Clacton-on-Sea is a well-known
and popular holiday resort with an excellent reputation for quality fishing. The main species to target are codling, whiting, flounder and dabs, but you need to be able to chuck a lead to get decent results.
The beach is not noted as a summer spot, which is quite handy because the volume of holidaymakers would make it a bit tricky to fish then. Winter is the best time to approach this venue. The whole area fishes best when the water is murky, generally after a good blow, so good planning and an eye on the weather chart should give you a better chance of success. The best state of the tide is, without doubt, the ebb. Turn up just before high water and fish it all the way down. To get there from the A12, take the A120 and turn off on the A133, then follow signs to Clacton. Once you are there, follow the signs to the seafront where you will find the relative hot spots.
1 Country Park (The Slab)
Follow the coast road north and you will come across the country park, where there is a large pay and display car park. Once there you’ll have a reasonable walk to the left, heading towards a large radar tower – it’s impossible to miss it. Take the steps down to the area in front of a green building and that’s where you fish. This is often the area where the bigger cod come from. Extreme range tactics are the most effective here, so blast one out as far as you can with a big lug and crab cocktail bait.
2 Brighton Road
At the far end of the main coastal road before the country park there are some toilet blocks opposite a left turn to Brighton Road. Park anywhere along the main road, then head towards the causeway near the toilet and follow it down to the concrete wall. Long-range casting is the norm here as there are more fish further out. A double or single hook clipped-down trace is the best for maximum range, baited up with lug, rag or crab.
3 Cliff Road
Driving up the coastal road, look for a turning on the left-hand side into Cliff Road. Park your car on the side of the main road and go down the slope to the fishing spot. Flounder play a big part in catches here, so as well as targeting the codling, set up a trace with smaller hooks and baits for the flounder. Ragworm and crab are the favoured baits, so load up your hooks with these tasty morsels and you can’t go far wrong. Two rods are the answer here, because you can have one out for the flatties and another out for the codling.
Along the coastal road is the Kingscliffe Hotel. If you are facing the sea from the hotel there is a slipway to the left running down to the sea wall. There is a big platform to fish off, which is handy because extreme range is the key to success. There are two groynes either side of the platform, but be careful at high water – there is also another groyne between them that doesn’t show until the tide starts to go out. Expect codling, whiting and pouting to be the main species.
5 Hazelmere Road
On the seaward side of the coastal road, there is a big sign for Gunfleet Sailing Club, opposite Hazelmere Road. You can park on the road, or a little way further down. Look for the slipway to the right of the sailing club and go down there. This will lead you to the sea wall that you can fish from. Lug, rag and crab are the top baits here, and expect to bag up on codling, whiting and pouting.
6 Victoria Road
Look for Victoria Road and directly opposite there is a shelter that you can park in front of. Go down the steps and you will see that there is not much ground to fish off. There are sea defences that make landing fish a bit tricky, but if you fish off the steps it is much easier. There isn’t much room for casting, so it can be a bit awkward to fish there. With perseverance you can be rewarded with a good bag of dabs.
Local Tackle Shops
Tackle Up 100, Pier Avenue Tel: 01255 221863
Clacton Angling 100, Pier Avenue Tel: 01255 221863
Brian Dean 43, Pallister Rd Tel: 01255 425992