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Bury St Edmunds Angling Association members given green light to fish Barrow Lake again



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There was some very good news for the members of Bury St Edmunds Angling Association last week after it was announced that members will be able to fish Barrow Lake again from April 1 when the Association’s new membership year begins.

When the club’s secretary, David Plampin, told me the good news he added: “We have got Barrow back from April 1which is brilliant news for the members as it’s a well-loved lake and enjoyed by all anglers whatever their abilities and a great lake for youngsters to come along and try out fishing with an adult.”

It is a picturesque lake located seven miles from Bury St Edmunds on the edge of the village of Barrow.

Tony Broughton at Barrow Lake in May 2021. Picture: Chris Boughton
Tony Broughton at Barrow Lake in May 2021. Picture: Chris Boughton

The lake is about one acre and has depths up to 10 feet. It holds perch, tench, rudd, roach, skimmers, bream and carp up to around 12lb.

Fishing is from platforms only with some suitable for disabled anglers. Banksticks must be placed in the sand buckets provided as the lake has a plastic liner.

The club added 250 tench in November 2020, average size three quarters of a pound, and it will be interesting to see if they feature in catches (and have put weight on) as the spring weather raises the water temperature which should encourage them to feed.

Ron Hubbard at Barrow Lake in February 2010. Picture: Chris Boughton
Ron Hubbard at Barrow Lake in February 2010. Picture: Chris Boughton

My father, Tony Boughton, is particularly pleased that Barrow is a Bury AA water again. At 92 years of age (probably the club’s oldest active member), ease of access is critical to whether he can still go fishing and Pegs 1 to 9 are only a short walk from the car park to the lake.

Tony has been a Bury AA member for more than 70 years and has won many matches at Barrow with his target species being the lake’s carp, especially the crucians that sadly no longer appear to inhabit the lake. He was a master at tempting crucians to take his self-mixed trout pellet paste. A method he fished close in with a short elasticated pole very effectively. Crucians are a notoriously shy biting challenging fish to catch.

He only gave up match fishing last year (five hours is too long at the age of 92) but hopes to manage short pleasure fishing sessions at Barrow this year.

The lake holds some special memories for me, too. I think it was around 2008 or 2009 I won the Grange Cup there with a net of mostly crucians with my son James coming second and my dad Tony coming third. Isn’t fishing nostalgia a wonderful thing!?

Rob Parnell landing a 4lb bream at Barrow Lake in May 2021. Picture Chris Boughton
Rob Parnell landing a 4lb bream at Barrow Lake in May 2021. Picture Chris Boughton

I cannot write about Barrow lake without mentioning Ron Hubbard. Like Tony, Ron has been a Bury AA member for more than 70 years and has won more than his fair share of club and veterans matches at Barrow over the past 15 years.

Ron was also a Bury AA committee member for many years and constructed the original platforms at Barrow. He was also the veterans match secretary and started the section which is now run, very ably, by his son-in-law Keith Smith.

Barrow closed to Bury AA members at the end of August last year having already had a disrupted 2021 thanks to Covid. Very few matches were held but in those that did take place bream, skimmers and roach were the main species caught. In the two matches held in August carp also made an appearance.

The first match at Barrow this year will be a veterans’ match on Thursday, April 14 with the first club match at the lake (Pageant Cup) scheduled for Sunday, May 15. Veterans’ matches will be held weekly on Thursdays alternating between Middle Reservoir, Barrow and Badwell Ash, running until the end of September.

A full list of the 2022 Bury AA club and veterans’ matches has been posted by Dave Tobin (Bury AA Media Officer) on the club’s Facebook page and also appears on the website. The matches will also be listed in the new membership packs. As always, to fish in any of these matches, call match secretary Keith Smith to book in 07804 101067.

Club treasurer Steve Bull has said that he intends to have memberships available to purchase from the usual tackle shops – Tackle Up in Bury, Hooked in Newmarket and Just Fishin in Sudbury, during week commencing March 21, with the new membership year starting on April 1.

I will review the other Bury St Edmunds Angling Association lakes in my next angling article.