For me when it comes to fishing there is no better way then tying a specific rig and catching your target species. Today we will look at Plaice fishing on South Shields Pier situated in Tyne and Wear.
Walking along South Shields Pier you will notice painted number sections on the floor on the left hand side of the pier between the railings. For someone that does not know how to fish this venue it can be very off putting with a great deal of tackle loses due to heavy ground. Plaice can be found on marks 18 bay side fished 3 hours up last of the flooding tide and 1 hour down. Marks 43/44 seaward side and the South East corner of the lighthouse fished on an ebbing tide.
Plaice are often identified wrongly as flounder by inexperienced sea anglers or those who have not learned the main differences between the two species. One of the most noticeable differences is that plaice have around seven bony bumps running across the back of the head, from the eyes to the gill cover which are absent on flounder.
Plaice will take most sea baits but ragworms account for the majority of catches. Ragworm and blow lug are the obvious choices, but harbour ragworm (maddies) are also an excellent plaice bait. Adding peeler crab or mussel to any worm bait can also increase catches. Make sure baits are not too big as plaice do not have the biggest mouths. Plaice are inquisitive and are therefore attracted to sequins and beads on the hook lengths, with many anglers believing that alternating black and green beads are the best colour to attract plaice.
When fishing in daylight a long shiny piece of mackerel belly can be used as this will move in the tide and add an additional visual attraction to the bait. Hooking ragworm so that their tail wriggles around on the seabed is another tactic that can be used to catch plaice, while tipping off hooks with maddies or white ragworm are tactics used by match anglers looking to bag a potentially match winning fish. Many anglers use rigs with two or three hooks and include a different bait on each one to try and tempt plaice. As with most flatfish fisherman using long shanked (Kamasan) type hooks is a good idea as they can be easily removed from the fish’s mouth.
Myself I like to fish the lower end of the pier. From mark 18 I target plaice using a drop down rig tied with a size 2 B940 Kamasan fished at around 60-80 yards. When the bay is flat calm and a tide of 4.8M is running the plaice fishing can be fantastic.
A good friend of mine George Patterson from Sunderland tends to choose the higher reaches of the pier. Marks 43/44. George opts for a 2 hook flapper rig tied with size 2 short shank Kamasan’s and a long flowing snood. George tempted this lovely plaice with mussel and squid cocktail.
Locally this is by far my favourite pier to fish. For me a 4.8M tide has always produced a varied number of fish and species. In the summer months expect to catch, Plaice, Flounder, Dabs, Mackerel, Coalfish, Pollock, Bass and Codling. In winter months Cod fishing can be exceptional. This will be something I will be covering later in the year.
Tight lines regards Anth….
Local tackle and bait supplied by:
Rutherfords Angling Ltd
125 Roker Ave, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear SR6 0HL
Tel: (0191) 5654183
Monday 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.