Tactics for fishing the east's rugged coastline are dependent on the conditions and the chosen mark. Often, the fish can be found under your feet, making distance casting less of an issue. You would be surprised just how close-in the fish will come.
Most sea anglers are fairly expert at using the variety of apps, online forecasts and webcams to monitor sea conditions. The colour of the water directly correlates to the weather and tides. Most successful sessions tend to come when the wind is, or has been, blowing from the east, which puts colour in the water. A chocolate coloured sea is the most popular and gives the angler the best chance of catching.
Powerful beach rods, and sea reels with enough capacity to carry a significant amount of sea fishing line with a decent amount of drag, will allow you to bully fish through underwater structure.
|Greys GR100S Beach Rod|
|Penn 515 GS Mag3 Reel|
You need 80-100lb snoods and rig bodies, with matching swivels and the all-important rotten-bottom link to have the best chance of retrieving gear, very often minus the lead weight. On some of the rougher marks, the best chance of getting your tackle back is with a fish attached.
Most anglers opt for a larger hook size that features a wide gape, and keeping its point showing when using large baits can often be the difference between success and failure.
How rough the mark is will be a deciding factor between a single hook or Pennel rig. Experienced anglers opt for a two-hook Pennel with the top one purely to assist with bait presentation. A Sakuma 5443 Pennel Manta Extra Hook attached to a pulley or fixed paternoster should suffice.
To reduce tackle loss, many anglers adopt a ‘less is more’ philosophy when rig tying by using line loops rather than swivels, and even pins and foam to replace rotten bottoms.
Top Marks to Try
Marks along the East coast of Scotland between the Tay and Aberdeen fall into a number of categories – cliffs, rocky skeers, shallow reefs and, on occasion, clean sand – each will produce fish when the conditions are good. For example, the Arbroath cliffs can be a big draw for cod anglers when the fish are present and conditions are good. The area gives access to deeper water from the relative safety of a series of ledges and stances. While the cliff marks seem to be one of the most popular areas, they can be dangerous in big seas.
|Arbroath Harbour Cages|
|Arbroath Sea Cliffs|
For the visiting angler with mobility issues or disability, the cages at Arbroath harbour can be very productive and require very little effort to wet a line. The cages (above) are a series of box railings positioned along the harbour wall giving access to a large reef. They are generally fished over the flooding tide when a good sea is running. Each year, a number of double-figure fish are taken from here, undoubtedly with a few being lost when hand-lining them up the harbour wall. Often in high demand, they become crowded when the conditions are good.
|Fisheagle Flotation Suit|
|Parmaris Hi-Fit Deep Wade Life Jacket|
This article was brought to you in association with sea angler magazine.