Ironic that within an hour of me submitting last week’s report I get a message telling me about Alan Bond’s superb 22lb 8oz cod, the largest cod I can recall from the beach for many years, and the second 20lb fish in as many weeks! I hoped too that as those surge tides settled that the codling would come back on the feed, the opposite seems to have happened with hardly any codling showing. They are likely to be off chasing sprats which has at least given some focus to the often overlooked species, and particularly the dabs. We always get better ones this time of the year, and this year is no different with some crackers at Sizewell and Aldeburgh, I think until the sprat shoals break or the weather roughs up, match anglers will be targeting flats and whiting rather than hoping for the bonus codling. The outlook for spring is pretty good though and if those codling do come back they promise some super sport in March and April.
Ritegear tackle backed Norfolk Angling Club fished their latest match at Cley, 20 fished in cold, hard conditions. Charlie Needham claimed top spot winning with 1lb 9oz, 2oz ahead of Iain Molloy in second, with Andy Turk in third with 1lb 1oz. Holt SAC found a few more fish at Kelling, including some bonus codling. Dick Ellis ran out winner with 5lb 1oz, Pete Morse was second with 4lb 6oz and Tony Thomas third with 4lb 5oz, all three recording codling in their catches, with Pete Morse taking the largest round with a 47cm specimen. Occasional codling are still showing on the rough ground marks though there appear to be significantly less on the open beaches, that may change through the weekend though as Saturday promises a hefty northwest blow which should provide some better conditions for the north and east beaches as the wind goes west on Sunday.
EDP report 14/01/15
The past week has been a bit of a strange one dominated by some pretty extreme weather. We’ve seen storm force winds and extremely low pressure which I think has unbalanced the sport a little, we’ve certainly not seen the catches of the previous weeks though there are some good fish about and I’m sure the fish will settle back in once these weather systems return to something like normality. Holt SAC moved the fourth round of the National sea league to Gorleston from Salthouse due to the wind, no codling showed in the match with dabs figuring in most of the catches. Mike Topping won the day with 3lb 4oz, Clyde Legget was second with 2lb 14oz, and Ivan Allison third with 2lb 9oz, Holt are back on the shingle on Saturday at Kelling. Norfolk AC fished the rough ground at Weybourne hoping for some codling but found only whiting and dabs, Dean Gibson winning with 3lb 6oz. Mike Ranson was second with 2lb 13oz, and Charlie Needham framed again with 2lb 8oz. There have been some nice fish up around there, my old mate Digger Fairclough had a cracker around 5lb 8oz and another 2lber amongst the whiting, though as stated earlier, the surging tides seem to have put some fish off.
East Norfolk beaches have been slower with whiting and flats in catches, before the weather there were some showing at Trimingham and Mundesley and again I think we need to see weather back to seasonal norms before that picks up again. Yarmouth and southwards and it’s a very similar story, the wind keeping many anglers off the beaches. There had been some codling at Orford and Aldeburgh and I would expect these to move back into casting range once things settle down. The fourth round of the East Anglian league was fished at Sizewell, competitors’ hopeful for codling found it tough with similar catches to those seen further north. Dave Cook won the match with 3lb 11oz, second was Mark Pinder, beaten on the count back, with 3lb 11oz, and third Dave Read with 3lb 3oz. I’m hopeful that once weather patterns return we should see the codling come with them, and the way it’s shaping up, hopes are high for a decent winter and spring run.
EDP report 07/01/15
A very Happy New Year to everybody as 2015 gets off to a flyer! Codling have shown on most of the regions beaches, the further south you go the size and quantity improve though it’s hard to see the beast caught by Dean Rogers at Aldeburgh. Dean managed a lump of bang on 20lb whilst fishing the dirty wall, unfortunately the pictures don’t do the fish justice, but it’s certainly the biggest cod I’ve seen reported for a good while. There have been several fish at Orford too up to around 4 or 5lb though fish between 2 and 3lb are more common. Rob Allan and Matt Lawes shared a good haul of those 2-3lb fish at Kessingland, and there have been similar catches reported at Corton, Hopton and Gorleston. Above Yarmouth and the quantity reduces but the quality stays with fish to 3lb reported from Bacton, Mundesley, and Trimingham. Decent tides through this week and with some strong southerly winds I would hope that the Suffolk beaches keep producing a few nice ones.
The north Norfolk shingle is probably more famous for the number of flats and whiting much beloved of the match anglers, but even here there have been codling caught, especially amongst the rough ground patches at Sheringham and Weybourne. Holt SAC fished Cley last Sunday, Tony Thomas took the honours with 3lb 7oz, Peter Loke second with 2lb 4oz, and John Carter third with 2lb 2oz, there were a couple of sizeable codling caught, the best was a 39cm specimen caught by Keith Morley. Cromer’s Sabre Tackle fished their final sea league match at Sheringham, and here it was the codling that made for a very close finish. In top spot David Lake with 4lb 14oz, and scooping the Leeda Icon boat rod prize for a nice codling at 52cm. A third of an ounce back in second was Christian Bulch with a 51cm codling, and Shane Scarff third with 4lb 6oz. It’s been a very competitive series this one, and great to see Leeda backing local competition.