Mark Hits a Double with the Bass

by John Popplewell

As we move into mid-Summer it has always been a time for the bigger bass to move closer to the shoreline and this year has been no exception. Evening into the darkness has always the best time to find them feeding. Local angler Mark Gray did just that and landed the heaviest bass caught from our part of the coast this year weighing in at 11lbs 2oz and beats his personal best by 2lbs. Mark caught the giant bass on a ragworm bait on a night-time tide fished closed to shore.

Mark with his bass

Local beach angler Mark Gray with his 11lb 2oz bass caught from the Clacton beaches

The St Osyth beaches have been fairly quiet for the last few weeks, but there have been a few thornback ray showing this week, once again evening tides are best. School bass are showing well here, no need to cast too far as most are feeding 50 yards out from the beach.

all at sea logoClacton Pier is also seeing a few more thornback ray, along with small bass and eels, plenty of bites if you keep the hooks and bait small, ragworm and squid will be top baits. Daniel Rotchell fished here and landed soles to over a pound and a thornback ray weighing in at 5lbs. Fishing a lure in between the pier piles can account for bigger marauding bass.

The Holland beaches have improved with bass, soles and eels feeding. There is a lack of anglers fishing but the fish are there to be caught.

My trip this week was down to the Frinton beaches and I fished all night until the sun appeared. I didn’t catch anything very big but there were plenty of bass to 1lb at close range which kept me very busy. Freshly dug lugworm was the bait.

Walton Pier has to be top venue this week, thornbacks have appeared again and rays to 8lbs have been landed, one angler landed five in a daytime session. Joshua Buist is no stranger to catching rays from the pier and this week he landed thornbacks to 6lbs plus a 95cm smooth-hound.

Joshua and his smoothhound

Joshua Buist has a knack of catching specimen fish from Walton Pier. Smooth-hounds were on his menu this week..

Local angler Joe Scammel had a great day on the top of the pier. He caught bass, wrasse and assortment of small fish plus two thornback rays to 5lbs. Bass are still being caught on lures from around the lifeboat area and along the side of the pier although most are under a pound in weight. The club hut area and below will produce bass and soles to ragworm baits once again on evening tides.

The boats have had a reasonable week. The Brightlingsea charter boat Seawatch Charters reported smooth-hounds to 17 lbs and some good-sized thornback rays. Alan Tipple and Sandie Davis fished from their own boat off of the Holland coast line and reported bass to 4lbs, smooth-hounds to 10lbs and even a couple of small tope.

The high tides for the weekend are Saturday 11.27am and Sunday 12.22pm

If you have any fishing reports or photos you can contact me at

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