Top marks to fish now
Details of 113 recommended places for you to try.
Some flounders likely on sandy beaches around Inverness and the Moray Firth, with a chance of small turbot. Boddam or Peterhead pier have cod, coalfish, pollack and dabs. For cod, try big baits over low water at the rock skeers around East Haven, Auchmithie, Usan, Johnshaven or Gourdon. Cod also at Muchalls, Portlethen, Findon and Cove.
Dundee's Riverside Drive has flounders, codling and coalfish on lug, rag and fish. Elliot beach, Arbroath, gives flounders, turbot, possible plaice and small codling. Expect some flounders and turbot from Kirkcaldy and Leven beaches, with cod from Buckhaven, Elie and St Monans in coloured water. Rock marks around Eyemouth and North Berwick produce a few cod in a south-easterly wind and coloured water. Try Torness power station in rough conditions. Thorntonloch and Belhaven have flounders and turbot.
Tackle shop: Deals on Reels, Cowdenbeath, tel: 01383 515550.
Bigger cod possible in the deeper water from Howick upwards. Try low water night fishing from rock marks at Hadston, Hauxley, Alnmouth and Foxton. Expect flounders from Druridge Bay, Warkworth and Embleton. Expect cod from Craster, Beadnell and Newton. Dunstanburgh Castle may be an option, with other resident species offering an alternative; LRF would be ideal. The estuaries produce flatfish.
Tackle shop: Amble Angling Centre, tel: 01665 711200
TYNE & WEAR
Expect whiting from Roker pier, with big tides the best; use lug and mackerel baits. Rock marks at Whitburn and Marsden still give a chance of cod. Expect flounders from the rivers Tyne and Wear.
Tackle shop: Rutherford’s Angling, Sunderland, tel: 0191 565 4183.
YORKS & LINCS
Cod are harder to find now, but flat beach or pier marks offer flatfish and whiting. If there is colour in the water and a good tide, then Scarborough or Filey Brigg can produce cod, pollack and coalies. Try a deep-water mark like Hawsker or Long Hole during a good swell.
The Holderness Coast produces cod, whiting and thornback rays. Codling are caught from the Humber estuary. Try Immingham’s Yellow Cross and the Woods, with worms and squid the best baits. Expect flounders at Humberston Creek. The Lincolnshire beaches produce whiting and dabs on wrapped black lug.
Tackle shop: North Bay Angling, Bridlington, tel: 01262 401144.
Expect dabs from Cley to Blakeney Point, also west of Beach Road at Salthouse, plus Weybourne and Kelling. Catches can improve towards Kelling blockhouse. Weybourne wreck produces codling and big pout. Under the cliffs may give codling, particularly after a northerly blow or at night. Avoid fishing here during very rough seas on big tides. The rough ground west from Sheringham lifeboat towards Weybourne gives codling. Trimingham, Mundesley, Bacton and Walcott produce dabs and tiny whiting, with codling possible in March. Avoid these beaches during big flood tides.
Tackle shop: Rite Gear Angling Centre, Cromer, tel: 01263 838248.
SUFFOLK & ESSEX
The start of the spring run of codling depends on the availability of peeler crabs. Cod are caught from the seawall at the back of Birds Eye factory, Lowestoft, which is rough ground. Best baits are crabs or dirty squid. Kessingland to Benacre sluice should be fished on the last two hours down and first of flood. Whiting, dabs, flounders and a few cod with thornback rays still possible from Walton and Clacton piers.
Tackle shop: Metalite Tackle, Walton, tel: 01255 675680.
Hotspots include Seabrook and Hythe for dabs. The beach between Redoubt Corner at Hythe and Dymchurch has codling and thornback rays. Dengemarsh, Galloways and Hythe can offer plaice in March, if the weather is settled.
Dungeness offers codling and is a dab hotspot; fish between the middle of the boats and the power station with old lug tipped with sprat or herring. March produces codling to worm and squid baits.
Tackle shop: Folkestone Angling, tel: 01303 253881.
Occasional big cod are likely from Langney Point, Shoreham and Selsey Bill. Smoothhounds are showing early too. Expect some undulate rays at Selsey’s east beach during low water. If the sea is settled, there could be plaice from Brighton and Eastbourne. Flounders are appearing at the open beaches.
Tackle shop: Tony’s Tackle, Eastbourne, tel: 01323 731388.
HANTS & DORSET
During early March thornbacks should turn up throughout the Solent; try Hayling Island and Eastney. Hengistbury Head and Mudeford beach will be good for plaice and small turbot. Small-eyed rays usually show in March.
Poole Harbour will still give flounders to both rag and lug. Rocks from Swanage and Durdle Door offer congers, huss, rockling, wrasse and pollack, with occasional bigger bass. It’s time for plaice at Chesil Beach; there might be cod too.
Tackle shop: Christchurch Angling Centre, tel: 01202 480520.
Bristol Channel shore anglers expect the superb cod sport to continue, and even improve into spring. Best areas are Brean Down, Sandpoint, Battery Point, Hinkley Point and St Audries. There should be plenty of thornback rays too.
Tackle shop: Thyers Tackle, Highbridge, tel: 01278 786934.
In South Wales, try Bendrick Rock for cod, whiting, congers, dogfish, rockling, silver eels, flounders, and rays. Try smaller tides if you fish over high water (less than 12.5m Barry scale). Stout Point produces cod, rays, dogfish, congers, pouting and rockling. Fish the last three hours of the ebb and first hour of the flood. Ogmore Deeps gives cod, whiting and dogfish; fish about an hour before high tide to three hours after.
Flatfish and dogfish possible from the west coast estuary marks. Thornback rays possible at Ty Coes, Anglesey. Plaice show in March from the Conwy estuary and River Dee.
Anglers have hit out at proposals to ban night fishing at Llandudno pier; from March 1, anglers can only fish between 8am-6pm on a designated platform.
Tackle shop: Mainwarings Angling Centre, Swansea, tel: 01792 202245.
Fishing slows down until the first peel of crabs and the first flush of spent plaice. There will be dabs and whiting, with Perch Rock a good choice. Otterspool promenade produces whiting and occasional codling. March also sees a few flounders, small whiting and codling.
Tackle shop: Taskers Angling, Liverpool, tel: 0151 260 6015.
Rays are inshore along the Fylde Coast at Cleveleys and Fleetwood. There will be lots of flounders in the Lune and Kent.
Tackle shop: Gerry’s Fishing, Morecambe, tel: 01524 422146.
Cod fishing is unpredictable, but plaice may show at Whitehaven piers (also dabs and flounders) and around Siddick. Flounders at Silloth and Port Carlisle.
Tackle shop: C&D Supplies, Silloth, tel: 07919 924154.