The harbour front offers several rock edge marks that can be fished at all states of the tide in summer in all but the most heaviest of seas. Heavy kelp and rock pinnacles close in give way to a clean bottom within casting distance.
From April to mid-October you can expect dogfish, mackerel, garfish, pollack, coalfish, codling, dab, gurnard, wrasse and conger. The occasional ray or huss can be taken and this is one of the few places where you can expect to land a ling. Mackerel arrive between June and September and give a bait supply. The area is quiet during the winter, but there is the possibility of some cod during a southerly or south-westerly sea, when there is plenty of colour in the water. Dogfish, dab, whiting and small pollack are present, but in fewer numbers than in summer.
Ragworms, lugworms, sandeels, squid and fish baits all take bottom-feeding species, but large numbers of dogfish can mean there is little chance of anything else taking your bait.
The strong flow on big tides makes it difficult to hold bottom, but at other times standard beach gear with at least a 5oz grip lead can be used. Heavier tackle that can handle double shots of dogfish or a conger eel will be more suitable. A single hook rig with a rottenbottom is essential for fishing close in among the rocks, otherwise you will lose tackle every cast. Lighter float, spinning or leger tackle is a sporting approach for wrasse, pollack, coalfish, codling and garfish among the rocks. Float-fished mackerel strip will take the big pollack, as will spinning with artificials. Float-fished ragworms will take wrasse, coalfish and smaller pollack, while freelined rag or mackerel is good when the tide is not too strong or when fishing a sheltered gully.
Park in the pier car park or down by the harbour road (crowded in summer) and follow the path past the swings towards the white navigation cairn where you can look around and decide where to fish.
Galloway Angling, Bladnoch Bridge, tel: 01988 403363.
Galloway Guns & Tackle, 36a Arthur St, Newton Stewart, tel: 01671 403404.