A COOL wind blowing in from the sea slowed things down slightly for beach anglers.

Those thornback rays have been spasmodic and patchy but find the right area and they have been caught.

St Osyth beach is always a safe bet and, once again this week, rays have been caught.

The on-shore wind has also caused problems, with clumps of floating weed hanging on anglers’ lines.

Clacton Pier has had a reasonable week with a few thornbacks to be caught, along with small smooth-hounds and tope.

Peter Rose landed a 3lb 5oz bass from here during the week.

The Holland beaches have also slowed down.

Some school bass have been caught during daylight hours, with the odd ray and dogfish at night.

Towards Frinton and the fishing changes with shallower beaches.

School bass are being caught around the high-tide mark.

With just a short cast, the soles also are now showing well.

My trip this week was to fish an afternoon incoming tide in search of smooth-hounds from the Frinton beaches.

However, I was greeted with a stiff north-easterly wind and choppy sea - not conducive to hound fishing.

A quick change of venue saw me heading to Walton Pier for more comfortable fishing. It proved a good move.

I fished the flood tide from the top of the pier with only dogfish to show for my efforts.

At the turn of high tide, however, I had a cracking bite which resulted in a smooth-hound around the 10lb mark.

For nearly an hour, the hounds fed profusely on crab and ragworm baits.

I lost one very big smooth-hound which looked to be around the 18lb-mark but, alas, it was too powerful and took me around the pier piles.

As soon as the hounds had started to feed, they were gone again and I was just very lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

Walton Pier has had a reasonable week in general, with a steady run of thornback rays from the top of the pier.

School bass have been showing from around the club hut area and soles are also showing in the coloured water.

An unusual catch this week was a conger eel, weighing in at around 8lbs from the stem of the pier.

The Brightlingsea-based charter boat Sophie Lea has been on the hounds and thornback rays this week.

Stuart Wallace had a good day, landing rays and smooth-hounds to 10lbs.

The estuary must be the place for bass with fish to 6lbs being reported.

Ragworm baits on long-flowing traces seem the best rigs to use.

The high tides for the weekend are 8.42am on Saturday and 9.46am on Sunday.

If you have any fishing reports you can contact me at poppplewell1@btinternet.com