Essex Boats Find Bass And Stingray

by John Popplewell

all at sea logoSummer seems to be rushing by and the nights are now drawing in with a feeling of early Autumn in the air. To be honest it has been a pretty good Summer for the boat, beach and pier angler.

There have been plenty of bass to be caught and they will still be with us for another couple of months. Smoothhounds are always reliable for the boat angler and we have seen some big double figure hounds landed along with a run of tope that moved into areas that are more achievable for boat anglers to reach, with tope to over 50lbs landed.

The mackerel shoals have been spasmodic, and they have yet to reach the piers, but there is still time.

The boats this week have seen plenty of bass; the charter boat Enterprise out of West Mersea has found some big bass in the 5lb-10lb range with skipper Chris Mole catching his share.

Chris Mole with a bass

Charter skipper Chris Mole looks more than happy with this bass that he caught from his boat the Enterprise

There are still reports of stingrays being caught from the boats. The hot summer and warm water has seen them stay later than previous years. Roger Chase fished on the Brightlingsea based charter boat Sophie Lea and he caught a near 20lb ray. They also landed some big smooth-hounds to 20lbs.

Beach anglers have had good sport this week with the school bass. My trip this week was to fish the beaches of East Mersea and fishing small ragworm baits it was virtually a bite every cast. Most of the bass were on the small side, but still great sport.

The Jaywick beaches are also seeing plenty of small bass, with plenty of mullet around the rocks at high tide although these fish will always prove difficult to catch. Small hooks, light line and a bait of ragworm or bread is the way to go if you fancy having a go for these elusive fish.

Clacton Pier has seen the odd thornback ray caught with bass to be caught straight down by the piles. After dark there is a good chance of a sole with also some whiting showing.

Roger Chase with his near 20lb stingray caught from the Sophie Lea

Walton Pier has seen small bass to lures and some sole being caught, the next few weeks will see the return of the thornback rays and dogfish plus whiting.

Colchester Sea Angling Club headed to Thorpeness on the Suffolk beaches for their latest league match. They fished an evening flood tide in pleasant conditions until persistent rain arrived late in the match. Everyone caught fish with bass and eels being the main catch, although after dark soles came on the feed.

First on the evening was Gary Hambleton with 5lbs which included the heaviest round fish – a bass of 1lb 11oz. Second place went to Olly Yallop 4lb 4oz, his catch included the heaviest flatfish – a sole of 12oz and Dave Clark was third with 3lb 12oz which included four sole.

The high tides for the weekend are Saturday 12.10 pm and Sunday 12.45pm.

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