It’s not pretty and often crowded, but the marina does deliver a good variety of species. A fish I’d not caught here for a few years is the Garfish. With this in mind I made up a float rig to fish about 10ft deep. A size 6 hook baited with a small sliver of herring completed the setup. On my other rod I used ragworm, on a trace of three small hooks. I cast out both rods onto a clear flat sea and waited as the tide rose.


The first fish of the day came to the float. Not a garfish as hoped for but a mackerel. This was to be the only fish taken on the float all day.

Mackerel, Scomber scombrus

On the distance rod, a delicate bite revealed itself to be a red mullet. Judging from other reports I’ve read, these seem to be much more common in the marina this year.

Red Mullet, Mullus surmuletus

The current was now increasing and pulled the float from left-to-right in front of my bay within a minute, so I switched the lighter rod over to using bait. This gave a couple of pollack of about 1lb, but none of the mini-species (corkwing wrasse, tompot blennies, common blennies) that are usually found in the water in front of the wall.

Pollack, Pollachius pollachius

As usual is usual at the marina, fellow anglers in the neighbouring bays frequently cast over my lines. On one occasion the caster was two bays down, which is some miscast. The treble hook on his Dexter wedge (which he was using in lieu of a weight) penetrated the fibres of my braid line. On my next cast the line cracked off in this very spot. I’ve had a few problems with the new braid; I’m going back to Berkley Fireline braid.

My neighbours were catching a few good fish. The bad caster, was regularly pulling in plaice. A small ray, gurnard and lots of mackerel were also being caught. The chap on my right was fishing for cuttlefish (and caught a few after the high tide). His cuttlefish lure was attached to the end of a string of tiny feathers, which were snagging a lot of smaller silvery fish. Sand smelt, he confirmed. I did my best to mimic his action jigging my favourite white feathers just in front of the wall. This resulted in three sand smelt. The hooks were too big really for such small fish, but at least one was fairly caught in the mouth area 😉

Sand Smelt, Atherina presbyter

I overheard two anglers discussing the cooking method for the smelt. Deep fried in cornflour was the suggestion. I’m not sure if you would eat them whole, whitebait style, or finely fillet them. Either way, they weren’t going to be my dinner tonight.

The same white feathers took a couple more mackerel when cast out further. Later on in the day, I witnessed a lot of mackerel being caught by jigging feathers right in front of the wall.

Large shoals of whitebait swam in the clear water before me. On occasions, the water would ‘boil’ with large number of sand smelt or mackerel breaking the surface in response to some predator.

The long-distance bait was getting no action again today, so in the last hour of light, I put on a ready-made bass rig, baited with a herring head, hoping for a surprise bass. Hoping in vain as it turned out. The light faded and the pouting came on the feed; a fish would take the ragworm with seconds of the weight hitting the seabed. A small ballan wrasse and six pouting rounded off the day.



Total Catch:

  • 3 Mackerel
  • 1 Red Mullet
  • 2 Pollack
  • 3 Sand Smelt
  • 1 Ballan Wrasse
  • 6 Pouting