AS we are now in the run up to the Christmas period we always find that the fishing tends to slow down somewhat.

This year is no different; those thornback rays have all but disappeared plus still only a few codling to be caught.

In fact there are more codling being caught from the beaches than the boats.

It is also traditionally the time for the estuaries to see the herring and sprat shoals arrive.

They are here and without any cod to be caught they are not causing the anglers any problems.

The boats have had a quiet week.

There are still plenty of whiting to be caught plus some small codling, but thornback rays have been at a premium and it will probably be after the early new year before they turn up again as long as the weather stays settled.

St Osyth beach has seen plenty of whiting being caught, most are very small plus a few dabs.

Clacton pier is in much the same vein with whiting the odd small codling and the chance of a thornback ray.

The Holland beaches have reported whiting and dabs with a smattering of codling, after dark seems to be the best time here.

The Frinton beaches have shown a few codling, whiting and flounders.

Walton Pier is probably the best venue to head for with once again plenty of whiting and dabs to be caught, the bigger tides should also see a few elusive codling too.

Colchester Sea Angling Club held their annual rockling challenge match on the Harwich beaches, 11 competitors entered on this fun/social evening with only rockling to be weighed in.

Most anglers used very light fishing tackle to catch these small fish, plenty of fish were caught mostly whiting and a few small bass.

But by the end of the match 18 rockling were weighed in.

First place on the night went to Gary Hambleton with a total rockling weight of 175g, close second was Phil Buy 170g, third Dave Clark 145g, fourth Michael Bradley 110g and fifth Fred Gibby 100g.

Colchester Sea Angling Club's next match is the River Championships on Sunday.

The venue is Felixstowe (Viewing Area) fishing 1pm to 6pm.

The high tides for the weekend are Saturday 3.57pm and Sunday 4.57pm.