Sandy a sad loss

Angling:Once again it saddens me to have to report another loss to the angling community. Sandy Powell passed away late last week. He was a well-known sea angler in the area, having fished these waters for most of his life.

Once again it saddens me to have to report another loss to the angling community.

Sandy Powell passed away late last week. He was a well-known sea angler in the area, having fished these waters for most of his life.

A stalwart member of Felixstowe Sea Anglers for many years, I can remember the help he gave me as a very young angler, starting out on my match career.

In the twilight of his angling years Sandy found the delights of the Gambian winter sun too great a temptation. He loved every minute of the adventures, along with close friends Norman Bickers and Bernie Aldous.

You would usually find Sandy working in the Breakaway factory unit, moulding leads and preparing orders for around the country. A founder member of the Evening Star Sea League, Sandy was a forthright character and you would always know his view! He will be sadly missed.

I'm not sure exactly what season we're meant to be in!

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Rain, rain and more rain with the odd bit of sun are not what the doctor ordered for July.

Lets hope by the time the school summer holidays arrive it's improved or else we will all be climbing the walls.

As we are now well into the holiday season, local anglers are spreading their wings and heading for distant places.

John and Adele Smith are enjoying some ray and conger fishing in North Wales and Doug Thorpe is trying his hand at a spot of conger bashing on the south coast. His biggest so far is 13lbs. Not big by conger standards but I bet you can't remember the last time you caught a fish over 13lbs.

Biggest fish to date from our stretch of coastline is a 51lb stingray. Caught off Walton Pier, it was one of two caught, the other being in the high 40's.

I would like the wind to abate for a few days to allow me the chance of getting one. If, eventually we get a calm, still night, I will head for Frinton and try my luck.

The boat fishing really does have the edge at the moment. One lucky angler headed off to a distant sandbank and landed 20 bass, the biggest of which scaled in at 12lbs.

Catching his bait was probably just as much fun as the bass itself. Drifting over the banks feathering launce can be very enjoyable. Some of these cousins of the sandeel grow over 12 inches in length and with six on at a time can prove a handful on light gear.

The mackerel seem to be hear one day and gone tomorrow, the weather playing a big part in breaking the shoals up by scattering them far and wide across the deeper parts of the North Sea.

Smoothounds are still the mainstay of the charter boats. The Rough Tower (seven miles off Felixstowe) is a popular venue and is producing several fish. So is the north-whiting bank off Orford.

Even Orford Island is producing little for us beach anglers. That's not to say it won't pick up.

Soles will move close to shore soon, I hope, this will improve things dramatically.

Lowestoft is enjoying a sole boom with several anglers taking good bags of fish off the South Pier in daylight! Ragworm will be top bait, fished on a small hook.

With all this wet and humid weather the weed in the rivers has developed enormously.

Thick carpets of the slimy stuff cover many parts of the rivers, making fishing virtually impossible.

There is a way round it. Fish over low water into the deep-water boat channel or float fish close to the rocks and the sea wall.

Both these methods should produce fish. If you do intend to fish over low water, be careful. Watch the tides and the soft mud.

Never go to these types of places on your own and never at night, it's just not worth taking the risk.

Congratulations go to Steve Markham Lee who has won himself the right to a free fishing holiday in Guernsey.

Steve won the NFSA match at Sizewell to claim the prize. Steve will be fishing against anglers from all parts of the country, attempting to lift the coveted trophy.

AN old friend of this column, Stewart Smalley from Aldeburgh, makes his return this week.

Catches from his charter boat offer proof there are pollock off our coast. I think he was probably fishing nearer the Dutch or Belgian coasts knowing Stewart!

It seems he has the life of riley as during our supposed summer he fishes off our coast then scurries off to the sunnier climes of Kenya from October until March to skipper a charter boat. So a permanent tan and a smile for Stewart. What a life!

The final round of the SAMF Summer League took place last Friday at the Shotley Marina sea wall.

Seven anglers qualified for the final, which is being held on Chesil beach in December.

A one-fish wonder won me the match on the night but sadly it was not enough to lift me into one of the qualifying places.

The eel I caught gave me one of the best bites I have ever had. The fish really tried to remove my rod from its rest.

It was fun while it lasted but turned out to be the highlight of the entire match. Anglers struggled to find numbers of fish, with three being the most to one angler.

Runner up on the night was Richard Marjoram from Felixstowe, who found two small eels and a flounder at distance. Richard joins Stephen Adams, Clive Howe, Colin Provins, Doug Thorpe, Nigel Rowe and Vince Crawford in representing our region in the national final. Good luck to them all.

It's Evening Star Sea League time again so sort out your team and get the form into me by September 1.

Our sea league is the biggest league in the country. It is aimed at anglers wishing to enjoy themselves and improve their skills with the added bonus of qualification to the national final.

Everybody knows everybody in the league; you are always fishing next to a friend. Coupled with the friendly rivalry that the league produces makes it one of the most popular matches to fish in.

One in three teams qualify for the final, which this year will be held at Clacton in late April or early May, 2003 A local final should generate keen interest.

League captains will be notified shortly, but you can use this form printed on this page to send your entry in if you want.

All you need is five anglers that wish to commit their time to the six matches.

Due to unforeseen circumstances dates have changed slightly and will now be October 13, November 10, December 15, January 5, February 9 and March 9.

Venues as yet have not been decided but will probably be similar to that of last year.

Any questions get in touch with me.

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