Nothing to catch

by Ian BowellThis week sea angling has hit an all time low. Catching anything is an achievement. The only glimmer of light is a report that some Aldeburgh boats filled a few boxes with cod during a break in the weather.

This week sea angling has hit an all time low. Catching anything is an achievement. The only glimmer of light is a report that some Aldeburgh boats filled a few boxes with cod during a break in the weather. Long lining a few miles off the coast, it seems there are a few fish starting to appear. Lets hope they arrive on the beaches soon. There are several small fish showing, which for those who can remember the last time this happened, a bad year was followed by two very good years. Let's hope history repeats itself. Peter Merrin; the Orford boatman reports a lot of small fish on the island, with some larger fish topping 3lb. It must be stressed that at the moment this is the odd fish rather that a lot. Peter goes on to report that trawlers have been sighted inside 400 yards of the island. Patrolling up and down, when will someone realise that this is ruining our already depleted fish stocks? Perhaps we should start a campaign to ban trawling inside 3 miles! added to that making our rivers protected completely Lets see some letters with comment!

With times hard for anglers, two local organisers are putting on a measure and return match over this coming weekend. Both are on Sunday, one being held at Aldeburgh, the other at Clacton. Everything that is more than 20cm will count, with all the fish being returned. A minimum hook size of 4 is in force to stop anglers going silly small, although it really would be of no benefit. Small baits are required so this will keep cost down. Small worms baits tipped with squid would be probably all you need. Dave Read is running the Aldeburgh match. This starts at 10am with booking in in the car park close to the rocket pole. Dave can be contacted on 01728-860008 or 0777-0278882. This match is a SAMF qualifier. Craig Buy is running the Clacton match, a later start time of 1pm, lets you have a little lie in. Meeting in the Holland on Sea car park, Craig can be contacted on 0777-5973942.

- Gale force winds arrived during Saturday, causing quite a lot of structural damage to the north of our county. Although the high winds dropped during the night, they returned with vigour to spoil the last round of the evening star sea league last Sunday afternoon. With poor tides to work with, the committee opted for a flooding tide, fishing low water up. When ever you fish the shallow beaches of Dunwich, Minsmere and Sizewell you always run the risk of bad weather ruining a good match. Sadly this was the case as near gale force winds greeted the anglers as they peered over the shingle bank along the Dunwich car park. I suppose it could have been worse, at least the match could go ahead with the south westerly. If it had been from the north it would have been unfishable. With three sections under the Dunwich cliffs and two to the left on the open beach, anglers struggled against the wind to get to their pegs. First cast anglers were greeted by strong currents; many getting their terminal tackle washed down the beach within minutes. Elastic bands, tape and fishing line were three of the tricks tried by anglers to gain a better hold. Wrapped around the wires on their leads, this trick made a difference, enabling anglers to hold out in search of a sizeable fish. These were very few and far between, with only 13 anglers coming to the scales out of 110! Word soon got around that Andy Gallacher, fishing section 1 had found a codling of nearly 3lbs. This was going to be very difficult to beat, as it turned out, no one got near. With a sizeable bass, landed by John Bower taking second, 3rd spot was claimed by Paul Cunningham with two pout for 7oz. Paul was the only angler to find two sizeable fish. Over £1400 was paid out in prizes following the end of the league. A big vote of thanks must go to the Evening Star, Breakaway Tackle and Richard Holgate (John Metcalf fishing Tackle, Walton on Naze), for their continued support of the sea league). Without this level of support and the support of all the 22 teams contributing, this level of funding could never be achieved. This league is the biggest sea league in the country and in my opinion it is the hardest to gain qualification for the national final. League winners this year and retaining their trophy was the Metalite Match Team. Captained by Craig Buy these five anglers showed that they could scratch with the best of us. In the past they have been labelled by anglers from other areas that they can only catch fish at long range. Yes its true they can all cast a long way when fishing, but only if that are what's required. Many a time this year I have seen these lads lob out 30 yards or closer to win a match. Lets hope they can go on and represent us in the national final and win. As the league is of such a size, we are allowed 7 qualifying teams this year. Runners up in the league were Southwold A, with a late surge. The other qualifiers are Lowestoft, TBA (Top Ipswich Team), Viscount Team Suffix (Ipswich), Colchester Bait and Tackle and Markham's Pirates. It is both Markham's and Colchester's first time in qualification and I wish them the best of luck. The standard in the final is extremely high, with many current world class anglers taking part. With the final being held in Wales in May dogfish will be the main target species, completely different to what we are experienced at. Best of luck to all that will represent our region.

Individual results: 1st Andy Gallacher Castaway Tackle 2lb 13oz, 2nd John Bower Southwold A 1lb 2oz, 3rd Mo Coleman Catch 22 1lb Section results: Section 1 1st Andy Gallacher Castaway Tackle 2lb 13oz, 2nd Mo Coleman Catch 22 1lb, 3rd Paul Cunningham Relum Team Sufix 7oz. Section 2 1st Stephen Adams Markham's Pirates 2¼oz. Section 3 1st John Bower Southwold A 1lb 2oz, 2nd Ian Torn Team Relum 4oz, 3rd Colin May TBA 3oz. Section 4 1st Dave Byford Markham's Pirates 4¼oz, Nigel Rowe Team Relum 2½oz, 3rd Chris Masters Southwold A 2¼oz. Section 5 1st Shaun Woods AKA 5¼oz, 2nd Ian Richmond Team Camparts 3¼oz, 3rd Mick Bakun Belstead Arms 2¼oz. Super Pool: 1st Andy Gallacher, 2nd John Bower, 3rd Paul Cunningham. SAMF Qualifier Mick Bakun. Positions on the day: 1 Markham's Pirates 44, 2 Team Relum 42, 2= Southwold A 42, 4 Castaway Tackle 22, 4= AKA 22, 6 Catch 22 21, 6= Team Camparts 21, 8 Belstead Arms 20, 8= TBA 20, 8= Viscount Team Sufix 20, 11 Viscount 2000 18, 12 Colchester Bait and Tackle 18. Positions Overall: 1 Metalites 358, 2 Southwold A 349, 3 Lowestoft 343, 4 TBA 314, 5 Viscount Team Sufix 305, 6 Colchester Bait and Tackle 301, 7 Markham's Pirates 298. Top seven have qualified for the national final in May. 8 Team Relum 294, 9 Catch 22 254, 10 Belstead Arms 244, 11 AKA 244, 12 Viscount 2000 237, 13 Breakaway Tackle 233, 14 Southwold B 231, 15 Castaway Tackle 216, 16 Port of Felixstowe 168, 17 Dave's Matchmen 164, 18 Team Camparts 152, 19 Biteless 150, 20 Felixstowe Sea Anglers 136, 21 Stuart Clay Traps 118, 22 Baiters 98.

– Hopping for good weather, Felixstowe sea anglers and the NFSA are holding their small boat festival on 14th April. Rolf Marschalek is the organiser and can be contacted on 01449-771262. Felixstowe teams of five are on Saturday 25th May. Contact Bob Leonard 5 Kersey Road Felixstowe IP11 2UL for details. The final match is a welcome return to the match scene. The All England Stingray Championship is returning to Frinton. With new organisers behind this competition, coupled with one of the best venues for actually catching stingray this should prove a success. It takes place on 8th June 7pm until midnight. Tickets are available from EJ Porter on 01206-795757.

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