East is the place to be


Not usually the best or the easiest time to fish the region's beaches, bank holiday weekends are usually reserved for the bucket and spade brigade. There have been a few nice fish caught, though, and it's the east of the patch that has shone this week. There have been plenty of smoothounds showing around Yarmouth and particularly in Hopton bay; I've heard of a few doubles, but most seem to be in the 4lb-7lb bracket. Rob Allen fished Hopton bay and managed nine hard-fighting hounds, the best fish a nice one at 7lb 4oz. Weed can be a pain around Yarmouth, but it's worth persevering for fish of that quality. Peeler crab at long range is the way forward.

North Norfolk from the shingle round to Sea Palling has been slow, with barely a mackerel or a bass reported and few people fishing the busy beaches. I spent last Sunday at Mundesley with the family and visitors and watched a chap trying to fish on a crowded beach; in situations like that you're better off trying to fish the unsociable hours when you're likely to have the beach to yourself.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a few more bass, though, as this little bit of northwest will encourage them to feed inside and it's not long now before they'll be making their way southwards again. Lowestoft continues to produce a few smoothound pups and soles, particularly off the pier, and whiting are turning up in most catch reports, albeit barely sizeable fish. Corton through to Ness point has produced a few small codling, not necessarily early fish or a good sign as they tend to hang about in the old sea wall, but very welcome nonetheless. The best fish I've seen reported was 2lb 10oz. South of Lowestoft it's a bit quieter with flatfish, whiting and the odd dogfish at Benacre, Dunwich and Minsmere.

As we approach autumn I expect it will be the south of the patch that comes to life first; there are whiting in the reports already and these are likely to increase in size and numbers.

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