Codling On The Essex Beaches

by John Popplewell

all at sea logoOn the run up to the Christmas period we always find that the fishing tends to slow down somewhat. This year is no different, the thornback ray have all but disappeared and there are still only a few codling to be caught. At present there are more codling being caught from the beaches than the boats.

This is also traditionally the time for the estuaries to see the herring and sprat shoals arrive, they are here and without any cod to be caught they are not causing the anglers any problems.

The boats have had a quiet week, still plenty of whiting about plus some small codling. Thornback ray have been at a premium and it will probably be after the early new year before they turn up again if the weather stays settled.

Matt Clark with a shore caught codling

Matt Clark with a shore caught codling

St Osyth beach has seen plenty of whiting being caught, most are very small plus a few dabs. Clacton pier is in much the same vein with whiting the odd small codling and the chance of a thornback ray.

The Holland beaches have reported whiting and dabs with a smattering of codling, after dark seems to be the best time here. The Frinton beaches have shown a few codling, whiting and flounders.

Walton Pier is probably the best venue to head for with once again plenty of whiting and dabs to be caught, the bigger tides should also see a few elusive codling too.

Colchester Sea Angling Club held their annual rockling challenge match on the Harwich beaches, 11 competitors

Joe Scammell and a typical codling from the local beaches

Joe Scammell and a typical codling from the local beaches

entered on this fun/social evening with only rockling to be weighed in. Most anglers used very light fishing tackle to catch these small fish, plenty of fish were caught mostly whiting and a few small bass. But by the end of the match 18 rockling were weighed in.


First place on the night went to Gary Hambleton with a total rockling weight of 175g, close behind in second was Phil Buy with 170g. Third placed Dave Clark had 145g followed by Michael Bradley 110g and Fred Gibby 100g.

Colchester Sea Angling Clubs next match is the River Championships on Sunday, the venue is Felixstowe (Viewing Area) fishing 1pm – 6pm.

The high tides for the weekend are Saturday 15.57pm and Sunday 16.57pm.

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