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Juniors have been trying their hands at angling in our local waters




Earlier this year I wrote about the dramatic and worrying decline in the number of junior anglers locally (still available to read on the Suffolk News website – published April 3, 2021) and the potential consequences for angling as a pastime.

Therefore, I was very pleased to receive two reports last week of family angling trips organised specifically for young children at local day ticket fisheries.

Carl Whitehouse contacted me to report on a day out fishing with his sons Kory (7) and Keelan (9) at Norton Fishing Lakes.

Carl Whitehouse and son Kory with 21lb mirror carp at Norton Fishing Lakes. Picture: Carl Whitehouse
Carl Whitehouse and son Kory with 21lb mirror carp at Norton Fishing Lakes. Picture: Carl Whitehouse

Between November and mid-March Carl is a specimen pike angler but from April onwards he dedicates his leisure time, away from managing Court Newsagents on Horringer Court estate in Bury, to the pursuit of specimen carp.

This year he has so far made nine trips to Norton Fishing Lakes and landed more than 80 carp, the largest weighing in at 34lb 4oz and multiple 20lb plus fish.

Recently he decided to take his sons to the smaller lake at the Norton fishery called Cuckoo Lake and they had a great day with lots of fish up to 10lb 5oz.

Nine-year-old Keelan Whitehouse with 14lb 12oz carp at Norton Fishing Lakes. Picture: Carl Whitehouse
Nine-year-old Keelan Whitehouse with 14lb 12oz carp at Norton Fishing Lakes. Picture: Carl Whitehouse

Late on the owner Stuart let Carl’s youngest lad, Kory, have a go on the big lake (Kingfisher) as he had not caught a carp yet. He managed to catch a 21lb1oz mirror off the top on a dog biscuit! As Carl said: “A proud dad moment.”

There are very few anglers of any age, let alone a seven years old, who can boast that the first carp they ever caught was a 21lb specimen. Carl added: “Then my other lad Keelan had a go and managed a 14lb 11oz common.”

Norton Fishing Lakes is a very well-managed, well-tended and well-stocked day ticket fishery but it is essential to book a place. Anglers cannot just turn up on the day.

Details about the lakes and how to book can be found on their Facebook page or by visiting their website.

Wilfred with his first ever carp at Kettles Farm. Picture: Ian Andrews
Wilfred with his first ever carp at Kettles Farm. Picture: Ian Andrews

Kettles Farm Fishery near Rattlesden is a delightful day ticket water that is ideal for beginners, pleasure anglers and family groups. It also allows small local match groups to book the lake so check the day before you visit (Carole on 01449 737873).

This is not a specimen water, but the lake is full of fish, including some hard fighting carp up to double figures, hybrids, roach and rudd.

Carol and Will have an impressive set up with Glamping pods for day or night rental, close to the lake, which includes a toilet block with showers. There are also comfortable level grassy banks to fish from.

Kettles has a website for their Glamping Pods and a Facebook page for the lake where you can also check closure dates for matches.

Brothers Heston and Hugo with the 13lb carp they caught at Kettles Farm. Picture: Ian Andrews
Brothers Heston and Hugo with the 13lb carp they caught at Kettles Farm. Picture: Ian Andrews

Veteran local match angler Ian Andrews and his wife Rachel had a fishing trip and picnic there recently with their three grandsons (Wilfred aged four, nine-year-old Heston and Hugo, who is 10).

It sounds like they enjoyed a lovely day and Ian reported: “There were some families staying there in the pods with teenage children, one bloke on the top must have had 20 carp. The roach are beautiful fish, loads about 10-12ozs and scale perfect. My grandchildren had 20 carp between them, most about 4lb apart from one of 8lb and best of the day a 13lb carp caught by Heston and landed by Hugo.”

Ian added: “The children used dead maggots at 4 metres, pole fishing with grey hydro elastic and a size 16 hook, so great kids fishing.”

Meanwhile, there has been two Bury AA veterans matches since my last angling article was published.

Carl Whitehouse and 34lb 4oz common carp at Norton Fishing Lakes. Picture: Carl Whitehouse
Carl Whitehouse and 34lb 4oz common carp at Norton Fishing Lakes. Picture: Carl Whitehouse

At the end of July, they held a match at Middle Reservoir where bream and skimmers dominated the leading weights again.

Jon Boughton won his second veterans match in a row at this venue, this time with 19lb 8oz from peg 8. Dave Tobin continued his good run of form with a second-placed net of 18lb 6oz from peg 4. Rob Parnell took third spot with 10lb from peg 9.

The following week at Barrow Lake Tobin struck again, this time he took top place with 34lb of mostly carp all taken on the tip. Bob Huant also had a carp plus some of the newly stocked tench to finish second with 15lb 8oz. Dave Williams had 13lb 2oz of bream and tench for 3rd. Everybody caught.

Bury AA held the Plampin Cup last Sunday at their lake at Badwell Ash and whilst the leading weights were lower than the last match there, they were still impressive.

Rob Parnell took full advantage of his good draw (peg 3) to win the cup for 2021 with 42lb 14oz of mostly carp. There was a tie for second place with Dave Tobin (peg 4) and Ian Andrews (peg 5) both weighing in 29lb 8oz.

Grant Humphries framed again, this time with 28lb 1oz for 4th place from peg 9.

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