Just too many fish

Sea fishing with Ian BowellThis week has seen some of the best fishing for some time.Reports are of too many fish, a complaint I do not hear many times. Codling weighing up to 5lb have been taken from Felixstowe beaches, rising to 9lb from the boats.

This week has seen some of the best fishing for some time.

Reports are of too many fish, a complaint I do not hear many times. Codling weighing up to 5lb have been taken from Felixstowe beaches, rising to 9lb from the boats.

Orford boatman Peter Merrin is beside himself with the quality of fishing the Island is producing at the moment. A party of ICI anglers had a fantastic time last Thursday, taking fish after fish from the start.

Chilly north-easterly winds have contributed to bring the fish within casting range of the beaches.

However, it's not just the beaches that are producing. Gary Markham's boat was forced back into the River Deben last week due to bad weather. Dropping anchor close to the moorings, the party of anglers enjoyed some good fishing, taking whiting, codling and bass.

East Lane is producing a number of fish, a pleasing report for the forthcoming Master's competition.

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Last Saturday, pleasure anglers enjoyed good fishing all along the coast, with Clacton and Aldeburgh producing the best. Codling were coming out thick and fast after a decent wind.

Catches dropped slightly for the Sea League on the Sunday, but more than 80 per cent of the 125 anglers taking part caught fish.

Andy Collier (pictured right), caught a 5lb bass from Aldeburgh beach. I bet he wished he had saved the fish for this coming Sunday with a £750 jackpot on offer in the charity match at Aldeburgh.

The cost of running these matches is going through the roof, especially when the local council require a huge amount public liability insurance for every competition.

The Evening Star League has seen a 100pc rise in premiums this year. Fortunately Porter's Tackle of Colchester has donated £50 towards the running costs. The remainder will need to be found from the anglers taking part.

Insurance is something all anglers should consider. The NFSA offer personal membership cover, a

worthwhile investment should the unthinkable happen.

Forthcoming matches:

Sunday: Aldeburgh Blind – Paul Harrison 01728 454041

October 27: Ipswich Open – Dave Gunson 01473 716530,

November 3: Felixstowe Open – Bob Leonard 01394 211779,

November 10: Sea League Round Two, 17th Clacton Open – Richard Holgate 01255-675680. Peninsular Pirates Open – Andy Smith 01473 714842.

Suffolk Beach Anglers

Kev Knights from Suffolk Beach Anglers, who came third in the Suffolk County sole match/NSFA Guernsey Qualifier, has now been promoted to fish the final in Guernsey.

The other places above him weren't NSFA members. Suffolk Beach Anglers would like to wish him all the best for the finals, as he will be representative East Anglia and also SBAA.

Westport international skate championships (a report by SBA member Andy Garnham): Westport Ireland played host to the International Skate Championships recently.

The two-day boat festival attracted attention from many non-resident anglers, with Terry Scarfe, Neil Jarrold, Tim Adams and Andy Garnham from Suffolk Beach Anglers being among the near 90-strong field.

The scoring for the competition was based on a points system with skate worth the highest – 100 points, and lesser species such as dogfish worth three points.

Although this is primarily a skate competition, there are obviously prizes for the most points gained over the two days, with many anglers not targeting the skate at all and concentrating on the


I'm glad to say the Suffolk boys stuck it out for the 'big one' although luck was not shining on them. They knew it would be tough – last year's competition was skate-less!

They were, however, lucky enough to witness and be part of the capture of this year's first skate as the whole boat pulled together to land a fish estimated at 160lb.

The only other skate was caught on the following day and tipped the scales at 185lb.

Scotsman Steve Muir, who landed the larger skate, bagged the top prize of £900.

However, the weekend was not just about the skate, but more of a social gathering.

Fortunately for the lads, Steve's winnings was burning a hole in his pocket and insisted on plying us with drinks until we left the bar at 4am in the morning! Roll on next year and maybe lady luck will shine on us!

Felixstowe sea anglers:

The first match in the Rose Bowl series was fished last Sunday.

Conditions were not good with a flat sea in bright sunshine and the only fish showing were all undersized.

True to form as soon as the sun went down the sizeable fish started to show, but those taking part only had a short time to make the most of it.

Winning his first club match with a codling and a whiting was Clive Howe, with a weight of 1lb 6.5oz and second was Kenny Messenger with two whiting weighing 1lb 0.75oz.

The Felixstowe Sea Angling Society presents a junior and parent, basic sea fishing technique course followed by a match to be held on Saturday, October 26, 2002 at the headquarters, Manor Terrace, Felixstowe.

The programme for events are: 12 noon – arrive general talk and arrange groups, 12.15pm to 1.45pm – make rigs and fishing techniques, 2.00pm to 4.30pm – fishing match, 4.45pm – weigh in at club hut, 5pm – leaving notes and presentation of prizes.

If you are interested in attending please write to Jason Banham at 16 Oxford Drive, Woodbridge, IP12 4EE, or call 01394 388548 by no later than Wednesday, October 23.

Bait will be provided and entry is £3 (which is payable on the day). Under 16s will receive one year's free membership.

Full results from The Evening Star Sea League in next week's Sea Fishing column.