Extreme fishing keeps sea anglers guessing

Welcome to the latest sea angling column. Firstly a big thank you to all those emailing in their sea angling reports to info@eastangliancharters.co.uk it is very much appreciated, allowing us to compile accurate and up-to- date information for all to benefit from. Everyone is invited to do so from all over Norfolk and Suffolk, boat and shore and you could possibly win a free trip aboard our charter vessel High Flyer. Keep them coming!

The weather has been extreme, over the past month or so from hard frosts and frozen conditions to days of record-breaking hot temperatures. Everything seems to be topsy-turvy. At the beginning of last month the inshore codling disappeared after a fantastic few months of great fishing, leaving shoals of whiting to strip our baits.

The dabs have made a welcome return in the last few weeks, and there were a few dogfish inshore from local marks but not in numbers yet. A few skate turned up eight miles out. The purses floating by in numbers is a good sign. Herring and sprat shoals have been unbelievable on occasions with our propellers churning out fish for the seagulls. The downside is getting the cod to feed with so much bait fish in the water.

North Norfolk reports early bass from Trimingham, small schoolies but worth catching. Top venues like Weybourne and Cley are a better bet in April. Try fom the 5th, the start of big tides. Use whole squid on a pennel rig. Cromer Pier still has plenty of whiting on night tides with flatties making a show. There have been reports of dogfish caught in the pots there so get some crab baits out. Mundesley, Bacton and Walcot, havebeen much the same. Plenty of dabs, two at a time reported with most coming from Walcot seafront.

Still no reports from Sea Palling, which is the best place for early bass due to the reefs. At high water head north, cast as close as you can to the rocks. Try Waxham beach for the long casters. Good size flounders are coming in. Forget Horsey unless your a seal lover! Hemsby beach has produced dabs every cast, fishing flood up. Caister beach at night has produced hordes of whiting but they have been less frequent during daylight hours. North Beach is worth a go for the early bass over the rough ground especially with a bit of chop on the water.

Yarmouth harbour has been very busy mainly with whiting again, flatties off the pier head, and reports of a very large dogfish that dropped off halfway up! Use a drop net lads.

Gorleston beach has fished better on the ebb. The odd codling has been taken mainly down towards the wreck and Hopton Steps. Worm cocktails have been producing the bigger dabs. Try small fish baits and elasticated thread, always works. Lowestoft through to Pakefield has been delivering with better numbers of codling on night tides. The cod seem to be heading south. Southwold anglers have been amazed at the size of the flounders this year mainly caught south of the pier.

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Dunwich and Sizewell are worth a try for those last inshore codling. Bigger baits have been better. Whiting have been proving a pain sometimes but early small bass have been reported so hopefully things will start moving.

Our winner this month is Gary Storey from Briston. On a trip to Aldeburgh he bagged a five and-a-half pound cod off the beach on a pennel rig. Gary was a worthy winner was because he thought to leave his already caught whiting on the hook resulting in catching this fine fish, proving natural baits are always worth a try. Well done Gary, I look forward to having you aboard High Flyer soon.

Why not take a leaf out of Gary’s book? Remember natural baits, get a push net for shrimps and small crabs, use mussels on elasticated thread, razorfish, sandeels, hermit crabs. You can always freeze some for another session - Jon Old (High Flyer).