East of England

Skegness Pier

Skegness Pier © Andy Beecroft

Skegness Pier – Good fishing venue that offers bass and sole in summer, as well as mackerel to feathers, daylights and spinners. Thornback ray are also a possibility to sandeel baits cast a long way out from areas around the pier. Cod and whiting are also caught all winter to the usual lugworm, squid and frozen peeler crab baits. This mark is obviously a high water venue as pier dries out at low tide. A drop net is advisable to take in order to safely land decent fish which are caught. The opening times of the pier vary. Generally in summer it is open from 9am until 10pm, but in winter it may not open until mid-day and close at 8pm. View this area on Google Maps here.

The Wash

The Wash © Kelisi

The Wash – The Wash is a large, square shaped estuary which is surrounded by Lincolnshire and Norfolk. Much of the wash consists of very shallow sandbanks such as Toft Sand, Roger Sand and Friskney Flats and does not offer much for the sea angler. However, some good marks are the Great Ouse Estuary which is good for flounder and silver eel fishing. It fishes best few hours either side of low water and is ideal for light tackle fishing. Mullet are also a possibility from some marks around here in summer. On the Norfolk side of the Wash the beaches at Snettisham and Hunstanton offer flounder and silver eels to peeler crab and worm baits, as well as the chance of a bass. Smooth-hound have also been caught here during calm seas to peeler and hardback crab baits. View this area on Google Maps here.


Wells-next-the-Sea © Chris Wood

Brancaster Bay, Holkham Bay and Wells-Next-the-Sea – Large, sandy, open beaches offer flounder and potentially bass, with mullet also a possibility in the still water inlets and bays. Chance that decent cod will be caught around the sandy coastlines in winter months. Long casting may be needed  to reach the feeding fish aroud here and many anglers prefer to fish further around the coast where there are more features and potentially more regular catches of a wider variety of different species. View this area on Google Maps here.

Blakeney Point

Blakeney Point © Hugh Venables

Blakeney – Blakeney Point is a spit made up of shingle and sandy patches of beach. Whiting caught in winter, flatfish (mostly flounder and dab) and bass in summer. There is a very long walk to the point itself. Certain areas can get cut off by incoming tide so takes some planning to arrange a safe visit here – it is best to take someone with you who has local knowledge in order to fish this mark safely. There is a large seal population in this area and many anglers believe that the number of seals mean that fish numbers will be therefore reduced (although this may not be the case), but decent catches are still made here. View this area on Google Maps here.


Sheringham © D.S. Pugh

Sheringham – Marks around Sheringham are made up of sand and shingle areas with a few rocky outcrops. Generally the rocky areas fish best at high water and sandier sections best at low water. Flatfish such as dab and flounder are present here, as are bass, with lure fishing for bass possible from the rockier marks. Whiting will show in winter, even when the sea is calm, although rougher and choppier seas are needed to get the cod to come in close and be within range of shore-based anglers. Mackerel also about in the summer and can be caught on lures and daylights. View this area on Google Maps here.

Cromer Pier

Cromer Pier © Poliphilo

Cromer Pier – Cromer pier is a very popular angling venue which can produce a great number of species. There is a theatre at the end of the pier and this area can be very popular with tourists and there are often lots of passers-by. There are sometimes issues with angling-related litter and other issues (i.e. dangerous casting) from a minority of ‘anglers’. There is a voluntary code of conduct for fishing the pier which can be viewed here. In terms of the fishing there are cod, whiting and flatfish in the winter, and pouting, mackerel, Dover sole and potentially big bass in the summer, with the chance of something a little more unusual such as a brill or turbot as well. Up to three hours either side of high tide is the time to fish from this mark. Drop net advisable to bring in any decent catches. View this area on Google Maps here.

Mundesley Beach

Mundesley Beach © Martin Pearman

Trimingham, Mundesley and Walcott – Open sandy beaches are snag free apart from the occasional slightly rocky areas. Good fishing for cod and whiting from winter through to spring with dab and flounder caught at this time as well. Dover sole, silver eels and school bass can be caught close in to worm or crab baits. Many decent sole missed because hooks are too large – use sizes 4-6 to target this species. Use much bigger hooks (3/0 or bigger) clipped down rigs and cast over a hundred yards for the chance of a thornback ray or smooth-hound to crab and sandeel baits. Turbot and brill have also been caught from these marks. Can be fishable at all states of tide but longer casts needed to reach the fish at high tide. Excessive amount of weed can be an issue in certain weather situations. View this area on Google Maps here.

Gorleston Harbour

Gorleston Harbour © Ashley Dace

Great Yarmouth – Number of great marks around here with Gorleston Harbour good for cod and whiting in winter with rougher, choppy seas producing more fish. Bass can be caught here in the summer, and mullet in the harbour when the sea is calm. Casting into the harbour can be snaggy, so rotten bottom rigs a good idea. Nearby beaches at Caister-on-Sea offer mostly snag free fishing. Cod in winter if the sea is a little rough, whiting and dab tend to make up winter catches if sea is calmer. Summer can see big bass, and the chance of a smooth-hound. Vary casting distances to locate feeding fish, some decent fish can be caught very close in. View this area on Google Maps here.

Lowestoft Harbour

Lowestoft Harbour © Ashley Dace

Lowestoft Harbour and Piers – The south pier and harbour area are both good venues that can give a wide range of species. Cod and whiting in winter with some very good dab taken as well. In summer school bass and some larger specimens are caught on ragworm, sandeel and peeler crab baits. Dogfish, silver eels and pouting also caught here. Mackerel go for spinners and feathers/daylights in the summer. The beach around Claremont pier can also give good bass and various flatfish species but step down hook sizes to 4-8 if sole are the target. All of these areas can be busy with tourists in summer. View this area on Google Maps here.

Kessingland Beach

Kessingland Beach © Glen Denny

Kessingland Beach – Vast, snag-free beaches offer a number of species. Cod are here in the winter with pennell rigs and larger baits possibly catching a big fish. Whiting, flounder and dab also provide sport. In the summer sole will go for worm baits on small hooks (size 4-8) presented on multi-hook rigs and there are school bass and bigger specimens possible by casting just behind the breakers. Try varying casting distance to locate the feeding fish. Long range casts have the chance of producing a smooth-hound to peeler crab or hardback crab baits, and rays could be caught to mackerel, herring or sandeel baits also fished at distance. View this area on Google Maps here.

Southwold Harbour

Southwold Harbour © Bob Jones

Southwold Harbour and Pier – Marks along the pier have good fishing potential. In the summer this mark offers bass, plaice and pouting to worm, mackerel, squid or peeler crab baits fished on the seabed, and mackerel (and possibly bass) to spinners. There are also mullet inside the harbour which can be caught with suitable bread or fish baits and a stealthy approach. Mouth of the River Blyth can also hold mullet. Winter sees the usual cod and whiting around this area, especially after stormy weather or when seas are choppier. Dab and flounder also add some variation to winter catches. View this area on Google Maps here.

Dunwich Beach

Dunwich Beach © Jason Ballard

Dunwich Beach – Steep shingle beach which can be fished at any stage of the tide, but offers deepest water at high tide. Summer offers potential bass often to ragworm, peeler crab or large mackerel strip. Plenty of flounder and dab show from this beach throughout the year to smaller baits and hooks and gear can be scaled up to size 3/0 –6/0 hooks with squid or black lugworm for winter cod, with whiting providing additional sport. Silver eel, dogfish, sole ad possibly rays are also on the cards from this mark as well.

Aldeburgh Beach

Aldeburgh Beach © John Winfield

Aldeburgh Beach – Steep, sloping shingle beach that provides fairly easy access to reasonably deep water. A good summer technique is to have two rods: one with bigger hooks out for bass, and a three-hook flapping rig with small hooks in close for sole or other flatfish. Worm baits will catch sole, and bass as well, but peeler crab will account for the better bass. Dogfish can also be caught here to any bait. In winter whiting and codling will go for the usual worm, squid, shellfish and crab baits. View this area on Google Maps here.

Harwich Stone Pier

Harwich Stone Pier © Bryan Barrington

Felixstowe and Harwich – Felixstowe Pier is now sadly closed to the public (although there are plans to rebuild it) but beaches nearby offer cod and whiting in winter, and bass can be caught in the summer. Thornback ray are also a possibility to distance casts (sandeeel best bait) with sole showing after dark, but the usual small hooks (size 4-8) needed to catch this species. Nearby Langard Point can produce decent bass to either bottom fished bait or lures and spinners. Harwich Stone Pier is a good venue that produces whiting and cod in winter, summer bass as well as flounder, dab, silver eels and pouting. Be very careful through because on a big high tide the pier is totally submerged. Know the times of high tide before fishing this mark and don’t leave it too late to get off the pier! There are also no railings on the pier and it is quite easy to fall in. View this area on Google Maps here.

Holland-on-Sea Beach

Holland-on-Sea Beach © Nigel Cox

Holland-on-Sea and Frinton-on-Sea – Certain areas can be busy with tourists in summer but good for cod and whiting in winter. Frozen peeler crab or lug and squid cocktails best for the cod, whiting are often out in number and will take most baits. Two hook flapping rigs with size 1/0 hooks are best for the whiting, with larger size 3/0-4/0 hooks on pennell rigs best for the larger cod. Fishes well at high water but can also produce at low tide as well. Vary casting distance to locate the feeding fish. In summer bass are here to peeler crab or sandeel baits when some sea is running, Dover sole may also be present and rays a possibility to a distance cast. View this area on Google Maps here.

St Osyth Beach

St Osyth Beach © Nigel Cox

Clacton-on-Sea – Clacton pier is a good venue for a number of species. Winter cod whiting can be caught, along with rockling and dab adding some variation to catches. Dover sole, dogfish and school bass will also show in the summer. Some areas can be snaggy but local knowledge (or failing that trial and error) will find the snag-free patches that do exist. A day ticket needs to be bough from a machine on the pier itself or online in advance (you can follow this link) to fish from this pier. Wardens check that people angling have a ticket. To fish the pier at night a yearly pass is needed costing £75. Nearby St. Osyth Beach is a great ray mark and will also produce bass in the summer and the usual cod, whiting and dab in the winter. Ray can definitely be caught here to distance casts. Try fishing the mixed ground around the groynes at low tide for best results. Weed can be an issue at times. View this area on Google Maps here.

River Crouch at Burnham

River Crouch at Burnham © Bob Jones

Burnham-on-Crouch – Holliwell Point at the mouth of the River Crouch can produce the usual winter cod and whiting, as well as summer bass and sole. It is also a top mark for thornback rays which are caught by clipping down mackerel, herring, bluey or sandeel baits and casting far. Further up the River Crouch fishing for sea species can be good with plenty of flounder and silver eels caught and also the chance of bass surprisingly far up the river. Ragworm or crab baits the best as they will be taken by all three species. View this area on Google Maps here.

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