IT'S been a very quiet period for shore anglers along our coastline, with plenty of seaweed causing problems when the sea is running hard on the ebb tides.

It really isn’t unusual for the fishing to have a slack time in July and all our beaches are seeing just that during daylight hours.

The odd bass and ray have been caught but nothing too exciting to report.

However, at times like this, it's time to try different tactics.

Both Clacton and Walton Piers will see bass feeding on small garfish, so if you fancy some sport with the bass then lure fishing is the way forward.

It could now be time to put those heavy beach rods away for a while and try some light tackle fishing.

Small silver spinners or lures in between the pier piles will tempt those bass to feed.

Small hooks and ragworm baits also fished down by the piles will see wrasse, small pollack and garfish feeding.

These tactics will also work all along our rocky breakwaters that adorn the Essex coast.

My trip this week was down to the estuary for maybe the last chance of a stingray before they disappear until next year.

However, sadly, there was no sign of any.

I did use the light tackle approach and, to be honest, it was a bite a cast with bass up to the 1lb 5oz mark.

The heavy weed I reported about appeared on the ebb tide and it was time to pack up but the flood tide fished very well.

Walton Pier has seen a few soles caught and some school bass and there is always a chance of a thornback ray or big smoothhound to be caught here.

After dark will improve your chances on the piers and beaches for soles and bigger fish.

Walton Sea Angling Club headed for the Frinton beaches for their evening match and, with light winds and a warm breeze, hopes were high.

Unfortunately, the fish had other ideas and only small bass and the odd eel were caught.

First place went to Richard Burt, with 80 points, which included a small bass and eel.

A close second was Ken Peacock, with five small fish for 71 points, and third place went to Lawrence Chisnall, with two small bass for 31 points.

Colchester Sea Angling Club fished the Clacton beaches for round three of the Colchester Bait and Tackle Evening League.

The fishing was slightly better, with a few thornbacks and soles being caught.

Top rod for the evening was Dave Clark, with a 6lb 10oz thornback ray.

Dave also won the heaviest fish prize with his ray.

In second place was Olly Yallop, also with a thornback ray, weighing 5lb 4oz.

In third was Lawrence Chisnall, with 2lb 8oz.

The heaviest flatfish prize went to Bill Paquette, with a 14oz sole.

The boats have had a reasonable week with plenty of calm weather and sunshine.

The Brightlingsea-based charter boat saw smoothhounds to over 20lbs.

Chris Moles’ Mersea charter boat also had a great week on the smoothhounds and bass.

Dave Hollands fished from his new boat from the Gunfleet Boat Club ramp.

He reported smoothhounds to 10lbs, along with bass to 5lbs.

Alan Tipple and Sandie Davis also fished from the Gunfleet ramp and had a very good day with eight bass to 5lbs and one smoothhound, which was caught by Sandie.

It looks like the thornback rays have slowed down this week for the boats but they will never be too far away.

The high tides for the weekend are 9.41am on Saturday and 10.43 am on Sunday.