West Coast of Scotland

Inner Solway Firth
Inner Solway Firth © Thomas Nugent

Gretna and Annan – Lots of good angling points around the inner Solway Firth with marks giving bass to spinners and bait, while there is also the possibility of catching a sea trout when using a spinner, but a licence is needed to target and keep this species. Flounder are also common around this area and will travel far along the Solway Firth and into the mouth of the River Eden. Mullet also make an appearance with Annan Harbour offering a great chance to catch this species during calm weather and still water – use small hooks and experiment with bread, earthworm and fish baits. View this area on Google Maps here.

Mersehead Sands
Mersehead Sands © Christine Westerback

Mersehead Sands – Another great venue for flatfish with flounder around for most of the year with numbers only dipping in late winter/spring as they move offshore for spawning. Flatfish here will go for all of the usual baits with ragworm, lugworm and peeler crab all producing fish. Bass are also a possibility with peeler crab being the best bet for bait, although they will also take other baits such as ragworm and mackerel. View this area on Google Maps here.

Balcary Bay
Balcary Bay © Debbie Turner

Balcary Bay – This mark had a reputation for producing multiple double-figure fish in the past, and although not seen as quite as productive these days it is still well worth a visit. Cod and whiting are caught in winter and dogfish, flounder and dab with bigger species such as conger, thornback ray and bull huss also a possibility in the summer. Balcary Flat Rock is a famous mark but requires a long hike up a hill and along paths so bear this in mind before setting out. Ross Bay offers similar fishing from a more sheltered venue. View this area on Google Maps here.

Brighouse Bay
Brighouse Bay © Ian Purdham

Kirkcudbright – Kirkcudbright harbour is a good venue that offers pollock, coalfish and mackerel in the summer to spinners, daylights and lures with and flounder and dogfish going to baits fished on the bottom. Pollock will also take baits presented on the seabed, with sandeel and mackerel strip good choices. Brighouse Bay is a popular area for sea angling and offers pollock to lures as well as various flatfish species to worm and crab baits and the chance of a bass, with peeler crab being a top bait. View this area on Google Maps here.

Wigtown Bay
Wigtown Bay © Astrid Horn

Wigtown – Marks around this area produce sought after fish with smooth-hound and big bass making appearances in the right conditions – calmer seas for the smooth-hound and a rougher running sea for the bass. Fresh peeler crab baits are ideal for either species. Other fish such as dogfish and silver eel will also show. Silver eel will take peeler crab and mackerel baits, while dogfish will feed on pretty much any bait offered by anglers. Nearby Fleet Bay (Big Water of Fleet) can produce a range of of flatfish species, with flounder, plaice and turbot all possibilities with worm, shellfish and peeler crab baits. This mark and also produces bass. View this area on Google Maps here.

Burrow Head
Burrow Head © Richard Law

Burrow Head – Burrow Head is on the very tip of the Machars Peninsula. Fishing can be very good. Pollock are out in greatest numbers in the summer and will go for spinners, as will mackerel when they arrive in the summer, and dogfish, bull huss and bass will all take baits. The rocky sections also hold conger with a 100lb+ monofilament or a wire trace and 6/0 – 8/0 hooks mounted with mackerel heads or flappers being in with a chance of hooking a big one. View this area on Google Maps here.

Rhins of Galloway
Rhins of Galloway Peninsula © Eric Gaba

Rhins of Galloway – The Rhins of Galloway (the southern tip of which is known as the Mull of Galloway) is a hammerhead peninsula that makes up the southernmost point of Scotland. There are many marks which produce great fishing here, and a huge number of species which can be caught. Beaches produce bass, dogfish, flounder and other flatfish, as well as the chance of a ray. The rock marks around this area hold wrasse, coalfish and big pollock in the summer months. Float fishing mackerel strip, sandeel or ragworm baits is an effective tactic, as is freelining a bait straight down from a rock ledge, with spinners and soft jelly lures also being productive. Mackerel are also around in the summer. Conger also lurk in the rock marks with wire traces and big hooks needed as a double figure specimen is a real possibility. Boat anglers often target tope around this area, and it is possible to catch one from the shore. View this area on Google Maps here.

Loch Ryan
Banks of Loch Ryan © W.F. Miller

Stranraer – Loch Ryan is located between the top of the Rhins Peninsula and the Scottish mainland. It is known as a ray hotspot and anglers targeting this species often choose this venue, with the summer months the time to go for this species. The Scottish record shore caught tope of 54lb also came from this mark. Mackerel, pollock and wrasse will all also show here as well. The usual dogfish will take most baits around here, with flounder, plaice, silver eels and school bass all possibilities when fishing here. View this area on Google Maps here.

Ayr Harbour
Ayr Harbour © George Rankin

Ayr and Troon – Ayr Harbour provides lots of species with mackerel going for feathers and spinners and pollock and coalfish to spinners, lures and float fished baits. Mullet can also show in calm weather with bread flake the best bait to catch them, try groundbaiting with mackerel guts and bread mix to attract them to the area. The pier is also a good mark and baits such as ragworm, lugworm, mackerel and peeler crab can catch flounder, plaice, dogfish with both silver and strap conger eels possible catches as well. Rock marks around Troon can produce pollock with the biggest specimens coming within range of the shore angler in warmer weather as well as wrasse and mackerel, while a big fish bait possibly tempting a conger eel. View this area on Google Maps here.

The Pencil Largs
The Pencil at Largs © Dave Hitchborne

Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Largs and Millport – Saltcoats Harbour will give dogfish, wrasse, various flatfish and silver eels, as well as coalfish and pollock which will also take spinners and lures. Cod will also show in winter. Ardrossan will also produce similar species, with the chance of a big pollock, while rocky marks around this area can also contain conger eels to the usual big hooks and fish baits. In Largs Shingle Bank/Point is a good general fishing venue with the cleanest ground found when casting into the harbour, rotten bottoms best used when casting elsewhere due to the snaggy ground. Lots of dogfish are usually around but various flatfish can also be caught and cod and whiting can make an appearance in the winter. Marks around the Marina and the old monument known locally as The Pencil can also produce fish from the shore. View this area on Google Maps here.

Crocodile Rock © De Facto

Millport, Isle of Cumbrae  – Millport is a town on the Isle of Cumbrae, meaning it is necessary to take a ferry to get there. Rock marks around Millport and the harbour area offer a range of species, as do the areas around Crocodile Rock. This includes wrasse to float fished baits, and large pollock and coalfish to spinners and jelly lures. Other species such as flatfish species, bass, and dogfish can also be caught, as can mackerel in the summer months. Large conger eels are also present in this area and can be caught on mackerel or squid baits from rocky areas. View this area on Google Maps here.

Mull of Kintyre © Ingo Wölbern

Cambeltown – Marks around Cambeltown and the rest of the Kintyre peninsula hold a variety of species such as big pollock which will go for spinners and lures as well as bottom fished baits, and the summer will see mackerel caught to spinners and lures. Bass and flatfish such as flounder, plaice and maybe even turbot will all go for worm, sandeel and crab baits fished from sandy beaches, while rockier areas will also hold bass along with wrasse and the chance of a conger eel. There are also sea trout around the area (but a licence needed to legally catch this species). View this area on Google Maps here.

Staffin Bay
Staffin Bay © Colin Wilson

Isle of Skye – Marks all around the isle such as Staffin are ideal for lure fishing for pollock, coalfish, wrasse and bass. Niest Point is the most westerly point on the isle and offers plenty of opportunities for bait fishing around the famous lighthouse area with bass, pollock, coalfish and a range of flatfish all possible catches, plus lure fishing for pollock and mackerel in summer. Fishing around this area has the added bonus of offering the chance of seeing whales, dolphins or a basking shark out at sea. View this area on Google Maps here.

Eorpie Beach
Eorpie Beach © Lewis Wolfe

Isle of Lewis – Flatfish such as flounder and plaice are regularly caught from the beaches to usual worm and crab baits while spinning and lure fishing can be productive for pollock from the many rock marks, and mackerel provide good sport to light gear in the summer. Turbot can be caught from this area with mackerel and sandeel baits the best choice, although they will also take worm and crab. Eoropie Beach at the far north of the island offers good fishing for flounder and turbot with long-range casting producing the best results for the anglers targeting turbot. View this area on Google Maps here.

Griminish Pier
Griminish Pier © Stuart Wilding

Uist Islands – North Uist has Griminish Pier which is a popular fishing venue offering pollock and mackerel in the summer with float fishing and spinning with light gear the best way to fish. Kallin Harbour is another venue worth trying with similar methods. South Uist beaches can give mullet to the usual stealthy tactics as well as bass and flatfish to worm baits. Other marks around this area can produce the usual range of flatfish as well as decent bass during summer to baits fished on the bottom. View this area on Google Maps here.

Ullapool Harbour
Ullapool Harbour © Jeremy Spinks

Ullapool – Harbour, jetty and surrounding areas offer pollock and in summer mackerel with the chance of bass to spinners and lures. Try float fishing with ragworm or fish strip and use light gear for maximum sport. Winter brings cod and whiting, with big squid, lugworm and peeler crab baits being in with the chance of a big winter fish. Rhue Point and marks near the lighthouse offer great spinning for pollock, coalfish and also wrasse throughout summer, as well as mackerel. Conger can also be caught from the rock marks to mackerel or squid baits. View this area on Google Maps here.

Kyle of Durness
Kyle of Durness © Anne Burgess

Durness – Sandy waters around the Kyle of Durness offer great flatfish fishing and potentially the chance of a decent bass, especially when the surf is running. As these waters are fairly shallow it is best to use baits such as ragworm, whole squid, mackerel and peeler crab to target the bass, rather than spinners and plugs, and longer range casting will pay off. Fishing in summer from rocky marks will give pollock to lures, plugs and jelly lures, as well as mackerel. Sea trout can also take spinners in these waters, but, as always, remember a licence is needed to target and keep this species. View this area on Google Maps here.