North West England

Perch Rock Beach
Perch Rock Beach © Benkid77

New Brighton and Fort Perch Rock Beach – The beaches around this area are generally fished several hours either side of low tide. Cod are caught here in the winter and high numbers of whiting can be caught, although the average size if often small. 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 be caught here to sandeel baits fished at distance, while smooth-hound can also be caught on 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, 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 produces some decent cod. The 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 a high tide venue. Casting from the end of the pier produces mostly flounder and dab although summer will see occasional plaice, silver eels and potentially school bass caught. 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 including flounder, dab, school bass, gurnard, Dover sole, dogfish and potentially rays and smooth-hound. However, access to the piers is restricted and some are only open to members of local angling clubs. An alternative fishing mark is the North Wall. This is a high tide venue which can produce plenty of fish species such as whiting, dab, rockling, flounder, dogfish, bass, Dover sole in the winter whiting and cod. 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. The beach is the best mark for smooth-hound, although the weather has to be calm to catch this species. The sea defence wall (Gynn Wall) continues here and 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 species caught. View this area on Google Maps here.

Morecambe Stone Jetty
Morecambe Stone Jetty © Iain Smith

Morecambe and Heysham – Morecambe Bay Stone Jetty can produce flatfish such as flounder and dab, dogfish, rockling, school bass, silver eels and the chance of a strap conger eel, although the ground can be quite snaggy. Winter will see cod and whiting also caught here. At Heysham Throbshaw rocks is 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. Anglers should always be cautious on the rocks here and be aware that large waves can come over the rocks. so the area should be avoided if the sea is rough. 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. The 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. Anglers should not fish this mark in bad weather 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 and 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 anglers should use size 6/0 – 8/0 hooks and wire or heavy mono hooklengths. 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. The both are open for fishing during certain times of the year but anglers should check in advance and they will be closed during bad weather. A huge range of species can be caught here with mackerel and pollock caught on lures, garfish on floatfished baits and school bass, dogfish and various flatfish species caught to baits in the summer and cod. The 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 anglers 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 offers good summer flatfish fishing with plaice, flounder, dab and possibly turbot caught as well as dogfish and school bass. Ragworm and lugworm can produce fish but peeler crabs usually gets the best results. Cod and whiting may also be caught here in the winter. 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.