I’ve not managed to even come close to actually going fishing recently, but a flying weekend visit to stay with the folks gave me an opportunity to get on my bike and have a good look around some of my favourite stretches of the Suffolk Stour.
The most encouraging thing was seeing three big shoals of good sized roach in some familiar spots. There were plenty of pound plus specimens
hanging back amongst the smaller fish and the best roach must have been at least one and a half pounds in weight. Roach seem to be making a comeback on the river and I’m sure under the right conditions there will be some good catches made.
I saw plenty of chub in the shallows of a more pacy section of water and a pair of good carp mooching around in the sun by some lilies.
Perhaps the most surprising find was upon peering into an innocuous, shallow backwater that has more in common with a sleepy farm pond
than a flowing river. Initially, I saw a few roach and some skimmers in the upper layers of the water. Then after moving along a few feet, I saw a small group of paler, fuller figured fish with blood red fins – a small shoal of superb rudd hanging back and feeding on the newly hatched flies. What a find. I’ll definitely be targeting those rudd once the season starts, as I’ve only caught a handful of these most beautiful of fishes.
I did manage to sneak out for an afternoon at a local commercial pool on a particularly sunny day at the beginning of April. I was hoping for a big crucian or a decent tench, but the main aim was to simply get out in the sunshine and fish a little float close in for whatever came along.
Setting up the old John Wilson Avon in the unseasonably warm mid-afternoon sun was very pleasant. Although the lake was busy I managed to
drop into a quieter area, with a small bay to my left and some attractive rushes running along my near bank. It was simply a case of lowering a little insert waggler next to the rushes, just off my rod tip and trickling in a decent pinch of maggots and 4mm pellets each cast. I started with double maggot on the hook and it wasn’t long before a succession of nice roach and perch found the bait. Eventually the bream moved in and I had loads of them between a pound and four pounds in weight with just a solitary tench that would have struggled to make eight ounces. A fun day, but I’d have loved to have made contact with one of those elusive crucians.