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Here's why Redmere is the place to be for catching pike




Local angling venues are currently suffering from the impact of flood water, as well as some remaining closed until the Covid infection rate declines significantly.

At the time of writing only the big lake (telephone booking essential) is open at Suffolk Water Park with the other lakes closed due to flooding. Kettles Farm Fishery has now reopened while Jeagor Farm Lakes are still open but there are parking restrictions due to soft ground.

The good news is that all the Bury St Edmunds Angling Association waters are open, but only to club members with no day tickets available. Their reservoir at Water Lane, Little Whelnetham and Middle Reservoir at Bradfield Combust are flood free and ice free. The same is true for their lakes at Barrow and Badfield Ash. However, colder weather is forecasted again so that situation may change.

Middle Reservoir at Bradfield Combust has been free of ice and floodingPicture: Chris Boughton
Middle Reservoir at Bradfield Combust has been free of ice and floodingPicture: Chris Boughton

The club also has approximately one mile of bank fishing on the River Little Ouse at Redmere but be aware that the river season ends on March 14. Some of the best pike fishing locally can be found on the river at Redmere.

Bury AA club member Carl Whitehouse is a very keen pike angler and knows this stretch of the river well. Even on a trip when there were sub-zero air temperatures and a heavy ground frost with the landscape white following some light snow flurries, he managed to tempt a brace of pike; one around 3lb and a much larger fish at 12lb 6oz, on ledgered half mackerel.

The club’s fishing rights at Redmere extend from the SIDB drain inlet to the derelict Public House (Waterman’s Arms) about half a mile downstream of the bridge, with fishing permitted from both banks.

Abandoned Pub (Waterman's Arms) at RedmerePicture: Carl Whitehouse
Abandoned Pub (Waterman's Arms) at RedmerePicture: Carl Whitehouse

The old pub building is quite a striking lonesome feature of the river at Redmere and was in its prime from around 1861 to 1916 with the eventual closure around 1956. As Carl observed: “It is amazing how the derelict pub hasn’t fallen down”.

The Waterman’s Arms is, or was, a brick, wood and corrugated structure that must have depended heavily on passing river trade as well as the local farms and a few associated tied cottages.

Last week the river was reported to be very low and running hard which may make fishing challenging.

Just a few miles down the road, Littleport Angling Club reported on Facebook that the Great Ouse was also running low and hard. No doubt all controlled by the centre of the fenland drains and rivers universe ‘The Denver Sluice’. But at least flooding currently looks unlikely on these rivers.

Middle Reservoir in the winter sunshinePicture: Chris Boughton
Middle Reservoir in the winter sunshinePicture: Chris Boughton

Full details of how to find Redmere and how to access the river accompany the membership card when anglers join the club.

Another potential piking hotspot for local anglers is Middle Reservoir at Bradfield Combust which is also a Bury St Edmunds Angling Association water. I have not heard of any pike of note being caught at the reservoir since the club’s pike season started at the beginning of November but would be interested to hear of any catch reports.

I paid a visit to Middle Reservoir last week where it was cold with a face numbing breeze, but this was offset by a clear blue sky and bright sunshine. When I arrived at 11am there were two hardy souls fishing for carp but neither had caught although one had only just started.

Apart from enjoying the sunshine, taking a few photos and walking around the reservoir, I did also enjoy a long chat and catch up with an angler that I have not encountered for over 25 years. He was fishing from a swim near the aerator where I won the last match I fished on Middle Reservoir 12 years ago (one lucky common carp 17lb 10oz). I was not a carp angler and possessed none of the skills that they employ so lucky is a fair assessment! I was aiming for the bream (method feeder, brown crumb, dead red maggots and chopped worms). So, a double dose of nostalgia on that walk around the reservoir for me!

Carl Whitehouse on the River Little Ouse at RedmerePicture: Carl Whitehouse
Carl Whitehouse on the River Little Ouse at RedmerePicture: Carl Whitehouse

Nowhere is easy to fish in mid-winter but if you fancy getting out of the house for fresh air and exercise and indulging in a session of pike fishing there is more than enough bank space at Redmere and Middle Reservoir. Carp fishing may be particularly unrewarding in February but it’s the most productive time of the year to catch pike. But you must be a member of the Bury St Edmunds Angling Association.

Tackle-up in Bury St Edmunds is currently closed but Bury AA club memberships can be obtained through their treasurer Steve Bull on 07831 494001.

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