“please welcome Glenn Kilpatrick who runs the runs the Whitby sea anglers website and the Whitby fishing forum”
Fishing from the shoreline in the Whitby area can be broken down into 2 main categories of summer fishing and Winter fishing. In the summer months the mainstay of the catches are the summer species of flounder, mackerel, coalfish, pollock and the occasional bass. Through the winter months the main target of the sea anglers at Whitby are cod which are brought to our shores in search of food displaced by the winter storms.
Winter Fishing In The Whitby Area.
Autumn signifies the start of the beach casting / rock angling season in the area. Early September sees the Filey fishing festival, a full week of both shore and boat fishing matches ending in the north of England cod fishing championships. The Filey festival is closely followed (usually a week later) by the Scarborough angling festival which is also fished over a full week with some excellent prizes up for grabs for both shore and boat anglers. The final day of the Scarborough festival sees anglers competing for the much sought after title of the “All England” codling champion.
Late Summer/early autumn on the Yorkshire coast usually coincides with the first of the off sea storms. With winds from a Northerly direction the sea around our coastline roughens up and disturbs marine life close to the shore such as peeler crabs, lug and ragworms etc. The abundance of foodstuffs encourages the cod to move inshore after a summer of feeding on the deep water reefs off Whitby.
At his time of year casting a peeler crab into the rock filled gulleys around our coast at north east coast fishing marks (North East fishing marks ) like Port Mulgrave can pay dividends for the areas cod anglers. Fish up to 30 pounds in weight have been caught in this manner and recent seasons have seen cod well into double figures landed from the rock fishing marks on our coastline. As the winter progresses the cod fishing usually peaks around Christmas time, but all is not over as late winter often sees a run of the big spawning cod around March. At this time a large bait of lugworm and squid is often deadly for the large double figure cod. April often sees a run of smaller codling on the coast (A spring run) and after this the winter season tails away and the wait is on for the arrival of the summer species at Whitby.
Summer Fishing On The Yorkshire Coast
At the end of the winter cod season the wait is on for those Summer species. April and May can be a lean time for the North east coast shore angler. Spare time in these months is often put to good use collecting peeler crabs to freeze down for use as bait in the following months. May sees the first influx of summer species at Whitby. Casting a small peeler bait on a size 1o hook into the river esk at Whitby can produce good catches of flounder. It is known for anglers to catch a dozen or more in only a few hours fishing with the best time being on an incoming tide. Flounder rigs like this Tronix Pro Plaice Fishing Rig are really popular
June through to September is hectic with Mackerel, Coalfish, Pollock and the occasional bass easily caught from most venues in the area with Whitby’s west pier often being the most popular. Spinning with a 1-2 oz chrome spinner
is the favoured method but also float fishing a mackerel strip in mid water can also be very effective for all the mentioned species.
A walk onto the beach at upgang or the sea wall in the same area at high tide is often worthwhile and bass up to the 5 pound mark have been taken here on plugs, or peeler crab and sometimes ragworm.
There is lots more information on shore fishing at Whitby on the Whitby sea anglers website at www.whitbyseaanglers.co.uk and anyone wanting to debate fishing in the area could find the Whitby fishing forum at North East Fishing Marks very interesting indeed.