It looks like we are back on track this week, the boats have seen the return of the bigger bass along with thornbacks and smoothhounds. Still tope to be caught on the distant marks, unlike last year when those bigger tope turned up on our inshore easy to get at venues.
The charter boat Sophie Lea has also seen bigger bass showing, plus thornback rays and hounds. Neil Marples fished on his own boat Milore out of Walton on the Naze and landed bass up to 4lbs plus smooth hounds to 7lbs.
The stingray haven’t left our shores yet and the boats have also seen a few this week with rays to 40lbs being caught.
Dave Hollands and Rocky Rotchell launched their boat Herby Essex Boys from the Gunfleet Boat Club and had a great day with plenty of good size bass, smooth hounds and thornback rays, all their fish were caught on squid and ragworm baits.
The beaches and piers have also seen an upturn in catches. St Osyth beach has seen a return of thornback rays, it is always best to fish the evening tides as there is a lot of holiday traffic on the beaches here during the day-time tides.
Clacton Pier is seeing bass being caught on lures and ragworm baits fished in between the pier piles; there is always a chance of a very big bass turning up fishing this style.
The Holland beaches have seen bass and some soles now being caught on the evening tides and the odd thornback ray has also shown here.
The Frinton beaches have come into form with soles being caught after dark along with bass, some small thornback rays and flounders.
Walton Pier has improved with smoothhounds showing on the bigger tides along with a return of thornback ray and bass.
Nat Butcher fished by the club hut on the lower part of the pier she landed a good size thornback ray along with a very big lobster which also fell to her rod.
Phil Buy from the Colchester Angling Club fished the same spot, and he had great sport with the school bass.
Walton Sea Angling Club fished on the local beaches for their evening mid-week match, and with a strong wind to contend with the fishing was always going to be difficult.
Top angler on the night was the in-form Nik Highfield with six fish for 103 points. Second place went to Kenn Peacock with five fish scoring 70 points and Chris Mills in third also had 70 points but with two fish. The heaviest fish prize went to Bill Paquette for his a 1lb 1oz sole.
Colchester Sea Angling Club head to Suffolk and the Shingle Street beaches for their evening league match. 14 anglers braved very wet conditions. First on the night was once again the in-form Nik Highfield with 13lb 10oz, his catch included the heaviest round fish prize a thornback ray of 7lb 6oz.
Second place went to Olly Yallop with 11lb 1oz and his catch included the heaviest flatfish prize, a sole of 1lb 1oz. In third was Malcolm Wright with a ray of 5lb 2oz.
My trip this week was to the Walton Back waters where I fished along the sea wall on the high tide mark, I caught plenty of bass around the 2lb mark and lost a couple of very big bass that slipped the hook before I could land them.
The high tides for the weekend are Saturday 14.28 and Sunday 14.59