North West England

Perch Rock Beach

Perch Rock Beach © Benkid77

New Brighton/Fort Perch Rock Beach – Beaches around here offer decent sport and are fished several hours either side of low tide. Decent cod are caught here in the winter and the whiting can be out in number – to the extent that the reach pest proportions. Other species caught here include dab, gurnard, Dover sole, flounder, school bass and dogfish, plus plaice should be present in the late spring and through to the summer. Thornback ray can also be caught here to long distance casts with sandeel being the best bait for this species, with smooth-hound also caught at distance to crab baits. View this area on Google Maps here.

Mersey Map

Mersey Map © Richie Wright 1980

River Mersey – Fisherman’s Wharf and Priory Wharf can fish well for flounder, dab, whiting, codling (and some bigger cod), silver eels and school bass. On the other side of the river Seaforth rocks offers good fishing for the same species with dogfish and thornback rays also caught here as well. A permit is needed to fish some parts of the Seaforth rocks area. Further inland Liverpool Marina offers various flatfish, whiting, silver eels and produce some decent cod. Tidal flow can be very strong here in certain conditions. Otterspool Promenade marks the furthest down the river that saltwater species will regularly be caught and produces similar species to Liverpool Marina. View this area on Google Maps here.

Southport Pier

Southport Pier © Barry Scroggins

Southport – Unfortunately the Southport area is not the best for fishing. This is due to the fact that the wide and expansive beaches are fairly featureless and even very long casts still end up in relatively shallow water. The best chance of fish comes from Southport pier which is the second longest in the country (only Southend’s is longer) and has a tram running to the end. However, at low tide there is little water around the pier so this is only a high tide venue. Casting from the end of the pier produces mostly flounder and dab. Summer will see occasional plaice, silver eels and potentially school bass. View this area on Google Maps here.


Blackpool © Keith Edkins

Blackpool – Blackpool’s three main piers offer good fishing for a wide range of species. However, fishing the piers is not easy as the North Pier is now has restricted access to anglers and the Central and South Piers are only open to members of local angling clubs. Many people therefore head to the North Wall. This is a high tide venue which can produce plenty of fish species such as whiting, dab, rockling, flounder, dogfish, bass and cod. Black lugworm appears to be a successful bait here, but peeler crab, mackerel strip, squid and razorfish are also worth using. There is also a chance of highly-regarded species such as thornback ray and smooth-hound. View this area on Google Maps here.

Beach at Cleveleys

Beach at Cleveleys © Steve Daniels

Cleveleys and Fleetwood – Cleveleys can produce good fishing with smooth-hound a possibility in summer months in calm weather and small tope are also an outside possibility here. The beach is the best mark for smooth-hound, although the weather has to be calm to catch this species. Gynn Wall is a high water venue which produces flounder, dab, whiting, dogfish and decent sized cod. In Fleetwood Rossall Point is a mixed ground beach that can produce great fishing, especially if a food-holding gully can be uncovered. Cod and whiting are here in the winter, and summer sees thornback ray, bass, silver eels and various flatfish. View this area on Google Maps here.

Morecambe Stone Jetty

Morecambe Stone Jetty © Iain Smith

Morcambe and Heysham – Morcambe Bay Stone Jetty is quite snaggy, but can produce flatfish such as flounder and dab, dogfish, rockling, school bass, silver eels and the chance of a strap conger eel. Winter will see cod and whiting caught here.  At Heysham Throbshaw rocks s another good venue which offers whiting and cod in the winter and dab, flounder, school bass, rockling and silver eels at other times of the year. Be careful where you choose to fish here because large waves could come over the rocks if the sea is rough. The North Wall offers similar species from a much easier and more accessible venue. View this area on Google Maps here.

Walney Channel

Walney Channel © Ordnance Survey/Crown Copyright and Database

Barrow-in-Furness – The Walney Channel (the stretch of water between Walney Island and the mainland) is a good fishing mark which produces a range of species. Cod and whiting are caught here throughout the winter, with some cod reaching decent sizes. Throughout the rest of the year flounder, silver eels, dab, rockling and coalfish can be caught. Peeler crab often proves to be the best bait, although black lugworm and squid baits can account for the larger cod catches. Tidal flow can be strong at times here and certain areas can be snaggy. View this area on Google Maps here.

St. Bees Head

St. Bees Head © Dougsim

St. Bees Head – St. Bees Head is a headland on the Cumbrian Coastal Way and is divided into the south and north heads. Both offer good fishing although this can be a dangerous mark to fish as climbing is required to get to some fishing positions and certain parts can get cut off by the incoming tide. Do not fish this mark in wet weather or in the dark and it is best to go for the first time with someone who has fished here before. Deep water is found close in and fish can be caught at short range from the shelves at low tide, although other parts are fishable at high tide. However, using rotten bottom rigs is advised as this is very much a rough ground mark. Summer sees mackerel caught here on strings of feathers or daylights. Lures such as plugs and spinners will also catch bass and decent sized pollock as well as the mackerel. Other species which can be caught here include cod, whiting, wrasse, dogfish, coalfish, bull huss and dab. Big conger eels are also caught here and  can be caught on mackerel flappers, bluey, squid, herring or cuttlefish. Since there is the chance of a big conger here use size 6/0 – 8/0 hooks and wire or heavy mono hooklengths and fish close in. On the other end of the scale small hooks (size 6-10) could capture a number of mini-species, such as the seldom caught topknot. View this area on Google Maps here.

Whitehaven West Pier

Whitehaven West Pier © Nigel Chadwick

Whitehaven – There are two piers in Whitehaven – the north pier and the west pier. Both offer good sea angling opportunities. The north pier is the smaller one, whereas the west pier is larger and can be fished from two levels. A huge range of species can be caught here with mackerel abundant in the summer and plaice, dogfish, pollock, silver eels and garfish can also be caught. Winter sees cod, whiting, dab, flounder and rockling catches. Conger eel are also present here and it is worth trying for them with big fish or squid baits fished close in. Both piers can become packed with mackerel catchers and general tourists in the summer. View this area on Google Maps here.

Maryport Promenade

Maryport Promenade © Bob Jenkins

Workington Rocks and Maryport – Workington Rocks (area around the wind farm) offers good summer flatfish fishing with plaice, flounder, dab and possibly turbot caught, and there is always the chance of a bonus school bass. Ragworm and lugworm can produce but peeler crabs usually produce the best results. Cod and whiting may also be caught here in the summer. Maryport Harbour is a good all-round fishing mark which provides plaice, dogfish, pollock, flounder, silver eels and possibly gurnard in the summer and cod, whiting and coalfish in the winter. Maryport Promenade also fishes well for the same species over high water, but bad weather can see waves crash onto the fishing positions. View this area on Google Maps here.

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