Here's this week's selection of the best sea, pier and beach fishing catch reports from top marks around the English, Welsh and Scottish coastlines provided to the team at Sea Angler magazine from reputable sources within the world of sea fishing...
The rocks at Eyemouth are always worth a go, but you should take care because if there¹s a big sea it can get quite dangerous. There¹s deep water close in, so you don¹t have to fish far out because some of the best fish are taken at short range. Fish big lugworm baits for the cod and don¹t forget to incorporate a rotten-bottom into your rig because there are lots of snags around.
You can expect 30lb bags of codling if you pay a visit to Lynemouth, where you can fish at the back of the power station. It¹s not all about small fish, either, as two cod over the 7lb mark have been taken recently. Most anglers fish between 80yds and 100 yds out and use a combination of squid and ragworms on size 3/0 or 4/0 hooks. You¹ll be fishing over mixed ground, and the optimum time to fish is two hours before high tide and two hours after.
Anglers fishing from the bottom of the Sandy Bay cliffs have been reporting good catches of cod to 9lb. Due to the snags, rotten-bottom rigs are essential and ragworms, mussels and razorfish have been scoring on the bait front. It¹s best to fish this venue at low tide, and the cod have been caught both day and night. You can park your car next to the bowling green and then it¹s just a five-minute walk to the fishing.
It¹s not all doom and gloom, as the prolific and reliable South Shields pier is producing bags of codling to double figures and the odd fish to 9lb has also been taken. Clipped-down rigs and size 2/0 hooks is the best combination, and most locals have been using lugworms, ragworms, razorfish or peeler crabs. It¹s worth trying different bait combinations. If you fish the side that faces the bay, use a rotten-bottom because it¹s very snaggy. The best catches have been taken by those casting at distance, and there are some steps on the pier that you can use to land the bigger fish. However, you should always have a drop net with you.
The recent Durham County Council match at Horden produced good numbers of codling. Nets to double figures were taken, and a fish of 6lb 2oz was the biggest recorded. A rough sea is the best, although there are plenty of snags around here so you should use pulley rigs. All the successful match anglers have been putting their faith in baits such as black lugworms, peeler crabs and ragworms.
Most marks have seen the odd cod to 6lb reported at some time as Steetley pier produced a few better bags into double figures, although most anglers had only whiting. The Durham beaches have seen similar results, and at Newbiggin an unknown angler reported a bag of cod for 42lb. Staying north of the Tyne, Barry Tweddle won a Seaton Sluice match with six cod, the best two weighing 7lb 8oz and 7lb 3oz, all taken from Needles Eye.
Whiting and flatfish have been taken in good numbers from Whitby pier with two-hook paternoster rigs catching the majority of fish. Squid and mackerel have been the best baits when fished over high water and action can be had throughout the day, although a few better specimens have been taken during the night. Free street parking is available five minutes away from the venue entrance.
Plenty of cod to around 5lb have been showing from along Marine Drive, with most of the bigger specimens taking mussels and lugworms. Pennell pulley rigs have been used by the most successful anglers and fish have been caught throughout the day, although night time has proved more prolific and it¹s best to fish three hours either side of high tide. Free parking is available behind your fishing spot all the way along Marine Drive.
If you are looking for a sheltered area then consider heading for Bridlington North pier. Dabs and whiting have been the main species showing up, with two and three-hook flapper rigs working well. Black lugworms tipped with squid have been the best offering and the tides and time of day are irrelevant at the moment, with the fish feeding around the clock. Pay-and-display parking is available close to the entrance to the pier.
Fishing has been tough in the area of late, but Cleethorpes Promenade has produced a few flounders and coalfish. Two-hook flapper rigs with 3oz-5oz leads and size 4 hooks have been working well when combined with lugworms and ragworms. Most of the fish have been taken two hours either side of high tide, and there¹s plenty of pay and display parking available in front of the promenade.
Chapel St Leonards
Once the sea calms down the cod and whiting will be back on the scene, but when it¹s tough the locals go for flatfish, which can be caught on small pieces of lugworm. Chapel St Leonards is probably your best bet because it¹s one of the most well-known marks in the area, and if you are comfortable fishing at long range there are flounders to be caught.
A recent match at Salthouse saw 28 anglers take part, and they shared 88 fish between them. The fish caught included flounders, dabs, whiting and codling, and most were caught by those fishing flapper rigs with lugworms. This is miles better than the sport that it has been producing of late because previous matches until now have been won with a single rockling! Cod to 12lb have also been recorded, and even though this match was fished at the top of the tide, big hauls have also been recorded by those visiting at low water.
There are some codling between Cley and Mundesley, and the odd bass has also been caught. Two-hook flappers have been catching the fish and locals have been surprised, because those fishing over low tide at Weybourne have been bagging up on flatfish. Fish at the bottom of the tide with lugworms and you won¹t be disappointed, but don¹t cast too far.
Gorleston beach is producing the odd dab and flounder, but the cod are expected to return in large numbers in the next few weeks. In the meantime use small hooks and flapper rigs baited with ragworms, squid and small pieces of mackerel. The flood tide into dark is the best time to fish, and you should look to cast near the wreck. Once the cod return the fish will average between 4lb and 5lb.
Both flapper and single-hook rigs are working on the North pier at Southwold and you can catch whiting to 1lb and cod to around 4lb. Most local anglers say the best time to target the fish is two hours before high tide and an hour on the way down. A big hookbait consisting of lugworms tipped with squid fished at around 40yds is the favoured method.
Very few anglers have ventured out of late, but those who have braved the conditions have managed to take some nice cod and whiting from the Town beach at Aldeburgh. Big baits are your best bet for a few bites, with the majority of anglers currently opting for lugworms tipped with squid. Cast as far as you possibly can and use a clipped-down Pennell rig. Plenty of parking is available close to this popular venue.
There are a lot of sprats around at the minute, which tend to pre-occupy the cod, but it¹s still possible to catch if you get your tactics right. Clacton pier is always worth a go and if you want a proper cod you should look to fish big hookbaits with ragworms, lugworms and squid all popular. Two-hook rigs with size 1/0 or 2/0 hooks are the best bet but be warned ¬ it can be a waiting game, but there are definitely fish to be caught!
It¹s tough going around this area at the moment but there¹s a possibility of a few bites around Stanford-le-Hope. Flatfish are the target and you should use size 1 or 2 hooks and make sure that you opt for small hookbaits such as ragworms or lugworms. Don¹t just cast to one area and plan your session three hours either side of high tide.
There are two popular marks to try on the River Medway and these are the Strand and the Square. Ragworms are the top bait and locals use these on one-up, two-down rigs. Keep your tackle light and don¹t fish too far out, because fish can come right in close and can be caught by those who roll leads around in the shallow water. There¹s always a chance of the odd codling at this venue. A great tip is not to strike at any movement of the tip, but to reel in and re-cast every hour. Three casts an hour will also help keep a good scent trail going through the water.
Smaller species such as dabs, pouting and whiting are providing anglers with a bit of sport at Hythe beach. Two-hook flapper rigs with lugworms have been accounting for the majority of catches and a cast of 70yds-80yds will put you among the fish. With the water being well-coloured, the best catches have been taken during the day and you can park your car for free close to the beach.
The beaches at Dengemarsh and Galloway are both producing good numbers of dabs along with the odd codling and bass. Anglers after the dabs have enjoyed good sport with three-hook flapper or paternoster rigs incorporating small hooks baited with pieces of black lugworm fished at 60yds-80yds. If you¹re targeting the codling, pulley rigs with lugworms cast a similar distance are recommended. Both marks fish best on the big tides, and there¹s plenty of free parking nearby.
There have been some good catches of flounders taken from Pevensey Bay, with specimens to over 2lb reported. Razorfish fished on two-up, two-down rigs with size 2 hooks has been doing well, and there¹s no need to cast too far out. If possible try and fish over high tide. Day or night isn¹t making any difference to catches. Although sport has slowed up slightly, there are still a few codling, dabs and whiting to be had at Langley Point.
Anglers fishing at Rock-a-Nore have been reporting good catches of flounders and dabs, and if the wind changes to a south-westerly there will be the chance of codling and whiting too. There¹s no need to fish at range as you¹ll find the deep water close in, and flapper rigs with lugworms on size 2 hooks are best. If possible fish the tide two hours up and two hours on the way back down. You can park right by the fishing here.
Bites have been hard to come by in the area over the last week, but there is the chance of a few flounders at Portsmouth harbour. Ragworms fished on three-hook flapper rigs get the vote of local anglers and the time of day isn¹t having an effect on catches. The bottom is generally clear, although there is the odd snag which you have to watch out for. You can fish out of the back of your car.
Pretty much the whole coast from Stokes Bay to Hill Head is fishing well for codling, whiting and flounders. Most anglers start off targeting the codling with Pennell rigs, but drop down to two-hook flappers with small hooks for the whiting. If you take squid, black lugworms and ragworms you¹ll be covered on the bait front. Fish from low water up and you¹ll catch from anywhere between 50yds and 100yds out. The venue tends to fish better during darkness and there¹s plenty of free parking along the road next to the beach.
If you head to Lepe beach there¹s the chance of a bite or two from pouting and whiting, along with the odd codling. If possible fish over the top of the high tide and on the way back down again. A two-hook flapper baited with squid or fresh ragworms is ample. To find the fish it is best to have several casts at varying ranges until you start getting bites. Parking is available next to the beach.
Flounders are the main species on offer at Poole harbour, although there are still a few small bass showing. Local anglers have been doing well fishing three or four small ragworms on the hook, and there¹s no need to cast to the horizon because a chuck of 50yds-60yds will put you among the fish. Fish over the top of the flood tide, daylight or darkness, it isn¹t making any difference to catches.
Although there have been more anglers getting out over the last week, bites have still been hard to come by in the area. Chesil beach is still the best mark to head to for the chance of some action with species such as whiting, dogfish, pouting, and the odd codling. The fish can be found anywhere between 30yds and 100yds out, using a two-hook clipped-down or flapper rig. Lugworms and squid should be enough for a bite.
The Kingsbrige estuary is worth a look at the moment, with flounders being the main species on offer. Target the gulleys, which can be found around 10yds out, with lugworms or ragworms on flapper rigs and you should be in with the chance of a bite or two. The majority of catches have been taken during the day, and you can leave your car in the car park.
There are still plenty of flounders to be caught in the Tamar estuary and the creeks which run off from it. You won¹t need anything complicated to catch, a simple running leger baited with ragworms being sufficient. If possible, fish a building tide, going from a neap to a spring, and target the channels. Daytime anglers have generally had the better results, although there have still been numerous fish caught once the sun has set. Most areas are easily accessible.
A specimen flounder of 3lb 9oz has been caught by a local angler from the Helford River, along with two other fish over the 2lb mark. The river consists of a series of small creeks, so it¹s wise to explore different areas to find the best fishing. You won¹t go far wrong with a two-hook flapper rig baited with ragworms or lugworms, and if you fish into dark it is worth adding a couple of luminous beads to your rig to keep the bites coming. Parking is limited, and it can be a 10 to 15 minute walk to the fishing in places.
There have been whiting and dabs to 1lb 8oz and several codling caught from the shingle beach at Loe Bar. Paternoster rigs have been scoring well with lugworm baits for the smaller species, or big bits of squid if you¹re targeting the cod. Whether you can cast long range or not, it makes no difference as you¹ll catch anywhere between 20yds and 180yds, and the bigger fish are often caught close in. All the best catches have been taken under the cover of darkness, and there is a free car park just a 10-minute walk away.
Mixed bags of small species such as whiting, dogfish and pouting are still being caught from the headlands around the town. Mackerel strips fished on flapper rigs have been scoring well for the whiting, and there¹s no need to cast any further than 40yds. The fishing has generally been better during darkness, especially when fishing up to and over high water.
As in most places, the flounders are the main species providing anglers with a bit of sport, and the River Camel estuary is certainly worth a look. Peeler crabs have been by far the best bait, but lugworms are a good second choice, with a running leger rig recommended. Casting distance will vary, depending on whereabouts on the estuary you fish, but you won¹t need to cast much further than 60yds. It is generally best to fish two hours before high tide and four hours back down, and most areas of the estuary are easily accessible.
If you head to the pier at Ilfracombe you¹ll be in with the chance of catching plaice to 2lb, whiting and dogfish, as well as possible codling, although these haven¹t started showing in any numbers yet. You don¹t have to cast far because a chuck of up to 40yds will put you among the fish ¬ further out and it gets rocky! This venue fishes best on a flood tide and you won¹t go far wrong with a strip of mackerel presented on a single-hook paternoster rig. Catches are being taken day and night and there¹s plenty of parking at the pier.
Whiting and cod are at the top of the hit list at the popular and productive Lilstock mark, where cod to 5lb have been taken on Pennell pulley rigs. You can park in the village and then the venue is around a 10-minute walk away. Most locals regard the reefs that are close to the Coastguard Tower as the hotspot, and it¹s a low water mark too. Peeler crabs, lugworms and squid will all get plenty of bites and you should be looking to fish at about 80yds range.
Sport has been slow, but a few big cod to over 15lb have been taken by the local boats. Scar Point is a rock mark at Port Talbot and it¹s a venue that will reward anglers that visit at low water and fish pulley rigs with 6oz gripper leads and opt for baits such as lugworms and peeler crabs. Anglers who can fish at distance have been catching the better cod, but it¹s not essential to get bites. Fish the tide two hours on the way out and two hours incoming.
Mumbles pier is the pick of the bunch in this area, producing dabs, whiting and dogfish. You really don¹t have to cast that far because most of those who fish the mark drop a three-hook flapper rig down by the piles and still get loads of bites. It¹s simple fishing, and it¹s a venue that can be fished at any state of the tide. You¹ll catch more fish if you use small baits mounted on size 1 or 2 hooks. Make sure you take plenty of lugworms and mackerel for strips.
Big shoals of flounders have moved close to the Glen beach at Saundersfoot, with fish to over 2lb reported by local anglers. A few dabs have been taken too, and ragworms and razorfish have been the top baits when combined with two and three-hook flapper rigs, fished at low tide for bites and at night with black lugworms for the dabs. The North beach has also been in good form for flounders to 1lb 8oz. Good access and parking is available at both venues.
Keep your options open and you¹ll be in for a good session if you go for a day¹s fishing at Newland, where codling, flounders, dogfish, whiting and pouting are all on offer. This venue is part of the river estuary, which means there aren¹t too many snags around, so you can get way with using flapper rigs over the top of an incoming tide. Make sure you take a selection of bait with you and try different combinations of lugworms, mackerel and squid. Access to this venue is very easy.
The North beach at Aberystwyth has been producing lots of dabs and whiting on two and three-hook flapper rigs. The evening has produced most fish, with mackerel and squid the best baits, and anglers targeting Borth rocks have taken some good catches. Those fishing close to the coastguard station have landed bass to 3lb 8oz on flapper rigs baited with lugworms and razorfish on size 3/0 hooks. Fish have been caught from this popular hotspot throughout the day.
The rocks at Llancarw have been producing good mixed bags of whiting, dabs and codling. Most anglers have been fishing close to the remains of the lighthouse with simple two-hook clipped-down or Pennell rigs. Lugworms and sandeels have been the best baits, with fishing close to the shore bringing the best results, although more snags are present here! Fish have been taken throughout the day, although the biggest bags have been recorded at low water. Lots of free parking is close to this popular hotspot.
Flapper rigs with lugworms and mackerel have been working well on the Dee estuary, with lots of small codling, whiting and flounders taken. The fish don¹t appear to be particularly picky, good sport being had on virtually any tide, although the cod fishing has been better during darkness. Anglers are advised to park in the HSS Hire Shop car park and walk down the path to reach the venue.
Dabs, whiting and the odd codling have been taken from Perch Rock in recent weeks. Two-hook flappers have been used by local anglers with black lugworms, squid and peeler crabs the best current baits. Fish have been taken throughout the day, although the best bags have been taken two hours either side of high tide.
The bigger codling have started to show at Anchorsholme, with lots of fish to 7lb. Anglers are advised to use lugworms, but locals who have gutted their catch in the kitchen afterwards have found sandeels inside the fish, so it might be worth fishing these too. Pennell rigs have been used to good effect, although two-hook flappers have also taken a fair few fish. The biggest fish are being taken on high tides, although good sport can be had at any time of day. Free parking is available close to this prolific venue.
There are small tides at the moment and if you fish over high water you¹ll be in with the chance of whiting, codling and flounders. The dabs are starting to move in as well. Two-hook flapper rigs baited with lugworms tipped with mackerel will get plenty of bites, and the most productive range is around 70yds. If you¹re after whiting and cod, then night tides have been best, but fish in the day for dabs and flounders.
Isle of Man
Visit Ramsey and you¹ll be spoilt for choice, because there are many types of fishing to explore, with stretches of beach, rocks and breakwaters. You¹ll find dabs, pollack and bass, plus mullet that can be taken from the harbour. If you walk around 400yds from the breakwater you can fish the beach and catch bass and pollack casting into the breaking waves. If it¹s bass you¹re after, the locals have been fishing first thing in the morning or just into darkness.
If you like spinning you should get to Laird¹s Point, a part of Portpatrick, as there are plenty of pollack to be caught on this method. Most locals use a rubber worm or a frozen sandeel attached to 30lb mono coupled with a barrel lead and a size 3/0 hook. You should fish for the species in low water conditions, but if you want a chance of codling and whiting fish a single-hook rig with lugworms.
The rocks at Dunure is the place to be at the moment as you don¹t have to fish any further out than 50yds for cod and flatfish. Pulley or bomber rigs are favourites among the regulars, and the baits that take most of the fish are mussels, ragworms, lugworms and squid. You can get cut off by the tide, so take care, and ideally visit when the tide is on its way out.
The melting snow has caused lots of freshwater to pour into the sea, pushing the fish out, but when conditions improve try Lochs Etive and Fyne. Fish the incoming tide for spurdogs, pollack, thornback rays and conger eels. A paternoster or simple running rig will be more than adequate, with mackerel fillet, sandeels and squid working well. Fresh ragworms are also highly prized.