Plaice do not grow to great size and the rodcaught record is a fish of 10 lb 3^oz, boated by H Gardiner fishing in Longa Sound, Scotland, in 1974. Professional trawlers frequently take bigger fish than this, often well into double figures, but the rod and line angler can usually count himself lucky if he takes fish in the 34 lb range. For this reason a light hollow glass rod in the 20 lb class is to be recommended, providing leads of over 12oz are not going to be used.
For terminal tackle a trace should be used when the tide is running, but paternoster gear is favoured on sluggish tides or slack water. If using a trace, it should be about 8ft long, either fished through a Clement’s boom or a Kilmore boom.
If baiting with lugworm, a longshanked hook, No 2 or 1, is quite large enough. Use three hooks together, as it is not unusual to take more than one fish at a time. This is often because, even if you are holding the rod when the plaice swallows the worm, no bite is detected due to them swallowing the baited hook and remaining still. It is only when you lift the rod tip that you realize that a fish has in fact taken the bait.
Fish caught like this are usually deeply hooked. If, however, a bite is felt it is usually only a light tap, tap, and should be left for the fish to gorge the bait. To avoid the temptation of striking too soon, it is best not even to hold the rod.