Kent and Sussex Fishing

If its cod fishing excites the greatest amount of interest, Kent and Sussex have a great variety of species on offer. The cod are not now so numerous as 10 years ago, but there is an October movement inshore by these fish.

The greatest sport is obtained from shore vantage points projecting seaward and if this includes piers and other promontories it also includes favoured sections of the coastline.

Look at the map and the sections between Margate and Ramsgate, between Deal and Dover and the Dungeness areas recommend themselves instantly. All three stand out into the tideway. Cod are also caught elsewhere but there is no significant number of fish west of Brighton.

Excessive commercial fishing is held responsible for the marked decline in rod and line cod catches but, in fact, the cod population available to provide sport at any one time depends most of all on the success of the spawning years. Some years can be most unproductive while others see quite remarkable increases.

The spring run of codling, the little fish of 1—3 lb. That come inshore in March and April, have been missing in recent years – although the East Anglian coast has not suffered a similar misfortune.

In general terms Kent offers better codding than Sussex, with boat fishing on the Varne Bank, the Pan Sands and other favoured areas producing heavy catches, many coming on baited pirks rather than to the still bait and bottom fishing technique.

Whiting can be abundant in autumn and the early winter but cod are the most sought-after. Boats out from Newhaven and Littlehampton get their share, particularly of the bigger fish.

Bass have suffered from heavy commercial pressure. The warm water outfall from Dungeness nuclear power station, for example, attracted quantities of bass of all sizes soon after its construction but successive nettings have depleted the stock of the area-remembering that the bass were drawn to the warm water from the neighbouring ground.

Tope are more prolific off the Sussex shoreline, but spurdog can be numerous throughout during summer. The area around Selsey Bill and West Sussex is particularly well-stocked for tope, many of which are tagged and released on capture in an effort to discover the fish’s migratory patterns.

Rocky ground off Littlehampton attracts black bream in quantity during the early summer season and the Hythe to Folkestone ground, with its generous mussel beds on the sea bottom, brings in plaice in quantity.

Offshore wrecks are numerous around the entire coastline but many of these have been ‘blown’ to make them less hazardous to ship-ping. They are therefore less attractive to fish since they lack the cover of the wrecks lying intact in deeper water further down Channel.

Even so there is an ample stock of conger up to 50 lb. And bigger ones are taken from time to time. The Varne Bank remains a fair proposition for turbot, with the best catches coming late in the summer and in the autumn.

Sole move inshore in some areas, particu-larly in night tides, and the best of these usually come in late summer and autumn. Dungeness is one of the most favoured beaches.

Large numbers of boats are available for charter hire throughout the area, with Newhaven possessing more angling boats than any other centre in Britain.

The southern side of the Thames Estuary produces bass and flounder in summer and autumn and these fish are reinforced by cod in autumn.

Mullet are quite prolific throughout the summer, many of the estuaries holding excellent stocks of fish.


Situated in the Thames estuary. Good fishing for bass and cod when tides allow. Mullet and flounder can be caught in Northfleet Creek. Worm bait available locally.

Isle of Sheppey Separated from the mainland by the Swale, the Isle of Sheppey has prime beach fishing marks. Good boat fishing off Garrison Pointfor thornback ray and tope. Worm bait available locally.

Heme Bay: Situated on the Thames estuary, Heme Bay offers shore fishing along Reculver Beach and Swalecliffe Beach. Species caught include bass, cod, dab, dogfish, flounder, garfish, mullet, plaice, pollack, silver eel, sole, tope, turbot 1 and whiting.

The best offshore marks are Swalecliffe (one mile offshore), Copperas Channel and the Pansands where large catches of bass, cod, conger, dogfish, gurnard, ling, mackerel, pollack, smooth hound, sole, tope, and whiting are made. Worm bait available locally.


The nine miles of beach at Margate contains prime shore fishing marks when the beach is uncrowded. Main species taken are bass, cod, dab, flounder, mullet, plaice, pouting andtope. Accessto deeper water via boats gives angler fish, bass, cod, conger, dogfish, gurnard, mackerel, pollack, pouting, red and black bream, ray, sole, tope, turbot and whiting. Worm bait available locally.


Good shore fishing marksalong the local beachesat Marina Slopes, Western Undercliff and Pegwell Bay (notably at the Stour estuary). Species from the shore include bass, cod, conger, dab, flounder, garfish, mackerel, mullet, plaice, turbot and whiting. The East and West Piers fish well for mullet and cod.

Offshore sites provide good sport for bass, cod, conger, dogfish, gurnard, mackerel, pouting, red and black bream, shark, skate, sole, tope, turbot and whiting. Worm bait available locally.


Offers a great variety of species which can be caught from the shore, pier orfrom boats. Most in evidence are bass, bull huss, cod, conger, dab, dogfish, flounder, mullet, plaice, pouting, sole, spurdog, thornback ray and whiting. Worm bait available locally.


Good shore fishing along the beaches between Dover and Folkestone, the Southern Breakwater and at Harbour Beach. There is also good fishing from Admiralty Pier and Prince of Wales Pier. Main species from the shore include bass, black bream, cod, dab, flounder, mullet, plaice, pollack, sole and whiting.

Offshore marks (especially the Varne Bank) are noted for bass, black bream, cod, conger, dogfish, gurnard, mackerel, red bream, shark, ray, sole, tope, turbot and whiting. Worm bait available locally.


A good area for beach, boat and pierfishing. Shore marks provide bass, cod, flounder, mullet, plaice, thornback ray and whiting. All these species can also be fished from boats out from Folkestone with the additional chance of angler fish, conger and thornback ray around the many offshore wrecks. Worm bait available locally.


Hythe beach, the rocky area off Sandgate and Princes Parade from the Royal Military Canal outfall to Hotel Imperial provide marks where shore fishing is worthwhile. Species caught include bass, cod, conger, dab, flounder, mackerel, plaice, sole and whiting.

Offshore grounds provide bass, black bream, cod, conger, dogfish, mackerel, ray, sole, tope, turbot and whiting. Worm bait available locally.

Hastings and St Leonards:

Shore fishing marks at Hooks Hard (near Fairlight), Town Pier, Goat Rocks, the harbour walls, St Leonards and the Gulley. The most