Sea fishing trips in the UK either from a charter boat, shore fishing, or even taking your own boat out are experiences that are almost never the same twice. The UK coastal areas have an unlimited amount of places to go sea fishing and an abundance of fish species which change with the UK seasons.
Is There More than One Type of Sea Fishing in the UK?
There are generally two types of sea fishing – shore fishing and boat fishing. As you move around the coastal areas of the United Kingdom, the types of fish you are fishing for vary – particularly dependent upon the time of year, the weather conditions and the season you will be fishing in. Know which type of fish you are fishing for and plan accordingly.
Shore fishing is much more accessible to a wider range of people so it is the more popular type of sea fishing. The shore fishing angler tends to spend much of his time along the coastal areas and at estuaries – both large and small. The fish species at the estuary can vary depending upon the size of the estuary, how far down the river mouth you are and the sea conditions.
Shore fishing needs to be done with great care. The rip currents that will undoubtedly bring in an abundance of fish species can also be dangerous because of the sheer force with which they run back out to sea. A strong current can easily sweep an angler of their feet and out to sea. Be aware of currents, tides and how to keep yourself safe. This book Sea Fishing from the Shore – Pocket Guide for the Beginner sums up everything you need to know about shore fishing for the beginner and it is in a handy pocket size ready to take with you on your next trip.
Chartering a fishing boat means you will be able to explore areas further offshore than you could if you were shore fishing. If you aren’t familiar with the waters, being skippered by an experienced skipper who knows the best spots, is a big advantage. Kayak fishing is becoming increasingly popular, making the offshore waters more accessible without having to own or charter a boat. Shore fishing has its accessibility advantages, however, boat fishing allows the angler to get to species that inhabit spots further offshore.
If you are planning to hire a boat, check whether the company you are using is a member of the PBA or the Professional Boatsman’s Association or the National Federation of Sea Anglers and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency – and check that you are with an experienced skipper.
Estuary Sea Fishing
We would always start with a caution for estuary sea fishing as the currents can be strong, fast and sometimes unexpected. The estuary is where the sea flows into a river and is a tidal zone so will be subjected to the rise and fall of tides. The big advantage of this type of fishing is that the varying conditions along the estuary means that there are plenty of opportunities for coming across different species that favour different environments. Equipment and techniques for fishing in an estuary depend upon the size of the river mouth, whether the estuary is semi enclosed and on the varying sea conditions.
If you are fishing on the outer areas of the estuary then it’s likely that you will be fishing for some of the more common sea fishing catches such as cod, wrasse, pollock and rays. The further inland you go the more similar to freshwater fishing the catch will be and you will find yourself coming across bass, fresh water eels, bream, mullet and flounder.
Sea Fishing from a Harbour or Pier
Sea fishing from a harbour or pier is ideal if you are a beginner. Quite often you will come across garfish, mackerel and pollock. Check out which season you are planning to fish in and the fish species will vary. Time of day will also impact if you are planning to fish from a harbour or a pier as will activity in the harbour or along the pier.
In most cases, you don’t need a license for sea fishing in the UK, however you may want to check with your local angling shop about the areas you plan to fish first as the fishing licenses can get more complex as you head inland and depending upon the fish you are catching and the equipment you are using.