River conditions haven’t been very good for anglers recently

Since the start of the river season I’ve not seen many anglers on the banks and I am not surprised, writes Roger Fleming.

The river at the time of writing has no flow at all and the surface is covered in scum in many places.

I’ve had a few sessions both trotting and legering using maggots, casters, hemp and corn but all I’ve had is a few gudgeon, small perch and small roach.

Some times when laying-on my float dips but on striking nothing. When I’ve brought my bait in the maggots have been chewed which looks to me like the signal crayfish were at work. I hope the otters and cormorants have left us with something worth catching after their three month undisturbed close season.

I went to one favourite large lake legering for bream and in three hours I blanked. It wasn’t just me as the other anglers there were blanking too.

I’ve since been to two other lakes, one near home and the other towards Harwich hoping for some decent bream or tench.

But, on nearly every cast either on float or leger I was hooking carp. I got so fed up with it at one time I brought my bait in at one of the lakes and had a sleep on my unhooking mat.

The carp were even taking the bait, either mini-boilies, corn or ready-drilled pellets on the drop, and that’s with a heavy feeder on the end of my leger tackle.

I think sitting blanking but enjoying the surroundings is better than a continuous landing of carp every cast. It may suit the matchmen, but not for me.

Mind you, when I went with a friend to Halstead and Hedingham’s reservoir in Halstead since it re-opened in June, we had one of the best sessions catching silver fish ever.

On luncheon meat on a size eight hook I was taking huge roach and rudd, each one had to be netted to get them in. Most of them a pound and over. Now I don’t mind taking fish like that.

I had a most successful session at a day ticket lake a couple of miles from Sudbury. Sitting in the woods the water is about ten feet off the bank.

Using my 15ft float rod with my old centre pin, dating from the sixties, and with 6lb main line and a 5lb hooklength, I underhand cast about a rod length out with a 4AAA waggler float and took seven bream from four to five pounds and a four and a half pound tench, all on small squares of luncheon meat on a size eight widegape hook. This was in four and a half hours.

Although the ticket price is £7.00, one rarely gets a small fish there.

As it’s not far from home, by the time I drive to some of the waters controlled by other clubs that I belong to, it’s cheaper than paying out for petrol on longer journeys.

Since writing the first part of my column I have had two excellent sessions.

One was at Colnes’ Pebmarsh lake where I float-fished a couple of rod lengths out using 10ml hair-rigged mini-boilies on the hook and caught eight decent size tench with only one obtrusive carp taking the bait.

The other session was at CAPS Prestons lake from 11am to 4pm on what was described as the “hottest day of the year”. I sat in a shady swim until the sun moved round at 3.30 and because of the heat I was forced to pack up at 4 o’clock even though I’d put my brolly up.

Using a quiver-tip and starting with Crave 10ml boilies, then followed by double and treble corn hair-rigged with a cage feeder either filled with 4ml small pellets and a few boilies, or packed with corn blocked at each end of the feeder with groundbait, I lost count of how many bream I caught, many of them slabs from 4 to 5lbs.

I didn’t expect to catch much because of the heat and not much flow on the lake, but casting a good way out near the first island, the bream really came on the feed.