Monday, 7 May 2012


The fifth week of the drought saw even more heavy rain and the floods the river craved back in December came with a splash.  In fact I’ve lived in this little Town for nearly ten years and it’s the highest I’ve ever seen the water, all a little bit dramatic by Suffolk standards.  The ‘Marsh’ is currently flooded which ruled out any attempt at catching Tench so I decided to have a lazy day at the Puddle.  No alarm clock, get up when I wake up, chuck some gear in the car and go.  And all was going to plan until I arrived at the Puddle to find the place full of cars and anglers.  I don’t know why I’m always surprised to find it like this? 

I managed to find a quiet corner all to myself and with Carp showing that would do for me.  The forecast had promised a dry grey day but it lied, I sat through light rain all day.  First week of May and I haven't heard a Cuckoo and I'm still wearing my winter jacket.  This didn’t discourage the Carp from feeding on the surface however, far from it.  I set up three rods; a freelined floater, a method feeder & a pop up rig with fake Corn and fished with two at a time.  Mostly the floater and one of the bottom rigs, I only used two baits on the bottom when I wanted a rest and a cup of tea.  The fish were ’having it’ on the surface and after a while it became too easy. 

But not so to begin with, after catching a couple quickly the Carp became wary and were adept at ignoring the bait but slurping down all the free offerings.  And I do mean slurping, these fish had no table manners at all.  I was able to watch these fish close in and a couple of the noisiest had deformed mouths (almost certainly caused by hooks and carelessness), and these fish seemed to be struggling to take the baits.  I hope I’m wrong.  Not only were the fish largely rejecting my hookbaits, when they did take I was missing them.  On more than one occasion a fish was on for a few seconds then off, on one such example I wound in to find a scale impaled on the hook. 

After trying various baits and hooking arrangements I found that two 10mm pop up boilies on a short hair done the trick.  More takes and more hook ups.  I’d started off by feeding little and often, a few mixers at a time but found that the more freebies I chucked out, the more confidently the fish would feed.  I suppose it took me a couple of hours to work that out but for the rest of the afternoon I caught fish regularly.  I landed a dozen fish, only one on the method feeder, all the rest off the surface.  There were commons, mirrors and a couple of those horrible ‘ghostie’ things.  None was bigger than six pounds or so, all looked under nourished, shaped like ‘wildies’ and most had signs of angler damage.  However I did catch one lovely little mirror which was almost perfect.

 Did I enjoy myself?  I did to begin with but to be honest the fishing was boring after a while, I really wanted to catch something bigger.  I did hook something that felt more substantial.  It powered off, fighting strangely and I wondered if it was foul hooked, I suspect it was but it did fight harder than anything else I hooked that day.  Interesting but when the line went slack after a minute or two I didn’t really care.  If that had been a big water Pike….  I suppose I can kind of see why some people like to fish matches, It's the only way to create much interest in this type of fishing.  But I’d had a well needed fix of fishing and caught a few fish.  My surroundings were OK and I saw a pair of Bullfinch which was nice as I can’t remember the last time I’d seen one.  I couldn’t see another angler and Rabbits ran along the banks but compared to a winter on the broads it was all too bland and unexciting.   However it is a good place for Isaac to learn a little more so I‘ll probably be back again soon.  

What I really want to do is spend some time at the Marsh and try to track down one of those big Tench.  The cold spring may well prolong my chances of catching one at top weight but still time is precious.   Meanwhile in Norfolk, no news is good news??

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