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Here is why Hawstead Lakes and Kettles Farm Fishery are worth a visit

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The recent overnight frosts have had an adverse effect on catches locally but at Bury St Edmunds Angling Association venue Water Lane Reservoir Steve Bull, the club’s treasurer, had a very impressive catch in the sunshine last Sunday.

His report made interesting reading: “Fished Water Lane today. Four bream up to 6lb all in excellent condition, all had white spots over their nose ready to breed. Caught on pellet. One mirror carp with really dark scales also on pellet. Then six perch up to 3/4lb all on worm.”

It certainly sounds like this underrated water is well worth a visit at the moment.

Hawstead Lakes. Picture: Chris Boughton (46622891)
Hawstead Lakes. Picture: Chris Boughton (46622891)

Two local day ticket waters, both quite different, are also worth a visit are: Kettles Farm Fishery, near Rattlesden. It’s ideal for beginners, pleasure anglers and family groups. It also allows small local match groups to book the lake so check the day before you visit (Carole on 01449 737873).

The Nunn family from Tackle Up in Bury have hired the lake for family get-togethers on several occasions and Emma says it is their favourite venue.

This is not a specimen water but the lake is full of fish, including some hard fighting carp up to double figures, hybrids, roach and rudd.

Robbie and Rachael from Tackle Up at Kettles. Picture: Ricky Nunn (46622893)
Robbie and Rachael from Tackle Up at Kettles. Picture: Ricky Nunn (46622893)

Carol and Will have an impressive set-up with glamping pods for day or night rental close to the lake, which includes a toilet block with showers. The day ticket for fishing is just £7.

I contacted Carole, the fishery manager, to ask how the lake is currently fishing and, unlike many of our local waters, she said: “It is fishing pretty well as we have had some sunshine on the water. There have been some nice carp coming out, they look lovely and shiny.”

Hawstead Lakes is primarily a specimen angler’s day ticket water, situated less than three miles from Bury St Edmunds.

The waters are a series of terraced coarse fishing lakes dating back to medieval times and fishing is available on two of the Lakes (Spring Head and Willow).

Located well away from the road, both lakes are in a delightful scenic spot surrounded by trees but with up to 20 easily accessible swims to fish from.

The Specimen lake (Willow) is stocked with carp to 30lb, silver fish and perch to 3lb. The Spring Head lake includes tench up to 7lb and crucian carp. The combined area of the two lakes is three-and-a-half acres.

Booking to fish the lakes during daytime is not required but you do need to book for night fishing by contacting the owner, Rupert Brown, on 07919 055515.

Daytime fishing is strictly between the hours of 6.30am and 6.30pm.

There is a large clear notice by the car park gate to the fishery containing payment details and fishery rules. Day cost for two rods is £12.

There are two Facebook pages for Hawstead Lakes with one containing recent catch photos.

For the carp anglers it is by no means a ‘runs’ fishery, like some of our larger local commercial day ticket fisheries, but there are plenty of specimen carp present for those that like a challenge.

Fishery manager Rupert told me: “The carp have put on considerable weight in the past two years. The fish landed so far this year have been in excellent condition.”

A quick reminder that all our local tackle shops have re-opened, in line with other retail shops, but are strictly observing Covid-19 guidelines, especially the wearing of masks.

Tackle Up in Bury, Just Fishin in Sudbury and Hooked in Newmarket all have Bury St Edmunds Angling Association memberships available.

Membership enquiries can also be made to club treasurer Steve Bull on 07831 494001 or by emailing stevebully@hotmail.co.uk

Bury AA cancelled the member’s Seeley Rose Bowl match scheduled for April 11 and the first club match of the year will now be held on May 16 at Middle Reservoir.

Entries can be made at Tackle Up or to match secretary Keith Smith on 07804 101067, but must be made no later than noon on the Saturday prior to the match.

The fixture list for the rest of the membership year can be found on the club’s website: www.burystedmundsangling.org

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