The sandy coves stretching from Portlemouth beach through Mill Bay and Sunny Cove on the eastern flank of the Salcombe River have a great reputation for thornback rays.
An 80-yard cast will put a bait into the deep channel, ideally during a flooding medium strength tide. It runs extremely fast on the ebb and a grip weight is necessary to hold the bottom.
The beaches are sheltered from all winds due to the high ground on both sides of the river.
Thornback rays, plaice, gilthead bream, coalfish and pollack at times.
The discovery that a live prawn is attractive to thornback rays revolutionised catches in the area. A baited drop net fished from harbour walls in darkness usually collects enough prawns for a good session. Plaice take lugworms or crabs, which can be cocktailed with a thin strip of squid, cuttlefi sh or sandeel. Bream take crabs and worms.
A pulley rig with hooks to size 3/0 or a flowing trace of 3ft will catch rays. Pulley, paternoster or shorter flowing trace rigs produce flatfish and gilthead bream. A float rig carrying a live eel or prawn is best for pollack, but spinning can get a bite.
Take the A379 Kingsbridge to Torcross road, turn off at Frogmore and follow the signs for East Portlemouth. This is a narrow road with passing places. There is limited parking only, but it is not difficult when you are fishing at night.
Directions : Take the A379 Kingsbridge to Torcross road, turn off at Frogmore and follow the signs for East Portlemouth. Limited parking