Fishing on the Waveney

Our parishes live close to freshwater ways, writes Stephen Lane, and yet sometimes we do not appreciate what they contain or what they can give us.

I’m an active member of the Cherry Tree Angling Club (Bungay), I belong to the Angling Trust and, with support from the Environment Agency, I have served in the past as a volunteer bailiff for the club.

I was born in Geldeston and over the years I’ve observed a positive change in the water quality in the Geldeston Dyke (canal). From the bland dark colour of the 1970s it has improved up until today when you have a crystal-clear view deep into the water and, at times, can see the fish and vegetation. I’ve loved coarse fishing all my life and it’s become second nature to me: I always find it helps me relax and forget about other things.


A few words of advice for budding and experienced anglers before the coarse fishing season opens on 16 June.

One, the law says you must have a licence to fish our rivers, and the fines can be very severe – up to £2,500 (or even more under a bye-law that covers fishing in rivers). Two, if you purchase a licence online make sure you buy it from : other websites may charge you up to three times as much.

For example, when I was out gaining experience last season with Nick Beardmore, our local Environment Enforcement Officer, I witnessed someone on the river bank paying a very large sum for a licence after being issued a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Apart from the River Waveney, of course, there are several lakes in the area where you can fish all year round. At some places you need to pay a membership fee; at others, you pay each time you visit.

Stephen Lane

Stephen’s father John (1939-2019) is shown above with a big catch.

But it didn’t come out of Geldeston Dyke (the Cut) or from the Waveney: John Lane caught that magnificent carp at the Cherry Tree Angling Club’s fishing lakes near Bungay.