All at Sea – 06-09-2016

by John Popplewell

It has been a pretty good week for the boats with a late run of smooth-hounds moving into the river estuaries, with some of the hounds into double figures, although the ebb tides have been a problem with weed laying heavy on anglers’ lines. This seems to happen most autumns as they have their last hurrah before leaving us until next summer.

Some reasonable size bass have also been caught with those bigger fish chasing the early autumn whiting shoals.

Neil Marples fished from his own boat Milore out of Titchmarsh Marina Walton and he had a good day with the bass and smooth-hounds. He landed nine bass and three smooth-hounds and lost a double figure hound at the side of his boat.
Local angler Neil Marples with part of his catch from his own boat Milore out of Titchmarsh Marina

Clacton Boat Club Member Martyn Smyth launched from the Martello ramp at Clacton. He landed nine thornback rays to 9lbs and smooth-hounds to 6lbs and Martyn told me that he caught all his fish over high water and squid was the best bait.

The piers and beaches have had an up and down week, with the night tides producing more fish, but still plenty of small bass during day-light hours.

Clacton Pier has had its share of small bass this week and they can be great sport on light tackle and small baits. The next week or two will see the thornback rays return to the pier and it is always worth fishing big squid baits on one rod for that chance of a big fish!

The Holland beaches are also an evening venue at the moment and Garry Graham and Ronnie Adamson did just that. They fished just after a gale and found a few bass feeding, nothing very big, but fish in the 2lb range were caught.

Walton Sea Angling Club held their end of season Pier Final this week. They fished a flood tide on a pleasant late summer evening, with anglers having the option of fishing the top of the pier or the lower part.
Vic Pearce with an unusual grey mullet catch that helped him into 3rd place in the Walton Sea Angling Club finals

It turned out that the top of the pier saw the most fish being caught, mostly pouting, whiting, bass, eels, soles and a lone grey mullet. First place went to Rob Tuck with 4lbs 9oz while runner-up Bill Paquette had 2lb 12oz and third placed Vic Pearce 2lb 10oz. Heaviest fish prize went to Dave Collett with a 15oz sole.

The next couple of weeks should see both Walton and Clacton Piers come into their own with whiting, dogfish and codling showing. At the moment we are seeing a few, but nothing like the numbers that will appear on the next big tides.

The high tides for the weekend are Saturday 18.08 hrs and Sunday 19.33.

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