Waveney Valley: Go with the flow to catch
Not the best of fishing on the river this week with too much clarity in the stream until Saturday, but the flow normally expected on the Upper River has boosted catches.
A lot of fish were hanging about up near to the surface and reluctant to feed on all but a slowly falling bait, but they have dropped down to the swim feeder now. Towards Beccles the picture has improved too, and the Yacht Station stretch has roach and skimmers building up as part of their natural winter migration pattern into the town reaches. The roach are full and fat, well over a late second spawning for many of them. As soon as the tide fades the cocky ruffe, as the slowest feeders in the river, find their way to the bait ignored by other species and whilst they are one of the recognised mini-fish species, becoming quite common as 5' adults.
Pikers have had the best results on the mid-tidal water, with lures using the new flexible and pliable rubbery material. These very impressive artificial replicas mirror some of the species in a way that can almost fool our own eyes as well as that of a predator when being drawn through the water. Best bag on a mile roam down to the old railway swing bridge buttresses standing out in the river opposite Aldeby, using these, has been by Peter Walkely, from Great Yarmouth, taking 11, mainly jacks, between 4lb and 8lb and a 2lb 11oz perch. Heavier water at Haddiscoe gave up the largest pike so far this autumn, taken on a dead goldfish from his pond and then fridge, of 23lb 7oz, for Paul Stannard from Gorleston fishing from off the bank under the big road bridge itself.
Having seen it earlier showering up small roach out of the surface when walking his dog it took just five minutes to take, but 15 to land on 8lb line.
A recent crop of copmplaints received in more than a few clubs has been on the application of match rules and a short survey shows that many local club and open match anglers fail to read or understand what is laid down.
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Bungay Cherry Tree AC at its AGM moved away from the 48 rules of the Angling Trust inherited from the National Federation of Anglers it had utilised for 10 years, pruning it down to just 24 with more temperate views on barbed hooks for the river, and family emergencies on mobiles. However, it seems even this has been too much for some anglers to absorb.
Club match attendances continue to reach all- time lows with the 1000-plus strong Harleston Club having no matches on the river and about a regular dozen turning up to one of the best still-water venues around.
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The Bungay Club has about a 5-7pc turnout from their 200, Beccles around that too, the Fleece AC with no rules drops to just half a dozen, but Earsham has no matches now.