Known by local anglers as The Shallows, this part of the seawall on the south bank of the Humber is found behind the Novartis pharmaceutical factory at Grimsby

Words by Tony Burman. Photography by Tony Burman and Mike Dobson

A popular fishing venue in North East Lincolnshire, especially in the summer, The Shallows in Grimsby has shallow water and plenty of mud. If you arrive a couple of hours before the high tide, don’t be deterred by the vast expanse of very soft mud because the tide soon covers the area. Further along the wall to your left, you will see the marsh grass only a few yards out into the water.


The main species on offer at The Shallows are flounders, eels, soles, bass, whiting and sometimes cod.

Eels and flounders seem to like the marsh grass area because it can hold food for the fish. In fact, some good eels were being caught early in the middle of April. A gentle underarm cast will be far enough. Dover soles, to a couple of pounds are caught from the muddy area mainly on evening tides. In recent years a few bass have been landed in the summer.

If you cast a decent distance, there is a chance of a cod in winter, and also whiting. However, in winter, most anglers go further along the wall towards Immingham, where it gets very busy.

Man holding cod


Light rods, such as the Continental style, are best here and should be matched with a fixed-spool reel. Don’t go too light though because too much pressure when trying to pull out the sinker from the mud could snap a delicate rod. I use a tapered leader (12-50lb). When you are casting, especially as the tide starts to flood, feather your line to reduce the chance of your weight burying itself in the mud.

Fishing is best on a tide over 6.5 metres. You can usually fish two hours before and two hours after high water on the bigger tides.

A simple paternoster rig with two snoods made with 12lb line and carrying size 4 hooks is ideal. If you are match fishing and the smaller eels are about then you may have to go down to size 6. Some local anglers favour a boom rig with shorter snoods.

The best baits are lugworms and ragworms. Harbour rag (maddies) can be deadly if the small eels are present. Tipping off with small pieces of Bluey or mackerel is a good way to attract flounders.

Three anglers fishing at the Shallows, Grimsby


Getting to The Shallows, Grimsby 

From junction 5 of the M180, follow the A180 to Grimsby. At the Pyewipe roundabout, take the first left on to Estate Road No 1. At the end turn right into Woad Lane. At its junction with Moody Lane, there is a road straight ahead to the seawall. Go through an automatic barrier, currently operated by Novartis, and you come to a locked barrier, owned by the Environmental Agency. Park on the grass verge, where there is plenty of room, but leave enough space for other vehicles to pass.

You can drive along the seawall from Stallingborough. Come off the A180 signposted Immingham and Stallingborough (A1173). Go towards Immingham. At the roundabout go straight down Kiln Lane towards the factories. At the bottom of this road, turn right into Hobson Way towards the power station, where you turn left into South Marsh Road. Continue until the left leading past the incinerator plant on to the track/road to the wall. Turn right and drive along the seawall road towards The Shallows.

Tackle shops

Anglers and Danglers, 96 Haycroft Avenue, Grimsby, DN31 2DP, tel: 07758 12131.

Trading Post, 141 Hainton Avenue, Grimsby, DN32 9LF, tel 01472 345376.

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