Hello and welcome to Angling Monthly with me Gary Markham.The boat fishing has still been affected yet again by strong winds keeping them on their moorings for long periods, I think my father’s boat has only been to sea about eight times since the beginning of January and the fishing has been pretty much the same as it is on the beaches but there is a slight improvement. There were some Cod caught last week with a sixteen pound fish caught at the towers along with some fish up to five pound and some large Whiting as well. If you venture off shore a bit you can find a few Skate and Dogs.
At the time of writing we are just starting to see an improvement on our local beaches and they are producing a few Codling from Shingle Street, Orford and Aldeburgh, Felixstowe, Walton and Clacton. The fish seem to range in size from one and a half to four pound. There are still some Dabs and an odd Flounder particularly after dark but some are being caught during day light hours, along with Pouting and a few Bass.
If you need to order sea bait you can do so through the shop but please order early because it helps your tackle dealer to be able to plan what he might need for the week ahead or for the weekend trade. Most good tackle shops will normally carry some spare bait but they will not over stock at the moment.
Fly fishing has been quite good for most anglers in the last month when the lakes defrosted with several waters re stocking for the winter period. It’s still worth trying a daddy longlegs but as the temperatures go down you will have to fish deeper. Montana s are worth trying and also orange blobs, small buzzers and epoxys are now worth trying. All my new season flies and tackle will be in around the end of March.
Fishing on the River Gipping has been hard at times with the water going very clear but when there is a bit of colour in it the Roach fishing has been great. Bramford is always worth a try. Most rivers have been in flood but can fish very well once the start to fine down which they now have. Dont forget the end of the river season finished on the 15th March at midnight and restarts one minute past midnight on the 16th June.
Sinks Pit has seen lots of good silver fish and a lot of small Tench which is good as it shows that there have been a couple of good spawning years. Gaps and FMS are now doing early joiner options which is great value, call me at the shop for details
Pike fishing has now started and dead baits like sprats, mackerel tails smelts and roach are all a good bet at the moment . The Suffolk Water park has produced some good fish up to twenty pounds.
About a year ago I wrote about these new Marine conservation zones (mcz`s) which could effect where we are allowed to fish or walk on our beaches. Proposals are still being put together as to which areas could be effected but a new twist has happened and it appears that the RSPB are now sticking their oar in and are proposing that an area possibly from Southold to Shingle street and three miles out to sea could be closed off, all because of a few breeding birds that have been using these same areas to nest for 100`s of years with no problems. If their proposals go through it will close off parts of our coast that are the most prolific fishing areas along the East Anglian coast. Not only would this closure affect angling but it would effect any body who uses the beach to walk, picnic and swim, and even the twitches would be banned from these areas. Watch the local press as there will be plenty of protests going on and there will be a petition that at the moment will be available to sign in your local tackle shops. We must all act together and make our voices heard and stop the RSPB because if this goes ahead it will just be the start of more closures to come.
I am all for conservation as most people are, but it has to be done sensibly. We all need places to be able to go to and relax and we need to be able to enjoy our beaches as we always have done and preserve our way of life for the future generations.
Tight lines and good fishing for the next month
Felixstowe Sea Defence plan
Joint press release issued by Suffolk Coastal District Council and the Environment Agency.
The Environment Agency and Suffolk Coastal District Council are delighted to confirm that funding for the £10m Felixstowe Central Coast Protection Scheme has been confirmed.
The Central Felixstowe project covers the seafront from Jacob’s Ladder to the War Memorial and will include a series of 18 rock groynes, a rock revetment and walkway from the prom around Cobbold’s Point to Jacob’s Ladder, and the topping up of the beach levels with sand and shingle.
“We are delighted to be able to confirm the financial support for this scheme. We recognise that the last few months have been very unsettling for residents but do hope this news is reassuring,” said Mark Johnson, Environment Agency Area Coastal Manager.
The expert predictions are that 1,500 homes and businesses in Central Felixstowe would be at risk during the next 100 years if the planned works are not carried out, but that urgent action for some of those has to be taken as soon as possible. Parts of the existing defences at Cobbold’s Point and Undercliff Road East are at real risk of imminent collapse.
“This is really excellent news for both the residents of Felixstowe and the future of the town itself. I would like to thank our colleagues at the regional Environmental Agency for the prompt and positive way they have listened to our concerns in the last few weeks,” said Cllr Andy Smith, Suffolk Coastal’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Coastal Protection.
“This Council, our local MP Therese Coffey, and our local communities were alarmed when we were told at the end of last year that funds for this essential and urgent work would not be available, but now we have the best possible news for Felixstowe.
“To have lost this scheme, with the near certainty of collapse of parts of the sea wall, with imminent danger then of major losses to homes, businesses and infrastructure, as well as the serious impact on tourism and jobs, was unthinkable. Now we can all look forward to the work getting underway and this key part of our town being protected for generations to come,” added Cllr Smith.
The Environment Agency Board has now approved the Felixstowe scheme. Suffolk Coastal is pressing ahead with completing the design work and seeking tenders for the construction in accordance with European Union regulations, a time-consuming process.
However, the work should now get underway this year. It will now be done in two phases, during this summer and the next. This avoids the real risks involved with working on the sea defences during the winter, and spreads this major expenditure over two financial years. The most urgent work, on the northern section, includes topping up the beach levels, new groynes between the end of the Seafront Gardens and Cobbold’s Point, and increased temporary protection for Cobbold’s Point. This will be done this year, then the remaining groynes on the southern section and completion of the full defences and walkway at Cobbold’s Point would be completed in 2012.
“I am absolutely delighted that the Environment Agency have realised how critical this project is to the continued prosperity of Felixstowe. It’s good news that we have been able to make sure that the substantial, but necessarily limited, amount of money available from government is being spent where it can be used so effectively to prevent homes and businesses potentially being lost to the sea. We have all worked hard together to try to get this sorted out, so this outcome is just tremendous,” said Local MP Therese Coffey.
Deterioration in the groyne system, which has protected Central Felixstowe since the beginning of the last century or thereabouts, has led to expensive regular maintenance and emergency works but it was clear that a long-term solution was required, rather than trying to patch up the existing groynes. The seawall itself is at risk of collapse at certain locations, and has needed support from rock armour.
The detailed design work is due to be completed by consultants Mott MacDonald and specialist technicians have already carried out test borings as part of ground investigations works at the site.
we are having some lovely weather we now seem to be in a period of unsettled conditions with wind and rain. It’s not always a bad thing to have these sorts of conditions as the heavy rain can do wonders to oxygenate the lakes and rivers and get the fish on the move again. The wind can also be of benefit as it can put a chop on the water giving the fish a bit of cover, and if float fishing the wind can be used to trot the float through your swim and cover a bit of ground. It’s always worth seeing where the wind is blowing from and if it’s not to strong fish into it as a lot of natural foods will be blown to that end of the lake.
I walked the River Gipping at Bramford last month just before the start of the new season and at the time the water levels were a little low but there were signs of Roach topping everywhere and I saw some Chub hiding under the willows.
As the new season started several anglers ventured out on to the rivers and had some good catches of Roach and a few Chub on the higher reaches of the Gipping. The lower reaches from Sproughton to Ipswich seem to be choked with weed and there was lots of duck weed at the town end.
I was down at Sinks last week and there were some good bags of Silver Fish coming out along with Rudd and some Tench. When the sun shone on the water there were loads of fish swimming around, Roach, Bream and a couple of Tench and there were masses of fry in the water. Every now and again the fry went mad probably due to large Perch, which do frequent this lake, chasing them.
Most lakes in the county have actually been fishing very well for the time of year with the Suffolk Water Park producing some nice bags of fish from the match and traditional lakes, while the specimen lake has seen Carp up to 38lb 11 oz.
Alderson lakes at Needham Market which is run by the GAPS is fishing very well for their members with Tench, Carp and Bream being caught in good numbers.
All FMS waters are also fishing well. Sinks Pit is producing Tench Roach, Rudd Bream and Skimmers. Alton Water is also worth a try for the Bream, they tend to shoal up around the Lemons Hill area. Feeder tactics should be best with red maggot and caster the best baits.
The beach fishing has been better with a selection of fish to be caught like Codling, Whiting, Dogfish and Bass. The beaches from Felixstowe to Sizewell have all produced. Best baits are Lug, Rag, Squid and Crab.
Boat fishing has also improved with many Thornback rays, a few Cod and Smoothounds along with Spurdogs and some Bass.
There are some Garfish now starting to appear from around the coast. Try float fishing for these with strips of fish at a depth of around three to four feet. For best results, fish around piers, jetties and breakwaters. If you can find a jetty with a light on the end of it fish at night as they will be drawn to it.
Trout fishing has been good in the county on most waters. Best flies are epoxy buzzers, damsels. It’s worth trying mayflies and some of the modern dries like the bubble midge and the parachute fly or cdc buzzers.
Some waters in the area have reported blue green algae. The algae turns the water green and it looks just like tins of green paint have been thrown on to the water. You normally find that an orange fly is the colour to use.
Tight lines and good fishing for the next month