Chet provides plenty of fun for roach hunters

It has been the humble little River Chet this week that has provided the best roach catches.

With shoals pushed up from the Yare with the threat of saline incursions at their tails the concentrations were considerable when located. Just above the influx to Hardley Flood and running to the free fishing on the Chedgrave Common it was 17lbs in just three hours on the float.

This comparatively shallow reach, now with few boats, had masses of 2oz-3oz roach and every so often a shoal of crackers around the 10oz mark pushed them out. Well up towards the Town on Pyes Mill Marsh the slightly wider strip saw three bags of roach and hybrids logging around 35lbs taken on the pole. How long they will, or did stay, is anybody's guess, but clearly these fine, full, fat fish with hardly a scale out plaace, must have wandered in from the Yare.

Two pesky herons joined the bonanza, snatching small roach being swung in on the pole, taking them mid-air.

Downstream at Nogdam End in sight of Hardley Cross and not too far from the Reedham Ferry in Ferry Lane (B1140) , the bream, perhaps less cagey about a bit of tang in the water, took up residence in the 10ft deep Environment Agency free section with only yards to walk from the car.


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The strong flow and still comparatively River Ant-like width is not that conducive to keepnets, so Warren Knights and Peter Yardy counted their fish caught on the feeder and three red maggots as they landed them. Ranging from 3lb to 7lb their 44 fish each totted up an impressive total.

Beccles fished to form and well-informed locals like former Waveney ace Colin Davey, with years on the River, are tipping that the roach shoals are now starting their upstream journey towards the Town and Beccles Quay with its ppen winter season fishing just 10 days away now.

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The Waveney, whether staged banked or lined with Norfolk Reed, in these areas are teeming with fish albeit not all particularly large, but the presnce of consistently increasing-in-size dace is really pushing the catch rate higher at every session. Once the colour holds a little more the skimmers that are present already should feed with enthusiasm near to the Yacht Station.

Upstream around Bungay it has been good in the right spot, but a lot of roach still refuse to be moved from their tightly shoaled safe areas immediately above and below weirs.

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