EDP report 25/09/13

As predicted last week the whiting are showing in numbers now, unfortunately most of them are pin whiting with very few fish over the size limit. The humble whiting is much maligned but for me they herald the start of the winter season, the optimistically hoped for run of lovely green backed cod on cold cloudless nights, fantastic. It seems we’re not quite ready to dispense with the summer species yet though so before I wax too lyrically about the cod and the cold, sole and bass are still showing, the former in good numbers south of Lowestoft. There have been some cracking catches of soles with some anglers managing half a dozen fish, some at 30-40cm, a lovely plate filling size. These have usually been reported with mixed bags of school bass, pout and whiting, so plenty of obliging fish to keep the rods moving, take plenty of bait if your going.

In the north of the patch Ritegear Tackle are running a series of Monday evening matches on the shingle, these events are aimed at all capabilities and are friendly events, call the shop on 01263 838248. William Amies fished Mundesley over the weekend for a couple of nice school bass, the best around 3.5lb amongst the whiting. With most of the regions beaches offering some sort of action and little in the way of change in the weather forecast, I think this week will see more of the mixed bags, but get in quick, the cod are coming!

EDP report 18/09/13

I was a little surprised to see quite a few really nice sole in the catch reports this week. Despite the wind putting a little bit on the sea, these lovely flatties should up in decent numbers below Lowestoft and there were some very nice fish amongst the. In fact there were several noticeable mixed bags over the last week with sole, bass, whiting and codling figuring in catches, it’s a great time of the year toi fish as the summer species prepare to head off and the first of the autumn and winter fish arrive. The deep water venues of the far south produced some early season codling, nothing much above 2lb but very promising signs for the coming winter.

I recall a couple of years back scientists stating that cod spawning temperatures were near perfect and that they were expecting a bumper spawning season. If that happened, and those fish have stood the ravages of a couple of winters, then they should be in that 1-2lb bracket about now and looking to head in to our beaches this winter. Optimistic, maybe, the boat guys have had some decent fish the last couple of winters albeit from tightly shoaled areas, I believe though that it’s only a matter of time before we see runs like we did a few years back. The wind forecast for the week ahead covers all points of the compass, so there’s something for most of us I think this week, big tides into darkness will help too and I reckon we’ll see the first concerted whiting shoals this week, autumn definitely feels like its here.

EDP report 11/09/13

Plummeting temperatures and a good old northerly blew away the last of the summer this week, heralding the start of autumn. Looking back at the summer, I’m aware there are still some summer species about and will be for a few weeks yet, it was an average year I think fish wise. We had some nice bass late spring and early summer, though fish above about 3lb were not exactly common as the summer wore on. Not too many mackerel and only a few tides of smoothounds between the shingle and Yarmouth, capped by a superb 20lb+ Norfolk fish for Rob Allen. The hound pups hung around Yarmouth and there have been some nice sole from Orford up to Lowestoft and Paul Turrell’s ray exploits again, all in not a bad summer I suppose.

Attention now turns to the arrival of our winter fish, the first reports of whiting and codling are making the rounds with a few codling to 2lb reported from Orford. Most of the whiting so far have been pins but these will get bigger over the next few weeks, not everybody’s cup of tea I know, but they can be relied upon to keep the rod tips moving and make excellent eating. We’re all hopeful for a good run of cod this year, it’s been a while since we had a really good run, going back through my records and the last concerted show was probably 2007/8. I know we’ve had good fish for a week or two here and there since, but they seemed to hang about then and we had a spring run of nice fish, I’ve not seen too many catches of 6 or more codling which were pretty typical reports 5 or 6 years back. The wind this week will shift things around I reckon, it’s the first proper blow of a traditionally windy couple of months, I reckon I’ll be reporting whiting next week on the back of the winds.

EDP report 04/09/13

There’s been some incredible fishing and some enormous fish caught this week, unfortunately not quite in our region! The hounds appeared again across the Wash, some lucky rods were treated to an awesome night’s fishing with lots of fish from low to mid doubles and all in 2-3’ of water only 50 yards out! At that range they would be amazing sport on light carp gear. Rob Allen and his wife caught it right and were rewarded in grand style, just the tonic they needed after some bad news. Another good friend, Matt Lawes, sent me a text following a holiday experience he’d had in Scotland. During a nights fishing off a local pier on the west coast, he hooked two fish over 100lb! Both common skate were estimated as Matt was fishing alone and unable to land them, but from the published wing tip to wing tip weight ratio tables, the bigger of the two was estimated at 98-133lb, fish of a lifetime. There’s some good video footage of Matt with the second one, email me if you need a link to the video.

Things haven’t been quite as exciting at home, though there have been some nice soles caught below Yarmouth. I’ve seen plenty of 30cm+ fish reported from Lowestoft, Southwold and Sizewell. Above Yarmouth and the north westerly brought a surf and some feeding school bass. Kayakjers fishing the shingle in the north had several bass but nothing bigger than 3lb that I’ve seen. I think there’ll be a few more school bass around over the coming weekend, the wind has a touch of north to create a surf and the tides are building into the evening, anywhere above Yarmouth. Below Yarmouth and sole will continue to be the main target, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some whiting appear at Orford and Aldeburgh.