EDP report 26/03/14

Steady sport around the patch this week with some good variety and the odd surprise thrown in for good measure. In the deep south of the region, codlets, dogfish and the occasional better codling are showing from the deep water marks of Orford and Aldeburgh. Only a matter of time I should think before there are rays off the Ness and in the Alde, definitely worth a go with fish baits right now, there should be action on the rods from dogfish at least. In the east between Lowestoft and Yarmouth there are a few better fish amongst the features that seem to hold a few residents, codlets and a few dogfish seem to be the order of the day on the open beaches away from the features.

Above Sea palling and there have been some better codling, particularly from Mundesley up to Trimingham, the latter probably the most consistent of the lot though it’s also seeing plenty of effort! There have been plenty of codling up to around 50cm and also lots of the codlets and the occasional school bass, the codling I’ve seen look in great condition, there’s certainly plenty of grub about for them. Above Cromer and there seem to be a few more school bass with the codlets, rough ground under the cliffs at Weybourne producing a few better fish including some dogfish. Chris Glenn had a pleasant surprise when fishing Weybourne, his lug and bluey bait was snaffled by a fine thornback ray of around 6lb, a rarity for Norfolk these days. I think the rays are making a bit of a comeback generally though we are a long way off the huge catches from this region made in the 50s and 60s. The look ahead is all about the weather, temperatures are dropping and the wind has north or east or both in it most of the week which should bode well for keeping the codling feeding around Norfolk’s sandy beaches, don’t forget to put some fish in the bait box too!

EDP report 19/03/14

The little bit of north quarter wind into the weekend certainly piqued a bit of interest. Some nice codling and better school bass showed from the shingle down to Yarmouth. Jamie Bale had a couple of nice codling at Trimingham, a few other local anglers managed some nice ones in the 2-3lb bracket along the sand of east Norfolk, hopes are high for the week ahead despite a predominantly westerly air flow. There have been lots of dogfish too, and with the wind due to go west, it will be worth putting some sand eels or herring in the bait box, I’m expecting my annual email from deepest, darkest Suffolk to drop into my inbox any day with pictures of estuary caught rays.

Below Yarmouth and sport has been steady with the usual mix of species for this time of year and the better codling still knocking about some of the feature stretches. I have a feeling that similar conditions as we saw last weekend, coupled with the local shore crab moult, will definitely spark some sport at list for a tide or two. Monday night match results will be included next week, though I’m optimistic these will include a few more codling above the 25cm size we’ve seen so many of this winter. The tides are still decent sizes and with wind off the land, things should start to warm up a bit, dogs will continue, and as ever I’m hopeful for a Norfolk ray to match the ones caught in Suffolk around now, got to be chances this week to fish baits.

EDP report 12/03/14

The fishing pattern, like the weather, looks settled at the minute. We have lots of small fish and quite a few species to aim at though sadly anything over 25cm is a bonus at the minute. Holt SAC fished the final leg of the north Norfolk Sea League at Bacton over the weekend, not an easy match and something of a mini species hunt. Tony Thomas ran out winner with five fish for 1lb 13oz, England newbie Henry Randell second with 1lb 12oz and Ray Camilleri third with 1lb 8oz. Teams overall were Avenue Angling in top spot with 49 points, Gutter Bashers second with 51, and North Norfolk lads third with 53. Trev Elliot team captain of the Avenue Angling team collected the Shingle Ridge Shield on behalf of the rest of the team. The Norfolk match scene is very much alive and well, and I’d like to wish my old mate Dene Conway of Ritegear a speedy recovery, be great to see him back on the beaches with the Norfolk AC mob.

Lots of codlets around the 25cm mark, and as I’ve been accused of talking our sport up for years I shan’t, but I do hope that some of them make the return next year. The shingle in the north has thrown up the usual small fish and even a few squid, unusual catches round here as few people fish for them, but along with the cuttlefish they are around our coastline around now and through the summer. I’ve caught several along with small sole in my shrimp nets throughout the spring and summer. East Norfolk catches are a mirror of those the Holt competitors saw, and it’s a similar story from Yarmouth down to Lowestoft with only occasional better codling on the features and the odd school bass too. There’s a little bit of northwest this week which shouldn’t hurt chances along the shingle and down to Yarmouth, though it feels to me like we are waiting for the bass now, and with temperatures inching up, it won’t be too long before they show consistently.

EDP report 05/03/14

Anybody fishing the beaches in the north of the patch last Thursday may well have been treated to a stunning display of the northern lights. I managed to grab a few shots of them at Bacton and there were lights along the beach at Keswick so I hope those fishing got some good views of this rare Norfolk visitor, as well as a fish or two. Holt SAC fished their latest club match at Kelling last Sunday, a relatively tough match for those competing, John Neave managed 9 fish for 2lb 5oz, Keith Morley second with  for 1lb 11oz and peter Loke third with 1lb 5oz. The club are at Bacton this coming weekend for the last round of the Norfolk sea league, though the small tides don’t auger well for great sport, saying that the temperatures are picking up and if there are any early bass around Bacton is as good a place as any to find them.

The Aurora over Bacton

The story for the rest of the region seems to be one of undersized codling with lots of fish in the 25-30cm size range. This certainly holds some promise for the next season or two when there must be great chances of us enjoying some decent winter codding, it seems like an eternity since they showed in good numbers and sizes. South of our region and the rays are starting to show in Essex and Kent, a sure sign that spring is on its way, and despite our spring run looking like it might be a “tiddler run” things should start to look up over the coming weeks, the school bass will soon show and there will be dogfish about towards the end of this month and into April before May gives way to real chances of a proper bass and maybe even early hounds, we live in hope!