EDP report 26/10/11

This last week has seen some strong southerlies stir up the south of the area and the fish responded on many of the beaches, and the winds look to be holding a southerly course too. I’ve seen codling in reports from Felixstowe to Yarmouth and hear of a few more. Weed is still the plague of the east Norfolk beaches though I’m told it’s less of a problem on the shingle of the far north.

Anglers braving the swell and surf in the deep south were rewarded with a few early codling in the 1.25 to 2lb bracket, fish bigger than this seem to be rare and it feels about right given the very small fish we saw a year or two back. Codling amongst the whiting have turned up at Orford, Aldeburgh, Dunwich and Southwold. A works match at Dunwich yielded a few fish for the 10 competitors; I have no weights but saw images of several codling in the 1-2lb range with a school bass and whiting. There have been a few at Pakefield and off the south pier too but the hot spots in the Lowestoft area are from Ness point down to Corton, with more of those fish around about 2lb caught.

Yarmouth has seen a few codling with the whiting also, fish have been reported from Hopton and Gorleston, night tides best. This report is prepared on a Monday but it looks like there is a nice weather window appearing on Tuesday and I’d be amazed if there aren’t a few fish caught yesterday!

Around the east Norfolk beaches it has been a bit tougher; I’ve seen some lovely seas that have been tough to fish because of the weed. It doesn’t seem to have shifted yet but we remain hopeful. Justin Grapes toughed it out at Bacton for a 3lb bass and the Norfolk teams of fives event was won with 7lb of flats from the gas site, with some large flounders reported. It’s the time of year for good conditioned flatties and the beaches around east Norfolk are rightly famous for them.

In the north there have been some flatties caught and the bass seem to show up on the back of a surf following some northerly winds, like the east this area is due a stir up though it doesn’t look like it will happen this week. The wind forecast has it staying southerly this week so it looks like the best chances will be in the south; let’s hope the conditions encourage a few more inshore.

EDP report 19/10/11

I had hoped there’d be a few more codling on the back of the weekend winds, there were a few but it’s the whiting that are bulking up catches. Orford produced a few small codling amongst the whiting and spotted dogfish with similar form at Aldeburgh. The best catch I’ve heard of so far this winter was by my old mate Paul “Pedro” Blyth, he fished Thorpeness and managed 4 small codling between 1.5 and 2lb with the whiting and a bonus school bass. Coming up the coast and there were a few in Pakefield bay too though whiting are dominating catches generally. Ness point and the old sea wall usually hold a few and Simon Farrow has found the codling in ones and twos on a couple of visits this autumn.

Above Lowestoft and the beach guys have been struggling although kayakers have found a few small codling just offshore, for us beach anglers it’s the whiting on evening tides that are providing the sport. There are small codling in the shoals of whiting but they don’t get much of a chance as the whiting are voracious. Gorleston beach and harbour have both produced whiting, tipping with mackerel sorting out slightly better quality fish. The Mark Alsop memorial match last Sunday was harder going in the bright sunshine. Henry Randell and Stephen Boyce sharing top spot with 61points each with Mike Watts in third spot with 52 points, thirty six anglers fished the match in support of the Macmillan cancer charity, a very worthy cause indeed.

It’s a very different situation on the east Norfolk beaches, I’m sure there would be a few bass and whiting showing if only you could fish through the weed! I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so thick, walking the dogs over the weekend and Ostend had some bays with over with red weed on the strand line up to 18” thick. There’s some north west in the forecast again, anytime from today, hopefully this will shift some of the weed from the east Norfolk beaches and provide a window to fish, I’m sure there’ll be a few bass and codling about in the surf. The shingle may well produce a few too if there’s some surf and colour and there’s likely to be less weed here too.

Mark Alsop Memorial 16/10/11

Mark Alsop Memorial Challenge Cup - Great Yarmouth

Well, the tradition of fine weather certainly continued on Sunday and competitors at the annual fundraising event on behalf of the Macmillan Palliative Care Nurses at the James Paget Hospital basked in Mediterranean conditions throughout.

I have to express some disappointment in the number of anglers who booked places for this event, but who failed to turn up without letting me know this year. A few did contact me to say that they were unable to attend for various reasons, but 14 anglers failed to contact and this resulted in far more beach being pegged than necessary, with the inevitable big gaps, which we strive to avoid.

To the fishing then, sadly, a match which started of with enormous promise failed to maintain the good form and catches were disappointing too. Many anglers reported plenty of bites right from the off, but as the flood topped, the bites died and the expected run of fish on the ebb failed to materialise. Barry Coulson reported 15 fish in the first hour, but only managed 2 sizeable specimens. The anticipated weed was manageable for much of the event, but as the ebb really got underway it arrived with a vengeance, ruining the last 2 hours.

In the end the result was a tie with both Henry Randell and Stephen Boyce sharing top spot with 1 lb 4 2/3ozs each (61 points)

Henry & Stephen shared a total payout of £164.00 and will hold the Mark Alsop Memorial Challenge Cup for 6 months each. The payout was made up as follows: Angie's Special Prize £60.00, Match Pool 1st - £50.00, Match Pool Second £30.00, plus 2 x section wins at £12.00 each. 

36 adults and 6 juniors competed and only 19 managed catch returns on such a difficult day
Sadly, the inaugural Harrison Smith Trophy proved difficult for some good, keen young anglers and with none of these 6 catching, Jake Smith kindly agreed that all the entrants names be put into the Cup and he drew out the prizewinners. The trophy, winners medal, a new reel and £20.00 cash going to Jayke Plant. Runner-s up medal, £10 cash and a tackle rigs prize went to Ryan McClean, whilst Harry Roberts took the third place medal and tackle prize.

On a very hard day, the full result is as follows:
1st equal Henry Randell & Stephen Boyce 61 points each
3rd Mike Watts  52 points
5th equal Adrian Crane & Tony Thomas 44 points each
6th P Weller 38 points
7th Barry Coulson 28 points
9th equal Trevor Elliot & P Luke 20 points each
10th John Abbott 18 points
12th equal Roger Allerton & Jake Smith 16 points each
15th equal Steve Smith, Andy Gray & Graham Greenwood 14 points each
18th equal Cain Plumb, Alan Steel & M Bowles 14 points each
19th Simon Roberts 7 points.

The Biggest Flatfish pool saw 4 anglers share £40.00 fora 24 cms Dab, whilst Tony Thomas collect a further £40.00 for the biggest round fish, a 39 cms whiting.

Seven section winners picked up £12.00 each
Peg numbers:
  1 - 10 Stephen Boyce
11 - 20 Mike Watts
21 - 30 John Abbott
31 - 40 Henry Randell
41 - 50 Adrian Crane & Tony Thomas (equal)
51 - 60 Steve Smith
61 - 70 Trevor Elliot

The balance sheet is made up as follows:

36 adults @ £10.00 each = £360.00
6 Juniors @ £2.00 each = £12.00
Donation to Macmillan from match tickets = 36 x £3.00 = £108.00 plus 6 x £1.00 = £114.00
Cash donation AKD Engineering = £100.00
Angie direct donation = £20.00
Cash Donation Shaun Dickson = £10.00
Cash Donation Roger Allerton = £10.00
Section win donated (J.Abbott) = £12.00
Raffle takings = £213.00
Total donation to Macmillan Nurses at James Paget Hospital, Gorleston = £ 489.00

Match Pools 36 x £3.00 Match pool = £108.00
Biggest Flatfish = £36.00
Biggest Round fish = £36.00
Section Pools = £72.00
A further contribution of £20 by Angie (Mark Alsop's Mum) was used to strengthen and balance the pools payouts.

I'd like to express my sincere thanks to all who helped to make this another great day and especially to Hayley Alsop for all her hard work in gathering so many raffle prizes, Mark's Mum Angie for her continuous generosity and support and to Jake Smith and family for their commitment during such a difficult time for them.
Others without whose help this cannot be achieved include Steve & Joy Smith for all their hard work in canvassing sponsors, Keith Mountifield, Roger Allerton & Cain Plumb for similar help and to Simon Roberts for pegging out.

Finally, thanks must go to all of you who turned out and tried on such a hard day for fishing, eventually raising a total of £489.00 for our chosen charity.

Thank you.
John Abbott

EDP report 12/10/11

The low pressure and north westerly air flow certainly stirred things up in the north of the region. The shingle ridge was the place to be over the weekend with lots of bass to 3.5lb caught with an occasional small codling too. Weed was a problem for some, though it seemed to ease into the ebb, and as it did the fish seemed to switch on and good catches of school bass were reported from Cley, Salthouse and Weybourne. The wind has swung back south west again; this will flatten the sea off on the shingle and bring some weed I should think.

There were whiting and school bass on the beaches from Cromer down to Happisburgh though some of the better beaches like Trimingham suffered with red weed. Yarmouth produced a lot of whiting, most were not quite sizeable but there were enough to provide hopes of some good catches for the Mark Alsop memorial match this weekend. Mark was a well know character around the Yarmouth beaches and a personal friend, I hope there’s a good turn out this weekend, for more information please call John on 07792 440086. Registration is at the Lacon Arms on Alderson Street from 08:30, it’s a very well-run match for a great cause with some cracking prizes.

South of Yarmouth and there are still plenty of whiting with a few codling from Corton to Pakefield, I think there would be a few more of the small codling if it wasn’t for the bait hungry whiting snaffling bait before anything else has a chance. I honestly thought the deep south would have produced a few this weekend, the bass in the north love a northwest but it seems their southern mates aren’t as keen. There have been lots of whiting from Southwold down to Orford, a few smoothound pups and dogfish too but I thought we’d see one or two more small codling showing. That form might just change into this weekend, current forecasts have some stiff southeast winds which will put colour and movement into the sea down south, let’s hope those first few codling come on the back of the winds.

EDP report 05/10/11

Unsurprisingly, the beaches have been full of holiday makers making the most of the incredible October temperatures. There have been a few anglers out and about though it’s fair to say that the only ones having good sport during the hot, bright day have been the kayakers. Some good hauls of school bass and mackerel have fell to the kayakers, being able to get away from noisy beaches has certainly helped and they’ve found sport from the shingle round to Hopton. Night times are the best times on the beaches with plenty of whiting anywhere from Yarmouth southwards and even a few codling showing to some lucky anglers.

Pakefield and the south pier have both produced the odd codling along with those that seem to be ever present along north beach to Corton. Simon Farrow had a couple of pretty early season 2lbers off the south pier, which is nice to see, though it’s fair to say that whiting are the most likely quarry. Brave souls fishing overnight on Orford or along the dirty wall at Aldeburgh have found a few dogfish mixed in with the whiting but it’s really all about the whiting, they seem to be on the bait within seconds. The good news is they are at least getting a bit bigger with fish around 35-40cm not uncommon now. Lowestoft to Yarmouth tells a similar story, it’s only when you get above Yarmouth that the whiting seem to thin out. From Sea palling to Cromer there is still a chance of a bass but weed has been the bane of angler’s lives here, the strong and persistent south westerly’s dragging weed inshore all along the stretch. It’s been a little better on the shingle and there seem to be a few flatties with occasional school bass now, last chance of a mackerel I think with the wind forecast to change Friday into the weekend. Some stiff north westerly’s are just what the east Norfolk beaches need and are bound to create a surf with colour, I wouldn’t be surprised to see bass and codling in catches from those beaches over the weekend and into next week.

The results from the Gorleston Open had Essex raiders in the top two positions. Whiting and dabs were the order of the day and Robert Tuck from Clacton claimed top spot with 2lb 8oz, a full ounce clear of Richard Burt with 2lb 7oz.  Dave Cook came third with 2lb 1oz, Clyde Legget would like to extend his thanks to the 85 anglers attending for making these matches as successful as they are.