It has been a reasonable week for both boat and shore angler although with the sea clearing it has been difficult to find fish feeding for the shore angler, as most fish have headed for deeper water during daylight hours.
Lester Baker, skipper of the Brightlingsea based charter boat Seawatch reported that bigger bass are now being caught and his boat has caught fish to 8lbs, and smooth-hounds are showing well, reaching low double figure weights. Lester also told me that those vast thornback ray shoals seem to be thinning out somewhat.
Chris Moles’ charter boat out of West Mersea has also been seeing some bigger bass and aboard his party was a first time angler who managed to land a bass weighing in at a hefty 16lb 6oz, which is the heaviest recorded this year.
The kayaks have also taken advantage of the weather and Alan Tipple and Sandie Davis headed for the river mouth to get some sport from the bass; they were feeding but most were on the small side.
Don’t forget there is still a ban on taking bass until the end of July.
The beach angler has fared slightly less well this week, with clear seas, (which always happens in the early summer months) and still the mayweed to contend with. However, fish have been caught, and my trip this week was to fish a day time tide on the St Osyth beaches for one of the stingrays that the beach is renowned for. I fished ragworm and crab baits and managed to land the biggest fish from boat or shore this year – a stingray weighing in at a hefty 45lbs and another trip during the week saw me catching another two with the biggest weighing in at 35lbs plus losing an even bigger one on the tideline.
Walton Pier has quietened down this week, just the odd ray and no more reports of those hard fighting smooth-hounds that appeared last week. There are still bass to be caught and garfish and mackerel showing from the lifeboat area. Light fishing rods and end tackle will see your catch multiply.
The Frinton beaches are showing well for soles now. No need to cast too far as most of the soles are within 50 yards of the shoreline, ragworm will be the best baits on small hooks. The golf course end is still fishing well for bass and thornback rays and the evening tides will always improve your catches.
Further up the coast on the Holland and Clacton beaches the fishing here has slowed down during day light hours. Gareth Wilson fished here and told me that fish were hard to find, plus the dreaded mayweed was causing problems hanging on the lines.
Clacton Pier has also had a slow week with most fish feeding under darkness, your best bet to land a bass from here is to fish lures around the pier piles and under the pier. The Jaywick beaches have fished quite well for bass and once again the evening tides as the sun goes down have fished far better.
Half Penny Pier at Harwich has also seen some bass this week. Once again worm baits fished around the pier structure will find you the bigger fish, plus the stone pier has also produced fish on the flood tides.
The high tides for the weekend are Saturday 16.44pm and Sunday 17.42pm.