East of England

The Wash
The Wash © Kelisi

The Wash – The Wash is a large, square-shaped estuary between 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. Some beach marks may offer cod and flatfish at low water but long casts are needed to reach the feeding fish and be in with a chance of catching anything of note. The tide can also come in and go out very far on many of these beaches. View this area on Google Maps here.

Blakeney Point
Blakeney Point © Hugh Venables

Blakeney – Blakeney Point is a spit made up of sand and shingle. 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 and it is best to go with someone 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 means that fish numbers will be therefore reduced, 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 that 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. Two to three hours either side of high tide is the best time to fish from this mark and a drop net may be needed to land any decent catches. View this area on Google Maps here.

Mundesley Beach
Mundesley Beach © Martin Pearman

Trimingham, Mundesley and Walcott – Open sandy beaches are mostly snag-free with only the occasional slightly rocky area. Good fishing for cod and whiting from winter through to spring with dab and flounder being caught at this time as well. Dover sole, silver eels and school bass can be caught close in with worm or crab baits. Good catches of sole can be made here with anglers using small size 4 – 6 hooks. 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. An excessive amount of weed can interfere with angling in certain weather conditions. View this area on Google Maps here.

Gorleston Harbour
Gorleston Harbour © Ashley Dace

Great Yarmouth – Number of great marks around here with Gorleston Harbour being 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 are a good idea. Nearby beaches at Caister-on-Sea offer mostly snag-free fishing for cod in the winter if the sea is rough and whiting and dab tend to make up winter catches if the sea is calmer. Summer can see big bass and the chance of a smooth-hound. Anglers should vary casting distances as 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 are caught in the 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 are also caught here and mackerel are caught on 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 – 6 if sole is 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 potentially catching a big fish. Whiting, flounder and dab also provide sport. In the summer sole will go for worm baits on small size 4 – 6 hooks 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 – In the summer marks around the pier offer 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. The 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. 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. View this area on Google Maps by clicking here.

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 – Beaches at Felixstowe offer cod and whiting in winter, and bass can be caught in the summer. Thornback ray are also a possibility to sandeel baits fished at distance. Sole will also show after dark but small size 4 – 6 hooks are 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. The pier can be potentially dangerous to fish as it is totally submerged on a big tide and there are no railings on the pier and the pier should not be fished if the barriers giving access to it are closed. View this area on Google Maps here.

Holland-on-Sea Beach
Holland-on-Sea Beach © Nigel Cox

Holland-on-Sea and Frinton-on-Sea – The beaches here fish well for cod and whiting in the winter. Frozen peeler crab or lug and squid cocktails are best for the cod and whiting are often out in number and will take most baits. Two hook flapping rigs with size 1/0 hooks are the best choice for the whiting, with larger size 3/0 – 4/0 hooks on pennell rigs best for the larger cod. Most beaches fish well at high water but can also produce fish at low tide as well and it can pay to vary casting distances. In the summer bass are caught on peeler crab and sandeel baits when some sea is running, Dover sole may also be present and rays a possibility to a distance cast. Be aware that many beaches can get very busy in the summer. 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 bought to fish from this pier. Wardens check that people angling have a ticket. 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 on mackerel, herring, bluey or sandeel baits fished at distance. 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.