Focus on six river hotspots and carp lakes to head for this weekend
RIVER GREAT OUSE, ELY, CAMBS
Miles of river surrounding Ely are fishable very cheaply. Angling Times reporter Jake Benson has fished some of the river stretches in recent seasons: “First you have the river running through Ely town centre, which is free fishing. Here you’ll find stacks of silvers alongside some huge perch over 4lb. Upstream from the town is a stretch known as Coopers, which is only £10 a year. Bream and tench are often caught here – try a groundbait feeder either midriver or down the nearside shelf. “Beyond that, you’ll find a brilliant spot opposite Roswell Pits, known as Fore Mill Wash. This section is run by Ely Beet and Social Club, and for less than £40 a year you can fish for huge shoals of bream, rudd, skimmers, roach and tench.” Contact: Ely Beet Bailiff, Chris, 07786 575160 Postcode: CB7 4AT
RIVER NENE, CASTOR, CAMBS
This mile-long backwater presents a perfect opportunity to stalk chub and barbel in the evenings. Jake Benson has spent a few hours on the day-ticket stretch and says: “This river perfectly suits a roving approach, sussing out likely spots with a light link leger. Barbel and chub often hang around the bridge, and the three swims upstream are all worth a look. Fishing tight to the features is best, though be prepared with strong tackle. I’ve caught most of my fish on paste, though meat, pellet and boilie also works well. For the chub try trotted caster and maggot. Fish come up in the water for free offerings.” Contact: Rob Harris, Peterborough DAA, 07702 440892 Postcode: PE5 7AH
RIVER SEVERN, BEWDLEY, WORCS
Who better to tell you where to head here than river maestro and Severn expert, Dave Harrell: “I’d definitely recommend the day-ticket stretches at Bewdley run by Kidderminster DAA. There are some really good shallow runs through here, where you can catch barbel and chub on legered pellets, or floatfished maggots. Head to faster water, with a depth of 4ft-5ft. I’ll always suggest the Birmingham AA ticket too, which offers loads of the middle reaches including Arley, which is good.” Contact: Kidderminster DAA, 07376 100196 or Birmingham AA, 07976 886558 Postcode: Bewdley Tackle, DY12 2AE
RIVER STOUR, SUDBURY, SUFFOLK
Local angler Jake Benson knows several stretches very well, and says: “Early season I’d be looking to get a bend in the rod. The best place to do this is on the Mill Meadows stretches which are full of chub. I’d suggest a
roving approach with a light link leger, when cheese and lobworm have always proved deadly. For roach, head to an area known as the Croft, turn right over the footbridge and fish on the wall. Target overhanging bushes on the far side with light float tackle and breadflake over liquidised bread for sport with fish to over 1lb.” Day tickets can be purchased from the local tackle shop. Contact: Just-Fishin, 01787 313882 Postcode: CO10 1WH
RIVER WENSUM, NORFOLK
Local expert Daniel Brydon, of Wensum Valley Angling, recommends a few areas on the upper reaches. He says: “The dayticket stretch at the Bridge Inn is perhaps the most prolific. Trotting will score you chub, dace and roach. Anywhere around Ringland Hills is good for chub, but don’t neglect Norwich city centre. Early on, downstream from New Mills Yard is full of chub, and if you can get past the streamer weed, the quayside stretch holds bream – locals prebait and do very well.” A visit to Daniel’s shop is recommended prior to your visit. Contact: Daniel Brydon, 01903 929090 Postcode: NR8 6HT
RIVER WYE, HEREFORD, HEREFORDSHIRE
For chub and barbel action, who better to tell you where to head on the Wye than local tackle shop owner Woody. He said: “Early season I’d head to the top end of Breinton. Failing that, towards the town are plenty of fish behind the Tennis Courts in Bartonsham, and further downstream at Holme Lacey Caravan Park. If the rivers up and coloured, it’ll be openend feeder work with fishmeal groundbait, hemp and pellet. If it’s low and clear, use Black Cap feeders with long hooklinks and hemp and caster for bait.” A visit to Woody’s shop is highly recommended, he knows the area better than anyone! Contact: Woody’s Angling Centre, 01432 344644 Postcode: HR4 0DQ
The peaceful Nene backwater at Castor.
A double-figure Castor barbel for our own Jake Benson.