Folkestone pier is recognised as dab central by anglers in the Kent region, especially in the months leading up to spring with the species having a liking for the mixed sand and mud sea bed around the pier wall. Long ago closed as a major Channel ferry port this granite walled pier has falling into disrepair although a local millionaire has laid down plans to rebuild much of it. In the meantime it remains a major pier mark for Kent sea anglers with the fishing lease run by the Folkestone Sea Angling Association. The wall is open day and night, but fishing is only available from the outside wall with tickets £4.50 a day from the local tackle shops before you enter the venue. The pier is regularly patrolled by a steward and is closed for the club competitions.
Best of the fishing spots along the pier wall, its pegged for competitions from 1 to 30, are the low numbers under 6 at low tide and the knuckle (peg 30) over high tide. The very beginning of the pier is the idea places for those new to pier fishing.
The venue produces a good mix of species annually including cod, codling, plaice, dabs, sole, dogfish, smoothhound, pollack, bass, wrasse, conger, pout, whiting, mackerel scad and garfish. During the winter cod, whiting and dabs are taken from distances between 30 and 100 yards out from the wall with the best catches from the pegs below 17, in summer the low numbered pegs produce pollack, scad, bass and mullet alongside the wall over low tide.
BAIT AND TACKLE
In recent years lost tackle has given the venue a reputation as a tackle trap although the experienced local anglers have few problems with the snags with fixed wire grip leads a major factor in snag free fishing. The pier is also regularly dredged by the angling club to clear snags. A 6oz fixed wire red Breakaway or Gemini lead being the perfect answer to the line snags – It’s the likes of the breakout design with its right angled wires that are impossible to free from tackle snags. To avoid the snags altogether you can fish over low water when the tide run is slight. The flood tide runs right to left
A 15lb beach casting outfit with three hook mono paternoster and size 1 hooks is recognised as the best tackle with a slightly shorter rig if you fish at close range. French style wire booms are considered best for fishing alongside the wall and up off the sea bed.
Best of the baits are lugworm including blacks for bottom fishing and ragworm or maddies for fishing alongside the wall. A squid, clam or sprat tip works well for the dabs, whiting and pout. Sandeel and large squid baits catch dogfish.
A club landing net is available – see the pier steward.
Harbour Tackle, 10 Beach St, Folkestone Harbour, Folkestone, tel: 01303 220763.
Opening times: 8am – 4pm Monday to Saturday. 8am – 1pm Sunday.
Bait: Lug, rag plus frozen baits.
Folkestone Angling, 12 Tontine Street, Folkestone, tel: 01303 253881.
Opening times: 8am – 5.30pm Monday to Saturday. 8am – 12pm Sunday.
Bait: Lug, rag plus frozen baits.
Folkestone Sea Angling Association: Mr T Sterling 7 Calgary Crescent, Folkestone, Kent. CT19 6JA Tel 01303 254479
Number of lakes/pegs : -
Prices : -
Directions : Take the M20/A20 to Folkestone, the harbour is well sign posted. The entrance to the harbour and pier is opposite the Grand Burstin Hotel on Folkestone seafront, (its shaped like the bridge of a large ship) a small charge is made for parking at the barrier. Access is via the old railway platform to the pier steps.