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 River Tyne has been in great form and the walkway at South Shields is one of the best areas just now for decent hauls of codling.
Tactics: Frozen or fresh crab baits have been the best offerings in recent weeks, although ragworm tipped with small pieces of squid can be a good alternative. Aim to cast as far as you physically can and you will often be rewarded with plenty of fish around the 2lb mark. Action can be had throughout the day although the hours of darkness are often the best times to get in to action.
With the heavy seas last week, most anglers who did venture out headed to the sheltered river marks where there are good numbers of small cod, coalfish, flounders and eels.
Tactics: Club matches on the River Tyne are regularly being won with double-figure weights, and there are also lots of flounders being caught from the Wear. Those fishing at the beaches around Durham and Teesbay should be in for some good sport now that most of the summer weed growth has gone.
Fresh crab will be the prime bait for all areas, but anglers are starting to pick up more of the bigger fish on worm baits.
The best venue to head to this week is the Filey Brigg rock mark where there’s good numbers of cod and pollack to be had.
Tactics: You’re fishing over rough ground so pulley rigs with rotten bottoms are essential, otherwise you’ll lose tackle. The deep water can be found close in, so most of the time there is no need to cast any further than 60yds to 70yds. Worm baits work best, and ideally you want to fish three hours either side of low tide. Fish are caught both by day and night and you can park at the country park which is close to the fishing.
There’s so many whiting about in the Courtauld Straight at the moment that you’re virtually guaranteed to catch.
Tactics: Aim to fish the bigger tides of 6.6 and above, and the best areas to head are from bay 18 down to 12. Worm and fish baits have been scoring, especially when fished on a two-hook clipped-down rig cast around 70yds. You can also catch lots of flounders down the edge with worms. Day or night doesn’t make any difference and you can fish out of the back of your car.
If it’s big bags of whiting you’re after, then the Gorleston wreck mark is the place to head to because locals are getting up to over 40 fish in a session. There are also codling to 2lb being caught, and a few flatfish and dabs have now started showing.
Tactics: If you take some fresh lugworm, ragworm, squid and mackerel, you will be covered on the bait front. These work best when fished on a two or three-hook flapper rig and cast between 50yds and 100yds. Dusk is by far the most productive time, although you will still catch during the day. Try and fish the flood tides, and there is parking available at the top of the cliff.
Anglers fishing from Southend Pier have been reporting good catches of mackerel, bass and mullet.
Tactics: Most of the fish are being caught from close to the pier head, so there is no need to cast to the horizon. A variety of tactics have been working, but if you are after the bass you won’t go far wrong with a live herring as bait. The whiting should also start showing off the pier any time now. Fishing is only allowed during the day, and adult permits can be purchased for £4. There is plenty of pay and display parking available close to the fishing.
Codling are starting to be caught in good numbers from Chesil Beach around Abbotsbury, and mackerel, dogfish, pouting and gurnards are being caught from all along the coast.
Tactics: You’ll find the deep water close in at Chesil, so there’s no need to cast much further than 50yds. Frozen black lugworm tipped with a bit of squid works well, and this should be offered on a Pennel or big single hook rig. The evening tides are best for the codling because the water is very clear at the moment. Once is colours up, however, catches will still be taken during the day.
Cymyran Beach has been a popular haunt with anglers due to the variety of species it has been throwing up. One cast can produce a good sized bass, while the next could be a fighting-fit codling.
Tactics: The better catches have been taken during rough conditions on either a westerly or southern wind. The best three baits have been sandeel, ragworm and lugworm, although tipping these off with small bits of squid can fool the odd wary specimen. You don’t have to fish too far out and a lot of fish have been caught at around 50 yards out. Plenty of parking is available close to the beach.
A number of areas have been producing fish in this region, but undoubtedly the best has been Mariners Wharf, were plenty of good stamp thornback rays have been making a welcome appearance.
Tactics: Cocktail baits have been the most successful recently, with most of the locals opting for a combination of fresh lugworm and frozen sandeel. Aim to get at the venue two or three hours before high tide as sport can become patchy after high tide. Alongside the rays you will catch plenty of whiting.
The codling have started to descend upon the area for their winter feeding binge, and plenty of fish in the 1lb to 3lb size bracket are being caught.
Some nice flatfish have also shown up among the codling.
Tactics: A Pennell rig fished at distance will work for plenty of codling, especially during the hours of darkness. Aim to use ragworm or lugworm on the hook, and changed to crab if the going gets tough. There is plenty of parking available close to all the venues.
Both the North and South Beach’s in Tenby continue to produce plenty of action. Although bass and flounders are making up most of the catches, reports suggest a 3lb 12oz mullet was recently taken from the North Beach.
Tactics: The top two baits at the moment are ragworm and razorfish. Present these on a simple pulley rig or a two-hook flapper and you will be rewarded with plenty of bass averaging 3lb. The best time to approach both venues is between dusk and dawn.
The harbour is home to lots of big mullet, and several fish around the 3lb mark have been landed in recent weeks. Don’t go crashing big leads around, and tread carefully and you might just be lucky enough to land the fish of a lifetime.
Tactics: Floatfishing with bread can work well, although a lot of the local specialists have been taking better stamp fish on hoppers. Whatever you do try and use the lightest tackle you can without getting smashed up.
Sport has died off a little in the area as the mackerel shoals have disappeared, but the hardy few that continue to venture out have managed to find plenty of Pollack and wrasse at Rhu Marina.
Tactics: Freelining or legering sandeels or ragworm will score for plenty of Pollack and wrasse. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the bait you use the bigger the fish you will attract. The venue is quite deep and as a result of this action can be enjoyed at any time of day. Parking is plentiful around the marina area.
The Dirty Wall is often regarded as one of the region’s finest sea fishing venues and it is continuing to live up to that reputation, with plenty of whiting, sole and decent bass making an appearance.
Tactics: Lugworm and squid fished around 40 yards out will work wonders for whiting, which are running to around the 1lb mark. Action can be had throughout the day, although the most successful anglers have been getting to the venue at dusk. Once the temperatures drop a little bit more then this will be one of the best cod marks in the country, with fish to well over double figures falling every year.
If it’s big bass that you’re after, the Southsea seafront is the place to head to because specimens to 11lb have been reported.
Tactics: The bigger fish have all been caught on livebaits, with pollack being especially effective. This should be fished on a running leger rig with small size 8 trebles. The best sport will be had during the hours of darkness, and ideally you want to fish over high water. Parking is available close to the seafront.
There’s a multitude of species on offer at Swanage Pier, including garfish, mackerel, pollack, bass and sole.
Tactics: The hotspot is towards the end of pier, and you don’t need to cast any distance to find the fish. Both floatfishing and bottom tactics will score, and if you arm yourself with a selection of worms, sandeel and mackerel, you will be covered on the bait front. You can only fish from the pier during the day and the gates shut at 5pm. Parking is available at the pier.