Cherry Tree ace finishes on a high

SUFFOLK & WAVENEY VALLEY: Bungay Cherry Tree AC bailiff and fisheries officer Geoff Kirman hit the jackpot on the club waters around Bungay in the closing throes of the season. Just after midday he started fishing in the deepest swim above the weir at the Falcon Meadow, where in the autumn chairman Steve Woodcock won a match with 24lb of roach and eventually got his first bite on the float at 5.

Bungay Cherry Tree AC bailiff and fisheries officer Geoff Kirman hit the jackpot on the club waters around Bungay in the closing throes of the season.

Just after midday he started fishing in the deepest swim above the weir at the Falcon Meadow, where in the autumn chairman Steve Woodcock won a match with 24lb of roach and eventually got his first bite on the float at 5.05pm. Yielding a nice roach of just over a pound, it was an omen for the next hour and 20 minutes. In this darkening time the 71-year old had ten roach from 11 bites, the best a beauty of 1lb 10oz, and three others over the pound.

He only stopped because he couldn't see any more and says he has often had this kind of burst an hour before dark on their upstream stretches while the going has been hard - though not so much on the upper tidals where blanks have been the order of the day.

Even some of the most prolific upstream swims have been affected by the presence of otters feeding throughout the morning up until around 3pm when their activity appears to wane. Having driven fish close into the bank sometimes, fish have been seen clearly in the clean clear water.


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The banks at Beccles remained almost bare at times as a strangely unfamiliar pattern for an area which is usually a hotspot. Even boats had sparse returns on Sunday and the quay also finished on a sour note with mini fish the order of the day.

Certainly the extremely cold spell changed normal feeding and shoaling patterns considerably this winter, evident in the way fish took up residence in unfamiliar places.

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Commercial fisheries soon zoomed back into form as their water temperatures rose and look all set to provide some excellent sport in the coming months.

Whatever anglers may find as criticism of these venues the vast majority offer easy access and comfortable swims, very attractive to a sports following where the average age is high and the willow wicker baskets and long walk have both long gone out of the window.

The pole and the pellet look set to reign supreme, being the most potent of baits, on form pushing the caster down the pile for carp.

Marsh Trail appears to be amongst the first to zoom into form with their 3 to 4lb carp catches rising and last April's stockies having done fantastically well - a good omen for the two day festival being held again this year on Saturday and Sunday May 1 and 2.

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