Bream make a fleeting appearance at the quay

The quay at Beccles continued to play up by offering mainly diminutive perch but in Saturday's match some specimens racked the scales round to a near the pound and on Sunday between the ice slicks, there was a two-pounder present for pleasure fishermen.

The quay at Beccles continued to play up by offering mainly diminutive perch but in Saturday's match some specimens racked the scales round to a near the pound and on Sunday between the ice slicks, there was a two-pounder present for pleasure fishermen.

A variety of feeding systems were tried and on just one day a dozen bream responded to eight big balls of groundbait at the start, but it was the only swim which did, and next day it was a suicidal approach.

Bleak and barren are the best words describing most of the reaches on the river whether upstream or down, in a boat or set up on the bank.

Consequently the normal enquiry at Angling Direct of 'where are they catching then?' has been extremely difficult to answer.


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Making it even harder on still waters has been early morning ice with huge drifting slicks often making a swim unfishable for twenty minute spells at a time.

However the tackle shop fountain head of knowledge in Beccles, is at least the best customer attended pool of information covering a very wide circle of users and an even wider age range of advice.

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Top tips for the pikers have been get well down stream on the tidals with a good sized dead bait, for the largest of fishes and watch out for a surprise big perch.

Certainly all the best catches of esox over 20lb have come from these areas this winter.

Many anglers drifting in to the shop may not have been boosting maggot sales but all the vogue has been to build up bags of groundbait for the spring assault.

The increasing presence of silver fish in commercials has made them hard to ignore as a reserve and match bonus with many boasting bream that have reached 4 lbs and hybrids developing fast.

Feeding patterns incorporating crushed and grilled hemp have zoomed to the fore as handy ingredients in what is still predominantly a conglomeration of shallow waters in the commercial zone.

These additives have sought to create a more explosive release and fizzing activity by adding them to the black or green mussel base carp mixes with good effect both as small balls and in the cage feeder.

Other useful talking points have been the decline of the method feeder as fish become more used to it and the return of the inline feeder with a short hook length.

t How many otters are there about?

An often asked question, but releases from Defra at last give something of a positive, even if rather outdated, answer for the situation in the UK excluding Scotland by English Nature.

'A lot' comes to mind when looking at the link given in a reply received this week from the Defra Minister Huw Irranca-Davies to Richard Bacon the South Norfolk MP's enquiry for local anglers representatives.

The answer yields a figure of 10,395 and increasing as 'the most recent survey' in 1997 is recorded.

To see the link for further details go to www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3744 regarding the tracking of mammals, scrolling half way down the page to otters.

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