THE Bacton and Walcott beaches can provide

THE Bacton and Walcott beaches can provide some exciting fishing, both in summer and winter, for cod, bass, smoothhounds and thornback rays.

The beach is just far enough away from the maddening crowds in the summer months to make it possible to fish during daylight hours. It is, however, a holiday resort but not quite as popular as the more recognisable East Coast venues for holidaymakers.
This is a great advantage to anglers who like to target the bass and smoothhounds when they make a show, usually smack-bang in the holiday season!
Equally, the winter months produce cod, whiting and the usual species for that time of the year.
Remarkably, it is not unheard of for a ray or two to make a showing because the conditions here are just right for them to come in and deposit their egg sacks.
You can find Bacton and Walcott on the B1159 coastal road, which runs from Great Yarmouth to Cromer.

Gas Works
If travelling north, follow the coastal road out of Walcott for about a mile until you see a turning on the right with a triangular island. Go down this narrow road until you reach the seafront where you can leave the car. Failing this, simply leave the car parked near the slipway so it does not block anywhere and walk to the left, up the beach. What you are looking for is a groyne with a stormwater outlet pipe running its length, which is virtually in front of the gas works.
Summer will produce bass from around the outlet at low water, on whole squid and crab – or they can be caught on lures. The winter will produce cod at high water from all ranges.

The Slipway
This is actually the slipway you use for access to the outlet pipe. So follow the directions for the gas works but instead of hiking off to the left, fish directly in front of the slipway. To avoid trouble with the groyne, fish on the left-hand side on the ebb and on the right-hand side on the flood. This will make sure that your line never gets pulled round the groyne with the tide flow. This fishes best at high water at any range for cod in the winter – or bass, smoothhound and flounder in the summer. At low water, extreme-range tactics must be deployed as there is a sand bar that must be passed to reach the fish inside it, where it is shallow.

The Ship Pub
This is an ideal venue because before you go fishing you can have a pint! However, for the more serious anglers there is a track running down the side of the pub which you follow to the sea front and the fishing venue. When you have parked the car in a suitable spot and arrived at the beach, head off to the right – two groynes down. This is probably the deepest mark along the whole stretch with a deep gully running along it and not too far out. It fishes well here both at high and low water because of its depth and, what’s more, it can produce at any range. In the winter expect cod, flounder, whiting and dabs. The summer will produce bass, flounder, sole, hounds and eels. On a few occasions rays make a show and a fillet of mackerel could tempt one to the hooks.

Keswick Slipway
If travelling north up the B1159, there is a turning on the right-hand side through the village and leading off to the beach. The main problem here is the limited, if not total lack of, parking facilities. The best bet is to simply park further away and follow the road down to the slipway, which you can fish straight in front of. There is a part of an old wreck that can be seen on a big ebb spring tide. This feature holds good bass, cod and many other species, but it needs a good, long cast to reach it – in fact, about 150 yards. The actual location of the wreck is slightly to the right of the slipway. For those of you who are competent enough to launch a lead that far, this venue is a must despite the short hike to get there due to the parking troubles.

Poachers Pocket
This mark is probably one of the easiest places to find, because it is directly off the B1159, and the area to fish is right in front of the Poachers Pocket pub. Again, this is a great opportunity to have a beer or even a spot of lunch before you go fishing.  Even in the height of summer this beach does not get too busy to wet a line. You do get the odd, hardened holidaymaker taking the plunge for a swim that can be a nuisance, but there are plenty of places that could be quieter if this is the case.  It is a fact that whenever a match is fished along the entire beach there, the best bag is more often than not achieved on this mark.  This is because there are a series of banks and gullies at all ranges that hold fish at all stages of the tide.

Sea Wall
As you travel along the coastal road through Walcott, there is a long sea wall that runs for a few hundred metres from a sharp bend in the road up to the pub. Parking is very simple as you can leave your car anywhere along the roadside. In fact, the place that you leave the car is where you can fish, as the whole stretch of beach is similar.
There is a sand bar here and the key is to fish inside the sand bar, in the gully formed at high water. Sometimes it is necessary to fish off the sea wall as the sea does come right up to the wall, making it impossible to fish off the beach. At low water, blast the bait out as far as possible. This will put your bait into the gully where the fish are holding.

Tackle Shops
Marine Sports, 21 New Street, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9HP, Tel: 01263 513676.

TF Top Tip 1
Cast out a plain lead as far as you can and reel it in slowly to feel for the gullies and bars.
Try using a fillet or strip of mackerel on a spare rod to try and tempt a ray or two.

Total Sea Fishing