All At Sea – 15-06-2015

by John Popplewell

This week is certainly about the lack of anglers on the beaches and piers despite the fact that there are fish there to be caught but rods have been few and far between. Those anglers that have ventured out have found a few fish feeding, but nothing like we have been seeing in recent months. Most of the thornback rays that arrived in early spring to breed have now moved back into deeper waters, although there are always a few left in shallower waters. On the bright side, however, we are now seeing more bass and sole from most areas.

a nice bass
Walton Pier can turn up some good catches of these flat fish with the Naze side at the top of the pier producing some reasonable catches. The bigger sole seem to be caught from the lowest part of the pier on the flood tide; ragworm and small hooks are the order of the day.

Clacton Angling Club headed for the Burnt House beaches for their latest evening match and 13 anglers competed for only a few fish. In 1st place was Lawrence Chisnall with 116 points, 2nd place went to Berni Putko 99 points and 3rd Nik Highfield 63 points. Heaviest fish went to Berni Putko with a dogfish. Between the competitors they managed to catch 9 different species – pouting, eels, bass, dogfish, flounders, whiting, soles and a solitary thornback ray.

The Walton beaches, towards the Albion and Coastguards, seems the place to head for on the evening tides with bass, soles and eels and even the odd codling showing. The Holland beaches this week have also seen a lack of anglers, although once again the fish are there to be caught. Sole and bass will be showing here and after dark will give you the best catches.

Clacton Pier is another venue that has seen a lack of anglers this week, but bass and codling with the odd ray are still to be caught. The Jaywick beaches can turn up some really big bass in mid-June, with the ebb tides improving your chances with big ragworm or squid baits proving the best baits to use.

The boats have only had a few days at sea this week, with high winds mid-week curtailing fishing. Mackerel are showing well on the outer marks and have still to move closer inshore. The rays are still there to be caught from most marks, although they are the smaller fish. Smoothhounds have now moved in that bit closer and some reasonable catches are being caught from the Gunfleet Sands. Those summer bass have also moved closer for the boat angler, but don’t forget there is now a three fish per angler fish limit set by the European Commission, so any more than that must be returned to the sea.

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

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