FISHING.CO.UK is now running on a new server, so that should speed things up a bit. Let me know if you are experiencing any problems and we'll see if we can sort things out. It's nice to get stuff like that sorted out early on in the year, it interferes with too much fishing time when the weather is warmer.

February came and went. For me, the early part of it was horrible fishing-wise. The weather went from freezing to tee-shirt weather and back again every couple of days. The fish didn't seem to know whether they were coming or going. The guys who were out carping around here all seemed to have a tough time of it and even those fishing the local rivers couldn't seem to buy a bite. I had to try of course, not that it did me a lot of good.

I had one day out on the river Windrush with Alan Tomkins early in the month. That was very hard going. Alan chose to target the deep-water big roach and suffered for his sins - he'll tell you about that in his Winter Diary. I chose an easier option and fished the whole length picking up the odd dace and chub by trotting maggots. The biggest excitement of the day came when an out-of-season brown trout grabbed the bait and belted off downstream. The centre-pin screamed louder than I have ever heard before. An amazing fight on light tackle and great fun.

A week or so later I tried my hand at piking on Wraysbury 2. The lake was frozen over and I had only one small clear area to fish, where a stream enters the main lake. I had barely tackled up and got organised when the temperature rose - again! A huge 5 acre ice flow cracked off the main sheet and within minutes was blown straight into my swim. End of pike session! Another couple of hours on another local pit produced one dropped run and that was about it. I decided to wait for the IAC grayling fish-in for my next trip, maybe the weather would have settled down a bit by then.

It's good to see that the anglers who support charities are still doing their bit. Stoney and Friends had a great result recently on the Wraybury fish-in, raising over a thousand pounds for the Macmillian Nurses. There is also a lot of promise in the new Great Internet Fishing Race, which looks to be lot of fun, give a big hand to Elton Murphy and co for organising it. The IAC lists plan on running a similar but much smaller event this summer - that too should raise a few bob for Second Chance and Angling Link.

The Relum trade show near Rugby was my next diary appointment. Relum put on a great display, they sell such a huge range of gear! I was thinking as I looked around the show that if I had one of everything that they had on display, there wouldn't be room in the house for me. I did like the look of the new fold-away stoves they are selling and I've put one on my Christmas present list. At the show I met up with some old friends and made a few new ones too. Alistair Bond, who makes those great Hutchinson rods, was one of these, he was there demonstrating his latest carp weapons. Very nice pieces of equipment - If you get a chance, try one out.