The weather played a key roll in the sport for the region through last week. Steady north quarter winds kept a steady surf and a few bass fed but not the hounds, mackerel, and sole of the settled seas of the previous weeks.
In the far south bass and a few unseasonable codling were caught, again moving coloured water driving the soles off but encouraging the bass. There had been a few hounds on the beaches around Yarmouth, again the surf slowed that sport but encouraged a few school bass, not unlike the beaches above and the shingle ridge. Unsettled again through the week but I think a settled spell will see the soles back on the menu.
EDP report 18/06/14
A split week I think this one, since the last report we’ve seen the weather change from a settled westerly airflow to a cooler north quarter wind. This will certainly have switched the sport around, in the run up to the weekend it was all about soles in the south and mackerel in the north, now it will be about the bass and perhaps some unseasonable codling. Lovely surf and colour in the sea through this week should encourage the bass onto the feed but is bound to break up the mackerel and move them offshore. Sole don’t generally like surf so I should think bass will be the target species this week. Holt SAC sent me a couple of reports, the first the 3rd round of their evening series at Gt Yarmouth. Paul Tovell took top spot with 2lb 11oz almost a clear pound ahead of Tony Thomas in second with 1lb 12oz with Richard Ellis a close third with 1lb 11oz. They also held a club match last Sunday at Kelling where Pete Morse won with a level 4lb, Richard Ellis and Paul Tovell framed again with 3lb 1oz and 2lb 14oz respectively.
I managed to get out myself last Friday with Karl Gibson for a very enjoyable session on the shingle. Using light spinning gear and half ounce Dexter wedges we managed several good sized mackerel, the largest well over a pound. Light gear gets the bes6t from these little scrappers and I’m sure if they went to double figures we wouldn’t fish for anything else! It was good to see the amount of whitebait in the water too, at times the water was slick black there were so many, and squid too had been on the mackerel’s menu, all good signs of a healthy eco system. Unfortunately we didn’t manage any bass though they would have been big fish had they been feeding on the mackerel as we never saw a mackerel under 8-10oz all evening, most were a good pound. The forecast through the week is not ideal for lure fishing and it will be bass to bait in the surf this week I think.
Civilised Session 13/06/14
I had the day off Friday, I had a few jobs to do which I got knocked off early doors. Mrs Aitch and Aidan left the house at 7:45, I'd got the front upstairs windows stained, grass cut, washing out and in and a 6.5km run in the bag before lunch. I had some banking to do in the afternoon but that was pretty much that. A quick text to Geno who I knew was off too and we arranged a session on the shingle with lures.
I picked him up around 5ish and we were parked up at Sheringham for 6, high water was around 7:30pm so we'd have plenty of time to fish an hour or so either side of high water, a dust buster in Sheringham, me drop him off and still home for midnight negating the risk of me turning into a pumpkin, or worse, Mrs Aitch moaning at me for waking her up.
We were greeted by a beautiful, flat, blue sea, and within minutes of putting the polarised glasses on it was obvious there was bait fish everywhere. We had a few chucks in the town before making our way past the lifeboat shed. We didn't get as far as the Old High, I don't think I've evr seen so much bait in the water, at one point I thought I'd lost my glasses as I couldn't see the shingles on the bottom anymore, I hadn't, they pebbles had been covered by a black mass of whitebait that formed a slick 20 or 30 yards out from the edge and as far as I could see.
Geno was the first in with a nice chunky mackerel, soon followed by me with a slightly chunkier one. They were both good sized and we didn't see a joey all evening. I had 5 on a half ounce Dexter wedge hoping for a bass, we could have had bucketsful on daylights but there's good chances of bass on the wedges. I would say though that there must be some big bass feeding on those mackerel, they were all good sized, chunky, fit fish, the biggest well over a pound. Geno had similar I think and again all of a good stamp. I cooked mine the next day on the BBQ with some herbs, lemon, and lime whilst Geno filleted his and fried them off in butter. We rounded it all off with a pint and a babble, happy days, I bloody love the summer me.
Apologies for the crappy phone photo, you get the gist though..
EDP report 11/06/14
Steady this week with a few fish on most of our beaches, though neighbouring counties seem to have had the best of it. The Lincolnshire beaches have produced some superb hound and ray sport, Norfolk rods Rob Allen and Christian Bulch both finding plenty of double figure hounds and nice rays. This side of the wash and the hounds have been a bit smaller, though I haven’t had any reports of anybody fishing the wash beaches themselves, I would imagine there would be chances of similar sport there. Holt SAC fished the first round of the West Norfolk Challenge in the river at Kings Lynn, usually a good flounder and eel match and it didn’t disappoint this time. Mark Sharman obliterated the field with 21 fish for 9lb 20z, Trev Elliott was second with 5lb 9oz and Richard Burt third with 5lb 4oz. Mark Gooch had the best flounder at cracking 1lb 4oz with Ivan Allison the best eel at 1lb 6oz. The club are back on the shingle at Kelling next weekend.
In the south there have been some hound pups, a few soles showing below Lowestoft, there are still a few dogfish, bass, and codling around Aldeburgh and Orford including odd better bass to 7lb. I haven’t seen reports of any rays lately though most people are fishing with crab for the hounds and bass, fish baits must still be worth a try I think. The river at Yarmouth has a few school bass and there’s always a chance of a better one, flounders and eels here too and hound pups on the beaches. East Norfolk has been patchy, conditions have hardly helped though there have been a few school bass. I would imagine there will be hounds again when the sea flattens off and the tides building to springs this weekend might just be the change needed.
Something Really Smutty 10/06/14
What do I know about Lincolnshire? What is it like, and what are the people that come from there like? Well up until today I knew just four things:-
The A17. - Not very nice to look at, and generally smells of ‘Sunday dinner’ farts.
‘H’ - As above (Rich coming from onion boy - Ed)
Bri - Same as ‘H’, but never been close enough to get a whiff. You can only assume…
Smutts - In the spring/summer it’s a haven for large smoothounds…
There had been reports of some nice fish, up to high doubles in the previous few days. Word of mouth had it that a 25lb’er had been caught on the Sunday, but ‘yeah right, heard it all before’ was probably at the forefront of my thoughts.
Still, I sent a speculative text to anyone I thought might be interested in a trip. The replies were as expected.
From ‘H’ - “Sorry mate, I’m ironing this weekend”
From the Leg End - “That’s nice”
From the Scarlett Pimperfritz - “ “
Come Sunday I text PK again. He just can’t help himself if you catch him right. The slightest chance of a few fish and he’s there. Add to that he’s now retired and can do what he likes , when he like’s….
“I’ll pick you up”.
Neither of us had fished in ‘Deliverance’ county before, but Bri, who’s from there, got in touch and offered some much needed, and much appreciated info (thanks mate).
Despite several near death experiences (but no Boney M, TFFT), we arrived at our chosen spot, and set up. (That moment at Salthouse will stay with me forever, Geno falling out of his car and "brown girl in the ring" blaring out, surreal - Ed)
Low tide was 1100hrs. First cast was about 0930hrs.
It was Dab/Flounder city for about the first 90 minutes. The finest peeler, mounted on suitably ‘smutty’ rigs were being devoured by flatties almost instantly. Then, almost dead on the dot of low tide, my rod slowly bent over in the unmistakeable fashion of a smut bite.
A few minutes later a nice fish was on the beach. “I’m guessing 7lb” I said. “Good guess” said the Leg End as the scales went to exactly that. The first three hours of the flood brought the odd fish, but hours 3-5 were the most productive, and we ended up with 13 between us, mostly 5-7lb. Conditions were perfect for casting, and it would be fair to say we caught most of our fish at extreme range.
Anyway, highlight of the day was this...
20lb 10oz of pure muscle. The fish was a fair size as well.
The Leg End was well pleased, but suitably modest. As I took the pics, and admired the fish, I don’t mind admitting that my hands started to shake. I might look like a lanky old bloke, but inside, I’m still only a daft 14yrs old kid, and it was an awesome creature to see.
After a few photo’s, it swam away strongly.
We couldn’t have asked for more from a trip to an unknown venue, and who’d have thought, that once you get past Boston, Lincolnshire could be so picturesque?
Especially given the shallowness of the gene pool..
EDP report 04/06/14
Another decent week on the regions beaches, and it’s probably the north and east that’s just shading it from the south I would say. There have been some nice fish in the south with bass, codling and dogfish off Orford and Aldeburgh. A few thornbacks have shown too and not too far offshore there have been some nice spurdogs and I’ve even seen a small tope of around 15lb reported. Further up the coast is where it starts to get even more interesting. There have been some nice bass and the hounds are starting to show with a bit more consistency. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case for the Ritegear sponsored Bacton Smoothound Open. Grimsby raider George Smith took the only hound of the match and some flounders for 8lb 9oz, Shane Brown took second spot with 7lb 5oz of bass and flounders with Essex rod Richard Burt taking third place with 6lb 8oz. The hounds have showed from Mundesley up to the shingle though and there have been some nice ones this week, I haven’t heard of any doubles but I do know of catches of 20+ hounds up to 8 or 9lbs, hectic sport in a 5 hour session!
Holt SAC fished at Cley last Sunday, flounders were the mainstay of catches with a sprinkling of bass, Richard Ellis took top spot with 6lb 6oz, Tony Thomas second with a level 3lb and Dick Ellis third with 2lb 10oz, reports have commented on the numbers and quality of the flounders which is always a great sign, with most sea anglers cutting their teeth on those reliable little flatties. Holt fish the estuary at Kings Lynn next week with the first of the four round West Norfolk Challenge Open events, for more details call 07780 0793 141. I shall be out chasing smoothounds this week and the weather looks reasonable for chances of them hanging about, lots of south and west in the wind forecast, overcast and warm. I was interested to see large numbers of small to medium sized tope turning up for the boats fishing only 500m off the east Norfolk sandy beaches, I might just try a lump of squid when I do go, it has been one of those years so far, you just never know!