Fishing guide to Brixham breakwater

By Simon Day

Babbacombe pier, Torquay, Devon.

Brixham Breakwater is where most of the records in Torbay have come from and it is a very popular place to fish. The first record shore caught conger eel was caught here in 1975 by Roger Beer and the eel weighed in at 56lbs 4ozs.

Photo Gallery (click images below to enlarge)

General information

Brixham Breakwater, as you can see from the photos above, is a huge location to go fishing. From the car park it will take you about 10 minutes to walk to the end. The last third of the breakwater offers the best fishing and both float fishing and bottom fishing can produce outstanding results.

The second left photo (in gallery above) is the end of the breakwater and is the most busy part. Often you will see a dozen or more people all crammed together at the end. Don't believe this is the only place worth fishing because it isn't. It is well worth exploring all areas as you just never know what's going to get hooked (I've hooked a conger while float fishing!).

Access for the disabled is really good. The car park has disabled parking and apart from one small steep ramp you'll be travelling on level ground the whole time. There are toilets in the car park and a restaurant in case you feel like a meal.

There are no lights along the breakwater at night so you will need either lamps, torches or night glow sticks if you want to fish at night.

There are plenty of rocks on either side of the wall so you'll need to reel in a bare hook quickly and keep it on the top of the water as you wind in those last few feet.

Parking Charges

As with all places in Torbay, summer car park charges are bordering on requiring a second mortgage to park. If you go past the main breakwater car park (with it on your left) about 100 yards up the road on the right hand side is another car park where charges are a slightly more reasonable. There is a small tunnel that will lead you directly to the first car park and the Breakwater.

It might be worth considering coming here evening time when the parking charges are much cheaper.

Types of fish caught

Also see: Photos of species.

Catches (depending on season) are mainly Mackerel, Conger, Garfish, Dogfish, Bass, Whiting, pollock, rockling, codling and wrasse.

Rarer catches include cod, black bream 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 keep the last third of the breakwater and both inside and outside the breakwater do well.

If you fancy a nice conger (common to get 10lb+) you have the best chances at night dropping the line into the water rather than casting. If you fish the inside of the breakwater you'll looking at a cast of 0 - 5 yards. Most folks don't bother with a tripod and are ready to strike as soon as the bite hits. This of course if up to you. Best baits are mackerel fillets or flappers from your freshly caught mackerel. Whole squids or multiple whole squids also do OK.

There are also plenty of 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 2-4lb.

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. 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, peeler crab, lug worm, sand eels and squid. For conger use mackerel fillets, flappers or whole squids.

Rigs to use

You have lots of rocks to strengthen the breakwater directly below you. You have seaweed about 10m past these in a lot of places if you're fishing away from the marina. If you fish inside the marina you have seaweed directly in front of the rocks. There are also quite a few rocks just out on the seaweed side.

Although it is possible to fish using a Pennel or 2up 1 down kind of rigs you might be safer choosing a 1up paternoster or pulley rig and just use the one hook because you can lose fish due to a free hook snagging rocks. Keep your rigs very simple or you may lose more than you want to.

Depth for float

6 to 15 foot

Please, please take your rubbish back with you!

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