The heaviest fish on opening day was taken by Steve Payne of Bedford from a boat in the bowl of the dam on a black and green Cats Whisker. Steve‚s prize winner weighed in at 6lb 8oz to take the New Lodge Trophy and £70 in tackle vouchers. Steve‚s bag of 7 fish weighed a total of 18lb 1oz, although this was outweighed by Rob Appleton of Rugby. Rob‚s eight fish weighed 20lb 2oz. They were all taken on floating line and black epoxy buzzers from the south end of the dam. Robert‚s best fish was another fine 4lb over wintered fish with others at 3lb 12oz and 3lb 8oz.

The warm bright weather on Saturday soon had the fish in a feeding frenzy with most of the action towards the dam end of the lake. The order of the day was floating or slow sinking lines with long leaders and buzzers or small nymphs from both bank and boat. There was lots of action from the over wintered fish throughout the day. Anglers using the natural approach had most success, many of these fish were in the 4lb plus bracket.

A good number of over wintered browns were caught and returned safely. Top angler of the day, Steve Payne, reported returning a beautiful brown of 4lb 8oz.

best boat areas: bowl of dam, G-buoy, Hill Farm, Plummer Park best bank areas: bowl of dam, G-buoy, Hill Farm, Plummer Park best methods:floaters/ slow sinking lines with long leaders and buzzers and small nymphs also fast sinking lines with boobies.

Pitsford Water. It was a big fish weekend at Pitsford. Season ticket holder Kevin Height of Stanion broke not only his personal best but the fishery‚s season record. Kevin fished off poplar bank hot spot Œstone barn point‚. He used an intermediate line with a dawson olive to tempt a 9lb overwintered monster. The fish had been feeding all winter and was a very fat long specimen. Kevin was thrilled with his catch and said „I think I will have to put this giant in a glass case‰.

The action continued with Phil Gregg of Oakham locked into another big fish. Phil was delighted with the 7lb 11oz fish which was also his personal best. Phil, who holds a season ticket and is a Rutland Water regular, banked the overwintered fish from the Gorse Bank on a damsel with an intermediate line.

Season ticket holder Dave Doherty, of North Luffenham, travelled across from Rutland to boat fish with Pitsford regular Mike Mason of Birmingham. They drifted close into the bank from the car park up to the Cliffs. Using a variety of methods they found that fishing deep buzzers on a floating line worked for a short time, they then swapped back to sinking line and lures. Trial and error paid off when they reverted to deep buzzers. Well worth it for 20 rainbows released throughout the day.

Pitsford's Senior Warden Nathan Clayton says "With regular stocking this season is tipped to be one to remember." The fish are well spread out in all of the usual places like the Pines, round to Pitsford Creek and Rigby's Point. Other top spots are stone barn to north farm bay. Nathan's top advice this week for boat and bank anglers "for a better catch rate, move around".

Pitsford hosted the first beginners course of the season last Saturday. Six budding anglers experienced a morning of theory and casting practice, followed by the chance to catch the real thing. Four of the course members felt confident enough to take advantage of the new Starter season permit, designed especially for anglers who attend Anglian Water's beginner courses. It allows a day limit of two fish, catch and release, with a season limit of 70.

A safety message for all anglers and members of the public. Track repairs are being carried out on all areas of the cycle track and car parks at Pitsford Water. Please take care when using the track, there is a 10m.p.h speed limit on all parts.

best methods: fish are being caught on buzzers. Lures and intermediate for fast sinking fly lines also worth a try. best areas:pines round to Pitsford Creek and Rigby's point. Stone barn to North Farm bay. Fish are between 6 and 12 feet below the surface.

Ravensthorpe: Both boat and bank anglers at Ravensthorpe are enjoying the time of their lives with an outstanding rod average of 7.52. Fish have switched on to prolific black and olive buzzer hatches. In the shallow margins of the reservoir size 12 holographic buzzer and damsel variants are the order of the day. Local angler and season ticket holder Dick Haynes of Ravensthorpe returned 49 rainbows boat fishing off the Coton End car park. Dick alternated buzzer and GRHE on a floating line. Digby Lewis of Banbury took 16 fish boat fishing the island, including a superb brace weighing 5lb 4oz and 4lb 1oz. The fish came to size 12 GRHE on a floating line.

Michael Panter of Kettering, attended a Beginners Course at Pitsford last year and won a questionnaire draw for a Starter season ticket. Michael put his prize to good use this week taking fish to 5lb from the bank. Tim and Paul Polito of Medbourne, Market Harborough, were again successful boating 64 fish to 5lb. Floating lines and nymphs were the successful method.

best boat areas:North shore and Coton End shallows best bank areas: Platforms and natural bank.