SUMMER is coming, although that cool northerly wind has certainly made things a bit chillier this week.

Nonetheless, the fish are feeding for the boat anglers and in terms of early-season bass, it must be the best we've had for many years.

Yes, there is a ban on keeping them and all fish must be returned as quickly as possible.

However, they are showing in numbers from boats, beaches and piers.

Perhaps those in power who set these rulings should look at the trawlers that are having to throw back tonnes of dead bass that have been caught in nets.

Maybe they should be letting the rod and line angler take the odd fish home for the plate.

Martin Smyth, Benny Keeble and Luke Harper set out from Brightlingsea to fish from around the windfarm area.

They fished a flood tide and the bass were feeding, with Martin catching the biggest at 6lb 6oz.

Benny landed bass to 5lb 3oz and, in between catching bass, they also caught some double-figure rays.

Ragworm was the top bait for the bass on the day.

Some big smooth hounds have also turned up this week and fish to 18lbs have been reported.

The charter boat Sophie Lea has been among the fish and young Archie Chipperfield had a great day onboard.

Archie landed a cracking thornback ray and won himself the under ten-year-old Sophie Lea Shield.

Sandie Davis launched from the Gunfleet Boating Club ramp down at Holland Haven and caught a personal best thornback ray weighing in at 12lb 2oz.

Sandie also told me that there were also plenty of dogfish and whiting to be caught.

The Walton boats are also seeing an upsurge in smooth hounds and bass.

Neil Marples fished from his own boat and landed rays to 10lbs and as many dogfish as he could land.

St Osyth beach is still the top shore venue and anglers are patiently awaiting the first of the heavyweight stingrays to hit the shores.

So far it has been very quiet, although there was one report of a stingray lost from this beach.

Stingrays can weigh up to 70lbs, so if you are targeting them make sure your tackle will stand up to these hard-fishing fish.

Ragworm is the best bait but they will also take peeler crabs.

Clacton Pier is once again producing rays.

Sudbury angler David Backler fished here and caught thornbacks to 10lbs on squid baits.

St Osyth angler Peter Rose lost a massive thornback ray here, estimated at 20lb-plus.

The Holland beaches are still fishing better after dark, with thornbacks and dogfish being caught from most beaches.

Mayweed is still a big problem, especially on the ebb tides when the full force of the tide is running.

There is no easy fix for this.

It’s a case of fishing through it and, as the tide eases, it will subside.

Walton Pier has seen the first of the bigger smooth hounds arrive from the top of the pier, with the biggest weighing in at just under 5lbs.

As we move towards the end of the month, there is a chance of a hound of over 10lbs from this venue.

Peeler crab or hermit crab will be the top bait.

Thornback rays are now being caught during daylight hours.

There are still garfish to be caught from around the lifeboat area and bass from most areas of the pier.

The high tides for the weekend are 10.19am on Saturday and 11.10am on Sunday.

If you have any fishing reports you can contact me at