The life of the sea angler is much less complicated than that of his freshwater friend. In almost every instance, words like permits, tickets, rod licences and special regulations are just not part of his vocabulary- This, perhaps, explains why sea angling is reckoned to be the fastest growing branch of fishing at the moment quite apart from the fact that sea anglers are almost always fishing for something they and their families can eatl
Sea anglers pursue their fish in two basic ways, either from beaches, rocks and cliffs or from boats. The life of the shore angler could not be more free and easy when compared with that of the inland freshwater angler. Fishing from the shore is available, free, almost everywhere. There are only two exceptions, both concerning access. The first, put at its simplest, means if you can get at it without running the risk of falling off a cliff you can fish itl The second, which is rare, concerns those few places where access is prohibited because the shoreline is part of a wild life reserve (usually in a National Park) or because the Ministry of Defence use it for training exercises. Our sea angling consultant, Peter Collins, Editor of tells us such restrictions are rare.
The shore angler has yet another great advantage over the freshwater man. He can get almost all the baits he wants simply by picking them up or digging for them, provided he times his collection to the right tide times. He is saving money on a vital commodity.
The other basic approach for a sea angler is, as we have said, by putting to sea in a boat. There is not the slightest doubt that this brings a sea angler into contact with more and bigger fish than his shore-based opposite number-a fact which also explains why piers are often so popular, helping the shore man to get just that little bit further out into the water. It is hardly surprising that boat fishing is the fastest growing branch of this already fast growing pastime, so much so that places on boats at some of the more popular centres on the south and south-west coasts of England must be booked well ahead. Some have to be booked up to a year and more in advance, so remarkable is the reputation their skippers have for finding the right marks.
Anyone visiting a specific area is advised to confirm a booking before arrival. The national angling press carries columns of advertise-ments which act as a guide to where to apply. The cost of hiring a boat varies according to the duration and type of fishing.
Newcomers to boat fishing, and especially those faced with a trip in a strange craft, should consider the seaworthiness of the vessel to be used. Under this heading, it is worth pointing out that there are regulations laid down for boats used by anglers by the Department of Trade and Industry. These cover not only the safety equipment to be carried on board but also the distances certain boats may travel out to sea. It is fair to add that if the boat has the required DTI certificate the angler can presume he is on a safe craft.
In the sea fishing section of this guide, the fullest possible detail of the kind of fish which can be caught from a particular area, whether from the shore or from a boat, is given. The existence of piers is covered and where considered relevant, ports with specially good opportunities for boat anglers are mentioned.
Further local information, if required, can be obtained from tackle shops or the Information Department of the local authority.