AUCHMITHIE is a little village set among the cliffs near the
fishing town of Arbroath, made famous by its fleet of fishing boats and smoked haddock. This area is renowned for its year-round cod fishing but it’s not for the faint-hearted as this is true, rough ground kelp fishing.
You’ll need some serious tackle here, with a pokey rod, powerful reel and of course a bucketful of prime peelers.
Getting here couldn’t be easier; simply follow the A92 either from the north or the south and take the turning next to the little garage which lies just outside Arbroath on the northern side. Follow this until you hit a T-junction and turn left. Follow this road for about a mile until you see the signpost for Auchmithie, turn right here and follow the road into the village.
In the village you will find a track that leads off to the right at the start of a wall, this is the road down. A word of warning here though – take care as it can be very rough, especially after a good downpour. Once at the bottom, park with consideration as people, especially the creel fishermen, still use the harbour.
This is an excellent winter mark, especially after a good northeasterly blow. Fish the beach two hours either side of high water during the winter months. Use a stiff beachcaster and 30lb line straight through to combat the weed and stones that wash around during a big sea. A rubbing leader can be used but watch for the weed build-up on the knot. A short lob is all that’s needed here and as long as the base of your bait is fresh lugworm you shouldn’t go wrong. Use this with frozen crab and shellfish.
Beach Over Low Water
During the summer months there are extensive kelp beds in front of the beach. To get here walk down the beach and over the rocks. Keep looking for the kelp, as that’s where the fish are. You will need the regulation stiff rod and at least 30lb nylon to get any fish ashore from here and let’s not forget a rotten bottom link.
Go for size 4/0 hooks loaded with fresh peeler in the summer and lugworm-based cocktails with frozen crab or shellfish in the winter.
13:41:25Walk down the left-hand side of the harbour wall and you will find the rough stuff at low water. Again, regulation rough ground tackle is a must in summer and winter, with a rotten bottom incorporated into your rig to save on tackle losses.
In winter, use a big Pennell rig with a lug-based cocktail when the sea is dirty and that should see you alright. Move about here to locate the kelp and fish.
The Harbour Rocks
Walk around the little beach in the harbour to the right; here you will find the real rough stuff. There are extensive forests of kelp here which are definitely not for the faint-hearted! Again heavy tactics are needed to winkle the fish out of their home. This area can, however, not fish if there is a slight movement on the sea.
Be careful and don’t ever attempt to fish here if there is a swell – it can be very dangerous.
This mark takes a little effort to get to and a little extra care as it is so easy to get cut off here due to the sea hitting the bottom of the cliff. Walk round to the right and head for the base of the cliff. At the cliff make your way over the rocks until you see The Point – a flat rock with a rock pool on it. Again, use the regulation kit with a rotten bottom to cut losses. Cast around here as just a few yards can be the difference between a red-letter day and a blank. Take care here in the winter as The Point is low to the water.
This is accessed the same way as The Point but as you get to the cliff edge look for the long, flat rock to the right. Fishing here again is not for the faint-hearted due to the vast amount of kelp. A cast to the right towards Windyhills should put your bait among the kelp. Again, vary your casts as fish can often be found at your feet. Take care here too as it is easy to be cut off when the tide reaches the base of the cliff.
Inchscape Marine Services, 7 Old Shore Head, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 1BB, tel: 01241 874510
Arbroath Cycle and Tackle Centre, 274 High Street, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 1JE, tel: 01241 873467
TF Top Tip
Fresh peeler crab is the ultimate bait for these red cod but frozen can also work well if fresh is not available. Razorfish and other shellfish are great baits to fish with after a good blow. Make sure you’ve got some handy!