Whiting are still dominating catches. I had a go myself last week at Bacton and couldn’t find a way through 8-10” whiting, and it appears to be a similar story on most of the regions beaches. The shingle in the north though producing fewer whiting, is producing more undersized flatfish too. The latest North Norfolk National Sea League was fished at Cley on Sunday, Henry Randell led the field with 4lb 14oz with Richard Ellis an ounce behind in third with 4lb 13oz. My old mate Pete Fairclough was roughly a pound further back in third with 3lb 15oz. Of the 295 fish carded, only 18 were round fish, which speaks volumes for the sport on the shingle at the minute. Team of the day was Avenue Angling followed by Gutter Bashers and Holt Crack Offs in joint second.
The eastern beaches have produced a few codling and more whiting than the shingle. Some reasonable catches have been made at Trimingham, Mundesley, Bacton and Walcott, though as stated, finding a way through the voracious whiting is more luck than judgement at the minute. The further south you go the better your chances of a codling it seems. There have been some better fish amongst the whiting at Yarmouth north, Gorleston, Hopton and Corton with the latter probably the most consistent. Pleasure boats are sitting not too far off the Lowestoft beaches and finding some decent fish, they obviously like the ground there and I’m not sure what it will take, other than a rough up, to bring them into casting range. Aldeburgh and Orford have the fish closer it seems and there have been some better fish caught, it was interesting to see the number of cuttlefish bones on the beaches, probably worth considering tipping with squid or cuttlefish at the minute, it’ll keep a bait fishing a bit longer than straight worm if nothing else.
EDP report 10/12/14
It seems even the bigger tides and rougher seas aren’t enough to put the whiting off, there are still lots in the catch reports along with the sprinkling of codling and flats. Starting in the east this week, the anglers fishing the Ernie Miller memorial match at Gorleston found some fish feeding, and there were good numbers of sizeable whiting and codling and some good flats between the competitors. Martin Waters narrowly beating England casting international, Kev Southey into second with 704 and 679 points respectively. Keith Morley was third with 600 points, but the real story is that around £1000 was raised for cancer charities, well done all. Staying in the east and there have been some big whiting and a few better codling in catches from Caister down to Corton, and the Suffolk beaches around Lowestoft are starting to produce some better quality fish too, again the codling are the exception to the rule but they are there. Further south to Aldeburgh and Orford and there have been codling to 6lb recorded, great news this week for David Backler from Sudbury, he caught a huge whiting weighing 5lb on the beach last May, it has now been accepted by the British Record (rod caught) committee, the shore caught record now standing at 4lb 8oz confirmed weight, well done David, I don’t think anybody minds catching whiting like that!
In the north Sabre Tackle fished match 7 of their series at Sheringham Old Hythe. In a good looking sea hopes of codling were high though as expected it was the whiting that dominated catches. Spen Waldron carded 7lb 14oz for a very healthy win, Shane Scarff was second with 5lb 2oz including the biggest fish, a codling of 45cm winning him an ICON spinning rod. Chris Bulch and Henry Randell finished a further ounce behind in joint third. It’s been a successful series so far, and great to see Leeda sponsoring a local event. Current overall league standings show how competitive the series has been so far with only 4 points separating first and third, it promises to be a tense a finish. We have some strong westerly winds in the forecast this week and a drop in pressure which usually indicate the chances of some good sport despite falling tides, hopefully the numbers of codling in catches will increase this week.
Dingit receiving the trophy.
There's no way that hats going to fit that head!
EDP report 03/12/14
There have been some lovely looking seas this week, heavy surf and good colour above Yarmouth and heavily coloured seas below, yet it’s the whiting that seem to be making the codling fishing difficult. The sheer numbers of pins is making it difficult to get a presentable bait through them long enough to let it fish for better specimens and I found it interesting to read that the codling being caught were often falling to lug and squid cocktails, the squid lasting on the hook despite the ravages of thousands of tiny teeth! After the National Sea League final the week previously, Holt SAC were back at Kelling last weekend and found the fishing still pretty reasonable. John Neave took top spot with 5lb 13oz with more whiting than flats in the catches for a change. Richard Ellis was second with 5lb 1oz and Ivan Allison third with 4lb 6oz. Sabre Tackle had their latest match at Weybourne too, Charlie Needham (yes him again!) winning a Leeda rod for the biggest round fish with a codling of 42cm and helping him to third place with 3lb 7oz. My old mate Cain Plumb was second with 3lb 9oz and Mark Borley winning his third of the series with 3lb 14oz, they’re back on the shingle again next week at the Old Hythe, if there are any of those better whiting and codling about the rough ground around there will hold them.
Below Yarmouth and the codl9ing seem to be getting a little bigger though I grant you it could be my wishful thinking. I’ve seen 40+cm codling from Gorleston, Corton, Pakefield, and Dunwich. The further south you go and the rays start to make an appe4arance along with a few dogfish too, the ray fishing has been better this year than I can ever remember and I’m hoping it’s the sign of things to come. Building tides and more northerly through the week will change the look of the eastern and northern beaches and should keep some of that colour in the water below Yarmouth, hopefully this set of springs will see more codling caught.