EDP report 23/02/11

There was a definite upturn in the sport this past week, as predicted the east Norfolk beaches, particularly those just south of Yarmouth where the pick of the bunch. Some reasonable catches given this winter’s form came from the wreck at Gorleston and further odd ones at Hopton and Corton. Surprisingly though little showed at Aldeburgh and Orford despite the wind’s best efforts. Holt SAC’s latest match at Cley was a hard affair. Spring tides and shallow beaches aren’t often a good mix and the competitors found the bank and the wreck exposed as the water left the beach very quickly. Dick Able made the most of the water that was there carding 1lb 10oz for a well deserved win. Second spot went to Mike Watts with 1lb 9oz with geordie raider Paul Fenech third with 1lb 7oz.

Matt Lawes booked the Yarmouth south trend by catching three 2lb+ codling from under the cliffs at Weybourne, the rough ground often holds a few here a rolling and heavily coloured sea helping Matt no end. Cromer down to Yarmouth have been quieter and despite a good looking sea there have only been pin whiting and occasional flounders from Trimingham and Mundesley. The river at Yarmouth has produced a few again but the real hotspot has been the wreck at Gorleston. Anglers toughing out the biting east-southeast wind have been rewarded with a few nice codling up to 4lbs, further building the optimism for a spring run.

Corton and Lowestoft north beach down to Ness point have produced a few also, though perhaps surprisingly Pakefield and Kessingland have been quiet with only whiting and flatfish reported. There’s time yet though and the fish that have shown already would be early as traditionally the spring run doesn’t get into full steam until March / April time. I’ll certainly be looking for some decent conditions around the new moon tides in March. I am surprised Aldeburgh and Orford haven’t fished better this last week given the wind must have mashed up the bottom down that way, all I’ve had reported have been whiting and flats, though again there’s plenty of time for a few to show along here.

Matt Lawes fishes Weybourne 20/02/11

I fancied at crack at some codling this weekend from the sand and had a text exchange with H. We decided on Cart Gap, but I had forgotten his allergy to rainwater, so Sat 16.00 I get the call that he's going to give it a miss. Strange really, earlier that day Neil had offered me a £10 bet that he wouldnt go. I think my comment was 'no thanks, I might as well give you a tenner now!'. Anyhow, enough abuse of the legend as he isnt as daft as he looks. I got to Trimingham at 20.00 but the surf was breaking a long way out with miserable drizzle and I thought nah, I'll get an early night and try early tomorrow at the rough ground at Weybourne. First time have ever turned away without any attempt at fishing.

Matt's 2lb 4oz, apparently its got a nose and a tail

The missus was impressed that I had come home until she found out I was getting up at 4AM! But darling, you snooze, you lose? That didnt work either. Got down for 05.00 and there was a bit of a lump and the sea appeared heavily coloured. The easterly wind and 2degC was a concern but out went the 2x1/0 clipped down rig. On the second cast I had a bang and was encouraged. Got out a second rod and 3/0 pennel rig loaded with Tonys finest lug. I remember him saying on Saturday afternoon 'Nice cod worms these Matt, shame there arent any cod to enjoy them'-thanks for the vote of confidence mate, and the tip bounced and I lifted into a nice fish. Out came a 2-4 codling, weighed and returned! (pic no1) Strewth, my first sizeable codling from the shingle since 2007-08 winter. Then I hit a quiet period until HW at 07.20. The tide was pulling through and my rod tip jagged back, and I reeled in another codling of 2-6 (pics2). I quickly dispatched this fish and cast again. Meanwhile the second rod was bouncing and out came codling number 3 at 2-3. That was it for the codling, I had a late whiting on the ebb, but had the best haul of codling from the shingle in the last few years. Orford in a couple of weeks, but at least Ive broken the 2011 codling duck, yipee. Matt

Nice plump 2lb 6oz, another tailess fish, they should licence cameras

EDP report 16/02/11

The upturn reported last week lingered for a while before returning to the whiting and flatfish that we’ve seen in previous weeks. There were plenty of codling on the beaches though these seemed to come in a 2 day spell towards the back end of last week. Norwich ace Paul Kerry fished a daylight session at Hopton catching the ebbing tide and snared a codling a little over 2lb on his very last cast. The day before had seen several fish from Pakefield to Gorleston with a fair sprinkling of fish in the 4-5lb bracket, the wreck at Gorleston and Lowestoft North beach producing their fair share, these spots are still producing odd fish and may well improve further with some southerly winds and the building tides of this week.

The north Norfolk shingle produced the obligatory whiting and flats from Cley to Weybourne, Matt Lawes and Neil Oliver enjoying a tidy little dab and whiting session at Cley. Sport is marginally slower at Cromer and the surrounding beaches down to Yarmouth though if we are to have a spring run they should see a few fish too, a bit of wind in the north quarter with a decent sized tide would help. Not so many fish reported from the river at Yarmouth this week but Gorleston and Hopton made up for it. Some good conditioned plump codling showing at the wreck and at Hopton, they seem to have been feeding on shrimp which have probably been encouraged inshore by the unseasonably warm weather, with no frosts expected this week that form may well last a while.

Corton and Lowestoft north beach have probably been as consistent as anywhere else and have produced the slightly better stamp of fish reported to me. Night tides seem favourite though patience is the key along with having plenty of leads and rigs ready as some of the spots along here are tackle hungry. Lowestoft south pier, Pakefield and Kessingland have been a little slower but have still produced occasional fish amongst the codlets, pin whiting and flats. Aldeburgh and Orford have produced lots of codlets with the odd flatfish but strangely not the numbers of better fish like Lowestoft and Yarmouth. The wind forecast for the week ahead has the wind in the south and east quarter which could be helpful from Yarmouth down to Orford but is unlikely to do the beaches of the north too many favours though, there should still be a few flatfish and whiting feeding.

EDP report 09/02/11

This warm blast from the southwest has helped sport on most of the regions beaches, the low pressure coupled with consistently strong winds has kept the sea nicely coloured but easily fishable and it’s good to hear of a few decent fish reported. James form Angling Mad in Lowestoft gave me a call to let me know about several decent codling from Corton to Kessingland with a liberal sprinkling of fat, healthy small fish among the 2 and 3lbers. At only 6-8oz apiece these small codling represent the next couple of winter’s sport if we’re lucky, a decent hook and bait size will reduce the number you do catch and those that you do please do your best to make sure they go back in one piece.

Lots of small codling reported again from Aldeburgh and Orford, though there are a few better ones feeding amongst them. Hopton, Gorleston and Yarmouth beaches have produced a few latterly though the 100 odd anglers fishing the Gorleston Tackle Open must have wished they’d turned up a day or two earlier. Simon Roberts carded 1lb 6oz to see off a strong field and record his first open win, well done Simon. Anglers fishing further round have managed a few amongst the bits too. Odd codling have been caught at Bacton, Mundesley and Trimingham though flats and pin whiting are still dominant. Mat Lawes managed some of the fabled big whiting that show up on the shingle around this time of the year, he caught four good ones with a couple better than a pound a piece in a  busy little session under the cliffs at Weybourne. Salthouse, Kelling and Cley continue to produce a few flats with the chance of a school bass too.

It’s great to be able to report an upturn in sport however small it may be increasing the optimism for a half decent spring run. Traditionally the spring run doesn’t normally begin until the end of February and into March, let’s hope this early start is the precursor of a long and steady run rather than another false dawn, heaven knows we need it!

EDP report 02/02/11

It wouldn’t take much to improve sport over recent weeks and one or two better fish did show during the warming of last week. In the deep south of the region it was business as usual with the notable exception of a few nice fish from Southwold. A bass of 5lb was taken from the pier and a couple of cod were taken also, unfortunately I don’t have the captors details but good going indeed after recent form. Orford and Aldeburgh have been consistent and all I’ve had reported from there is the obligatory dabs and pin whiting. Lowestoft has been bitty too with only occasional better fish from the tackle hungry north beach to Corton stretch.

It was a little better at Yarmouth with a few codling reported from the river, the best a cracker of around 4.5lb. Dabs and whiting have been the mainstay of north, central and south beach catches though odd school bass have shown from south beach also. Much of the same up towards Cromer, the warm weather encouraging a few flatties to feed but no codling reported to me at any rate. I think these beaches give you decent chances, along with the north Norfolk shingle over the coming weeks, particularly as the first bass start to show and the hoped for spring run materialises. Matt Lawes did try his hand at Trimingham hoping for an elusive codling and only managed a flattie for his efforts, though I’d expect things to pick up along here over the coming weeks.

The shingle has benefitted from having a few more rods fishing it and has produced its fair share of codling in a generally poor season. A few fish have fed when conditions have been right in the rough stuff from Weybourne to Sheringham though flattie sport has been a reliable backstop with fish from Cley to Weybourne reported. Holt SAC’s recent match at Salthouse was won by Sam Attew with a dab and single flounder catch of 2lb 3oz, the consistent Mr Thomas was second with 1lb 10oz with Paul Thorburn in third with 15oz. It’s hardly electric though January and February are usually difficult months with better cod away spawning, I think there’s a positive to take with a few more bass in reports and if the current cold snap doesn’t last too long we may see further improvements in our chances.