Fish take the bait as southerlies hit the south

SEA FISHING: The past week has seen some strong southerlies stir up the south of the area and the fish responded on many of the beaches – and the winds look to be holding a southerly course too. I've seen codling in reports from Felixstowe to Yarmouth and heard of a few more. Weed is still the plague of the east Norfolk beaches, though I'm told it's less of a problem on the shingle of the far north.

Anglers braving the swell and surf in the deep south were rewarded with a few early codling in the 1�lb to 2lb bracket. Fish bigger than this seem to be rare and it feels about right given the very small fish we saw a year or two back. Codling amongst the whiting have turned up at Orford, Aldeburgh, Dunwich and Southwold. A works match at Dunwich yielded a few fish for the 10 competitors; I have no weights, but saw images of several codling in the 1-2lb range with a school bass and whiting. There have been a few at Pakefield and off the south pier, too, but the hot spots in the Lowestoft area are from Ness point down to Corton, with more of those fish around about 2lb caught.

Yarmouth has seen a few codling with the whiting also. Fish have been reported from Hopton and Gorleston, night tides best.

Around the east Norfolk beaches it has been a bit tougher; I've seen some lovely seas that have been tough to fish because of the weed. It doesn't seem to have shifted yet, but we remain hopeful.

Justin Grapes toughed it out at Bacton for a 3lb bass and the Norfolk teams of fives event was won with 7lb of flats from the gas site, with some large flounders reported. It's the time of year for good conditioned flatties and the beaches around east Norfolk are rightly famous for them.

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In the north there have been some flatties caught and the bass seem to show up on the back of a surf following some northerly winds. Like the east, this area is due a stir-up, though it doesn't look like it will happen this week. The wind forecast has it staying southerly so it looks like the best chances will be in the south; let's hope the conditions encourage a few more inshore.

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