Fishing seasons for the South West UK

Fishing is very season dependant and with around 120 different species coming here at different parts of the year. Here is a rough breakdown of what you're likely to catch in which season...

Spring (March, April, May)

Fishing in the Spring.

I may as well start with the quietist period of the year. The winter fish will have left our shores and at this time of year the summer fish have yet to return.

You will probably have to rely on the old faithful fish like Pollock and Wrasse who are present for most of the year (except during the coldest spells). Towards late spring mackerel and garfish will start to make an appearance.

Summer (June, July, August)

Fishing in the Summer.

By now the seas should have warmed up enough to bring in the shoals of food like eels and sprats which the fish need to feed on. Once their food sources have arrived you'll quickly see mackerel and garfish following behind them.

Larger Pollock and Bass will also be hot on the heels of their food source after spending the winter in deeper waters. Wrasse as well will start to pick up in numbers as the warmer seas bring them back closer to shore. Mullet will also be back to feed.

At night pouting and whiting will be around in greater numbers. Mackerel tend to feed mostly during the day and there is a notable switch from mackerel to pouting and whiting as the sun sets.

If you're over Brixham way then this is the best time to try your hand at some night time conger fishing!

Rarer catches also include Smooth-hounds, Tope and Rays.

Autumn (September, October and November)

Fishing in the Autumn.

Thankfully there is often an overlap between summer and winter species and early Autumn can provide some really interesting fishing because you have the chance of catching almost anything I've listed above. Dogfish are still active during this time.

Winter (December, January and February)

Fishing in the winter.

This can be a hard time for fishing in the South west because our sea temperatures are warmer than the north coast.

In some places in the UK Cod is the main catch during the cold winter months. Although we do get Cod down this way it is rarer than the north and they are often very small.

Catches are mostly whiting, flounder and other flat fish but because we have warmer seas you may have the chance of catching any type of fish still lurking in these waters.

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