All at Sea – 23-05-2016

by John Popplewell

There have been some excellent catches from both boat and shore anglers during the past week. The bass season is now in full swing with some bigger fish now reported from the beach anglers, plus those hard fighting smooth-hounds have moved in close enough to the shore for pier anglers to start catching some of these mini sharks.

Walton Pier has once again been the venue to fish and Stevenage angler Nigel Rudderless fished the top of the pier on a midweek tide. He landed two smooth-hounds to 9lb 3oz and both were caught on squid baits, plus on the same day another three hounds were caught. The thornback rays are still feeding well and the weekend saw at least 30 rays caught from the pier with some weighing in at 10lbs, in addition garfish are being landed on light tackle among the seasonal.

Nigel Rudderless from Stevenage

Bass are being caught on artificial lures from the sides of the pier with some larger specimens from the club hut area on the ebb tides.

The Colchester Sea Angling Club fished their third “Colchester Bait and Tackle” league match on the Walton beaches at Burnt House, and with reports of thornback rays and bass being caught spirits were high. 15 anglers turned out and with storms brewing it looked like it was going to be an uncomfortable night. Fortunately, the bad weather conditions didn’t materialise and the evening match conditions turned out to be very pleasant. Rays, bass, smooth-hounds and whiting were caught but all the fish were on the small side.

John Poppplewell with the biggest of his 6 bass
Top angler on the night was Neil Cocks with 2lb 8oz, runner-up Dave Clark weighed in 2lb 7oz while third placed Steve Yallop had 2¼lb, fourth was Martin Close on 2lb 3oz and fifth Joe Dellar with 1¾lb The heaviest fish prize went to Dave Clark for his 1lb 10oz bass.

The Frinton beaches have really turned on this week with bass, rays and the first of the stingrays to show up. Walton angler Rob Austin fished this venue on an evening tide flood tide and landed thornbacks and the first stingray to be caught from the venue this summer; the stingray picked up a peeler crab bait. Bass have also been caught from this venue and a few have topped the 5lb mark.

The Holland and Clacton beaches have had a mediocre week with the odd ray and bass, and have still to come into form. Clacton Pier is in similar mode with some rays being caught and dogfish after dark.

My trip this week was to the Jaywick beaches and I had the best session of my season to date. My intentions were to fish the ebb tide and then over low water for two hours picking up the first of the flood. With good conditions and overcast skies with some colour in the water, it didn’t take long for the fish to feed, and surprisingly I landed a steady stream of big eels with the largest weighing in at 2lb 5oz. I also landed six bass, with the biggest at 5lb 9oz caught on a peeler crab bait.

The boats have also had a good week with weather conditions on their side and smooth-hounds seem to be the order of the day. Bigger hounds are now being caught with some into double figures. Lester Baker’s boat Seawatch charters have also been on the bass with fish to 8lb+ now being caught.

The high tides for the weekend are Saturday 16.44pm and Sunday 17.42pm.

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