EDP report 19/12/13

Sport appears to be getting back to something like normality after the surge of a couple of weeks back. Access is still an issue at many venues, it pays to enquire if you’re considering travelling from inland. There have been some codling too in the last week, the usual Suffolk spots seeming to hold a few. On the shingle of north Norfolk the Rite Gear Angling Centre final league match took place at Weybourne. A cracking turnout of 24 fished a mild night and flat sea last Monday, everyone carded sizeable fish, those able to pick their way through the undersized dabs did better on the night. Ian Gennery took the honours with 10 fish for 3lb 10oz, Mike Gill a further fish behind with 3lb 3oz and Wobbly Bob third with 7 for 2lb 6oz. Over 100 sizeable fish were caught on the night with many more undersized. The league placing was a repeat of the final match standings with Ian leading Mike and Bob in the series. There is a presentation evening on the 23rd at the Village Inn West Runton, 7pm, there will also be an inaugural meeting of the Norfolk Angling Club at the same time, and everyone is welcome.

The east of the region has been the worst affected by the surge, lots of venues are still out of bounds making the potential largely unknown. Access is slowly getting back to normal, Mundesley for example can now be accessed via the town beach access and I would expect there to be some good flats about. Down to Yarmouth and there have been occasional codling amongst the flats and whiting, I get the impression that the whiting are thinning out which would seem to be about right for December. Below Yarmouth and there’s better chances of a codling. There have certainly been a few reported from the usual haunts, I would imagine you would have good chances from all of the beaches from Hopton down to Southwold. Aldeburgh and Orford are producing with a little more consistency, some better ones at 4lb reported too, again best chances are at night. Some decent tides through this weekend, and with a stiff south-westerly forecast for Saturday those Suffolk beaches will be worth extra effort, merry Christmas and good luck to you all and please let me know how you get on over the festive break.

EDP report 12/12/13

I reported last week that I’d highlighted Thursday evening’s tide as one I might fish, obviously the report was written before I’d seen the forecast that wreaked havoc all along our coast. Given that the storm and surge were so well forecast, I was staggered to read that some anglers had to be helped off Cromer pier after trying to fish in those conditions. The storm serves as a reminder that there isn’t a fish swimming worth risking your life for, or indeed risking the lives of others that might be called on to save you. Unsurprisingly there hasn’t been too much fishing done since, certainly as the seas calmed the conditions looked good though there was still a lot of flotsam and jetsam in the water. Several stretches of our coast have limited or no access at present, there have been breaches in the shingle bank from Cley down to Weybourne. Damage to access points, promenades and sea walls at the Runton’s and Cromer. Overstrand is closed pending a damage assessment. Trimingham access is closed due to cliff slips and Mundesley town beach also due to promenade and property damage. You can still access the beach at Walcott though there is a large clean-up operation ongoing which will likely take a few days to complete yet, your heart has to go out to the poor souls that lost their homes at Walcott and Hemsby, thankfully all that was lost was possessions and not lives.

There was some fishing in the south of the patch, the East Anglian teams league match was fished at Aldeburgh. Scratching tactics were the order of the day with flats and rockling the bulk of catches, with the winners managing to find bonus codling. Rob Tuck had four dabs and a rockling until a bonus last cast codling took him to top spot with 3lb 9oz and the prize for the biggest round fish at 2lb 2oz. Craig Buy was second with another bonus codling, a couple of dabs and a whiting for 3lb 2oz, and Jake Akester third with a codling, a couple of dabs and a pout for 2lb 9oz. There were some nice soles caught and the biggest flat went to Rob Stebbings with a cracking flounder at 1lb 6oz. The coming week promises to be gentle with temperatures up and light south and westerly winds forecast, with smaller tides I think night tides will give best chances though I wouldn’t be surprised if the colour stays in the water for a while.

EDP report 05/12/13

Flatties have been the talk of the beaches this week, I’ve seen some cracking fish caught from beaches around the patch with sprat dabs in excess of 30cm and some big old flounders too, it’s great to see these fish making a bit of a comeback, it’s been a year or two since they showed in good numbers and sizes. It was dabs that were the main stay of catches in the Ernie Miller Memorial match at Gorleston last Sunday. A massive apology from me for not remembering to mention this match in last week’s report, it didn’t deter the competitors though and 56 rods turned out to support the charity measure and release match. Butch Ellis took the honours in a strong field with Martin Waters second and Mark Sharman third. Ernie lost his long fight against cancer last Boxing day, his colleagues at Tube Care Inspection wanted to mark that with an annual charity fishing match, the match raised an inspiring £925 for Cancer Research, a cracking result and a match that I hope to fish next December.

Codling are still conspicuous by their absence, occasional fish have shown in the usual rough ground haunts but fishing for them is more in hope than expectation. The deep water venues in the far south have had the best of it so far this winter, I have to say though that it’s frustrating to be stuck in an apparently barren middle when some good fish are showing above us and below us. In the north of the patch there are lots of flats though they tend to be smaller than those that have shown in the east. Hopefully bigger tides and more northerly air flow this week will knock the edge of the still warm sea temperatures and hopefully encourage at least a few of the smaller codling inshore for a feed. Weather permitting I have Thursday ear marked for a local session though I’ll be going with high hopes and low expectations. Now is the traditional time for a big one, there’s usually one nor two caught most years, so get out and have a go!

The Late Ernie Miller