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Chris Boughton's angling column: carp lakes in fine fettle at Bury St Edmunds Anglian Association waters for new term

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As we head out of winter into spring water temperatures are starting to rise at our local fisheries encouraging carp to come out of hibernation and take more interest in the angler’s baits.

So this week we have reports from three local carp fisheries, each one run in very different way; Spring Lake at Hinderclay is a day ticket commercial fishery, Highbridge is a specimen carp syndicate fishery and Middle Reservoir is a club and day ticket water (Bury St Edmunds Angling Association).

Hinderclay fishery comprises six lakes with more than 100 pegs to fish from.

Simon Kemp at Hinderclay with one of the new carp for Spring Lake Picture: Stuart Platt (56006735)
Simon Kemp at Hinderclay with one of the new carp for Spring Lake Picture: Stuart Platt (56006735)

The fishery is situated just outside of Rickinghall on the Suffolk-Norfolk border and is run by Stuart Platt who has recently instigated a major re-stocking programme including 200 tench in Willow Lake and specimen carp in Spring Lake, which Stuart reports are all in superb condition.

He told me: “The plan is to slowly keep stocking Spring Lake including some nice mirrors I have on order.

“Whilst the stocking levels in the lake are not where I want them to be yet, it will be good to start seeing people fishing Spring Lake again and to get the fish on the feed.

Steve Brazier at Highbridge Fishery Picture: Paul Beaton (56006732)
Steve Brazier at Highbridge Fishery Picture: Paul Beaton (56006732)

“At the moment Spring Lake will only be available by telephone booking (07787 521851) so it does not get over fished and have too much bait going in.”

Florence and Arthur lakes at Hinderclay have also had new carp added to them and a match held at the fishery last Thursday produced good results despite heavy rain showers, hail and winds gusting to over 50mph.

Top weight was Phil Alexander with 65lb followed by Stewart Pain with 56lb. Tony Brooks came 3rd with a net of 40lb, with John Odey taking 4th place with 36lb.

The best reported fish landed so far in April is a common carp of 26lb 12oz from Reed Lake.

Also, Richard Wincote secured one of the pre-booked slots on Spring Lake last Saturday and was rewarded with two doubles the largest (20lb 2oz) he described as a “pretty wild common carp”.

Another local water that is coming alive after its winter hibernation is syndicate water Highbridge.

Fishery owner James Brown reported carp being caught in the last couple of weeks despite some very windy and at times wet weather for the anglers to contend with.

Syndicate member Steve Brazier had an impressive catch record at the reservoir last year and he got his new membership season off to a flying start with a mirror carp (Martha) weighing in at 19lb 10oz last week.

Steve reported: “On the front of a warm west wind I fished three rods over a two snooker table sized area 70ft out on a mid-bank shelf.

“I placed two rods by boat with chopped beast hemp sweetcorn and a few green beast pellets using wash out pink green beast wafter and a pub chuck next to my two baited areas.

“At first light it was the single pub chuck next to the two baited rods that resulted in my catch.”

Fishery boss James Brown also reported a roach just nudging 2lb was caught at the reservoir at the beginning of April.

Carp also made an appearance in the Bury St Edmunds first veterans’ match of the year held at Middle Reservoir.

Andy Hardy’s winning weight of 22lb 8oz was made up of a carp weighing in at 17lb 8oz and a 5lb bream from peg 6. Jon Boughton grabbed the runner-up slot with one carp of 14lb 4oz at peg 1. Rob Bonney’s third place weight, 7lb 2oz, comprised of two bream. Dave Tobin landed the best bream of the match, a fine specimen weighing 6lb 8oz.

Weather conditions for the match were appalling with rain and hail showers for the anglers to contend with and gale force blustery winds.

This water is a farm reservoir with very little protection from adverse weather and it certainly wasn’t a day for pole fishing, so feeder fishing was the main tackle option.

Bury AA hold their weekly Veterans’ matches every Thursday alternating between Middle Reservoir, Barrow Lake and their lake at Badwell Ash. For more information or to book a place call match secretary Keith Smith on 07804 101067.