EDP report 29/12/10

Perhaps not surprisingly there haven’t been too many rods fishing the regions beaches this week, the festivities and weather keeping plenty of people at home. It would’ve been nice for the last report of 2010 to contain some good news on the fishing front, unfortunately Santa didn’t bring the wished for codling. It’s been quiet right round the coast from the shingle in the north to the deep water beaches of Aldeburgh and Orford, quite a few flatfish are being reported though precious few codling. The whiting appear to have thinned out also which is normal for this time of the year, in years gone by the shingle ridge has seen some good whiting appear after Christmas and with a few flatfish showing as well should be fairly reliable for a few bites at least. With temperatures set to rise and a moderate north forecast for the weekend, it could be worth a chuck in the early part of next week.

East Norfolk from Cromer round to Yarmouth has produced a few flatfish, Justin Grapes finding a few dabs at Walcott. Hopefully the weather plays ball for this weekend’s match at Walcott, it’s an annual fur and feather match and most anglers go home with something. The draw is at the Kingfisher Café from 08:30, which allows enough time to finish one of Frenchie’s excellent breakfasts before fishing from 10:00 until 14:00, bring a prize for the table. Further round the coast to Yarmouth and it’s been quiet with just a few flats reported from Gorleston and Hopton. A similar story from Lowestoft too though Dunwich has produced some good flats in reasonable numbers. One lucky rod managed a couple of codling at Thorpeness with fish of around 2lb and 3lb mixed in with a couple of dabs and a half dozen codlets, right place right time, the same guy fishing the same beach the day after blanked! There have been some blanks reported too down at Aldeburgh and Orford but I still think these beaches offer the best chances of a late cod. With the New Year just about upon us, I hope 2011 brings us all some luck on the beaches and good runs of bass and smouthounds!

EDP report 22/12/10

As expected the weather has kept a lot of rods off the regions beaches. Those that have ventured out in the arctic conditions haven’t been rewarded for their enterprise. In the deep south of the patch there are a few dabs with the pin whiting at Sizewell and Dunwich. Orford and Aldeburgh has been quiet, all I’ve heard reported have been whiting and not too many of those have been sizeable. An intrepid group fished a match on Lowestoft’s south pier over the weekend, just over 8oz claiming top spot for Andy Cran with Mel Nicholl second and Taome Wells third, hard going by anyone’s reckoning. It’s no better around Yarmouth either, whiting and occasional flats making up the catches here. It’s starting to look bleak for the main part of this season now. I was convinced with the numbers of large fish caught last year that some lucky rod would snare a beach caught 20lb+ cod. The only one I’ve heard of coming from Orford a while ago, still there’s a little time left.

Flats and whiting have been the mainstay on east Norfolk’s beaches, odd small codling have shown at Trimingham though you have to put in a lot of time for not a lot of fish. The shingle in north Norfolk has produced as many blanks as it has catch reports. I think since the rough weather started a couple of weeks back it hasn’t quite regained the consistency it had at the start of the month. Looking ahead to the holiday period we are at least getting some respite from the low temperatures we’ve seen recently. The weather is due to warm significantly into the weekend and with the wind going northerly on Thursday, the early part of the weekend might see a few feeding from Cromer to Yarmouth and at least it shouldn’t be as cold as it has been!

EDP report 15/12/10

It doesn’t look like being a very merry Christmas on the regions beaches. Beach reports haven’t been great with only a few codling caught from Orford up to Cromer, one or two lucky rods have had some big fish but these are rarer than hen’s teeth, the best I’ve heard was a 13lb specimen from Orford. Boat anglers have fared a little better but even they aren’t catching the numbers of fish you might reasonably expect at this time of the year.

The shingle ridge in north Norfolk has produced a few flats and whiting with a very occasional codling from under the cliffs at Weybourne. It’s a similar story from Cromer down to Yarmouth. I fished Trimingham on Saturday with friends and only managed a few flounders and whiting between us, again the few codling that had shown proving elusive despite a super looking sea. Yarmouth to Lowestoft tells a similar story with one or two codling showing at Gorleston, Hopton and Corton if you’re very lucky, most reports are of whiting and dabs. Lowestoft down to Orford has been a little better, with some nice dabs showing at Dunwich, Minsmere and Southwold. There have been a few fish at Aldeburgh and Orford, again there are more whiting and flats reported than codling though it’s worth sticking it out with big baits at these venues as there have been some cracking fish off the beaches, a saints’ patience is the key.

The dreaded red weed has shown up in large quantities from Yarmouth down to Aldeburgh, this can be especially frustrating if you’ve made a long and expensive trip. It’s difficult to see an improvement in the sport as temperatures look set to plummet on the back of northerly air flow this week, hopefully another rough up will at least help clear the weed from the venues that offer the best chances of a cod.

The low down.... 11/12/10

A few weeks (may have been months) back, I was sat in the car with Fritz, coming back from some instantly forgettable fishing match. Talk of how the match went lasted perhaps a minute, and then moved on to other things.

Peter asked “When did you start casting with the reel at the bottom”?
“Well it’s like this mate. Going back a few years, probably twenty, I read an article in Sea Angler entitled ‘Are You A Low-Down Caster”?...

He cut me off. “Yup. It was written by Simon Trett. I’ve got it at home. I’ll dig it out and you can have a look”.

What are the chances of that? How many articles from any of the angling mags can you remember, especially old ones? How many people have still got ancient copies of the mags?
Turns out Simon Trett used to work in Dave Docwra’s tackle shop, so Pete knew him, and kept a copy of the mag.

Anyway, doing his festive duty, and retrieving the xmas decorations from the loft, he stumbled across a dusty old box marked ‘Old fishing mags’. Now for most blokes, a box marked ‘Old fishing mags’ would contain anything but. Pics of the secretary with her paps out, blowing you a kiss? Yup. Those stockings and sussy’s you once wore to the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the theatre royal, and just couldn’t throw away? Yup. Old fishing mags? No chance.

Not Peter. His ‘Old fishing mags’ box contained just that, old fishing mags.
Here’s the proof.


Note the date. January 1988. I was 19 and in the prime of my youth!

Me, Peter, Colonel, and H fished Trimmingham today, and Peter brought me the mag to look at.
We’ll I’ve read it, and it sent a shiver up my spine. God knows how obsessed I was as an 19 year old (twenty two years ago!!!), but I must have read it quite a few times as I almost remembered it word for word.


The article. Author, left and right pics. The slim looking chap in the middle is Mark Saunders!

My kit at the time consisted of a Century Long EZ, and an Abu 6500GR. Ideal for going reel down, and I never looked back. Anyway, I don’t know if Simon still fishes, but I guess I owe him a pint for showing me the light.

To the fishing.

Dawn saw us on the beach. We fished the gaps and there was a nice sea on. What with the sea state, and being pushed up against the cliffs, at times it was hairier than a Grimsby lasses top lip.


A pic taken by me as a wave came thro’ the gap. I nearly got washed away here once

A bit of a North Westerly breeze made casting a bit awkward, but we had high hopes.
When will we ever learn?


A couple of Flounders....


The scores on the doors?

Me?                 Two flounders and six bloody whiting.
Fritz?               A whiting.
H?                    A flounder
The Colonel?   Blank.

Was I lucky? You decide.

Highlight of the day would have been, if i’d had my camera handy, seeing the Colonel flat on his back wafting his rod at the sky. Through tears of laughter H told me he’d been enthusiastically pulling for a break when his line parted. (it was genius, I heard the crack, looked round and could see short arse on his back waving his rod like it was Darth Vader's light sabre, stunning. - Ed)

Still, the short arse didn’t have very far to fall, and he’s got plenty of padding.


Comrad Colonel. The ruskies only put their surnames on their jackets apparently.
Top Tip. If you’re the same shape as the Colonel, iron your T-shirts on the back of a wok.

Fair play to him tho’. Today was his first trip for about a year as he’s been a bit poorly. You can tell he’s getting better. The piss taking and anecdotes were none stop.

‘H’ cleared off about one o clock to finish his ironing, closely followed by The Colonel who wanted some Kentucky fried chicken.

Me and Fritz gave it another hour or so but to no avail.

One last thing. Fritz was using a pair of ZZiplex Quattra sports.


A Zziplex Quattra Sport being tested by Fritz.  ‘H’s ‘photographic expert’  patience being tested by me.

 I had a cast with one. Bloody lovely. The Century Long EZ  I mentioned earlier? Well I had it about six months and I snapped it casting.

You can’t beat quality....

EDP report 08/12/10

The weather really has made it tough on the regions beaches, just getting to some venues has been a trial and once there there’s no guarantee the fish will oblige. The sea, particularly on the north and east coast has been a bit wild at times, though it looks very fishy when the wind eases. There have been a few whiting and flats along the shingle with a few small codling in the rough ground under the cliffs at Weybourne. Round to Cromer and the east Norfolk beaches have been a little quieter with just whiting, flats and the occasional school bass. There have been a few small codling at Trimingham, again they’re not showing with any sort of consistency though night fishing in a fining sea will help your chances.

Yarmouth’s beaches have produced mainly flats and whiting though there have been a few small codling at the wreck at Gorleston and further down at Hopton. By all recent reports there’s a lot of beach missing at Hopton, due I’m sure mostly to recent winds though the beach doesn’t seem to build back so quickly since the outer harbour went in. Though it’s difficult to fish over high water due to the lack of beach, there have been a  few small codling in Hopton bay from both the beach and kayaks. Corton and Lowestoft north beach have produced a few small ones amongst the whiting and flats and rumours abound of a few proper ones from Pakefield and Kessingland. Boat anglers have had mixed fortunes, Paul Kerry fished aboard a friend’s boat last week off Lowestoft, both of them boating fish to 8.5lb, a different story a few days later though with a solitary 2lber to show for their efforts.

The pier at Southwold has yielded a few better fish with one lucky rod managing a couple of 2lbers and a beauty of 9lb 5oz along with the obligatory whiting and dabs. It’s that time of the year when the humble dab is usually in its best nick and I’ve heard of a few “sprat dabs” touching a pound from quite a few of the regions beaches. Aldeburgh and Orford have been quiet aside whiting and flats, even the boat anglers have been struggling to find some large fish, a recent boat match won with a codling of 2lb 9oz for Richard Greeves off Orford, relatively poor form considering the venue. There’s little inspiration in the weather forecast except maybe for east Norfolk, the forecast north-westerly should put a nice surf on here and hopefully encourage a few to feed.

EDP report 01/12/10

Not surprisingly the weather has played a huge part in the catches this week and looks set to continue wreaking havoc into the week ahead. Last weekend’s SAMF National Sea League final was particularly hard hit. Saturday saw the competitors faced by 20mph north easterly winds and a big sea, only the week or so previous I’d reported 12lb winning match weights and 7lb to win a section yet here were some of the country’s top match anglers struggling to card a fish. Day one honours went to Colin Carey with a very respectable 5lb 11oz on a day when 27 out of the 80 fishing blanked. Sunday was a different day, the wind had eased and gone round more westerly from the previous day’s north east and there was a roll on the sea rather than the heaving mass of Saturday. It looked more promising and no blanks were returned on the Sunday. Colin Carey caught 5lb 12oz for a second win in as many days and the individual title, local ace Tony Thomas finished second overall with Brett Green coming third. Team results were Prime Angling in top spot, Gary Evans Match Team second and Zziplex third.

Scant reports from further round the coast with most  taking advantage of the warmth indoors last weekend. Those that did venture out were rewarded with a few whiting and dabs though very few cod have been reported. From Cromer down to Yarmouth there have been a few flounders and school bass with the obligatory whiting. Yarmouth has seen more whiting than anything as has Lowestoft, though I do know a few small codling have turned up on the north beach at Lowestoft and rumours of a large fish caught at Kessingland. It’s a similar story down to Orford, with Dunwich, Walberswick and Aldeburgh all producing mainly whiting and a few flats. The boat sport that some had enjoyed last week was wrecked by the weather at Orford though there was a fine fish of 15lb 3oz for Scott Howlett from the beach. The week ahead promises to be tough with the weather hampering sport, easterly winds and heavy snow will keep anglers off the beaches in numbers though it should be interesting getting in on the back of some of the rough stuff.