STRONG north-easterly winds in the last couple of weeks have curtailed the angling somewhat.

However, luckily the weekend saw that very cold wind drop to make the fishing more pleasant.

Clacton Pier saw the annual charity match in aid of St Helena Hospice and the Dream 100 Kids' Trust.

Competitors lined the head of the pier and a good day was had by all, with a steady stream of fish being caught from all areas, including plenty of dogfish, thornback rays and whiting.

Mick Lloyd caught the heaviest fish - a fine thornback ray of 12lb 6oz - which is the biggest reported from the pier this year.

Neil Cocks landed four rays - the most ever caught in this annual match.

First overall was Neil with 1,011 points, which included thornbacks and dogfish.

Second place went to Mick, with 461, including a thornback ray and dogfish, and in third spot was Peter Rose, with 403.

His catch included a dogfish catch.

Olly Yallop took the junior honours, with 110 points.

Nat Mills was second, with 104, and George Deakin third, with 81.

The ladies' prize went to Linda Lloyd, with 171 points.

Thanks go to organisers Sean Piero, Phil Buy and Neil Cocks.

The beaches have had a reasonable week, with rays, some bass and dogfish showing from St Osyth, either in between the bays in front of the car park or to the right as far as the Nature Reserve.

Squid and ragworm seem the baits that are catching the most fish here.

Reports from the Clacton and Holland beaches have been patchy, but fish are there to be caught, especially on the evening tides with dogfish and rays showing to squid and bluey baits.

The Frinton beaches have seen an upsurge of dogfish after dark.

There has also been the odd bass in the 3lb range, although most are school bass between 1lb and 2lbs. Ragworm is the bait for bass.

Colchester Sea Angling Club fished the third leg of their Colchester Bait and Tackle Evening League on the Frinton beaches.

They fished either side of high tide on a dry and less windy evening.

The fishing was patchy.

Some areas produced fish and others were hard work. Dogfish, whiting, pouting and bass were caught.

First place went to Phil Buy, with 6lb 3oz, second to Gary Hambleton, with 5lb 12oz, and third to Steve Yallop, with 5lb 10oz.

Five members caught dogfish at 1lb 15oz and all shared the heaviest fish prize.

Walton Pier has seen more bass this week.

Peter Hart, from Sible Hedingham, had a great afternoon here.

He fished the top of the pier and caught bass to 2.5oz and plenty of dogfish.

The boats have had a torrid time for the last couple of weeks.

Strong onshore winds have been the problem, making launching impossible.

However, a break at the end of the week saw better results.

Bass to 8lbs-plus have been caught, while all boats reported thornback rays, with some into double figures.

The smooth-hounds are still a bit on the slow side but this is usually the way on our part of the coast.

However, they will be here in numbers in the next couple of weeks.

The high tides for the weekend are 2.03pm on Saturday and 2.35pm on Sunday.