PLYMOUTH foreshore is a stretch of coastline situated within the shelter of Plymouth
Sound. As a result it can be fished in nearly any conditions, with the exception of southerly or southwesterly gales.
Plymouth is located bang in the middle of the heart of the west country and is situated in such a way that marks as far west as Land’s End and as far north as the Bristol Channel are only a stone’s throw away.
Because these other marks are so close, local spots within the city are easily overlooked and left alone – only to be fished by anglers during periods of rough weather where travel to unprotected marks is impossible.
The whole area is noted for producing some big conger eels and huge wrasse and every year will throw up some of the biggest bass to local and visiting anglers. Parking can be easily found on the roadside next to all of the marks listed here.
Elphinstone is named after Elphinstone car park. This mark is a small, concrete platform located at the southern end of the car park and it faces due south. A short cast will put you into a reasonable depth of water where float fishing will produce mackerel, garfish and small pollack. Bottom-fished worm baits will attract better-sized wrasse, while livebaits presented either on the bottom or under a float can produce good bass during early mornings and late evenings. Bream show for a short period here each autumn – you’ll need a ragworm and squid strip bait to catch these hard fighters.
Royal Yacht Club
It is not actually possible to fish from the yacht club, but to the east and west sides you will find plenty of rocks to fish from. Now you are in rough-bottom territory and will need to use a rotten bottom link. Target species here include bottom-fishing for wrasse and conger, but float-fished fish baits during daylight hours will provide excellent fun with many surface-feeding species like mackerel, garfish and mullet. Persistence at night, using float-fished ragworm baits may produce the odd pollack in excess of 2lb!
The Lion’s Den is a fantastic big-fish mark. Now you are in conger territory. Many good congers have been caught in this area, but for every good one caught there have been bigger specimens lost in the rough ground. Fish this mark through the hours of darkness and use big-fish baits such as mackerel flappers, whole squid and whole cuttlefish tight to the bottom. Rotten bottom terminal tackle will be required and you’ll need a rod and reel capable of hauling one of these big snakes to the surface.
It is not actually possible to fish from Tinside pool. Look both east and west and you will find many small outcrops of rock and small, concrete platforms. Bottom-fished baits will catch wrasse and doggies, while float-fished livebaits during first light will produce many small bass. Try also arriving for first light and spinning or plugging over the whole of this area. There are always a few surprise larger fish caught here each year.
West Hoe Piers
The West Hoe piers are considered locally as a safe place to send the kids fishing. Many a local angler has started his fishing career from this mark. Float-fished fish baits will produce loads of fun with mackerel, small pollack and garfish, while various baits fished tight to the bottom will produce wrasse, doggies, strap conger and also the odd big bass. If you need a quick fix, or would like to return to your childhood for a few hours, this is the place to go and have some fun. It offers easy, comfortable fishing and there’s always the chance of latching onto something ‘special’.
Just a short walk to the west of West Hoe piers you will find a small rock outcrop just under the sea wall, called Rusty Anchor. A small, metal ladder on the seaward side of the wall will guide you safely onto the rocks below. This mark is right alongside the main channel into
Dave’s Tackle & Bait, 39a Whittington Street,
Manadon Angling Supplies, 11 St Erth Rd,
Osborne & Cragg, 37 Breton Side,
Clive’s Tackle and Bait, 182 Exeter Street,
TF Top Tip
Use big, strong hooks like the Mustad O’Shaughnessy in sizes 6/0 to 8/0 when targeting big conger eels. Always carry a selection of spinners with you to target the pollack, bass, mackerel and garfish.