Angling: latest news from West Suffolk

Bury St Edmunds Angling Association Veterans held their Christmas match at Barrow Lake in bright sunshine. Unfortunately, there was also a bitterly cold, strong north-westerly wind and the water was very clear, making the fishing difficult for all the anglers, except Johnny Barnet.

Chris Boughton

Angling in West Suffolk

By Chris Boughton

Bury St Edmunds Angling Association Veterans held their Christmas match at Barrow Lake in bright sunshine. Unfortunately, there was also a bitterly cold, strong north-westerly wind and the water was very clear, making the fishing difficult for all the anglers, except Johnny Barnet. He drew peg 13 which has not been used much in matches this year, but it was lucky for Johnny as he found three carp and 12 roach, fishing his pole down the edge with maggot for a total weight of 11lb 2oz. Mike Stavely worked hard for a mixed net of 3lb 6oz and second place from peg 18 and Andy Walker needed only 1lb 12oz of roach for third spot.


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Johnny was presented with the Percy Parr Memorial Christmas Trophy, in memory of a regular at the Veterans' matches who sadly passed away in July. Despite having to have four hours of kidney dialysis three times a week, Percy turned up most Thursdays for the matches and never complained. On one occasion at Middle Reservoir earlier this year, he was sitting at the next peg to me. He had not drawn a good spot and was clearly feeling unwell, a combination that would have had most of us complaining for England. But he just quietly packed up his gear and came and sat behind me to see how I was fishing the method feeder, which around that time was giving me good results in the matches at the reservoir. He made no observations about what a lucky so and so I was, just had a genuine interest in what I was doing. I know it is common practice to emphasise all that is good about someone when they pass on but in Percy's case he really was a nice guy and his company is missed. The trophy in his memory was kindly donated by his daughters.

The Veteran's match at Water Lane Reservoir this week will be the last until early February as they take their annual six-week winter break.

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On the local pike and zander front, fish are starting to show on various stretches of the River Stour around Sudbury, Clare and Long Melford, although nothing of any size has been reported yet. The region's Pike Anglers Club held the Marie Curie Predator Cup on the Great Ouse at Ely, raising �1,750 for the charity. Biggest pike caught was 22lb 12oz (K Clanfield) and best zander weighed in at 8lb 8oz (G Plumb). Earlier in the same week a 27lb pike was caught on the Littleport section of the Great Ouse.

Angling does not get much terrestrial TV coverage in the UK but the ITV early evening Thursday angling series, River Monsters, that has just finished its run had a peak audience of over 4 million viewers. Presenter Jeremy Wade was a local lad and apparently spent his youth exploring the River Stour in Suffolk, albeit that the species of fish covered in his latest TV series were slightly larger than you will encounter on the Stour around Sudbury, Clare and Long Melford! It was more a travelogue than an angling programme but at least it was generally well received, unlike all the controversy surrounding Robson Green's Extreme Fishing programme on Channel 5 earlier this year. Hopefully, this will give terrestrial channels the confidence and desire to show more angling on television.

If you would like your local angling stories, photos or match results included in this article, then please e-mail them to westsuffolkangling@live.co.uk

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