Sandown and Yaverland beaches are really one long stretch with similar fishing ground of sandbanks with isolated patches of rock.
While Sandown has a promenade, sandstone cliffs back most of Yaverland and neither is particularly deep. Sandown also has a pier and its head is called the Pool. Fishing can be paid for daily and is administrated by Sandown and Lake AS. Daytime fishing on the beach in the summer is not viable.
Spring brings plaice in daytime and as you move into summer mullet move around the groynes. Groundbaiting will help induce them to feed. Calm early mornings or evenings are best for mullet. Bass and rays are present all year, with fish taken in the quiet times in January and February; best when a good surf is running. Autumn species include pouting, dogfish and even occasional strap conger. Chance of cod in winter.
Bait with squid or a sandeel and use a size 3/0 or 4/0 Viking hook. Use a three-hook flapper for general fishing and flatfish. Hook size is best reduced to size 4-1/0. Float gear works both off the pier for garfish and around the groynes on the beach for mullet. While the pier will fish through the tide, the beach is best two hours either side of high and low water.
Standard beach gear will suffice here. Long casting can be an advantage, so use something that will launch a 5-6 oz grip lead. Bass anglers can scale down. The pulley rig will serve you well for rays.
The Isle of Wight is easily reached by ferry from Southampton, Portsmouth or Lymington. Sandown is situated on the southeast of the island and is well signposted from the ferry ports.
Scotties Tackle Shop, 22 Fitzroy Street, Sandown, tel: 01983 404555.
Stuart’s Bait and Tackle, Shanklin, tel: 01983 868100.
Sports Shop, Regent Street, Shanklin, tel: 01983 862454.