Weed Problematic On Essex Shores

by John Popplewell

all at sea logoA very quiet period now for the shore angler all along our coastline, with plenty of seaweed to cause problems when the sea is running hard on the ebb tides!

It really isn’t unusual for the fishing to have a slack time in July and all our beaches are seeing just that during daylight hours. The odd bass and ray have been caught but nothing too exciting to report, but at times like this it is time to try different tactics. Both Clacton and Walton Piers will see bass feeding on small garfish so if you fancy some sport with the bass then lure fishing is the way forward. It could now be time to put those heavy beach rods away for a while and try some light tackle fishing.

Small silver spinners or lures in between the pier piles will tempt those bass to feed. Small hooks and ragworm baits also fished down by the piles will see wrasse, small pollack and garfish feeding. These tactics will also work all along our rocky breakwaters that adorn the Essex Coast.

My trip this week was down to the estuary for maybe the last chance of a stingray before they disappear till next year, but sadly no sign of stingrays. I did use the light tackle approach and to be honest it was a bite a cast with bass up to the 1½lb mark.

A typical size smooth hound for Bill Davies on the Sophie Lea

A typical size smooth hound for Bill Davies on the Sophie Lea

The heavy weed that I reported about appeared on the ebb tide and it was time to pack up, but the flood tide fished very well.

Walton Pier this week has seen a few sole caught and some school bass; there is always a chance of a thornback ray or big smooth hound to be caught here. After dark will improve your chances on the piers and beaches for soles and bigger fish.

Walton Sea Angling Club headed for the Frinton beaches for their evening match and with light winds and a warm breeze hopes were high.

Unfortunately, the fish had other ideas and only small bass and the odd eel were caught. First place went to Richard Burt 80 points, which included a small bass and eel, a close second Ken Peacock with five small fish for 71 points and third Lawrence Chisnall two small bass 31 points.

Colchester Sea Angling Club fished the Clacton beaches for round three of the Colchester Bait & Tackle Evening League, the fishing was slightly better with a few thornbacks and soles being caught.

Top rod for the evening was Dave Clark with a 6lb 10oz thornback ray. Dave also won the heaviest fish prize with his ray, second place was Olly Yallop also with a thornback ray weighing 5lb 4oz, third Lawrence Chisnall 2lb 8oz. The heaviest flatfish prize went to Bill Paquette with a 14oz sole.

Alan Tipple with a 5lb bass from his own boat

Alan Tipple with a 5lb bass from his own boat caught off the Holland on Sea Coast

The boats have had a reasonable week with plenty of calm weather and sunshine! The Brightlingsea based charter boat saw smooth hounds to over 20lbs, Chris Moles’ Mersea charter boat also had a great week on the smooth hounds and bass.

Dave Hollands fished from his new boat from the Gunfleet Boat Club ramp, he reported smooth hounds to 10 lbs along with bass to 5lbs. Alan Tipple and Sandie Davis also fished from the Gunfleet ramp and had a very good day with 8 bass to 5lbs and one smooth hound which was caught by Sandie.

It looks like the thornback rays have slowed down this week for the boats, but they will never be too far away.

The high tides for the weekend are 09.41 Saturday, and Sunday 10.43.

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