Waveney Valley: Beccles is autumn hot-spot

A far better flow saw catches rise this week on the river with Beccles beginning to fish its head off in true autumnal style.

Above Puddingmoor Park on the Barsham Plots boat anglers bagged up with some decent roach and hybrids. The Scores near to the bottom end produced some good bags too from their narrow swims but Church Score gave the best. Nearer to the main road bridge, more swims became available this week and right up against it the perch have been feeding well to worms on the pole not too far out. Giving the biggest of struggles was a silvery wriggler of 2lb 10oz to Peter Gatley of Great Yarmouth out for the day ledgering and casting into the darkness of the bridge, but near to the edge. The Upper River continues to improve with the Fleece AC stretch near to the town having some decent roach shoaled up on the furthest bend. Mendham Marshes, belonging to the Harleston, Wortwell & District Ac produced double figures of roach in the 4-6in range on maggot and the waggler fished well up in the water. The huge shoal comprising around 300 roach with the odd rudd identified was seen from the bridge browsing slowly just under the surface.

Trips further down into the heavier tidal waters of the Waveney are usually more boat- orientated due to the inaccessibility of swims heavily lined with dense Norfolk reed. The Waveney River Centre at Burgh St Peter with its shops and pub is a good attraction, and has a few spots for angling from the bank, day ticketed, and several good bags of sizeable bream have been taken there on the swim-feeder.

St Olaves and Haddiscoe Cut can turn up this time of the year as fish begin to move to winter haunts but some of the most productive fishing comes from Oulton Broad on St Nicholas Everrett Park where it is free and simple techniques with maggot have been catching plenty of fish to keep the average angler pleased.

Commercial fisheries continue to reward those in pursuit of hard- fighting carp of whatever size takes one's fancy. These days it is the double-figure fish that once were hard to catch and find on natural waters, which provide a constant source of day-ticket entertainment.

A carp of 16 lb is no rarity with several fisheries boasting of holding specimens even nearer to 20lb.

This week Keith Brown, one of the bailiff team at Broome Pits reports a 35lb D Pit monster and from B Pit, three at 20lb-plus.

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Meanwhile a match in the Kidney Pit gave Lowestoft contestants 70lb 10 ozs; 33lb 12 and 33lb to fill the top three spots.