EDP report 24/09/14

The quality of this summer’s sport has been as good as any year that I can remember, and certainly better than most! There are still good catches of bass, soles, codling, and even a few rays still showing around the region which has to bode well for the coming seasons. Bass are the mainstay of the north and east of the region, with plenty of fish to 2-3lb. I can’t remember seeing a double this year, that was until England youth international Henry Randell landed one just over 10lb from the shingle. A great catch on popped up sand eel, good thinking taking the bait away from the marauding crabs! Holt SAC had a great match at Salthouse with lots of good flounders and some nice bass. Top sport went to Tom Gibbs with 7lb 7oz, Mike Watts second with 7lb 3oz, and Tony Thomas third with 7lb 1oz. That’s pretty competitive fishing to have only 6oz separate the top 3 places, best round fish was Tom Gibb’s 2lb 7oz bass.

The eastern beaches have produced their fair share of bass and flats too, with quite a few of the small codling mixed in. Below Yarmouth and it’s all about the sole and the codling, some beaches have produced a late run of thornbacks, another fish that seem to be bouncing back with gusto, but the sole fishing this year has been very good. Lots of fish above 35cm in mixed bags with codling, some of the codling are already in the 2-3lb range before the autumn and winter season really gets underway, again has to be great news for sport this year. The whiting will be hitting the beaches in numbers over the next few weeks, and as much as they can drive you mad, there’s usually some big cod hot on their tails, with that to look forward to in the run up to Christmas, it looks like a great summer is going to give way to a great winter season.

EDP report 17/09/14

The rays that seemed to be in huge numbers in Suffolk last week have all but disappeared, it’s been a funny old season so far, and I can’t ever remember this number of rays in a year. I’m hopeful that it’s a sign the fish are having a better time of things and that we get some good sport on the back of that. I still think we have to be responsible too, it’s the same with the bass that have been around in good numbers this year. Most of the bass I’ve seen have been just on or just under spawning size, take what you and your family can eat and put any others back, then maybe we will have similar numbers again in the years to come. I’ve heard all of the arguments about the numbers of fish taken by commercial fishermen and how little impact we have on fish stocks, and all of that’s true of course. The fact remains however that we do have an impact on stocks, however small, and it’s our responsibility to control how we manage that impact. I’m not soap boxing here, please enjoy your catch with an eye on future catches too.

The bass have shown again in some nice surfy conditions in the north and east, several good catches along with flounders and dabs on the shingle. Holt SAC had a tougher time than the pleasure anglers, Richard Ellis leading the field at Kelling with 3lb 9oz, Henry Randell second with a solitary fish for 2lb 3oz, and my old mate Christian Bulch third with 1lb 15oz. The result shows the advantage pleasure anglers have over the match lads in being able to pick their time and place to fish. After the England men’s casting bronze in Italy a couple of weeks back, I’m hoping that the England Ladies fishing in France this week will have similar luck, particularly Adele Smith and Kimberley Lawn who are representing England from the Anglian region, here’s hoping for a good result ladies!

EDP report 10/09/14

I keep writing about the imminent onslaught of autumn and the beaches keep producing spring and summer fish! In the north there have been flats and bass, with a few smoothound pups too. In the east it’s a similar story though I’ve seen smoothounds getting on for 5lb, a few eels too making their way back to Bermuda. The real story this week though has been the numbers of small codling and rays on the Suffolk beaches. The codling are barely sizeable on the whole but they are there in good numbers and they’re early, a few more months of feeding and they should be a nice size come 2015. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many rays from our beaches, the beats between Lowestoft and Aldeburgh have thrown up quite a few this year topped by an “autumn run” around Kessingland with some rods landing half a dozen lovely fish to 7lbs. I thought in the spring that there might be a revival, we have had them in the past but until this year there have only been odd fish, here’s hoping for a brighter future for the rays.

Holt SAC fished the final round of the West Norfolk Challenge at Kings Lynn. Andrew Dawkins mad e the trip worthwhile again by claiming top spot with 3lb 8oz but only by an ounce from Dave Read in second. Tony Thomas came in third with 2lb 11oz. There’s a change of venue now for the club matches, leaving the rivers behind for the open coast. The next match is at Kelling on Sunday 14th September, new members are very welcome, email me if you need contact details for any of the clubs in our region. The forecast looks like we’ll be getting high pressure for a week or so, there should still be some soles showing, I have no idea how long the rays will hang around but conditions on night tides will be favourable if they’re still around.

EDP report 03/09/14

The autumn seems to be closing in quick and sport on the regions beaches seems to be as consistent as it has been pretty much all summer. Flats, bass and a few codling above Yarmouth, and sole, bass and more codling below, I feel it’s shaping up to be a cracking autumn and winter season. Bass have been the stars in the north with some cracking catches of fish up to 3lb with occasional better ones mixed in, great to see these in good numbers, but also likely to be a sign that they are shoaling up before heading off to the Bay of Biscay or wherever it is they winter. I saw Rob Allen had a lovely double shot with a good early season codling with a lovely pan sized sole! The codling was as good as I’ve seen and looked to be in the 3lb bracket which given that we’re just into September bodes well for the winter and 2015s spring run. Plenty of nice sized sole showing from the usual areas around Lowestoft and Southwold with plenty of fish around the 30cm mark and lots of those barely sizeable codling around the Ness and Aldeburgh too.

I reported last week that the England casting team were off to Italy to take part in the world championships, the lads did brilliantly well and brought home a very respectable bronze medal. Kev Southey topped the England individual list finishing 11th in the world, no mean feat against very strong Italian and Argentinian teams, a brilliant performance and especially well done to the Anglians’ casting. Forecast for the week ahead looks like we might have a surfy weekend on the beaches above Yarmouth, those bass will be back in if they haven’t all migrated yet!