Is this England's new world-class match fishing venue?

A 1,000m long virgin lake in the heart of the country could be the answer to England’s venue nightmare - and it’s all thanks to a proverbial bolt out of the blue.
Peterborough rowing course has been in existence for almost three decades but in all that time has never been fished, despite the determined efforts of local angling clubs and even Angling Trust international events director Dick Clegg who had looked into using the place for matches, ran up against the ‘no fishing’ brick wall.

However, last month saw a letter to Dick from Peterborough City Council offering a lifting of the fishing ban and use of the sprawling course in 2012 as part of their festival of sport programme to celebrate the Olympic Games.

With a possible 150-plus pegs available, it seems ideal for a smaller international event such as the Ladies, Veterans or Disabled World Champs or even the Europeans provided no more than 20 teams are attending. Dick is still a little unsure but will be taking a closer look at the course next year.

“I’ve taken a long look at Peterborough and it is perfect in terms of location, access, safety and has plenty of accommodation nearby,” Dick said.

“Even if we were to use both banks we would only have around 2,000m and that equates to around 160 international pegs so it rules out the World Champs.

However, for the smaller matches and perhaps a smaller European Champs it’s a great candidate.”

“What does concern me is the question of the fishing. The place hardly sees an angler and I’m not sure how well it would fish after a fortnight of intense practice,” he added.

“We’d have to run trials on the lake to get a good picture of the sport on offer before it was put forward as a venue for 2012.”

According to local tackle dealer and matchman Ken Wade though, the rowing course is full of fish and he reckons any match on the lake would be tremendous.

“The course has always been solid with fish from the first year it was built,” Ken said.

“Clubs and angler have been trying to negociate fishing on there for ages with no luck so I’m sure matches would be a massive draw. I’d be genuinely interested to see what’s caught because I’ve seen huge shoals of bream and roach in there as well as some massive carp and pike - and they’re just the fish that have showed themselves! This is terrific news.”