Fishing The Solent Shores..

Fishing has always been a keen interest of mine, when I was around five my Dad used to take me with him to the local lakes to do some freshwater fishing in Berkshire. It was all good fun.. that is until I actually caught a fish, which I did.. then it was Dad’s job to deal with handling the fish, the unhooking and release, instead of relaxing by the waterside like he had planned.

I would go on holidays with my grandparents to Weymouth, my Grandad used to take me out on a mackerel fishing boat and we would catch dinner! Yummy..

I carried on freshwater fishing in lakes and canals local to me into my teens, and then moved near the coast when I started at Bournemouth University in 2005. That’s when my interest in sea fishing began.

I brought a cheap Fladen Beachcaster from eBay for £20 (Although its a bit more expensive today but not much. A great first sea rod.) and started to fish from the rocks at Barton On Sea. At first I had no idea what I was doing, I couldn’t understand why as a freshwater fisherman I could go out and I would expect to catch every time and I found it impossible to get my head around different kind of tackle used, like the fact that the hooks and weights were so big in comparison. Surely the fish could see the big hook and would be wise to it… Then again, I didn’t at that point know how aggressively sea fish feed.

Needless to say I didn’t catch anything on my first few outings and wondered if there were actually fish to be caught from the beach, or if I needed to find some piers to fish from. But I didn’t stop there.. I went to a local tackle shop in Christchurch and asked for some advice. They told me to buy and read a certain book. It was “Fox Guide To Modern Sea Angling“. I still have it as a reference today and I recommend this to anyone starting out with sea fishing.

I brought the book and read it over and over trying to make sense of it all before buying some of the rigs and baits recommended in it, and trying to follow the advice. This is where my sea angling drought ended. I finally started to catch fish from the shore! My first catch from the beach was a Garfish. I was so excited about it, it was so big compared to the roach and perch I used to catch from Hayes Canal when I was younger, and so much more lively than the big Carp I would pull from lakes.

From this point on I was hooked! I tried many other marks, rigs and baits over the years and I could finally appreciate and enjoy going sea fishing from the shore.

I even found a mutual interest in shore fishing with some friends and have had the benefit of fishing with Duncan from Explore Fishing ( on numerous occasions. Duncan’s knowledge, experience and attitude to sea fishing is commendable, and if you are looking to go on an organized fishing trip, check out Explore Fishing as it comes highly recommended.

Since then I have caught many fish and species from the shore like Bass, Codling, Dogfish, Garfish, Mackerel, Pollock, Thorn Back Ray, Bream, Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Dab, Flounder, Plaice and a Conger Eel..

Then on my latest trip out with Explore Fishing, I added a new species to my list.. my first Smooth Hound (aka Baby Shark do do doo do do do).

Whilst I was reeling that in, my friend Rob had to go and trump me and hooked an even bigger one, also his first Smooth Hound. Needless to say, we were both very happy and are already planning our next trip out fishing in The Solent Shore..

Tight lines…