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 recent rough seas mean that the winter season is now well underway for most anglers, with cod being the main target species now that the mackerel are mostly long gone.
Tactics: Most of the piers and beaches have been producing cod to fresh crab baits, but there are also plenty of flat fish, whiting, and other smaller species taking worm, squid and mackerel baits. There have also been good numbers of specimen flounder caught from both the Tyne and Wear.
The whole area is on fire for codling at the moment, with multiple catches of fish averaging 2lb to 3lb on the cards.
Tactics: Fresh peeler crab is by far the best bait, and this should be
legered on a size 6/0 hook. At most marks you won’t need a big chuck and a cast of 60yds ¬ 80yds should put you among the fish. Day or night won’t make much difference but it is best to fish the big tides. The majority of marks are easily accessible with plenty of parking.
If you want a good day’s bass fishing, then Shingle Bank is well worth a visit as there’s plenty of fish to around the 4lb mark being reported.
Tactics: 50yds is the maximum cast that is required here because if you go any further you will miss the gulley where the fish are being caught from.
Most local anglers have been doing well with lugworm on two-hook flapper rigs. It doesn’t really matter which stage of the tide you fish at this venue because there is always around 30ft of water. There is parking available close to the fishing.
There is loads of whiting being caught from all of the local beaches at the moment but Thorpeness is probably the best mark to head to.
Tactics: Ideally you want an overcast day for the best results or wait until dusk. Squid or mackerel fished on a two-hook rig at 40yds ¬ 50yds will catch plenty of fish, but if you want to have the chance of banking the odd sole or better sized bass as well then it is worth trying lugworm or ragworm slightly further out at 70yds ¬ 80yds. Try to fish the ebb tide, and there is lots of free parking available.
A few early cod have started to show but not in any numbers yet and the odd bass has also been reported.
Tactics: There are lots of small whiting being caught at Sandwich Bay and Dungeness but if you want to try and target the bigger species you’ll need to use a whole squid as bait. Day or night isn’t making any difference to sport at the moment.
They may have arrived late, but the mackerel are now starting to show off Swanage Pier along with pollack, garfish and bass.
Tactics: You’re only allowed to fish this venue during the daytime, but it’s worth heading to the end of the beach in the evening. There’s no need to cast any distance off the pier and most anglers are either floatfishing mackerel and sandeel or legering worm baits on the bottom. Aim to fish the tide one hour up and one down.
Anglers fishing from the rocks at Capstone have been reporting good catches of triggerfish and the odd bass.
Tactics: Try and fish the tide two hours up and one back, and it’s best to fish this venue during the daytime as it can be quite dangerous at night. Crab has been scoring for the triggerfish and they can be found close in. One or two-hook paternoster rigs work well, but because you’re fishing over the rocks, rotten bottoms are advisable. Parking is available close to the fishing.
VALE OF GLAMORGAN
There’s some good sport to be had at Cardiff Foreshore at the moment with good numbers of codling, bass and sole showing.
Tactics: Ragworm or lugworm on a pulley-Pennel rig with size 2/0 or 3/0 hooks cast around 70yds will catch pretty much everything. It’s best to fish an ebb tide, but it doesn’t make any difference whether you go during the day or night. You can park just a 10-minute walk away from the fishing.
If you head to Clacton Pier you’ll be in with the chance of putting together a big bag of whiting along with a few bass.
Tactics: If you fish straight off the end of the pier, a
50yds cast should put you over clean ground and among the fish. Lugworm and squid cocktails have been scoring, especially when fished on a two-hook flapper rig. It doesn’t matter what stage of the tide you fish, but the hours of darkness are always best. To fish the pier at night you need to purchase a yearly membership ticket for £100. Alternatively, day tickets are available for £5.
There’s a variety of species on offer from the rough ground at Flimby railway station, including dogfish, codling, bass and plaice.
Tactics: Aim to fish low water up to high and there’s no need to cast to the horizon because a chuck of 50yds ¬ 60yds will find the fish. The hours of darkness are best for the codling, but if there’s a good south westerly wind you will still get bites during the daytime. You can park in the village and then it’s just a short walk to the fishing.