Fishing guide to Oddicombe beach

By Simon Day

Oddicombe Beach, Torquay.

Oddicombe beach in Torquay is located on the other side of the cove adjoining Babbacombe Pier and isn't fished that often. Between May to September there is no parking allowed. Oddicombe beach also has a tram operating during the summer.

Photo Gallery (click images below to enlarge)

General information

The beach is a mixture of sand, rock and shingle depending where you fish:

- If you're looking down at the boat launch ramp, which is at the centre of the beach, everything to the 'right' is rocky.

- If you're looking down at the boat launch ramp, which is at the centre of the beach, everything to the 'left' is mostly sandy.

- Once past the closed sign it 50/50'ish sand and rock

The seaweed isn't very thick when it's there so it shouldn't cause any problems when reeling back in. The depth is deceptively deep so is good for bottom and float fishing.

Oddicombe beach is a good place to fish for flatties during the winter months. It is also well known locally for catching dog fish.

There is no car park here but during October to April the chains preventing parking are removed and you can park by the kiosks. It has room to probably fit a dozen or so cars.

Best times to fish are either side of high tide and at night. The most productive time seems to be an hour after the tide reaches high tide.

This place has a lot of dog walkers and few of them bother to clean up their dogs mess or care that you have line going out to sea. Before you set up camp it is advisable to check carefully for any dog mess around your preferred spot. You should also make sure your bait it not accessible to the dogs because they will eat your bait!

[UPDATE] I've been asked to update the dog comments to reflect that dogs are not allowed on the beach during the summer months. There are still dog walkers who disregard this ban and there is still some dog mess on the beach but not as much as in the winter months.

This location is very hit and miss. Some very large fish have come from this location but quiet days are more common than busy days. The biggest plus is you only have a 10 yard walk to where you'll set up if you drive down here during the out-of-season months.

During the high season why not take the cliff railway down? The charges are reasonable to get you down and back up. You need to check the closing times as it tends to close late afternoon. There is also a footpath and bridge linking Babbacombe beach and Oddicombe so to save the long walk back you could park in the Babbacombe car park and walk over to Oddicombe.

Distance casting often fishes better here but during high tide quite a few big fish come in to feed so if you have 2 rods try one close in and the other 100-250 yards.

In the photo below there were a group of us down at Oddicombe and poor Andy birds-nest as he cast and the rig was barely in the water. You could still see some of his rig on the sand. It took a little while to untangle the birds-nest and when he reeled in he had this lovely bass waiting for him:

Bass on birds-nest cast.

Oddicombe can offer nice surprises like this and this is why I enjoy fishing there.

Types of fish caught

Also see: Photos of species.

Catches (depending on season) are mainly Mackerel, Garfish, dogfish, Whiting, pouting, pollock, bass, black bream, mullet, wrasse and various flat fish.

Rarer catches include cod, Sole 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 should be as far as you can cast. Most will hook close in but there are some nice fish further out.

This can be a good bass spot and you should be spinning as close to the fallen rocks as you can. Landslides do happen so don't take risks! The range varies but quite a few get caught in the surf just a couple of yards out.

There are also plenty of wrasse about and I'd be casting at a range of 40 to 150 yards. Peeler crabs go down really well but worm with or without a squid tip also do quite well. Expect sizes up to around 1-4lb.

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.

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, peeler crab, sand eels and squid.

Depth for float

5 to 10 foot

Legal issues

No parking May to September. Part of the beach is closed off due to rock slides.

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