All at Sea – 05-07-2016

by John Popplewell

We are now into early summer and the fishing has slightly moved into the doldrums. However, for those anglers who are willing to fish into darkness, or are lucky enough to fish on the overcast days, there are fish to be caught.

July has never been a great month in the shore angler’s calendar but with a bit of fore thought you can improve your catches by fishing the bigger tides and the evening tides.

Walton Pier has had one of those typical July weeks. There are still thornback rays to be caught from the head of the pier and the smooth-hounds have even turned up on some tides, but in general the main catch has been whiting and small bass. Soles are there to be caught from the side of the pier at the top and also from the club hut area at the bottom. Ragworm baits are always top for the soles. The sea has been too coloured to see any mackerel being caught but they will be around the lifeboat area with calm seas.
Mark Sessions with a mid summer beach caught thornback ray

The Walton beaches have fared better with reports from the Naze beaches fishing quite well for bass. Hipkins and under the cliffs have seen some bigger bass, but beware of the bigger tides as they will come right up to the bottom of the cliffs so make sure you have a safe exit. Weed can also be a problem here but the flood tides are still quite fishable.

Burnt House to the south of the pier has produced some reasonable size bass plus eels and flounders and even the odd ray.

Once again the Frinton beaches have seen bass, soles, whiting and the odd ray anywhere from Polebarn Lane to the Golf course beaches, again the evening tides are proving to be the better option to fish.

The Holland beaches this week have been fairly quiet with reports being spasmodic with only a few anglers fishing, but thornback rays have been caught on the evening tides and into darkness, plus some bass.

Clacton Pier has to be the top venue this week with local angler Peter Rose reporting a 12lb bass caught to a holiday maker on squid bait. The fish was weighed and returned and is the biggest reported this summer from beach or pier. Thornback rays are still being caught and John Rickwood landed a 7lb 8oz specimen plus a 2lb 3oz bass.

The St Osyth beaches have slowed down somewhat and it looks like those stingrays that I have reported on have now peaked. Nothing unusual about that as May and June are the main months for these giants to appear close to our shores. There is always a chance of a stingray right through to the end of August, but it will be only the odd one caught. My last trip for the stingers saw me catching 2 to 35lbs plus losing a bigger one on the shoreline.

The boats this week have had a reasonable week with smooth-hounds showing very well from most venues; bass to 8lbs and some thornback rays although they do seem to have moved out into deeper waters.
 members on the Clacton Boat Club stand at the Sea and Beach Festival

Clacton Boat Club had a Stand at the Sea and Beach festival and what a great weekend it was, with jet skis and yacht races. The Clacton Boat Club have a few membership places left, and you can contact them at or telephone 07762 318606.

Local Angler Martin Smyth launched his boat from the Frinton beaches on a calm day and reported back that the smooth-hounds were certainly feeding, he landed hounds to 8lbs over high tide as well as bass to 3lbs plus many dogfish.

If you have any reports or photos you can contact me at

The tides for the weekend are Saturday 15.47pm and Sunday 16.36pm

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