It looks like we are warming up rather nicely in more ways than one this week! The weather has set fair with only a couple of days when the boats have struggled to put to sea. The water temperature has now risen another few degrees prompting the bass and smoothhounds to move closer to our shores.
Most of the charter and private boats this week have reported some really good catches, still thornbacks to be caught although the size of them has decreased somewhat. The smoothhounds are certainly on the increase. Lester Baker, skipper of Sea Watch Charters, reported lots of mid-double figure hounds being caught, these fish are really great sport on light tackle and can really put a bend in that fishing rod.
The Brightlingsea based charter boat Sophie Lea has also been amongst those early summer smoothhounds and reported some good catches, plus bass as well. These mini sharks love peeler crab baits, but if you can’t get hold of them, then hermit crab is also a great bait and most lobster/crab fisherman will be all to ready to sell you a few.
It’s been reasonable on the shore side this week with some good catches when the sea has been rough, especially on Walton Pier, where in the rough conditions the codling have been feeding. Walton Sea Angling Club headed for the local pier for their latest match, and fishing a flood tide with a strong wind blowing it could only be conducive to some of those bigger fish. They fished the head of the pier and from the start fish were being caught with codling to 3lbs and plenty of dogfish, the weights were always going to be high. Top angler on the night was Jon Wilson with an outstanding weight of 19lbs 7oz, a great weight in any match, 2nd place went to Rob Tuck with 7lbs and a close 3rd James Everett 5lb 8oz. Jon caught codling to 3lbs plus a bonus thornback ray of 6lbs for top spot. Their next club match is on the Frinton Golf Course beaches on 16th June 7pm-10pm
The Walton beaches are fishing reasonably well on the evening tides. Venues to head for are the Coast Guard beaches towards the Naze for soles and bass. The Burnthouse area to the south of the pier is producing bass and flounders; Colchester angler Derek Cranfield fished here and told me that he had great sport on light tackle on the ebb tides.
I have had a couple of trips this week, the first to the Bradwell Power Station beaches in search of stingrays and smoothhounds, and to be honest the fishing wasn’t that good. I ended the evening with six whiting and one eel. I then headed for the Golf Course beaches at Frinton for an ebb tide saunter for one of those big bass and ended this session with 7 whiting and two big eels and I also managed to catch my first bass of the summer, so not a bad session.
The St Osyth beaches have once again seen some thornback rays, not as many as we have been catching and one more report of a stingray in the 50lb range for Mark Cole.
Top venue this week has to be Walton Pier, with rays from the top of the pier and garfish, pollack and wrasse on light tackle fishing in between the pier piles. The tides for the weekend are Saturday 9.40am and Sunday 10.40am.