WE'RE now officially in the middle of a prolonged heatwave, with temperatures hitting 25C most days, and, unfortunately, it doesn’t help the fishing much!

It's been difficult to find many sizeable fish feeding along our shoreline.

The boats have found a few fish feeding but not like we've seen over the previous months and those tope packs, with some 50lb-plus fish among them, have all but gone.

The tope season is only short but this year we had a bonus of a longer period and tope moving in closer than they've ever done before.

Still, there's always a chance of a heavyweight tope so don’t give up!

The Brightlingsea-based charter boat Sophie Lea has had a reasonable week with some rays showing, plus smooth-hounds.

The top catch has to be an 11lb bass caught by Gary Weare.

Alan Tipple and Sandie Davis launched from the Gunfleet Boating Club ramp down at Holland-on-Sea.

They fished out around the windfarm area.

Once again, the fishing was slow but they did manage to catch thornback rays, bass and smooth-hounds.

Alan told me those dogfish that were so prevalent since the spring seem to have disappeared completely.

The Walton boats report much the same.

Neil Marples fished from his own boat Milore and caught eight bass to 3lbs and smooth-hounds to 6lbs.

The mackerel shoals are there and with clearing seas it can only be a matter of time before they move in closer and hopefully the piers will very soon see mackerel being caught.

St Osyth beach has also had a quiet week with just the odd ray being caught, with some school bass to be caught in close on ragworm baits.

Clacton Pier has seen a few thornback rays and school bass which are feeding very close to the pier piles.

The Holland beaches have been woefully slow this week.

The intense heat has sent any self-respecting fish into deeper and cooler waters. The best chance here is when the sun has gone down, when there could be soles and bass to be caught.

Walton Sea Angling Club headed to the Frinton beaches for their latest match. Once again, the prolonged heatwave took its toll on the fishing.

The fishing was slow, with just a few small bass and the odd eel caught.

Top angler on the night was Rob Tuck, with 14 fish for 147 points.

A very close second place went to Vic Pearce, with 12 fish for 144 points, and third to Nik Highfield, with nine fish and 127 points.

The heaviest prize was shared between Nik and John Moakes, both catching a 30cm bass.

Colchester Sea Angling Club fished their July league match on Walton Pier and, with temperatures hitting 33C, conditions were far from ideal.

Eighteen anglers and one junior fished and most caught fish.

The majority of anglers used scratching rigs and fished under the pier just to catch a fish!

However, the tally of species at the end of the match was pretty good. Thornback ray, smooth-hound, wrasse, pouting, rockling, eels and a couple of soles were caught.

First place went to Martyn Close, with 3lb 15oz, which included an 3lb 11oz smooth-hound.

Martyn brought along George Deakin, a junior member, and young George caught the biggest fish of the match - a 4lb 7oz thornback ray, winning the heaviest round fish prize.

Second place went to Phil Buy, with 1lb 7oz, and third to Steve Isgar, with 1lb 7oz.

Steve's catch included a 12oz sole which won him the heaviest flatfish prize.

If you have any fishing reports and photos you can contact me at popplewell1@btinternet.com

The high tides for the weekend are 6.56am on Saturday and 8am on Sunday.