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Caister Beach, 15th December 1980

5935 Views 45 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  Sole intentions
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

Sky Tints and shades Vintage clothing Fur Tree
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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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You are such a poet Mr K. I'm going straight to the garage to sort the tackle out. There must be one out there somewhere with my name on it:)
Thank you Mike. 馃槉

Good luck when you go, it would be great to read a successful report of you experiencing an encounter with the mysterious one. 馃惓馃帲
Well written Alan, nice picture.... , I do miss the winter fishing ....the cold ....the weather......pies on tilley lamps ....brollies self destructing...the anticipation

I was 12 , My 1st cod 9lb , curry point in front on the oil refinery on the Thames .
That was a cracker of a first Cod Tom, what a magnificent and magical experience that clearly was for you, hard to top that boi. 馃憤

I'd forgotten all about the self destructing umbrellas. 馃槀
It鈥檚 not all bad. I remember as a kid in the mid-90s and I鈥檇 often walk up and down Pakefield of the weekend to see what was coming out. I hardly ever saw any cod, let alone caught them. There was usually a decent spring run, but they were codlets at best.

The around 2005 they suddenly turned up out of nowhere. I鈥檇 never had anything worth taking home and still remember getting there around 4lb each just past the lighthouse at Orford. Long old walk that.

The next few years were nothing short of spectacular, with my best session being 24 all around 4-5lb in a little over four hours at the Dirty Wall. I had two more sessions that week taking me to 44 codling in about 14hrs fishing. Dec 22nd in both 2009 and 2010 both gave me doubles, with a couple more not far off it.

Times have changed, but I have faith they鈥檒l be back. In the meantime be thankful for rays and hounds, fish that were nothing more than rumours 10-15 years ago.
Brilliant, keep the faith, Scott. 馃檪
Wow what a fine looking specimen and the Cod wasn't bad either. I'm finally beginning to possibly understand as to why the wife married you, as up until now it was a complete mystery boi John. 馃馃槼馃槈

Yes all good here thank you. Went arse over tit on the ice last week and whacked my head, Doctor said no damage done other than the loss of 50% of my brain cells, assured me they'd both grow back though. 馃憤

Merry Christmas my friend. Will you be having self caught Trout and Shrimp for your lunch?
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I had my pb cod 39 years ago tomorrow, 17lb 4oz.
The only double I've had off the beach & doubt I'll see another.
Happy anniversary boi Bob.

Tell me, are you any relation to Buzz Lightyear, the legendary Lowestoft Lobster whisperer? 馃
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If you've not already seen this, here's a bit of hope for the future of angling. As I was always lead to believe the Dogger bank to be a highly important spawning ground for many species of fish including the Cod.

On a personal note, it also leaves me feeling pleased that I chipped in with 拢50 for the boulder dropping campaign. As its kind of good when the 'p1ss takers' get p1ssed on. 馃檪

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Well Alan, like a lot of things, them days are gone now boi, they're gone. I keep having to adapt but one way or another I feel increasingly squeezed out.
Yeah I hear you Ian. Best thing to do is to find somewhere new that you can squeeze into, a man of your talents will always find a way. 馃槈

Are you fishing at all currently?
Interesting thread Al, I like you used to look forward to winter Codding, with the demise I havent thought about it in about 25 years !
Here's one from the good ole days !
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Lovely fish, was that from the Bristol Channel?

Happy New Year Phil. 馃憤
The odd kayak launch, some SW lure work (lost what would have been my first sea trout) and this last year plenty of FW LRF work with lures which has been a lot of fun, it's often as much about the how as to what I catch. Not quite sure why I make it difficult for myself!
You're still getting out there and chasing the dream, that's the main thing.

Happy New Year Ian
My last decent Cod sesh, last century 馃ぃ
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That was a mighty fine trio, Phil. Was that also at the deeps?
When I lived up north I remember reading about Chris stringer a top angler at the time catching 5 20lb+ cod in one session from whithaven pier in the late seventies or early eighties
'not too bad!' 馃槣
You still using those Wurms from 1980 Alan?馃榿
LOL Indeed I am boi Gary, salted them down and theyre still as good as new. 馃構
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