EDP report 28/04/10

Sport has eased a little over the last week, not surprising given neap tides and some cold overnight temperatures. There are still a few bits and pieces on most of the regions beaches though and always the chance of a decent fish. Paul Blyth targeted bass at Cart Gap on the east Norfolk coast and was rewarded with a nice codling a little under 4lb, he never managed any bass but did add a 34cm flounder and a big old rockling to go with the codling. Reports from hot spot Trimingham have dried up over the last week or so, due in no small part to the weed that so often frequents this bit of coast particularly after a southwest blow. It’s spoiled sport a little at Mundesley and Cromer too, though it does seem to ease after high water. Anglers on the pier at Cromer have had a few dogfish and the weed doesn’t seem such an issue here as you’re not fishing across the tide like you are from the beach.

The shingle ridge in north Norfolk has been patchy too, odd bass to 4lb have been caught and there’s usually a few pouts and flatfish to catch. Matt Lawes and a friend had a nice little session at Cley with a few nice school bass to 35cm, some whiting and dabs. It should be noted that the minimum commercial landing size for bass is 36cm, I believe the national federation of Sea Anglers is around 45cm, which should give the bass a chance to spawn. Don’t be fooled by the site of small bass on supermarket fish counters, these are farmed fish, by all means enjoy eating your catch, just please make sure it’s of a legal size. From Yarmouth round to Lowestoft there seems to be a similar variety of species showing. A specimen challenge held at Gorleston produced a good mix of species to anglers fishing the harbour side and the seaward side of the jetty. Steve Smith won the specimen match with some bits and a fine dab of 31cm, just edging out Stephen Boyce.

Reports have been slow again from the south of the region. There have been one or two nice sole off the pier at Lowestoft and some school bass and undersized codling round at Dunwich. Dogfish seem to be about in numbers at Orford, with anglers reporting catching 12 or more in a session with only a few undersized codling and whiting amongst the dogfish. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more codling at Aldeburgh and Orford this spring, though it was never going to be a spring run like some previous years, there just wasn’t those 2-4lb fish about this last winter. As we head into May, and what is traditionally one of our best bass fishing months, I would imagine we’ll see some nice fish over the next couple of weeks. Lug and peeler crab should be the first baits in your box and May, I think, gives you the best chance of a lunker bass off our beaches.

EDP report 21/04/10

Sport on the regions beaches continues in the same vein as it has for the last couple of weeks. Plenty of bits and pieces off most of the regions venues with an occasional good fish for good measure. Trimingham in east Norfolk has again been the pick of the bunch with a few good bass about to 8lb, in truth they could turn up on any of the surrounding beaches at this time and I fully expect the sport to improve further as the crab moult starts in earnest. Matt Lawes fished Trimingham in the week for a nice bass of 5lb 2oz, following that good result he fished Trimingham again with a mate on Saturday evening who promptly landed a cracking early season bass at 7lb 8oz. There have been a  few reports of dogfish and smoothound pups from Cromer to Sea Palling.

The beaches around Yarmouth have produced similar fish in similar quantities though it would seem you have a slightly better chance of a codling off these beaches and those further south. Occasional plaice have continued to show with a nice one caught off Lowestoft South pier. Dunwich has also produced some nice mixed bags of small fish and I think it’s fair to expect similar catches from most of if not all of our beaches. I don’t have the results of the sea league from Orford over the weekend, but have heard of a few codling landed, though I’ve also heard of a few top rods struggling.

I had the pleasure over the weekend of a chat with Jean and Ian Balls of Fakenham, Jean and Ian have been fishing together for a number of years, though Jean’s main interest has been in pike fishing, she’s become steadily more involved in the sea scene over the last couple of years. This progression into sea angling culminated in February with Jean becoming the first British lady to win the European open beach championships held at Bridlington. She’s been attending this roving match with hubby Ian for the last few years and it seemed their trip this year was fated from the start as Jean won £315 on a machine in the clubhouse the night before the first match! The European Championships is fished over two days, with individual winners on both days and an overall champion after two days in each section, senior men’s, ladies, juniors and teams of four. The luck Jean found on the eve of the match stayed with her through the Saturday, claiming top spot in the Ladies section on day one with a flounder of 370g from Bridlington beach. Following the first day win, Jean planned to return again to Bridlington on the Sunday to see if she could match Saturdays’ result, and sure enough at the weigh in, Jean triumphed again with a better flounder of 385g. Ian only managed undersized flounders, dabs, whiting and coalies, it was Jean that stole the honours and a selection of top prizes to boot. Along with the Ladies European championship trophy, Jean’s haul consisted of two beach rods, a tripod, samalite headlight, anyfish anywhere rig wallet and a penn multiplier reel, not a bad weekends work for two flounders! Conditions for all the 1400 competitors were difficult, large tides coupled with wind and rain ruled out a lot of cliff venues on safety grounds. Our region has some good form in this competition, Lee Sherwood of Lowestoft finished 5th overall in this year’s senior men’s section and last year’s competition was won outright by Dave Richardson, again of Lowestoft. It would seems East Anglian fishing styles and techniques, travel well, at least as far as Yorkshire!

Jean Balls

Jean with her pot and prizes.

EDP report 14/04/10

Things are ticking along quite nicely on the regions beaches, catches haven’t been spectacular but the slow and steady improvements continue at most venues. Some very nice fish have been reported by boat anglers only a mile or two offshore. Local ace Paul Kerry had some excellent cod around the 10lb mark aboard a friend’s boat off Lowestoft, whilst boats out of Aldeburgh, Orford and Southwold have all reported catching similar sized fish. Unfortunately these big fish haven’t found their way inshore yet and there’s no guarantee we will see these fish off the beaches but there’s a chance when the crabs start to moult.

Beaches in the south have produced mainly whiting, flatfish and undersized codling. There have been a few dogfish and occasional codling in the 2-4lb bracket, though smaller fish tend to be the mainstay of catches. It’s a similar story at Lowestoft and Yarmouth, with probably a few more school bass being reported along with the whiting and codlets. With the exception of dogfish, larger fish tend to be at a premium, though I think it’s reasonable to expect a few more better bass over the next week or so.

The stretch of coast covering Yarmouth to the shingle ridge of north Norfolk has probably been the pick of the regions venues. Whiting, flatfish and undersized codling have dominated catches still but there seems to be better chances of good fish amongst the bits. The shingle ridge continues to produce quite a few flatfish with some decent flatties reported at night, tipping with fish baits seems to winkle out the better flatties. I fished Trimingham last week and aside a couple of large pouts only managed small fish, it was a similar story for other anglers along the stretch that day but there has been decent codling and a couple of bass reported over recent tides. This area should come into it’s own over the next couple of weeks as the bass make their way inshore hunting the first moulting crabs, hopefully a few of those cod the boat anglers have been catching will turn up too.

EDP report 07/04/10

Sport continues its recent improvement, even the return of diving temperatures and easterly winds had little effect and most beaches in the region seem to be yielding a few fish. Granted most of the fish being caught have been undersized round fish and flatfish, but there have been a few sizeable fish caught right round the coast. Fish baits are worth a go this time of the year too, you should find a few dogfish and the chance of a ray, so give them a go through April.

In north Norfolk the shingle ridge is producing plenty of flatfish, pouts and undersize codling. There have been some nice flounders and dabs amongst the bits and pieces on the shingle and it’s good to see a few small codling showing there too. The north east Norfolk beaches have been consistent too with similar catches to those on the shingle reported from several beaches. Pick of the bunch has been Trimingham with a few codling between 2 and 4lb reported along with some dogfish and at least one good bass around 6lb amongst the pouts and flatfish. The same story continues as we move round the coast to Yarmouth and Lowestoft, plenty of bits and pieces, dogfish, school bass and occasional better codling. These beaches have been producing lots of small codling too which bodes well for the coming years. Stephen Boyce organised a charity match on Lowestoft’s south pier in aid of Sport Relief, 15 anglers fished the match with less than a pound needed to win it, at least a few pounds were raised for charity. Stephen himself won it with 14oz, and although the fishing was tough, a good time was had by all those competing.

The area around Southwold has produced catches similar to the rest of the region, there have been a  couple of nice sole reported from Thorpeness, but it’s the undersized rounds and flatfish that dominate. Aldeburgh and Orford have yielded small codling, school bass and flatfish with a few sizeable codling amongst the bits too. All things even the spring season looks to be picking up a bit of pace and this month should see mixed bags reported from most beaches, let’s hope that after a long hard winter we get some good fishing through the early spring.

Trimingham 06/04/10

Me and Diggs had a cracking day down at Trimingham, not too much to write about aside a few bits and a couple of half decent pouts, neap tides with a lunchtime high water rarely set the world alight. there were plenty of others down there, so word of one or two about has certainly got out! Never saw anybody else get much of anything with the exception of bits, but at least the rods were moving and Digger and the pirate got me the best worms I've had in an age. I literally had to wrestle with each one to get it on the hook, top bombing.