GALE-force winds, that were also cold, ensured many fisheries produced less than we might have expected last week.

A much better forecast, however, should guarantee an improvement everywhere this week.

As far as pleasure fishing is concerned, I'm sorry to say that 'pleasure' is not the word used by many of the suffering anglers.

When you have paid a fiver or more for your day it is not easy to make a decision to pack up early, but many did.

There is not much to report on the match scene this week either though, as you might expect, teams H&B man John Jones was in the frame again at Brookside fisheries.

It was a decent enough affair, despite the conditions, and he needed all of his 24-12-0 to sneak into fourth place.

The winner, who weighed in 35-0-0, could use only seven metres of pole if he was to hold the rig still, which put him just about halfway across Snake Lake.

He was 20 minutes waiting for the first bite but, by continually dripping in micro-pellets, he soon had them 'lined up' and three hours later he had around 20lbs of fish in the net.

They were mainly small carp of around 10oz up to this point but, when the bites dried up, a switch to the inside with soft pellet resulted in a few more, but bigger ones at 3lbs or so.

The reason for going into such detail about this success by an 'unknown' angler is that it illustrates perfectly what is required by any angler in search of a netfull of carp of commercial size.

That simply is a method by which the bait can be presented properly and, in this case that means STILL.

To present the bait properly when fishing the pole then it really needs to be calm, or only a very light wind at worst. If the lake is shallow there can be a very strong underwater tow, whether the wind is blowing or not.

You need to check for this, by fishing a rig without any bait on it, before you settle on your exact tactics.

If there is movement, any at all, you can experiment with your shotting which can help, or you can immediately turn to the easiest solution; a block-end feed fully loaded with micro-pellets and cast to the middle.

Struggle away if you must, but you can always fall back on this. Match the feeder, by the way, with hair-rigged pellet or double pellet hookbait!

So, would the match-winner have caught more using a feeder? I really don't know but that isn't the point, because he won anyway.

The question is more relevant when you, whether match or pleasure fishing, catch more than you would have otherwise -- and you will!

At the time of writing it is dead calm and warm to boot. Hopefully the feeder rod can stay in the bag this weekend, but it remains there just in case.

But where to go, regardless of the conditions, is a much more difficult choice to make.

As I said earlier, I am certain all local commercials will fish better than last week but both Brookside and Copthorne appeal to me simply by virtue of the type of water on offer - canal-type lakes.

They warm up quicker and are less affected by wind than more conventional lakes or dams.

Speaking of which I'm certain that Bradshaw Hall will bounce back quickly. Just the other week it appeared that the first ever double ton matchweight was on the cards, and then came the cold wind. It, especially number four lodge, responds brilliantly to the feeder if that's necessary.

It is, however, even better on the pole or waggler so I reckon that's the one then!