EDP report 28/07/10

Sport has been incredibly slow, the high pressure and hot, bright weather making sport on the beaches all but impossible. The north Norfolk shingle has seen plenty of rods out chasing the elusive mackerel, there seem to be precious few within casting distance though I’m reliably informed they’re not far offshore, conditions look spot on for them but they seem to be hanging off for some reason. All I’ve seen caught from east Norfolk is the sun, the beaches have been busy with holidaymakers, jet skiers and swimmers. Evening or early morning sessions may produce but given the clarity of the sea I think we may need a rough up to start things up here.

Little better round Yarmouth, plenty of blanks reported from Hopton and Gorleston with only the wreck producing small fish. The river has been marginally better, and there’s still a few school bass falling to lures if you’re prepared to put the effort in. Lowestoft south pier has been the venue pick this week, a fair few sole and the usual assortment of bits and pieces have kept the anglers reasonably happy here. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for Lowestoft’s beaches with north beach and Pakefield all proving hard venues at the minute.

James at Angling Mad of Lowestoft sponsored a sole match at Southwold over the weekend. Sole were hard to come by and most catches consisted of the odd eel and flounder. I doubt the winner was too concerned though, Martin Grossman of Southend landed a stunning bass of 10lb 11oz to obliterate the 38 strong field and claim top spot. David Cook was second with Geoff Stannard and Wayne Hurren third and fourth respectively. Pete Fairclough managed a surprise catch during the match landing an 18” long lobster on his sole rig, it didn’t help him in the weigh in but would have to rank as the tastiest consolation prize! The Tackle-X-Change Sea League, West Norfolk Challenge Open takes place this Sunday August the 1st at Kings Lynn. Fishing is from 3pm to 8pm, the cost is £12 all in, you must book in so contact Tony Thomas or Dick Able on 077807 93141 or 07941 783339.

There’s nothing to change things around too much in the forecast, westerly winds and 1000mb+ pressures will hold things as they are, I think the only hope is for the mackerel to show in the north and the sole to thicken up in the south, here’s hoping.

EDP report 21/07/10

Mixed fortunes off the regions beaches during the last week. As predicted, the southerly winds put a nice colour in the water south of Lowestoft, whilst the sea on the beaches from Yarmouth up remained crystal clear. The colour has helped sport at Southwold and Aldeburgh, soles have been reported from the beaches and the pier at Southwold with some fish nudging the 1lb barrier. A few bass have reappeared too with quite a few school bass feeding in the coloured water, though they seem to be fickle to say the least.
Lowestoft has produced a few soles, mainly from the south pier though there have been one or two from off the north beach. The wreck at Gorleston has produced a few smoothounds, mostly pups but there have been better fish to 6-7lb reported, fresh crab is a must and distance key in bright, clear conditions as the fish seem to be hanging around the wreck. The river continues to produce a few bass to lures, though you need to be prepared to put a few hours in. East Norfolk has hardly seen a rod on the beach and most of the usual beats have been awash with swimmers and jet skiers, with schools about to break up that’s likely to be the pattern whilst the weather stays good. There have been a few school bass on the north Norfolk shingle, disappointingly though the mackerel seem to be hanging well offshore despite there seeming to be plenty of whitebait inside for them.
High pressure looks set to remain in charge this week, with southerly and westerly air flow forecast, I can’t see too much changing in the balance of the sport with the southern beaches giving a few sole and the north relying on the mackerel coming within casting range.

EDP report 14/07/10

The bigger tides didn’t have the expected effect this last week, good fish were few and far between on all the regions beaches with only small fish feeding with any regularity. In the south of the region at Aldeborough, a roving sole match proved hard going for the 17 competitors. Only four sole were weighed in the winner managed two of those and the biggest fish at 9oz. Southwold has been little better, surprisingly more sole showed on the building tides than they did on the springs and aside from a few dogfish and smoothound pups that’s been about it on the beaches, the most consistent sport seems to be in the Blyth at the minute with some good eels amongst the school bass.

Lowestoft has been a little more consistent with sole showing on the south pier, again it’s hard going on the beaches which seem desperate for a bit of a stir up to kick start sport again. A few locals met up and had an impromptu sole bash on the south pier over the weekend, there were some nice specimens caught, the largest I’ve seen reported at a respectable 37cm, there seemed to be a few at or over 30cm which is very promising. The Yarmouth beaches have produced a few small fish with the wreck at Gorleston probably being the most consistent. There have been some good fish in the river too, the best I’ve heard this week a very fine lure caught bass of 7lb 13oz taken near Haven Bridge, as good a tactic as any whilst the water is clear as there’s generally a few obliging school bass. Those trying lures from the beaches have only found launce for their efforts.

East and north Norfolk has been very quiet, the beaches full of holiday makers rather than anglers, though I note that the kayak anglers are finding a few mackerel and cod not too far offshore. The shingle ridge in the north, usually a very consistent mark at this time of the year in these conditions, has been tough. A few mackerel have shown from Cley down to Weybourne, few being the operative word and probably as many launce caught as mackerel. The forecast for the week ahead doesn’t hold too much promise, the only bright side is a decent southerly that should put some colour in the water south of Lowestoft for the weekend, if it flattens off and holds the colour the sole should show. I think the north of the region will be relying on the mackerel showing as there’s nothing in the wind to alter things too much here.

EDP report 07/07/10

Sport has been predictably slow in the Mediterranean like weather we’ve enjoyed this last week. I thought there might have been a few mackerel show on the north Norfolk shingle, there was and few was the operative word! Conditions looked spot on for the mackerel and I know there was a lot of rods trying their luck, unfortunately they seem to be out of casting range at the moment.

West Norfolk has probably been the pick of the bunch consistency wise, lots of eels, flatfish and school bass in the Ouse and on the border at Sutton Bridge, the Nene has produced quite a few fish too. Beaches from the wash up to the shingle have been quiet fish wise, not surprising given the numbers of tourists taking advantage of the fantastic weather. Heading back down the coast from Cley a few mackerel have shown, but the sport is patchy at best. Shaun McDermott fancied a go for some mackerel on the shingle, all he managed was a launce and a rather plump little codling! Not a surprising catch on artificial lures from a boat, but the first time I’ve seen one taken from the beach, well in Shaun. The beaches from Sheringham down to Yarmouth have seen relatively little action amongst the sun worshippers, those fishing have aimed at night and early morning tides. Weed has also been a problem brought by the south west winds though a few school bass have shown. Kayak anglers fishing off Sea Palling have found a few mackerel and codling just a little way offshore, though they don’t often make their way within casting distance in this area during the summer.

Yarmouth is still producing a few from the river, though the beaches are understandably quiet. A few more have been trying their luck for sole around Lowestoft with none showing with any consistency, you’d hope catches of these flatties build through July. There also seems to be the usual amount of smoothound pups caught off the south pier, so there’s every chance you’ll see a few bites whilst waiting for the sole. A few school bass have shown from Pakefield round to Dunwich, again fishing in low light whilst the beaches are quiet is a must right now. Sunday’s open on the river Blyth was won by Karl Whitelock with 5lb 13oz, my old mate Trev Elliot finished runner up with a level 4lb and Mark Gooch came in third with 3lb 12oz. Zone winners were Dene Conway and Alan Lewis, as you can see from the weights it was a pretty competitive match. The Blyth has produced a few lure caught school bass too, though I haven’t heard much about the sole from Southwolds’ beaches. With southerly winds forecast and high pressure dominating, sport is going to be tough I think, the only saviour could be the building tides getting later into the evening as we run through the week. The north Norfolk shingle offers best chances of a few mackerel and possibly some lure caught bass, or a trip southwards for a few sole, you don’t catch when you don’t go!