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Places to fish

Here is a list of the places to fish across Torquay, Paignton & Brixham…

Princess Pier in Torquay

- By Simon Day

Located by the Princess Theater Princess pier is a popular place to fish for locals and tourists alike.

Hopes Nose in Torquay

- By Simon Day

Hopes nose is where a lot of professional fisherman go to. It is a mix of float fishing and bottom fishing.

Babbacombe Pier in Torquay

- By Simon Day

this is a popular place to fish and is often busy with groups of people all fishing from one tiny place.

Brixham Breakwater

- By Simon Day

Brixham Breakwater is where most of the records in Torbay have come from and it is a very popular place to fish.

Oddicombe Beach, Torquay

- By Simon Day

A location less fished than most but can be a good source for flatties during the winter months.

Places to fish

Fishing Rigs

There are a lot of different fishing rigs to choose from. I have listed the most popular and most used rigs for our shores.


1up 1 down Fishing Rig

A nice bottom rig when fishing flat, sandy waters.

The 1up 1 down fishing rig

What you need

The setup

For the main line (the one you'll be crimping) make it around 20 inches in length. Start off with the first crimp around 3 inches down from the top swivel. Next you place a bead along the line. Depending on the size of the crimp you may need to buy both the small and large beads in case a large bead slides over the crimp.

Now you add the swivel but you don't use any knots. Just let it move freely. Follow up with another bead and then a crimp. Now move down the line around 17 inches and repeat the process. Finish off with a weight clip at the end.

*USEFUL TIP*

I don't bother attaching the hooks on the two loose lines until I'm at my fishing spot. It makes carrying them about easier and you can decide what size hooks to use when you get to a location and ask the others fishing what's about.


Float Fishing Rig

Float fishing is very popular and is one of the easiest ways to fish.
If you want to catch bait fish like Mackerel then this is a good way of catching them.

How to setup a float fishing rig

Float fishing is the most popular way of fishing around this area by far. Even the professionals float fish whether it be for live bait or just to fish. Most people start off their fishing lives by float fishing and it can be great fun and it very simple to do.

What you need

The setup

For the main line (the one you'll be crimping) make it around 20 inches in length. Start off with the first crimp around 3 inches down from the top swivel. Next you place a bead along the line. Depending on the size of the crimp you may need to buy both the small and large beads in case a large bead slides over the crimp.

Now you add the swivel but you don't use any knots. Just let it move freely. Follow up with another bead and then a crimp. Now move down the line around 17 inches and repeat the process. Finish off with a weight clip at the end. Once that's done I then add the two lines to the two swivels.

USEFUL TIP*

I don't bother attaching the hooks on the two loose lines until I'm at my fishing spot. It makes carrying them about easier and you can decide what size hooks to use when you get to a location and ask the others fishing what's about.


The Pulley Rig

This is a very good rig when fishing rocky waters.

The pulley rig

This is a nice rig because I've found it doesn't tangle as easily as other rigs do.

What you need

The benifits

When you reel in the line or when the fish takes the bait both of these cause the reaction of the weight being lifted out of harms way. In rocky areas this rig will seriously help prevent snags. This setup also gives the fish less resistance when they take the bait also giving a better chance of catching it.

The set up

As with all rigs they are very flexible in design. For the main line make it around 20 inches in length. Start off tying on a swivel to one of the ends. Now add another swivel and leave it freely on the line. Now add a bead leaving it freely on the line. Now tie on the last swivel and attach the weight clip to one side and the line and hook on the other.


The Cod Rig

A very popular rig for catching Cod.

The Cod rig

What you'll need

The set up

Use your favourite bottom feeding rig and then attach the two hooks as shown. You want to leave around 2 inches between the bead and main hook. This gives plenty of room to slide up the worms. For the 2nd hook you want the line around 1 inch and on this hook you can tie on some peeler crabs or squid etc. The other benifit of this rig is you can also hook the smaller fish like whiting etc.

 


The Pennel Rig

A good rig for catching large fish but also small.

The Pennel rig

What you'll need

The set up

Use your favourite bottom feeding rig and then attach the two hooks as shown. You want to leave around 2 inches between the bead and main hook. This gives plenty of room to slide up the worms. For the 2nd hook you want the line around 1 inch and on this hook you can tie on some peeler crabs or squid etc. The other benifit of this rig is you can also hook the smaller fish like whiting etc.

Places to fish

Princess Pier, Torquay

A guide by Simon Day.

Princess pier, Torquay

NOTE: Between April to June this very popular fishing spot will be plastered with cuttlefish pots and they will be very close to the wall. The pots are not just in one spot but go right along the pier making fishing any distance a real pain.

Located by the princess theater Princess pier is the most popular place to fish for locals and tourists alike. A great many people are seen here with start up kits or with their children. The majority of people here float fish but bottom fishing does have its rewards. I have seen Princess pier with as many as 50 fisherman fishing so this place can handle a lot of people.

Fishing from Princess Pier you will be either pulling in fish by the truck load or can wait hours before a bite, there doesn't seem to be much in-between. It is however a safe and friendly place to go

If you are disabled and in a wheelchair there are half a dozen small steps to go down to access the fishing part of the pier so the wheelchair would need to be non-mechanical with a strong helper. The pier also has metal rails going all along the seaward side of the pier so quite safe for children fishing out to sea.

There are plenty of car parks and 1 hour waiting parking but in the summer it can be very hard to find a parking place. Getting there early or an hour before the theater starts helps.

The night fishing can be very good and it is often a lot more active at night than during the day.

During the winter months there are few fisherman and plenty of bites at night so you have plenty of spots to choose from.

At this time all the lights on the pier are in working order (finally after years!).

The two biggest problems here are:

1. The day trip boats pick up and drop off along the pier making casting a problem sometimes as you wait for 20+ people to leave/embark.

2. Inexperienced fisherman casting over your line.

I've not seen people complain about the casting over other peoples lines but in the summer when the pier is packed and you then get the family of five all with rods and who have never fished before set-up next to you.. well... you might need to take a few deep breaths every now and then ;-)

if you're thinking of starting up fishing the people here are friendly enough to offer advice and even show you how to set your line up. I've done this many times and I've seen others do it also. The only thing that people do get fed up being asked is "caught much?" because you get asked that umpteen times a day by the tourists even when you have a bucket teaming with the fish you've caught sitting next to you :-)

Types of fish caught

Catches (depending on season) are mainly Mackerel, Garfish, Dogfish, Bass, Whiting, Pollock, Scad and Wrasse. Rarer catches include Conger, cod, black bream, red mullet 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 2 to 20 yards out will do it. It doesn't really matter where abouts you fish here as all spots do well.

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

Baits to use

Best baits to use are small mackerel strips, rag worm, lug worm, sand eels, peeler crab, live prawns and squid.

Depth for float

Normally between 6 to 15ft depending on conditions

Legal issues

You are only allowed to fish the seaward side of the pier. Fishing within the marina is subject to a fine. There are also rumours that you cannot feather out to sea. This simply isn't true and was confirmed by the harbour master when I went to see him on the 29/10/04.

Pro's

Con's

My rating for Princess Pier: 7/10

Places to fish

Hopes Nose, Torquay

A guide by Simon Day.

------------------
NAVSAT LOCATION
Street Number: 1
Thatcher Avenue
Torquay
Devon
TQ1 2
(Location is the corner of Thatcher Ave and Ilsham Marine Drive)
------------------

Hopes nose is where a lot of professional fisherman go including Henry Gilbey from the Home & Leisure show "Fishing on the Edge". It is a mix of float fishing and bottom fishing.

This is a very popular place and can be busy most of the time no matter what time of year or the weather conditions. You will often find all night fisherman down here.

Access to Hopes Nose is via a very steep path which is not lit at night. This location has a local description of "Cardiac hill" so an average level of fitness is advisable. If this isn't the case give yourself plenty of time to walk back up. If you have no light, are unfit and are fishing to dusk I'd give yourself 30 to 45 minutes to walk back up. Is it all worth it? YES! Some of the best catches in Torbay have happened from this spot.

It is quite dangerous getting down there as you reach the bottom so you need to go nice and slow as you reach it. Try not to take too much gear with you and if possible leave at least one hand free for the last stage of the climb down.

There are two types of fishing down here. Once at the bottom if you stay to the left hand side of the nose you'll be fishing on sand but if you go further round to the right of the nose you'll be fishing in rocks.

Parking is very good. If you look at the right hand photo the double yellow lines end only a hundred yards away. From behind there you have no parking restrictions and it goes back for what must be a quarter of a mile. There will always be a parking space here. Where I'm stood to take the photo is the entrance to the walk down.

Since the sewerage outlet has stopped there is a lot of talk about whether the location is still as good as it was. I hear such mixed comments that I can't really say. It's up to you to make up your own mind.

Types of fish caught

Catches (depending on season) are mainly Mackerel, Garfish, Dogfish, Bass, Whiting, pollock, smoothhound, conger, various flat fish and ballen wrasse. Rarer catches include cod, black bream and red mullet

Baits to use

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

Depth for float

6 to 15 foot

Pro's

Con's

My rating for Hopes Nose: 8/10

Places to fish

Babbacombe Pier, Torquay

A guide by Simon Day

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NAVSAT LOCATION
Street Number: n/a
Beach Road
Babbacombe
Devon
TQ1 3
------------------

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.

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.

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.

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.

In the top photo on the right you'll see what the pier looks like. The two fishing at the very end of the pier are casting straight out. From there to the left is pretty much a sandy bottom. 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.

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.

WARNING!

A quite large amount of people who fish this location are very rude, abusive and seem to enjoy aggravating as many people as they can. I've never seen such a total lack of respect for others anywhere else in the bay so be warned! It doesn't happen all the time but it happens enough now for me to post about it on here.

I've downgraded the rating from 7 to 5 because there are so many of these people fishing there now.

Types of fish caught

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

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.

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 today (29/10/04) because I went and saw the harbor 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 harbor master is happy to leave you to do whatever method of fishing you like to do.

Pro's

Con's

My rating for Babbacombe Pier: 5/10

Places to fish

Brixham Breakwater

A guide by Simon Day.

SATNAV LOCATION
Street Number: 8
Berry Head Road
Brixham
Devon
TQ2 5
------------------

Photos of Brixham Breakwater

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.

Brixham Breakwater, as you can see from the right hand photo (above), is a huge place 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 left hand photo (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 traveling 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.

There is also a slim chance if you're fishing that the Torbay Lifeboat, which is moored here, will ask you to go out with them. For legal reasons they must have a set number of crew on board when they go out.

Parking Charges

As with all places in Torbay car park charges are bordering on requiring a second mortgage to park. Evening charges do drop a lot so consider night fishing! If you go past the car park (on your left) about 100 yards up the road on the right hand side is another car park whose charges are a slightly more reasonable. There is a small tunnel out of the second car park that will lead you directly to the first car park and the Breakwater.

Types of fish caught

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 casting very close in. 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 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 3-4lb.

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.

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 seawood 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!

Pro's

Con's

My rating for Brixham Breakwater: 9/10

Places to fish

Oddicombe Beach, Torquay

A guide by Simon Day.

Oddicombe beach 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.

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

- If you're looking down at the ramp everything to the right is rocky.
- The bit in between the beach closed sign and ramp is all sand but it sometimes has seaweed.
- 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.

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 at 30 yards and the other 100-250 yards.

Types of fish caught

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.

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.

Pro's

Con's

My rating for Oddicombe Beach: 6/10