By Graham Barratt

SOUTHEND Pier Angling Forum chiefs are hoping sport on the landmark will improve following the clearance of snags on the seabed.

The group represents the angling community and secured funding from the London Gateway Port for local trawler men to drag the area off the pier head.

Canvey fishermen Daryl Godbold and John Warren made 30 sweeps of the area and cleared debris over a five-hour period, helped by members of the forum.

“These snags make it impossible to fish without losing costly fishing tackle and it has become so bad that anglers are turning to other locations around the coast to have a day’s fishing,” said Mike Sharp of SPAF.

“The area, known as the east point, on the pier head was a cod hot spot in its heyday but had become impossible to fish.

“The clearance has a significant environmental benefit by taking man-made material out of the marine environment and reducing the possibility of more building up.

“It is hoped that enough area has been cleared to ease the snags and that anglers can begin to improve catches and put our pier back on the map.”

Marcus Pearson, the environment manager for the London Gateway Port, had been looking for legacy projects to support as work at the Stanford-le-Hope port draws to a close and was approached by Sharp for financial support for the project.

Sharp and Stan Burton helped God bold and Warren clear the seabed, with the operation dredging up items including 140 lead weights and end tackle, a tonne of nylon, electrical waste and wooden items, a fire extinguisher, a five-gallon container full of chain and a 50m length of steel cable.

Last Thursday’s clean-up appears to have already reaped dividends with anglers reporting catches of 40 herrings at the end of the week.

Sharp said the operation had also coincided with signs of recovery of fish stocks in the River Thames, with good numbers of sizable codling, modest numbers of soles being landed off Canvey by commercial fishermen and boat anglers taking up to eight thornback rays on a trip half a mile south of the pier at the weekend.


Big fish bite at Doggetts

JAMES Saunders and Ben Brown continued their successful run when they fished a session at Doggetts.

The pair fished the number one and two swims on the north bank at the Rochford water, where Brown landed mirrors of 12lb, 15lb and 19lb, plus an 18lb common.

He also lost a bigger fish but did land a brace of good tench.


Ben Brown - with his 19lb mirror carp

Saunders also lost two very good fish, but he was still delighted with the two mirrors he landed which weighed a respectable 17lb and 23lb.

Local angler and bailiff Ian Simmons fished an evening on the south bank and took a mid-double mirror on Eclipse boilies from the back reeds.

Brian Thompson was not distracted by the fireworks as he banked three fish to 18lb from open water on the back of the middle bar.

Fishing the same swim on the south side, Alan Slade tackled the back reeds on Sunday evening to land a very scrappy 19lb mirror.

Mike Spooner braved heavy showers during a day session on the north bank gulley, but he was rewarded with an upper double while losing another good fish.


James Saunders - with his Doggetts carp

A few float fishermen have enjoyed the mild weather, with maggots and bread proving the most productive hook bait, with good ground baiting helping to find some of the better roach.

Some jack pike have been caught, with the best being a nine-pounder taken on ledgered herring from the north bank. Most of the keen carp anglers arrived on Saturday and the south westerly winds meant the majority of the fish were landed from the eastern end of the lake.



ARTHUR Johnson, the owner of Southend-based Fishalot, had a 6.5lb near the Mulberry Harbour at the weekend.

The fish was caught on mackerel bait while whiting-bashing and was released.

l Southend Pier: Lee, from Southend Angling Centre, reports dogfish, whiting, the chance of a codling on lug worm, mackerel and the occasional 2lb bass.

l Southend beaches: Flounders, pouting and the occasional eel have been caught from Thorpe Bay along to Chalkwell.

l Shoebury: Flounders have been caught at the bust stop end of East Beach, with the chance of a mullet from the boom end.

l Thamesmead: Eddie Sharp reports flounders and eels being caught. Eddie is currently being treated in Darent Valley Hospital for breathing difficulties and the angling community wishes him a speedy recovery.

l Erith: Flounders and pin whiting are being landed at Morrison’s Jetty.

l Belvedere: Lots of whiting are about and, although most of them are undersize, fish to 1lb have been taken.

l Dagenham: There are good numbers of flounders being tempted on lug worm at the recycling plant. One or two large eels of 2lb have also been caught.

l River Crouch: Bass have been caught on rag worm or lures, while whiting have been landed on mackerel or blueys and small codling have been tempted after dark on blue or black lug worm. There are also flounders and eels to be had.

l Burnham: Whiting, dogfish and small codling have provided sport at Holywell Point.

l Walton Pier: Richard Holgate reports codling, whiting, bass and dogfish being taken, and some roker still about.

l Frinton: Anglers have had roker and whiting from the town beach.

l Holland-on-Sea: Decent bass have been landed close in at Brighton Road, with codling and whiting at long range.

l Felixstowe: There are hundreds of pin whiting reported and some decent codling at deep water marks, near the ferry.

l Charter boats: Skippers have reported anglers catching mackerel, codling, whiting, pouting, a few roker, dogfish and one or two smooth hounds.



TOP pike angler John Rose will be sharing his knowledge of catching the predators at a talk later this month.

Rose has been named as the Pike Anglers Club Piker of the Year and the event at the Noak Bridge pub in Wash Road, Noak Bridge, Laindon, will be his first talk.

The event has been organised by the Essex Pike Anglers Club and starts at 7.30pm on Thursday, November 13. Admission is £4 for PAC members and £5 for non-members.