BRIGHTON MARINA FISHING for the East and West breakwaters

BRIGHTON MARINA FISHING for the East and West breakwaters

Monday blues

No fishing for anyone on the walls today as another blow moves through. Expected to be back open after checks and the wind has swung around to the NEast.
On the fishing front , with small tides things have slowed up and the herring seem to have tailed off, with plaice still being caught the sizes have been much the way of just minimum size or smaller for many.

Hope is on the horizon though as one of the charter boats reports plenty of mackerel out the on the 2 mile markers so it shouldn’t be too long for the early run along the channel to us. Squid are just around the corner so to speak also so a pick up over the next few weeks and bigger spring tides is expected. That’s it for today,…. until next time..

its March !

Lummy the weeks seem to be whizzing by this year and we have hit March. While the last week hasn’t been great on the fish front the off shore news is good.
Local boats are picking up large herring shoals that seem reluctant to move on, the tides coming should produce better flat fish next week and sounders are picking up shoals of large mackerel not far out from the marina. Things are picking up although many anglers this week would say there was bugger all out there for them over the last week.

Night fishing on the beaches has not been much better with loads of whiting being reported ahead of the skinny plaice and flounder. A few bass but again they have thinned out in the colder weather and a few congers.

Both walls will be closed Tues and Wed as the cold weather passes through and we have snow forecasts so as a precaution both as said will be shut Tues/Wed…
Unsure about Thurs but there is a large blow predicted that looks like a full weekend shut down until it clears Tues or Wed next week.
both walls are operational , the west to the toilet block and the east right to the end with 74 open just for roger 🙂
thats it for today folks

Another Monday

Well the weekend has passed and I can hardly believe we are at the end of February already. While cold the fishing front has felt like mid to end of March.
The beach camp city has become a regular feature as Sussex draws paice anglers from near and far, this year almost a month early.
I can remember putting up blog posts about once a fortnight in Jan, Feb, simply to let anglers know we were still here but yes the walls were still closed as the weather has hampered jetwashing but it was ok as there were v few fish other than whiting and occasional congers about.
Robin Howard introduced squid fishing to the marina and that meant starting a bit earlier jet washing as a priority so that the walls got re opened earlier in the year and with the increase of anglers came the realisation that early march could produce some plaice. Granted back then often the quality was fairly poor so they didnt attract much attention, but, as they (whoever “they” are) say, things change. I guess the main thing changing is the sea temp in definately Sussex waters or simply no one had realised quite how the plaice population had developed off the marina.

I will have a guess other than what most would say was obvious global warming so here goes.
Pre marina days I understand there were some extremely good mussel beds in and west of the marina so with that good plaice numbers and frequent visits from the inshore cod runs.
With all the building for the marina there would have been long term damage to the environment as a whole and many species spooked from the area for quite a while. I have seen but cant refrence or link the info that the marina also changed the currents from Newhaven to past worthing, which may seem incredible and unlikely for some but changes did happen.

The codling runs rarely touch the marina these days and the larger cod catches off the walls in early days slowly petered out to near nothing. The plaice it was reconed all but vanished over the demolished mussel beds and bream started nesing further out also.

I guess these changes also meant that there was little to no fry in the shore lines of Brighton to attract much in the way of resident species and a lot of the fishing started to change. I am aware of some great catches in the past that have also tailed off possibly under the banner of species being over fished and in the last 20 years have noted a general change in species that were numerous and low clearly in current decline. (for that I have little answer other than reducing what is kept commercially and recreationally but most of all the methods used and the reduction of size and/or numbers of huge factory ships with little to no secection in their nets.
Back to the marina.
The plaice would have taken time to recover the massive change that came with the building and likewise bream also but both are hardy species and recover they did but plaice I suspect to a lesser amount with the reduction of the mussel beds of the past.
The marina is a great place towatch change in the catch rates of species and there are always highs and lows in catch rates sometimes year by year. The plaice and bream especially did recover, perhaps the bream faster as they quickly re-populated the inshore rocky marks that Brighton has a plentiful supply of. Possibly a peak in numbers aboutt 15 years ago which was when I sort of noticed the high pair trawler activity that was turning local seabeds into sand only seserts and it seems last year was the poorest for bream ive known, with luck the change in trawer laws will redress that as conservation ideas increase. The plaice i feel took longer to recover and often didnt start in Brighton until mid to late April (yes im finnally getting back to the plaice fishing) but with the increase of numbers wanting access to the walls they were got ready earlier in the year after the winter storms did their worst to smash the fixtures and cover both in inch thick algea.

The squid comp indirectly brough about the realisation that the plaice were not only improving in quality along the east wall but also earlier than most were catching them on the beaches.
For a change things were happening earlier on the wall than they were on the beaches resulting in the wall being got ready earlier and earlier rather than a week or 2 prior to easter. The hunt for early squid brought squiiders with a 2nd rod out with bait rather than a jig or lure and it was noticed that the plaice were there often a week or 2 before the beach caught plaice and people were getting plaice mid March ! the pattern formed over the next few years of an earlier arrival again than the previous year and while people were “trying for them as early as feb if they could get on the walls the general pattern was 2-3 days earlier than the year b4 on the east that I was monitoring. This trend has continued and we are now seeing plaice being caught mid FEB in regular numbers, granted the sizes are very haphazard if looking for the larger ones and the normal sizes at the moment are about 30-35cm, many would say legal length although I would question some of those takes that often are very skinny and would be better returned to fatten up. That said there have been some nice fish of 50cm also caught so the rewards are out there.
Other than the plaice story be it made up/guess work etc that is just my opinion and belief and may even be way off the mark so please dont assume im the expert on all things fishing.

So whats going on?, as many know we are having a bumper Februally where herring are concerned with conditions falling just right as the early arrivals starting and those conditions held with the added bonus of the wind direction swinging northerly clearing the waters inshore probably more than normal. as a result the numbers increased as they started to shoal and im guessing starting to “get it on” in the shallower waters resulting in an extended period of fine weather and great herring fishing . Normally the patern would be 20 mins of jigging for them just prior to the high tide and then they would be gone. Blink and you miss them if you were not in the right place right time thing. This year mostly they are prior to the high but how long before has increased and some days have the have started being caught 2 hrs after the low and continued for an hour after the high water so I would say, unusual and the best year for herring i have possibly seen on the marina.
Thus we have had tons of herring caught, 99% of them on east, next to no one trying for them on the west.
The west has had a visit over the week of an over weight large seal no doubt doing its best to eat anything that moves. High on the east a fish was caught that has divided opinion between a sand goby or a common dragonette, I am going on the Dragonette side but may be wrong anyway but hey its all a learning curve ! Bits and bobs other than those mentioned have been the occasional guilthead from the beach and one high on the east(yes another species a bit earlier than the usual mid March) the rockling seem to have clearded out duringthe daytime but Im told still lurk at night. Night sessions on the beaches are producing conger, bass and some decent sized rays(mostly thornbacks) and the boats are starting to see individual mackerel so they may make the jump to shore somewhen as soon as the 10th March I suspect.

Things are picking up, the east is now fully open and curently closing sometime around 5 to 5.30pm.
I took a trip down the east wall yesterday chatting to various anglers and id say 40+ plaice were caught, the best after 29 , also loads of herring caught, the best pre bay 29 so a day of or a case of 2 halves on the east with things getting chilly about 5pm. The closing time may roll back a bit in a few weeks just prior to Easter but for now will remain at 7am opening and 5ish closing.

I am expecting some news regarding this years squid comp as the group hosting sort out what they wish to do re organising it as LISA wont be hosting it this year.
The general comittee feeling was that it was perhaps too much effort and often grumbles aimed at members about its organisation or timing and some members felt the group would be better focused on other projects.
Thats it for now,

Sat am

The east wall this week has done very well for herring. Conditions for what ever reason have come together and produced over a week of herring initially for 15-20 min b4 the high and then numbers slowly increased as did the length of time they were shoaling along the east wall. Thurs/Fri the duty warden posted pics as early as 4 hours before the tide of catches that continued for a good 4-6hours.
Plaice numbers and quality were down this week, I guess we cant have it all ways but for February the fishing has been unusually better thn the normal for this time of year.

Conditions look to remain similar for at least a week with light northerlies keeping things cold so I defo advise wrapping up even if you are moving about having a go for the herrings.
There is fresh black and ragworm in the shop this morning so worth ringing them and booking while the weather holdsas it is unusually nice out there in the sun.

Other catches being reported along the local beaches include bass that are still catch and release, rays, of which some decent sized thornbacks have been pictured on social media this week as well as the usual giant sea slugs aka conger. As well as plaice off the walls and beaches there have been a few dabs as you travel westwards and mixed in with the local plaice are the usual flounders.
Unusualy there were gar fish reported Thursday seen skipping the water surface and tbh I never realised we could get them this early in Sussex.
So all in all for Feb a fair bit of activity to tempt the casual anglers out.
Thats it for today, over n out –>>

A quiet Wednesday

As the lead says , Wednesday on the walls is quite, only 4 fishing but catches are the standard plaice and for now herring for those targeting. A shame really as the warden is reporting perfect conditions and even gar fish visible skipping the surface of the water on the east so well worth a go for anyone wishing to get rid of their winter blues and re stretch them lines.

Sun round up

Not a great deal today tro say for a sunday morning so I will do my best to simply waffle away for a few lines more than usual.

Thus we start with the shortest actual catch report of .. Ive got nothing, nope not a word to say as essentially the walls had been closed for 3 days as winds blew away doing its damndest to re-coat the walls in algaue ! (wont dave be pleased!).

From that high point I guess those that don’t do the book of face would like to know how far the jet washing has progressed even though a few may realise that bad weather equals zilch done in the way of wall maintenance ! sound grim eh, well not so much as the impression may seem to give.

Dave has cracked on with it and despite a few grumbles last week about no warning given about opening the east last Sunday most wont realise how much work goes into the jet washing and how when doing it a full day you walk of the wall with the feeling that your whole skeleton is still vibrating and hands & arms tingle for hours after each session.
Anyhoo last weekend it was put out there that Dave was indeed jetwashing and had got the west uto the bog completed and open and was trying to get some on the east done.

The shop had been told at the earliest some of the EAST could open as soon as Monday IF LUCKY so it was kept quiet so as not to raise hopes that Dave had elected to stay late SAT well into darkness jet washing so that a suprise announcement could be made to give marina group users an early present of the EAST WALL ready to open. Those smart enough to check here or the home page SAT night saw that indeed DAVE had indeed smashed the wall and got 1 to 29 fit to open… even the repair guys came in extra on SAT/SUN to get 20+ wires fixed ready to open Sun morning.IMO having done the jet washing many times he did a damned good job getting 2 days work sorted on that Saturday ready for opening up.

The irony was that the weather gods decided to then frown and force a shut down mid week for a few days.
So where is it open to I hear whispered.
as of today defo 1-50 is and im awaiting a call being as the weather is nice because Dave is at it again and not only sorting the lower final bays but also the upper walkways so that it may be possible Monday morning to FULLY OPEN THE EAST top and bottom if he gets done what he is aiming at.
So there you have it, the longest long winded post in months saying very little about catches 🙂
until next time , sayonora folks

mon update

Jet washing is progressing on the east and tomorrow (Tues) the east will be open to at least bay 40 and quite possible open to bay 46 at the steps.
Catches over the last 2 days have been slower, with hard going on the west wall today especially. Over on the east there were plenty of herring caught today but lesser happening on the plaice as has been reported over the last couple of days.



Well the main story is that plaice and herring have been fairly consistent this week . Perhaps the real surprise though is that the herring have been caught on both walls ! , yup , not that normal. Decent numbers of herring were on the east I would say in the usual place just past the bend prior to the high tide although some were persistent and also found a few herring just after the high as well.
whiting to be had also and the occasional bass have been also in the mix.


this morning has seen the first herring of the year reported and confirmed by duty warden today on the west , although usually they get caught on the east wall first . I guess with so few fishing today no one thought to get sabikis out and have a go
Over the weekend there were the obvious
whiting being caught but both walls had a steady catch rate for plaice also.

While many were undersized and returned there were also a fair amount of keepers with the best numbers on the east and ironically the best quality on the west . Mixed decisions eh when deciding which wall to head out onto.
The weather gods look to be smiling as the air temps warm up a little in the glorious sunshine we are getting and looks perfect for fishing for at least the next 7/8 days.
well worth a go to get out in the sun and iron the kinks out of the wintered gear.
tight lines everyone

Sunday !

Good morning campers and…… Hi de hiiiiggghhhhhh 🙂
So if you missed the late announcement we have both walls open , The west is open to the toilet block (extension will be done maybe for Easter) and the East wall is open from bay 1 to 29 at the gate and steps.
the weeks forecast looks decent but cold with some areas getting cold weather warnings but I expect both walls to stay open unless a further drop causes sever freezing on the walls and becomes an issue so if you plan a visit , wrap up, keep warm and come get some plaice.

As some may have noticed over the last couple of weeks plaice reports along the local beeches has increased quite quickly and although many of the catches are still considered undersized there are a few out there of quality that will make a trip a decent tempt.

On the walls we opened the west of friday and conditions were a bit lumpy but Im told reliably there was a codling a couple of under sized bass (still catch and release atm) a few whiting and some small returned plaice.
Sat there was a clonker by most standards on the wall of nr 2.5lb and measured at 50cm which for early Feb is an amazing fish. the rest of the day after that highlight was mostly under sized plaice and whiting but the one fish no doubt encouraged a fair few today to chance their luck with rod & line.

Reports feeding back around the morning high tide was a slow but steady tick of fish and am hoping for a more comprehensive round up of how things went later on today.

Both walls are open with no direct plans to close them this week, daytime fishing only for a while and this weeks shop hours are posted to the home page near the top.
Should any charter skippers need bait earlier than the posted times please call the shop or Dave so that they can try and sort your needs.

That’s it from me for the day, tight lines if your out, dont forget to wrap up if you are planning to go out, its sunny but there a definate chill out there already