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Bury St Edmunds Angling Association's Badwell Ash venue is producing the goods once again

The Bury St Edmunds Angling Association controlled lake at Badwell Ash has been the club’s fishing hotspot for pleasure and match anglers for several years now. And with the arrival of proper spring weather last week it is really producing good catch results.

The club’s Veterans group hold matches every Thursday until October rotating between three of their waters. The first match this year was held at Middle Reservoir followed by Barrow Lake.

The match catches at both these lakes were disappointing, even allowing for the low overnight temperatures and cold water. But last week’s Vets match at Badwell Ash lake was eagerly anticipated with pleasure catch reports good leading up to the event.

Dean Evans at Middle Reservoir
Dean Evans at Middle Reservoir

The lake did not let the anglers down with the top four anglers all exceeding 20lb at the weigh-in. Bob Huant led the way on his first outing with the Veteran’s group with 26lb 10oz, the club’s match Secretary Keith Smith took second place with 23lb 4oz and in-form Rob Parnell was in the frame again, this time third, with 22lb 6oz. Bob Wakefield took fourth place with 20lb 1oz and Andy Hardy was fifth with 19lb 3oz.

All the catches were made up of small carp up to 4lb (with several very attractive small mirrors) and rudd which there are plenty of in the lake. The rain stayed away although it was windy but generally conditions for fishing were good. Keith Smith remarked that the water temperature felt much warmer than at the club’s two reservoirs and Barrow Lake. Badwell is an old gravel extraction pit and is probably spring fed which may influence the water temperature. At a maximum 8ft deep it is very manageable for pleasure anglers and responds to most methods including waggler, pole and feeder fishing. With most of the carp being under 10lb it is certainly not a specimen angler’s water but then those members are well served by Middle Reservoir which has also now started to fish much better.

Recently reported catches at Middle Reservoir have included five carp in one session for Dean Evans. Despite being battered by wind gusts up to 45mph last Friday (Middle Res is a very open unprotected water) Dean included a 23lb 14oz fish in his catch. Also, on Friday on a very wet and windy night session Darren Lambert landed two doubles (mirrors). Mark Sturgeon has continued his recent good run of catches too. Following his catch of a 27lb 6oz common a couple of weeks back (almost certainly the reservoir’s biggest current occupant) he banked a mirror weighing in at 16lb 10oz last week. If you would like your carp catch reports and photos included here please email to me at chrisboughton@outlook.com.

Steve Brazier at Highbridge
Steve Brazier at Highbridge

Specimen catch reports from the syndicate water at Highbridge near Thetford have also been impressive in the last couple of weeks. Highbridge is, like Bury AA water Middle Res, a largely unprotected (from the elements) reservoir and particularly night sessions can be physically very challenging especially during the unseasonably cold early spring this year. By far the most impressive catch report came from Steve

Brazier who braved the elements including hail, rain and gales to include the reservoir’s biggest known carp (Keith’s Fish) in his returns. The 39lb common carp is Steve’s UK PB and the first time the fish has been banked since last November when it weighed in at 42lb 8oz.

Steve reported; “It was a 72-hour session from Tuesday to Friday morning! I had one missed run and 2 carp both 14lb the first evening. The following morning the first a stockie mirror and the second a homegrown Highbridge common!

"Then nothing until the following afternoon! After seeing a massive fish show I cast my sticky Baits Manila topped snow man on a stiff 7-inch Ronnie rig. About an hour after my lead hitting the spot it was gone. The fight was around 30 mins and it fought really strongly making three deep runs out to the middle of the res! I had not seen my leader for the whole fight and all of a sudden it rolled and showed me just how big this fish was!

"I don’t mind telling you the next 5 mins of fish play was really stomach churning after losing one of Highbridge bigger residents in middle of night in snake pit corner! It’s full of snags and that fish loss had been playing on my mind! But after yesterday all the memories of the one that got away disappeared. However, I lost a new Bivvy in the low pressure but Keith’s Fish makes up for so much”.

Highbridge boss James Brown commented; “Steve is a very happy syndicate member, in fact he is over the moon following his superb catch. It’s the biggest so far this year from our fishery and just shy of the lake record."

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