Waveney Valley: Great day for West Country angler Dave Hartford at Bungay

Former successful West Country angler Dave Hartford, now resident in Bungay, whose expertise has shown in the Harleston club matches and silver fish series, had a good day on the River at Bungay.

Fishing skilfully as a member on the Cherry Tree's Falcon Meadow from one of the disabled priority stagings above the weir, with a big stick float, he was more than happy.

The 14ft Normark Titan carbon rod was bending round regularly with a succession of roach coming to the net and hand, demonstrating what a fine piece of older and more expensive equipment this admirable tool is.

Ninety-four redfins up to 14 ounces made a fine bag which easily exceeded 25lbs in weight as the river took on near perfect colour and flow conditions. The slacker Fleece AC water responded well too with a pair of chub 5lbs 10ozs and 5lbs 3ozs on red maggot and lighter stick.

Further down the river the chub were keen to feed with specimens exceeding 5lbs taken from Wainford both above, and below the weir off the big deep bend's tail close in to the bank, on more Cherry Tree water. Ellingham too with a steady flow off the weir produced some good catches just past peg 10 but the feeder was best here.

Around Beccles off the Barsham Bank plots, it was a bag of quality dace taken up in the water on casters and the waggler with a long cast, which took the eye rising earlier in the day.

Once arriving they remained for two hours feeding strongly before chased off by marauding jack pike but double figures of these silvery strugglers, strong in the hand, was a welcome bag.

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Down at Worlingham, where at one time winter fishing was almost a waste of time for anything else other than bream, the dace and roach hold well now throughout the colder months.

Doubtless a bold routine of regular feeding with fairly weighty groundbait, at up to 6 metres, raises the quality but there are plenty of 5'-6' roach about on the feeder.

Not to be ignored are the ever increasing catches from free fishing at Oulton Broad on Nicholas Everritt Park, which is beginning to rekindle hope that the giant perca perch of the 1960's, once famed therein, are on the way back. This week local Peter Honeywood took six using small dead gudgeon float fished at 2/3rd depth so their white bellies showed distinctly to fish below them, all weighing between 1lbs 14ozs and 2lbs 10ozs. He had to put up with 10 pesky jacks of under 2lbs but the action was well worth the outing.

Smaller commercials suffered the first of icing up round the edges, soon thawing, but all the bigger waters were fishable with reasonable results.

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