No February frustration for roving Clarke & Co

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jpns-12-08-17 retro 2017 anglers''Anglers - Kathleen Harrison, from Milton, with her 1lb nine-and-a-half-ounce catch. She was another one of the winners in the Southsea children's sea angling competition

THIS YEAR IN 1979: Young anglers fall victims of the weather

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Chris Clarke shrugged off the February blues to win the Rovers Tackle mini-open beach competition.

The England angler beat off the challenge of 20 rivals to win the event at Lee-on-the-Solent last week.

Fishing to measure-and-return rules, Clarke amassed a winning length of 477cm, with whiting making up the bulk of his haul.

The New Forest star landed a couple of pouting, too, as he beat Leigh Park’s Russ Warwick into second spot.

Warwick reeled in 16 fish for a combined total of 366cm – 107cm more than the return of third-placed Pete Jones.

The longest fish on the night was a 31cm whiting caught by John Brown.

Fishing in February has traditionally been a struggle.

Anglers have to contend with the biting weather and low sea temperatures, which send the fish into deep water.

Meanwhile, most of the region’s charter skippers take their boats out of the water for their spring refits.

But those who have been brave enough to venture out have found there are still quite a variety of species to chase.

Hoards of whiting have been reported by those fishing evening tides at venues between Hayling Island and Lee-on-the-Solent.

And at Eastney there are good numbers of dab to be had – along with the odd sizable bass, flounder and spotted ray.

Meanwhile, daylight fishing has seen plaice landed.

Fish of 1lb 8oz have been weighed in, so things are certainly starting to look up with spring approaching.

In freshwater action, Alex Clements won the MBK Leisures open match at Coloured Ponds last week with a bag of 59lb 12oz.

He took the honours from peg one on pond three, alternating between the long pole and bomb.

The final match of January, at the same venue, was won by Dave Steer with a 28lb haul.

The next MBK Leisures open match is tomorrow at Coloured Ponds. Call 07940 048106 for details.