EDP report 31/07/13

A steady week on the regions beaches. Starting in the south of the patch and the sole have started to show with a little more consistency, conditions are all important but if you can get them right there’s decent chances of sole from Aldeburgh to Lowestoft. A few hounds too above Lowestoft and around Yarmouth with some nice fish to around 7lb amongst the pups. Above Yarmouth and up to Cromer, the boat anglers have found a few bass and mackerel. Beach fishing has been hampered with the holidaymakers enjoying the lovely weather, but night time catches have included bass and smoothound pups. I caught some slip soles in my shrimp net too and I’ve heard rumours of better fish in nets along the east Norfolk coast, often missed by the anglers’ fixation with distance, these lovely little flats can literally be at your feet. The shingle ridge has produced some mackerel and launce though it’s hit and miss at the minute. A few school bass have shown too but most of the sport is targeting the mackerel along the shingle at the minute. Neap tides through this week and into the weekend, daylight high water too unless you fish the really unsociable hours. I think if it stays settled there should be more sole out for those prepared to put the hours in, and possibly a bit of surf for the bass south of Lowestoft.

EDP report 24/07/13

A relatively quiet week on the regions beaches with a lot of local anglers heading off to Lincolnshire in search of the smoothounds. Those that stayed local were rewarded with a few hounds too though not of the stamp north of the wash. There have been hounds to low double figures along the shingle of north Norfolk, also a few mackerel have shown on evening tides. I’ve also heard of some nice sized bass falling to lures which is an exhilarating way of catching them. Aylsham High School pupils had a day’s fishing last Friday, I had hoped to join them but work kept me busy, I do hope they managed to get among the fish.

It’s been a little slower on the sandy beaches down to Yarmouth with school bass and smoothound pups inconsistently. There have been a few slightly better hounds up to the 6lb mark around Yarmouth, and the kayakers are still getting a few rays not too far off, I don’t know anybody seriously targeting them with fish baits from the beach but you would think one or two would fall to the crab baits aimed at bass and hounds. Below Yarmouth there are still a few school bass and smoothound pups and definitely a few more soles in the catch reports, expect them from Lowestoft, Southwold and round to Aldeburgh. Hopefully the forecast thunder storms this week won’t have too much of a detrimental effect on sport, please be careful waggling carbon rods around with lightning about!

EDP report 17/07/13

I had hoped for a lift in the sport this week, it’s been steady and at least a few of the hoped for species have started to show up at long last. South of Yarmouth and there have been a few soles around Lowestoft, Southwold and Aldeburgh. There are some hounds around Yarmouth still, nothing of the size we’ve seen further north but a few I’ve seen around the 4/5lb and still good sport at that. There’s a variety of species at least so there are options to target. There are good numbers of school bass too and friends have had their first lure caught bass, a great way to maximise the sport from these feisty fish. Best bets for some action with the lures are in and around the rivers at Aldeburgh, Southwold and Yarmouth and along the shingle ridge in the north.

On the sand above Yarmouth there have been a few hounds, again not much over the 5lb mark, still good sport if you can get among them. School bass are still showing on most beaches and the first mackerel of the season have shown off Cromer and the shingle. I spoke with a kayaker on Saturday who’d just come off Overstrand and he’d had a few mackerel, though there was still a little too much colour in the water to bring them into beach casting range. Some lure caught bass on the shingle and a few mackerel being chased by them, numbers will hopefully pick up over this settled spell. Nothing in the wind to change things around this week, small to medium tides too, though hopefully we’ll see a few more soles showing at the usual spots.

EDP report 10/07/13

The balmy weather brought the holidaymakers and jet skiers out in force, and sport for the beach anglers was pretty quiet as a result. A few fishing the unsociable hours managed to find a few fish but it’s been a bit of a scratchy week with good fish notable by their absence. In the south there have been a few smoothound pups and occasional bass from Orford up to Southwold. The annual Sole open at Sizewell drew a quality field, but even the region’s top rods struggled in the hot, bright conditions. Mark Sharman won the match with 2lb 10oz, my old mate Digger Fairclough was second with 2lb 3oz, and Rob O’Brian third with 2lb 2oz, hard work in the hot sun and not many soles landed either.

Up around Lowestoft and there have been some school bass, dogfish, but again no soles to speak of. A few resident codling along north beach from Ness point up to Corton. Hopton, Gorleston, and Yarmouth have been bitty too though the beaches above Yarmouth are worth a chuck. If you can find a quite tide and some crab bait in these flat conditions there are usually a few hounds knocking about on the sandy beaches above Yarmouth to Cromer. I haven’t seen any mackerel reports yet from the shingle and I note that the boats have struggled to locate them too, I know I’ve blamed the long hard winter for everything so far this year but everything really does seem back by a few weeks. There’s a bit of north through this week which, with big tides, should put a bassy surf on from the shingle round to Yarmouth, the warm weather continues and I hope this brings a few soles into casting range below Yarmouth.

EDP report 03/07/13

A few rays of sunshine and a few rays on the beach this week. Paul Turrell has had a couple more from Benacre, and I was even sent a picture of a Norfolk ray this week. Tom Porter had a cracking little male of around 4 or 5lb from Scratby, the first Norfolk ray I’ve seen in years. It does make you wonder with the boats reporting quite a few and with those Paul has been catching in Suffolk if they are, making a bit of a comeback. It would be great to think that they were, and it would definitely be worth using herring or sand eel on one rod.

The better bass seem to have moved off though there are still plenty of school bass falling to crab and worm. Crab is catching smoothound pups with occasional better fish, conditions so far haven’t been perfect for the hounds and I’m still hopeful that we’ll see a run of bigger fish. There have been some nice turbots this year, one of the prettiest flatfish in my opinion, though it’s the sole most people are targeting at this time of the year. The usual haunts don’t seem to be producing yet but I still think they will once the effects of the long, hard winter wear off. Light variable winds this week will see the sea shear off a bit I think which might encourage the hounds, tides are building into the weekend too with late afternoon early evening high waters, should be good chances I think.