The Bell Hole and the front point, usually called the Fox Holes, are top winter marks for quality bags of codling. Popular between September and April, they can be crowded. It pays to have a look over low water to locate any holes and be prepared to move to find fish. On most tides you will get cut off over high water for a few hours, so take care where to fish as the cliffs can be very dangerous.
Baiting with a big lug and rag cocktail tipped with white rag or clam almost guarantees codling when there is a moderate swell running after a big northerly sea. Crabs take plenty of fish in winter, but will probably fish better between September and November. Fresh crabs are essential in summer.
Big cod are landed every year, so you should fish this area with heavy tackle, such as a stiff beachcaster, Abu 7000-type reel, filled with 20-25lb line and a suitable shockleader. A single-hook rig with a minimum size 3/0 Mustad Viking or similar, possibly a Pennell rig clipped down for distance, is ideal. You can use a lightly-sprung grip lead during heavier seas when holding the bottom is diffi cult. You won't lose too much tackle.
During daylight park in the big car park at the old colliery site and follow the path under the railway bridge to the cliff top. At night it would be safer to park on Station Road (B1283). Alternatively park outside the Rock Garden pub on the main road and walk round and under another railway bridge.
Coast Road Tackle, 3 Sunderland Rd, Horden, tel: 0191 518 0742.