Chris Boughton's angling column: conditions combine to see carp returns rocket
A combination of vastly improved air temperatures and more fish-friendly air pressure plus pre-spawning feeding saw very pleasing reports last week for specimen carp returns, both locally and nationally. Locally, Highbridge, Suffolk Water Park, Swangey, Joes Road, Fenland, Diss Mere and Middle Reservoir have all seen carp of 23lb+ caught, and in some cases more than 30lb.
A popular day ticket water with local specimen anglers, especially for multiple night sessions, is Fenland Fisheries. They describe themselves, on their website as ‘one of Cambridgeshire’s finest carp fishing venues’. And going by the results from a four-night session by a group of local anglers last week, the description sounds fair.
The seven friends are all experienced specimen anglers (four are members at Highbridge syndicate Fishery) and have made this social fishing trip twice a year for the past five years.
While it is not a competitive event there is a trophy for the captor of the biggest carp which was won last time by Highbridge boss James Brown. This time the trophy went to the event’s organiser, Simon Price (a Nash promoter), who landed a personal best mirror weighing in at 33lb. Simon also banked carp of 18lb, 21lb, 22lb and 27lb. Very impressive fishing for any venue.
Two other members of group also set new personal best carp captures – Liam Treagus 29lb 13oz and Mark Buckle 31lb.
Alex Addison enjoyed a good session at Swangey Lakes last week banking two carp in the warmer weather, that at last appears to have arrived.
His first fish weighed in at 16lb 5oz and his second was much bigger at 25lb 12oz. But Lenny Isaac landed the largest fish of the week, a mirror of 27lb 12oz.
Swangey is a well-stocked scenic day ticket fishery that, like so many of our local waters, started out as a gravel extraction. The fishery has a user-friendly website where you can book in advance online.
At the Diss Mere, which is a very productive and popular Diss Angling Club water, young angler Tom Baddeley caught three carp in one session from peg 17 with biggest weighing in at 23lb.
In the days leading up to spawning at Suffolk Water Park there were also impressive catch reports for specimen carp.
Craig Sawyer’s best fish in an overnight session was a common of 30lb 4oz with his accomplice Jamie Wright banking another common which turned the scales to 25lb 3oz. Jack Spurling had what he described as a cracking 25lb+ common from Jacobs Creek.
Fishery manager Hayley Clapperton thanked the anglers who all sensibly stopped fishing on the big lake when the carp suddenly started spawning at the weekend. Anyone who has witnessed carp spawning in the margins of a lake will know what a stunning sight it is to observe!
There were no carp caught by Bury St Edmunds Angling Association Veterans section when they held their fourth match of the new season at Middle Reservoir last week.
As expected, bream dominated the catches once again. Two large bream and a few skimmers from peg 5 tipped the scales at 19lb 6oz to give Rob Parnell another impressive win. Andy Hardy took second place with two bream for 9lb 10oz and Andy Walker with one bream (6lb 5oz) came third.
Parnell has framed in all four Veterans matches so far and already has a significant lead in the Ron Hubbard Veterans/Disabled Cup Summer League table. But with 21 matches still to fish there is a long way to go. Hardy currently lies in second place in the league.
Club memberships have rocketed since Covid-19 arrived, with angling being well suited to social distancing. All our local clubs have reported substantial increases in membership numbers in the past 15 months, with some experiencing a doubling of members.
Day ticket venues are busier and syndicate waters all have long waiting lists to join. Two of our local clubs have closed their membership for the time being. But one category where all clubs desperately need more members is junior anglers. These are the future of angling and the decline in juniors has been worryingly in recent years.
Diss Angling club memberships can be obtained from Diss Angling Centre with more details on their Facebook page. Their membership year commenced on Wednesday.
Bury St Edmunds Angling Club memberships are available from Tackle Up in Bury with information on the club available on their website (www.burystedmundsangling.org ). Their membership year commenced on April 1.