Waveney Valley: Narrow margins on river

Plenty of water from above Bungay has swirled its way down the river, spilling over on to 10 miles of marshes.

The most productive way of catching has been to fish the off river havens which provide natural shelter. Free fishing round the back of Bungay Staithe is one of the best, although shallow, and Stow Fen at Earsham has a few spots too.

With much of the upstream Waveney losing a metre each side of its width due to water cress, natural rushes and the invasive bearded Burr, the channels are becoming increasingly narrow. Many dykes and tributaries, such as at Wainford Maltings and Broome Beck, highlighted by the River Waveney Trust Association in the Powerpoint Projects on their website, have been reduced to almost overgrown trickles impeding the escape of water for around seven years now. Below Dunburgh a third of the width of the river, on both sides, has been lost to the encroachment of willow scrub.

The introduction of Plans for Pylons throughout the Waveney Valley not only raises the spectre of marring the landscape, but for anglers contains yet another encroachment upon their sport. It is the normal Health & Safety procedure as a risk assessment that angling is prevented 15 yards either side of overhead pylons. Well publicised incidents of electrocution with long poles have resulted in fatalities.

Meanwhile, commercial fisheries have continued to provide fantastic sport, with carp cruising and mopping up the feed stimulated by the extra rain. Double figure carp in matches showed to committee man Ian Moore and match secretary Jamie Buck in the Cherry Tree outing to Holton Pits. Tiny, tucked away places like Bales Nursery Fishery at Ellingham showed well with a 'big-un' and Aldeby Hall gave excellent sport too, with Lowestoft's Gordy Hall taking three doubles on fairly standard tackle and baits from the Long lake.

Hinderclay had the showing of the most large fish taken on fairly traditional methods as opposed to specialist boilie baggers, with a reported 11 double figure fish during the week.

Good news from Suffolk County AAA and from match captain Mal Runacres, who handed over some �300 for memberships and match fees raised through the Summer League etc, at a recent meeting. It looks very much as though the National Team of 10 may re-emerge to fish the Division Two event on the Ten Mile Bank of the Great Ouse. Anyone interested should contact Mal on 01502 560917 and they already have the compulsory non-fishing steward.

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The County nominated �100 of their funds towards supporting their ladies national team in memory of the Barbara Mackie-Morrison, former Saxmundham and county secretary.