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A review of Bury St Edmunds Angling Association's five fisheries

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A couple of weeks back I included a review of Diss & District Angling Club’s waters. This week I am taking a brief look at the Bury St Edmunds Angling Association’s fisheries. There is also a report on local match results.

Water Lane Reservoir: About four miles south-east of Bury St Edmunds in the village of Little Whelnetham, this lake is approximately three acres in size with a large central island and depths to around 10ft. The lake contains carp to around 24lb, bream, perch, roach, tench and the occasional chub. The club also added 250 tench to this lake last November. The banks are very steep and fishing is from platforms only.

The sun was shining last Thursday morning, so I made a brief visit to Water Lane Reservoir to take some photos for this angling column and bumped into Andy Flight. It must be more than 20 years since our last encounter, and it was good to see he is still fishing after a period of poor health. We went down memory lane - Bury AA matches, Norfolk/Suffolk Winter League, National Team Champs, River Cam matches, Eric Bolton’s super star juniors at Rushbrooke - you cannot beat a large dose of angling nostalgia!! We also both worked at Vintens for many years as did both of our dads. Who knows where the time goes?

Here's how Water Lane Reservoir looked back in 1991. Picture: Chris Boughton
Here's how Water Lane Reservoir looked back in 1991. Picture: Chris Boughton

Andy told me he particularly liked the peacefulness of Water Lane Reservoir. It was certainly looking good with the grass cut around the lakeside and leaves just appearing on the trees.

I have an old photo of the Reservoir before the platforms were installed and it certainly looks a lot different now. Andy had just arrived as I did and was planning a boilee baited carp session. But on a visit here a few weeks back he caught roach up to 1lb float fishing.

Barrow Lake: This picturesque lake is located seven miles west of Bury St Edmunds on the edge of the village of Barrow. The lake is one acre and has depths up to 10 feet.

Water Lane Reservoir, one of Bury St Edmunds Angling Association's water, seen earlier this month. Picture: Chris Boughton
Water Lane Reservoir, one of Bury St Edmunds Angling Association's water, seen earlier this month. Picture: Chris Boughton

The lake contains crucian carp, perch, tench, rudd, bream, roach and carp up to 15lb. Fishing is from platforms only with some suitable for disabled anglers, Banksticks must be placed in the sand buckets provided as the lake has a plastic liner. The club added 250 tench, average size three quarters of a pound, to the lake in November.

Former Bury AA chairman Grant Humphries, recently returned to angling I hear, was spotted recently at Barrow catching some of the new tench and some roach too.

Middle Reservoir: About five miles south-east of Bury on the edge of the village of Bradfield Combust, this lake is approximately four acres with a gradual sloping to around 14 feet. This is predominately a specimen lake with carp to 26lb, roach to 1lb, bream to 6lb and pike to 20lb. As well as annual club membership, day tickets can also be purchased for this lake, in advance, from Tackle Up in Bury.

Badwell Ash: This lake is an old gravel workings just off the road from Badwell Ash to Hunston and is a well-stocked mixed fishery of around one acre. Small and medium sized carp are the dominant species, but the lake also holds roach, rudd, tench and bream with varying depths up to eight feet. Fishing allowed from marked pegs only.

River Little Ouse: It is close season for rivers so I will cover this venue just before the new season starts on June 16.

Membership of Bury St Edmunds Angling Association is open to all and can be obtained from Tackle Up in Bury, Hooked in Newmarket and Just Fishin in Sudbury.

Enquiries can also be made to the club’s treasurer Steve Bull on 07831 494001 or via email stevebully@hotmail.co.uk. For more information look at the club’s website burystedmundsangling.org The club’s membership year commenced on April 1.

Heron AC hold 10 weekend club matches a year at various venues and have for the past 57 years (except for 2020!) and their first match of 2021 took place at Creeting last weekend. Two of the original members still fish with them (Jack Wetherill and Tony Boughton). The 10 match results are used to establish the winner of the club’s Mike Brown Champion Angler Shield, which Tony and Jack have both won several times. The first match of this year was specifically for the impressive and prestigious Vinten Challenge Cup. On a difficult, cold, windy and wet day Mark Palfrey came out on top with 29lb. Jack, who runs the club, was runner-up with 25lb and Dennis Vaughan came third with 19lb.

Last week’s Thursday match at Hinderclay was a windy, chilly affair but at least the sun was out. After a sharp overnight frost, weights were lower than expected but still good for April. Phil Alexander came first with 56lb. Alan Rodgers was in second place with 39lb and Simon Smith came third with 29lb.

The recent overnight frosts also affected the results at last Wednesday’s latest Open match at Suffolk Water Park. The leading weights were similar to those at Hinderclay: 1st Rob Holding 56lb, 2nd Doug Botley 44lb and 3rd Jack Damant with 30lb.

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