A guest article outlining the wonderful fishing to be had in the North Sea… Enjoy

For those of you not too hot on your geography, The North Sea is located between Great Britain and Europe and it is one of the best fishing destinations in the world. It’s home to over 230 species of fish including Cod, Haddock, Plaice and Mackerel and provides the world with 5% of its commercially produced fish every year but there are a number of things you should be aware of if you are going to take a trip yourself. This article then will give you a beginner’s guide to the best places to go, best equipment to take and best bait to use.

North Sea Fishing

Rods

First of all, the current trend with sea fishing tackle is to fish light. With that in mind I would advise that you consider a 6-10oz uptider (8ft to 10ft) or a 12-20lb boat rod. Couple this with a 7000 size multiplier and 20lb mono and you have a recipe for success. The good thing about uptiders is that they can be used downtide as well and are even popular for gilling over wrecks.

It is best to use uptiders with a multiplier or fixed spool sea fishing reel, especially if you are casting on a crowded boat but if you are looking to cover all bases it might be wise to purchase a 15lb to 30lb boat rod for pollacking, bassing and downtiding.

Bait

You can save a fortune on bait by visiting local supermarkets, harbours and fishmongers and looking for deals. You can buy prawns from supermarkets relatively cheap – as long as you make sure they’re raw – and they make excellent bait for cod. Fishmongers on the other hand, have a whole variety of bait ranging from squid to cuttlefish and are generally cheaper than tackleshops. Rather surprisingly, you might also consider visiting Ebay for your bait – just make sure to check the shipping.

The Best Types of Bait:

Lugworm – Lugworm is known as killer Cod bait and has even evolved into a subspecies known as “Frozen Black” because of the demands of the modern angler.

Peeler Crab – Peeler Crab is considered by some to be the premium North Sea fishing bait and is overpriced as a result. Peeler Crabs have been in the sea so long that they have become soft and as a result are easier to place on the hook.

Ragworm – Is without a doubt the most popular bait in the UK market and it isn’t that expensive either. You can save money by diffing for ragworm yourself during low tide and with a 6 inch worm you can attract just about and fish in the North Sea.

Location

Unfortunately I am mainly constrained to fishing the North Sea from the coast of the UK. Anything further afield and I think my boat might sink, but these two marks are two of my personal favourites.

Middle Deeps

The Middle Deep is a gulley that runs Northeast from the Maplin Sands between the Middle and East Barrow sandbanks. It is about ten miles out of Brightlingsea and involves crossing some areas of shallow water so a small boat is advisable. Once you get there, though, the fishing is great. You can find it here:

Latitude 51º 40’.80

Longitude 01º 14’.00

Fish: Smoothhounds, Tope, Bass, Cod, Thornback ray.

The Woolpack

The Woolpack is great for thornback rays and if you visit you will often come back with fish in double figures. Fresh mackerel and herring is a good shout for bait and you can expect to pick up some cod during the winter months.

Latitude 51° 25. 600’ Longitude 001° 12. 250’

Ebb and flood tide for thornback ray.

There are too many great locations to list in this short article but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share your favourites in the comments below. In the meantime I hope this brief guide has been of some help and enjoy your inaugural North Sea boat fishing trip.