Pirate Springs shingle beach is an easy access mark in Hythe Bay where a shingle reclamation project provides a clean beach that gives access to a sand and mud shoreline patterned with gullies and groyne-end holes.
This is a flood and ebb tide venue that is best when there is surf running and in a south-west wind. Fish in daylight because there is rarely clear water. If other venues in the region have clear water they are usually devoid of fish, while the dirty water attracts fish.
This beach is less productive at night than the clean water at nearby Hythe. Cast into a hole or gully or the top of the banks.
Bass in the surf before and after the tide, especially if the groyne posts are showing. Flounders, pouting, codling, rockling, eels and soles all show in their season with lots of whiting in winter. The tide runs eastwards so fish and food gathers on the left-hand sides of the groynes looking seawards.
BAIT AND TACKLE
Use fresh peeler crabs for bass, eels, smoothhounds and flounders in spring, but for the rest of the year the local black lugworms are favourite. Use a fish or squid tip for whiting. Long-range casting is an advantage on occasions, although not always. Generally a two-hook clipped rig or one-up, one-down clipped paternoster with size 1 hooks on 24in snoods is the best all-round rig. Use a standard beach rod capable of casting 5-6oz with a multiplier or fixed-spool reel. Shellfish washes up here in winter and is the perfect bait during or after a storm. A 5oz breakout weight is sufficient to hold bottom because there is limited tidal flow in the shallow water. The tide retreats a long way on the spring lows and both black lug, razorfish and butterfish can be pumped, dig or collected. The region has some deep mud holes in places, so beware if you walk below the low water mark.
The turning for Pirate Springs in on the A259 between Dymchurch and New Romney. Turn left after the turning for St Marys in the Marsh when coming from Dymchurch. Access is via a minor road that runs into a track, with ample parking on the beach car park behind the promenade. Access along a rough track is also possible from the Greatstone seafront road end.