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went wednesday evening at hopton.

Was supposed to be nice and calm but it blew a bit easterly sea breeze from 4.30 so didn't hit the beach until 7pm once the tide started to ebb and the wind calmed.

Target was a ray or two although conditions far from perfect early on.

First cast a lovely bass around 35/38cms. On rag. Then nothing until the sun started dropping and the ting brigade arrived.

By then I had swapped to big baits of frozen peeler squid cocktail and squid bluey cocktail and the tings were on it in a flash :mad:

Had one micro pup in amongst the tings. But not a sniff from the rays.

Chap in next bay had a nice bass mid ebb 46 cms.

Lovely warm evening. Packed up at 1am
 

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went wednesday evening at hopton.

Was supposed to be nice and calm but it blew a bit easterly sea breeze from 4.30 so didn't hit the beach until 7pm once the tide started to ebb and the wind calmed.

Target was a ray or two although conditions far from perfect early on.

First cast a lovely bass around 35/38cms. On rag. Then nothing until the sun started dropping and the ting brigade arrived.

By then I had swapped to big baits of frozen peeler squid cocktail and squid bluey cocktail and the tings were on it in a flash :mad:

Had one micro pup in amongst the tings. But not a sniff from the rays.

Chap in next bay had a nice bass mid ebb 46 cms.

Lovely warm evening. Packed up at 1am
was you checking the van @Tim c

tings are everywhere once the light goes
 

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Unlucky Tim.

We are all clearly still learning about Thornbacks around Norfolk and Suffolk, being as they are a recent phenomenon. However, has anyone else noticed that they don't appear to be so frequent in high summer? Apart from a few between Aldeburgh and Shingle Street, I've heard of virtually non for a month now.
 

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Unlucky Tim.

We are all clearly still learning about Thornbacks around Norfolk and Suffolk, being as they are a recent phenomenon. However, has anyone else noticed that they don't appear to be so frequent in high summer? Apart from a few between Aldeburgh and Shingle Street, I've heard of virtually non for a month now.
I understand that for a great many East Coast anglers Thornbacks seem like something new Alan, but they are definitely not a new phenomenon on Norfolk & Suffolk beaches.

In fact, in the 1960s & 70s they were pretty common and were targeted extensively by many anglers. Thornback were always predominantly a late spring species starting to appear in numbers in April and peaking in May & June

This photograph shows the late Fred Williams from Great Yarmouth with a catch of Thornbacks from Walcott beach and is taken from the late Ian Gillespie's excellent 1969 book 'Sea Fishing the Wash to the Thames Estuary'. Fred was a really good angler, he lived in Ordnance Road back then and had some prodigious catches of Cod off the North Beach and Central Beach at times

We used to get lots of Thornbacks and then they disappeared from the late 1980s onwards and became something of a rarity although now they are back again in numbers it seems, but certainly not the sizes that we enjoyed back then. I caught my first one from the shore when fishing with my dad at Bacton in 1966. I also had a double figure specimen on Lug at Orford Ness in 1969, which I have a photo of somewhere, I'll try and find it.

We used to go summer boat fishing out of Morston with Bob Felgate, Robin Bishop and others and had many good days on 'the Rooker' pretty close to shore too
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have had them consistently at certain venues during the summer but they do seem to disappear at other places...or perhaps the tings do leave the bait long enough.
 

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I understand that for a great many East Coast anglers Thornbacks seem like something new Alan, but they are definitely not a new phenomenon on Norfolk & Suffolk beaches.

In fact, in the 1960s & 70s they were pretty common and were targeted extensively by many anglers. Thornback were always predominantly a late spring species starting to appear in numbers in April and peaking in May & June

This photograph shows the late Fred Williams from Great Yarmouth with a catch of Thornbacks from Walcott beach and is taken from the late Ian Gillespie's excellent 1969 book 'Sea Fishing the Wash to the Thames Estuary'. Fred was a really good angler, he lived in Ordnance Road back then and had some prodigious catches of Cod off the North Beach and Central Beach at times

We used to get lots of Thornbacks and then they disappeared from the late 1980s onwards and became something of a rarity although now they are back again in numbers it seems, but certainly not the sizes that we enjoyed back then. I caught my first one from the shore when fishing with my dad at Bacton in 1966. I also had a double figure specimen on Lug at Orford Ness in 1969, which I have a photo of somewhere, I'll try and find it.

We used to go summer boat fishing out of Morston with Bob Felgate, Robin Bishop and others and had many good days on 'the Rooker' pretty close to shore too

Yes I too am fortunate enough to remember Freddie, fished with him in Potter Heigham S.A.C when I was a junior member. One hell of a character and a legendary angler, hey John?

Do you also remember Gary Maddison? He's still fishing and I've have been with him for a few sessions over the past few years. You only have to mention Freddies name and he will recall a thousand memories from the past, he too has that very same photo, a clipping from the EDP I think? He was with Freddie the night he caught that lot and had the job of carrying them back to Freddies van for him. Tells me how Freddie taught him so much over the years.

One his recollections is of when Freddie landed a Tope amongst the Thornbacks and how he subsequently was awarded Fish of the Week in a National newspaper, News of the World, I think? Does that ring a bell with you John?



n.b. I'm typing this while fishing on Gorleston beach, just had to stop scribing to land a Bass, only a schoolie but can't help wondering if Freddie helped?

Awesome night down here, warm, moonlit and storms lighting up the night sky to the south, remind why we do this someone? :cool:

IMG_20200731_214650.jpg


IMG_20200731_221506.jpg
 

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Yes I too am fortunate enough to remember Freddie, fished with him in Potter Heigham S.A.C when I was a junior member. One hell of a character and a legendary angler, hey John?

Do you also remember Gary Maddison? He's still fishing and I've have been with him for a few sessions over the past few years. You only have to mention Freddies name and he will recall a thousand memories from the past, he too has that very same photo, a clipping from the EDP I think? He was with Freddie the night he caught that lot and had the job of carrying them back to Freddies van for him. Tells me how Freddie taught him so much over the tears.

One his recollections is of when Freddie landed a Tope amongst the Thornbacks and how he subsequently was awarded Fish of the Week in a National newspaper, News of the World, I think? Does that ring a bell with you John?


n.b. I'm typing this while fishing on Gorleston beach, just had to stop scribing to land a Bass, only a schoolie but can't help wondering if Freddie helped?

Awesome night down here, warm, moonlit and storms lighting up the night sky to the south, remind why we do this someone? :cool:

View attachment 1290243

It would be nice to think that Fred is still giving a helping hand, yes, I recall Gary Maddison.

Fred's regular fishing partner for a very long time was Walter Wheldon and it is recorded that he helped Fred take his biggest beach caught catch of Thornbacks (totalling 200lbs) and weigh them in on Lowestoft fish market. See how times have changed, just think of a rod & line angler doing that today!!

Fred did reckon big Bass were a feature of beaches between Overstrand and Winterton, but no-one fished for them seriously back then even though occasional double figure fish were landed around the beginning or end of the Cod season. Most put their rods away until autumn once the 'springers' were finished.

I had a dabble at Lowestoft yesterday evening, first time for ages. Pretty poor really, targeting Sole, but didn't find any, just a succession of Pout, a 'Slug' and sizeable Whiting.

Maybe I'll get back into it properly in the late autumn, we'll see.
 

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It would be nice to think that Fred is still giving a helping hand, yes, I recall Gary Maddison.

Fred's regular fishing partner for a very long time was Walter Wheldon and it is recorded that he helped Fred take his biggest beach caught catch of Thornbacks (totalling 200lbs) and weigh them in on Lowestoft fish market. See how times have changed, just think of a rod & line angler doing that today!!

Fred did reckon big Bass were a feature of beaches between Overstrand and Winterton, but no-one fished for them seriously back then even though occasional double figure fish were landed around the beginning or end of the Cod season. Most put their rods away until autumn once the 'springers' were finished.

I had a dabble at Lowestoft yesterday evening, first time for ages. Pretty poor really, targeting Sole, but didn't find any, just a succession of Pout, a 'Slug' and sizeable Whiting.

Maybe I'll get back into it properly in the late autumn, we'll see.
I always like it when a couple of ol bois ( no offence John or Alan ) reminisce ,always nice to know how things were before I was born !! :).. stay safe bois
 

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Yes, the Tope may have won a News of the World prize, they gave a lot of angling prizes over the years and there was a News of the World Angling Club too. You could insure your tackle very cheaply with them as I recall

I thought the 'Fish of the week' awards were Angling Times though.

I say that because I got one myself back in 1972, but that was for a big Pike from one of our local Drains. Altogether I got a 'Fish of the week' sew on badge, a Milbro spinning rod plus a Mitchell 300 reel and I thought they all came from the same paper although I could be wrong..
 

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I always like it when a couple of ol bois ( no offence John or Alan ) reminisce ,always nice to know how things were before I was born !! :).. stay safe bois
Cheers Charlie, they were the times when a lot of fishing activity was centred on your home patch too.

Guy Morton had a 66lbs female Tope off Hunstanton in 1966 and a few years back his wife was clearing a lot of stuff out several years after he died. I acquired the rod and reel he used to boat the big one, just as a piece of historic tackle. I guess that many younger anglers today must have a good laugh at some of the stuff we were still using back then.

The rod is a 'Martin James' heavy duty boat rod and it took a bit of a 'set' after he boated that one.

I'm not sure now, but I think the Smoothound record of 28lbs from Heacham still stands doesn't it?
 

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The chilvers smoothy still stands as far as im aware of here and there’s certainly some big girls in and around the wash that have probably bettered it but not recorded ! Funnily enough was only talking about the tope they used to get of Hunstanton pier ( before my time ) The other day and I’m positive they still run this area ( 2 caught within a few miles this week )
66 lb is a beast of a fish ! However there’s bigger than that been landed ( one way or another ) ;) as I’ve seen a ton up approx 7 - 1/2.+ft Pregnant female !!
The name you mention John doesn’t ring a bell with me unfortunately as all before my time ( I’m only 50 :)lol )
 

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The chilvers smoothy still stands as far as im aware of here and there’s certainly some big girls in and around the wash that have probably bettered it but not recorded ! Funnily enough was only talking about the tope they used to get of Hunstanton pier ( before my time ) The other day and I’m positive they still run this area ( 2 caught within a few miles this week )
66 lb is a beast of a fish ! However there’s bigger than that been landed ( one way or another ) ;) as I’ve seen a ton up approx 7 - 1/2.+ft Pregnant female !!
The name you mention John doesn’t ring a bell with me unfortunately as all before my time ( I’m only 50 :)lol )
Yes Charlie, a lot bigger fish have been recorded, but I'm not surprised you didn't know him, Guy was from here in March and used to trailer a boat down

I'm conscious that I've sort of hijacked the Hopton thread, for which I apologise.

If Alan hadn't said Bass were a new phenomenon I wouldn't have done it and perhaps the admin can filter this lot out into a 'history' thread.
 

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Great to read that you got out for a session, John. Shame no Sole but sadly that's not a major surprise this year. Hope the shoulder didn't give you too much jip as a consequence of casting.
 
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