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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thought some of you may be interested in this pic I found a couple of days ago. It shows a clearly happy young angler holding the results of a successful session the previous night from his favourite spot on Caister beach. As I recall the fish ranged from 5lb to the one in my right hand that went 18lb, all caught on big lug baits.

Personally I find it both hard to comprehend and incredibly sad, that such negative changes have occured to Cod numbers in the space of just 42 years. Its even sadder knowing that you younger anglers will almost certainly never have the chance to experience even one night's fishing akin to some of those that I and fellow anglers were fortunate enough enjoy back then. 馃槓

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Those where the days, have some great memories of nights codding on the beaches, sadly , like you say probably never to return.
Have to agree with huges66, spring / summer now better than winter fishing. Lack of Cod, lack of winter dabs in recent years and what seems like a relentless season of tings during the autumn and winter.
I think, off the top of my head, my last unicorn was 4 or 5 years ago! Gone are the days of 50+ cod during a winter season.
 

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Yep ... likewise.
Those where the days.
My regular stomping ground was the old 'silver rail' near the back of Birds Eye.
Oh how that's changed now! Some of you may remember it?
Used to fish with an old mate of mine Stanley Tuttle. Bloody good angler he was too.
I remember one night him hauling in a right lunker. If memory serves me well, it was definitely on the plus side of 20lb, and it would most surely have been caught on Lug.
And the worms would've come from Ted Beans up top of the town lol
Happy Days
But now I've found lure fishing for Bass 馃コ
So things ain't too bad after all 馃憦馃憦
 

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At least we, older generation, have those memories but personally I find the fishing just as enjoyable today. Smoothies, rays, bass are all still with us and new targets like wrasse. Changes continue to happen with a progression eastwards of species like conger and small eyed rays which are now being caught in Pevensey Bay which is less than two and a half hours drive for me. Even the south coast though has lost the big cod, big plaice and huge soles of a few decades ago. It seems that we must adapt to what is available now and just enjoy the memories from our youth. I'm not too sure now that I would want fish the cod conditions that I did in my younger days, I'm quite happy fishing for smuts and rays on a warm, calm spring evening now lol. Still being healthy and fit enough to continue to enjoy my sport is something to be thankful for.
 

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Thought some of you may be interested in this pic I found a couple of days ago. It shows a clearly happy young angler holding the results of a successful session the previous night from his favourite spot on Caister beach. As I recall the fish ranged from 5lb to the one in my right hand that went 18lb, all caught on big lug baits.

Personally I find it both hard to comprehend and incredibly sad, that such negative changes have occured to Cod numbers in the space of just 42 years. Its even sadder knowing that you younger anglers will almost certainly never have the chance to experience even one night's fishing akin to some of those that I and fellow anglers were fortunate enough enjoy back then. 馃槓

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Those were the days my friend, I can remember my dear uncle back around that time late 70's early 80's teaching me the ways of beach fishing at his favourite haunt Thorpeness cliffs and one particular cold November night pulling in a 18 pound cod and 6 pound bass including a large bag of considerably large pouting and whiting, all caught on lug and mackerel cocktail with home made bait spoons out of white plastic cups.
I can remember as a snotty nosed kid the cod coughing up a plateful of crab and prawn, hence to say after fishing with my late uncle i have been hooked for life.

Yes I hope we return to these bumper harvests there have been encouraging signs for the future.
Thought some of you may be interested in this pic I found a couple of days ago. It shows a clearly happy young angler holding the results of a successful session the previous night from his favourite spot on Caister beach. As I recall the fish ranged from 5lb to the one in my right hand that went 18lb, all caught on big lug baits.

Personally I find it both hard to comprehend and incredibly sad, that such negative changes have occured to Cod numbers in the space of just 42 years. Its even sadder knowing that you younger anglers will almost certainly never have the chance to experience even one night's fishing akin to some of those that I and fellow anglers were fortunate enough enjoy back then. 馃槓

View attachment 1399173
 

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I can remember back in the day my mates dad had a cod of 15lb from the beach at felixstowe and a couple of nights later my mate had one of 12lb from more or less the same place as for me i was still course fishing it wasn't till a bit later on i had a few decent cod when a few of us used to go down to Kent pirking on the Cokers boats......ah Happy days
 

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Living in Hull when I was a lad, I never really appreciated cod when I was younger because that was pretty much all we ever caught on the east coast beaches (and the odd plaice). Now I'm older I only fish in summer so its just sea bass every time. I'd actually quite like to catch a whiting or three once in a while but have never caught one.
 

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Love reading stories like these鈥 my ol man has told me stories of when they used to hit the cod back in the day. Both my grandads too have told me their stories of when they use to pull out double figure cod鈥檚 on the east coast. Sadly I鈥檝e never got anywhere near double figures when it come to cod & I鈥檝e accepted that I probably never will.
I remember one fishing trip in particular when I was around 14-15 years old ( 20 years ago) near kessingland and it was the best session I鈥檝e ever experienced. Cod after cod after cod鈥 as we used to walk/bike from Southwold it dawned on us that had to carry this lot back. Needless to say we enjoyed every minute of that trip even with the hour or more walk back with our fishing gear & catch.
We鈥檇 all love to catch that cod in today鈥檚 climate but sadly I鈥檓 not sure we will. Personally for me, I just love to get down on that beach these days. It鈥檚 good for the soul!
 

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My record was 12 Codling from a North Norfolk beach at Night back in 1996, this was a regular occurance. With Cod to 6.5lb from Aldeburgh back in 2009.
I very rarely caught any whiting back in the day just Codling. You need the really Cold Winters for a good breeding year, fingers crossed -4 this morning.

In the meantime I suggest a boat hire holiday to far north Norway where there are many Cod even in Summer. Spring, Summer and Autumn is a very special time in the UK for Boat and Shore fishing something to look forward to, you can always take up Pike Fishing in Winter if you're sick of the Whiting however Pike fishing can be a real challenge when the water is very cold.

Sport-quest do some Tropical fishing holidays this time of year if you have the cash and time!
 

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I got hooked on beach fishing as a youth fishing for cod off dunwich, was always a great spooky place with tilly lamps shining on the graves in the cliffs. Regularly caught a few.
I must say the older I have got the less appealing cold nights beach fishing has got, and spring to autumn fishing for hounds, bass and rays great sport. If you ask a youngster nowadays would you like to catch cod in winter or sharks n summer I wonder what would appeal more. 馃槑馃帲
 

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Thought some of you may be interested in this pic I found a couple of days ago. It shows a clearly happy young angler holding the results of a successful session the previous night from his favourite spot on Caister beach. As I recall the fish ranged from 5lb to the one in my right hand that went 18lb, all caught on big lug baits.

Personally I find it both hard to comprehend and incredibly sad, that such negative changes have occured to Cod numbers in the space of just 42 years. Its even sadder knowing that you younger anglers will almost certainly never have the chance to experience even one night's fishing akin to some of those that I and fellow anglers were fortunate enough enjoy back then. 馃槓

View attachment 1399173
Lost count of the times somebody has come for a chat on the beach and told me tales of huge cod they caught just where I was fishing! I am just happy that there is now a greater variety of fish to catch than when I started just 10 years ago. Roll on March and the return of the bass and hopefully another new species.
 

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Love these old stories and pics of the beach cod heydeys. Much daydreaming was done, when I was an early teenager. Imagining that I could bag up from the Jersey beaches.

Such innocence.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Got to agree with those of you saying how you wouldn't be so keen on December Cod fishing nowadays, as you once were. Personally I often struggle to hold a hook with the fingers on my left hand even in warm weather.

Also agree with the summer fishing being so much better today than it was back then. In my locality, Bass were rare, Thornbbacks were mythical and Smoothounds well I'm not actually sure I'd even heard of them when I was 22 years of age?

Some of the sessions I've had in recent years on the Bass have been extremely enjoyable and memorable. Hounds were fun for the first 6 sessions, after that they were predictable and I was bored of catching what felt like the same fish over and over again. 83 Soles in a summer season was extremely enjoyable and something I will never forget or repeat. The 23lb Stingray that I targeted and caught on my last cast from an otherwise deserted and hot Suffolk beach at 2.30a.m. August 2021, is one the undisputed high points of my angling life and one I often re-live with joy and appreciation for having experienced such an alien like encounter.

However, none of those angling experiences come near to the feeling of fishing for Cod into a fresh/strong onshore Easterly in December, sleet flurries in the air and no other idiot on the beach, that's how I liked it. The rod tips jumping around as they are buffeted by wind and waves, until one of them simply drops back straight as a Cod hits the bait, feels the lead and swims in the opposite direction of this pressure it feels, which is of course towards the shore. Rod grabbed, you reel like the clappers to try and catch up with the fish and wish for all you are worth that it is still on? Suddenly the line tightens and the rod bends way over, the Cod has decided it was running out of water and started heading back to the depths. You feel heavy thumps right through the rod as you raise and lower it in response to the fish as it bores away, as you do not wish to risk putting on too much pressure and ripping the hook out. It's tired now and only a few yards out, still thumping as you hold it in that last yard of water behind those big crashing breakers, you wait for the right wave to bring it up the beach. Then finally the fish glides towards you and permits you to surf it in on the crunching swell, but the wave recedes and the fish goes with it, so you are forced to give line or risk a breakage somewhere within your set-up. Slowly with each wave you are able to inch it higher upon the shore, until finally you run through the surf and grab the still thrashing beast, insert your hand inside the gill cover and lift it just as the next wave hits your waders and splashes up and over leaving you almost as wet as the fish.

Back at base camp, you put the rod into the rest and attempt to unhook this creature from the depths, attempt being the optimum word, as your hands are shaking so much you simply cannot complete this normally simple task. You are alone, soaked by a combination of sleet and saltwater, you cannot feel either your fingers or your toes, but to quote my mother 'you're as happy as a pig in sh1t'.

That is why I personally consider winter Cod fishing to be the most enjoyable angling experience of my life.
 

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However, none of those angling experiences come near to the feeling of fishing for Cod into a fresh/strong onshore Easterly in December, sleet flurries in the air and no other idiot on the beach, that's how I liked it. The rod tips jumping around as they are buffeted by wind and waves, until one of them simply drops back straight as a Cod hits the bait, feels the lead and swims in the opposite direction of this pressure it feels, which is of course towards the shore. Rod grabbed, you reel like the clappers to try and catch up with the fish and wish for all you are worth that it is still on? Suddenly the line tightens and the rod bends way over, the Cod has decided it was running out of water and started heading back to the depths. You feel heavy thumps right through the rod as you raise and lower it in response to the fish as it bores away, as you do not wish to risk putting on too much pressure and ripping the hook out. It's tired now and only a few yards out, still thumping as you hold it in that last yard of water behind those big crashing breakers, you wait for the right wave to bring it up the beach. Then finally the fish glides towards you and permits you to surf it in on the crunching swell, but the wave recedes and the fish goes with it, so you are forced to give line or risk a breakage somewhere within your set-up. Slowly with each wave you are able to inch it higher upon the shore, until finally you run through the surf and grab the still thrashing beast, insert your hand inside the gill cover and lift it just as the next wave hits your waders and splashes up and over leaving you almost as wet as the fish.

Back at base camp, you put the rod into the rest and attempt to unhook this creature from the depths, attempt being the optimum word, as your hands are shaking so much you simply cannot complete this normally simple task. You are alone, soaked by a combination of sleet and saltwater, you cannot feel either your fingers or your toes, but to quote my mother 'you're as happy as a pig in sh1t'.

That is why I personally consider winter Cod fishing to be the most enjoyable angling experience of my life.

That chapter above sums up everything ive aimed at in angling over the last 40 odd years its so hard to explain why any one would enjoy that experience especially to non anglers but that feeling when you catch a decent cod is whats kept me going all this time
 
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