IT looks like we're back on track this week.

Boat anglers have seen the return of bigger bass, along with thornbacks and smooth hounds.

There are still tope to be caught on the distant marks.

This is in contrast to last year, when those bigger tope turned up at our inshore, easy-to-get-at venues.

Dave Hollands and Rocky Rotchell launched their boat, Herby Essex Boys, from Gunfleet Boat Club.

They had a great day, with plenty of good-size bass, smooth hounds and thornback rays.

All their fish were caught on squid and ragworm baits.

The charter boat Sophie Lea has also seen bigger bass showing, plus thornback rays and hounds.

Neil Marples fished on his own boat, Milore, out of Walton and landed bass up to 4lbs, plus smooth hounds to 7lbs.

Those stingrays haven’t left our shores yet and the boats have also seen a few this week, with rays to 40lbs being caught.

The beaches and piers have also seen an upturn in catches.

St Osyth beach has seen a return of thornback rays.

It's always best to fish the evening tides as there is a lot of holiday traffic on the beaches here during the daytime tides.

Clacton Pier is seeing bass being caught on lures and ragworm baits fished in between the pier piles.

There is always a chance of a very big bass turning up fishing this style.

The Holland beaches have seen bass and some soles now being caught on the evening tides and the odd thornback ray has also shown here.

The Frinton beaches have come into form, with soles being caught after dark along with bass, some small thornback rays and flounders.

Walton Pier has come into form with smooth hounds showing on the bigger tides, along with a return of thornback rays and bass.

Nat Butcher fished by the club hut on the lower part of the pier.

She landed a good-size thornback ray, along with a very big lobster, which she also caught on rod and line.

Phil Buy, from Colchester Angling Club, also fished here and he had great sport with the school bass.

Walton Sea Angling Club fished on the local beaches for their evening midweek match and, with a strong wind to contend with, the fishing was always going to be difficult.

Top angler on the night was the in-form Nik Highfield, with six fish for 103 points.

Second place went to Ken Peacock, with five fish for 70 points, and in third, also on 70 points but with two fish, was Chris Mills. The heaviest fish prize went to Bill Paquette, with a 1lb 1oz sole.

Colchester Sea Angling Club headed to Suffolk and the Shingle Street beaches for their Evening League match.

Fourteen anglers braved very wet conditions.

First on the night was once again the in-form Nik Highfield, with 13lb 10oz.

His catch included the heaviest round fish prize - a thornback ray of 7lb 6oz.

Second place went to Olly Yallop, with 11lb 1oz, and his catch included the heaviest flatfish prize - a sole of 1lb 1oz.

Malcolm Wright was third with a ray of 5lb 2oz.

My trip this week was to the Walton Backwaters where I fished along the seawall on the high-tide mark.

I caught plenty of bass around the 2lb mark and lost a couple of very big bass that slipped the hook before I could land them.

The high tides for the weekend are 2.28pm on Saturday and 2.59pm on Sunday.