EDP report 30/03/11

There seem to be small codling turning up on most of the regions beaches right now, lovely conditioned fish around the 30cm mark and, with luck, a good omen for next autumn. Better fish have been a little harder to come by, Mick “Butch” Ellis found some in the Gorleston tackle open securing a win with 2lb 8oz of flatties. With 2lb 5oz, 2lb 3oz and 1lb 14oz making up the rest of the frame, and only 10oz separating fourth from first, it was a pretty close match. There have been some nice codling from Trimingham again, no consistency as usual but Rob Allen was in the right place at the right time to snare a couple of lovely 3lbers. Cromer has produced a few from the pier along with quite a few dogfish. I fished Friday night at Cart Gap with a friend, both just using fish baits we managed to find a few dogfish, a flounder and a small Huss. It’s not always obvious the difference between greater (Huss) and lesser spotted dogfish, the lesser spotted dogs have a flap of skin that joins their nostrils to their mouths whilst the greater spotted’s mouths and nostrils are separated. It’s nice to use fish baits and get a few bites, and whilst fishing for dogfish there’s always the chance of a shore caught ray, now is the right time to give it a go.

The shingle has been quiet with a couple of codling from the rough ground and odd pin whiting and flats, it should improve over the next few weeks though as the bass make their welcome return. There have been a few codling amongst the tackle hungry features of Lowestoft north beach and plenty of those smaller fish mentioned earlier. Pakefield, Kessingland and Benacre have been quiet aside those small codling and odd school bass. It’s a similar story at Aldeburgh and Orford with shore sport quiet though dinghy anglers have found a few cod and thornback rays when they’ve been able to get out. The forecast for the week ahead has the wind all over the place but predominantly in the southern quarter, with building tides into the weekend we might see a few more bass about particularly in the south of the patch.

Cart Gap 25/03/11

Fished with Smudge from about 21:30 to 01:00, plan was to use fish baits all night and high water was just after 23:00. Got battered by Smudge, him landing 4 dogs to my flounder and small Huss. I did lose a decent fish though, a line up the beach slack liner then plenty of weight and the rod tip bucking right up until the last 10 yards where unfortunately whatever it was came off just behind the surf. Lots of enthusiasm to have another go with fish baits though, at least there's a few about to keep the rod tips moving, nothing worse than thinking your only feeding crabs all night!

Not everybodies cup of tea but at least a few bites on fish baits, one of Smudgers four.

If you can't stand fishing without worm then give it a go on one rod at least, great fun. Smudge did take some pics on his phone, when I get them I'll post them up assuming he's still got them and they turn out ok.

Not dead obvious but hopefully you can see the mouth and nostrils are seperate, toothy too for a baby.

EDP report 23/03/11

The “super moon” and evening tides didn’t quite produce the bonanza we might have hoped for but there were a few fish about the region’s beaches and some crackers for the dinghy anglers. Richard Greeves caught a super fish a little over 20lb off Orford and went out with a friend who repeated the form with a brace of cod at 13 and 20lb. They don’t seem inclined to venture inshore but one or two might when the crabs start to moult.

In the deep south, the first Help for Heroes match took place at Felixstowe, this proved a tough match for the fifty competitors with Paul Thorburn claiming top spot with three fish for 1lb 5oz. Second place went to Paul Hart with a third of an ounce more than Shaun Criggs’s 14oz in third. Twenty competitors, including some top class east Anglian anglers, never managed a sizeable fish during the match. It wasn’t much better during a “Lads v Dads” match at Pakefield. My old mate Cain Plumb fluking a win with a nice codling of 3lb 8oz scoring 49cm, unfortunately it wasn’t enough to help the Lads to a win and the Dads made it 5 wins in a row at this annual knock up. Second place went to Joy Speak with a flounder and a dab for 48cm with Brian “Yourang” Heritage in third with 46cm, a pretty close match with only 6cm separating the top four places. It was interesting to note the number of undersized fish caught, with 5 anglers taking over 40 codling between them in the 30-34cm bracket, a positive sign for next year.

There were a few better fish amongst the old sea wall and defences of Lowestoft north beach, though most codling caught have been those around 30cm. It’s a similar story around Yarmouth with a few more school bass reported in the river, chances here and at Gorleston wreck of a better codling too. Above Yarmouth the beaches have been relatively quiet over the weekend with little beach left at high water. I walked the dogs down at Happisburgh to watch the moon rise and it’s been a while since I saw that much water on the beach, though I noted Cart Gap was building up nicely after a winter with little sand on the beach. A few fish have shown at Bacton, Mundesley and Trimingham, again mostly undersized codling and pin whiting but a few better school bass with them. Low water tactics at Trimingham paid dividends for one lucky rod snaring a couple of better codling around the 3lb mark, these seem to be the exception rather than the rule though.

It’s been quiet on the shingle with no matches to report; pleasure anglers have still managed to winkle out a few codling from the rough ground under the cliffs at Weybourne though flatfish and pin whiting are the reliable catches. Interesting to see lots of spider crabs appearing in catch reports, not unknown in the area but they seem to be about in numbers for some reason this year. Whether it’s the mild spell we’re having or the recent large tides bringing them in I don’t know but I’m hoping it might prove to be a bonus for Norfolk. They moult a little later than our local shore crabs and for a little longer, this may well keep the large bass and smoothounds about our beaches for longer as spring gets underway properly.

EDP report 16/03/11

It’s been quite busy on the regions beaches this last week, there have been a few matches and the more clement weather has encouraged a few rods out. In the north of the patch the shingle has again produced a few more codling, particularly on the rough ground under the cliffs at Weybourne. These have been mostly small fish up to 21/2lb, a welcome catch nonetheless and a pleasant change from the usual whiting and flats. Pin whiting aside the better whiting seem to have moved off now and only odd ones have been reported this week. Bass will soon be the main quarry and the next couple of springs should see some better ones show.

The beaches from Cromer down have produced odd codling with local favourite marks at Trimingham and Mundesley producing occasional codling with flounders and pin whiting. Holt SAC fished their final winter accumulator match at Bacton last weekend. Former Scottish international Jock Goudie taking the honours with a codling and a dab for 2lb 7oz. A close match saw Paul Fenech finish second with a catch of flats for 2lb with Tony Thomas in third spot with 1lb 3oz. Team honours on the day went to North Norfolk Lads with Holt Blues second and Holt Reds third. The final team league positions after six rounds saw Holt Blues crowned champions with a respectable 45 points. North Norfolk lads finished in second with 56 points and the Lincolnshire raiders, Skeggy Boys, third with 80 points.

The south of the region has seen more of those undersize codling showing at Orford, Aldeburgh and Southwold. School bass have shown at Dunwich, Walberswick and Kessingland, hopefully a few more will turn up over the next week or two. Lowestoft has seen a few undersized codling though there are some better fish not too far off the beaches with boats landing some nice spring fish only a few hundred yards off. It’s a similar story Yarmouth way with only occasional better fish amongst the bits; again the next couple of weeks should be interesting with chances of codling and bass in and around the river. With light, variable winds and high pressure looking to dominate the weather this week, the building tides into the weekend might prove tough going although there has to be even chances of a bass or a codling with high water from dusk into dark.

EDP report 09/03/11

The east wind played havoc with sport around the region, coupled with high pressure catches were down generally this last week. I fished with friends last Thursday at Trimingham in a scruffy but not coloured sea and blanked, the only fish caught a couple of rockling and a school bass. In my experience rockling are one of the few fish that will feed in less than ideal conditions and catching them often means you’ll struggle to catch anything else. Holt SAC held their penultimate match of this winter series at Kelling last Sunday. Mr consistency, Pete Morse, took the honours in this match with a bonus codling of a little over 2lb giving him a match winning weight of 2lb 8oz.  John Neave resisted the urge to try for a codling despite a few showing, his small fish tactics earned him second place with 2lb 1oz. Last week’s winner Mike Watts found himself in the frame again with third spot for his 1lb 12oz. A special mention has to go to Sheringham ace Tony Thomas. Tony hooked what felt like a decent fish which he managed to get snagged on the retrieve. Losing that trace he continued to battle his way into fourth spot. Later in the match he managed to catch the trace he lost earlier, complete with two 2lb codling still hooked! Unfortunately these couldn’t be counted but I’m sure they went down well with some chips anyway, unlucky Tony!

No codling showed in the East Coast Danglers latest match at Gorleston wreck. Melanie Nicholls showed the boys how to fish the wreck, snaring a flounder early in the match for a winning points total of 25. There have been odd fish from most of the beaches in the north and east of the region, I think once we lose the east winds and this high pressure there may well be a few fish turn up along this stretch. Lowestoft and beyond has seen an influx of those smaller codling. Many catch reports from Pakefield round to Aldeburgh have them figuring in catches. Most of these fish are around the 20cm mark but there are a few sizeable fish amongst them.

With some gusty west in the forecast it’s difficult to predict what if anything is going to happen this week. Traditionally this is the month the spring run starts to get underway and a few early bass show, though I still think we need conditions to trigger sport. High pressure with a flat sea will have the fish up in the water chasing shoals of sprats rather than looking for food on the seabed, still it should be comfortable fishing on most of the regions beaches and pretty much anything could happen from now.

Grim at Trim 03/03/11

The 3rd of March, and the first time this year I could be bothered to get the kit out. One or two fish have been reported through the grapevine, and a bit of north in the forecast inspired me to ring around. Holmsey and John were up for it, and after a bit of thought, we decided on the gaps.
I arrived at lunchtime to be greeted by a sky full of loonies….


How DO you learn to do that?

Both rods were out by one o'clock, and I wasn’t very hopeful. The sea was scruffy rather than rough, and not that coloured. First chuck a fish! I catch the odd one of these, and as I’m not certain exactly what it is, I christened it a ‘Lesser Bellied Holmsey’.  Makes sense really. Not very big, plump, mouthy and bristling (I’m still getting him back for the ‘gay pride’ jibe about three years ago. We’ll be even in, I guess, about another three hundred and fifty years).


A Lesser Bellied Holmsey. The greater bellied variety would be along later.

A few chucks later I had a slug, quickly followed by another one. When Bri had one of these at the boxes and bottles match, it was worth about £20 and ounce, which curiously is just a bit more than I paid for some bait! I happened to be in a local fishing tackle emporium the previous day and saw a sign saying ‘Fresh Lug’. I was just going to use frozen blacks, but just couldn’t help myself. A few fresh would spice the blacks up a bit, and so I bought half a pound. Half a pound? I’d like to know who’s half arsed idea it was to start selling lug by weight and I know there’s more than one local shop doing it. Anyway,  £10 poorer I took my half a pound a worms home and looked at them. There were thirty nine. Thirty nine worms for ten quid. That works out at more than £25 per 100. Safe to say I wont be doing that again.


A slug. Worth nothing to me, but a small fortune to a lincy refugee.


25p worth of lug. I thought you’d like to see a picture of the most expensive lugworm… the world.

At about half past three John appeared just in time to see me land a Bass. He was so impressed, he wanted his picture taken with it. To be fair, he doesn’t get to have his picture taken with fish very often, so I was more than happy to let him.


John holding MY 3lb bass. He’s got massive hands as well.

Half an hour later along comes H. That was the last thing of note that happened.
Three hours later we all cleared off, heads down and shoulders drooped. Unsuccessful again.
Roll on the Bass fishing I say. Until they put in an appearance I think I’ll stick to the casting field…

EDP report 02/03/11

More of the same this week for the regions beaches, there seems to be a liberal smattering of undersize codling with the obligatory pin whiting and dabs. Orford has been something of a disappointment so far the season. A dozen members of East Coast Danglers and Eastern Anglers went over to fish a friendly match at the narrows. There was a pot for the biggest codling which turned out to be a pretty little thing of 29cm. The group enjoyed their visit despite the weather, just a shame those proper spring fish aren’t showing here yet. At the other end of the region, Holt SAC fished the latest round of their winter accumulator at Salthouse. After failing to make the frame the previous match Tony Thomas bounced back into form with 2lb 11oz of shingle flatties giving him a win by 9oz over second placed Pete Morse. Sam Attew came in third with 13oz, with only two matches left of the series, it’s looking tight and all eyes will be on Kelling next Sunday 6th March.

East Norfolk has produced a few fish, along with those better codling that have shown at the wreck at Gorleston, a few nice fish came off Cromer pier during the recent rough weather. One lucky rod had three nice fish between 2 and 3lb when most of the surrounding beaches were all but unfishable in the biting northeast wind. With the wind in that quarter most of this week I think there’s a fair chance from any of the beaches between Yarmouth and Cromer, I’ll certainly be looking to have a go this week. Further south to Hopton, Corton and Lowestoft and its been a tale of odd better fish amongst the codlets and whiting. Jamie bale managing a few codlets at Hopton in a nicely coloured sea.

South of Lowestoft and it’s a similar story with only occasional good fish reported amongst the codlets and whiting though if we are to have any kind of spring run I would think this area will receive its fair share of fish qand there’s still plenty of time for Aldeburgh and Orford to spring back into life, keep an eye out for some southerly airflow to coincide with the bigger tides. There’s a four match series coming up to support the Help for Heroes charity, the qualifying matches will be fished at Felixstowe, Dunwich and Kelling on march 20th , April 24th and May 22nd  respectively. Qualifiers from these three matches will then go forward to fish the grand final on June 26th at Kings Lynn where they’ll fish against a combined forces team and some VIP anglers. A super cause and well worth your support with the added spice of a super prize list and optional pools, if you need any further details please visit the website