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Bury St Edmunds Angling Association's two venues are the place to target for pike

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As we head into the winter months, carp fishing becomes much more difficult on all but the most heavily overstocked commercial fisheries.

Carp feed less in winter, except for periods of mild weather and specimen carp anglers have three choices; be very patient with the prospect of runs being few and far between, put away their tackle until temperatures start to rise in March/April or turn to other forms of specimen angling, usually pike, zander or even perch.

Bury St Edmunds Angling Association has two venues that members can target for pike – Middle Reservoir just outside Bradfield Combust and the River Little Ouse at Redmere.

Red cutters on the Little Ouse at Redmere. Picture: Carl Whitehouse
Red cutters on the Little Ouse at Redmere. Picture: Carl Whitehouse

The club’s fishing rights at Redmere extend from the SIDB drain inlet to the derelict Public House (Waterman’s Arms) about half a mile downstream of the bridge.

The old pub building is quite a striking lonesome feature of the river at Redmere and was in its prime from around 1861 to 1916, with the eventual closure around 1956.

It is amazing how the derelict pub hasn’t fallen down. The Waterman’s Arms is – or was – a brick, wood and corrugated structure that must have depended heavily on passing river trade, as well as the local farms and a few associated tied cottages.

The derelect Waterman's Arms pub at Redmere on the River Little Ouse. Picture: Carl Whitehouse
The derelect Waterman's Arms pub at Redmere on the River Little Ouse. Picture: Carl Whitehouse

Bury AA club member Carl Whitehouse, who owns and manages Court Newsagents in Bury, is a very keen specimen carp angler who had remarkable success at Norton Fishery in the summer.

He converts to pike and zander fishing from November onwards and knows the Redmere stretch of the river Little Ouse well.

Even on a trip when there were sub-zero air temperatures and a heavy ground frost with the landscape white following some light snow flurries last winter he managed to tempt a brace of pike; one around 3lb and a larger fish at 12lb 6oz, on ledgered half mackerel.

His best catch there last winter was a pike just under 20lb. Maybe not equal to carp of 30lb plus, but all the same it was challenging and rewarding fishing while most carp are in semi hibernation.

Weed and bank access has made the Little Ouse at Redmere very difficult to fish since the river season got under way on June 16 but Carl observed a very pleasing site when he visited the river last week.

Standing on the bridge he took photos of two weed cutters in operation on the river (see above).

Mike Brown – the Bury AA bailiff at Redmere – also posted on the Bury Angling Association catch reports and chat (Suffolk) Facebook page: “Good news with regard to the river at Redmere. The weed cutters went down last week and it appears they have gone close to the banks this year so fishing access there should be better than in recent years.”

So, if you’re a member of Bury AA and pike are your winter target then Redmere may be worth a look.

I would be very keen to receive reports of anyone fishing the river or trying to and would gladly publish reports and any photos in this angling article. Please email me at chrisboughton@outlook.com

Full details of how to find Redmere and how to access the river accompany the membership details received when anglers join the club.

If you want to try Redmere for pike or Middle Reservoir you can join the club at Tackle Up in St Johns Street in Bury. Membership is half price from November 1 until the end of the club’s season on March 31.

More info can be found on the club’s website: www.burystedmundsangling.org

Nowhere is easy to fish in winter but if you fancy getting out of the house for fresh air and exercise and indulging in a session of pike fishing there is more than enough bank space at Redmere.

Carp fishing may be particularly unrewarding in November but it’s the most productive time of the year to catch pike. But you must be a member of the Bury St Edmunds Angling Association.

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