Orford marathon.

Friday 24th October 2008

I'm never surprised at the things I can be talked into doing (fishing wise!). Some good reports all week of fish to 6lb at Aldeburgh and we were hatching a plan. You can't get down the dirty wall for another 5 or 6 weeks as they are recharging the shingle, the town stretch and the yacht club would be heaving so we decided to book a trip over to the ness. High water was around 20:30, Pete would drop us at the narrows for around 17:00 and pick us up around 07:30. Doesn't sound too bad when you say it quickly, and we had a lovely little "calm before the storm" weather window.

All day Thursday the wind had been a howling southerly/southwesterly which I fully expected to put a lump on and colour things up a bit down there. The forecast was bob on for a change and the wind duly died through Friday leaving us with a lovely evening and a nothing westerly. Some of the Leader Lines crew had already booked on the boat and we met them on the quay side around 4pm.

There wasn't much colour in the river as we made our way up to the narrows, quickly offloading the boat we were soon pampling across the shingle. I was surprised there wasn't more on the boat given how well Aldeburgh had been fishing and the fact that ONAC members can't drive up the wall at the minute, I thought there'd be a few more fishing. Met by a flat sea with only a little bit of colour, darkness would be the prime time. We had the middle of the flood, all of the ebb and the first couple of the flood to fish.

Everybody was straight into fish, whiting and codling from 1-2lb. It didn't matter what bait, what size hooks, what distance, as long as there was a bit of tide running you'd get a bite within a few minutes. Me, Geno and Digger managed a few long dogfish over the slack periods too along with a few more whiting. I don't know if the whiting cleared off as the tide ran or they were just out numbered by the codling, but they definitely seemed to ease as the tide ran.

It didn't matter what you did, one of the little chunky monkeys was on it within a minute or two of the lead settling. We shouldn't really complain about being plagued by these fish, it's a cracking sign, but there are definitely a few better fish about for the taking. Digger was first in with a better one, a minty fish around 4lb, me and Geno continued to wade through the bits. End peg had three between 4lb and 6lb on the beach before Geno managed a cracker an ounce under 6lb. I was flagging under the relentless stream of 1-2lbers. I tried to get my head down a couple of times through the night, but failed miserably and was more than happy to see the sun start to poke its head above the waves.

Digger had paralysed us all, the best fish on the boat back was Yourang's beauty of 6lb 9oz, but Digger had 5 takers between 3.5 and 6lb, a cracking bit of sport in anybody's reckoning. The shear volume of immature fish has to be a good sign, some of them will be 2-3lb come the spring. Hopefully those better ones will stick around too and eventually make their way up to my neck of the woods, be nice to repeat catches like Diggers at Mundesley as I won't be racing back to spend the night on the ness again!

Summer fishing!

October 8th 2008

The jungle drums were on piece work. Honourable rang telling me he'd heard of some nice fish being caught in the Yarmouth area, I followed that up with a quick email to Deno who confirmed Honourable's info. Deno had fished the Sam Hook's Monday night league fixture at Yarmouth north beach, he'd won with 15lb 6oz, good result in itself but he'd also had a good codling of 5lb 9oz in the catch. The lowest weight was 5lb odd and there'd been a few better fish caught too, hmmmm, armed with that prize info. I rang PK late on the Tuesday night:

Me: There's been a few nice fish around Yarmouth.

Him: What's the tide?

Me: It's a neap, low water about 9:30 at Yarmouth.

Him: Flood at Hopton then?

Me: Would love to mate but I've got no bait bar a few frozen crabs.

Him: I've got a freezer full of top notch blacks (obviously Linda hasn't been hoovering for a while) and I'll pick us up 50 fresh each on the way through.

Me: see you around 10am.

Hitler mit da big booben had been listening in, "Oh your going fishing tomorrow are you?". I wasn't in any mood to take any truck from the Fuehrer so I nipped it in the bud, "I've been twice since July love, and can't remember the last time me and the leg end got out, so I'm going!". She just smiled and winked, I only ever complain tongue in cheek she's as good as gold really. So that was it, plan made, permissions granted and off to Hopton to meet his lordship.

An uneventful journey until Yarmouth raised my blood pressure, they're doing some strengthening works to the quay side which held me up for a little while but once over Breydon bridge I was away. Paul had just set up as I got there on a stunning day. Blue skies, a gentle NW breeze and a lovely warm sun. As I walked up my phone rang, Pete Freezer had obviously heard something too and wanted to know what I knew. I filled him in on Deno's win and what we were up too, he said he'd ring later to see how we got on.

PK's first bung results in a nice slack liner and a plump little codling is soon beached and quickly returned. My first bung and the same bite as Paul's that I managed to miss. It's hard to judge a neap, but I reckon we were close to the last 2 hours of the flood before we got any tide at all and then not much of it. Another strange thing happened too, there wasn't much colour at all when we started but you could see a line of coloured water out of range, as soon as the flow picked up a bit this brown water was pushed into us and was consequently the best time of the tide. The new outer harbour will change patterns on the surrounding beaches, still it'll be fun trying to work them out.

We had a steady stream of sizeable whiting with a sprinkling of those 1lb and a bit codling throughout the day, when the flow picked up we were getting whiting one and two a bung on pennels but unfortunately none of those better codling Deno and co. had seen Monday night. There's an obvious advantage fishing at night let alone on a bright sunny day but we had a cracking time all the same and rarely reeled in without a fish. Apart from a few guys fishing the wreck at Gorleston and a guy I saw at beach road as I was walking back, we had the beach to ourselves, bloody marvelous.

Things are looking good for a bit of autumn sport and with the numbers of whiting around match weights will be good for a while. I'm really looking forward to Mark's match on October 19th now, even Paul said he'd fish it if he wasn't at work. The run back through Yarmouth was easier and the day was just the tonic I needed after so much work and not enough fishing, I have three night shifts to look forward to now, still at least I'll get my reels sorted, rigs tied etc etc etc.