Situated three miles to the east of Brighton Marina, Saltdean is a bass angler’s paradise with its deep gulleys and rocky outcrops.

There are deep beaches and groynes and some great new sea defences here that are ideal for float fishing and spinning. This is also a great place for collecting peeler crabs, prawns and other livebaits such a gobies. Please be careful if you go looking for bait on the rocks as they are very slippery at times and there are some deep gullies that are sometimes hidden by weed.

It is best fished from low tide up so that you can survey the ground you are fishing. Only a short cast is needed into an incoming tide during or after a blow. In calmer conditions it is better to float fish a large live prawn across the area; it can also be an ideal area to spin or use a plug. It can be fished at night or day but care must taken on the slippery rocks.

From March to October the area produces large bass, eels, smoothhounds and wrasse. And, during the winter months, it can produce cod and whiting. Parking can be a problem, especially during the summer due to a local swimming pool.

1 The Prom End
This is a great mark to fish for bass and eels, day or night. The ground is rocky with some really deep gullies, which attract the big fish. The best time here is when the conditions are rough on an incoming tide. Best baits are crabs and livebaits cast about 20 yards out; there are some big boulders along the promenade wall that are ideal for spinning or float fishing a large prawn when the conditions are calmer and clear. There are a number of big bass taken at this mark during the season.

2 The Slope
There is no need for a big cast here because the ground is rough with really deep gullies. Again this is best fished when the sea is rough and dirty on an incoming tide. The best baits are crabs and live gobies, which can be collected at low tide.

Care must be taken when collecting livebaits because the rocks are very slippery. The slope makes it a lot easier to land a big fish, especially if you’re fishing it on your own.

3 The New Beach
This can be a good fishing mark in rough conditions because it can shelter you from the elements. Like most of the marks mentioned here, this one is best fished at short range – no more than 40 yards out. You can also drop a bait alongside the sea defence. The best baits are crabs, gobies and live prawns.

There have been some large bass caught from this mark at night, including a fish last year of 11lb 8oz to a lad on his second-ever fishing trip!

4 The Groynes
There are some lovely groynes spread across Saltdean where there are good bass taken regularly to local anglers. They can be fished in rough or calm conditions, but care must be taken as they can be very slippery at times.

In calm weather you can fish with a large live prawn floated down the sides of the groynes, or you can use a plug or spinner in the same way. When the sea is rough, use a peeler crab or livebait on a fixed paternoster rig.

5 The New Sea Defences
This mark can produce large catches, especially bass and eels in rough or calm conditions. During rough weather it is best fished with crabs and livebaits like gobies at short range. The ground is very rough here and you could lose some tackle, so make sure you incorporate a rotten bottom weak link into your rig.

When conditions are calm, the best method is to float fish a live prawn around the edges of this mark for a chance of a real lunker bass. There have been plenty of fish into double figures caught here in recent years!

6 Shingle Beaches
Again this area is made up of some really rough stuff.  There have been a number of big bass and eels taken by local anglers, but this mark can be popular with sunbathers during daylight hours so night fishing is best. There have been reports of large cod caught in the winter months. The best baits are crabs, livebaits and worms and fish baits in winter.

Tackle Shops
Black Rock Bait, 4 The Broadway, Brighton. Tel: 01273 622001
The Tackle Box, 1 Westquay, Brighton Marina. Tel: 01273 696477
Fishface Angling Centre, 135 Islingword Road, Brighton. Tel: 01273 681010
Squires Fisheries & Tackle, 25 Southwick Square, Brighton. Tel: 01273 592903
The Brighton Angler, 1-2 Madeira Drive, Brighton. Tel: 01273 671398

TSF Top Tip 1
It’s essential that you use good-quality hooks. Go for a size 4/0 or 6/0 in a pattern that is strong, yet will bend out if you snag the rocks.

TSF Top Tip 2
Use plain leads and even try flattening them with a hammer to help reduce the number of leads lost in among the cracks and crevices.

Total Sea Fishing

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