Offering broken ground and plenty of species variety, it’s a venue where distance casting is unnecessary

Words by Wesley Shrubsole

In the shadow of the Admiralty Pier and the White Cliffs of Dover, Shakespeare Beach has shelter from all but southerly winds. It offers deep water and strong tides and a varied selection of fish.

During the summer it gets very busy with anglers fishing for mackerel and its increased use follows the closure of the Admiralty Pier. Being a good venue for young anglers, many of those from Kent who went on to be England International anglers honed their skills here.


Expect to catch bass, thornback rays, dabs, dogfish, strap conger eels, pouting, wrasse, plaice, pollack and many more.


Most of the available species can be caught at close range and a 40-metre cast will put your bait in a good depth of water. At its western end, the ground is classed as rocky with some clear patches, so be prepared to lose a few lead weights. It is best to use a rotten-bottom, with the weak link being 8lb line, on your rig. The fishing may be worth the losses though.

Most baits will work here. A fish bait, such as bluey, mackerel and squid, will produce fish, while black lugworms should interest dabs, pollack and occasional plaice. A peeler crab bait will catch bass, while float-fished ragworms may produce schoolies.

There can be a strong tidal run here, meaning short snoods may be best because they will be less likely to snag on the broken ground. Local anglers choose the quiet hours of first and last light to fish for a summer bass. Try fishing two hours either side of low water for bass.


Getting there

Follow the A2 for Dover and, as you approach the town, follow the signs for the Western Docks. This will take you along Snargate Street, where there are several tackle shops. The beach is to the west of the port complex. There are car parks close to the venue, but check the tariffs before you leave your car.

Tackle shops

Bill’s Bait & Tackle, 121 Snargate St, Dover, CT17 9DA, tel: 01304 204542

Channel Angling, 158-160 Snargate St, Dover, tel: 01304 203742

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