FOR once in quite a long time, the level of the River Aire has fallen to what it should be at this time of the year and last weekend a few anglers took advantage of the better angling conditions.

On the upper reaches around Heslaker Lane, the worm and maggot accounted for a few grayling to around the 225g mark from the popular swims.

Trout appeared to be concentrating on spawning activities and only the odd fish turned up in catches.

Below the Carleton Stone Bridge the same species were feeding and in roughly the same quantities, although grayling to about the 680g mark have been known to inhabit this length in reasonable numbers.

If the river remains at a similar level, the lower length at Snaygill should start to produce some good pike fishing with fish up to possibly around the 9kg mark, although fish to 4.5kg are more numerous.

Sardines are a good dead bait to try and a useful tip for Aire pike is that if you do not get a take within a few minutes, move on to other spot. Remember, no treble hooks, a biggish single hook is just as good and does far less harm to the fish.

The pike bonanza on the canal appears to have died down a bit and few anglers were fishing for them last week.

Roach, perch and skimmers were all feeding well and some good bags of fish were recorded from around the basin and lower down the canal adjacent to Keighley Road.

The 15lb pike landed by four year old Harvey Ives last week was soon superseded by another fish estimated to weigh 17 lb. No weighing scales were available so neither fish could be considered for a record.

Weight for length scales are a good guide for a pike in good condition and the following may be a useful initial guide: Length in inches/Weight in lbs = 32/10.24; 34/12.28; 36/14.58; 38/17.15; 40/20.00 and 42/23.15.