2018 was an incredible year at Rookery Waters. After one of the worst winters on record bringing in the year, mother nature turned herself around to produce one of the hottest summers on record, which made all of the lakes respond, offering exceptional sport for all visiting anglers. Please read on to see what 2018 at Rookery Waters had to offer you, the anglers.
January, February & March
January and February were what can only be described as very hard months on all of the lakes, with snow, freezing conditions and bitterly cold easterly winds doing their very worst to make a trip to the bank as hard as possible. Even though the weather was horrendous, the match anglers returned every week for the Winter Qualifiers, with the average attendance being over 25 and Teams of Three Winters League with 13 teams of three taking part.
The Teams of Three sponsored by Mainline Match, produced an excellent series, which was decided on the very last match of the series, with teams that had struggled in earlier rounds, turning things around in the last two rounds, with excellent performances. After the six rounds, each team dropped their worst round and the final winners of this, our first Teams of Three Winter League were Team Rookery Waters, to the delight of Clair and James, the fishery owners.
After 7 months of Winter Qualifiers, 28 anglers fished this year’s Winter 2 Day Final on the weekend of the 24th and 25th of March. The final was fished on Magpie & Raven lakes, with all anglers fishing both lakes over the two days. This year’s winner was Spotted Fin backed Andrew Kleen who put in two excellent performances to win the £1,000 cash top prize.
April May & June
On Saturday the 7th of April, Rookery Waters hosted the first open day of the year, with Frenzee showing off all of their current range and new products for 2018. To offer advice and useful tips on the day, Frenzee team members Jon Whincup and Phil Canning where on hand all day to offer an insight into the brand, whilst also offering rig making tips and general angling advice to the large number of anglers who attended. The numerous anglers who attended were also given a Free Frenzee goodie bag, as well as picking up some great deals available on the day on the Frenzee range, which made the day a great success and totally enjoyable for all who visited.
May and June produced a run of excellent weather, making the resident fish go into a pre spawning feeding frenzy on all lakes, with the pleasure anglers finding big fish to 20lbs plus, and match anglers filling their nets on a regular basis. The well attended Saturday Summer Qualifier Opens, with an average attendance per match being over 30 anglers, with as many as 48 filling two lakes at our busiest. The anglers who fished these matches were rewarded with excellent sport on all lakes, with over 150lbs needed in many matches just to get in the frame.
The visiting angling clubs and open matches booked on the lakes, were also very busy with anglers from as far as Sheffield travelling down in coaches to enjoy the sport to be found on our three designated match lakes, Jay, Magpie & Raven. Around the middle of June, the hot weather produced a very busy spawning, with the resident fish being able to finish spawning un interrupted by the weather for the first time in many years. On a daily basis, the fishery management team removed a large amount of spawn from all of the lakes and placed into one of our oxygenated stock pond . these eggs are now maturing into thousands of small fry, to eventually be stocked into the lakes, once the fish are at a reasonable size to ensure our stock levels are maintained.
July, August & September
On Saturday the 11th of August, Rookery Waters and Tackle & Bates hosted the first ever Rive Open Day to be held in the United Kingdom. As well as all of the French brands latest products on display, Rive had in attendance numerous sponsored anglers including the UK Sale Manager Amer Jawad, supported by a very well versed team of anglers, offering advice and information for all who attended. The event was very well attended with anglers visiting from as far afield as Southampton, Derby and even a few from the south west, making the day very enjoyable and rewarding for all in attendance.
With the spawning over and done with, July and August produced some of the best sport ever achieved at Rookery Waters, with lake record on Magpie being smashed on a weekly basis. The old lake record of 348lbs plus, which stood for nearly 2 years got absolutely destroyed several times in August, with the new lake record being caught by Rushden based Steve Dorks from peg 28, with an enormous 525lbs exactly, all being caught on caster shallow on Sunday the 12th of August. The open match on Thursday the 18th of August produced the new lake record on Raven lake, with venue regular John Payne on peg 15 taking 290lbs 05ozs of carp and f1’s on caster shallow at 6m, to smash the existing record by nearly 140lbs.
The continued hot and dry weather kept the fisheries management team very busy, with oxygen levels on all lakes being checked daily, to ensure that the lakes and fish were in pristine condition during the heat wave that seemed to never end. During this exceptionally hot period, the numerous aerator on all lakes were in constant use to ensure that our lakes offered an ideal habitat for its huge number of resident species, keeping them fighting fit for all visiting anglers.
August Bank Holiday weekend is the busiest weekend of the year in the Rookery Waters calendar. On Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 25th of August, the Two Day Summer Final sponsored by Tri-Cast was held, with 56 anglers competing over the two days for the £1,000 top prize, this is one of the most competitive matches of the year with huge weights from Jay & Magpie being on the cards. The top prize went to Matrix/Spotted Fin backed Ben Townsend, who put in an excellent performance over the two days.
To finish off the August Bank holiday Weekend, we had our third Family Fishing Fun Day. This is when we open the fishery to people of all ages, to try fishing for the first time. The event also features tractor rides, pond dipping, a bouncy castle, assault coarse and various other activities, with something of interest for people of all ages. To assist with the coaching, a large group of anglers, who fish our matches regularly, gave up their Bank Holiday Monday to coach well over 200 children and adults in the finer art of catching fish. As well as attracting over 300 visitors of all ages, the event also raised over £650 for the Malcolm Whales Foundation , making the event a total success and rewarding for all who took part.
September, October, November & December
September and October see the return of the Winter Qualifiers for the 2019 Winter 2 Day Festival, with qualifiers being fished every Saturdays, with the final being fished in March. The trend of good weights continued over these months with most matches requiring over 100lbs to get in the frame. Obviously as the weather cooled down and Autumn took over in October, the sport remained of a very high standard on all of the match and pleasure lakes, keeping the anglers returning in numbers.
In November the Teams of Three Winters League kicked off, with 13 teams competing in 6 matches spread out over the winter months. The winter Qualifiers filled the months schedule, with 25 plus anglers fishing the majority of the Winter qualifiers. With the change in weather, making the going harder, this has obviously affected the performance of the lakes but for those who get their tactics right, November still offered the visiting anglers the potential for good sport from all lakes.
December was also a very busy months with a round of the Teams of Three, Winter Qualifiers, Over 60’s Opens, the Diary was full. December also offered the Over 60’s Christmas Match on Wednesday the 12th, The Christmas Open Match on Saturday the 22nd and the Winter Pairs on Saturday the 29th. These events were all very well supported by the legion of anglers who regularly fish the venue, and we thank you for your support.
The team at Rookery Waters & Tackle & Bates would like to thank all of the anglers who have supported the Fishery, Cafe & Tackle Shop in 2018 and wish you all a prosperous and enjoyable 2019