THE weather is always critical to anglers and, over the past few weeks, we've had a very annoying, prevailing strong onshore wind that has caused problems.

Boats have been unable to get to their fishing marks and, along with very high temperatures, beach anglers have found it hard to find somewhere comfortable to fish.

Those thornback rays have slowed down this week, although there's nothing unusual about that.

July will see them move around into deeper waters but there will always be a few to be caught.

September will see another influx of rays.

This week the wind dropped and the boats were able to comfortably fish.

The charter boat Sophie Lea has once again been catching thornback rays, smooth-hounds and bass.

There are still a few tope to be caught but not in the numbers we saw a couple of weeks ago.

The beaches and piers have had a slow week.

There are fish to be caught but you'll have to put in the hours to find a few.

Try and maximise your chances by fishing after dark, after that intense heat has left the beaches.

St Osyth beach can always show a few fish and so it proved this week.

Chris Taylor fished here and fished a midnight high tide.

He was rewarded for his efforts with five thornback rays, with the biggest weighing in at 7lb 2oz.

All his rays were caught on pennel rigs.

The Jaywick beaches have seen a few sole caught this week, along with school bass.

There's always a chance of a very big bass turning up and last year we saw a 14-pounder caught here.

Clacton Pier has seen the odd thornback ray, along with bass being caught on ragworm baits.

Soles are also starting to show well here, too.

The Holland seafront has had a slow week with plenty of crabs feeding, ready to take the anglers’ baits within minutes of casting out.

There is always a chance of bass and soles here.

Walton Pier has probably been the top venue this week.

Bass to 7lbs have been caught on squid baits, along with a few thornback rays from the top of the pier.

Martin Grossman, from Southend, fished the pier on a midweek ebb tide and was rewarded with a nicely-marked thornback ray from the top of the pier.

I also fished the pier during the week but, alas, all I caught was a couple of eels and a pouting.

The sole season is well under way here.

Two areas to fish for them are the top of the pier on the left side.

A cast of 20 yards will put you on the soles or try right at the start of the pier on the sands.

Ragworm will be the top bait to use.

The Walton Pier Club fished their last match of the season.

Fifteen anglers turned out in strong sunshine with a stiff onshore breeze blowing, making things slightly uncomfortable.

Fish were very hard to find and not all anglers caught.

The top angler on the day was Dan Winter, with Colin Harris second and Peter Harris third.

Small eels, bass and flatfish made up the catch.

Over the season, the top six anglers were only separated by just a few points.

680 sizeable fish were weighed in, with most being caught in the month of December.

The Walton Pier Club would like to thank the pier owners and manager Shane Swan for their continued support and are now looking forward to their season competitions starting again in September.

The high tides for the weekend are 1.05pm on Saturday and 2.15pm on Sunday.