Choices can prove crucial on Waveney

WAVENEY VALLEY: It has been back to the 'fish very tightly shoaled' scenario again on the river away from the tidal stretches. Sit in the right place and a stone of fish climb up your rod gulping down anything offered to them.

It has been back to the 'fish very tightly shoaled' scenario again on the river away from the tidal stretches.

Sit in the right place and a stone of fish climb up your rod gulping down anything offered to them. Roach, skimmer bream and the odd hungry perch, and some places just the dace only.

However, fail to select the swim correctly and it was 'find a second fish if you can', and woe betide those unfortunates that missed the only bite.

Some of these shoals are creating a further enigma by moving a hundred yards in a day as they eat out the larder. Wainford Maltings on the Bungay Cherry Tree stretch was typical of this, with one day a good presence close in to the bank on the big bend and 12 feet of water, then three days later it was four moves to locate them deep in among the concrete walls of the workings occupying just three feet of slower water.


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Wherever they were found, one could only marvel at their absolutely superb condition with the fish averaging 10oz, their bellies full and fit to burst, every fin erect and in pristine shape with a startlingly clear eye to grace the shimmering scales.

Beccles Quay continues to out-perform most winter venues but at the weekend it was just the perch which fed with a high tide that spilled over and froze. The Old Town stretch of the Woodyard was always a favourite in a hard winter and the cormorants have been less inclined to be present in greater concentrations in this more built-up area. The five sheltered cores are only one-man spaces but still provide good free fishing swims in these small areas, with reasonable casting distance and good depths for the running line. This week Puddingmoor Park yielded a few double figure pike and is also a worthy free spot.

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The weekend's snow and ice failed to seal over most commercials where the average temperature had risen sufficiently to have only the margins affected. Silver fish were still the main feeders but plenty of 6-8lb carp made an appearance to those fishing the feeder with smaller offerings. With the ever-improving Topcroft Fishery getting plenty of surface movement a day's action was on.

Pleasure fishing results recently have begun to show the value of their increasingly stable silver fish reserves which frequently now pack out a day often well beyond respectability, providing small hooks and a cautious approach are adhered to.

Aldeby Hall Lakes are open all year round these days and are now maintained in a different way, with an emphasis on a match lake at the bottom, where some good bags of roach and small bream were taken immediately after the thaw.

Gone are the legions of mini-rudd which used to rag maggots as soon as they entered the water. But those glinting golden flanks remaining are now specimens that rattle around the half pound and still feed on cold sharp days, responding to a single caster. In the long lake on one's left to park the car besides, several roach and rudd have been taken well over the 1lb mark and a great winter mirror of 26lb 2oz fell to a small maple boilie and a beeper.

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