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Set Up And Rigs

Cod / Hake

  • Drift fishing with baited feathers, Muppets or hokkai lures. Use plenty of bait including lugworm, ragworm, mussel, whelk, crab, sand eel, mackerel or a combination of baits. Big baits=big fish!


  • Strong tackle must be used - a wire trace or 60-80lb mono. No leeway should be given in the first stages of the fight as they will go for a rock crevice or snag from which you will not be able to move them. Use large fish baits - eg. whole mackerel, herring, or pouting. A gaff is recommended to get them into the boat. Anchor up over the target area and fish a single or 2 hook paternoster.

Common Skate

  • Fish of over 100lb can be caught. They are found in deep water and at the edge of tidal races. This, combined with their size, means heavy tackle must be used. A 6/0 reel loaded with at least 50lb line, heavy boat rod, butt rest and harness, 100lb wire trace and 10/0 hook, are the minimum to be used. Try large fish baits such as whole mackerel, herring, coalfish, and Pollock, fished on a running ledger.

Flounder / Dabs

  • Fish a slow drift with an 8ft, 2 hook trace, to a watch lead. Use a 2 hook paternoster baited with lugworm, ragworm, mussel, peeler crab is also a good bait. Put 3 or 4 coloured beads on the hook length as an attractor. Keep lifting the bait off the bottom now and then.


  • Haddock prefer deep water with a soft bottom. Drift fishing with a 3 hook paternoster, baited feathers or hokkai lures is productive. Best baits are lugworm, ragworm, and mussel.


  • Fish can be taken on the drift with baited Muppets, pirks, and fish baits on a flowing trace. Anchoring up over the target area with fish baits on the bottom will also catch. Use baits such as mackerel, herring, and pouting.


  • Mackerel fight hard and are great fun, especially when you have six on at the same time! They can be caught on almost any lures but a rig of three to six feathers is the most common method used. They taste great and are excellent bait for larger species as they have very oily flesh.


  • Fish a slow drift with an 8ft, 2 hook trace, to a watch lead. Bait up as you would for Flounder or Dab. Or anchor up and use the lightest weight you can to hold the bottom, then keep lifting the bait just off the bottom.

Pollock (Laithe) / Coalfish (Saithe)

  • Drift fishing with rubber eels, fish strips, or Rapalas on a 10ft flowing trace or jigging with baited red feathers and hokkai lures. Free line mackerel strip or sand eels, trolling, spinning, and fly fishing. There's many ways to catch them!


  • Pouting are regarded as bait robbers. They will take most baits, but are a good fish for young anglers to begin with. They make excellent baits for larger predators.

Thornback Ray

  • Anchor up and fish on the bottom with a running ledger. Favoured baits are peeler crab, lugworm, rag worm, and mackerel strip. Fishing a slow drift also takes rays.


  • Anchor up and fish on the bottom. Although tope are quite big fish heavy tackle is not needed as they are a running fish. A multiplier with at least 200m of 15-20lb line, and a good through action pike rod are ideal. Good baits are mackerel flapper or whole fish such as pouting or herring, fished on a flowing wire trace and 6/0 hook. When the bait is on the bottom set the reel out of gear with the ratchet on. A tope will pick up the bait and run up to 100m, then stop and turn the bait and start to move again. This is the time to strike firmly to set the hook.


  • Best on the drift with baited feathers or hokkai lures.


  • Fishing tactics are much the same as Ling. Fish are mostly taken close to rocks. bottom fishing with limpets, winkles, or mussel.





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Last modified: February 01, 2019

copyright Chris Gill 2004