FACING southeast into the
English Channel makes Brighton a superb all-round venue for shore anglers, with rocky marks and shingle beaches and some lovely fish-holding groynes.
This stretch of coastline is noted for its excellent bass fishing throughout the summer and autumn months. If you’re a serious bass fanatic after the milestone shore double, then this is the area to head for.
Take the M23, which turns into the A23 into Brighton town centre and then follow the signpost to Madeira Drive or to Brighton Marina.
Parking can be a problem in the summer months on the main seafront, but there are car parks at Black Rock that charge by the day, and a free multi-storey car park in Brighton marina.
1 Black Rock Groyne
This mark is best fished at night because it can be very popular during the summer with swimmers. The beach is made up from rocks, shingle and sand, making it ideal for bass anglers. The best baits are crab, sandeels, mussels and slipper limpets. There’s no need for a long cast and a 30 to 50 yard lob is ideal. It can be weedy at times, especially after a blow, but if you fish on the groyne it keeps your tackle above the weed and makes it easier to fish.
2 The Nudist Beach
This is another mark that can be very popular for local anglers and can produce huge bass. It is a shingle beach running into some rocky outcrops and sand – ideal for bass and eels. It’s best fished at night to avoid the bathers, but it’s when the sea is rough and dirty that the best bass catches are made. It can be fished at long or short range, depending on which species you target. In the winter months it will produce whiting and the odd codling.
3 Banjo Groyne
You can fish the groyne or the beach here. About 120 yards to the right there are mussel beds and to the left, towards the marina, there are vast sandy areas that produce flounder, bass, sole and smoothhounds during the summer. This mark also fishes well in winter for cod, whiting, sole and dogfish. Again, this can be very popular for holidaymakers during the summer. For best results fish at night with two rods, one at long range and the other close to the groyne for a chance of a bass or two.
4 Paston Beach
This mark is situated between the nudist beach and the Banjo groyne. It fishes equally well throughout the year with flounder during late February to mid-March. Bass, eels and smoothhounds are taken from April until September. The autumn and winter months produce whiting and codling. The best time to fish during summer months is at first light or at dusk. In winter it can produce well both day and night.
5 The Amusement Arcade
Again, this is a shingle beach running into sand and it fishes equally at long or short range. You can expect to catch sole, flounder, bass and eels during the summer months with codling and whiting during winter. There are some great little breakwaters along the beach, ideal for bass fishing. Bait-wise, you should go for peeler crab, sandeel, ragworm, blow and black lugworms.
6 Palace Pier Beach
Bass are the main target here, but sole, flounder, dabs and eels are also taken. On big tides you can dig black lug, yellowtails and white ragworm here, which makes it very popular for local anglers to dig and fish. Parking can be a problem during the summer due to its location next to the pier. It is best fished at night or at first light during summer because the beach can be crowded with holidaymakers.
Local Tackle Shops
Black Rock Bait, 4 The Broadway, Whitehawk Road, East Brighton, BN2 5NF, tel: 01273 622001
The Brighton Angler, 1-2 Madeira Drive, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 1PS, tel: 01273 671398
The Tackle Box, 1 Westquay, Brighton Marina, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 5UF, tel: 01273 696477