EDP report 26/12/12

Although sport was hardly flying in the south of the region it appears to have slowed even further. Orford has been hit and miss at best this week with plenty of anglers scratching about for dabs and whiting whilst only a lucky handful have managed codling. Coming up the coast towards Southwold, Dunwich, Kessingland and Lowestoft and it’s a similar story, dabs and whiting about but a distinct lack of codling at the minute. It’s the time of year they usually get fixated on the sprat shoals, although I’m sure there’s been a bit of that going on I’m still surprised not to see a few more on the beaches in coloured, rolling seas.

The beaches from Hopton, Gorleston, Yarmouth and up to Cromer have produced some decent dabs and whiting though it’s the shingle in the north that has fished with consistency this week. Holt SAC fished a very well attended Christmas Fayre match at Kelling, drawing competitors from Kent and Essex as well as the local rods. Kirk Watson from Kent landed 34 fish for a creditable 9lb 15oz and top spot, Mark Gooch finished second with 8lb 13oz with Craig Buy from Essex third with 7lb 5oz. There have even been a couple of codling caught from the rough ground under the cliffs when the sea has been right, hopefully there’ll be a bit of sport to be had along there through the next month or so. The week ahead has little favourable in the forecast though we do at least have building tides, hopefully the extra bit of water might encourage some fish inshore.

EDP report 19/12/12

The deep south was the pick of the regions beaches with quite a few cod in the 4-6lb bracket caught with the odd fish to 8lb. Aldeburgh has been slower though there have been a few show up here, Thorpeness and Southwold too. It starts to get a little tougher as we head up the coast and the whiting and the flats predominate. There are still a few codling caught in the rough ground from Ness point to Corton though these seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Yarmouth has produced occasional fish too but it’s the whiting and dabs that can be relied upon. I fished Cart gap last Saturday more in hope than expectation, plenty of dabs were caught including some fine specimens in excess of 40cm, they outnumbered the whiting at least 2 to 1.

The shingle ridge has continued to produce dabs and whiting, again flatfish are the main quarry and fishing in darkness will often produce the better fish. It’s hard to get a measure of this week’s chances, small tides and a lot of west in the wind will make for calm conditions and if the temperatures drop any colour will likely drop out too. All in I think the Orford and Aldeburgh will be the places to go over Christmas, even better if you can time it after a good south easterly.

Cart Gap 15/12/12

I enjoyed the football immensely yesterday, thank you Liverpool.

I also enjoyed a lovely mild evenings fishing down at Cart Gap. I met Ron down there at 6:30 and we fished until 11, Smudge also popped down for a babble. Bites most casts and more dabs caught than skinny whiting. Some of the dabs were as good as I've seen recently too, my biggest on the night well over 40cm and most were full of roe and 25cm+. "Sprat Dabs" as we used to call them, I haven't seen any in a while, though when was the last time I went before last night? Only slight downside of the evening was the reflectivity of my "new" rod tips. The guides showed up better than the tape and I'll look to replace it with some of the older stuff I have. Other than that they looked and felt superb, registering bites close in and as far out as I fish (don't its boring). The dab pictured was my best of the evening, all went back and this took a squid and cart wrap on a 3/0 pennel. Ambitious little bugger! Skinny whitimng only on the "out" rod and all dabs came from the gulley just past the ends of the groins, if they were your thing you could certainly have some fun with flappers and these feisty little flatties.

A proper dab, the flask is 35cm long.

EDP report 12/12/12

A hard week on the beaches not helped by small tides and erratic weather. Due to the heavy north westerly’s, Holt SAC moved their match from Cley round the corner to Gorleston, a great move for Bill Beeton who won with 6lb 5oz of dabs and whiting, beating Mike Watts into second spot by an ounce. Sam Attew finished third with 5lb 6oz. It was a teams of 5 match also which saw North Norfolk Lads and Holt Crack Offs tie for top spot with the Gutter Bashers in third. Dene Conway wasn’t required in the teams so he went and fished the open down at Aldeburgh and was rewarded with second spot and a bonus codling amongst his whiting. Southwold and southwards have been the form beaches giving you real chances of a codling or cod. Orford has thrown up a few doubles including a beauty of just over 15lbs. Danny Hoy fished with Jamie bale at Thorpeness and had a codling of 6lb too whilst Jamie contrived to lose one similar in the surf.

Further east and north it’s been tougher with only whiting and dabs being caught consistently, Corton has produced a few codling and the boats just off Lowestoft have found some, but again it seems a bit hit and miss. The run up to Christmas usually sees a few fish caught before they get fixated on the sprats and spawning, let’s hope there’s a few more out as the tides build again. Weather for the week has the temperatures plummeting again and more than a bit of north. Cromer pier offers chances to fish when its rough and is often the best chances of a codling when the beaches in the east are unfishable, though the better chances would seem to be further south, particularly if the promised southerlies’ put a lump on down there.

My "New" TDXS's

The rods have been wanting a tidy up, to be fair I do tend to abuse them a bit, I don't keep them flat I stand them up in the garage. I rarely wipe them down when I put them away and I'm usually that kippered when I get back that I throw them in the garage and forget about them until I go again.

That's all about to change though, after a couple of weeks at Cain's, these little beauties came back. I didn't want them too blingy but fancied the understated look. See what you think, I know changing the guides will slightly alter the action of the rod, but be honest, how many anglers would know? Only top rod designers / developers and top of the tree tournament casters would feel it. When your fishing you are always operating well within the capabilities of the rod and I would suggest that if you are bending it far enough to notice different guides when you have bait on then you won't have much bait on when it lands!

The new butt sections have diamond shrink wrap with plain over the top where I sit my reel. Yes I know I fish with the reel up, not like those sand hugging low winch monkeys!

They really do look nice. The butts have diamond shrink tube with a plain piece over the top where my reels sit, all edged off with gold whipping. I used to have insulation tape marking the reel positions, looks so much more professional now, don't say it, I know it's wasted on me isn't it.

Detail of the reel seat and new blue coasters.

Cain recommended the Minima guides and I have to say they do look good, gold insert which I thought might be too blingy for me, but he was right they look great and I don't care if I get accused of having a mid life crisis, they look the mutts.

Much neater than the Fuji guides that come fitted as standard. Nothing wrong with Fuji guides of course, these just sit a little lower and neater in my opinion.

Gone are the black BNHG's from Fuji to be replaced by these ever so neat and low solid titanium Minima guides, again with the black whipping and gold finish. I can't wait to have a fling with them, if the weather breaks a bit over the weekend I'm going locally just to blow the cobwebs away.

And the business end. I used to have the reflective tape hooped down the top 3 sections, Cain reckoned it was too much, and again he's probably right. I like the spiralled tape which highlights the black and gold finishing to the tip ring and guides.

Below is a picture of the original rod tips whilst fishing, i think again that Cain's choice to only tape the top two sections was right, alongside the originals look a little over done.

I know they'll sit like this in the tide, they do sit really nicely and are made for the tides and clean beaches round here, perfect.

So that’s it, no excuse of "the rods are away" I'll be having a chuck at the weekend weather permitting and can't wait to give these new beauties a run out.

EDP report 05/12/12

The north Norfolk shingle hosted the Sea Anglers Match Federation national sea league final at the weekend 29 teams of 5 took part over last Saturday and Sunday and the shingle didn’t disappoint. Prime Angling of the ISAC 2001 Solent League ran out winners over the two days with 63 points and the £2000 prize money. Northern raiders Seaton Sluice finished second with 85 points and local outfit Ipswich Sea Anglers third with 97 points. The competitors had to deal with contrasting conditions, Saturday was relatively calm to start with but this all changed in the last hour with the sea starting to lift on the back of a stiff north westerly wind. 10lb odd of whiting pout and flats won the first day from Weybourne wreck and over 460lb of fish was carded in total on day one. Day two was a much different affair starting with a heavy swell that eased through the match and the number of dabs caught on day one almost halved and the total weight carded was just less than 300lb. I’ve heard nothing but praise for the organisation and match headquarters at Kelling Heath Holiday Park.

What a difference a day can make, my old mate Matt Lawes fished the match and did OK, always the glutton for punishment, he went back to the shingle on Monday night and fished the rough ground under the cliffs at Weybourne and was rewarded with a lovely cod of 6lb 6oz. The rough ground can usually be relied upon to hold a fish or two, especially when the conditions are good; there was certainly some natural food in the water following the rough up over the weekend. Further round the coast and the reports aren’t so encouraging, despite good seas, anglers have struggled to find the codling, with pin whiting reported along with the sizeable ones and flatfish. Just offshore at Corton has seen a few of the boats finding some codling and some decent fish too, though they seem more sparse than normal along the shore at Corton up to Ness point. Its whiting and dabs too until you get to Southwold where there have been a few off the pier and along the wall at Aldeburgh, but it’s Orford that has produced more than the other venues. Anglers putting in the hours have managed fish from 1.5lb to 5lb with a rare double recorded also; hopefully sport will improve further as temperatures drop. There’s a good old northerly forecast into the weekend too though I think it will be too much with the small tides to see any decent fish over the bank in the east of the region, be worth having a go as it eases though.