ARBROATH isn’t just famous for its
smoked haddock or it’s vast fleet of charter boats, or even it’s football club! Throughout this seaside town there are excellent marks to bag a cod or two.
Situated on the A92, Arbroath is very easy to access. During the winter months most of these marks come into their own with plenty of double-figure cod caught each winter.
You’ll need some serious kit to tame these big cod, and much of the fishing is done over rough ground. You’ll need a beefy rod and a sturdy multiplier reel loaded with 30lb main line. Don’t forget to take your rotten bottoms with you either. Also, bass are being caught in greater numbers each year, but most of these are just schoolies and great fun on light tackle.
Harbour Low Water
To access this mark, follow the A92 into Arbroath and take the turn at the amusements (left if coming from the north and right if coming from the south). Follow the road round until you think you are about to drive out again; here you will see a little road that continues down towards the west side of the harbour. Park carefully along here and walk down the slip, then continue towards the entrance of the harbour but go diagonally until you get to your spot. This is a low-water, winter mark that can be excellent after a blow. Cast into the shipping lane varying your casts until you locate the fish.
This is at Balis, which is famous for its cod catches throughout the winter over high water, but this mark is fished over low during summer or winter. The use of a stiff rod and 30lb main line with a rotten bottom is essential here. Use fresh peelers in summer with a lugworm-based cocktail in the winter – razorfish is a good bet here to use with the lug. Again in the summer, find the kelp to find the fish, and in the winter a cast of around 80 yards should be enough to put you in the gully, which runs in front of you.
This is probably the most famous winter cod mark in Arbroath. You can fish from out of your and it doesn’t really get any better! To get here follow the A92 through Arbroath and take the turn at the amusements next to the football ground. Follow the road round and fish anywhere along here, but as a general rule try and get in the corner and cast diagonally to your right, and again, vary your casts to find the fish. Most bites here are slack liners as the fish grab your bait and continue towards the shore. General beach fishing gear is adequate.
Follow the directions for Balis but park in the corner and walk along the sea wall until you reach the slip. This is a high-water, winter mark, which can be used when Balis is full of anglers when a sea is running. Use the same tactics and methods as at Balis, casting straight out as the tide floods in. Bass can also show here so it could also pay to have a few casts close just in case. Lugworm and razorfish cocktails are sure-fire winners here for the chance of a double-figure cod.
Access to the beach is the same as the slip but keep walking until you reach it. Cod can show here, but as a rule they will be smaller. Expect to catch other smaller species like coalfish, flounder and also bass. It can be worthwhile taking a light rod and reel here to have some fun with the smaller species. Use worms on smaller hooks, like a size 1 or 1/0 Aberdeen pattern. You can also try spinning for the bass here when the water is clear.
Follow the A92 to Arbroath until you see the Green Bridge that crosses the railway. Park in the car park, walk across the bridge and go over the playing field. This area is called Elliot because of the burn that flows into the sea here, which is also a hotspot itself. Fish anywhere along the beach for flounder and small bass. Use a flapping rig with two or three size 1 hooks, baited with lugworm and tipped with a little fish, or if you are fortunate to have some then white ragworm can be excellent here.
Inchscape Marine Services, 7 Old Shore Head, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 1BB, Tel: 01241 874510.
Arbroath Cycle & Tackle Centre, 274 High St, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 1JE, Tel: 01241 873467.
TF Top Tip
Frozen peeler crab can be a deadly bait early on in the season before worm takes over, so make sure you’ve got plenty in your freezer!
Razorfish can be a deadly bait on its own or as part of a cocktail with lugworm. Don’t forget yours.