This glorious beach at Cleethorpes is a hidden treasure
Words and photography by Tony Burman
Having lived in Cleethorpes for most of my life it was not until last year that I fished a hidden treasure situated behind what was Pleasure Island, also known as St Anthony’s Bank.
Access is easy. Park in the car park and walk across the marsh to a glorious stretch of beach. Take care because the marsh can be quite soft in parts, but there are plenty of well-worn tracks that are safe. You come to a clearing, where, to the left, you see what resembles a pirate ship on the top of the beach.
The beach is a great area for the family, being safe, well-kept and not too busy. The beach shelves off and gets deeper in parts, but there are also sandbanks closer in, especially where you get on to the beach. You can feel your lead weight come over and up the gullies, which are good fish-holding areas.
This area produces plenty of species throughout the year. In the warmer months, smoothhounds to double-figure weights and the bass are the main targets. Dabs, flounders and the occasional plaice are caught here, while the colder months produce cod and whiting.
You can use all sorts of tackle, which makes it a great area to take junior anglers. Flatfish and bass can come close in, so use a lighter rod and a fixed-spool reel with 12-15lb line, three or four ounces of lead weight, and a flapper rig with size 2-4 hooks.
For the hounds, cod and whiting, you need to cast further out with stronger tackle, with either a multiplier or fixed-spool reel. There is no snags so you can get away with 12-15lb line. Use an up and over Pennell rig with size 1 to 2/0 hooks and lead weights of four to six ounces. You might have to use a heavier weight on the bigger tides.
The best time to fish this venue is two hours up and then follow it down . On the bigger tides you will get pushed back to the top of the beach and have be careful when leaving the beach, but if you wait until a couple of hours after the tide you will be fine. The best conditions to fish for hounds are during a south-westerly wind. Your bait should be a peeler crab, although a squid can be good too. A decent cast is usually required but sometimes the fish come in quite close. Last year an angler fishing for hounds landed a surprise 20lb tope.
Autumn and winter can produce lots of whiting when using decent size worm baits tipped with fish. As the flatfish move out of the nearby Humberston Creek, you can catch dabs, flounders and the occasional plaice on lug or rag. In summer, the bigger flounders often fall to crab baits meant for the hounds.
For this trip I was joined by my nephew Tom Marshall, his daughter Eliza, and Mark Taylor and his son Rex. It was hoped that we would catch a few bass because the conditions were ideal with a little lift on the sea and the wind behind for casting. It did not take long for a few flounders to be caught, along with a small coalfish and a small bass. Our best flounder was 40cm long.
NEED TO KNOW
On the A1098 seafront road (Kings Road), go past the Cleethorpes Leisure Centre and then the boating lake, where, on the left, there is the smallest pub (Signal Box Inn) and the light railway. Turn left next to the showground caravan park and follow the road round to the Meridian car park. Then go through the wooden gate and follow the track to the beach.
Anglers and Danglers, 96 Haycroft Avenue, Grimsby, DN31 2DP, tel: 07758 12131.
Trading Post, 141 Hainton Avenue, Grimsby, DN32 9LF, tel: 01472 345376.