Great Ouse Ely 13.09.2019

Great Ouse Ely

Where to start here hmmm…

So we decided to go and do a session on The Great Ouse, with no idea where to start on such a large river we did some basic research as best we could and packed up ready to go.

We decided to leave early on Friday and travel the hour or so drive up the A14 before rush hour traffic.

Jack had a look and managed to find a small marina just off the main stretch of the river just down from Ely town center.

The Marina can also accommodate motorhomes, tourers, and camping. We only took our bivvy’s as I did not have time to get the caravan ready.

Great Ouse Ely

About the marina “The Fish and Duck”. The gentleman on the phone was very helpful and accommodating.

The gentleman took payment for the camping and launching over the phone all the staff would have finished work by the time we arrived. Pricing was more than fair £5 to launch per day each and £5 per night each to camp with access to toilets and showers.

We thought this was very reasonable and the facilities were warm, dry, and clean which is always a bonus.

Great Ouse Ely


Anyhow, we arrived just after 5 pm and set the kayaks up. You’ll have to accept our apologies for the lack of pictures as we are still setting our yaks up and making changes as we go.

Rigged and ready to fish

Great Ouse Ely

The weather was now not, to be on our side all weekend but continue I shall. We both launched around 5.45 pm for a quick session.

Upon leaving the marina jack hooked up straight away on a small jack pike, which unfortunately didn’t make the landing net. We both spun for the next hour with no bites.

I decided to try to catch a few Roach for live bait which I did with ease but even though we fished till dark nothing else wanted to take any of our lures.

Suns coming up already

Great Ouse Ely

We returned to the marina in the dark and set up camp. We left the kayak in the boatyard locked up minus all our gear which we put back in the van and set off in search of a Tesco looking for food. After finding one very close by and stocking up we headed back and cooked up a gourmet dinner for two of some pepperoni pizza and garlic flatbreads, cooked on the stove using my ridge monkey sandwich toaster. The ridge monkey is a great invention and you can cook literally anything on, and I mean anything. After washing it down with a few beverages we hit the sack as the nights are getting cold and damp.

Early rise

We set the alarms for 5.30 am and unwilling up and out of bed sharp into the freezing cold morning.

After getting all our bit sorted and kayaks back to the launch ramp it was just after 6.15 am and the sun was already in the sky. We knew we were in for a tough time as the weather was just not on our side.

After launching and heading out the marina I hooked up on another small jack pike, which I was landed and safely returned.

The pike can’t of weighed more than a pound but a pike it was nonetheless. We left the marina and headed towards Ely town center stopping and spinning as we went.

We changed to every lure you could possibly imagine but the fish were just not there and not biting.

Ely town

Jack and I headed all the way up through Ely town and out the other side.

Spinning and trolling past the boats and marinas side inlets from fields and drains but still nothing. There the fish finders were picking up nothing but tiny roach and Rudd swimming about.

By lunchtime, it was roasting hot. We really knew it was game over, but we did not give back up any point.

Although we did become very frustrated, and I was very close to throwing my toys out of the pram.

After calming down, I decided to get the float rod out and make the most of a difficult situation fishing wise.

We made it back on to the outskirts of Ely town around 2.30 pm. Out the corner of my eye, I saw a shoal of small Roach and Rudd darting in and out from under an overhanging tree.

On a day like this with the weather as it was a fish is a fish. So I anchored up in around 3ft (0.91 m) of water.

Very large red fin Rudd (picture does not do it justice)

Roach and Rudd

After landing a few small roach and Rudd, I caught a small chub around half a pound. Jack meanwhile was also catching and landing some OK size Rudd. After a recast using 3 white maggots on a size 14 semi barbed hook. This was placed under a small self-weighted float.

I was in again this time the rod bent over to my disbelief and I landed the Rudd pictured above. The picture does not do it justice and I wish I had my weight scales to hand. After this one, they just kept coming with another 4 or 5 of this size.

We could not believe the size of the fish in a pike and zander filled river. No wonder the predator fish are so hard to catch.

They must be full upon the huge river baitfish. we continued to catch roach and Rudd incredible sizes for the next 45min.

Then decided we should start the long journey back to the marina to get packed up safely before dark and on the way home.

Great Ouse Ely

Another monster caught

Back at marina

we arrived back at the marina in good time and packed up all the gear. Loaded the kayaks on the roof of the van and headed home.

Great Ouse Ely

To sum up the trip it was a predator disaster. The weather was having none of it, as were the pike and zander. We did make the most of it and will be going back when it’s much colder. The course and match style fishing it that stretch of the river, if you find the spots is second to none.

Having more very large Rudd and roach in that small area than I’ve ever pulled out of any predator-free lakes in my life. Well worth a go for anyone looking for some fun with a float rod.



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