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Young angler Harry Farrow enjoys a productive session at Bury St Edmunds Angling Association's Middle Reservoir



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This week we take a look at how the Bury St Edmunds Angling Association waters have fished during the past month –especially during the recent heatwave.

Middle Reservoir near Bradfield Combust is a tale of two species with carp providing good returns for the specimen anglers and bream the best bet for the match and pleasure members.

Catches posted on the Bury AA catch and report Facebook page are consistently good for carp with surface baits the most productive during the hot spell of weather.

Harry Farrow at Middle Reservoir. Picture: Daniel Farrow
Harry Farrow at Middle Reservoir. Picture: Daniel Farrow

Whilst the catches have been mostly kept to under 20lb fish, Josh Revell-Brown landed a 23lb 8oz common in early July and Stewart Champion banked a 23lb common recently.

But probably the most pleasing report has come from Daniel Farrow, who fished a session with his 12-year-old son Harry on a hot day in mid-July.

Harry was surface fishing using a 10ft fox stalker rod, Korda surface float and a trimmed down boilie as hook bait. Despite the relentless sunshine Daniel reported that conditions for them were eased by a cool breeze and Harry enjoyed a productive session with his dad and caught three carp weighing 13lb, 15lb and 13lb 8oz.

I am very keen to promote junior angling and any reports and photos would be most welcome and would be included here.

If you prefer bream to carp then they are showing well with fish up to 8lb recorded this year so far.

In the latest Veterans’ match at Middle Reservoir Bob Bonney had three bream for 20lb 4oz to take top spot from peg 2.

Match secretary Keith Smith took second place with six bream for 17lb 10oz and Jon Boughton landed three for 13lb 4oz. Very few roach have been reported in catches since the club year started on April 1.

There have also been a few bream and skimmers in match and pleasure nets at Barrow Lake but once again very few roach, yet the carp have been feeding well and have dominated match catches.

In the last Veterans’ match at the lake on July 7, Dave Tobin caught seven carp for 32lb 8oz from peg 11 to take top spot.

Andy Hardy took three carp that weighed 22lb for second spot from peg 16 and Barry Aldridge also had three carp weighing 18lb 6oz for third place. All three leading weights were secured using totally different set ups and baits.

The lake at Badwell Ash continues to be the jewel in the fishing crown of Bury AA waters.

Match and pleasure reports have regularly exceeded 50lb since early spring. The main species are carp up to low doubles topped up by rudd and goldfish.

As with Barrow the methods used and the baits deployed have varied depending on what presentation works on the day.

In the last Veterans’ match, held at the lake last Thursday, it was a hot day with a gentle breeze and Grant Humphreys continued his good form at the lake, this time winning with 52lb of mostly small carp (biggest 8lb).

Sadly not good news for the stretch of the River Little Ouse at Redmere leased by the association.

The club made the following announcement on their website recently: “The committee have been told by the lease holders of the stretch of the Little Ouse at Shippea Hill (Redmere) that they do not want to renew the lease to any angling club.

“The committee have tried to extend the notice period to March 13, 2023 when the river season closes, however after discussions with them we have been told in writing that we will now lose the right to fish the river from July 31, 2022.

“This decision in no way reflects the behaviour of anglers from the association, but is purely a business decision from the owners of the farms around the stretch of water that we fished.

“We will continue to look for new stretches of water and especially rivers, if any members knows of any waters/rivers that you believe would benefit the association then please contact any member of the committee via the website.”

The River Little Ouse has been a fishery used by the club for more than 60 years at various locations along the river including; Santon Downham, Hollands Meadow, Blackdyke, Cowles Drove, Lakenheath Bank, Red Dragon and Wilton Bridge.

Bury gave up the fishing rights to most of the river more than 20 years ago but retained Redmere primarily as a pike fishing location.

Fishing on the former Bury AA stretches of the river has declined significantly since its halcyon days of the 50s, 60s and early 70s (with a resurgence briefly during the 90s).

Talking with the club’s match secretary Keith Smith last week he recalled helping to peg an open match for the Grange Cup between Wilton Bridge and the Green Dragon end of Cowles Drove.

There was a massive 200 pegs put out with the match sold out weeks before. The winning weight was over 100lb of bream.

But I also recall that I won the Bury AA junior cup on the Lakenheath Bank opposite Cowles Drove, in July 1967, on a very hot day with just two and half ounces (three small roach).

The huge shoals of bream are long gone but I was lucky to fish the river during the tail end of its halcyon years. I particularly recall a family day at Redmere with my wife reading under my angling brolly in the sunshine whilst I fished with our boys (James was keen and still is, whilst Ollie was a menace who would not stay on his box).

My boys were seven and 15 at the time and it was 1990. Three years later James and I had a wonderful day bream fishing at the Green Dragon end of Cowles Drove. I caught 14 bream weighing in total over 60lb and James had more than me and we both were badly sunburnt on a very hot July day.

When I was a child, groups of us used to cycle to Lakenheath from the Mildenhall Estate in Bury to fish the river in the school holidays which is unthinkable on our busy roads today and unsupervised too! Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be!