West & Fens: Head for the South Beach if you want good catch

Winding through the caravan sites, tucked behind the floobank, it might not look the cream of river fishing.

But there are specimen roach to be had amid respectable nets of silver fish from the Heacham River. Forget the shallow, fast-flowing stretches around North Beach and further upstream.

The bit to head for is around the cafe by the sluice at South Beach, which lets the water run out between tides.

When the tide floods the other side of the sea wall, the flow stops and the river rises.

This used to be a prime spot for eel fishing. For years, I never quite believed the stories of 2lb-plus roach caught in this area.


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Yet this is the size of roach coming out here from time to time, along with bream and the odd chub.

On sunnier days, when the water's not too coloured, you can see the fish. Better still, it's free fishing.

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A little inland from Heacham, Springside Lake seems to be bucking the trend of a slow start to summer on the stillwaters.

Tench are feeding well, with the best in recent days reported at over 7lb.

Pegs along the main road bank seem to be tinca's favourite territory, with plenty of bites coming in close in the steeply-shelving margins. Carp are also on the feed.

A few carp have also been showing on the Bear Lake at Shepherd's Port, with meat and method feeders scoring.

Bream and skimmers coming out on Shepherd's Lake, again on feeder tactics.

Returning to the rivers, the Ouse hasn't really got into gear yet, although pre-baiting tactics gave two anglers a 100lb-plus bream net from an undisclosed stretch.

Lower end of the Middle Level producing mixed nets to 20lb. Rudd also featuring in catches, though none on the scale of last week's record breaker from one of the Whittlesey drains.

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