EDP report 24/02/10

These really have proved to be two difficult months for East Anglia’s sea anglers. Apparently it’s been the coldest winter for 30 years, it certainly felt like that on the beach at Mundesley on Saturday night. Needless to say I didn’t manage so much as a bite despite superb looking sea conditions, the reports I’ve seen haven’t been much better anywhere else either.

Starting in the south of the region, 24 anglers recently fished a club match at Orford Ness, only four sizeable fish were weighed in, two codling were the highlight of the day at 2lb 7 and 2lb 9oz. It’s no better as we head up the coast, the guys in the kayaks are still finding a few out of casting range of the beach anglers, but again these tend to be those 2-3lb codling that aren’t quite ready to join their larger brethren spawning yet. Precious few whiting and only occasional flatties and rockling have been showing in the Lowestoft area though I did see a nice plump 3lber from Tramps Alley last Friday, again the exception rather than the rule.

Reports from Yarmouth have been scant with only occasional flatfish showing, blanks seems to be the dominant result from here up to Cromer, the shallow sandy beaches of east Norfolk suffering most at the hands of winter it seems. Fishing is more consistent once you get above Sheringham to the shingle ridge. Not too much beach is exposed at low water so the sand doesn’t get frosted like the east Norfolk beaches, the flatties seem to like that and one or two nice flounders and dabs have shown amongst the palm sized flatfish. Matt Lawes had a nice flounder nudging the lb mark at Cley last Saturday, though that was the only fish of the 7 hour plus session.

In the Holt SAC latest club match at Salthouse last Sunday, the competitors were greeted with a dusting of snow at the draw and icy blizzard conditions plagued them throughout the match. It didn’t stop the flatties feeding though and the 12 anglers fishing carded 54 fish that were all subsequently returned. Paul Fenech continued his recent good form catching 10 fish for 2lb 4oz, Dene Conway held off Tony Thomas for second spot with 1lb 11oz against Tony’s 1lb 9oz. It’s been a pretty competitive season for the Holt club and with two matches to fish the league title is still wide open.

The weather forecast for the coming week holds little or no respite from the cold weather that’s had such a bearing on our sport this winter, with March on the horizon and a change bound to happen before long, things can only get better.

Mundesley 20/02/10

Geno talked me into a half assed session at Mundesley on Saturday. Mrs Aitch must be feeling sorry for me, it was to be my second trip in 2010 and the decorating's coming on fine, so the lump picked me up at 1630 and we were fishing by 1700. I didn't have any bait aside some herrings that have been in the freezer too long, so the lump gave me a wrap of blacks. I used two worms, passed him the wrap back and by 2000 we were in the Haig enjoying a warm and a pint.

Surely got to be something feeding in that?

It was nice to get out, the sea looked cracking, unfortunately it's devoid of life within casting range at the minute, still castingwebs blown away and I'm looking forward to start planning ray trips, the first bass etc etc roll on the spring!

I need to get my kit sorted before ray trips etc.

EDP report 17/02/10

I’d hoped that things might have improved a little over last weekend, unfortunately it wasn’t to be and it’s been another tough week on the regions beaches. It seems a long time since we had a “traditional” winter like this one, I remember them well, there’s be some good catches between October and Christmas then the fish would be off to spawn with only the springers putting in an appearance from around March. The few codling that are being caught seem to be those springer sized fish, generally 2 to 3lb. I’ve seen reports from commercial netsmen that the sprats have all but gone so there’s still a chance we might see a few better fish inshore before easter, we need to lose this cold weather first though.

Richard Greeves managed to get out in his boat off Orford, a stretch Richard knows well, his local knowledge didn’t help him as he could only manage a solitary 4lb codling for his efforts. Beach sport in the Suffolk area is slow too, with only a few flatfish and occasional codling showing at Orford, Aldeburgh and Southwold. Marginally better luck for those fishing the Yarmouth and Lowestoft areas. Some kayakers had a few whiting and small codling off Pakefield and Gorleston though the fish seem mostly out of range for the beach anglers. Lots of blank returns have been reported from Gorleston pier up to Cromer, those lucky enough not to blank have flatfish and pin whiting to thank.

The north Norfolk shingle often held some decent whiting in January and February, match reports though have been dominated by the humble flatty and round fish have been at a premium. Last Sunday saw the latest round of the North Norfolk teams of 5 league at Kelling. Fish were hard to find on the day, Trev Elliot showed a bit of class and won with 2lb 10oz, Paul Thorburn came in second 2lb 3oz with Clyde Leggett third with 1lb 13oz. It’s a pretty competitive league this year, with only 30 points separating the top five teams. Trev’s fine win helped Avenue Angling to a team win on the day  and they’ve closed the gap to runaway leaders, Gorleston Tackle, to 9 points. I’m still optimistic we’ll get a bit of sport returning to our beaches before easter, things can only get better!