THE nights have suddenly drawn in and we are now into the first throws of winter.

Sadly, those cod have not appeared yet and I think it could be a long haul before we are back to those heady days when we were hauling in double-figure cod from our East Coast.

We have learnt this week that our bass ruling of keeping one per session has come to an end.

The Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) have announced that from November 1 to December 31, all bass will have to be returned on a catch and release basis.

It seems a very strange time to bring this ruling in as we are now seeing the last of the bass until next Spring.

Back to this week and the boats have seen shoals of bigger whiting turn up, along with thornback rays, dogfish and late smooth hound.

Dave Hollands and Rocky Rotchell launched from the Gunfleet Boat Club ramp and reported good size thornback rays, along with dogfish and whiting.

Dave lost a very big fish under the boat which was probably a bass.

The beaches have seen those shoals of whiting feeding voraciously and it can be a struggle to find any bigger species.

However, after dark it can be a bite a cast and on light tackle, they can be great fun.

My trip this week was a late-night session on Walton Pier.

I fished over high water and three hours of the ebb and what a great night it was. The dogfish fed for the first couple of hours and it was literally a bite every few minutes.

Then, as the tide eased, the heavyweight thornback rays came on the feed.

By the time I got home, I was exhausted!

Walton Sea Angling Club fished their latest match on Walton Pier.

They fished an ebb tide and also found the whiting feeding.

Top spot went to Rob Tuck, with 43 fish for 13lb 3oz.

Second place went to Chris Mills, with 26 fish for 12lb 2oz, and third to Mick Frost, with 40 fish for 11lb 9oz.

The heaviest fish prize went to Chris Mills, with a 1lb 7oz dogfish.

Colchester Sea Angling Club held the fifth round of their Colchester Bait and Tackle-sponsored matches.

They fished the Frinton beaches and, once again, the whiting were ready to take any bait that was put in front of them.

First place went to Phil Buy, with 9lb 3oz, and Phil also won the heaviest fish prize with a 1lb 15oz dogfish.

Second spot went to Mark Oxley, with 8lbs, and third to Lawrence Chisnall, with 7lb 10oz.

The heaviest flatfish prize went to Chris Mills, with a 14oz flounder.

The Alresford Angling Association held its annual team challenge charity fishing match at the Orchard Lakes complex.

Six local teams fished - Alresford, Paxman’s, Brightlingsea, Colchester Piscatorial Society, Hadleigh and Colchester Police.

The weather was fine and everyone enjoyed the friendly day’s fishing, with plenty of good weights at the weigh-in.

The winning team was Paxman’s, with Hadleigh second, Alresford third, Colchester Piscatorial Society fourth, Brightlingsea fifth and Colchester Police sixth.

This special event was jointly sponsored by Wass Tackle shop of Copford and Alresford AA, who together donated several hundred pounds worth of fishing tackle as individual prizes.

Other items of tackle were kindly donated by Graham Pinnock and Paul Smedley.

A total of £250 was raised, which will be donated to St Helena Hospice, in Colchester.

Grateful thanks were expressed to the Alresford organising team of Stephen Sibbons (chairman), Adrian Loughton (match secretary) and Jim Martin (membership secretary).

The high tides for the weekend are 9.24am on Saturday and 10.06 am on Sunday.