Down Your Way

Hol­i­day angling guide to Devon & Corn­wall.

Sea Angler (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Nowhere is the hol­i­day­ing an­gler bet­ter served than on and off the coasts of Devon and Corn­wall. Shore fish­ing en­thu­si­asts have the choice of a mul­ti­tude of places that of­fer a real chance of catch­ing a va­ri­ety of species, while boat an­glers en­counter some of the coun­try’s best sport.


The Ness on the Shal­don flank at the mouth of the Teign es­tu­ary is a good mark for bass, dur­ing the sec­ond half of the flood and the first hour of the ebb.

Bot­tom or float-fish­ing with lives and eels ob­tain­able at nearby Teignmouth gets the best re­sult. Plaice and floun­ders are also avail­able as they make their way through the nar­row neck into the es­tu­ary.


Hope’s Nose at Torquay is a renowned mark. The long-aban­doned sea quarry is be­neath Marine Drive and has rock plat­forms from which bal­lan wrasse can be caught with bot­tom gear, while spin­ning or float-fish­ing ac­counts for garfish and mack­erel.

The Nose is also good for mul­let, mostly on the right-hand side of the spit, but they are wily, and ground­bait­ing is nec­es­sary to bring them within light float-fish­ing range.

Congers are very ac­tive at night in the area fac­ing the con­spic­u­ous Thatcher Rock. Fish a leger to a size 8/0 hook car­ry­ing fish­bait, ideally squid, which is ob­tain­able at Torquay tackle shops.

Torquay’s Princess and Hal­don piers may only be fished from their sea­ward sides, and fish­ing at the end is pro­hib­ited due to the amount of small boat traf­fic.


Tor Bay is a ma­jor hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion. The small har­bour at Paignton has sev­eral boats that visit the Bay wrecks for congers, ling and black bream.

Tor­bay’s 54th Sea Angling Fes­ti­val will be fished over nine days (and nights) in Septem­ber. Ini­tially set up to at­tract hol­i­day an­glers, many tro­phies were do­nated by ho­tels. It is a rich event, with a prize list worth more than £10,000 of­fered in dozens of classes, thus giv­ing ev­ery en­trant a chance of an award. Hol­i­day an­glers have won its big cash prize a good num­ber of times, so up­hold­ing the com­pe­ti­tion’s pri­mary ob­jec­tive.

Paignton SAA has its head­quar­ters in Cliff Road, and tem­po­rary mem­ber­ship is of­fered at low cost.

Hol­i­day an­glers are made very wel­come to what is a fine fa­cil­ity. The hun­dreds of pictures on the walls are tes­ta­ment to the qual­ity fish­ing avail­able in the area. It also has the mounts of two Bri­tish record coal­fish.


Jus­ti­fi­ably pop­u­lar is Brixham’s long break­wa­ter (pic­tured left), which of­fers bot­tom and float-fish­ing on the out­side edge. Float-fish­ing at the light­house end gets mack­erel and garfish.

Mul­let haunt the in­side edge, but a light ap­proach with bread or mack­erel flake is nec­es­sary to catch them.

The har­bour also pro­duces other species of mul­let, such as thin-lipped and golden grey. You can get tem­po­rary mem­ber­ship at Brixham SAC’s Cas­tor Road premises for just £1 a week. One of its at­trac­tions is the mount of the Bri­tish record con­ger of 133lb 4oz.


This is the set­ting-off point for fish­ing the Sk­er­ries Banks, where plaice and blonde rays are the main species. Al­ready this year fine catches of spur­dogs have been made, with two fish top­ping 15lb. Trips can be booked at booths on the main quay, and close by is the Dart­mouth Angling Club head­quar­ters that wel­comes hol­i­day an­glers.

Start Point and its many rocky in­lets pro­vide a very good shore fish­ing area, and a slid­ing float or bot­tom set-up will take wrasse and rays.



Brixham’s long break­wa­ter is pop­u­lar

Words and pho­tog­ra­phy by Mike Mill­man

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