Monday, April 30, 2007

Response from DEFRA..

Quite a while ago I emailed Ben Bradshaw to ask his position on the proposal to licence recreational sea anglers. Below is copied the response I finally got from DEFRA. In essence I'm not opposed to licencing angling, I already pay for a coarse licence, the difference being I can easily see where my coarse fees are being spent, what are they going to give us sea anglers for our licence fee? I'd hate to think my sea licence funds were propping up a dying commercial fishing industry...

Dear Mr Holmes,


Thank you for your email of 29 March to Ben Bradshaw about sea anglers licenses. I have been asked to reply and I am sorry for the delay in doing so.

Defra recognises the importance of Recreational Sea Angling (RSA) and the substantial contribution it makes to the UK economy and we are ensuring that sea anglers' needs are increasingly considered as we manage and develop fisheries policy. We have recently published a Marine Bill White Paper, in which we set out the Government's intentions to equip fisheries managers with powers that may be necessary for a more active approach to managing recreational fisheries in the future. This includes proposals to introduce a recreational sea angling licence, which would be similar to that operated by the Environment Agency for freshwater angling. Work on these proposals is in early development, so at this stage it is not possible to set out particular details, the cost or when it could be introduced. However, we would expect that any proposed licensing scheme would need to clearly demonstrate the benefits for sea anglers, with revenue being used to improve the recreational sea angling experience. At the moment we are consulting widely on these proposals, and would welcome your views. You should be aware that the powers we are seeking in the Marine Bill are enabling provisions to introduce a licence at a later date. If we proceed with the measure in the light of responses to the White Paper, there would therefore be a further full consultation as we develop a scheme, to ensure we gather a full range of views. More detailed information on plans for a rod licensing scheme are set out in the Marine Bill White Paper, which can be found at:

A rod licence is also being considered within the context of the RSA Strategy, where it forms part of an overall package of measures for sea anglers. To ensure that this work is taken forward in partnership with all those who have a stake in fish stocks, the strategy is being developed by representatives across a range of sectors. A strategy may also include elements such as links with inshore fisheries management, management of key stocks of interest to anglers, improving access as well as other RSA development opportunities. The Strategy has recently been endorsed by Defra's Inshore Fisheries Working Group who have recommended a full consultation later this year to capture a wide range of views.

I hope this letter addresses your concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Christopher Stewart
Customer Contact Unit


A chance to be an anglers saviour, don't hold your breath though..

On the fishing front it's been quiet since I went with Smudge, I have a trip planned somewhere tomorrow but may get postponed depending on the sea etc. Either way I'll write up a report.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nightmare neaps..

Me and Smudge fished Walcott last night. We put loads of effort in, fishing from 8pm until about 3am for a school bass and a dab for Smudge and a flounder for me. I suppose I've done ok the last few sessions so I was probably due a bad one. We'd hoped to get a few of the smuts we'd seen over the weekend at Cart Gap, only the next but one beach southward basically. I guess the lesson is don't fish that bit of beach on a neap. We had top quality bait, darkness, a little colour in the water, no surf, on the face of it not bad conditions for smoothounds and the like. The highlight of the trip was a visit by a seal, who slept on the beach next to us all night. They say they're scared of people, this little guy had all the NE Norfolk coast to avoid people, he chose the only beach for miles with people on, I think he just wanted to laugh at us!


The highlight of a poor session, the thing snored louder than Nobby.


Monday, April 23, 2007


After Saturdays fun session, we decided to try and repeat the form on Sunday. This time though Pete would be joining us and we decided to go further north and fished Overstrand hoping for a bass or two...

Karl picked Pete up and I met them down there. mrs Aitch wouldn't let me go until I'd got young Aitch to bed, to be honest if Karl hadn't rung my mobile asking where I was I'd probably still be there in bed with him, I was knackered. A flask of filter coffee and I was sure I'd perk up. It was a cracking night, the wind had eased to nothing unfortunately so had the sea, to be honest it looked perfect for smuts. We made our way down the cliff and walked southwards a bit.


stonking night, shirt sleeves weather.

I took my flattie fanatic and a fixed spool loaded with 50lb braid, my idea being I'd fish close and light. Pete and Karl tackled up with standard beach gear, but bugger them I want to talk about me and the braid rod! I hope some experienced anglers are reading this and can offer me some help. I had one of the most frustrating nights, nearly a bite a chuck and I missed or bumped most of them. I think most were doggies which I know can be a bit hit and miss, but in the last two sessions where I'd used the gear, I missed or bumped more bites than I can remember. I know braid doesn't stretch and your probably seeing the bites earlier than you would with mono, but several times I've held the rod and actually felt the fish biting before I've lifted into nothing (not striking). Anyway I'm sure there are plenty of guys out there with more braid experience than me, if so HELP!!!!

Pete was first off the mark with a dog. I was struggling with the braid setup and my dinner. The family Aitch had been for a swim and a carvery earlier that day, I'd had pork which occasionally has me back later on! A cat like leap from Pete had me forgetting my bubbling belly and it was obvious he had a real fish on, Karl and me walked over as he beached a superb bass of 5lb 1oz, a super fit fish in poor (bass) fishing conditions.


Solid and as fit as a butchers dog, 5lb of power packed bass caught by a dalek! The rumour is he's got a lot of that rubber strappy stuff, he doesn't just wear it on his head, allegedly.

Karl and me were struggling, I was getting bites I couldn't touch. I had managed a couple of doggies but the frustration was getting the better of me. I even started to leave the rod and just watch the bites. Pete managed a couple more dogs and a flounder before beaching another nice bass a little over 3lb. I was still missing bites and Karl was still struggling to get a bite, he did manage a whiting which I think forced his hand and he decided to call it a night shortly after midnight. While Karl was packing up Pete added a couple more doggies, in fairness Karl and me had had a hiding. Karl said bye and made his way back to the car park, we'd decided to have just one more chuck while we had some nice baits prepared. Karl couldn't have been in the car before my rod went doolally. The scrap on braid is awesome, I felt every head shake of the fish and a few minutes later I had a nice fish of 4lb 6oz to sit between Pete's 3 and 5lbers. That fish forced another couple of chucks before we called it a night at about 2am.


From the top the 3lber, 5lb 1oz and 4lb 6oz. We never take many bass, isn't it sad we feel we have to justify it when we do?

If there is anybody out there that thinks they may be able to solve the missed bite problems I'm having with the braid, here's the techy details of the tackle and rigs I've been using: Conoflex flattie fanatic mk2, shimano biomaster with 50lb dynabraid, 50lb rig body, 5oz of lead and a 3/0, 2/0 pennel on a snood around 14" and peeler crab as bait. I leave plenty of hook showing on both the top and main hook. Like I said it could just be the species ragging my bait out or even eels, but my bite to fish ratio is down around 20% with this setup, and to be honest much as I like to see the bites on braid and fish light, fishing without fish is just ing...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Gypsys at Bacton..

I'll be honest after the Thursday evening bash I wasn't sure what Saturday night would bring. The sea had died a sudden death and there was barely a ripple, still at least the breeze was warm...

John and Jenny pitched up on Wednesday, literally pitched up. I got home from work Wednesday evening to find the front yard looking like a trailer park. Actually it worked quite well, they hooked into my electrics in the garage and sorted themselves out.


As long as they don't rustle horses and sell "charms" door to door I'll be happy!

I had hoped to have another go for a local ray, but to be honest there was just a little too much sea on and Thursday / Fridays ENE wind had probably cooled it too much to have a real chance. So the plans were changed to fish crab for bass and anything else that we could winkle out at one of our favourite bass beaches.

Me and uncle John met Karl at Cart Gap around 1930, we'd fish the last couple of the flood and the first of the ebb. I was surprised to see so much sand on the beach, Walcott just up the road is still missing a few feet but Cart gap, Eccles and southwards seem to build up quick after storms, probably to do with the reefs at Sea Palling? Whatever it is, what it does is leave a nice deep gulley not far off the ends of the groins and a prominent bank the seaward side of the gulley.

What is the attraction of jet skiing? The things just skim around the sea deafening everybody. Thankfully the 2 that were there when we got there were just leaving, even so we decided to fish the bay to the right of the slip hoping that it had been less disturbed. Karl was first away with a codling 38cm, above the size limit of 35cm but who takes fish that small? There was a hell of a lot of tide and we seemed to get two floods. Usually the tide eases around the top of the tide, what it did was ease around an hour before the top like normal then went like a train again at high water. When I say it went like a train, I mean it, it hammered through. I had my normal beach kit and a light rod with fixed spool and 50lb braid, I couldn't hold bottom with the braid rod. I've experienced funny tides at places like the Solent but its the first time I've really noticed it go like that here.

I'd spoken to Pete in the morning and we'd spoken about Orford. Pete was due to fish the SAMF match there this weekend but decided against it, I think only around 35 fished it in the end. I think 15lb was winning from day 1, not great after recent pleasure reports. PK and Johnny had shared 20 codling to 4.5lb and smuts and dogs, I thought you'd need at least 80lb over the two days to frame, still we'll hear soon enough what wins it. Sorry I digress, we'd spoken about the few smuts that had shown up on the island and I said I'd had a pup early April last year and that I thought we'd have a chance tonight. We had top quality crab bait, a calm evening some colour in the sea and a warm SE breeze, if there were any about they'd feed in that I thought.


Where's your daddy? My first smut of the year all 6oz of it.

It seemd they were about, although we never had one above 1lb there were certainly a few about, I think between me and Karl we shared around a dozen, mostly starry's. Strangely uncle John couldn't seem to connect with the smuts though he did manage a twin of Karl's first codling.


Papa Smurf with a 1lb codling, he thinks sea fishing is easy, you just turn up lob it out and wind in fish, if he only knew...

I lost a good fish between the steady stream of puppy smuts and bits, if there were any better smoothounds there I don't think they got a look in, the kids were on the bait before they had a chance. Do you think he looks like Pocahontas?


Pocahontas with smuts instead of pony tails. Big chief Borofan about to return one of mine with one of his, he was at pains to point out his was bigger than mine, obviously compensating I reckoned.

It was a cracking night to be out, if this is global warming, bring it on I say. All this talk of leaving a legacy for our children and our childrens children. Fair enough for our children but not our childrens children, our children shouldn't be having children for fecks sake. Back to the fishing, there were quiet spells over high water and after a couple of hours of the ebb. John and me had just decided to make our last cast when Karl had another smut, followed quick style by a 3lb bass.


The effort that goes into that scowl has to been seen to be believed. Chunky monkey bass though, the nice ones I've seen this year look like they've been working out, usually early season fish are a bit baggy, obviously lots of food out there.

So with that sudden flurry, uncle John and me had one more chuck. Not 5 minutes in and my rod hooped forward then sprang back. I picked up and wound down to a steady head thumping weight, codling I was certain of it. No problems on a 3/0, 2/0 pennel I thought, I was trying to remember if we had any potatoes in for chipping, that was until all went light just behind the surf, horlicks. Karl never had another bite and as I was tackling my gear down uncle John had a suicide bite that I thought looked like a schooly bite. He picked up and wound down to a steady weight and soon enough a nice (is there such a thing?) doggie was soon beached.


A fine end to a fine night, a reasonable dogfish for uncle John.

It was a nice night, I fished like a muppet losing a couple of fish and missing some bites but it was a nice social session. Between us we managed five different species, uncle John has four fish and three different species for his first two proper sea fishing sessions so he's gone home to Lincolnshire happy. Aunty Jenny had a great time playing with young Aitch, he's taken a real shine to her and is looking forward to them coming back later in the year, he wants to stop in the "cav". I'm going again tonight with Karl and Pete, don't know where yet, but I'll update in due course.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Beginners luck..

It had to happen. I said to uncle John I'd take him after work tonight for a couple of hours. I'm knackered but I can't say no to a splodge. I had thought I'd just go and "coach" in my limited way, but then thought I might as well take a rod and have a sling.

We only went down to Bacton and following the lovely warm day the wind had gone round northerly, the sea had scruffied up and I really didn't fancy it. We'd been fishing for about an hour when I said to John, "it'll be hard tonight mate, the main event will be Saturday". No sooner had I finished when his old glass intrepid rod bucked forward and kept going, a few minutes later a pristine bass was safely beached. How do you top that? First proper sea fish IS a proper sea fish!


Cracking fish! I didn't realise I'd gone fishing with a smurf.

There I was £300+ of rod and reel and I'd been slaughtered by an old glass intrepid and a "riptide" reel, thankfully as I was rebaiting John's rig I noticed my rod straighen up and a schoolie soon followed John's proper one to save my shame.

A horrible night to be out so we only stuck it for a couple of hours, Saturdays forecast is better and I'm going to try hard and put him back in his place! I weighed the fish at home and it went an ounce under 4lb, bloody beginners.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Trimingham last night..

I got a missed call from chuckles, I didn't know if it was a ploy to save his mobile bill but I called him back anyway. He'd got some crabs off Johnny and wanted to get them a drink, he'd also just finished building a zziplex powertex bass, the short one, and wanted to give it a whirl with a shimano fixed spool and braid. I normally have a bit of bait in and was sorely tempted to join him but decided to just go down for a chat and take Scotty for a walk...

I met him at 1920, there was a horrible mist rolling in off the sea, haar we used to call it where I come from, I've heard it called fret round here, either way its horrible stuff that chills your marrow and soaks you through. Anyway we made our way down to his chosen spot, he'd hardly brought any gear with him which made a change, just a rod, reel and bucket of bits and a rod rest. A 4/0 single hook rig loaded with crab was lobbed into the sea. I say lobbed as "cast" would be taking it too far, he was fishing literally inside the groins, 60 yards max I'd say, hoping for an early bass. We'd both invested in light rods rung for either fixed or multi's the idea being we use them for the bass and soles etc. They'll be great for the Jolly Boys annual trip to the Isle of Wight too, that's booked for June and I can't wait!

Rod in the rest and we settle down for a babble and throwing stuff for the manic Scotty to retrieve. I swear to god the rod hadn't been in the rest for more than 2 minutes, when it banged forward, straightened up then lurched forward again. For anybody that hasn't seen a bite on braid you really are missing out, even small fish bite like beasts and the stuff seems to magnify all those little tip taps. Add to that he wasn't fishing very far out and I was honestly worrying about him losing his gear! I could imagine a 5 or 6lb bass dragging it off the rest. A couple of minutes later a plump codling of between 2 and 2.5lb is in the bucket. Ironic the guy's struggled for codling all winter, here we are lateish spring and he's got a winter fish. I don't know about anywhere else but our spring run hasn't really started yet and its late if it does, my own personal view is we won't have a spring run this year.


Old golden globes with his trademark scowl. Hard to believe but that fish was less than 5 minutes into the session.

Apologies for the quality of the picture it was taken on his mobile phone. I can't obviously do anything about the subject matter, he's beyond help, and as the light was dying it's as good as I could do. Anyway it's only a camera and I'm not Harry Potter. Should I go and get my kit? I was too tired to be honest, its my quick turn around week at work and I was shattered from a set of nights and had a set of days to look forward too. At least two of the days would be with my old mate Nobby, top shifts usually.

There we are, rod cast out a second time, we settle down to babble and entertain Scotty when the Kraken decided to take hold of the lump of crab on the 4/0. I swear to god the bite was more violent than an Italian copper at a european football match. The rod banged down, shaking the rest even, sprung back,looped forward again, it was actually quite frightening the ferocity! I'm really regretting bringing the dog and not my kit now. Karl lifted into another fish, this time a mini codling of around 12oz. Unbelievable action from such a small fish.

It was only a short session, more to get the peelers back home a drink and to try his new rod and reel. He had seven casts, seven almighty bites and four fish. The two codling already mentioned and two schoolies, the biggest a little over 1 lb, a cracking little session rounded off by a pint in the Ingleside, the perfect end to the day and some food for thought for the visit of uncle John this coming weekend...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Stupid o'clock ray session.

Mrs Aitch reckons I need sectioning, I could’ve told her that when she married me, but she has no idea how addled her brain is going to get when Aidan starts to take an interest too. At work on Saturday I started formulating a plan for a session in the week ahead, unfortunately I couldn’t rope any of my equally mad mates in on it…

The plan was to get up at stupid o’clock, start at around 2am and only use fish baits to try and snare a local ray. I couldn’t understand why none of my fishing mates were up for it? Granted it was likely to be a blank but I reckon you have to try these things. High water at Cromer was 2:40am on Thursday morning, Metcheck gave a warm, settled spell of weather which would hopefully deposit some of the sand back on the beaches lost in recent storms. I hoped it would also encourage some fish into the warming shallow water to feed on the crabs, sand eels and shrimp that would no doubt be out in force in those conditions.

I thought about getting some worm as well, but to be honest I knew if I did I’d end up fishing with worm properly and not giving the fish baits the hard go they deserve. I have an old book with pictures of an even older mate of PK’s (no not all his mates are old!) with good bags of rays from off my local beaches. The guy’s long gone but Fred Williams is still a local legend. He’d had roker to 23lb and bags of several fish in many sessions from off my local beaches. PK remembers him well, he lived at Yarmouth and Paul was out fishing the south beach when his lamp failed. Fred leant Paul a lamp so he could fish, after the session Paul dropped the lamp back round on Fred’s doorstep along with a couple of cod around the 8lb mark as a thanks for the loan of the lamp. The next time Fred saw Paul he said “Blust boy, must’ve been a big tide the other night, it washed a couple of nice cod and a lamp up on my doorstep!” Thankfully there are still colourful characters like Fred leaving their mark on the rest of us.

Right nostalgia done with, I reasoned that if I didn’t catch a ray I would at least have a chance with a doggie or two. I also thought that fishing with fish baits might earn me a nice edible crab or two for the pot, I couldn’t fail! I didn't count on how hard it would be to get out of bed at 1am, christ it was hard but I managed it. On the beach by 130, not a breath of wind and hardly a need for an overcoat, the sea was as flat as a witches tit and it looked promising. I sent the first rod out loaded with sand eel and started to set the other up.


Plenty of elastic hoping to keep the vermin at bay a bit!

I loaded the second rod with a good old lump of herring, this used to be the bait favoured by the old hands when ray fishing here. The stuff I had wasn't the best, I got it from Latham's but it would have to do. My mates call me the cannibal as I'll eat anything, several times through the winter I bought fresh herrings for freezing down off the local longshore fishermen, trouble is they looked so good I ate them! I put the second rod in the rest and poured a coffee, almost as soon as I'd finished pouring my drink, the eel rod lurched forward before straightening up. I'll be honest I never expected to see more than crabs knocking the rod tips but that was a proper bite! I downed the drink, picked up the rod and wound in the dead weight of a little doggie. I hadn't blanked and figured if there were a few of them about they would at least keep the interest going while I waited for a ray.


Must have been hell of a shock for this little fella seeing me at 2am, but he gave me a bit of hope and confidence bless him.

I'd planned to fish eel on one rod and herring on the other, I'd also brought a couple of peelers, but hoped not to use them. I fired another eel out into the night and wound in the herring or rather the elastic that the crabs hadn't eaten, rebaited and out it went. Same scenario, cuppa, bite and a bigger dog around 1.5lb. Shit the bed the poor old rays wouldn't get a chance! If the crabs weren't robbing the bait then the doggies would be.


Two chucks and two doggies on sand eel, I was pleased of the fish but started to think they may become a problem if I couldn't fish a bait long enough for a ray. Both of the fish were on the top hook of the pennel, going for the tail?

I then missed two bites, one was a proper clonking bite on herring, different to the two earlier slackies, then all went quiet for a couple of hours before two more doggies, this time both on herring. I find the ebb generally fishes best at Walcott and Bacton but who knows when or if fish will show, I mean they don't read the tide tables and watch clocks do they? It wasn't a mega succesful session but there was enough in it to make me think it was worthwhile. It's not as if I'm missing out elsewhere, there's only odd codling and a few schoolies about at the minute so four fish and a few missed bites, bait that's as cheap as chips compared to lug or crab, and it starts to feel like a good session.


Its no hardship sitting out until daybreak, not in my back yard anyway.

I'm going to have another go tonight, this time Karl's joining me. We'll take some crabs to supplement the fish bait and i'll write something up, hopefully we'll see a ray, Karl has the knack with them, spawny sod!

Well we went and fished North Gap this evening, only for a few hours. The wind had gotten up a little bit and what there was came from the Northeast, not good for this type of fishing round here. We had a bite each and I had a doggie, Karl is a complete blanker...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sea Angling Licence Petition

I can hear you all groaning "not another petition", just sign the bloody thing! I'd happily pay for a licence if there were plenty of fish to catch, no netting within a mile of the foreshore, no take zones etc etc. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Do you remember Actionboy from earlier posts? The poor sod flies off to Afghanistan on Friday this week, nobody should underestimate how difficult it is to leave a young family for so long. I was conscious of the fact it would be 6 months before he'd wet a line so I arranged a trip for the 4th of April, a sort of goodbye and thanks for all your help. Trouble would be deciding where to fish...

Some contributors on the Leader Lines web site had arranged a small match at Pakefield on all fools day, the irony wasn't lost on me, the idea was the "Old Gits" would take on the might of the "Lads" and "Kids". Unfortunately the Kids had better things to do, probably on their play stations or had spots to squeeze, I dunno, but the match ended up a two way battle between the Lads and the Gits. I couldn't help but notice some of my "old" mates had made it into the Lads team, maybe they just had rough digs but some of them look too old to fish for the Gits. Experience won out in the end and the Gits paralysed the Lads, I've copied the results as provided by the second oldest Git I know John Abbott, Mick Phillips is the oldest I know, he can remember when Noah was a shipwright. Here's the results provided by the excellent old git Abbott:

The 'OLD GITS' carded 5 metres 46 cms
The 'LADS' carded 4 metres 27.5 cms

1st Steve Smith 5 sizeable fish for 1 metre 81 cms (Best 58 cms Codling)
2nd John Abbott 5 sizeable fish for 1 metre 75 cms (Best 55 cms Codling)
3rd Scott 4 sizeable for 1 metre 26 cms (Best 47 cms Codling)
4th Andy Lawes 3 sizeable for 1 metre 6.5 cms (Best 47 cms Codling)
5th Paul Blyth 2 sizeable for 94 cms (2 Codling 50 cms and 44 cms)
6th Trevor Elliott 2 sizeable for 70 cms (Best 41 cms Codling)
7th Mark Alsop 2 sizeable for 69 cms (Best 36 cms Codling)
8th Brian Heritage 2 sizeable for 61cms (Best 32 cms Whiting)
9th Rod 2 sizeable for 56 cms (Best 32 cms Whiting)
10th Barry Daynes 1 Codling for 49 cms
11th Keith Mountfield 1 Codling for 48 cms
3 anglers were unlucky and didn't card returns.

Just to put a little more info on the day and making the 'length' v 'weight' comparison, the results look like this: With most good conditioned Codling measuring 50 cms going a little over 3 lbs and given that the average length of the Codling caught was 47.5 cms I have calculated these at around 2 lbs 14 ozs each. Add to that the 19 sizeable Whiting returned with an average length of 31.5 cms, which I've given an average weight of 9.5 ounces each and we have an estimated total of 40 lbs 2 ozs between the 11 anglers that put in returns.

Interesting day out in as much as it seems to show a return of a few sizeable feeding fish, possibly the start of the fabled spring run but definitely a step in the right direction. Pakefield is one of my favourite spots, so i was sorely tempted to head down there for a session with Actionboy on Wednesday. Trouble was I had a night shift the night before and I'd need to have made the 11/4 hour drive to the beach by around 1130 to fish the ebb, I was actually quite glad when Mrs Aitch reminded me she had an appointment and I had to look after Aidan. So the plan was changed for an afternoon/evening session up here.

There hadn't been anything in recent reports around here to inspire much confidence, even Karl wasn't sure he'd fish he's halfway through building a powertex bass and wanted to get it finished ready for spring and summer. Smudge was working and Pete was baby sitting so me and Actionboy would be joined by Nobby, Steve and Bri. PK said he might join us in the evening, depending how he got on chasing fish round Lowestoft way. I really wanted to try something different, maybe fish off the prom at Overstrand or fish Trimingham on the ebb. I thought our best bet would be the flood at Heart Attack, we'd had some good fishing there last year around this time in similar conditions, god I wish I had some peelers.

The wind has been east noreast for a week or more leaving us with a scruffy rather than a mega rough sea, plenty of colour and with a bit of luck no weed. I checked it in the morning after I finished nights and it looked perfect. Rough without being unfishable, coloured and I couldn't see any loose weed in the surf. There was bound to be some weed in it but I was confident it would be fishable, in fact it looked bloody good. The wind was 10mph NE when I left work and the forecast had it easing to nothing by evening, I really fancied it. The plan was for some of the lads to meet at mine for 1430 so we could be set up and fishing for low water at 1500ish.

Steve pitched up first shortly followed by Bri and Actionboy, no messing about straight into the motors and off we go. I was excited about this session, more than I had been for ages, the sea and forecast were as good as I'd been able to fish all year. If we didn't catch in that sea, they just weren't there.


A cracking sea, the northerly breeze had all but gone by 3pm when we started, perfect. You can see the surf out on the bank and the gulley between there and the surf at the waters edge.

I should think you'd catch here on the ebb but I've always done better on the flood. There's a huge gulley dead obvious at low water with a bit of surf on. You can catch over the bank too, but the gulley would be the main feature.I put one out not 30 yards at low water into probably 4 or 5' of water and popped one into the surf on the bank hoping for a bass. We didn't have to wait long, Bri had a sparkling little schoolie of around 12oz, so obviously a fresh run fish, they're almost a white silver rather than that greyish back and tail they get a bit later on.


See what I mean, the fresh run fish don't have that charcoal back and tail yet, Bri with the first one.

I followed Bri with a quickfire brace the biggest about 1lb and a missed bite, we were less than an hour into the flood and there were plenty of school bass showing, I felt confident that when the gulley filled as it flooded some codling would show. I'd read on a fishing forum about the number of pipe fish in cods bellys off the yorkshire coast, I'd seen them before but only odd ones, I saw at least a half dozen on the beach today.


Are they related to sea horses or something? Bri with a pipe fish.

Actionboy hadn't had anything yet nor had Steve. Nobby had another bass pretty much the same as all the rest that had been caught so far as we edged back towards the revetment with the flooding tide. It had been quiet for me for a while too, I had the bass and the missed bite in 3 casts. I baited up my spare trace, hung it on the rest just as one of my rods straightened up. A few seconds later and a plump 2lb codling's in the bucket.


Actionboy trying to bend his Greys! Stay safe mate and you'll be back in time for the proper autumn bass.

PK joined us from kessingland at about 630, he'd had one about 1.5lb but had been plagued with weed. There'd only been odd mini codling and another schoolie since the 2lber, I'd hoped there'd be some better bass too. As the tide flooded weed started becoming a problem, mid flood with plenty of tide and the sea being "lively" meant that any loose bits in the surf soon accumulated on your line. It didn't make it too difficult to fish but it was a pain. As darkness fell I had another slackliner, this one was slightly better at a little over 3lb, followed next cast by a mini of around 1lb. It was a bit of a false dawn, I really thought we all might get a few, but apart for a mini for Actionboy, Bri and Nobby it was a struggle. PK was on the end peg (now there's a thing!) and he hadn't had a bite on his frozen bait.


Some Nordic God of a bloke with the best two codling, to be honest it was a decent session but not as good as the sea promised, I thought we'd all get a few like these. Note to self, clean camera lens.

I finished with 5 codling and 3 bass. I can't remember all the final scores and to be honest its not that important, we wanted to get together with Actionboy and hopefully take his mind off the task ahead. I was at Bircham last Saturday and he popped down with his little boy, could only be around 2 and reminded me of Aidan at the same age, fecking heart breaking. We'd had the best of the fishing by high water, Steve drifted off followed by Bri and Nobby. PK left and was quickly followed by me and Actionboy.

I love the spot we fished but hate the climb back up the hill afterwards, finally at the top and with the car loaded I wished the man all the best and set off for home. 5 minutes into my homeward journey and Actionboy's on the phone, can I give him a jump start! We got his car started again and off I went. I've now just had a text and he's roughing it at Walcott! Apparently as soon as he puts his lights on he loses power, I swear it could only happen to him. I suggested he drives home on side lights with his hazards on, either way good luck mate and get home safe and sound.