Angling platforms are welcome addition to magnificent stretch
It has been a really great effort from the Environment Agency at Worlingham putting in quite sensational angling platforms below Beccles on the tidal stretch.
There are 10 in total, with two to the left and eight downstream – the first ones each side are designed for easy wheelchair access.
Once a spot where wellies were always required for mud and boggy swims, some of the weatherproofed new wooden stands reach out with a 15-metre, non-slip walkway.
This magnificent stretch of the river can produce fantastic fishing, but needs a firm approach with generous weight in the calculation as the flow can be quite strong. These stands will favour last season's 7-8 metres whip approach with 3 grams into 8ft to 10 feet of water even on the low tide For the feeder enthusiast there are lilies on the far bank in some swims and the Norfolk reed edges make an untamed, picturesque scene.
Each stand carries a 'No Mooring' notice, but they will need a little maintenance as the BASG did not include black anti-weed material underneath the walkways and some reed is already growing through the narrow gaps in the planking.
For those who like a walk and the uninterrupted isolation of the wild side, travelling upstream from the entry point by 300-400 yards brings one to a staged bank and four swims where a huge bend and trees on the opposite bank holds a massive bream shoal and quality roach.
Tiny fry at Dunburgh show how late the spawning has been on some of the tidal water and the Bungay Cherry Tree AC have been busy there creating a couple of new swims at the Steps end and trimming out. Beccles quay has had a late hatch too, but upstream around Bungay and the Falcon Meadow, the fry appear much bigger now nearing two inches.
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Commercial fisheries continue to perform to a high degree with a stability unaffected by the tumult and wetness of the weather. At most the carp have finished crashing in the margins, and back on the feed have been good value for money. The increasing presence of 4lb-plus bream at venues such as Aldeby Lakes and now Topcroft have given variety to bags and satisfaction to those not solely carp-orientated.
The gambling angler who will maybe want to pitch their ground-baiting and tailored casts in venues where it may not always be reliable, but can produce phenomenal catches, should set themselves out for a couple of consecutive days, maybe three, in the same swim, at Fritton Lake with a reasonably priced boat hire. The early part of the season last year produced several 200lb bags of bream to 7lbs and a large carp or two were recently observed leaping sufficiently clear of the water to identify. This massive volume of water holds plenty of small roach, and probably the biggest potential of all for mighty perch.