the fishery.  Also a reminder that only 2 rods can be used at Broom Lake by all members until 1st October .

Week ending 9th July 2017

Sparkling sunshine, sparkling waters and great fish to the Bank.
Best of the bunch this week being  to Colin Pirie who had a 25lb 10oz common visit him when he had an overnighter on Broom lake. The beauty raised him from sleep at 1.30 in the morning by rudely setting both his alarms and reels screaming. She was safely in the net after a short sharp tussle.
Our rivers are now picking up the pace with good tench still predominating in the Barford Area with fish being landed in the 5 to 7 lb stamp.
Some quality roach are being reported from the Flit behind Shefford where it was good to see 3 roach around the 10 to 14oz mark being taken on caster over hemp underneath the swing bridge then later upon meeting the same angler again a large roach of just under a Lb on the same tactics where the river bends.
For up to date pictures take a look on our  Facebook site, which continues to be developed and is a great place to see the quality of the fish regularly caught from across our waters. 
As a reminder Books are still for sale and a membership runs all the way until 15/06/18 a full membership being £70.00. Optional night permits are available to fish overnight on the Airman, Broom and Willington Lakes.

On a social matter, the club were delighted to host a fund raising event. On Saturday 8th July the club gave the Royal British Legion use of Broom Lake for a fund raising event that raised £262 for the RBL.  Some 25 people took part in the event with half the attendees being angling novices who received tuition organised by Head Coach David Baker, assisted by other members of the committee.  The warm and sunny conditions meant the carp were unwilling to feed and spent the day slowly cruising in the surface layers.  However, simple float tactics using 4m whips and maggot as bait saw all the novices steadily catch roach, rudd and perch throughout the day.  The photo shows Andy Fievez (Chairman, Stotfold and Arlesey RBL Branch) thanking Richard Bell (SDAA Ltd) for hosting the event.The committee would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul Brogden for organising the RBL event and Paul Watts for providing a constant stream of burgers throughout the day.. 

Week ending 2nd July 2017

Both Shefford & District AA stillwaters and rivers have been producing some good fish in recent weeks.  Relatively few anglers fish the rivers during the summer months and Peter Gill found he had Little Paxton to himself when he was delighted to land a 13lb 5oz barbel.    A little further upstream a few members have now tried the new stretch of the Ouse next to the power station at Little Barford with the most notable fish reported so far being river tench to over 5lb, including a 6lb tench landed by Paul Summers.  The narrow sections of the River Flit around Shefford continue to produce some good roach and dace with the odd small barbel also showing up in catches.  Members should note that the EA have started their weed cutting campaign along the Ivel and Broom River appears to have been  one of the first stretches to be cut. 
The first match of the season saw a disappointing turn out of only four anglers turn up at Willington Lake.  Alan Andrews fished pellet and method feeder to lead the field with 20lb 10oz of mainly roach and skimmer bream and also a tench of 6lb 10oz, plus a carp estimated at 10lb; however, carp over 2lb only count as 2lb in the monthly match series.  Nigel Gilbert was second with 6lb 10oz of roach on waggler and sweetcorn, Malcolm Gibbs used similar tactics for third with 3lb 10oz whilst Alan Harrison weighed in 1lb 14oz of roach, rudd and perch taken on maggot.  The next match is part of the 24h series being fished at Willington Lake on 15th/16th July.  Night permits are not required to take part in the 24h matches and further details can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778 evenings & weekends only).  Members should note that Broom Lake will be closed to members from 08.00-18.00 on Saturday 8th July as the venue will be hosting a charity event in support of the Royal British Legion. 
Alan Lawrence had an excellent tench session on an undisclosed SDAA water in recent weeks.  Alan used flavoured bread paste float fished in the margins over a sprinkling of ground bait to tempt a total of nine tench to 7lb 7oz.  Fortunately Alan’s tackle was sufficiently robust to land a 28lb 5oz mirror carp that decided to gate crashed the party.  
Broom Lake is a popular venue thanks to being able to park behind your peg at the moment.  However, swim choice and time of day are critical for those targeting the carp.  Andy Richwood recently landed carp of 23lb and 18lb within 30 minutes of setting up but then the action stopped and remained biteless for the rest of the day.  Other anglers have been enjoying plenty of carp action as the light fades and during the first few hours of darkness with Andy Riley managing 6 carp during a recent overnight trip.  Bream and tench have been accounting for most activity on carp rods during the day with the carp cruising in the upper layers during the heat of the day. 
Some of the smaller The Airman catfish have been feeding, but none of the larger fish have been reported in recent weeks.  Carp fishing has been a little hit and miss recently and it is the bream and tench that again have been the most reliable feeders.  Unfortunately a few dead fish have been found in recent weeks, which is likely to be caused by the stress of spawning.  However, it is worth reminding members to handle all fish with great care and return them to the water as quickly and safely as possible. 
Carp anglers are still reluctant to talk about their endeavours at Willington Lake, but those targeting tench and other smaller species are enjoying success.  Some areas of the lake are proving more productive than others and those choosing the right areas are again finding a bold approach to feeding and bait selection are reaping the biggest rewards.  Whilst maggots might produce bites all day long in some swims it also tends to draw in the smaller fish, whereas baits such as sweetcorn and pellet mean fewer bites but a much better stamp of fish.





Week ending 18th June 2017

Well the anticipated start of the season sparkled into life with all our river venues reporting good captures of barbel,chub on method and pellet and bream on cage feeder and chopped worm together with the occasional specimen perch. The waters were running clean and clear and with the bright sun and high temperatures not the ideal fishing conditions.
Even the Flit behind Shefford showed its value with a haul of 3 pristine roach coming in at between 10Oz and a pound on trotted red maggot with a bonus 3lb chub reaching the net in a short 2 hour session of river roving.
Just when you think everyone has turned their back on the stillwaters, the catch of the week is special.  
it's a 3lb 5oz crucian from Broom Lake caught by Sandie Cornell on a boilie.
PS - lateral line count of 32, anal ray count of 6 and classic crucian dorsal. An oldish looking fish which was impressive in the flesh!

Week ending 11th June 2017

IPA Blunham water 
The IPA do not currently have an agreement in place for the fishing rights on this water  (IPA water 13, p37 of the SDAA membership book 2017-18). 
In light of this and with the river fishing season due to start on Friday, June 16th, SDAA members MUST NOT fish or access this water until further notice.  We will update these instructions as soon as the situation changes.

The Airman once again shows its nature as a premium fishery with Edward Allen and his son netting a  Moggie caught on a single halibut pellet over a golf ball bag of mixed goodies in a PVA
Colin Pirie, in a two night session bagged himself carp to 26lb and his first cat of 28lb.
There have been reports of cats up to 40lb during the week and a7 fish haul of bream in the 6 to 9lb range together with a tench all on the slider method again.
The slider has been highly effective in the past few weeks, if you fancy giving it a go and you are not sure how to set up an effective rig why not speak to a member of our coaching team.
Meanwhile at Willington, hair rigged double corn provided good sport for a new member  targeting tench but ending up with 10 pristine quality large roach.
The pike are certainly on the move with all venues reporting interruptions due to their being attracted to the-feeding shoals. 
The river season opens later this week and it will be very interesting to see chub and barbel , monster perch and dace gracing the banks once more. The club would appreciate reports and pictures of the first captures from all our rivers but in particular Little Barford.  
Members and non members should be aware the club does not operate any day tickets on any of its waters. Members must be in possession of their club book and valid ea licence. Guests can accompany members and tickets cost £10. If a guest subsequently becomes a member of the club within the same season then the £10 is discounted against the cost of membership.On another note great to see the response from the members to the "great bait debate" thanks for your input, vital for the good health of the club.

Week ending 4th June 2017

Once again the Airman Pit, our flagship venue shows itself to be a prolific water for quality fish.
 
In a 12 hour Sunday session, one of our members(not wishing to be named) had a fantastic days sport. Fishing from peg 3, just over the ledge alternating  float and maggot feeder, using only red maggot caught 6 quality tench ranging from 2lb 7oz to just over 5 and a half pound. 
Members are gearing up for the river season and anticipating good fishing on all our stretches of water as large shoals of dace, roach, chub and bream have been seen patrolling.  
Our barbel anglers are gearing up ready to move onto the Ivel on the lookout for a double.
 Whilst we are all able to enjoy our sport at a time and date of our choosing, others seek to take away our way of life and our hearts go out to all those touched and affected by both the Manchester and London atrocities. The committee sincerely hope none of our members were caught up in either event.

Week ending 28th May 2017

Not much fishing action to report on this week more a message to keep vigilant: 
No major captures to report this week although all waters were fishing well for the major species, Carp, Tench and bream. 
The club has been advised by our colleagues from one of the local angling clubs, Ampthill of illegal activity concerning the removal of 5 dead carp by 2  men who both had valid club books. A reminder to all our members and anyone who has an interest in angling that removal of fish is theft and any such activity should be reported to a member of the committee immediately. 
The rivers open soon and we are looking forward to reports of catches from the clubs latest acquisition, a 350 yard stretch of the River Ouse at Little Barford. Details can be found on the club website www.SheffordDAA.org.uk and new membership books which are on sale now. Can our members note that the closed season does not end until the 16th of June and you should not use the rivers until such date. Unfortunately we have had reports of anglers (not club members) fishing on the river Flit in Shefford during last week. There has been EA activity on our waters recently so to use the rivers before the opening day of the season could lead to fines and bringing your club into disrepute. 
Hopefully we will be back into the big fish reporting next week.

Week ending 21st May 2017

Without doubt there is one story dominating the headlines of this week’s captures. I have been mentioning the clubs traditional tench waters, Willington and Broom Lakes only to be astonished by a capture of an 11lb 9oz monster from the Airman Pit by Peter Swallow. Peter was not lying in wait behind three rods for any of the many specimen carp known to inhabit the Airman, instead he chose to use a traditional method on a sliding float. Having rung the angling press Peter was delighted to be told that this fish is one of the largest ever caught by this method. The club are delighted for Peter.
Anyone capturing a specimen fish, whether gudgeon or carp, may have chance to win one of the clubs awards and to be eligible  is asked to have their book signed by a witness who must be a club member and if possible provide a picture including details of where caught and weight upon capture. All entries to Steve baker, publicity officer please.
Also the committee would like to mention the honest fisherman who found an item of angling tackle and had it returned to its owner. Many thanks.

Week ending 14th May 2017

There is still a month to go before the 16th June when anglers can return to fish the rivers.  Shefford & District AA Ltd are pleased to confirm that they have now secured the fishing rights for a 400m stretch of the Ouse next to the power station at Little Barford.  Details of the venue can be found in the new club books for the 2017/18 season.  This stretch is noted for many species including good numbers of carp and tench on top of the more usual river species of bream, chub, pike, perch, roach and dace.  Access is via a footpath running from the end of Alington Road and the stretch overlooks the golf course on the opposite bank.  Like all SDAA waters this will be for members only and day tickets will not be available.  Members should also note that they should not try to access the stretch at Little Paxton during the close season as keys do not currently open the club lock at the entrance to the allotments.  The Head Bailiff is looking to expand the bailiff team next season and anyone interested in becoming a bailiff can contact Kevin Williams on 07921 517683.  Kevin is particularly looking to strengthen our bailiff team in the St Neots area to help patrol these two waters. 
The Airman catfish, carp, bream and tench have been feeding in numbers although precise details of catches have been hard to track down.  Dennis Thompson managed a 14lb 4oz mirror and then landed a 6lb 2oz bream on his carp gear.  However, the bream was trailing a rig comprising of 3 feet of leadcore that still had a 2oz lead attached.  All members should note that leadcore has been banned on all SDAA waters following a vote by members at an AGM.  The 2oz lead was still attached as the ‘tail rubber’ had been jammed on so tightly it would not budge.  Unfortunately this was not a one off incident and James Turvey recovered another rig from a catfish which comprised of 6 feet of leadcore and again the 2.5oz lead was still attached.  The relevant rule states: “All terminal rigs must be constructed so as to prevent leads and excessive lengths of line remaining attached to fish in the event of a line breakage. The use of leadcore is not permitted”.  Fortunately these fish survived towing around a potential ‘death rig’, other fish have not been so fortunate in the past. 
Carp continue to feature in catches at Broom Lake along with good numbers of bream, with tench also finally putting in an appearance.  Several anglers have enjoyed multiple bags of carp and increasingly more now top the 20lb mark, with Mervyn Saville managed to with a hard fighting 20lb 3oz common and Jake Kitching landing a 20lb common during an overnight session. 



Week ending 23rd April 2017

Club members faced difficult conditions last week demanding a level of skill and tenacity. Several concurrent cold nights with temperatures hovering just above freezing being followed by bright sunny days do not make for easy fishing.   For those who ventured out onto any of the 40 acres of stillwater under the clubs control the efforts were worthwhile with good catches being reported across all waters. 
Silver fish predominated, roach, rudd and even a bleak turning up at Willington! 
A weekend session at Broom lake for Dave Baker provided the highlight of catches reported with 6 bream over 4lb and the largest a hefty lump of  7lb.  Dave went on to bank 6 carp including commons of 11-4, 15-7, 17-6 & 19-7 and a pristine mirror of 22-8.   
With little rain falling in the past month Stanford Pit water levels have dropped around an inch this last week and it is recommended that, to reduce stress on the fish they are not held in keep nets for the present. There is still plenty of activity from the local carp and they are concentrating on the northern (Green Man PH) side of the pit in the relatively shallow water there. Shoals of small rudd have been seen breaking the surface of the water. 
Members are being asked to keep their eyes open eyes open for Floating Pennywort as things warm up.  It was spotted by members on our stretches at Willington and Little Paxton last year before dying back for the winter.  No doubt it will reappear this summer.  The EA will try and deal with any lying in the main channel, but it is likely the club will have to deal with any infestation in a lake. As such it is important that any sightings should be reported to any member of the committee. Photos and precise locations are invaluable.  Useful information has been posted on the website so members can identify this very invasive weed.
Finally, new membership books will be distributed to tackle shops next week and now is a good time to introduce fellow anglers to our waters. Remember day tickets are available to anglers accompanying club members and the price of the ticket is discounted from the subsequent purchase of a book.

Week ending 16th April 2017

SDAA membership cards for the 2017/18 season will be available from early May and will be valid from date of purchase through to 15th June 2018.  All prices will be the same as last season.  Full details about membership, night permits and application forms will appear on the membership section of the SDAA website towards the end of April 
Membership of the SDAA provides you with quality fishing with exclusive access to several excellent lakes and premier stretches of the rivers Great Ouse, Ivel and its tributaries in and around Bedfordshire. SDAA membership also gains access to all Ivel Protection Association (IPA) waters. 
Whether you are a specimen hunter or pleasure angler, SDAA waters can cater for virtually all your angling needs with all major species available. 
The club has an active match programme with around 30 events already scheduled covering all aspects of fishing including specialist pike matches.  
Around the Fisheries 
Broom Lake 
The carp certainly came awake in style on Broom lake last week.  
Anglers enjoying the sunny weather took advantage with Mick Burr, 12lb carp; Daniel Howett, carp of 20lbs and 15lbs as well as 3 bream up to 6lbs; Mark Brigginshaw, carp of 13lbs; Andy Richwood, carp of 18lbs 3ozs. 
Jack Lancaster who was on a day session carping had a brace of  commons of 17lb 8oz and a stunning looking 23lb 12oz fish. 
The Airman 
Anglers are reporting good bags of silver fish including roach , skimmers and rudd and perch. The pike are very active at the moment and anglers targeting these fish are seeing good sport. 
Stanford Pit 
Recently re opened and producing numbers of tench with the occasional bonus carp. This is an ideal fishery for beginners to practice their skills before heading to the larger waters. 
Willington Lake  
Whilst there are no reports this week, The lake is well known for producing carp to over 40Lbs. It boasts a large population of tench,  making multiple bags possible throughout the summer. Bream into double figures feature regularly and there are significant numbers of silver fish so a good mixed bag is only a rod length away.
 
The club would be delighted to hear about your success and you can report your catches and upload pictures to our facebook page.

Week ending 9th April 2017

The recent mild spell has seen water temperatures rise across Shefford & District AA Ltd stillwaters and members can expect to see many species spawning earlier than usual this year.  This was illustrated by the carp spawning at Stanford Pit following the warm weekend weather.  Water levels have risen slightly at Stanford Pit during the spring and the committee have decided to reopen the venue for fishing, but all fish must be returned immediately to the water to avoid unnecessary stress and the use of keepnets at this venue is banned.  The committee will continue to monitor the venue and may well have to reintroduce a fishing ban if water levels start to drop later in the year. 
The Airman catfish have been quite active and the biggest specimen caught last week was a 47lb 5oz catfish caught by Dave Hedges.  The carp have often been seen basking in small gaps in the emerging reed beds as the water temperatures rise, but we urge anglers not to try and catch carp from the reeds as it is almost impossible to land fish from these areas without causing damage to the fish or leaving them tethered.  Members are also reminded that fishing is from the marked swims only at both The Airman and Broom Lake.   
The track at Broom Lake has been repaired and is now open to cars and small vans.  Large vans, heavy vehicles and any vehicle over 2m tall must be left in the car park and not driven around the lake.  Please take care driving round and ensure you stay on the Type 1 and not drive on the grass, which is the main reason for causing the damage that leads to the track’s closure.
 
Two members were recently banned from the club for night fishing without a night permit.  Members are reminded to carry their documents at all times whilst on club waters and they can expect to be bailiffed at any time of the day or night.  The Head Bailiff is looking to expand the bailiff team next season and anyone interested in becoming a bailiff can contact Kevin Williams on 07921 517683.  Kevin is particularly looking to strengthen our bailiff team in the St Neots area.

Week ending 2nd April 2017

The Shefford & District AA Ltd AGM was held last week and members were kept informed of key developments within the club as well as voting to adopt two special resolutions proposed by the committee.  The club has invested in major improvements at The Airman and the finances remain in good shape, meaning there will be no increase in subscriptions for the 2017/18 season.  Membership books for next season will be available from local tackle dealers in early May and will be valid through to 15th June 2018.  Please check the club’s website towards the end of April for full details about membership for next season.  Following the formal AGM, trophies were presented by life member Pete Allen to the winners of the specimen and match competitions.  John Dickman secured the Tookey Trophy for the best overall specimen for his 60lb 13oz catfish.  Malcolm Gibbs was the winner of the monthly match series trophy and James Turvey winner of the pike series shield.  David Hawkes was awarded the Centenary Cup for his wide ranging and major contributions to the management of the Club since joining the Committee in 2008.  David's influence has extended well beyond his roles as Club Secretary and Membership Secretary.  
The Airman has been a popular venue for members in recent weeks, but members are reminded to ensure the gate is left closed and locked after entering or exiting the venue.  A number of catfish have been caught during the last week  including a 35lb 2oz specimen reported by Martin Sharpe, which is a sure sign that water temperatures have been rising.  Bream and tench have also started to show in catches. 
Members have also been enjoying more success at Broom Lake.  Mick Baldwin enjoyed a great catch of ten bream to 7lb during a day session.  On the same day Barry Cook landed carp of 23lb and 19lb, plus two bream of 7lb and 6lb whilst Andy Richwood managed a 15lb carp.  Students from Shuttleworth college have repaired several swims and will hopefully return in May/June to carry out further maintenance work.





Week ending 26th March 2017

Shefford & District AA river venues are now subject to the close season and cannot be fished until 16th June.  A few days before the close season came into force James Turvey visited the Ouse at Pavenham and adopted a roving style fishing several swims during the day.  James was rewarded with two magnificent chub of 6lb and 7lb caught within an hour of each other. 
With water temperatures rising the catfish at The Airman have started to become more active and at least one 40lber was caught during the last week.  Carp are also featuring in catches with Peter Thurgood landing a 25lb 12oz mirror. 
Carp have also started to feed at Broom Lake with several doubles caught during the week, with several large bream also picking up baits intended for the carp.  Winter tree work at the venue is now complete, but students from Shuttleworth college will be visiting the lake on some Fridays to carry out swim repairs and other maintenance work, and members must take heed of any notices regarding swim closures and access restrictions during their visits.  The track around the lake will remain closed until the damaged areas have dried out sufficiently so that they can be repaired.
 
Plenty of anglers have been visiting Willington Lake but catches usually go unreported, other than the odd VS Fisheries stockie carp from last year have been landed.  Members visiting Willington Lake should note that Barford Road is still closed through to 7th April.  Access to the fishery is still available from the Great Barford end of the road.   Although there are signs indicating the road is closed at the Great Barford bridge traffic lights, the actual road closure is well after the entrance to the lake further towards Willington village.





Week ending 19th March 2017

Michael Webb was one of several Shefford & District AA members who headed for the river venues on the 14th March, which was the last day of the river season with rivers now closed to fishing until 16th June.  Michael chose the narrow river Flit (also known as the Ivel Navigation) and landed chub of 3lb 12oz and 4lb 3oz, as well as a brown trout around the 5lb mark.  Further upstream in Shefford, anglers have been enjoying some good catches of roach and dace during the last few weeks of the season, with some of the roach well over the pound mark.  Anyone found fishing the river venues during the close season will face prosecution by the Environment Agency, as well as disciplinary action from the club.  Anglers aged 12 and over will also need to renew their Environment Agency rod licences that expire at the end of March.  The junior rod licence will be free from 1st April, but junior anglers are still required to obtain one.  A new 3 rod licence is also available from 1st April, which will be 50% dearer than the standard 2 rod licence. 
A work party is  being held at Broom Lake on Saturday 25th March and volunteers are welcome to attend, during the work party the track and swims 1-19 will be closed.  Students from Shuttleworth college will be visiting the lake on Fridays for the next few weeks to carry out swim repairs and other maintenance work, and members must take heed of any notices regarding swim closures and access restrictions during their visits.
 
The Shefford & District AA AGM is being held at 8pm on Wednesday 29th March 2017 at Shefford Town Memorial Association Hall, 10 Hitchin Road, Shefford SG17 5JA.  The bar will be open from 7.30pm.  Further details of the AGM are available on the home page of the club’s website.  Entry and voting will be by card only so please remember to bring your membership book.



Week ending 12th March 2017

With the close season on rivers in force from 15th March through to 15th June, Shefford & District AA members are now restricted to the club’s stillwater venues.  Milder conditions have seen a distinct increase in fish activity with both pike and perch likely to go through spawning in the next few weeks.  Members have also reported bream already sporting their spawning tubercles, which is a sure sign that water temperatures have risen and that other species may well spawn earlier than usual this season.  Willington Lake continues to fish well for silver fish and pike, with young 6 year old Aiden Graham setting another PB with a pike of 13lb 4oz.  Carp, tench and bream can now be expected to feature in catches.  Please note that due to planned road closures until the end of March, access to Willington Lake is limited to the Great Barford end of Barford Road. 
The Airman continues to fish well for roach with plenty of skimmer bream also showing up in catches.  Colin Smith managed a short session  using swimfeeder tactics and landed four roach and three skimmers all over a pound, with his best roach weighing 1lb 5oz.  With roach to just under 2lb and plenty of fish over the pound mark some anglers have been putting together roach catches to well over 20lb.   
Tree work on the islands at Broom Lake has been completed.   The track around the lake has now been closed to prevent further damage and will reopen when the ground has dried out and damaged areas have been repaired.  A work party is  being held on Saturday 25th March and volunteers are welcome to attend, during the work party the track and swims 1-19 will be closed.  Students from Shuttleworth college will be visiting the lake on Fridays for the next few weeks to carry out swim repairs and other maintenance work, and members must take heed of any notices regarding swim closures and access restrictions during their visits.

Week ending 5th March 2017

The final round of the Shefford & District AA pike series produced another good result at Willington Lake with several members enjoying multiple pike captures.  The wet and windy conditions appeared to put some members off as only four entered the match, but despite the conditions the pike were on the feed.  Pike match organiser Bryan Lancaster won the match with five pike to 10lb 13oz for a total weight of 34lb 8oz.  Kevin Wilkins landed 8 pike to 4lb 7oz totalling 19lb for second place, with Tony Archer’s 4 pike to 8lb 12oz totalling 17lb 1oz in third.  James Turvey had a single pike of 12lb 12oz, which was the biggest caught on the day.  The pike series has been a resounding success this year with some excellent catches.  James Turvey was the overall series winner with 11 points with Kevin Wilkins second on 6 points.  James also landed the biggest pike of the series with a fish of 13lb 12oz, which was part of his amazing 24 pike haul during the February match. 
Continuing on the pike theme, Richard Crockford landed a fine specimen pike at The Airman just as the light was fading, which tipped the scales round to 25lb 4oz.  Young Dexter Allen was reeling in a small roach when a decent pike grabbed hold and despite only fishing with a size 20 hook Dexter was able to safely land the pike.  Carp have also been more active with Andy Furr catching mirrors of 20lb 10oz and 19lb 2oz during his latest session.   Neil Bygrave and Nigel Gilbert had set off on Sunday morning with the intention of fishing the river Ouse at Pavenham but found the river high and coloured and after a biteless hour decided a move was required.  The river at Willington was also unfishable, so they finally ended up at The Airman after lunch.    Adopting simple maggot feeder approach Neil had his first bite after an hour that resulted in a 1lb 14oz roach.  Three more roach followed in successive casts, the first two over the 1lb mark with the third was again similar to his first at just under 2lb. Then all went quiet for a couple of hours before they started to feed again as dusk approached and Neil landed a further two 1lb+ roach, along with a skimmer bream and a couple of smaller roach.  Nigel also managed a couple of 1lb+ roach later in the session along with some smaller roach. 
There will be a number of closures at Broom Lake in the next few weeks whilst tree surgeons are working.  The whole lake will be closed on Friday 10th March & Saturday 11th March.  A work party is also being held on Saturday 25th March and volunteers are welcome to attend, during the work party the track and swims 1-19 will be closed.  Members will still be able to access the river on these dates but must be mindful of any tree works.  The track around the lake has now been closed to prevent further damage and will reopen when the ground has dried out and damaged areas have been repaired. 
A reminder that the river close season starts after 14th March and the closing date for specimen fish claims is 16th March so that trophies can be engraved ahead of the AGM on 29th March.






Week ending 26th Feb 2017

The changeable weather offered some extra challenges for Shefford & District AA members during the last week, especially for those who chose to try and fish during the gale force winds.  The final round of the match series was fished under blustery conditions at Willington Lake with a disappointing turnout of only three anglers.  Despite the wind causing problems with presentation, John Salmon put together a very respectable 10lb 10oz of roach, bleak and rudd on the pole to secure first place.  Malcolm Gibbs opted to fish the waggler and weighed in 4lb 14oz for second place.  Nigel Gilbert went all out for the bream on the feeder but only managed a few roach.  Malcolm Gibbs had already secured overall victory in the match series that has been fished across the club's stillwaters. The final round in the pike series will take place on Sunday 5th March at Willington Lake (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details).  
David Hawkes returned to Broom River and managed to land another good perch of 3lb 4oz perch on lobworm and also lost good pike that snapped up his lobworm bait.  David fished double red maggot and a small feeder on his second rod and managed to catch 15 good sized roach, several being 'netters'.
There will be a number of closures at Broom Lake in the next few weeks whilst tree surgeons are working.  The whole lake will be closed on Friday 3rd March & Saturday 4th March and again on Friday 10th March & Saturday 11th March.  A work party is also being held on Saturday 25th March and volunteers are welcome to attend, during the work party the track and swims 1-19 will be closed.  Members will still be able to access the river on these dates but must park in the car park and be mindful of any tree works. Apologies for the relatively short notice for these closures, but the dates were dependent upon the tree surgeons availability and no more tree works are planned until next winter.
The Shefford & District AA AGM is being held on Wednesday 29th March 2017 and members should keep an eye on the club's website for further details of the AGM that will appear in the next two weeks.

Week ending 19th Feb 2017

The latest round of the Shefford & District AA pike series saw James Turvey enjoy a truly magnificent catch at Willington Lake.  James was one of ten anglers taking part in the pike match and managed to land an amazing 24 (yes twenty four!) pike ranging from 1lb 7oz to 13lb 2oz for an incredible total weight of 100lb 8oz.  James’s catch of 24 pike in a single session is one that few anglers will ever achieve and with one match still remaining this latest win has given him unassailable lead in the pike series.  Second place was taken by Kevin Wilkins with 3 fish up to 10lb 9oz for a total weight of 18lb 12oz and third place taken by Dennis Thompson with 3 fish for a total weight of 10lb 13oz.  Nine anglers weighed in a total of 38 pike for a total weight of 157lb 12oz.  The final round in the pike series will take place on Sunday 5th March at Willington Lake (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details).  The final monthly match will be held at Willington Lake on Sunday 26th February (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details). The river close season starts after 14th March and once again several members have been out on the rivers.  David Hawkes went in pursuit of the big perch from Broom River and was delighted to land a 3lb 5oz perch on double red maggot and then lost a large pike that also took a liking to red maggots.   Further upstream John Hollands landed a 4lb 5oz chub from the Langford area. 

The Shefford & District AA AGM is being held on Wednesday 29th March 2017.  If you want to take a more active role in running the club there are vacancies for both committee and officer positions, and nominations for these positions must be received by 28th February.  Members must also advise the Club Secretary in writing of any business to be moved at the AGM before 28th February. 
Week ending 12th Feb 2017

Shefford & District AA are pleased to report that work to upgrade the entrance and car park at The Airman is now complete and the venue is again open to members.  Vehicles must not exceed 5mph whilst on site, must not be parked anywhere on the tarmac entrance and must not be driven over the kerbs (including the dropped kerbs behind pegs 1-4).    Despite flurries of snow at the weekend, anglers were catching plenty of roach and a few small pike. 
With the river venues facing the close season after 14th March, several members are concentrating on our flowing waters.  Mick Burr has a knack of catching big perch from the Ivel but his latest visit produced a pike of over 15lb that took a liking to a lobworm intended for the perch.  Fortunately the pike was hooked in the lip in front of its sharp teeth and it tested Mick’s tackle to the full before being safely landed.  Michael Webb did manage a decent perch from the Ivel and followed this up with a trout just under 3lb on his next visit to one the tributaries. 
The track around Broom Lake is starting to cut up due to vehicles being driven at speed and/or veering off the solid MOT Type 1 surface.  The state of the track is being closely monitored and will be closed without notice if the damage gets any worse.  Anglers targeting the silver fish have been enjoying some good catches, but with the fish tightly shoaled it pays to look for signs of fish activity before choosing where to fish. 
Members visiting Willington Lake should note that Barford Road is closed for several weeks through to early April.  Access to the fishery will still be available during any road closures from the Great Barford end of the road.   Although there are likely to be signs indicating the road is closed at the Great Barford bridge traffic lights, the actual road closure is well after the entrance to the lake further towards Willington village.  Anglers fishing the river behind the lake have been enjoying some good nets of silver fish with roach making up the bulk of catches.  The penultimate round in the pike series takes place on Saturday 18th February at Willington Lake (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details).  The final monthly match will be held at Willington Lake on Sunday 26th February (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details). 
 
The Shefford & District AA AGM is being held on Wednesday 29th March 2017.  There are vacancies for both committee and officer positions and nominations for these positions must be received by 28th February.  Members must also advise the Club Secretary in writing of any business to be moved at the AGM before 28th February.  The committee has banned the use of drones on all club waters.




Week ending 29th Jan 2017

Even though ice was covering the lakes for most of the week some hardy Shefford & District AA members managed to track down a few fish, despite having to break through the ice.  John Wigg fished Broom Lake during the week and having first cleared a gap in the ice John went on to catch roach up to 8oz fishing the pole.   The track around the lake is still useable but members are asked to only drive around at walking pace and carefully stick to the line of the track in order to avoid further damage to the adjacent soft ground. 
The latest monthly match was fished at The Airman with the five contestants having to break the ice to fish. Malcolm Gibbs was the runaway winner with 5lb 7oz of roach on the long whip from peg 2, whilst John Wigg managed 12oz on the pole from peg 3 for second place, with both anglers plagued by the attention of pike.  No one else weighed, but John Salmon did hook a decent fish on his only bite of the day, but John’s tackle was totally under gunned for the suspected tench, which he failed to land.  With the best eight results from the series counting, Malcolm Gibbs on 29 points cannot be overhauled, with John Wigg, John Salmon and Nigel Gilbert all tied for second with 23 points.  The final monthly match will be held at Willington Lake on Sunday 26th January (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details).  The penultimate round in the pike series takes place on Saturday 18th February at Willington Lake (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details). 
Work is now underway to upgrading the entrance and car park at The Airman.   The Airman will remain closed until the work has been completed and this is likely to take until Monday 13th February at the earliest.  Bad weather may cause some delays in the work schedule, so we will provide updates on progress as they become available. 
Members visiting Willington Lake should note that Barford Road is due to close for several weeks from the end of January through to the end of March.  We have been assured that access to the fishery will still be available during any road closures from the Great Barford end of the road.   Although there are likely to be signs indicating the road is closed at the Great Barford bridge traffic lights, the actual road closure is well after the entrance to the lake further towards Willington village. 
Finally, an early reminder that the Shefford & District AA AGM will be held on Wednesday 29th March 2017.  There are vacancies for both committee and officer positions for any member wanting to take an active role in managing the club, with committee meetings taking place on the second Tuesday evening of each month.  Nomination for these positions must be received by 28th February and seconded by another member.  Members must also advise the Club Secretary in writing of any business to be moved at the AGM before 28th February.

Week ending 22nd Jan 2017

The winter weather certainly took hold across Shefford & District AA waters during the last week.  Members arriving at the lakes found them frozen over after several hard overnight frosts, which also led to the cancellation of the latest pike match.  The Ouse was also running high and coloured for much of the week as rain water from the previous weekend slowly passed through the system.  The Ivel system remained fishable through most of the week as levels quickly started to drop back to normal, but relatively few members were tempted to wet a line although some were rewarded with the odd chub that were still willing to feed despite the cold conditions. 
Provided the lakes thaw, the next monthly match is scheduled for The Airman on Sunday 29th January (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details).  The penultimate round in the pike series takes place on Saturday 18th February at Willington Lake (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details). 
Shefford & District AA is about to start work on upgrading the entrance and car park at The Airman.  These works will require the complete closure of The Airman to all members from 17.15 on Sunday 29th January and it is hoped that work will be completed by Monday 13th February.  Obviously any bad weather may cause some delays in the work schedule, so we will provide updates on progress as they become available. There will be no access at all for members during the works.  Broom Lake, Willington Lake and all our river venues will remain open during this time. 
Another reminder that members visiting Willington Lake should note that Barford Road will be closed for several weeks from January through to the end of March to replace a bridge towards the Willington end of the road.  We have been assured that access to the fishery will still be available during any road closures from the Great Barford end of the road.   Although there are likely to be signs indicating the road is closed at the Great Barford bridge traffic lights the actual closure is well after the entrance to the lake.

Week ending 15th Jan 2017

With the first real taste of winter only a few hardy Shefford & District AA members have been visiting the waters during the last week.  Although no large carp have been reported, a few double figure carp have been caught by determined anglers.  Pike and roach are currently the most reliable feeders on the lakes, but with the water now gin clear the fish are tightly shoaled and are often only inclined to feed in short bursts.  Richard Knight elected to fish a session after carp at The Airman where the lake appeared lifeless and ice had started to form in the margins before his alarm finally sounded.  After a brief tussle with the line cutting through the thin ice, Richard landed a 12lb 4oz mirror carp.  At Broom Lake odd carp are still being caught with late afternoon often being the best time to coincide with the carp’s feeding spells.  Colin Smith witnessed a beautifully scaled mirror carp being caught in mid afternoon on a bottom bait.  Chris Donovan also had recent success catching a common carp on a zig-rig in late afternoon, after several hours of fishing bottom baits with no success.  
The club would like to thank the 18 students from Shuttleworth College who carried out an afternoon of work experience at The Airman during the week cutting back vegetation and applying wood chip to the swims.  A work party is being held at The Airman from 9am on Saturday 21st January. The work will involve finishing tidying up the car park and applying wood chip to swims. All volunteers are welcome to attend.  The lake will be closed to fishing whilst the work party is in progress and anyone already fishing will be expected to reel in their rods to help with the work party.  Members should keep an eye out for notices regarding closures of The Airman for further work parties and maintenance work.  
The next round in the pike series takes place on Sunday 22nd January at The Airman (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details), and the next monthly match will also be fished at The Airman on Sunday 29th January (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details).   
Members visiting Willington Lake or the adjacent stretch of river should note that Barford Road will be closed for several weeks from January through to the end of March to replace a bridge towards the Willington end of the road.  We have been assured that access to the fishery will still be available during any road closures from the Great Barford end of the road.   Although there are likely to be signs indicating the road is closed at the Great Barford bridge traffic lights the actual closure is well after the entrance to the lake.

Week ending 8th Jan 2017

With the lakes now gin clear Shefford & District AA members are finding the larger species are often lying dormant and reluctant to feed, with the exception of the pike.  However, the rivers are still producing some good catches as the fish still have to burn up energy by swimming.  Alan Lawrence has recently enjoyed some excellent chub catches from two separate SDAA waters.  A trip to the Ivel resulted in three chub of 4lb 9oz, 5lb 11oz and 6lb 13oz, with the largest fish taken just on dusk.  Alan followed this up with an even more productive session on the Ouse with four chub of 5lb 5oz, 5lb 9oz, 6lb 1oz and a pristine looking specimen of 7lb 3oz.  All the fish were taken using a light link ledger, and homemade paste as bait.  Elsewhere most river sections have been producing catches of roach and dace on float tactics although it is best to adopt a mobile approach to locate the fish that are often tightly shoaled at this time of year. 
The next round in the pike series takes place on Sunday 22nd January at The Airman (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details), and the next monthly match will also be fished at The Airman on Sunday 29th January (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details).  Members should keep an eye out for notices regarding closures of The Airman for work parties and maintenance work.  Members planning a trip to Willington should note that Barford Road will be closed for several weeks from January through to the end of March apparently to replace a bridge.  We anticipate that access to the fishery should still be available during any road closures via the Great Barford end of the road.



Week ending 1st Jan 2017

With a period of cold weather putting many species off the feed, Shefford & District AA members have found pike and chub the most reliable feeders.  Mick Burr visited the River Ivel after a heavy overnight frost along with a few other hardy members.  Whilst the others gave up after a few hours without a bite, Mick decided to stick it out until darkness fell as this is often the most productive time of the day.  Mick’s persistence was rewarded with a single bite that resulted in a beautifully conditioned chub of 6lb 12oz, which was also a new PB.  Peter Biernis also tackled the River Ivel on a couple of occasions and managed chub to just under 5lb. 
Young Associate Junior member Aidan Graham returned to Willington Lake hoping to catch more pike and was rewarded with a new PB of 10lb 12oz.  Peter Biernis visited the same venue in pursuit of pike and managed to land three pike and lose another two during a hectic morning session. 
The next round in the pike series takes place on Sunday 22nd January at The Airman (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details), and the next monthly match will also be fished at The Airman on Sunday 29th January (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details).  Members should keep an eye out for notices regarding closures of The Airman for maintenance work.  There will be at least two work parties during January to cut back vegetation and finish applying wood chip to the swims.



Week ending 18th Dec 2016

Silver fish and predators have been giving the most consistent sport for Shefford & District AA members on both stillwater and river venues.  Local rivers have been receiving more attention in recent weeks with Michael Webb making a return visit to the Ivel Navigation where he recently caught a decent brown trout and proved this was no fluke by landing another two brown trout of 4lb and 6lb.  Peter Biernis visited the Broom River section of the Ivel and fished a small maggot feeder with two red maggots on a size 16 hook to land 15-20 roach up to the pound mark, with most in the 6-10oz bracket.  Michael Webb also found this section to be very productive landing 30-40 roach and dace on his first visit, and returning later in the week with Barry Goode they enjoyed another productive session with ‘umpteen’ roach and dace, and a pair of 3lb perch. 
The latest monthly match was held at Broom Lake with all anglers catching small roach and even smaller perch.  None of the bigger roach put in an appearance, but the top two anglers had their weights boosted by a few skimmer bream up to 6oz.  Nigel Gilbert weighed in 4lb 14oz taken on the pole for first place with Alex Davies securing second spot with 4lb 6oz caught on the whip.  Malcolm Gibbs weighed 2lb 15oz for third, John Wigg 2lb 4oz for fourth and John Salmon 1lb 10oz for fifth.  With three matches left, the competition to be overall series champion is extremely tight with Malcolm Gibbs and Nigel Gilbert currently tied on 24 points, John Wigg on 23 points and John Salmon on 20 points.  The next monthly match will be fished at The Airman on Sunday 29th January (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details).  
Young Associate Junior member Aidan Graham managed to land a nice pike who during a trip to Willington Lake.  Associate Junior membership of SDAA is FREE for any child under the age of 17, but they must be supervised by a member aged 18 or over in the same swim whilst fishing.  From April 2017 junior EA rod licences will also be FREE, so members should make full use of Associate Junior membership to help encourage youngsters to take up angling.  Nationally junior EA rod licence sales have halved in the last seven years. 
The next round in the pike series takes place on Sunday 22nd January at The Airman (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details).   There will be at least two work parties at The Airman during January to cut back vegetation and finish applying wood chip to the swims, and the dates will be advertised in the near future.

Weekending 11th Dec 2016

As we have now moved into winter, the Shefford & District AA members who are enjoying most success are those choosing to target the fish that are reliable feeders during the colder months.  The latest round of the pike series fished at Willington Lake attracted eight anglers and each angler caught at least two pike, with a total of 27 pike landed for a total weight of 129lb 4oz.  First place was taken by James Turvey with 4 pike to 8lb 5oz for a total weight of 23lb 3oz, just a few ounces ahead of Bryan Lancaster with 4 pike to 8lb 12oz for 22lb 8oz.  Third place was taken by Kevin Wilkins with 4 pike to 8lb 8oz for 21lb 14oz.  Tony Archer caught 3 pike for 19lb 6oz,  Jack Lancaster 4 pike for 11lb 7oz, Dave Baker 3 pike for 10lb 14oz, Alfie Archer 2 pike for 10lb 5oz and Dennis Thompson 3 pike for 9lb 11oz.  After 4 matches James Turvey leads the series with 2 wins and a second place for a total of 8 points.  The next round in the pike series takes place on Sunday 22nd January at Willington Lake (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details).   The last monthly match of 2016 will be held on Sunday 18th December at Broom Lake (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details). 
SDAA waters on the Flit/Ivel Navigation received an early Christmas present in the shape of 1,500 barbel from the Environment Agency’s Calverton fish farm. Clifton Road Bridge, the Horsebridge and North Bridge in Shefford all received 500 barbel that are two summers old. The hope is these fish will spread out along the river and create a breeding population in the longer term. Previously the EA has concentrated stocking barbel at the Horsebridge. We urge members to report any barbel caught between Jordans Mill and Shefford so that we can help the EA monitor how far the barbel population has spread.  Tony Hickmott recently targeted the Ivel Navigation below Stanford Lock and although no barbel showed up in his net, he found it was fishing well for roach and small chub. 
‘Half year’ Shefford & District AA books are available from our usual outlets and remain valid through to 15th June 2017 (prices: Full £40, Concessions £30, Partners £25, Juniors £10).  Please note that night fishing at The Airman, Broom Lake and Willington Lake requires optional Night Permits (there is no part year discount on these Night Permits).

EA BARBEL STOCKING
 
SDAA waters on the Flit/Ivel Navigation received an early Christmas present in the shape of 1,500 barbel from the Environment Agency’s Calverton fish farm.  Clifton Road Bridge, the Horsebridge and North Bridge in Shefford all received 500 barbel that are two summers old.  The hope is these fish will spread out along the river and create a breeding population in the longer term.  Previously the EA has concentrated stocking barbel at the Horsebridge.  We urge members to report any barbel caught between Jordans Mill and Shefford so that we can help the EA monitor how far the barbel population has spread.
 During their visit the EA team also stocked 500 barbel at Biggleswade, 2,000 chub in Langford and 500 barbel at Henlow along the Ivel.

Week ending 4th Dec 2016

The cold and frosty conditions saw sport on Shefford & District AA stillwaters slow down with river venues offering the best option to find feeding fish.  Whilst the carp fishing on Willington Lake appeared to have ground to a halt, it was a very different situation for those who venture onto the short section of the Ouse behind the lake.  Brian Barrett decided to fish a maggot feeder and started to get plenty of bites from the off, but became increasingly frustrated as he just could not connect with any fish despite the maggots on his hook being crushed.  As the bites were usually ‘on the drop’, Brian added a piece of rig foam on the hooklength to keep the bait suspended off the bottom and this resulted in a bite virtually every cast and eventually roach between 4 and 8oz graced his net.  Dave Baker visited the stretch a few days later for a short pike session, casting out a deadbait on one rod and setting up a small maggot feeder to catch a live bait.  Dave’s problem was he could not catch a fish small enough to use as live bait as it was a ‘bite a chuck’ on the feeder landing a succession of good sized roach, dace and small chub.  His deadbait did result in one pike of 8lb, which was attacked by an even bigger pike on its way to the landing net.  All the club’s stretches of the Ouse have been fishing well this year for silver fish and are well worth a visit. 
The next round in the pike series takes place on Sunday 11th December at Willington Lake (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details) an the next monthly match will be held on Sunday 18th December at Broom Lake (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details). 
Last week was a busy week for work parties and it was pleasing to see a number of new volunteers in attendance.  3 tonnes of Siltex was applied to The Airman with the aid of a boat, whilst wood chippings were spread across several swims.  A tree surgeon dealt with a number of dangerous trees around Broom Lake over two days, whilst volunteers dealt with the fallen timbers.  The track around the lake remains open for the time being, but members should take extra care to keep to the stone tracks and not stray onto the grass, which has started to rut in a few places. 
‘Half year’ Shefford & District AA books are available from our usual outlets and remain valid through to 15th June 2017 (prices: Full £40, Concessions £30, Partners £25, Juniors £10).  Please note that night fishing at The Airman, Broom Lake and Willington Lake requires optional Night Permits (there is no part year discount on these Night Permits).

Week ending 27th Nov 2016

Relatively few Shefford & District AA members have been seen on the banks this week, but results from the weekend matches suggest the stillwaters are still fishing well.  The Airman hosted the latest round of the pike series and attracted 10 participants, but as with the roach fishing during the week, the 13 pike caught during the match prove to be very localised.  James Turvey was the runaway winner with no fewer than 7 pike to 10lb 4oz and a total weight of 35lb 10oz.  Tony Archer secured second place with two pike to 9lb 1oz for a total weight of 14lb.  Kevin Wilkins was third with two pike for 11lb 11oz, whilst Dave Baker’s two pike for 4lb 15oz took fourth place.  The remaining six participants all blanked.   The next round in the pike series takes place on Sunday 11th December at Willington Lake (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details). 
The latest monthly match was fished at Willington Lake and despite the cold conditions all the participants weighed in good nets of roach and rudd.  Malcolm Gibbs ran out the winner with 10lb 4oz caught on both long whip and waggler tactics, followed by John Salmon with 7lb 12oz on long pole.  Alec Davies weighed  7lb 1oz on waggler for third, John Wigg 5lb 6oz on pole for fourth and Nigel Gilbert 3lb 4oz on waggler for fifth.  The next monthly match will be held on Sunday 18th December at Broom Lake (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details), where the silver fish are now more tightly shoaled and good bags of roach are possible if fishing the right areas of the lake. 
A combination of heavy rain and frosts has helped clear the weed from many river venues, making them easier to fish.  Michael Webb fished one of the smaller local river venues and was rewarded with a chub around 4lb and a surprise brown trout over 3lb. 
‘Half year’ Shefford & District AA books are available from our usual outlets and remain valid through to 15th June 2017 (prices: Full £40, Concessions £30, Partners £25, Juniors £10).  Please note that night fishing at The Airman, Broom Lake and Willington Lake requires optional Night Permits (there is no part year discount on these Night Permits).

Week ending 20th Nov 2016

Once again few reports have been received by Shefford & District AA members but a change to milder, wetter and windier conditions should hopefully improve catches on both rivers and stillwaters.  Tony Hickmott decided to give The Airman a try with silver fish being his intended quarry.  Tony was greeted by blue skies in the morning following a mild and wet conditions the previous day, and from the off carp could be seen cruising the top layers of the water, and willing to take loose fed floating casters.  Tony fished two maggots (left over from the previous week’s fishing trip) mounted on a size 16 hook and fished hard on the bottom.  Tony soon saw the first of what turned out to be four mirror carp come to the net, all weighing between 11lb and 12lb, and all taken on double maggot, before a very heavy rain shower started a return to cooler weather.  Tony’s  only roach came immediately after changed to a larger size 10 hook, but then no more carp.  The Airman will be closed on Saturday 26th November for the third round of the pike series (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details).  The lake is closed again on Tuesday 29th November to apply 3 tonnes of Siltex to the lake and all volunteers are welcome to attend to help move the Siltex bags to the boat and finish applying wood chip to the swims.  
The next monthly match will be held at Willington Lake on Sunday 27th November (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details).  Broom Lake will be closed on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December whilst a tree surgeon carries out tree work around the lake and volunteers will be required to deal with the felled timbers. 
The committee has been made aware of several recent incidents of rule breaking, which members need to be aware of.  Firstly, several members have failed to produce their rod licences when requested by bailiffs.  It is a club rule that membership cards and rod licences must be carried at all times whilst fishing, and must be produced when requested by a bailiff.  Members unable to produce any of these documents to bailiffs will be asked to pack up and leave, so make sure you have your rod licence with you.  
With the undergrowth now dying back, it has revealed a clear problem with litter at The Airman and most upsetting was the numerous empty cans and bottles of alcohol found.  The top of every page in the club book carries the wording ‘strictly no alcohol or litter’ and anyone found breaking these rules can expect a ban from the club. 
Most worryingly we have discovered damage to banks on some of our river venues where people have taken it upon themselves to dig out sections of bank with a spade to make a flat area to fish from, as well as damaging and breaking off numerous branches from trees.  This is totally unacceptable behaviour and may result in the club losing the fishing rights on these venues.  Again it is clearly written in the rules that anyone found causing damage to fisheries is likely to receive a ban.
 
‘Half-year’ membership of SDAA will be available again this season and will be valid from 1st December 2016 through to 15th June 2017.  ‘Half-year’ membership books will be available from our usual outlets towards the end of November.  The membership section of the SDAA website will be updated in the next few days with details of the ‘half-year’ membership fees and a ‘half-year’ application form for those wanting to submit a postal application.

Week ending 13th Nov 2016

A number of Shefford & District AA members have been out on the bank but no specific catches have been reported.   Anglers fishing The Airman reported catching catfish, carp and bream ahead of the work party on Sunday.  The club would like to thank Bedford Sub Aqua Club for helping to identify and remove several snags. Due to the recent heavy rain the visibility had reduced to only about 3 foot, which made the dive a bit more difficult than anticipated.  Snags identified by the divers include big water tanks, tyres, broken down metal drums, wire fencing, metal frames and metal crates that are all now coated in zebra mussels.  These items were probably dumped in the lake well over 50 years ago when it was used as a tip, and well before it became a fishery.  Some of the smaller snags were removed by hand, with those that were too bulky/heavy to be removed filmed so they will be easy to locate in the future.  One of the unmovable square water tanks was home to a catfish which the divers managed to film before the silt was stirred up.  We are hoping to arrange another day in the spring to try and remove a few more of these snags.  We would also like to thank several volunteers that turned up and applied wood chip to the swims around the lake whilst the lake was closed for the divers. 
The Airman will be closed on Saturday 26th November for the third round of the pike series (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details) and the next monthly match will be held at Willington Lake on Sunday 27th November (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details). 
The Airman will be closed on Tuesday 29th November to apply 3 tonnes of Siltex to the lake and all volunteers are welcome to attend to help move the Siltex bags to the boat and finish applying wood chip to the swims.  Broom Lake will be closed on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December whilst a tree surgeon carries out tree work around the lake and volunteers will be required to deal with the felled timbers. 
The SDAA committee have recently agreed to offer ‘half-year’ membership this season.  ‘Half-year’ membership will be valid from 1st December 2016 through to 15th June 2017.  ‘Half-year’ membership books will be available from our usual outlets towards the end of November.  The membership section of the SDAA website will be updated in mid-November with details of the ‘half-year’ membership fees and a ‘half-year’ application form for those wanting to submit a postal application.

Week ending 6th Nov 2016

The sudden change to cold weather has seen far fewer Shefford & District AA members on the bank.   The second round of the pike series held at Willington Lake saw 9 anglers land a total of 19 pike ranging from a few ounces to double figures, for a total weight in excess of 77lb.  Stuart Lancaster had managed to catch pike on his two previous trips to the venue and Stuart ran out the winner of the match with two pike to 13lb 9oz for a total of 18lb 2oz.  James Turvey was just a few ounces behind in second place with three pike to 9lb 13oz and a total weight of 17lb 13oz.  Dave Baker landed four pike to 8lb 7oz and a total weight of 15lb 3oz to secure third place with four other anglers weighing in pike. 
River anglers have been enjoying some good catches of silver fish from all the club’s stretches along the Ouse with quality roach featuring in many catches. 
The Airman will be closed on Sunday 13th November from 9am to allow divers to investigate several underwater snags and a work party will also be held at the same time to apply woodchip to the swims.  All volunteers are welcome to attend the work party and please bring a wheelbarrow if you can.  The Airman will be closed on Tuesday 29th November to apply 3 tonnes of Siltex to the lake and again volunteers are welcome to attend.  Finally, advanced warning that Broom Lake will be closed on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December whilst a tree surgeon carries out tree work around the lake and volunteers will be required to deal with the felled timbers. 
The Airman will be closed on Saturday 26th November for the third round of the pike series (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details) and the next monthly match will be held at Willington Lake on Sunday 27th November (contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 evenings & weekends only for further details).

 

The islands at Broom Lake have once again been cleared of end tackle and line.  The volunteers removed 2kg of leads all attached to rigs (some with bait on), 5 spombs, 3 method feeders, 3 surface floats, 1 spod and enough line to fill an 18 litre bucket.  The haul included 3 rigs that included leadcore, the use of which has banned on all SDAA waters for several years.   Most worrying is the poor design of several rigs with one an outright ‘death rig’ where the components were clearly prevented from sliding off the leader material (see photos).  Fortunately this rig was found up a tree and not attached to a dead carp.
To avoid leaving tackle up the trees anglers should learn how to use the line clip on their reels to ensure their tackle stops short of the islands on the cast and then place a marker on the line.  Unclip after casting to avoid problems when you get a run.  It is then just a case of clipping up to the same mark before recasting.  Make sure you always stand in the same spot when recasting and cast to the same spot.  It is best to practice without a hooklink attached until you are confident that you can avoid casting into the trees.  A quick search of the internet will produce plenty of articles and videos explaining how to do this. 

Week endind 30th Oct 2016

The relatively mild and dry conditions have seen plenty of Shefford & District AA members visiting the stillwater venues with most species still on the feed. Dave Hedges found the catfish in an obliging mood during a recent midweek session at The Airman managing to land 5 catfish weighing 24lb 12oz, 27 lb, 34lb 4oz, 44lb and 46lb 9oz.  Dave’s session also produced 7 bream, 2 roach and a 21lb 4oz common carp.  The roach fishing has been a little inconsistent in recent weeks, but at least everyone caught fish in the latest monthly match that was won by John Salmon with 5lb 11oz of roach using pole tactics.  Malcolm Gibbs opted to fish the waggler and took second spot with 5lb 1oz 8dr of roach, whilst John Wigg secured third place with 4lb 2oz of roach on the pole.  The Airman will be closed on Sunday 13th November from 9am to allow divers to investigate several underwater snags and a work party will also be held to apply woodchip to the swims.  All volunteers are welcome to attend the work party and please bring a wheelbarrow if you can. 
Willington Lake will be closed on Sunday 6th November for the second round of the pike series (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details).  Carp are still being caught, but many anglers fishing the lake are targeting the silver fish and enjoying some bumper catches.  Small roach can be caught from virtually every swim, but the key to big catches is a bold feeding approach and the use of selective baits to pick out the bigger fish.  One midweek angler reported taking a string of good roach to just over the pound mark using double sweetcorn as hookbait. 
Another batch of top quality mirror carp from VS Fisheries has been stocked into both The Airman (10 carp) and Willington Lake (15 carp).  These C4 carp (4 summers old) averaged around the 9lb mark and have a variety of scale patterns and body shapes.  We would appreciate members accurately weighing and sending photos of any ‘stockies’ so that we can follow their progress in future years.  Some of the VS Fisheries C4 carp from previous stockings into Willington Lake are now in excess of 30lb, and still growing. 
The highly invasive non-native species  Floating Pennywort is now established in several areas of the Ouse downstream of Bedford.  The presence of Floating Pennywort has been confirmed on our stretches of river at both Willington and Little Paxton, so anglers must take great care to follow the Check, Clean, Dry biosecurity  procedures to prevent accidentally transferring this invasive species to other water bodies.  If you spot this species on any club water (other than the Ouse) please report it to a member of the committee ASAP.



Week ending 23rd Oct 2016

Once again few reports of catches have been received from Shefford & District AA members this week. The carp fishing at Broom Lake has been quite consistent in recent weeks with several anglers enjoying multiple catches with a number of 20s being landed.  Sandie Cornell enjoyed another successful daytime session tempting four carp using boilies as bait, topped by a common carp of 20lb 10oz.  With water temperatures cooling the silver fish are starting to shoal up more tightly so it is worth moving swims if you are struggling for bites. 
Reports on social media suggest both catfish and carp have been feeding at The Airman during the last week.  The venue will host the next round of the monthly match series on Sunday 30th October with pegs 2-12 (inclusive) reserved for the match (for further information contact  Nigel Gilbert on 07931 215778 - evenings & weekends only).  The Airman will be closed on Sunday 13th November from 9am to allow divers to investigate several underwater snags and a work party will also be held to apply woodchip to the swims.  All volunteers are welcome to attend the work party and please bring a wheelbarrow if you can. 
Willington Lake will be closed on Sunday 6th November for the second round of the pike series (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details). 
Several fisheries already contain invasive non-native species of plants (e.g. Himalayan Balsam) and animals (e.g. signal crayfish) and anglers should make themselves aware of the Check, Clean, Dry biosecurity procedures to help prevent the spread of non-native species, as well as reducing the risk of spreading any fish diseases.  Floating Pennywort is now established in several areas of the Ouse downstream of Bedford through to Brampton, so anglers need to take care not to accidentally transfer this invasive species to other water bodies.  Floating Pennywort is easily identified by its shiny, kidney-shaped leaves with crinkled edge, which are frequently broader than long.  Please report to a member of the committee if you spot this species on any club water (other than the Ouse).

Check, Clean, Dry    Floating Pennywort

 

Week ending 16th Oct 2016

Once again few reports of catches have been received from Shefford & District AA members this week.  Broom Lake has continued to produce some decent carp catches and whilst most are carp are mid doubles there a good number of 20s also showing, exemplified by the 24lb common landed by Tony Parsons during a recent overnight session.  The fist pike match of the year was held on the venue last weekend and it turned out to be a very disappointing affair with none of the five participants managing to catch. 
The next round of the monthly match series will be fished at The Airman on Sunday 30th October with pegs 2-12 (inclusive) reserved for the match.  These matches are also open to all members and anyone wanting further information can contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 (evenings & weekends only).   
Anglers are still enjoying good bags of silver fish at Willington Lake on both float and feeder tactics although sport can often be interrupted by the unwanted attentions of pike homing in on the feeding fish.  Willington Lake will be closed on Sunday 6th November for the second round of the pike series (contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819 for further details).
 
Several stillwater venues are currently suffering from low water levels so it pays to think about how you can safely land and return large fish to the water before starting to fish.  At Willington Lake anglers will need a decent set of waterproof boots or waders to land and return fish in areas of the lake where the margins are currently shallow in several areas.  Water levels at Stanford Pit are still extremely low and the fishery remains closed to angling.   
The Environment Agency have completed their weed cutting campaign on the River Ivel but our Broom River section has not been cut this year, so it may take longer than usual for all the weed to die back and make all swims fishable. 

Week ending 9th Oct 2016

Although the weather has been fairly settled, few reports of catches have been received from Shefford & District AA members.  Sandie Cornell reported a new PB common carp from Broom Lake a couple of weeks ago.  Sandie returned to the venue and a boilie fished at 50 yards range resulted in another PB in the shape of a 22lb 10oz mirror carp.  Broom Lake will be closed on Saturday 15th October for the first round of the pike matches.  These matches are open to all members and anyone wanting further information regarding the pike matches can contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819. 
Mark Tomlin recently fished the Ouse at Little Paxton and landed a 14lb 7oz barbel.  Hopefully the river sections will become even more productive as flows begin to pick up and the weed starts to die back. 
Finally, advanced warning that pegs 2-12 (inclusive) will be unavailable at The Airman on Sunday 30th October due to the next round of the monthly match series.  These matches are also open to all members and anyone wanting further information can contact  Nigel Gilbert 07931 215778 (evenings & weekends only).

Week ending 2nd Oct 2016

The arrival of autumn has seen fishing improve across all Shefford & District AA venues with the river sections also now running into form.  Head bailiff Kevin Williams enjoyed a successful weekend session on the Ouse at Pavenham landing a range of species.  Fishing maggot during the day saw Kevin land a succession of small fish including a number of good roach, but a switch to bigger baits as dusk approached and through the night produced some much bigger fish.  Kevin landed five chub over 4lb topped by a specimen of 7lb 2oz, as well as two barbel of 9lb and 11lb 3oz.  
Dave Hedges continued his run of success at The Airman landing five catfish during his latest four night session weighing 7lb 2oz, 16lb 6oz, 20lb 6oz, 38lb 2oz and 42lb 4 oz.  Carp have also been feeding with Fred Parker landing one of the lake’s old warriors in the shape of a 20lb 5oz common.  Roach anglers have also been enjoying success using both float and feeder tactics, but the common problem is keeping in touch with the roach shoals when they attract the attentions of the predators.  Colin Smith soon had decent roach feeding on his waggler and pellet approach and it wasn’t long before he had 20 good redfins in the net, but the unmistakable strike of a large catfish in the middle of the feeding area soon dispersed the shoal with Colin left struggling for any bites.
 Broom Lake continues to fish well with plenty of carp to low 20s reported.  Robert Symonds landed four common carp during a recent overnight session topped by a plump 23lb fish.  Alec Davies has been fishing caster using a whip and landed several good bags of roach and skimmer bream during the week.  Broom Lake will be closed on Saturday 15th October for the first round of the pike matches.  These matches are open to all members and anyone wanting further information regarding the pike matches can contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819






Week ending 25th Sept 2016

There has been plenty of action across all Shefford & District AA stillwaters as the larger species have started to pack on extra weight ahead of the winter.   Plenty of catfish and carp have been landed at The Airman in recent weeks with Dave Hedges managing seven catfish to 42lb 2oz and two common carp to 19lb 6oz over a four night session.  Junior Dexter Allen has landed a number of different species from the venue this season and managed to tempt a 14lb 2oz catfish on his latest trip.  Please note The Airman will be closed to fishing for a work party on Saturday 1st October from 9am through to 5pm.  The work will include improving some of the swims and managing some of the reed beds, and all members are welcome to attend. 
Broom Lake recently hosted an interclub match against Ampthill DAC, which was won by SDAA member Alec Davies with 13lb 7oz of bream.  Ampthill anglers took the next two positions with Stuart Kitley putting together a 10lb 6oz mixed bag of skimmers, perch and roach for second and  Martin Ward 5lb 8oz 8dr for third.  Carp anglers have been enjoying plenty of action with plenty of fish to low 20s reported.  Sandie Cornell is a venue regular and she managed four carp during a day session with all the carp caught on boilies fished at 40 yards, including a new PB common carp of 20lb 4oz. 
Willington Lake has been receiving a lot of attention from carp anglers in recent weeks but none appear willing to report their captures.  Anglers fishing for the smaller species are still enjoying good catches from several different areas of the lake and the abundance of small fish bodes well for the pike fishing over the winter months.  The club will be hosting a series of 7 pike matches from mid-October through to March with dates and venues listed in the membership book, but anyone wanting further information regarding the pike matches can contact  Bryan Lancaster on 07810 454819.





Week ending 11th Sept 2016

Plenty of Shefford & District AA members have been enjoying the recent spell of fairly settled weather with several good catches reported.  As the nights draw in and water temperatures start to drop anglers can expect the larger species to feed more actively as they pack on extra weight for the winter.   The annual catfish match was held at The Airman last weekend with eleven anglers taking part hoping the match coincided with a spell of heavy feeding by the catfish that now run to over 60lb.  Unfortunately the catfish proved somewhat difficult to tempt with Paul Williams winning the match with a single catfish of 31lb 2oz.  Second place was secured by Edd Allen with a catfish of 25lb 4oz and Mick Abbot was third with a fish of 19lb 1oz.  Sunday saw young junior Dexter Allen land a tench of 6lb 6oz on a float ledgered lobworm and Adrian Fehr land a mirror carp of 28lb 15oz.  The lake has also been fishing well for silver fish in recent weeks with several anglers reporting good nets of roach.
 
Broom Lake has been a popular venue but the carp have been feeding in fits and starts.  Andy Riley caught the venue just right when cooler temperatures switched the carp on the feed and he managed twelve carp to low 20s in just a few hours on his first night, before sport slowed down picking up just a few more fish during his midweek session.  Anglers have reported plenty of commons to low 20s in recent weeks and Matt Rayner tempted a fully scaled 23lb mirror last weekend.  Relatively few anglers have been fishing for the silver fish recently, but plenty of bream have been caught on baits intended for the carp.  The whole lake is closed on Sunday 18th September for an interclub match against Ampthill DAC.  All members are welcome to take part in this match and further details can be obtained from David Baker (07784 537047).  The last interclub match fished on the venue against Letchworth GCAA at the end of August was won with over 12lb of fish, with two thirds of the contestants weighing in over 4lb. 
Carp anglers continue to remain tight lipped about their captures at Willington Lake.  Feedback suggests the larger specimens have been largely preoccupied on naturals although a few have been tempted by anglers baits.  The more recent ‘stockies’ have proven far more reliable feeders in recent weeks. The lake has also seen plenty of anglers targeting other species with tench anglers reporting a healthy number of smaller tench showing up alongside the larger specimens.  There are plenty of skimmer bream also showing in catches from certain areas of the lake.  Anglers targeting the better roach, which now run to well over the pound mark, are currently experiencing large shoals of smaller roach moving into baited areas requiring the use of larger selective baits to tempt the larger specimens. 
Members should note that Stanford Pit is closed to fishing until further notice due to low water levels combined with prolific weed growth resulting in low oxygen levels, especially during periods of hot weather.  The situation will be reviewed once water temperatures fall and the weed begins to die off. 
Many parts of the Ivel and its tributaries are still heavily weeded and many areas are proving difficult to fish.  Weed is less of a problem on the club’s stretches on the Ouse and members should note that Pavenham will be closed during the weekend 24th and 25th September as members of the SDAA bailiff team will be enjoying a weekend ‘fish in’.


 




Week ending 21st August 2016

Recent results on Shefford & District AA waters have often been governed by the weather with overcast or windy conditions proving much more productive than calm and sunny conditions.  Whilst most members concentrate on still waters, Head Bailiff Kevin Williams has been concentrating his efforts on the rivers and in particular the Ouse at Little Paxton in search of barbel.  Kevin's persistence finally paid off with the capture of an excellent 14lb 6oz specimen with a smaller barbel of 7lb during the same session.  Members are again reminded that vehicles must not exceed 5mph whilst travelling through the Little Paxton allotments and vehicles can only be parked in the designated car park described in the club book. 
Broom Lake has seen several anglers enjoy multiple captures of carp with most fish being double figure commons. Jake Kitching landed commons upto 19lb 7oz on his first overnight session on the venue.  Mark Lumley reported catching three commons of 13lb,18lb and 19lb during a recent daytime session.  Pegs 1-5 and 30-42 will be unavailable on Sunday 28th August for an interclub match against Letchworth GCAA. Further details about the interclub matches can be obtained from David Baker (07784 537047). 
Willington Lake has continued to fish well for tench, bream and roach particularly when a strong breeze is blowing.  A significant number of smaller tench up to 4lb have been featuring in catches as well as the bigger specimens up to 8 lb, which are often caught on carp tactics.
Plenty of roach to well over the pound mark have been landed, but more selective baits are often required to avoid the smaller fish in order to catch the better stamp of roach. 
The recent warm weather has seen water levels at Stanford Pit fall quite rapidly and the fish are now concentrated in the deeper areas of the lake. With the fish under stress the lake has been closed to fishing until further notice.

Week ending 7th August 2016

Plenty of Shefford & District AA members have been spending time on the banks enjoying the summer weather and whilst many of the smaller species have been happy to feed during the heat of the day, those in search of the larger fish have often found dusk through to early morning to be the most productive periods.  The recent monthly match held at The Airman again demonstrated that there are plenty of fish to be caught in addition to the catfish and carp.  John Salmon ran out the clear winner with 22lb 9oz comprising of mainly roach and perch but boosted by two tench of 5lb and 6lb 9oz all caught on the pole.  Malcolm Gibbs was second with 14lb of mainly roach caught on the long whip, with Nigel Gilbert third with 7lb 6oz of mainly roach plus a few skimmers and perch on the pole.
John Wigg was fourth with 6lb 7oz and Neil Bygrave fifth with 4lb 1oz.  
Darren Brown found Broom Lake to be unresponsive until the sun started to set and then went on to catch five bream and three carp during his overnight session.  Darren’s two biggest carp were commons of 17lb and 18lb 14oz.   Mervyn Saville also reported a nice common of 18lb 1oz.  When the carp are reluctant to feed there are plenty of other species to target with new member Paul Carr landing a 6lb 6oz bream during his first evening session on the venue.  Members should note that the lake will be closed from midnight on Friday 19th August through to 11am on Sunday 21st August for the Dean Johnson memorial match, which is an invitation only event.  Pegs 1-5 and 30-42 will also be unavailable on Sunday 28th August for an interclub match against Letchworth GCAA.  An interclub match is also being held against Ampthill DAC on Sunday 21st August at their Marston Pit.  Further details about the interclub matches can be obtained from David Baker (07784 537047). 
The smaller carp continue to feature in catches at Willington Lake with the tench also featuring in daytime catches.  The smaller species continue to be reliable feeders with Paul Carr catching roach on his first trip to the water.  Paul also found that once the silver fish are feeding the pike are also attracted to the swim and attempt to intercept hooked fish.  A change to a bigger hook resulted in Paul managing to land one of the culprits in the shape of a 9lb 2oz pike, but at the expense of a broken landing net handle. 
The Ouse at Little Paxton is proving a popular river venue and whilst many anglers are targeting the double figure barbel it is other species that are currently dominating catches.  Bream and eels are falling to ledger tactics, whilst mixed bags of roach, perch and chub are being caught on the float.  This is a members only water and day tickets are not available.  Members parking vehicles within the allotments are reminded a club key is now required for access, vehicles must not exceed 5mph and must only be parked in the designated car park.



Week ending 31st July 2016

The recent settled weather has seen increased numbers of Shefford & District AA members on the bank with some good fish being reported.  The catfish at The Airman were back on the feed with several members landing catfish up to 46lb.  Members should note that this venue contains zebra mussels that can easily damage main line that lead to unexpected breakages, so it is worth regularly checking your mainline for any damage.   Anglers fishing for the smaller species have continued to enjoy good mixed bags of roach, perch and skimmer bream often including roach to well over the pound mark. 
Many carp anglers fishing Willington Lake are reluctant to disclose their catches, but those who are more open report that the weed is far less prolific this year allowing baits to be more easily presented.  However, the larger carp appear to be more preoccupied with abundance of natural food at the moment with the recent stockies showing most interest in anglers baits.  Plenty of tench are still being caught on both boilies and more traditional baits.  Anglers targeting the smaller species are enjoying mixed success with catches depending very much on the direction and strength of the wind with most anglers struggling under flat and calm conditions. 
Plenty of carp continue to be caught at Broom Lake and whilst most fish reported are mid double commons several of the more recently stocked mirror carp have been landed, including some fully scaled mirrors.  Tench have been featuring in catches, but the most notable capture was a 10lb 7oz bream landed by Liam Prout, which was not only a new PB for Liam but also a new lake record for this species.

Week ending 24th July 2016

The recent hot spell has seen many Shefford & District AA members struggling to catch the larger species during the heat of the day, whilst those targeting the smaller fish have carried on catching.  One exception was Richard Draycott who managed to land a large catfish at The Airman that picked up his bait during a daytime session.  Unfortunately Richard’s scales only went to 40lb, which the fish bottomed out.  Measuring 57 inches from head to tail the catfish probably weighed somewhere around the 45lb mark.   Anglers fishing for the smaller species have enjoyed good mixed bags of roach, perch and skimmer bream with the odd bonus tench and larger bream also featuring in catches.  The next monthly match is being fished at the venue on Sunday 31st July (contact Nigel Gilbert on 07931 215778 for details).  This match will use pegs 2-10, which need to be vacated by midnight on the eve of the match. 
The undergrowth along the track at Willington Lake has been cut down to allow anglers to park behind most of the pegs along the track.  Anglers targeting the carp are often finding the tench to be more willing feeders with several tincas in the 7-8lb bracket being reported.  The weed is not as prolific this year and those targeting the smaller species are usually able to find plenty of clear spots to fish.  When a strong breeze blows anglers are finding the feeder outscores the float as it allows a static bait to be presented.  Colin Smith decided to feeder fish along the track and had a nice roach on his first cast using red maggot as bait.  He carried on steadily catching roach and skimmer bream along with the odd perch and rudd for the next few hours. 
The carp at Broom Lake have been very visible on the hottest days basking in the surface layers with early morning and sunset often the best feeding times for the carp.  Once again it is the members fishing for the smaller species that have enjoyed most success during the day.  Whilst maggots are almost guaranteed to bring plenty of bites they often attract a lot of small roach and perch into the swim.  Those anglers who persevere with more selective baits are enjoying a much better stamp of roach. 
Although relatively few reports from the rivers, Kevin Williams landed a nice chub of exactly 6lb from the Ouse at Little Paxton during a night time session.

Week ending 10th July 2016

The reasonably settled conditions during last week saw Shefford & District AA members enjoying considerable success.  New member Nik Taylor started the week with an overnight session at The Airman and managed to land three mirror carp the smallest being 14lb 5oz and a 22lb 13oz common.  Although Nik was targeting the carp he also reported landing a huge 10lb 10oz tench, which was witnessed by another member.   Several decent catfish were also caught during the week including one caught by Dave Hedges.   Anglers targeting the smaller species continue to enjoy mixed nets of bream, tench, roach and perch, which bodes well for the next match to be fished at the venue using pegs 2-10 on Sunday 31st July (contact Nigel Gilbert on 07931 215778 for details).  Eight year old Associate Junior member Allana Fehr accompanied her father Adrian on a recent trip and was happy catching roach until a pike decided to intercept some of the fish being landed, but she eventually hooked and landed the pike.  However, Allana’s greatest achievement was to land a 2lb roach, a target many far more experienced anglers would love to achieve. 
The milder weather, added to the ability to park behind your peg, has seen significantly more anglers fishing Broom Lake.  After success elsewhere early in the week, Nik Taylor paid this venue a visit towards the end of the week and was not disappointed.  During his session Nik caught a total of 11 carp including a 19lb 11oz mirror and 5 commons over the 20lb mark (20lb 12oz, 24lb, 24lb 4oz, 26lb 8oz and 28lb 1oz).  Richard Knight fished an overnight session and landed 3 carp that included two doubles topped by a 21lb 8oz mirror, plus a tench and a bream. 
A reminder that Mick Parkinson is running some coaching sessions at Willington Lake as part of the Angling Trust’s ‘Get Back Into Angling’ initiative.   Sessions will run from 09.00-13.00 and 14.00-18.00 on the 24th, 26th and 28th July (to book contact Mick on 07914 530185).  Anglers should take extreme care when exiting the venue as (in common with many local country roads) the verges are heavily overgrown and blocking the view of oncoming traffic.  
The interclub match fished on LGCAA waters at Poppy Hill saw the local anglers making full use of home advantage.  Of the 18 anglers taking part, seven weighed in over 10lb with a top weight of 35lb of mainly carp.  Dave Baker was the only SDAA angler to break 10lb, with his 15lb 1oz taking fifth place.







Week ending 3rd July 2016

With warm and settled conditions forecast Shefford & District AA members should be prepared to see some species (especially the carp) go through the spawning process again.  The Airman catfish came back on the feed with Kevin Payne landing a new PB of 47lb 5oz along with two other catfish of 43lb 7oz and 17lb 8oz during a recent 48h session.  Many anglers still believe catfish are only nocturnal feeders, but Edd Allen also managed to top the 40lb mark with a catfish of 45lb caught during daylight hours.  Anglers targeting the smaller species have been enjoying mixed nets of bream, tench, roach and perch with the shallower margin areas often proving the most productive. 
Mick Parkinson is running some coaching sessions at Willington Lake as part of the Angling Trust’s ‘Get Back Into Angling’ initiative.  Mick is a qualified Level 2 angling coach and these sessions are designed to give individuals the skills and confidence to get back into angling.  Sessions will run from 09.00-13.00 and 14.00-18.00 on the 24th, 26th and 28th July.  To book a place please contact Mick on 07914 530185.  The venue continues to fish well for silver fish, with tench and bream also showing up in catches.  On the carp front the more recent stockies are proving far easier to tempt with anglers baits than the larger residents. 
There have been few reports from the rivers since the start of the season.  Kevin Williams fished the IPA’s Back Meadows stretch of the Ivel and was delighted to catch a number of decent roach to 1lb 9oz using 8mm pellets on ledger tactics. 
A reminder that the next match will be an interclub affair fished on LGCAA waters at Poppy Hill on Sunday 10th July and members wanting to take part should contact Dave Baker (07784 537047).




Week ending 26th June 2016

With changeable conditions throughout the week Shefford & District AA members have experienced mixed fortunes, with the larger species often only feeding for short spells.  The Airman has seen  only the odd catfish caught whilst anglers targeting the silver fish have continued to experience consistent sport.  Darren Brown had been struggling to get anything to show interest in his baits, but following heavy rain during Saturday night the fish appeared to be triggered into feeding and Darren went on to land five bream to 8lb and three carp to 17lb 2oz over the next few hours. 
Most anglers have been targeting the carp at Broom Lake in recent weeks, but the first match of the season confirmed the lake contains a healthy population of silver fish.  The eight anglers taking part in the match were faced with overcast conditions with a light breeze and most chose to float fish using either pole or rod and reel.  John Salmon opted to fish the pole and put together a good net of roach and perch, boosted by a bonus bream of 3lb 8oz, to return the winning weight of 11lb 12oz.  Second place was taken by Neil Bygrave with 9lb 2oz of mainly roach with a few perch caught on the waggler followed in third place by Malcolm Gibbs with 8lb 9oz of roach also on the waggler.  Match organiser Nigel Gilbert used the whip for mainly roach and perch boosted by a bonus 3lb 9oz tench for a total of 6lb 10oz for fourth place, and John Wigg fished the pole to finish fifth with a mixed bag weighing 5lb 6oz.  The next match will be an interclub affair fished on LGCAA waters at Poppy Hill on Sunday 10th July and members wanting to take part should contact Dave Baker (07784 537047).



Week ending 19th June 2016

With rivers running high and coloured at the start of the river season most Shefford & District AA members elected to fish the stillwaters.  One exception was Kevin Williams who had been prebaiting a swim at Little Paxton ahead of the river season in the hope of catching an early season barbel.  Kevin cast out on the stroke of midnight and within five minutes he had a bite resulting in a 5lb bream, another species noted for feeding well when the rivers are coloured.  Kevin’s prebaiting had clearly attracted a large shoal of bream as he proceeded to land one bream after another on his pellet bait with his best fish weighing just over 9lb.  Apart from the bream, Kevin also landed a decent chub of 5lb. 
Several anglers have enjoyed multiple captures of carp from Broom Lake in recent weeks.  Andrew Riley managed 10 carp to 18lb 6oz plus two bream and a small tench during a 48h session, whilst new member Matt Simcock landed 6 carp to 15lb and two tench.  Mat Rayner managed one of the best fish reported in recent weeks with a common carp of 22lb 4oz.  Dave Hedges had a successful first session on the lake landing a total of 10 carp during his 3 night stay, consisting of nine commons to 19lb 10oz and a mirror of 19lb 6oz.  Broom Lake will hold the first match of the season on Sunday  26th June with pegs 1-5 and 30-42 reserved for the match.  The matches are open to all SDAA members with the draw at 8am with fishing from 9am to 3pm, and further details can be obtained from Nigel Gilbert (07931 215778). 
There have been few reports from The Airman this week with the odd double figure carp and bream landed during the week.  Members should be aware that there will be some emergency tree work undertaken during the next week to deal with a dead willow tree by peg 2 that is in danger of falling into the lake and to pollard some of the willows along the roadside bank.  
Several carp have been landed at Willington Lake where a mobile approach has often been the key to success.  Several carp have been intercepted whilst patrolling the margins, whilst when conditions are right a few have been tempted on surface baits.  Several of the most recently stocked carp have been landed and are showing excellent growth rates thanks to the abundance of natural food in the lake.





Week ending 12th June 2016

Recent catches have been as unpredictable as the weather across Shefford & District AA waters during the last week, and those members approaching waters with an open mind about target species have enjoyed most success.  Life member Pete Allen has enjoyed great success with the large roach at The Airman this year, but with small roach intercepting his float fished baits Pete adopted a more positive approach fishing over depth in the margins.  These tactics resulted in a string of good tench and bream, with some of the bream approaching double figures.  
Anglers targeting the carp at Willington Lake are keeping tight lipped about their captures, although one revealed the accidental capture of an 8lb 10oz tench.  Several anglers have enjoyed some good bags of roach and skimmers on float tactics.  Pete Biernis fished for the tench but was delighted to catch a roach just under the 2lb mark.  Tony Hickmott was surprised to land a sizeable terrapin that took a liking to his float fished maggot-sweet corn cocktail, and anglers should take care to handle them with extreme care as they carry a very strong bite. 
Several anglers have managed to catch double figure carp from Broom Lake, but with many carp still carrying spawn they should be returned to the water as quickly as possible.  Mat Rayner landed commons of 14lb and 8lb, plus a 5lb tench.  Michael Webb’s ledger rod had been motionless, so he decided to set up a 4 metre whip with no elastic using 4lb line and a size 16 hook.  In the next two hours, using a single grain of sweetcorn as bait, Michael had landed a 7lb 1oz tench, 4lb bream and numerous roach whilst his ledger rod still remained motionless. 
The river season restarts on 16th June and the recent rain (with more unsettled weather forecast) is likely to result in the rivers being well above normal levels and highly coloured.

Week ending 5th June 2016

Hopefully the recent spell of warm weather has finally triggered the carp into spawning across all Shefford & District AA waters.  Members should avoid casting into any areas where carp (or other species) are obviously spawning and any carp caught should be handled with extreme care whilst they recover from the stress of spawning.  The Airman has continued to produce good catches for several anglers with a range of species reported during the last week.  Venue regular John Dickman spent a fruitless day in pursuit of the catfish, but just as he was packing up one of his baits was picked up and resulted in a new PB pike of 26lb.  Darren Seeney and Moray McLeod both enjoyed a very successful overnight session.  Moray landed his first ever catfish of 32lb just after darkness, plus a mirror carp of 15lb and a common carp of 19lb during the night. Moray also caught over a dozen roach between 1lb 3oz and 2lb 2oz, with the majority around the 2lb mark, all falling to 10mm bloodworm boilies.  Meanwhile Darren landed a hard fighting 17lb 2oz mirror carp within 20 minutes of casting out and then caught a number of tench to 4lb 5oz during the night.  Edd Allen has been teaching his young son Dexter how to fish the pole.  Dexter seemed to master the technique fairly quickly landing 20 roach, two perch and a small jack pike that took a liking to a worm. 
A reminder that the close season still applies on rivers, which reopen for fishing on 16th June.  A work party is being held at Little Paxton on Wednesday 15th June to strim the footpath and make the swims fishable along the allotment bank.  All volunteers are welcome to attend, meeting around 9am in the club car park within the allotments.