Influx of water in Waveney Valley encourages fish to take up the bait

A really good top-up of the water levels in most of the commercials saw an upturn in sport with nearly all the species having a surge in confidence to reed with sharpened appetites.

First on to the bait at some of the smaller commercials were fine fat rudd of 10-12 ounces, with their colours showing brightly when whipping the float down as they took a bait on the drop. Bales Nursery fishery at Ellingham saw the rudd turn up alongside orange finned roach with green backs and full flanks. Even in the river at Beccles, a few of the rudd showed for waggler anglers fishing the middle of the channel with little weight down the line. This notable presence is extremely encouraging after their tragic decline in recent years on the Waveney, where they once dwelt in abundance and sparked the enthusiasm of many a youngster to dedicate them as life-long enthusiasts to the piscatorial art.

Carp have been as obliging as usual exercising their greed gobbling up baits presented on the bottom with sweetcorn the overall favourite in conjunction with just a few grains scattered. A move away from the normal feeder presentation to a simple lead has worked well at Marsh Trail Lakes where 50lb of various sized mirrors and commons have been taken. The most impressive specimens here were well-conditioned common carp fully bronzed and scale perfect, knocking the scales round between 8lb and 11lb. Full of fight, bending the rod and ripping the line of a lightly set clutch with just a 5lb line, their first runs have taken a bit of holding but patience in playing them paid off.

Vintage maestro Billy Kilbourne won the Cherry Tree river match on the Falcon Meadow with 18lb 12oz on the whip, and landed a 7lb 11oz bream and a fantastic verified 10oz dace with Stan Woods taking second place with quality roach for 11lb 8oz.

The river at Beccles continues to improve as the fish settle down nearer to the mouth of the Quay. While there have been some quality roach it has been good bags of perch on red maggot and worm, in the Quay which have made the weights. A couple of 5lb tench decided to have a go in the narrow piece of the Quay Cut up nearer to the car park along with, and much to the surprise of, bread angler John Wall of Lowestoft, was a 5lb 3oz chub. It appears to be the largest to date from below Shipmeadow with generally the species taken ranging between two and three pounds. If this development continues with bigger fish moving down, a change in the face of the sport will very soon establish itself. Looking at the size chub reach and how they soon come to dominate on heavier waters such as the rivers Severn, Thames and Avon in other parts of the country, one can only wonder what is in store. Let's hope they do not lead to a decline in the roach fishing as avid spawn eaters.