The har­bour at Rams­gate gives ac­cess to a huge amount of fish­ing through­out the year, in­clud­ing fan­tas­tic bass, ray and tope sport, plus plaice, tur­bot and smooth­hounds

Sea Angler (UK) - - SEA ANGLER | CONTENTS -

Fo­cus on boat ac­tion at Rams­gate in Kent.

Rams­gate is a busy port and one that is steeped in his­tory. It was one of the main em­barka­tion har­bours dur­ing the Napoleonic wars, re­sult­ing in many of Rams­gate’s streets be­ing named to com­mem­o­rate the as­so­ci­a­tion with this pe­riod in its his­tory, in­clud­ing the har­bour’s main thor­ough­fare, Mil­i­tary Road.

Dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, Op­er­a­tion Dy­namo was launched, and an odd as­sort­ment of yachts, mo­tor cruis­ers, fish­ing boats and other small craft as­sem­bled in Rams­gate, be­fore cross­ing to Dunkirk to ferry men from the beaches to wait­ing ships.

Th­ese ‘Lit­tle Ships’, like the men wait­ing on the beaches, were un­der con­stant at­tack from Ger­man air­craft and guns, and 765 ves­sels in­volved in the op­er­a­tion were lost. De­spite heavy losses, the valiant ‘Lit­tle Ships’ as­sisted in the res­cue of 309,739 troops, around 40,000 of whom were landed at Rams­gate.


Through­out the year there are plenty of species to tar­get out of Rams­gate, but per­haps the most sought after are thorn­back rays, bass, tope and smooth­hounds dur­ing the sum­mer, and cod and whit­ing in win­ter.

Most of th­ese species can be found in the outer reaches of the Thames Es­tu­ary and south­ern North Sea. How­ever, the Rams­gate boats also have the op­tion to head south and west into the English Chan­nel, where they can reach some su­perb plaice, tur­bot and blonde ray grounds.

There are also nu­mer­ous wrecks to be found, and th­ese can be a haven for the bass, plus a few cod, pol­lack and even gurnards.

It has been known for some of the boats to catch black bream on the wrecks dur­ing the au­tumn, and in re­cent years there has been some large blonde rays caught on the banks too.


The fish­ing out of Rams­gate can be very dif­fer­ent, de­pend­ing on which way the boats head, so you’ll need to con­tact your cho­sen skip­per to dis­cuss ex­actly what you’ll be fish­ing for on the day.

Trips are of­ten mixed days, where you will catch a wide range of species, but some of the skip­pers run species-spe­cific trips, es­pe­cially dur­ing the sum­mer, so you’ll ei­ther be go­ing all out for a tope, or you’ll be go­ing hunt­ing for bass or smooth­hounds, for in­stance.

As a gen­eral rule, there are three rods that will cover all even­tu­al­i­ties. Much of the sum­mer sport in­volves an­chor­ing and up­tid­ing, so a de­cent up­tide rod and reel combo will do the job. A 12/20lb-class boat rod will cope with any down­tide fish­ing at an­chor for species

like the tope, cod and rays. Then you’ll need to go for ei­ther a spin­ning rod or a 12lb-class boat rod when drift­ing for the bass, tur­bot and plaice.

With re­gard to ter­mi­nal tackle, any­thing goes. Use light kit for the bass, plaice and smooth­hounds, then step up a notch for the sum­mer tope and blonde rays.

When it comes to rigs, a sim­ple run­ning leger is about as easy and ef­fec­tive as it gets. The real key to suc­cess is bait qual­ity and pre­sen­ta­tion in the Thames. Fresh peeler crab, her­mit crab, mack­erel and rag­worm baits work well dur­ing the sum­mer, while good old lo­cal lug­worm and squid are the win­ter sta­ples.


Royal Rams­gate Ma­rina is geared up for vis­it­ing an­glers and boaters. There are cur­rently six full-time char­ter boats op­er­at­ing from here, and there are berths for more than 700 ves­sels.

In­side the huge ma­rina build­ing there are toi­let fa­cil­i­ties, plus show­ers and even a coin-op­er­ated laun­drette.

The post­code for the ma­rina is CT11 9LQ. For more in­for­ma­tion, you can visit the web­site at: www.portoframs­gate.co.uk ■

Rams­gate har­bour is set within the safety of the Royal Rams­gate Ma­rina

There are six full-time char­ter boats op­er­at­ing out of Rams­gate

caught This 19lb 4oz bass was by on board the Sk­erry Belle just a few Wayne Mil­ton – it was ounces off the Bri­tish record

Blonde rays to over 20lb have been caught in re­cent years

It is pos­si­ble to find some great tur­bot fish­ing

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