Eccles is certainly one of the nicest beaches to fish along the Norfolk coast. It’s very scenic and boasts plenty of features that are always good for holding fish.

On the southern end of the beach are some reefs, that have formed lagoons over the years. Travelling north are groynes spaced at about 250 to 300 yards. These go all the way up to Cart Gap where they become closer together, at about 200-yard intervals, and continue all the way up to some revetments.
Recently, giant boulders have been placed at the end of every other groyne from North Gap to Cart Gap. This is an ideal place to plug as the rocks are maturing and will act as a food trap, hopefully holding a few bass.
Not a lot of holidaymakers go to Eccles, so usually it is quite a peaceful fishing spot, even in the summertime. This area is known for its ability to fish well at all stages of the tide and you can expect to catch almost anything here from bass and smoothhound to ray and mullet.
Follow the B1159, which will take you to all the various access points to different parts of the beach.

1 The Revetments
The revetments are on the furthest, northern part of Eccles and are an excellent bass venue in the summer months. The winter produces a variety of species, including cod, whiting, dab and flounder. To find this cracking little secluded spot, follow the road for Cart Gap and then, just before you get to Cart Gap car park, there is a track that goes off to the left. Follow this track to where it ends, park up and head straight to the beach. For best results set up on the left-hand side of the revetments. Fish no more than 50 metres to the left of the revetments as it becomes extremely snaggy after that. If you are brave enough, try a few casts into the snags using a pulley rig because a lot of features lead to good fish-holding areas.

2 Cart Gap
Cart Gap is clearly signposted. Simply follow the country track until you reach a pay-and-display car park. From the car park you can see a slipway where local boats are launched from. Walk down the slipway and head off to the left and continue walking until you reach the fourth groyne. This spot is particularly good for a species hunt because there is a hole, which acts as a food trap, between 70 to 120 yards out where all kinds of fish are feeding. The best time is three hours before the top of the tide and three hours down. Use two rods, one with massive bait consisting maybe of squid, crab and lug on a 3/0 Pennell rig. The other rod can be used for scratching about, to find exactly where the fish are, using small hooks and baits. Once the fish have been located, reel in the big bait if you have had no takes and cast to where you found the fish.

3 Slipway
From Cart Gap car park, turn right and follow the bumpy road until you reach the next slipway. Park up wherever you can and find a spot that will not block the right of way. There is a sand bar, which appears to finish at the end of the first groyne, to the right of the slipway. This is most apparent at low water when the surf gives its exact location away. It’s a big bonus for the anglers because any stage of the tide can produce bass and other species. Cast your bait onto the sand bar or either side of it for best results. This is where the feed will tend to be, as will the fish because the waves break up the sea bed and stir up the food particles. Bass show while the sand bar is being bashed by waves. When the tide rises, the fish forage around in the holes and gullies where the feed settles.

4 Eccles Village
There are a couple of ways to access the little village but the simplest is probably via Cart Gap. From the car park, follow the track southbound until you reach the bungalows. There are several tracks and paths that lead over the sand dunes to the beach; simply locate the nearest one to where you are. At the beach, you can set up camp almost anywhere because the fishing is good all the way along. If you can, go at low water to see a sand bar that runs the length of the entire beach. This feature actually seems to move with changing tides; sometimes it’s a long way out, whereas at other times it is only a lob away. If possible, try and fish either side of the bar for the best results. It’s an amazing beach because it changes so frequently.

5 North Gap
This is where finding the hotspots gets a bit trickier. Follow the B1159 until you find a turning, signposted Eccles Beach. Take this road and follow it through until you reach a left turn that is signposted North Gap. Go down this road until you reach a duck pond on the left-hand side. Just before the pond there is an area where several cars can be parked on the roadside. From here, you will see an access point to the beach – a bit like a big, sandy slipway. Walk up this and when you reach the top, you will have a good view of the beach. Fish anywhere either side of the slipway. However, do be careful if you choose to fish near the groyne directly in front of the slipway because sometimes this area can become snaggy after a blow. This is because when the sea scours out the sand, a clay bottom with many cracks, crevasses and rocks becomes exposed.

6 The Reefs
To find these reefs, you must take the same directions as for North Gap. You now have a choice whether to leave the car near the duck pond and hike to the reefs, or follow a track located at the foot of the slipway. It is a bumpy old track and must be navigated carefully but you can save quite a bit on the walk if you park the car on a grass area on the left-hand side a few hundred metres along it. From here you will see a path that leads over the sand dunes to the beach. Follow this path. It will take you to a high viewpoint from which it is possible to see virtually the whole beach. You can clearly see the first reef on the right-hand side, which forms a sort of lagoon. This is where you want to be, right in the bay formed by the reef.

Tackle Shops
Angling Direct, 277 Aylesham Road, Norwich, NR3 2RE. Tel: 01603 400757.

TSF Top Tip 1
Use a high-speed retrieve multiplier reel here to help you bring in your tackle quickly over the top of the snags.

TSF Top Tip 2
It’s a good idea to pack a selection of spinners or plugs in your tackle box when fishing these marks, especially if the weather has been settled.

Total Sea Fishing

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