Get Hooked – Top Kent Sea Fishing spots

18:18 15 July 2010

Fish you can find off the Kent coast

Fish you can find off the Kent coast

Kent not only boasts a varied and beautiful coastline, but also some of the finest sea fishing in Britain. But where do you start if you want to sling your hook and tap into the freshest fishmongers in the county?

Kent not only boasts a varied and beautiful coastline, but also some of the finest sea fishing in Britain. But where do you start if you want to sling your hook and tap into the freshest fishmongers in the county?

Words by Robert MacDougall-Davis pictures by Manu Palomeque

Hidden beneath the breaking waves off the Kent coast lies a bounty of fish that attracts anglers from far and wide. These nutrient-rich waters are home to sea bass, mackerel, Dover sole, codling, plaice, whiting, dog fish and a host of others. But where do you start?

First of all, it is important to dispel the myth that only old wise men or secretive locals know how to tempt fish from the sea. Its true that angling is rarely easy, but therein lies the challenge; with a little luck, its perfectly realistic for the first-time angler to catch their supper. So with the prospect of putting super-fresh sea bass served with new potatoes, hollandaise sauce and green beans on your menu, why not give sea fishing a whirl?

One of the best things about fishing along the British coastline is that anyone can fish for free. Sea anglers fit into the recreational rod fishery category, which includes all the water immediately adjacent to the coast and gives any rod angler the right to fish the inshore waters. Rod anglers must follow conservation measures such as returning fish of a certain size in order to safeguard healthy fish stocks for the future. With free fishing and relatively healthy fish stocks, its easy to see why sea angling is such a popular hobby.

Another major plus is that you dont need to find a Kings ransom to acquire the essential tackle. A basic sea fishing outfit can be purchased for under 50 and if you know someone who might have some fishing tackle in need of a home, then so much the better. If you are starting from scratch, find the nearest sea fishing shop and get hold of an all-round sea rod, a fixed spool reel with 200 yards or so of 20lb line and a few other bits and pieces like weights, hooks and bait.

Fishing shops tend to be run by keen anglers who will be happy to help you get started. Your rod and reel will last you for years, but be warned: once you start angling it wont be long until you are well and truly hooked!

There are many different tactics and rigs for fishing from the shore, but it is best to keep it simple. Two basic yet highly effective techniques are the running ledger and feathering for mackerel. You can catch fish all year round, but three hours either side of high water from spring through until October is probably the best time to try your luck.

One of the greatest joys of fishing is the connection every angler makes with the environment. As the rising tide rakes the sand around your feet and birds skim the tips of the waves, your spirits will soar. And should you feel that magic connection with a beast from the mysterious watery underworld, then you will know the thrill of angling. With long summer days ahead and plenty of fish in the sea, why not head to the Kent coast to try and catch your own supper?

Top kent fishing spots

Much of the Kent coast offers excellent fishing, but here are a few particularly good spots to try your luck.

Dungeness and Denge Marsh beaches

Considered to be one of the top sea fishing venues in the country. Excellent fishing for most species. Follow the A2070 and then the A259 from Ashford

Sheerness Beach, Isle of Sheppey

This beach offers very good all-year round fishing and is a great place to try your luck for bass. Signposted on the A249 northbound.

Herne Bay Beach and Pier

(small charge to fish from pier)

The beach is a great place to catch sole, plaice and school bass. Try feathering off the pier for mackerel. Off the M2/A299 Thanet Way on

the north Kent coast.

Admiralty Pier, Dover

A great place to feather for mackerel in the summer months, although it

can get very busy (small charge to fish from pier). Follow the signs from the A2 or M20/A20

Robert MacDougall-Davis

Naturalist and angling writer Robert MacDougall Davis is quite simply wild about fishing. Having graduated from catching crabs off piers, he now spends most of his free time observing wildlife and fishing. He is a passionate ecologist and conservationist and holds a first-class ecology degree from Oxford Brookes University.


Shop with us at Great British Life

More from Out & About

Fri, 16:35

With its fabulous architecture, rich history and superb green spaces, combined with a town centre packed with places to shop and dine, it’s easy to see the attraction of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Read more
Saturday, November 21, 2015
The Archbishops Palace

There’s much more to Maidstone than just its one-way system. With a stunning park, superb leisure facilities, historic buildings and a riverside setting, we invite you to explore our county town.

Read more
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Christmas Lights © shironosov /Getty Images

Across Kent towns and cities will be celebrating the spirit of Christmas and lighting up the streets to herald the start of the festive season. Here is your guide for where to be to enjoy the festivities along with what’s on offer at each event.

Read more
Monday, November 16, 2015
Christmas decorations © peterkraayvanger

Shopping for gifts on the high street can be daunting so we have compiled a list of Kent’s Christmas markets to inspire you this festive season

Read more
Friday, November 13, 2015
Explore the River Darent

This relaxing walk takes you along one of the most picturesque stretches of the River Darent, following the banks of the river through fields and copses. An easy walk with gentle slopes makes this an ideal family day out.

Read more
Friday, November 13, 2015
Don't miss Santa at the RVP

Christmas shoppers in Tunbridge Wells given a festive treat with free parking

Read more
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Churchill statue on The Green in Westerham

One was home to the most famous airbase of the Battle of Britain, while the other was home to Churchill himself. It is 75 years since they buzzed with the sound of Spitfires but Biggin Hill and Westerham are rightly proud of the part they played in history.

Read more
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Toby Williams

Wilmington-based farmer Toby Williams on growing everything from Brussel sprouts to blackberries together with his brother Max.

Read more
Saturday, October 31, 2015
CLA Kent's new rural champion Allan Buckwell

Allan Buckwell, the new Chairman of the CLA’s Kent branch, will be looking at the challenges faced by the many different businesses based in our countryside

Read more
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Stone bridge, Edenbridge

On the Kent and Surrey border, surrounded by great countryside, Edenbridge is an historic and vibrant town with a thrilling annual bonfire event coming up

Read more

Topics of Interest

Kent Life Food & Drink awards 2015. Open for entries.

Garden of the year awards 2015. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
subscription ad

Job search in your local area

Local Business Directory

Kent's trusted business finder

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search