IT'S been a slightly quieter week, with not so many rays caught from beaches and boats.
However, our piers still seem to be producing plenty.
It’s not often calm weather arrives at the weekend for our boat fishermen, but this week the conditions were very favourable for anglers to put to sea and most reported good fishing.
Clacton Boat Club members fished on Saturday and the boats Blippy, Goose, Spindrift, Nick a Bit and Compass Rose all took to the water.
They all reported thornback rays to 8lbs, plus plenty of dogfish and some big whiting, although the total amount of rays caught was down on last week’s catches.
Dave Hollands and Rocky Rochelle launched from the Gunfleet Boat Club on the Holland beaches.
They also reported that ray catches were down slightly, although Dave landed a massive whiting weighing 2lb 12oz. Plenty of dogfish were also caught.
Terry Woodrow, skipper of the Walton-based charter boat Misty Lady, headed for the Gunfleet sands with a party of anglers and Andy Thorogood landed the biggest thornback ray of the day, weighing in at 16lbs. Others in the group landed rays to 10lbs.
Martin Smyth once again took his boat, Dippa, to launch from Orford.
He told me there were less rays this week, although he did catch an early-season spurdog weighing in at 5lbs.
My trip earlier in the week was back down to the Holland beaches to fish a daytime flood tide and the thornback rays were once again very obliging.
I caught some bigger rays weighing up to the 9lb-mark on bluey baits.
The Walton Pier Club fished their monthly match on the local pier.
They fished an ebb tide in calm and bright conditions on the stem of the pier.
Seventeen anglers fished and 42 sizeable fish were caught, mostly whiting and the odd dab.
First place went to Dean Parker, second to Jim Fennel and third to Barry Adair.
Walton Pier has seen more rays caught this week with Paul Packman, from Colchester, catching the heaviest ray, weighing in at 11lb 7oz.
Most of the rays are being caught from the top of the pier, but there has been a few caught from the stem as well.
The Frinton beaches have seen the first of the spring school bass being caught and dogfish after dark.
There are still no reports of any thornbacks, but that will change in the next couple of weeks.
Holland and the surrounding beaches have also seen less rays this week, but that can all change on a single tide as these fish move around in big packs and can turn up again very quickly.
Clacton Pier is fishing pretty much the same as it was with rays being caught on both day and night tides, plus dogfish and whiting.
St Osyth is also still seeing its fair share of rays - once again slightly down on previous weeks but still well worth fishing.
Colchester Sea Angling Club fished their March beach league match on the Felixstowe beaches. Twelve anglers were met with a glorious sunny spring morning and very light breeze.
The fishing was unfortunately difficult with only small whiting, pouting and rockling caught.
First place went to Vic Pearce, with 2lb 12oz, second to Phil Buy (1lb 14oz) and third to Nik Highfield (1lb 13oz).
The heaviest round fish prize went to Phil Buy, with an 8oz whiting.
The tides for the weekend are 3.03pm on Saturday and 3.38pm on Sunday.