Family Friendly Yorkshire Coast Fishing
Where can you take the whole family
Mum Dad and the kids. Well for me it is Gran, Grandad and
grandson aged 7. Where do we go? Three things come to mind when
selecting a place for a fishing trip with children.
A relatively gentle sloping shore is needed. Rock ledges
with deep water and kelp are not a recipe for a safe relaxed
This takes us to safe sandy beaches. Obviously the main
beaches become impossible to fish when its hot and every one
is in the sea. Yorkshire Coast beaches should be fished with any
ordinary rig and 2 or 3 smallish hooks baited with worm if
possible (squid is an alternative). You may well catch flounder
and dabs. Dabs (close relatives of lemon sole) are one of my
favourite eating fishes. Remember you can tell Dabs and flounder
easily apart as the Dab has a slightly translucent white side
whereas the flounder is uniform matt white. The flounder also has
some prominent boney ridges behind the eyes. The Dab has a very
rough brown skin if roubbed towards the head. There is also the
chance of a bass through the summer months particularly if the sea
is coloured with an E wind. You might even catch a thornback ray,
dogfish or dover sole. You may have crab problems (eating your
bait) in summer so check bait. Once there has been a frost in
winter the crabs move to deeper water. In winter the beaches have
a very good chance of a few whiting in winter especially at night.
One method of fishing my grandson likes is using a surface plug
for bass when it is really calm. I cast out and he winds it
in. The surface plug floats on the surface so cannot catch
any weed or rocks that are about and he can see it. The gear is a
light spinning rod and reel so he can handle it all. He kept this
up for quite a while. He has not caught one yet. As a method of
catching bass I can testify it works and it is the most exciting
way of catching a bass by far. It will leave you shaking. You may
see the swirl and maybe the fin before the bass hits. Of course
the bass are usually not there but you can spend a
happy hour just winding in your plastic fish. You are most
likely to catch close to change of light morning/ evening.
This can be an effective method anywhere there are bass in
shallow water that is fairly clear (say at least 1m visibility).
Slightly murkier at the water edge is good. If the water is murky
you are better off with bait. Bass will happily swim in a foot of
water and the few I have caught have been very close to the shore.
Suitable lures are a Storm chug bug or a Savage Panic Prey psycho
sandeel. This method can also be used over shallow shelving rock
as the tide comes in.
Do remember that children will probably only want an hour or two
before they get bored or cold unless there is a lot of fish.
Holderness Coast, Hornsea
You can fish off the beach anywhere from
Bridlington to Spurn point, wherever there is easy
access. Popular places for fishing include Hornsea
and Mappleton. At Hornsea of course you have a
good beach and shops and toilets not far away.
Anglers tend to fish to the North or South ends of
the beach even at Mappleton there are toilets.
This is a good stretch of coast with relatively
steep beaches so you are casting into a good depth
of water at high water. However it is safe as long
as it is calm There is a good chance of catching a
fish. In winter it used to be exceptional for cod.
My best catch ever was 32 codling in 3 hours in
the 1980s. The beaches were lined with anglers.
What might you catch now. Dab and flounder plus
the very odd bass at any time of the year is
possible and in winter whiting and the occasional
cod particularly in the dark. Quite an expedition
for a young one but with modern head lights and a
calm sea and not too cold, quite feasible and
Do be aware that Northerly swells can build up
quite quickly especially at high water putting a
heavy surf onto the beach. Every now and then one
wave much bigger can crash onto the beach and run
a long way up it. This can happen even when we
have no wind but is usually the result of a gale
between Iceland and Norway maybe 48 hours before.
In Bridlington there is the ever popular South
pier at High water. The pier though is very busy
with pedestrians and a few vans and lorries going
out to the fish quay. There is a stone wall
between you and the sea although there is nothing
at the harbour side to stop you falling in the
harbour. It is not a place I would enjoy however
many families do fish here at high water. Very
occasionally mackerel can be caught on a spinner
or feathers and again the very odd bass and dover
The end of the North beach nearer to Sewerby steps
is another safe worthwhile place although you may
have to walk a distance from Bridlington to get
away from swimmers in high summer. The top part of
the beach is quite steep here so at high
water you are in quite a depth. It is one of my
favorite safe fishing places when the early
evening coincides with high water. Do watch your
bait as there are a lot of dog walkers and some
(dogs not the dog walkers) love smelly bait!!!! My
grandson has caught dabs, plaice, coalfish, eels,
whiting and flounders here.
In winter the North pier is popular and I think
better than the South for catching fish,
however no angling is allowed in the summer.
It has a low stone wall between you and the sea
but again nothing on the harbour side. The North
pier has had at times some good catches of whiting
and dabs with the occasional codling these last
few winters but nowhere near as good as it was in
the 1960s when bags of half a dozen codling to 4lb
and cod over 5 pounds were not that uncommon. My
biggest was an 11 pound cod.
beaches at Danes Dyke and South landing are easy
places to fish but remember you need to move to the
east of Danes Dyke to be out of the no take
protected zone. Both suffer from weed at times.
also Filey Beach at high water off the bull nose of
the New sea wall and on the Coble landing. There are
ice cream shops and toilets close by as well as
railings to stop you falling over the edge. Reighton
beach is a popular fishing place in Filey Bay but
further round towards Flamborough Head. It is a
popular spot for anglers and a better chance of a
bass than many places. It is however a long walk
down the cliff from the car park . It has a concrete
track of sorts part of the way. However once down
there is a nice beach. The kids can always look for
fossils. They will find plenty.The sea does reach
the cliff at high water so make sure you are not cut
off from the way back. On a big tide the sea comes
Sandsend and Whitby
| At Whitby there is the West
Pier but it does feel quite exposed and the gaps in
between the wooden planks freak some people out.
Maybe a more comfortable place is Sandsend beach and
from the Northern most car park itself at high
water. Again this is a place known to throw out the
odd bass when conditions are right.