EDP report 27/10/10

A quieter week generally on the regions beaches. There seem to be plenty of whiting on most beaches and the codling are proving elusive with very few fish over 3lb from the beaches. Boat anglers out of Orford have found very few cod, again whiting making up most of the catches and a few thornback rays to 5lb off Orford. The beach at Orford has been quite hard, I saw a report from some guys that had fished overnight on the Ness for a solitary codling of 2.5lb amongst their mostly whiting catch, a lot of effort for relatively little reward. Boats off Lowestoft have struggled a little also. Paul Kerry got afloat last Friday only to manage whiting and dogfish. Longliners and charter boats are reporting few codling also, though there seem to be a few rays about offshore and things can change in a tide or two at this time of the year.

Aldeburgh has produced a few codling to 3lb on evening tides, again it’s mostly whiting with only a smattering of codling for the lucky few. Thorpeness, Dunwich and Southwold tell a similar story with whiting making up the bulk of catches. The Lowestoft area has been a little better with plenty of whiting and a few codling from Pakefield and the north beach, fish above 2lb are at a premium though and seem to be of the size that will run with the whiting rather than be preying on them. I still think somebody will get a proper lump this year but it is starting to look as though they won’t be here in any numbers, if there isn’t an upturn in the codling by mid November I think we may struggle a bit. Little difference in the Yarmouth area either with whiting showing from Hopton to Caister and the codling few and far between.

I managed a session with Karl Gibson last Thursday evening at Trimingham. A bass would’ve given us a nap on the species you can expect to catch from Norfolk beaches in the autumn as we managed flounders, dabs, pouts, rockling, whiting and Karl a solitary codling of around 1.5lb. Some of the whiting were of a good stamp and certainly larger than those we’d seen the previous Sunday at Yarmouth. The shingle has been the form area for a couple of weeks now, there are still plenty of school bass to 1.5lb getting caught along with some nice dabs, flounders and whiting. With south-westerly winds forecast in the run up to the weekend, I think the shingle will be the place to fish again, east Norfolk beaches are likely to be weedy too with that wind. There’s some south then southeast forecast over the weekend which, if it comes, will hopefully give the deep south of the region a boost.

You can tell by the way I use my walk... 21/10/10

Thursday night fever...

Yesterday was “borderline unfishable”. North westerly winds gusting up to 40mph had put a proper lump on around north Norfolk. Today would be different. Today the wind had gone south westerly. Today we’d be able to get on the beach and fish properly, there’d be no weed, and loads of cod, with perhaps a late bass or two for some variety...

I arrived at H towers to be greeted by the chaps, Scottie and Bobby.  One thing about mutts, they’re always pleased to see you. I’m reminded of the old joke about who loves you more, the wife or the dog? To find out, lock them both in the boot of the car for two hours then let them out. Only one will be pleased to see you (apparently). (Don’t try this at home, apparently there’s some law that forbids locking females in the trunks of cars even if you can prove they deserved it. Whatever next, look women in the eyes when you talk to them? Bloody politically correct do-gooders, the world’s gone mad - ED)

‘H’ had some news. ‘h’ had to come. ‘P’ was going to college and there’d be no-one to look after ’h’. If ‘H’ didn’t take ‘h’, ‘P’ would be inflicting GB’H’....

‘h’ was well prepared. A carrier bag full of crisps, foam bananas, and pop, meant he was well catered for. A beach buddy (pink) to keep him out of the wind and we were set.

We headed for a local beach. It’s a secret venue, and one of our favourites, though it’s been a while since we fished there. After a brief walk from the car park we dropped the kit in the sand. As we paused for breath along came a gent wearing an ‘Eastern Anglers’ website woolie hat. Turns out it was ‘Mundsleymick’ (nice to meet you mate). If we’d bumped into ‘Trimminghamtrev’ you’d have known where we were fishing, but as we didn’t, it’ll remain secret....

The sea looked perfect...
...and full of enthusiasm we made a start.

To me this was therapy. A ‘proper’ beach, requiring ‘proper’ fishing, after ‘proper’ fish. Last weekend I fished a match, and much to my embarrassment, and my entire mate’s amusement, I was seen by several witnesses fishing for whiting at 40yds. I had to get it out of my system...(by fishing for them at 140yds - ED)

First cast, and first blood to me, a dab. ‘H’ had a whiting soon after, and we were both up and running. I’ve never seen a bloke so pleased to catch a whiting! Brother Holmes (whatever happened to the vow of silence?) was so pleased he broke into some disco moves!

Night fever, night fever..... Apparently the camera adds a few pounds. (the seat pad of my salopettes looks like an incontinence aid, it’s not, I wear those inside my pants - ED)

Anyway, it wasn’t quite fish city, not like the hordes of whiting last weekend, but there was enough to keep us interested. We must have had seven or eight flatties, I had a Pouting, H had a slug, and we had lots of whiting, and I HAD, THAT’s ME, a solitary Codling. (there were plenty of fish, I got battered mostly due to looking after ‘h’ and practising my disco Stu moves, they were better quality than at Yarmouth too – ED)


Apparently the camera adds a few chins (has anybody else seen the film ‘The Hills Have Eyes?’- ED)


Yup. The camera definitely adds a few chins. Me with a 4lb codling. You wouldn’t believe the size of my hands... (small but perfectly formed, like his vocabulary - ED)


‘H’ being watched by ‘h’ as he winds in another whiting. (Lens cloth you  twanny - ED)

A whiting on my Beta box. Some people like this sort of thing. By ‘some people’ I mean Oscar ‘n Poppy... (cracking yting mate, a couple of them last Sunday would’ve been nice – ED)

All told, a really enjoyable night. I christened my new rods with a codling, a lovely sea, acceptable amounts of weed, a good laugh with me mate, and ‘h’ was as good as gold. I won’t mention how often he asked the time. I think it was because he couldn’t believe how fast the time was going as he didn’t want the night to end.
Apart from the whiting in the above pic, everything was returned.
Hopefully it won’t be another two years before we return to the ‘secret’ venue...

EDP report 20/10/10

Mixed fortunes this week on the regions beaches, a few nice fish caught but lots more undersized fish showing. In the south of the patch the Aldeburgh Blind match was won by Gary Strange with three sizeable whiting and a bonus bass of 3.5lb, reports tell a tale of a peggy match with some pegs finding a few whiting whilst others struggled for a bite. Justin Grapes fished Aldeburgh with a mate, they managed a few codling between 1.5 and 3lb the night before the Blind, shame they never showed in the match. Lowestoft Sea Anglers Society fished a club match at Pakefield on Sunday, turned out to be a good match. Mark Sherwood won the match with 15 whiting and a couple of bonus codling for a cracking weight of 11lb 4oz in bright sunny conditions. Brian Watson finished second with 15 whiting for 7lb 3oz with Paul Carter pipped into third with 14 whiting for 6lb 15oz.

Sunday also saw the Mark Alsop memorial match at Yarmouth, I found myself pegged next to Paul Carter’s father, John, down at the Britannia Pier end. 47 anglers fished the whiting dominated match, Paul Thorburn claiming the honours with 4lb 14oz from peg 25 just up from the Imperial Hotel. Fred England finished second with 4lb 12oz from peg 22 and Peter Loke came third with 4lb 9oz from peg 27. I managed a share of my section with 3lb 12oz, just edging out John on the next peg by a fish. Interesting to note that four of the top five weights came from pegs 20 to 27 and like the Aldeburgh Blind, some sections struggled for sizeable fish to count. Norfolk beach buddies held a match behind Castaways at Bacton on Sunday, flounders to 36cm, school bass and whiting were caught, Scott Howlett won the match, Mark Hudson was second and Graham Simkin finished third, apologies I don’t have the winning weights.

Pleasure anglers have had some reasonable returns too, fishing in the dark and being able to choose the beach to suit the prevailing conditions help. Trimingham in east Norfolk fished well after the northerly winds with quite a few codling caught between 1.5 and 2.5lb, it has fished consistently well after a rough up but you need to get in right on the back of it, once the sea has calmed the fish seem to move off again.  The shingle ridge at Kelling has fished really well for a couple of weeks now, lots of school bass and some reasonable flatties making up  some decent weights there. For the coming week, the Suffolk beaches would seem to offer the best chances of a codling, but keep an eye on the weather, there’s a dip in temperature coming if that’s coupled with northerly winds then there’s a good chance that the Norfolk beaches will outfish their Suffolk counterparts.

Mark Alsop memorial 17/10/10

What a day, I giggled from start to finish, well almost I didn't do much laughing on the way to Geno's for breakfast, I was on my own in the car, but what a breakfast. Three sausages, three rashers, two poached eggs, beans, toms, mushrooms, fried slice and a slice of black pudding. Stunning, I was certain it would keep me going until at least 3pm.

So the four of us met at Geno's. Smudge and Geno used to work the same shifts but they've changed now and arrangements had been made before I realised Smudge was off. No harm done, he'd still get a breakie and at least he wouldn't have to put up with Geno and Fritz. After that masterpiece of a breakfast we were underway, the draw was at the Lacon Arms in Yarmouth, Mark's old local. They've done us proud for a few years now, providing tea and coffee with bacon rolls (no, none of us did, it would've been wrong) for the anglers waiting for the draw.

We got there way too early, the four of us waiting outside a pub at 8am on a Sunday morning didn't look good but it wasn't long before we were joined by a few others. I really like the social side of these events, it's great to catch up with Trev and Fred and lots of other mates I only ever see when I'm fishing. I generally meet a few new faces too, people I've spoken with over email or on a forum, you know the craic.

We drew early as I had to drop Fritz and Geno off at their pegs. I'd drawn peg 7 up near the Britannia Pier whilst geno drew peg 20 with Fritz on 17. Seemed fair enough to me then to park about halfway, or maybe a little closer to my peg, and split the walk. Yeah right I got sold a right pup, Fritz "hang on H, there's free parking just up there by the imperial Hotel, just as you go into the car park." Sure enough there was but it would leave me with all the walk and those two all but dropping on their pegs. Did I mention it was free parking? So I took the walk, I'm so transparent I'm ashamed of myself.

Finally got to my peg and avoided the coronary Geno's breakfast has brought forward for me, set up and started devising a plan. I did actually think about it, i shouldn't have, we'd discussed it and it was obviously going to be an out and out whiting match with a few bits thrown in for good measure. There was a little bit of colour but not as mucky as I'd thought it might be given the heavy north's of the night before and there wasn't much weed up the beach unusually for Yarmouth.

The match was going to fish from 10am to 3pm catching the last of the ebb, low water and the first of the flood. I thought I'd try out early with my pennel rigs and hope for a bonus fish, smallish tide and the absence of weed convinced me it was the right way to go, it's not that often you can fish Yarmouth properly over a 100yds (don't seriously, it's puerile, even I can manage a 100). An hour and a half later and I've carded one 30cm whiting and put one back at 26cm. During this time Rob Greenwood on 6 and John Carter above me on 8 had both carded a couple of fish. On went my three hook rigs and out they went. I used my flattie fanatic with a fixed spool and braid and found bites straight away.

I had bites every cast for the duration of the match, only going quiet as the flood got underway proper and the sun peaked in the last hour of the match. The trouble was most of the fish were 24-26cm, agonizingly close to the 27cm limit for whiting. On several occasions I managed triple shots of whiting and didn't manage to card any of them. I did manage a few sizeable fish, tipping off definitely made a difference to the quality of the fish. Anyway I was soon back on track and I'd managed to catch up with my neighbours Rob and John.

Smudge sent a text, "any good?" By this time I'd had 9 fish and had probably just nosed ahead of the guys around me. It's all you can do in a pegged match, you try to beat the guys you see, fish first for the section and then for the bigger prizes. Have you heard me, like I know what I'm talking about, I'm usually pools fodder. I sent him a text back "loads undersize, got 9 carded", he replied "That would paralyse this section, I've had 2". The Leg end came for a walk down, top to toe in his black motorbike leathers he looked like he'd just delivered some Milk Tray. He told me a similar story to Smudge, there were a few fish here and there but nobody was pulling any trees up, I started to think I might be in with a shout.

Granted it doesn't look like PK but you get the picture

The last hour was slow for me and before the match had finished I started to regret my early gamble with the pennels at distance. Come the whistle I'd beaten my neighbours carding 11 fish for 180 points. I yomped back to the car to find Geno had beaten me by 8 points and Paul Thorburn looked favourite with 236 points. Oh well I was sure I couldn't be far away in the section, sure enough Paul won it with Fred England second and Peter Loke third. Geno won his section and finished one out of the frame in fourth. I tied for my section with a guy below Robin and an equal 5th. Honourable and the landlord and lady at the lacon did us proud, some scran when we got back, cracking raffle (I won a box of Roses as did Fritz, I think Smudge won something too), Geno bought £10 worth of tickets and never got within 100 of winning (there is a god). There was a mix up with the section winners, Honourable presenting Geno's section win to Deno Conway. Not ideal for a Teesider to feel he's getting gyped by a Tynesider, but it was sorted amicably in the end, though it did cost Geno a brandy!

A super day out that Mark would've loved and nice to show a bit of form running up to the SAMF. Luggy has put a team in consisting of me, Geno and Paul Thorburn and somebody else. He needs to pull his finger out now and show a bit ahead of that match seeing as 3 of his team managed top 5 spots. I wish more ladies would fish these events, Mel "Harvey" Nicholls was the only competitor from the fairer sex. Fair play to her though, she wasn't put off at all despite traveling with Dingit and joined in the craic like a good un! She asked me "Does that say Porntash on his hoodie" referring of course to Roger Allerton, "yes" I said, "I gave him that nickname". "I can see where your coming from" she said, fecking genius, I swear you couldn't script it. I resisted asking her if she'd seen the same Dutch film that had given rise to Roger's nickname. She also wondered why she hasn't got a nickname, you have now Harvey. There were a couple of classics as usual, somebody was telling Geno that they had a couple of empty pegs next to them, to which the smart arse replied "So did I, Mountie was sat on one of them", beautiful. Apparently old Pompey asked what the MLS was for a prawn as he'd managed to hook one fair and square, I think Geno told the flannel to do one.

Full results are below, interesting to note that 4 of the top 5 weights came from peg 20 to 27. Good turn out too with 47 fishing, considering there was a couple of clashes I think that's reasonable and is testament to the atmosphere and organisation of this match. Five pints later for Geno and we're on the way home, The Colonel rang Fritz on the way home, gladdening to see the old boy is in good spirits despite having to deal with some shitty health stuff at the minute, chin up bud. Back at Geno's and I had to come in with him when he got home, I think to stop Ali roasting him for making so much noise in the morning. To be fair he was as quiet as a church mouse it was the dogs, Boscar and Poppy, but since when did logic ever figure with a wife? Cracking day out and look forward to the next one, well done John.

1st Paul Thorburn (25) 4 pounds 14.66 ozs
2nd Fred England (22) 4 pounds 12 ozs
3rd Peter Loke (27) 4 pounds 9.66 ozs
4th Karl Gibson (20) 3 pounds 14.66 ozs
5th E Ian Holmes (7) 3 pounds 12 ozs & M Weller (4) 3 pounds 12 ozs
7th J Rosati (30) 3 pounds 8.66 ozs
8th Dene Conway (18) 3 pounds 0.66 ozs
9th John Carter (8) 2 pounds 14 ozs
10th Paul Bowles (28) 2 pounds 13.33 ozs
11th Wayne Hurrin (35) 2 pounds 10.66 ozs
12th Robin Greenwood (6) 2 pounds 1.33 ozs
13th Peter Morse (16) 2 pounds 0 ozs
14th Peter Freezer (17) 1 pound 15.66 ozs
15th John Abbott (14) 1 pound 14.33 ozs
16th Mick Ellis (51) 1 pound 13.33 ozs
17th Matt Lawes (1) 1 pound 12.66 ozs
18th Martin Waters (43) 1 pound 11 ozs
19th Jeff Stannard (57) 1 pound 6.66 ozs
20th D Donaldson (68) 1 pound 4.66 ozs
21st Keith Mountifield (21) 1 pound 2.66 ozs
22nd T Donaldson (53) 1 pound 1.66 ozs
23rd Tony Thomas (59) 11.33 ounces
24th Dick Abel (67) 10.66 ounces
25thE Steven Smith (37) 10 ounces & Danny White (40) 10 ounces
27th Simon Roberts (41) 9.33 ounces
28th Andy Lawes (64) 6 ounces
29th Roger Allerton (42) 4.66 ounces
30thE Mel "Harvey" Nicholls (62) 2.33 ounces & Adrian Crane (61) 2.33 ounces
The remaining anglers probably caught undersized fish, but did not return cards and are listed in peg number order
John Spandler (11)
Steve O’Rouke (19)
T Bowles (29)
Trevor Elliot (38)
Alan Doy (39)
Peter Locke (44)
Terry Smith (45)
Karl Barnard (47)
G Debbage (50)
Alan Steel (53)
Brian Heritage (54)
K Platford (55)
Wayne Thurtell (56)
Chris Halliday (58)
Colin Fish (60)
K Pasby (63)

EDP report 13/10/10

Their seems to have been a few fish to catch on most of the regions beaches this last week. There are plenty of whiting showing and a few codling from Orford, Aldeburgh and Thorpeness, the codling seem to be showing well into the ebb. The whiting are showing well further up the coast towards Lowestoft with most beaches yielding a few, most are on the small side but there are a few better fish on the night tides. It’s a similar story from Hopton, Gorleston and the Yarmouth beaches with plenty of whiting and the occasional codling to liven things up, weed can still be an issue above the outer harbour though the fish still seem to be feeding in it. This is good news indeed ahead of the Mark Alsop Memorial charity open match this coming Sunday. The match will be fished on Yarmouth’s central and north beach, booking in is from 08:30 at the Lacon Arms, Alderson Road, Great Yarmouth and the match will be fished from 10am to 3pm, £10 all in with the usual donation to the Macmillan cancer charity. It’s a traditional pegged match and will be fished to catch and release, weight to length conversion and size limits. For more information email or call John Abbott on 07773 389121. Mark was a well known character on Yarmouth’s beaches and is sorely missed by those that knew him well, it’s a well supported open match, I hope to see lots of you there.

The region has had some good news on the casting front too. Dave Richardson of Lowestoft won the gold medal for the 150gm weight at this year’s world championships in St Cyprien, south of France, with a stunning cast of 259.14m. Dave wasn’t going to settle for just the one gong though, he finished with the silver medal in the 175gm and team bronze to complete his collection! A massive well done to Dave and the rest of the England team.

There have been a few fish on the east Norfolk beaches too, with school bass amongst the small whiting from Palling up to Cromer. Trimingham has been the pick of the bunch again with school bass, whiting and some reasonable dabs. Above Cromer and it’s a similar story with plenty of fish on the shingle ridge too. Lots of school bass and flatfish have been reported from Weybourne, Salthouse and Cley. Kelling fished really well during the North Norfolk League teams of five last Sunday. 10lb 12oz of fish won the match for Graham Simkin and there were some pretty good back up weights too.  The north and east Norfolk beaches should fish well following the northerly winds forecast this week and should keep some colour in the water in the south despite the high pressure. As we move into the Autumn proper all the signs are encouraging for the cod season and it’s good to hear that most of the regions beaches are producing a few fish.

EDP report 06/10/10

The strong southerlies forecast certainly gave the sea in the south of the region some colour and movement. The codling didn’t read the script though and aside from a few small fish the bulk of the catches were made up of whiting. Small codling and whiting were reported from Orford and Aldeburgh up to Lowestoft, with a sprinkling of school bass along the way. Similar catches were reported from Benacre, Kessingland and Pakefield, it seems the whiting fishing is getting more consistent with each passing tide with the better fish showing into dark. Lowestoft north beach, Corton and Hopton have all produced whiting with most of the fish just about making the 27cm size limit.

It’s a similar story up to Yarmouth. I did hear a tantalising rumour of a large cod caught from the wreck at Gorleston, unconfirmed as yet but believed to weigh around 18lbs. Not wholly unbelievable as that’ll be the size some of those fish that visited last year will be, I’ll do my best to confirm it through the week. The last week has been much quieter in east and north Norfolk. Southerly winds do little for this stretch of coast bar bringing weed. Some anglers have been battling through the weed and have been rewarded with a few school bass, whiting and flats from Walcott, Bacton and Trimingham. The area fished quite well on the backs of the recent northerly winds with a few early season codling reported, it’s really a case of trying to time your trip just as the wind is easing and the sea becoming fishable.

I think the week ahead looks as if it might be as quiet as the one just gone, for the northern half of the region at any rate. High pressure and southerly winds will do little for sport here, although I’d still expect the whiting to increase in numbers, particularly on night tides in the southern half.