Fishing guide to Babbacombe Pier

By Simon.

Babbacombe pier, Torquay, Devon.

Babbacombe Pier is a popular place to fish and is often busy with groups of people all fishing from one tiny place. There is a very steep hill going down to the pier but you can drive down.

Photo Gallery (click images below to enlarge)

General information

You have to pay for parking and they will wheel clamp if you don't. I've been down there at 5.30pm and was warned by the attendant that I must buy a ticket. Prices vary but out of season expect to pay just £2.00 for the day.

The good news is there is also a pub right above the pier in case you need to quench your thirst or have a bit to eat (The crab sandwich is AMAZING!).

It is pretty much all float fishing and feathering during the day with bottom fishing best at dusk/night/dawn. This place is very disabled friendly because once down at the car park it's a flat ground to the pier.

The road down is VERY steep and there are a couple of spots driving back up that you can loose grip on the road if your revs are too high. Try to keep the revs low and steady, especially the first turn, next to the pub.

Do NOT attempt to drive up if the road is icy or very wet!

In the left photo in the photo gallery you'll see a number of people fishing on the pier. The person fishing at the very end of the pier is casting straight out. This used to be pretty much all sand but over the years it has become quite rocky. All along the length of the pier (you have five in the photo) is pretty much all rock so you need to be careful!

It's only during the winter months that it's pretty quiet down there so if you want the best spots you need to get there early or take a chance. You can see the pier from the top of babbacombe downs so check before you drive down.

The very best place for feathering is at the end of the pier casting out towards Teignmouth. Casting anywhere from 10 O'Clock to 2 O'Clock angles but I've found the 1 to 2 O'Clock angle to be the very best place there for mackerel.


A small number of elder people who fish this location are very rude, abusive and seem to enjoy aggravating as many people as they can. It doesn't happen all the time but it happened enough times for me and others to post about it on here.

Types of fish caught

Also see: Photos of species.

Catches (depending on season) are mainly Mackerel, Garfish, Dogfish, Whiting, pollock, black bream, red mullet, Rockling and Wrasse.

Rarer catches include cod, bass and smoothhound.

Summer Season Suggestions (June-Sept)

Down here on holiday? First thing I'd do is get the float gear or spinners out and catch some fresh mackerel. The range for casting would depend on where about's you're fishing. As a general rule 5 to 30 yards out will do it. Try to fish the end of the pier casting out between 10 to 2 o'clock. The cast should be pointing towards the Oddicombe cliffs at 10 o'clock.

There are quite a few wrasse about and I'd be casting on the outside for these at a range of 10 to 60 yards. Peeler crabs go down really well but worm with a squid tip also do quite well. Expect sizes up to around 3-4lb. Lots of rocks on the outward size but plenty of rockling and wrasse lurk in them. Well worth the odd rig loss!

A lot of Pollock about as well and night fishing can go really well. Again worms or mackerel strips work well for these. Expect the most common sizes to be around the 1lb to 2lb mark.

Plenty of garfish about as well in the day time. Float fish quite shallow (6 to 10ft) using mackerel strips (and beads if you like).

Dogfish can sometime dominate the area so bottom fishing at night with mackerel strips or squid can produce sizes up to the 2 1/2lb mark.

If you are thinking of coming down on holiday and want to combine this with some fishing training I can offer you this service.

Baits to use

Best baits to use are mackerel strips, rag worm, lug worm, sand eels and squid.

Depth for float

5 to 10 foot depending on location and height of tide. If your fishing from the main stretch which runs towards the end of the pier then you'll probably want to be using a depth of around 5 foot. Plenty of rocks but you'll just avoid them at this depth depending on tide.

Legal issues

Legally you can only fish the seaward side as is the case with all piers in Torbay. You may have two grumpy old men saying that you can't feather on the pier and they might even say there used to be a sign saying so. This simply isn't true and they just want you out of their fishing spot.

I had this confirmed as false because I went and saw the harbour master and had a long chat with him about it. As long as you respect the boats coming and going and you don't fish inside the pier the harbour master is happy to leave you to use whatever method of fishing you wish.

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