THE winter months are whizzing by and it won’t be long before spring arrives and we'll be seeing a variety of different species turning up on our part of the east coast.

Until then, we're still in the doldrums and, apart from those ever-faithful thornback rays, there really isn’t much to report.

What I will say is to get more bites, just lighten up on the end tackle.

Smaller hooks and lighter lines will produce more bites when the going is tough.

The boats have had an indifferent week, although some thornback rays have been caught, along with dabs and the very odd codling.

The charter boat Enterprise, skippered by Chris Mole, out of Mersea, has been finding the rays with up to ten per trip.

Colchester angler Lee Grego was on one such trip and caught two cracking rays, plus a few whiting.

The Clacton boats have also seen a few thornback rays, whiting and dabs.

Once again, large shoals of sprats are hampering the fishing but hopefully by the end of this month they will be dispersing.

The beaches really haven’t fared much better this week, with just the odd whiting, dab and rockling reported.

It's always worth putting one rod out with a big squid bait for a ray as they can turn up on any tide.

Clacton Pier has seen whiting and dabs caught this week.

There's always a chance of a ray here and, with calm, settled weather forecast, it could be the venue to head for.

Walton Sea Angling Club fished a midweek evening match on the local pier.

They fished a calm and cold night with clear skies which made for a heavy frost on the pier boards and made it slippery underfoot.

They fished from low water on the head of the pier and bites were hard to come by.

Top rod on the night was Clacton’s Mick Frost, with six fish for 76 points.

Second place went to Rob Tuck, with seven fish for 70 points, and third to Nik Highfield, with three fish for 36 points.

Nik also won the heaviest fish prize with a 28cm dab, weighing 8oz.

Daytime anglers on Walton Pier have seen dabs from the top of the pier, along with the odd thornback ray.

Codling are still very hard to find but hopefully by the end of the month we will see a few being caught.

Colchester Sea Angling Club headed to the Felixstowe beaches for their annual Dab Challenge, sponsored by Wass’s Fishing Tackle.

Eighteen anglers fished on a very windy day but everyone caught plenty of fish, although sadly not many dabs.

Only eight anglers caught dabs and top place went to the in-form Nik Highfield, with two for 4.5oz.

Joint-second went to Phil Buy and Keven Willimott (3oz) and joint-fourth to Vic Pearce and Chris Mills (2.5oz).

If you have any fishing reports you can contact me at

The high tides for the weekend are 2.25pm on Saturday and 2.58pm on Sunday.