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Angling preparing to return in full from Monday

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On 16th March, the Angling Trust announced that following “intense discussions with government officials” they were delighted to reveal that all forms of angling would be permitted from 29th March.

The headline items were the return of night fishing (subject to the rules, permissions and conditions applied by the club, syndicate or fishery) and the holding of fishing matches (subject to other prevailing Covid restrictions).

But this is for participants only with no spectators allowed. Travel to fisheries should still, however, be restricted to your local area with journeys no longer than necessary. The date for tackle shops to fully open remains, as per the original road map, as Monday 12th April.

Keith Watling fishing at Tunmores. Picture: Ben Wilby
Keith Watling fishing at Tunmores. Picture: Ben Wilby

Diss Angling Club membership year starts on 1st June and their club matches are also scheduled to commence in June, but chairman Ben Wilby informs me that they are considering holding an open match in April or May. There will also be a return of the Mere Masters competition in April/May with more details to follow.

Diss are a relatively small but well-run angling club with a well-stocked and varied portfolio of lakes plus five miles of fishing rights on the River Waveney.

Diss Mere is situated in the middle of the town and is one of the best all round lakes in South Norfolk. The Mere has 24 pegs located all round with 2 disabled pegs. Depths vary between 2ft and 16ft with the deeper pegs being on the shop side.

Billy Crisp playing a fish at Yaxley. Picture: Ben Wilby
Billy Crisp playing a fish at Yaxley. Picture: Ben Wilby

For the carp anglers there are 100s of 10lb plus carp with the biggest pushing the 30lb mark. Other anglers can catch 30-50lb mixed nets of skimmers, roach, rudd, perch and crucians. Chairman Ben Wilby suggests: “The pegs behind the shops are very popular with the carp anglers next to the walkway.”

Tunmores Lake is situated just 8 miles from Diss and is a quiet small lake with an island in the middle leaving all 15 pegs around 13m to the far bank which makes it a perfect pole fishing water.

Depths range from 3ft to 5ft and match weights have been well into the 40lb mark with the highest being over 80lb. 100s of 2lb carp were introduced 4 years ago and they have been very greedy feeders but make sure you hold on as they will need stopping.

Last year the club also added around 1,000 small crucians which tend to be caught close to the lily pads situated around the lake. Recently there has been some work done on removing some of the overhanging tree so there are more pegs now that cater for the feeder angler, too. Ben’s tip: “Pegs 5, 7, 8, 10, 11 are popular throughout the year.”

Common carp caught at Diss Mere. Picture: Ben Wilby
Common carp caught at Diss Mere. Picture: Ben Wilby

Yaxley Lake situated just 5 miles from Diss is the newest member of the Diss club’s waters and is a nice quiet lake that has 20-plus pegs all with individual features. Most swims have reeds located both sides of the peg which are great to fish to during the warmer months. Lots of the bigger carp tend to be in the middle of the lake so a small method feeder works well. There is a car park on site which gives anglers a short walk to most pegs.

Depths are between 1ft in the margins and 4ft in the middle. Fish up to 10lbs were caught in 2020 and the club has recently added more small carp and skimmers to the water. Ben’s suggestion: “The car park pegs are a favourite with anglers, but the best pegs are found around pegs 9-12 on what we call the bank side.”

A quick reminder that Tackle-Up in Bury St Edmunds is now providing a Click and Collect service until further notice but only on Fridays and Saturdays between 9am and 5pm. Inquiries can be made, and orders can be placed by calling 01284 755022 or emailing tackleupcollections@btinternet.com or via their Facebook page.

In line with the current lockdown travel restrictions, this service is intended for local customers only. Tackle-Up plans to re-open their shop on Monday 12th April assuming the government’s Covid road map and dates remain unchanged.

Bury AA veterans at Middle Reservoir. Picture: Chris Boughton
Bury AA veterans at Middle Reservoir. Picture: Chris Boughton

Bury St Edmunds Angling Association club memberships for the year commencing 1st April can also be collected from Tackle-Up on 26th March, between midday and 3.30pm. And the following day, 27th, between 8am and 2pm at Middle Reservoir. Also, at Barrow Lake on Saturday 3rd April between 11am and 3pm. Contact Steve Bull on 07831 494001. Dates to be announced for click and collect from Badwell Ash.

Haverhill Angling Club membership renewals are not due until the 16th of June.

At Sudbury and Long Melford District Angling Association, Secretary John Weddup announced last week the arrangements for their club membership renewals.

He said: “Renewals are due 31st March but as our local tackle shop Just-Fishin can only open click and collect we are extending the existing membership card up to, and including, Saturday 17th April. Up until 13th April, Paul at Just-Fishin will be operating a click and collect service whereby you need to book a timed slot by texting or phoning 07908 720918.

"You will need a small photo, the one in your existing card is fine, and cash as we are not banking cheques at present. Tuesday 13th April Paul at Just-Fishin will be back to normal trading. Club tickets and LAA affiliated tickets are already with Paul.”

A popular attraction of Sudbury & Long Melford membership is their multi-location fishing rights on the river Stour.

The river fishing season is currently closed and recommences on 16th June.