Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Aitch's get posh..

Ages ago I asked my old mate Pedro to make me a house sign and a weather vane. He's a top quality blacksmith and sure enough the other weekend he popped round with the lovely Sally to drop them off. Due to work, fishing and general laziness, I've only just got to put them up and I would need a hand due to the weight and quality of the pieces. I was going to ask Genocide but there would be the need to use rotating machinery (a drill), sharp and heavy objects and I thought I might get him into trouble with his social worker or breach his probation or something so Nobby popped round and between us we managed to get them up. The hardest bit was setting North on the weather vane. I magnetised a needle and floated it on water then roughly measured the angle against my garage wall and copied the angle to the vane. It's not perfect but it gives me more than a good idea which way the wind's blowing.


That was the last horse shoe he had in, apparently not much call for shoeing horses these days. Well pleased with it and I can't recommend his work highly enough.

The main thing for me is that Mrs Aitch is pleased with them, I put the house name up on the back of the shed, all I need to do now is touch up the bolts with a bit of hammerite and I'm done.


Horses that look the dogs! Now at least anybody that can read can find us!

It's a family business and has been on the go for years, Pedro looks old enough to remember Noah when he was a shipwright, either way they clearly know what they're doing. If anybody reading wants more details of Pedro's top quality workmanship at a reasonable price, you can check out his stuff here:

I doubt I'll get fishing this week despite their being shed loads of fish all round the coast, I'm in on days from Wednesday and nights tonight so it only really leaves Monday night. It should be quite good though the tide is late, the wind's gone to nothing today and the forecast has it going easterly tomorrow, ideally tonight would be the time to go. I've seen it hundreds of times but it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the sea can kick up and quieten down, there's just a lazy roll on now, 48 hours ago we were worried about flooding.

The signs are still there for a good winter, though now I'm starting to think the little 'uns might be a problem. I can see the few better fish there are about not getting caught as the 1-1.5lb fish will be on the bait first, still better that problem than to be plagued with 2oz pin whiting. Reports from Kent right up to the north Norfolk shingle have the same stamp of fish turning up on most beaches, personally I've never seen so many this early, and reports of 20 odd fish are common. There's a cod closure on the under 10m fleet in the southern north sea too which will hopefully help them, we'll see over the coming months.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Windy session..

The wind doesn’t seem to know what to do, the forecast strength is up and down like a whores drawers. I wanted to fish the flood somewhere round here then go on and fish the ebb into darkness on another local beach, one minute it’s giving 10mph nor’ west the next 30mph nor’ east, how can you plan without decent info? We had breakfast at Overstrand this morning (26/9 happy birthday to me) after taking Aidan to school, cracking sea on and if it stays as forecast Monday or Tuesday next week could be cracking up here.


A little over an hour before low water, proper sea.

The biggest tides of the year towards this weekend too, they’re bound to bring a bit of weed with them, couple that with the fact that it’s been southwest for quite a few days before this blow and it’s likely to be very weedy up here. With the possibility of weed and the likelihood of it being unfishable in Norfolk, we decided to head off southwards to Suffolk. Promised to be a laugh if nothing else. I did half think to myself that if I had bait left I’d look in and see if I could fish in the evening back homewards, too optimistic given the sea and just plain daft, I don’t think I had that much energy when I had some. Anyway it turned out to be a non starter as it was Nobby’s turn to drive and there’s no way he’d be up for an evening session after a full day job. Smudge pitched up at mine just before 0730 and Nobby shortly after, away by 0730 to meet the lads for a breakie.

We planned to meet for breakfast at White's in Lowestoft, we got there only to find it was a Domino Pizza or something! No fecking good if they were open, no good unless they do a sausage, bacon, egg n fried slice pizza that is. We settled for Asda's which for the money was ok. High water at around 10am and it’s all very civilised, no stupid o’clock session today. We’d have all the ebb at Pakefield during daylight, which would at least please the Leg End, he doesn’t like fishing at night. I reckon the lovely Mrs Kerry spoils him, I can picture it, cocoa and slippers then tucked up by 10pm. If I’m lucky Mrs Aitch puts me to bed with a gurn and a grunt.


Take no notice of me, she’s a goddess and I don’t deserve her.

Johnny was working despite being sorely tempted and Paul wouldn't be down early enough for breakie, he had company. We parked up at CEFAS and paid the £2 parking bill, fackin liberty, used to be free, though I did notice there are no yellow lines on the road. We didn't go very far, basically just the bottom of the steps. Genocide on peg 1 in front of the ministry, Nobby on 2 a little further towards the Jolly Sailors, Smudge on 3 and me in front of the pub nearly.

I set one rod up, whack it out as far as I could with a stiff northerly cross wind, no tide as its about high water and I turn to set the second rod up. I bait up the spare trace, whack the second rod out and settle in for a coffee, except I didn't get settled in, the first rod sprang back straight and a few seconds later I had a codling a little over 1lb. Fish returned and the second rod is as straight as a die, another pea from the same pod quickly rejoins his brother. I sent a text to Geno on peg 1 and PK still at home (in bed probably) saying it was heaving and that we'd sack up. Geno replied saying he'd had 1 too. Bloody marvellous. I re baited both rods and sent them out and never took my eyes off them, motionless.

Smudge shouted up he'd had one of a similar stamp and Bri came down for a babble, he often works in Lowestoft and had spotted us from up the cliff top. As Bri was there I managed a couple of pouts and a nice chunky whiting that I honestly thought was as big as the 1lb codling we'd caught. I did think about letting Bri fish with one of my rods for a bit but thought better of it remembering the mess he made of his reel in the photo he sent me. Bri left saying he'd be back to see how we were doing around 1300.

It was 1230 and still no sign of PK when my phone rang, he said he wouldn't be able to make it as he still had company. Not too much of a problem, I'd only ordered me and him 50 apiece and I was quickly getting through mine plus I'd left my frozen bait in the bloody freezer, so in truth I was pleased I'd have plenty of bait. I don't know if his company was a cover for the fear of having to pay a car parking fee. Literally as soon as I hung up I had another codling, a little bigger between 1.5 and 1.75lb, quickly followed by another. Its often the case in my experience at Pakefield. The fish come in spurts often as the tide eases or picks up a bit, the tide was doing its best to ebb but there wasn't too much of it with such a strong wind against it.

This spurt lasted a bit longer though. Bri came down as I slipped the second fish of the second "spurt" back and then followed a hectic hour or so. I'd cast out, re bait, cast out and the first rod would drop back, wind in fish, return fish, re bait, cast out, second rod straightens up. So on and so forth, I managed a couple of keepers that were a smidgen over 2lb weighed and by the time my tally had got to 11 or 12 I'd had enough. Sounds daft but its tiring and can get monotonous, especially as now I was getting a few pouts between the codling, I wasn't getting chance to sit down and have a brew. I decided to pack up and watch the boys for a bit, I'd had a good day and couldn't see the point in kicking the arse out of it.

Smudge hadn't had such a good day, that's what he said anyway. He'd still managed 7 by the time we packed up despite fishing just one rod and having an hours kip on the beach! Nobby had lost a couple of rigs to a snag and managed a half dozen. Me and Geno were fish for fish until I packed up, and he added another 2 or 3 in the meantime. I walked up to him and said "What a cracking start to the new season mate, here we are late September and we've sacked", he grunted a yeah. "There's been no weed and I haven't lost any kit either" I added just as he was winding in another codling and his kit got stuck, he hadn't lost any until then either, the look he gave me was a picture. I didn't see any point with filling the page with picture after picture of similar fish, but it wouldn't be right without at least one of a fish and a scowl.


Miserable sod! Though in fairness he wasn't happy about me snapping him with a little 'un.

Smudge and Nobby packed up shortly after me and we watched Geno have one last chuck which sure enough resulted in his last fish of the day, we all watched as he played it masterfully before returning it to the drink.


I'm trying to get all Tarantino, Me, Smudge and Nobby watch Genocide's angling masterclass.

It really was a cracking session and bearing in mind how early in the season it is, the signs look good. A top, top day had by all, finished off nicely with a couple of pints of Stella, bloody marvellous. I hope to be out locally Monday or Tuesday next week, depending what the wind and sea do, unfishable at the minute and overtopping at Walcott. Some hardy souls tried to fish the pier at Cromer last night but were washed and weeded off, good effort though chaps. When it is fishable up here there should be a few feeding after this lot, lets hope so. 

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pedro's Irish report..

As promised here's Pedro's report and his blurb to go with the pics, enjoy...

Trev n Pete collected me gear Sunday evening 9th for the long drive/ferry to the Dingle peninsular. I followed in the early hrs of 9/11 flying from Stansted on the 6-20 arr 7-30, a 1hr drive in hire car saw me in Dingle by 9am. Weather for week dry n bright, changeable wind, the odd shower, big tides early on.


Trev with a 3lb wrasse float fishing log rock with James's king rag, just focus on the fish and you won't have nightmares.

DAY 1, 11th Sept Pete dug lug and a few silvers while i popped em into bucket, a pod of porpoises played near where what was to be our 1st sesh.Trev went to a different location after bait mackies. at 1pm to 5 (high tide) we fished Log rock and came up with a selection of pollock wrasse n doggies to 3lb, plaice n mackies in the GIN clear water. 2hrs later we where due another sesh on Trabeg beach, I lazily packed up my gear throwing prebaited macky traces intact into my box, much to the heckling of the masters.Arriving at Trabeg 7pm, 3 guys where packing up and had 5 rays on the flood, good signs.I was quickly set up and punched the 1st rod 120yds and while setting up other rod the rod rest was dragged over, blimey that was quick,reeled in and soon had the 1st thornie on beach some 5/6lbs, a 2nd soon followed and very soon we were all into them. In a 4hr session we had bagged 18 rays, all but one 4 to 7 lbs but that other one a superb 11.5lb small eyed ray from Trev about 10 o'clock, Pete n me also had a smaller version of the same.Pete also had a mixture of flatties while i had a 3rd rod out baited with lug n rag and casting 20 to 50yds in the light surf missed 2 stunning takes, the 1st ripped rod out of rest and dragged along beach, baitrunner set too tight,reeled in a straight hook!!!my own fault for using fine wire hooks in this awesome place. The 2nd bite happened while i was reeling in a ray, Trev heard my baitrunner screaming but another had thrown the hook, was using sensible hooks now. A 3rd slammer of a bite revealed a 2.5lb bass and a flounder on the wishbone rig. We put the missed bites down to bass n based our next trip on that.


Trev's 11lb 8oz small eyed ray caught at Trabeg beach at around 150 yds on mackerel sausage - That's massive for a small eyed ray - ed.

DAY 2 After being 'rayed out' on day 1 and with signs of bass decided to make them the target. On the same Trabeg beach, fished 2-30 pm till 10 armed with 3 rods each,2 rods for bass, mainly on worm or peeler and the other on macky and/or sandeel for some more of them rays, just to keep up interest!!. A steady flow of flatties came to Pete, also the occasional gar n macky and at the end another 5 rays. Trev was still pulling in rays with regularity, 5 to him too but his specimen for the day at about 90yds a magnificent 5lb 3oz Turbot on HTide. No sign of bass today even in a more surfy sea i played about beach float fishing for 5 gars but did pull in 3 rays on me Zippy bass rod, 1 of which a good 7lb. 2 days gone, 31 rays to 11.5lbs, a 5lb+ turbo and a whole host of other stuff. Tides were easing now and changeable winds, that was the best of the fishing.


I see no ships, only hardships - Trev enjoying the view.

DAY 3, Another old haunt for for P n T, a 1st time for me at Minard castle in bright conditions and a light surf, after scrambling over boulders to access beach we settled to a beautiful day to fish the ebb and maybe the flood, 6ish. Trev had a few bits n pieces, Pete 3 conger to 7lb and me 3 doggies. Realising we would be washed off at HT and fishing relatively slow opted for a move. After a bit of homework on venues plumped for a rock mark at Dun-An-Oir, this visible from our chalet,it took a 10 mile drive ending with a very rough track the last mile. We walked the final clifftop half mile, mountain goat Pete scaled the last 5mtrs to a flat rock, followed by Trev, wimp Ped stayed on upper deck and fished about 8m above sea level, still had a doggie and pollock. P n T had a steady stream of wrasse to 3.5lb, pollock to 3lb, mackies,coalies and a 1lb cod. Headed back well before dark. In the evening i ventured to Wine strand cove for a short session, big lumps of loose kelp made it unfishable.


Pete with a strap at Minard Castle, you can keep them for me, fecking horrible things.

DAY 4, Me n Trev had another go on log rock, i nearly had a brace of pollock about 5lb, the second dropping off as about to be lifted, some flatties n dogs. T had pollock, wrasse, dogs, macks n a flounder, he also lost a fairly decent conger. Pete walked the surf beaches for 2 bass pushing 4lb. A recce round Slea head (beautiful scenery) brought us to Ventry, Paddy O'Sheas restaurant. P n T took a walk round the headland to a small cove for next to nothing returns wise, while i took the easy option and fished the pier for a couple of dogs and a wrasse, The last hr of daylight P n T joined me for a final fling of the day. Pete was into a brace of 2lb wrasse then a flounder while fishing between the boats. T settled for a dog and a flounder.


Pedro with a nice Pollock, is it me or is he starting to look like Jack Hargreaves?

DAY 5, I had a couple of lunch time hrs to blank at Wine strand again. A lot of surf on other side of bay enticed Pete to bag up on flatties and a 2lb bass while me n Trev went to a fairly rough Trabeg during the afternoon, we blanked. Moved onto Cloghan estuary near Brandon for the evening flood, we had a few flounder and T a 2lb bass.


Cracking coloured wrasse for Pete.

DAY 6, Early morning start for bait mackeral, P done Dingle rock for about half a dozen, me n T struggled for 3 from Brandon and Dingle piers. Pete hit the strands again for more of the same flatties etc, me n T did log rock for a few bits n pieces, nothing exceptional in the bright conditions. I ended my week up Dingle harbour,a 3hr sesh, ht just into darkness for Conger with T. I started feathering for 3 macks in half a dozen chucks on helipad. T was soon into a run, after 5 secs of bent rod and head banging it chomped through 100lb braid!!! That really was it, just a few more twitchy bites. ROLL ON NEXT YEAR.


Sounds like a cracking trip boys, but feck me the housemaid's a bit rough!

Pete sent me some pictures, very atmospheric they are, proper surf beaches, bass and flounders, what the Irish west coast is all about for me. I remember fishing a surf beach called Fanore just south of Black Head in Galway bay, awesome spot.



If the boys go next year and if Mrs Aitch lets me, I really want to go with them next year. My uncle lives in Co. Galway and I haven't seen him in ages, I could kill two birds with one stone, actually I only need to kill one....

An old Lincolnshire mate sent me a picture this morning, he'd had a slight accident whilst out fishing. Fancy sending it to me, fecks sake you'd think he'd know I'd post it up, do you reckon he's one of those masochismos?


He's supposed to know what he's doing, that's another myth debunked, I'll make sure he's in Suffolks team for the ICCM, the doughnut. The RSPB were very interested in it, they've never seen a nest quite like it BRIAN HERITAGE!

If anybody wants to send me a report on their fishing exploits please do, be great to read them. Steve had a mini session locally over the weekend for one pout and around 78lb of weed in a flat, clear sea. He only tries when I'm there to be beaten. Forecast is improving for the week ahead, I was getting worried the wind might make it unfishable, it still might but we'll see...


Trev with the Trabeg Turbo!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The boys Irish trip and other stuff..

Pedro and the boys got back from Ireland this week, I'd had lots of texts whilst they were away saying how slow the fishing was when they only had 18 rays in 4 hours, some to double figures! Hard to swallow between the pouts and barely sizeable codling. Pedro has sent me some pictures, and there really are some super fish, I'll wait until he gives me some spiel to go with them before I post them.

I went shooting with Nobby today and had a good day, the Aitch's will be enjoying pigeon pie this week. After our little shoot we popped in to see Genocide. He'd been fishing with Dave, one of his work mates, I think more for a social than in expectation. Cutting a short story to bits, he'd had a lovely bass as we got there, a cracking specimen at 7lb 7oz. If you're going to get a good bass, this next week is the time I reckon, tides building to the autumn equinox and the migratory fish will be heading back to the Bay of Biscay or the Mediterranean or wherever they go for the winter. We catch plenty of schoolies through the winter but the big fish seem to migrate still, may all change in a year or two as the seas warm up.


Wouldn't you think a majestic fish like that could raise a smile?

I would dearly loved to have had a fish today, but you can't do everything. I'm on days tomorrow until Wednesday. I have a plan in the offing for a session next Thursday, Geno and Nobby are up for it and I'll try and persuade Johnny out. I think Smudge is back from Belgium so he may well be available too. I sent a text to PK to see if he was coming, the conversation went like this:

Me: "Keep your diary free for next Thursday mate, big tide, high water at 8pm after a forecast couple of days of north."

Him: "Just because you never get let out in daylight doesn't mean the rest of us have to suffer fishing in the bloody dark"

Me: "Actually I was thinking of fishing the flood somewhere and moving off to fish the ebb somewhere else - smart arse"

Him: "Steady son. It's a long season. Don't go burning yourself out in the 1st month. Remember young bull, don't run down the hill and shag a few cows, amble down and shag 'em all!"

He's got an answer for everything and sometimes his youthful enthusiasm and exuberance make me forget he's 115 next birthday, god love him.

I hope we can get a good session with most if not all of the boys out, been ages since we all fished together, in fact it was June on the Isle of Wight trip. Pete sent me a text on his way back from Eire, I'm amazed he still has enthusiasm to fish round here after being spoiled over there for nearly a fortnight. He was buzzing me for information on the sea state, colour, wind etc. Maybe Karl's bass will wet his appetite and he'll have a go. It was nice to watch a couple of porpoises feeding around 400 yards off today too, perhaps with the sea clearing there'll be a few late mackerel off the shingle too.

Breaking News.... Due to Pedro's heavy workload (that'll teach you to feck off to Ireland!), he's had to relinquish the captaincy of Norfolk for this years ICCM. Mark Alsop would be the regular captain but for obvious reasons he can't make it this year. The upshot is that the organising committee have scraped their barrel and asked Geno to do it! Seriously he'll do a good job and I'll help him as vice capt. assuming I can get my shifts off work. If anybody reading this doesn't visit the leader lines web site a link for the sign up page is below.

Just follow the links to the ICCM pages. It's a very friendly and well attended match with the added spice of being able to fish for your county, anglers of all ages and abilities fish it the more the merrier, lets raise a bundle for East Anglia's Children Hospice. Even if you don't come from the East Anglia region you can fish the match, just register as a floater and you'll be adopted by one of the competing counties! Mark has done a lot of spade work including arranging a pre match breakfast venue and pub (with free food!) for the prize giving afterwards. It's well worth the effort to fish and like I said the link above will give give you lots more details.

Sod it I can't resist. Here's one of my favourite photos sent by Pedro following his recent trip, its Trev with a flattie, a feck off great big, proper, stonking flattie!


A Turbot of 5lb 3oz, this fish rates among the best I've seen this year, along with Russ's undulate ray and Pete's double figure bass. Nice one Trev.

I think the British shore caught record comes from Dunwich, something daft like 28lb! I've only had them as big as my hand, pretty fish they are. Right, early night so I'm all refreshed for the non stop graft over the next four days, I wonder if I'll have time to tie some rigs, tidy my box and service my reels... 

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fishing overload..

I could've gone last Friday night, I think Geno might have been up for it, Smudge too. I decided instead to go down the river Thurne with John, an old school mate from Grimsby.

I hadn't been coarse fishing for over a year, John even longer, still between us we'd manage to remember the basics! A couple of pints of maggots, corn and some red worms were sprinkled into a mix of white and brown crumb with crushed hemp. We'd decided to fish the feeder for a couple of hours into dusk and hope for a bream or two.


Thurne Mill just visible centre picture in the background, I should do more of this and I will over the next few weeks, at least until the real fish arrive.

I'm not going to spin this out too much because this is a sea fishing blog, but we had a great time. I've never missed so many bites and John gave me a real towelling until I managed 5 better skimmers on the last 5 chucks. It made a change from hurling 5oz as far as you can and although we only finished with a few lb of mixed bits each, it was a very enjoyable session finished off with a cold one.

Steve sent me a text whilst I was down the river with John, he told me he was up this weekend and was I about for a fish on Saturday. There's no way Mrs Aitch was going to wear that was there? I sent a text to Mrs Aitch saying I wasn't bothered about going it's only that every time Steve has been in touch lately, I'd been at work or had something on and I really should make the effort blah blah blah. A reply from Mrs Aitch said "you're taking the piss but go on"! Pass out gained whilst fishing, that's a first, bargain.

We made plans to fish locally, high water at 22:00, pick up at 19:30 and fish 20:00 to midnight. In truth I wasn't that bothered, I didn't fancy it after the grueller at Cart Gap last Wednesday. What the hell, it'd be fun. I got in touch with some of the other boys, PK and Geno were doing "reel evaluations", that's an excuse for walking up and down a field looking like twots whilst talking muslim (shi'ite), we all do it when the fishing isn't up to much. Johny said he's not coming out to play for a fortnight. Poor old Smudge, his youngest daughter had her birthday at the local bowling alley, he sent me a text from there saying he'd fish a ploughed field he just needed to get out after the experience of a dozen screaming nine year olds.

So with a plan to meet up between 7 and 7:30 at Bacton car park, we'd hopefully fish behind the gas site remembering the "crabtree swims" I'd seen on the walk on the previous weekend. I then had a stroke of luck. John wanted to bring his puppy springer up for a walk, did we fancy a wonder down the beach? Did I fancy it, is a pigs arse pork? We arranged to walk from Bacton to Mundesley at low water, and what a surprise when I got down there, there was a proper sea on! I knew the pressure had dropped overnight a little and there's been some rough weather off Scotland but I never expected to see a four or five foot swell off the bank and a lovely colour to the water. Truth is to me the sea looked that good that if we didn't catch it would've been a real confidence sapper. A couple of local lags were fishing at low water behind the gas site, they'd only just set up when we walked by, nice to see them though I haven't seen them for ages. The ladies I've mentioned before were there again a little further up from Dave and Andy, you have to admire their effort. They hadn't done much as I passed despite the sea looking perfect. It's good to see the fairer sex on the beach, makes a change from the neanderthals I associate with, keep it up gals!


Not ever so obvious from this picture, but there was a good old lump on with colour to boot, if we didn't catch it would be a real bad sign.

I only had frozen bait, Steve said he'd try get some worms from Stalham, did I mention the last lot I got from there were £9 for 50? Fackin liberty! I had some good quality crab and some blacks if Steve couldn't manage to get me a few worms.

Smudge was already fishing when me and Steve got to the car park, he was in the bay to the left of the slip due to the fact he didn't think we would get behind the gas site at high water. The tides, although not very big and falling through the week, were being pushed up against the revetments by the surge and surf. Two hours before the top and we were already on the apron at the bottom of the wall, annoying really as we only had 6 to 12" of water for around 30 or 40 yards in front of us, though at least it didn't look like we'd get forced up the top of the wall onto the grass. Smudge had said there was no weed apart from the odd bit round the leader knot, great news on the flood in a proper sea at Bacton. I'd spoken to Genocide whilst he was messing about with the Leg End, his parting gift was "enjoy the weed", didn't look like there was going to be any and there wasn't flood or ebb.


Perfection in miniature, the bass I mean not Smudge.

Smudge was first in with a schoolie around 1lb, pretty good on the flood I would only expect to pick bonus fish up on the flood here. A couple of casts later and Steve has a nice flounder, first one I've seen for a while and obviously in for a feed in the great conditions. I get back to my rods from taking Steve's mugshot to find my line laid up the beach. I wind down to what should be a head thumping weight and nothing, bait comes back as good as it goes out. Smudge grabs another schoolie and the flounder king another flunky a little bigger than the first.


Steve with a nice butt, he has the knack with them.

Bear in mind we were all fishing with at least 2/0 pennels, it was good to see a few flounders, we'd have probably had quite a few if we'd put size 1 flappers on. Smudge grabs one of the flounders that were paving the sand in this bay and finally I manage to fluke one. High water comes and Steve has had three flounders by this time and Smudge a couple of schoolies and a flounder and I manage an undersize whiting. For the love of god I'm getting duffed up in my own back yard. Steve keeps the flounders coming on a reasonably steady basis, Smudge gets a codling then the best bass of the night, a nice one around


More jam than Hartley's, the bass was lucky too, he's well on his way to the Bay of Biscay or where ever they winter.

Same thing again, I finish trying to take a decent picture of a poor subject holding a gorgeous fish, I get back to my rods and the "out" rod's line is laid up the beach and the thing is wobbling in the rest. I pick up, wind, wind, wind and.....fecking solid. It must've found the only snag for miles, I altered the angle, let slack line out for a while all to no avail. I'm now getting duffed up and I'm down to one rod. At least I'd be making the pair of numpties feel good, that's what I kept telling myself, that and the fish obviously weren't well out...

I went for a chat with Steve and noticed my rod straighten up as we spoke, I ambled back fully expecting to miss the bite. I took up the slack and finally felt that lovely head shaking weight. A few seconds later and a slink around 1.75lb is on the beach, deep hooked too unfortunately. In prime condition it would've been close to 3lb, it was longer than my box which is usually a sign its over 2lb. I rolled him over in my hands trying to extract the main hook and nearly baulked. There looking back at me was a festering hole where his eye used to be, a real "head rolling out of the boat" moment. I tried to put him back but he kept washing back up, after two attempts I gutted him and gave him to Steve, by which time he'd added another one approaching 2lb to go with iT


Isiah the slink, my best fish of the session is missing a chromosone or something, fecking typical of my night. Lovely markings though, he looks like he's only 6" long here, below is the length, easily longer than my box.


The slinks good side eye reckon, look at those worms, £9 for 50 they were.

Smudge and Steve both managed a couple of 1 to 1.5lb codling which is a great sign for the coming winter. I remember the last couple of years has seen small fish turn up after a blow even in July, but these are bigger this year, they are legally sizeable but not really more than a meal for a cat. If you catch them try your best to put them back for the winter, the only fish we took where the deep hooked ones, even Smudge's nice bass went back. Within sea angling there's a legacy philosophy of "I've bought my bait so I have to take all my catch", we need to change our thinking I reckon. Yes we all know the commercial guys are ruthless and there's nothing wrong with us taking a feed, but it gets depressing seeing pound after pound of prime fish taken, feed yourselves not the street, after all the commercials take everything, we're as bad if we do.

Enough of the preaching, it was a good session. Good company and a few nice fish, I got a good hiding which doesn't do you any harm from time to time, next time though no more Mr Niceguy...

PS Just checked the forecast, more northerly flow the early part of this week and the pressure's dropping ever so slightly. Might find one or two more the first half of this week. Whilst walking Saturday, I took a picture of an early pink footed goose, not usually here until Octoberish a sure sign autumn is on the way, sorry for the poor quality picture the bird is obviously fresh arrived and knackered!


Lets hope we have many more lovely seas this autumn and winter.  

Monday, September 10, 2007

BIG Plans..

There's been a lot of nice fish out this week. Plenty of small codling, some whiting, sole and other flatties. There's been a good north wind blowing putting a lovely surf on the sea my neck of the woods and with it forecast to die through Tuesday / Wednesday I started making plans for Wednesday with a few of the boys..


Cromer mid flood today, a proper sea on.

Smudge popped round today, he was taking a ride out to Gorleston Angling to top up some bits and pieces ( you'll find Jason and the boys very helpful ). I joined Smudge for a ride out and a coffee. Reports from the shop echoed what we knew and had seen reported elsewhere, lots of just sizeable fish with the chance of a better one and a few bass and flatties. The sea at Walcott was ace, lovely white surf being chased in off the bank by a 3 to 4' lump of chocolate coloured water.

After mine and Geno's half decent do at Pakefield it was just too tempting not to go back down that way, I'd been speaking to Steve Smith at Lowestoft, he'd had a right old beano on the North beach at 'stoft, but the thought of battling the snags swung it in Kessinglands favour. Tide times would allow us to get down there at civil o'clock, fish the ebb grabbing some tea on the way back up here and drop in somewhere like Cart Gap for a few hours of the ebb in that lovely dying surf. That's a big session for me and my mates. Because I live so close I don't need to justify the drive with a mammoth session like some other hardy souls do, I can just fish when I think it will, I'm a lucky boy.

Smudge would be able to join us sometime Wednesday, PK was on nights and Johnny was working. Nobby was up for it and Geno managed to get a day off work, despite his recent bout of workaholism. I've got a really good feeling about this winter and I know I wax lyrical about fishing with my mates, but you really can't beat it. The craic would be mighty and hopefully we'd get among a few, if we didn't it wouldn't be through the lack of trying.

I picked Nobby up at 09:00 and made our way down to Kessingland. Genocide was going to get there early and if there was any weed he was going to text me and we would change venues to Pakefield or similar. As we pulled into Kessingland village I got two texts, one from Smudge and one from Geno. Smudge "I'm straight over from the cafe mate", Geno "I've had one whiting at the sluice, it's crab city, shall we go to north beach?". Dilemma. Smudge hadn't seen Karl up by the sluice and vice versa. We parked up and walked over to see Smudge, texting Karl to let him know where we were as he packed up. Smudge had to be home earlyish so after a brief discussion the three of us decided to head off to Lowestoft north beach, while Smudge fished on at Kess.

We got there around 11, parked behind Birds Eye and walked up to the Sparrows Nest. We did consider going to Tramps Alley but given the warm sunny weather the place would've been heaving with middle aged men flashing their crown jewels, fecking wrong. There was a few guys fishing along the wall but not reporting much, hardly surprising with a bright blue sky and a blazing sun and a sea as flat as a witches tit.


You can see it was more like July than September, not going to catch much in that, at least it holds some colour here.

Fishing for 11:30, first put in and Nobby has a nice little codling, a good start on a nice summers day! Steve Smith had been up to Kessingland to say hello to us, Smudge had told him we were going to be down here. It was just as Steve turned up that one of Geno's rods straightened up, unfortunately he got it snagged up on the way in and lost the lot. The stretch is famous for its snags, lots of old sea wall and broken up groins means there are plenty of features to hold fish but obviously lots to get snagged up on. Not long after Nobby's codling I had one, they all seem to be around the regulation 1 to 1.5lb and there's plenty of them, should be good this winter.


It must've been solid if Nobby's got among 'em!

I missed a few bites lost two sets of kit and managed three, peas from the pod codling. Nobby managed the same three codling but won on the fact he lost no gear. Geno, poor little lamb, he struggled. To be honest his mind wasn't on it, he lost six sets of kit and managed a solitary starfish, things will improve for him no doubt. We decided to pack up around 2pm and go and get some lunch before heading northwards for the second session of the day. Just as we were packing up I got a text from Pete. Him and some of the boys are having a ball in Ireland, the night before they'd had 18 rays in four hours fishing including a specimen small eyed for Trev at 11lb 3oz, Pete reckoned it was slow..... You can imagine my response though I have asked him to get some pictures and either him or Pedro can do a write up when they get back and I'll post it up, lucky bastards!


Pretty little fish and nice and chunky, they'll be perfect come the winter, I'll just be older, fatter and uglier come the winter!

Cheap mixed grill and a couple of Stellas and we're on our way to Cart Gap. Me and Nobby had to use all our charm to persuade Geno into coming, bless him, he needs some time off to recharge. One of the problems with shift work is that if you ever have to come off shifts and work days it wipes you out. Totally fecks the body clock up, especially when your working 7 days a week. He'll have more energy and enthusiasm when he gets back on shift.

We finally got to Cart Gap for around 17:30 and would be fishing by 18:00. Just as we got down the slip two couples had been building sand castles, actually it was probably more accurate to call it sand sculpting. They were pensioners and had probably been at it all day, they had all the trowels and tools and made a cracking job, shame the sea would wipe it out in a couple of hours. Looked like a scene from the Lord of the Rings or something.


Smart innit.

Straight in at Cart Gap and Nobby manages a schoolie, there was more sea on than round the corner at Lowestoft but not nearly as much as I would've liked to see. The sands shift tide to tide here like they do in lots of places, the thing that puts me off the spot we fish at Cart Gap lately is the fact that the bank is so close. Don't get me wrong it means you can easily fish a bait on the bank when there's a sea on or a short lob puts you into the gulley. Trouble is I'd rather the gulley was wider and deeper, the closer it is to you the narrower and shallower it is. I think the next time I fish that way on I'll try Happisburgh.


The slightest sign of a bit of lift on the bank, this is mid flood and the bank is within 10 yards of the end of the first groin to the right of the slip, too close for my liking.

Smudge popped down to play with his new camera, hopefully he'll mail me some of the pictures and I'll update this post with them, they're bound to be better than mine. Geno had had enough by 19:00 and was off for an early night after a radox bath. He'd been up since early, fished three venues for a whiting and a star fish, you have to admire the blokes effort. I was still fish less when Nobby managed another schoolie, getting duffed up right and proper now. I got another text from Pete "rays are still here in daylight and Trev has just had a turbot around 5lbs", Jesus Christ on a bike, for a couple of hundred quid I could've gone with them. (£200 plus a divorce! - Mrs Aitch).

As the tide flooded and we made our way back to the concrete apron, me and Nobby decided to fish just to the left of the slipway where there was still a good chunk of beach. I lost a set of kit, there was quite a bit of tide but thankfully not much weed. It was about half nine when I noticed "weed" hitting my line. I'd been fishing since six and hadn't had a bite. I picked up to wind the rod in and deal with the offending "weed" when the weed pulled back! I've never been so pleased of a fish, its bad enough getting done by Nobby but blanking into the bargain would've been too much. A few seconds later and another of those 1.5lb codling is making its way back to sea. I wish I'd taken a photo now, it was a really pretty fish with deep red spots. That fish forced a couple more casts before we packed up at 22:15, knackered, sun burnt but happy enough after a big day out.

I might have a go locally on Friday night depending on the weather and permission from Mrs Aitch, failing that it'll be the back end of next week. I may even go down the river. Neap tides and settled weather, means it's going to be tough for the next week or so, still I've never had a bite sat here...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Old favourites..

I hadn't been out since the weed plucking session at the end of August, for Christs sake that's over a week! A hasty session was arranged before I turned into a Jeremy Kyle watching, Richard and Judy type couch spud..

I picked a 100 worms up from Lee, he asked where I was going and I told him Pakefield. I love Pakefield I've probably mentioned that before, it's one of my ultra favourite beaches. Lee told me there were a lot of cod just offshore, the crabbers were getting plenty in the pots, some good ones too, so the coming season looks promising. Last year I reckon the weather spoiled the winter season, last October was glorious, the trees full of leaves into November and unseasonably warm seas. I can't remember a frost before Christmas. This year is very different, leaves already brown and dropping and the sea temperature way down on the same time last year. For any saddo's (like me) you can monitor the sea surface temperatures here: the chart at the bottom is the easiest to interpret, monitor it over a few weeks and you can watch the colder water making its way southwards.

Smudge and PK were on days, Nobby on nights and Johnny's carp fishing so I arranged with Karl to go and fish the ebb at Pakefield. We did consider going further southwards for a sole bash, Pedro and a few other lads have been slaying them at Southwold, recent catches of 10 to 20 fish not unusual and quite a few up to and just over 1lb. We opted for the closer venue as Genocide was "tired from all the work". The boy has me worried. I got to his just before 18:00 to find him laid on the settee. I loaded my gear into his motor and we set off. I'm glad we only had the 45 minute drive to Pakefield, I couldn't have stood much more of him moaning and groaning on about work! On and on like an old washer woman before HRT, for the love of god we were going fishing, I was almost in tears when I stumbled out of the car at Pakefield. I'm lucky I don't get stressed too much at work and he's big enough and ugly enough to deal with his issues and here we were for a few hours fishing on a superb evening, that'll take his mind off it.


A lovely evening, no sea on but plenty of colour, not thick but nicely coloured, who cares we were out and at least Geno wasn't at work.

There were a few on the beach when we got there, I should think the last few holiday makers enjoying the Indian summer. High water was around 20:00 and I'd usually expect the ebb to be the best when the tide started to run, probably around 21:30. We didn't walk far, setting up at the bottom of the steps I set two rods up, belted one out as far as I could and fished the other in. Genocide just fished short with his bass rod. First put in with the long bait and I fluke a nice dab, the first dab I've had in ages and easily sizeable and obviously full of roe. A quick photo messed up by the oaf and I slip it back. Can you believe my first dab in ages and the bloke that's usually so good with the camera fluffs it, fecking muppet.

Geno manages a double of baby pout on his old boy boom rigs second chuck and a steady stream of small fish follow for us both. I took the photographs so apologies in advance, he's usually so much better than me, but given his current form I thought it best I did it. The downside to that is that my handsome face and Adonis like body doesn't appear in any of the pics and you have to put up with Genocide and his scowl.



He can curdle milk from 50 yards, its like a gift, poor little pouts.

A little over an hour into the ebb and Karl's rod nearly takes off. You can get some real aggressive bites fishing close, double that up with braid and the bites can be heart stopping. The muppet missed that bite, and I lost a set of gear on my out rod. I couldn't be bothered to retie a leader so I went down to one rod and just fished it close after having seen Geno's go barmy the previous cast. Geno beat me to it, his rod took off again and a couple of seconds later and a double of codling find themselves face to face with the scowling lump.


You can see the biggest one is sizeable on the measure but not really a meal. Please put them back, if you do they'll be 2 or 3lb by winter and a decent meal.

My next put in and within seconds my rod is bouncing around and another chunky little 1lb codling soon finds itself swimming off after a brief visit. Bites came fast and furious between about 21:30 and 23:00 and a steady stream of 1lb codling with the odd better one around 1.5lb (weighed). I'm guessing we had around 6 apiece and with the bits they all went back. Hopefully they'll show again in a few months after a bit of fattening up. Cracking little session and I've made my mind up I won't leave it a week before I fish somewhere again. I'll also make sure "Jack" gets some play so he doesn't become a really dull boy.

It's been a different story up my neck of the woods this week. My old mates Hinge and Bracket had been to Trimingham and struggled all day, I think one of them fluked a weaver. Its the way it is here, the ground at places like Pakefield seems to hold a few fish while up here we have some decent ground but without that holding power for the fish. We seem to need the conditions to be right, a good blow and a coloured rolling sea and I'm sure fish of a similar stamp would've shown for H & B.

I'm still trawling through video and it may take me a while before I can get some film into shape to be uploaded. I'll also ask PK to write something for here, get his take on things at the minute. I'm conscious of the fact that my mates don't get a right to reply to my occasional character assassination, they can take it out on me on the beach if they don't want to write.

There's a couple of matches coming up this autumn, there's the return leg of the Anglo - Taff challenge with the Anglo's hoping to overturn the Taff's narrow lead from the first leg, hopefully Pakefield will provide all of the lads with a few fish and I think I'm OK to fish that one. There's the ICCM looming too, I'll put a link up to registration over the next week or two. I want to fish it but need to get two night shifts covered, it's a cracking meet / match that's very well run. It was rumoured that the Hopton Open wouldn't be taking place this year, then I heard that Sharmo might be running it. I hope he does as I was looking forward to it, as I hear anything I'll post it here as well as on and the other forums.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cracking weekend..

No I'm not talking about the fishing, that's still crap. The Aitch's had Andy and Liz over this weekend from Loughborough. Andy and I used to work together at Leicester and Kettering and along with another "muskateer" have remained firm friends ever since despite him being a gooner.

Aidan was particularly upset when they left tonight, he's been spoilt rotten all weekend. It was there 22nd wedding aniversary on Friday so I cooked starter and main and Mrs Aitch cooked the pud. Super time had by all culminating in a cooked breakie and a walk to Mundesley and back along the beach today. A regular visitor to the stretch behind the gas site was struggling, she hadn't had a bite. I've seen her with another lady along there many times and they usually winkle one or two out. She said she'd had some nice bass earlier in the year and some good flounders up on the shingle but nothing much lately, how it is for us all I guess, roll on the winter.

I really should've taken my camera today, there was a lovely dying surf on the bank and as low water approached lots of interesting gulleys and "holes" in the bank were clearly visible. Of course one good blow and its all change again, still it looks really fishy at the minute, about as Mr Crabtree as our beaches get. Bloody huge headless seal on the beach just north of Castaway's steps too, Aidan wanted to take a picture so he could paste it into his school morning book and write about it. Why he can't just write about his nice weekend is beyond me, morbid little hound.

Lego Land Windsor beckons tomorrow and promises to knock holes into an already empty wallet, it's the last family jolly for this year as Aidan's back at school Wednesday (praise the lord). I want to get out towards the end of the week, though if there's nothing much to inspire I may do a Genocide and go into work and save some holidays, christ there's no hope for me.

Some of the boys are off to Ireland on this coming set of new moon tides, I'm going to do a mystic meg and predict they'll slay 'em, not just because the lads are top quality but because the weather and tides look good. I also think we'll have a few round here on the same tides, but they'll only get caught if we get out there and fish for them!

I can upload video now so in these dark days before the proper fishing starts I'm going to trawl through my tapes and see what I've got. I'm certain somewhere I have Genocide doing a river dance back in the days when I could cast as far as him, I'll see what I can find. Don't anybody panic, I'll get relevant permissions before I post them as I'm sure there may well be incriminating footage of me somewhere...