Waveney valley: It’s patchy until flow eases up

It has been patchy fishing at Beccles on the up tide, with two great hours near to the top being action mad.

As for the rest of the run, it was a bit of a here-and-there job producing next to nothing – but as soon as the flow eased it showed the fish were there in good numbers and ready to feed. Being able to see three rings of the keepnet down into the water has not helped, but one of the bonuses of clear water days is the brilliance of the fishes' colours. Even a small cocky ruffe was gleaming almost golden shades on its flanks, with its freckles standing out, and the perch also with its spiny dorsal fin erect, were as attractive as many an aquarium species with blood red fins and startling yellow and black stripes.

The best roach have started to get a penchant for tares now and it really upped the quality fed with hemp seed. Unfortunately this year's winter cormorant invasion is under way, with a dozen invading the river and Marina at Beccles on their way to Earsham Gravels and Harleston's Ocean Pit where already 40 have been seen in a flock. Tide should run out to low about 4pm by Friday.

Nearer to Bungay there has been a bit of colour, but many of the fish are not just finicky but frightened. The presence of an otter, sometimes two, swimming up and down on reaches near to the Town forces their potential victims right into the side where small shoals of a dozen can shelter beneath the abundant parsley and wild water cress with its thick stalks and dense foliage. It seems the otter feeding sprees, and activity, tail off towards the afternoon and by the last two hours roach are out to roam and feed, almost making a morning angling outing a total waste of time, when once this time of the year was not just beano time for anglers but also those in businesses associated with it.

Fortunately, in the narrow stretches upstream of Earsham, the chub holds out as the most worthy species of pursuit and individual specimens taken are reported at nearer to 6lb now than last year's 5lb. A great fish of 6lbs 11 oz is reported from Homersfield, near the Bridge, on bread flake, by Wayne Bridges of Ipswich, coming with two other around 4lb on an afternoon and evening session of just three bites.

On the commercials it has been plenty of action for carpers and little to complain about.

Broome Pits, with its wide choice of varying lakes in size and depth, still has its central Kidney Pit as the most rewarding for those with more limited skills and expertise. Plenty of manageable carp have been feeding regularly and the roach and rudd feeding near the surface are impressive to see if a few floating casters are thrown in. However, sweetcorn single grains have, on all these pits, been the best bait.

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