If you are planning a sea fishing trip you should investigate seasons before you start out. A large number of the fish found around the UK coastal areas are migratory and you may be disappointed if you head out at the wrong time of year. If you don’t have a copy of this book The Angler’s Book of British Sea Fish then you should probably invest in a copy of it now.
Winter Sea Fishing Trips
If it is a monster cod you are after then winter is the best time for you to be sea fishing. Alternatively there is an abundance of whiting around during the winter months along with flounder and rockling. If you are looking for some of the best winter spots then it is worth heading to the north of the UK to find the coldest waters and the rarest of cold water species.
Spring Sea Fishing Trips
Spring is usually a quiet time for fishing trips and is more of a transitional period for fish species although you will see mackerel, sand eels, garfish, plaice and sprats. You will see the odd wrasse and pollock as they don’t tend to leave an area – instead preferring to head further offshore to deeper waters.
Summer Sea Fishing Trips
Summer brings with it an abundance of fish species including sprats, garfish and mackerel. Bass, wrasse and pollock will head back inshore and mullet will reappear. There is also the venomous weever fish to look out for – they can deliver a nasty sting so make sure you know what they look like and don’t go grabbing them off the line. If you are fishing around the south west of England then you have more chance of seeing a triggerfish, bream or John Dory – rare but chances are much higher in the summer.
Autumn Sea Fishing Trips
Autumn is a fantastic time of year for fishing – it isn’t quiet like Spring, but it is a transition period. It brings with it some of the winter species as they move inwards such as cod, pollock and wrasse, but an abundance of summer fish species still remain. Flounder and dab will be there along with whiting and later on into the autumn some of the larger more mature cod.
If you are looking for some advice on what gear you will need then check out The Sea Angler’s Step-by-step Guide to Bait and Rigs from the makers of Sea Angler magazine.
For more in-depth information on when is the best time of year to go sea fishing, where to go sea fishing, fishing gear you need and what you are likely to catch, take a look at Sea Fishing (River Cottage Handbook) by Nick Fisher and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. In true Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall style it also has some recipes at the end in case you aren’t sure what to do with your catch once you have finished.
Take a look at our guide to sea fishing trips in the UK here.