EDP report 25/08/10

It looks as though sport is going to come in fits and starts as summer rolls towards autumn. A little bit of lift in the sea and some colour and there are a few fish about, then the wind goes round off the land again, the colour drops out and we’re back to square one. That seems to be the way of it on the Norfolk beaches at least as sport seems to be governed by the wind. As soon as the wind heads into the south west quarter, the sea clears out and the dreaded weed appears to spoil sport. The best chances of seeing some action still seems to be in the rivers with flounders and eels along with a few school bass reported from the Nene, Ouse and Yare.

The shingle of north Norfolk proved tough again this week with the bass of the weekend before gone until the next bit of northerly lifts and colours the sea. Many anglers reported blanks or the occasional flatfish and all reported the weed that shows when the wind goes south westerly. The sandy beaches of east Norfolk have suffered a similar fate. Weed has plagued anglers though those braving it managed to winkle out a few flatties from Trimingham and Bacton. Further down towards Yarmouth and the story is one of a few bits and pieces, thankfully the reports I’ve seen haven’t mentioned the weed that has been the scourge of the north coast. The wreck at Gorleston has produced a few small fish, again colour seems to be the key. Changeable weather conditions for the week ahead with a series of lows forecast may well lift sport again for east and north Norfolk.

Lowestoft has been a little more consistent and has seen a lot more people fishing as a result. Corton and the north beach have produced a few, including some small codling, and the pier always seems to yield a sole or two along with a few pout and smoothound pups at this time of the year. As autumn approaches and the whiting start to show, catches will improve on Lowestoft’s beaches, particularly Pakefield and Kessingland. Southwards the beaches have been patchy, with blanks reported from Dunwich and Minsmere whilst anglers fishing Sizewell and Thorpeness managed a few school bass. Aldeburgh and Orford have been quiet this past week too, but they will surely pick up over the next few weeks as autumn approaches.

EDP report 18/08/10

There was a definite upturn in the sport this last week, particularly in east and north Norfolk. A strong north westerly added some colour and surf to the sea and it looked and felt more like October than August.

There were a few bass showing on the north Norfolk shingle. Matt Lawes had a super fish of 4lb 9oz under the cliffs at Weybourne and there have been plenty of school bass showing too. Weed has been an intermittent problem, though it’s rarely present for a full tide. School bass and flounders showed at Salthouse and Cley over the weekend too, with catches of 6 or 7 school bass not uncommon. On the flat sand of the east Norfolk beaches there’s been an upturn too with bass reported from Cromer, Trimingham and Bacton, care should be taken when fishing in heavy seas with a cliff behind you.

Down to Yarmouth and things on the beach have picked up here too, with a few whiting starting to show on the town beaches. The beaches from Gorleston to Hopton have produced a few whiting, there are a few smoothound pups around the wreck and in Hopton bay still, they should be on the way before too long and I’d expect the numbers and size of the whiting to increase as we head towards September.

Lowestoft has been steady, with bits and pieces along with a few sole off the south pier. The beaches from Corton to Kessingland have yielded a few whiting, again you’d expect the numbers to grow slowly as autumn starts and get into full swing around October. There have been a few bass showing at Southwold, Aldeburgh, and Orford fish to 3lb have been reported, amazing the difference a change in the weather can have to our sport.

EDP report 11/08/10

Beach sport continues to be hard in our regions clear seas, the same can’t be said for our neighbours in Lincolnshire. I’ve seen catch reports over the weekend of smoothounds to 8lb with two lucky anglers sharing a catch of over 30 fish! I don’t know why the Lincolnshire beaches should fish any different to our own, we only seem to get the smoothounds for a few tides off Norfolk then they’re gone again, a great pity as they are fantastic sporting fish. Smoothound sport is definitely more consistent north of the Wash.

The rivers are probably giving the most consistent sport with flatfish, eels and a few school bass. A Holbeach club match on the Nene last Saturday produced a few for the anglers taking part. Chris Alford won the match with just under 5lb, his catch including a super bass of 4lb 2oz. Camble Burnett and Eric Johnson were second and third respectively, both scaling a little under 4lb of flats and eels. Chris Alford had the biggest round and a junior the largest flat with a fine flounder of 35cm. Along with the Nene, the Ouse is showing a bit of form with eels and flatfish too, please remember if you do fish for them that our eels are protected and must be returned after weighing in or capture.

The shingle ridge in north Norfolk has produced a few school bass on night tides yet the mackerel still prove to be elusive. We’ve had a little northerly again which put a roll on the sea but didn’t add much colour, we have some more in the forecast for this week but with the pressure above 1020mb all week, I think we may end up with a rolling clear sea again. It might encourage a few more bass to feed and hopefully we will get some colour too. It’s going to be a late run if we are to see any mackerel, we certainly didn’t have many last year and this year looks to be heading a similar way, it’s not over yet though and an Indian summer could have them showing into October. The sandy beaches from Cromer down to Sea palling have been very quiet, I’ve spoken to a few fishing holidaymakers, if they have managed to catch at all it has been weaver fish and the occasional school bass. If we get some surf and some colour this week expect some more bass in this area.

The river at Yarmouth has been a little more consistent than the beach, bass are still falling to lures and bait in the river whilst anglers chancing the beaches are struggling in the bright clear conditions. Paul Turrell decided to target something  a little different and had a crack at the mullet inside the harbour at Lowestoft. Ground baiting the mullet and getting them feeding confidently, along with a little patience, was the key to landing a fine specimen 4lb+. Despite the shoal continuing to take his free offerings Paul couldn’t entice another fish before they finally ghosted off. Mullet are surprisingly common around our coast at this time of the year but are rarely fished hard for. It might be something to do with their reputation of being difficult, but whilst there’s little else biting it’s worth a chuck with a light line and a waggler.

Southwold has at last produced a few sole to 35cm, night tides are a must whilst the water is so clear. Like the rest of the regions coastline, coloured water is going to be key if the bright conditions persist. Finding deeper water has helped the boat anglers a little and most are finding a few dogs and rays off Aldeburgh and Orford.

EDP report 04/08/10

To say it has been tough this week would be understating things, from the north Norfolk shingle to Orford Ness in Suffolk there have been at least as many blanks as catches. The wind went northerly and picked up a little just before last weekend and I was hopeful this might encourage a few bass to feed, all I’ve seen reported though are a few school bass and now the sea seems to have flattened off and gone shear again. Best bet is to leave the beaches to the jet skiers and holidaymakers during the day and fish at night or early morning when the light level is low and the beaches are quiet.

Lure and feather anglers trying for some mackerel on the north Norfolk shingle have found a few launce, but I’ve yet to hear of any mackerel. It was similar last year, there seems to be good numbers of fish not too far offshore but they seem to be staying out of casting range. Still worth trying a plug or a dexter wedge for a bass as they’ll be feeding on the launce. Bait fishing on the shingle is hard going at the minute, best chances would be for some bass at night, daylight fishing with such clear seas is bound to be difficult. The little huff of northerly put some colour in the water on the sandy beaches between Cromer and Yarmouth, not too many fishing although there were a few school bass to 3lb caught while the water was coloured. The wind has gone southwest again and with it comes the weed, Caister was particularly bad and those braving it were rewarded with blanks.

The beaches around Yarmouth have been quiet, odd eels and “bits” from the usual haunts and the river still gives best chances of a bass or two. Lowestoft beaches have shown similar form and it’s a real struggle generally. I’ve seen decent anglers reporting blanks from Pakefield and Kessingland, you can only catch what is there as the old saying goes. The South pier usually so consistent at this time of the year is only producing odd sole and eels but still gives you best chances in the Lowestoft area. Southwold has yielded a few sole, nothing like the numbers we’d hope for and expect at this time of the year given the conditions. A biggest sole match and bbq over the weekend at Southwold was won by Brian Heritage with a fine specimen at 36cm, the only sole caught in the match, a flounder and a smattering of school bass making up the rest of the catch for the 22 anglers taking part. There’s a little bit of north again in the forecast, if it comes, and with the tides building, it could be worth a chuck at the bass anywhere from Yarmouth to Cley, but  other than that low light is going to be the key.