THE big freeze came and went but, along with it, so did the fish.

Sub-zero temperatures saw sea temperatures plummet like we haven’t seen for many years and this brought the fishing to a standstill.

Unfortunately, it has left its mark on the inshore fish and crab life.

The sudden freezing sea saw fish such as wrasse, gobies and eels washed up dead, plus crabs, lobsters, starfish and other marine life were strewn along the beaches along the whole of the East coast.

It will take a while to realise how much we have lost from our inshore waters. All this has taken effect on our spring fishing, with the cod and rays heading out to deeper waters.

Hopefully as spring arrives the weather will start to warm the sea and our local fish species will start to feed again.

As expected, the fishing has slowed down on both Clacton and Walton Pier, with just the odd codling and whiting to be caught.

The Walton Pier club had to move their latest match venue from the Coast Guards beaches to Walton Pier because of adverse conditions caused by the severe weather.

Eighteen anglers turned up on a damp day with a slight wind blowing.

Conditions looked good but, alas, fish were very hard to find.

Cliff Bone won the match with a solitary 12oz codling, which also won him the heaviest fish prize.

In second was Kevin Blackwell and in third was Graham Distill.

The Holland-on-Sea beaches are fishing much the same as the pier, with only the odd fish being caught.

Anglers have told me most baits are coming back untouched and this is also the same for Frinton and Walton beaches.

The boats have faired slightly better than the shore angler, with some codling showing and a few thornback rays.

Colchester Sea Angling Club held their annual prizegiving at the Grapes pub.

Nik Highfield won the Beach League Trophy and the Chairman’s Cup.

Chris Mills was Boat League and River champion, Mick Bradley won the Beach Champions Shield and Martin Close was Pier champion.

Steve Yallop was the Colchester Bait and Tackle Evening League winner and Phil Buy and Brian Bethal were the Pairs champions.

The high tides for the weekend are 11.53am on Saturday and 12.04pm on Sunday.