Sea Fishing Locations in and around Portsmouth
Portsmouth is a fantastic area for shore fishing, with the recent British Record Bass only seeming to enforce the areas credentials. With the Solent and the large harbour at Portsmouth there are many different options when shore fishing. The area is becoming increasingly renound for good bass fishing during the summer and autumn with smoothhounds showing in good numbers through the later part of the summer. This page should cover most of the popular Portsmouth areas, whilst including some slightly less well known spots.
South Parade Pier, Southsea
Probably the best know location in the Portsmouth area South Parade Pier is a great fishing location and can be fished by the newest angler right up to the most experienced. The fishing is good all year round at this location although most is done during the summer months. With good accessibility and the chance for plenty of different species there is no wonder this is such a popular area. Be aware that there is a tariff to fish on the pier.
Bait: Mackerel, ragworms and peeler crabs
Tactics: This is a great location for children and anglers who struggle with their mobility due to its easy access. Arguably any method of fishing would work here however for the best sport use a light spinning rod and either float fish or use a simple rig like the running ledger. These tactics will catch you the smaller species such as wrasse, Pollack and mackerel. For the better fish make sure you fish the flood tide during the evening or at night. Using crab and worm baits you will catch smoothhound with the chance of bass and bream as well.
Getting there: Located in the centre of Southsea, South Parade Pier is easily located and has easy parking and access.
The historic landmark of Portchester Castle is a popular fishing location and tourist attraction. The fishing here is in to Portsmouth harbour and the species you are likely to catch are what you would expect in a harbour environment. This is a good location to escape from the worst of weather whilst offering something to the other locations around the area. A good flounder mark with good quality fish caught all year round.
Bait: Ragworms, bread, peeler crabs and maddies
Tactics: For the bass use ragworms and lures around the castle. Pulley and standard paternoster rigs will work for the bass whilst using a light beach rod or spinning rod for the best sport, especially as a large cast is not overly necessary. Fish the ebb tide for the flatties with maddies or for the larger fish with peeler crab if you can get hold of it. Flapper rigs work with multiple worm baits if using peeler crabs go for a loop rig or something similar. The mullet fishing is best done at high tide using bread and ground bait fished with course style tactics.
Getting there: From the A27 follow the signs for Portchester Castle. There is easy access parking with a short walk to the fishing grounds.
Port Solent is similar to Portchester Castle as it is a location deep inside Portsmouth Harbour. The big difference here however is the chance to catch plaice from the shore as well as the expected harbour dwelling fish such as mullet and flatties. A good location for anglers of all abilities with a long cast not necessary and fishing available all year round. The mullet fishing does require a lot of patience however and make sure you are well educated on what you are doing before attempting it.
Bait: Ragworms, bread, peeler crabs and maddies
Tactics: Fishing for the bass and flounders can be done with ledgered worms and crabs on running ledger rigs and flapper style rigs. Be warned this area can be plagued by crabs during the summer months. Plaice can be caught here during the spring months on lugworms and ragworms. Mullet can be caught ion course fishing gear although they are easily spooked. If you enjoy artificial fishing then try lures and spinners for the bass and mullet as a good alternative tactic.
Getting there: From the M27 follow signs for Port Solent the area of beach here has multiple parking areas and easy access
Eastern Road Pier
Eastern Road is a great easily accessed shore location with good mullet and bass fishing for 7 months of the year. A good location for spinning and lure fishing with bas taken on a variety of plugs and spinners. A location that is easily located from the centre of Portsmouth this uis a good location to try for nay skill range of angler. try to locate the deeper channels that you can see from the overhead picture.
Winter Species: Flounders
Bait: Ragworms, lures, spinners, bread, mackerel and peeler crabs
Tactics: Eastern road is a great bas fishing location. Personally when fishing I love to use lures and spinners. My favourite plugs for the area are surface plugs such as the mag popper and shallow divers like the tackle house. If you are able it is also worth using flies and moving around targeting specific moving fish whilst also trying for the mullet. The flatties can be caught using ledgered worms on flapper or loop rigs a big cast is not essential here. Finally course fishing tactics with bread as bait can work for the mullet during the hotter summer months. Fish the flood tide for the best results from my experience.
Getting there: Take the A2030 sheading south from the A27 the road becomes Eastern Road. With good parking and good access this is an easy venue to find and access.
Fort Cumberland is situated to the east of Portsmouth and is close to Hayling Island. An area famed for its strong tides and great flatfish fishing. This is a very popular area during the spring months when the annual run of plaice show up. Be sure to pack good casting equipment. This is an area I would recommend for the more experienced angler.
Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, squid, mackerel and peeler crab
Tactics: This is a fantastic flatfish mark with large plaice caught during the spring and summer and large flounders caught during the winter months. Both fish require similar tactics with a solid beach casting rod and reel combo. Use flapper or loop rigs for good casting with black lug ragworms and squid, or cocktails seeming it work best for both species. Be warned that there is a very strong tide that runs here and therefore slack water offers the easiest conditions for fishing with locals preferring the incoming tide as a pose to the outgoing for best results. Other species can be caught using different tactics, although most who fish here are after the big flatties.
Getting there: Turn right from the end of eastern road on to Milton Road and follow the road south until you reach the location. Parking available and well signposted. The best marks to fish are obvious from the quantity f anglers on them.
St Georges Road
St Georges Road is located just down from Fort Cumberland and is a similar location in many respects. This is another fantastic plaice fishing venue with big bass and a run of codling showing in the late autumn. Strong tides and big tides make the area a difficult spot to fish, however the results for perseverance can be brilliant with large plaice over 5lbs caught most years.
Bait: Lugworms, ragworms, mackerel, peeler crabs and squid
Tactics: This is a fantastic location for catching large specimen fish. The main quarry are the bass and plaice during the summer and codling at the start of winter. Be sure to bring good casting rods and reels with heavy leader to cast 6oz grippers (minimum in to the heavy tides. Black lug is generally considered the best bait for the plaice here although peeler crab is well under used and can catch any of the above species. The codling and bass are best tackle with pulley style rigs with worm and squid baits.
Getting there: The location is situated just off eastern parade and is easily located by car when heading along eastern parade road. Parking is available close by.
Southsea Castle is a fantastic fishing location for mullet and bass in particular. A very well-known tourist attraction this beautiful castle provides some great sport during the winter and summer months. Be sure to take lightweight tackle and fish into light conditions for the best results for the bass. A good spot for all abilities of anglers , although do be aware of bathers during the summer as this can be a very busy spot.
Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, peeler crabs and mackerel
Tactics: For the bass you can try all manner of tactics from lures spinner’s large whole squid baits to float fished live sandeels or smelt. All worm and can be deadly on their day. The mullet can be caught using float fishing tactics with small hooks and bread as hook baits, although mackerel can also work on some days. During the winter fish multi hook rigs at range for the whiting and codling. The flood tide seems to be the best tide to fish here with an hour either side of high water often producing the best fishing
Getting there: Located in the heart of Southsea and well signposted from both direction Southsea Castle is a hard place not to find. Fish over the rocks around the castle for the best sport.
Situated in the heart of the busy Portsmouth town centre this really is a urban fishing area. A spot particular famed for its night fishing this is a good sport for all abilities of anglers to fish from. The wrasse and pollack fishing make or great sport on light spinning fishing gear with good fish taken throughout the summer months. The area is noted for its summer fishing a lot more than its winter fishing with the majority of the species heading to deeper water during the cold months.
Bait: Lures, spinners, ragworms, peeler crabs, sandeels, mackerel and squid
Tactics: For the pollack and bass try lures and pinners. A good tactic can also be deep spinning frozen sandeels on a long flowing trace. The wrasse can be caught float fishing or ledgering worms close to the structure. Take light spinning rods and be prepared to jostle for the best fishing locations with the others who fish around here. Fishing mid channel with ledgered baits can also produce especially during the winter months when whiting and codling are possible.
Getting there: Follow signs in to the heart of Portsmouth. Old Portsmouth is made up of a lot of restaurants with large multi storey and on street parking available, all of which is pay and display.
A Popular fishing location around the Portsmouth area is Eastney blocks. The area produces good all round fishing with codling in the winter and a good run of plaice in the summer followed by good bass and sole fishing in the autumn and summer months. A shingle beach dropping in to a good depth of water this is an area that could be tackled by most anglers. Be prepared to jostle for position during the busy summer months.
Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, squid and mackerel
Tactics: The biggest draw of Eastney is probably the plaice fishing, with large numbers of boats often not far from the shoreline. From the beach fish with loop and flapper rigs with sequins and beads for attraction. Black lugworm seems to be the preferred bait with the better fish enjoying cocktail baits fished at range. Fishing at night during the summer months can produce a real mixed bag of fish on a variety of tactics.
Getting there: Eastney beach is situated to the east of Southsea. Follow the coast road towards Hayling and you can’t miss Eastney. Good parking is available although bring some change.
Cams Bay is situated right at the top of Portsmouth Harbour and is a typical harbour location. Summer months fishing is best advised with bass and flounders the main quarry for the angler. This location has very shallow water and therefore low light conditions are preferable as is a good cast. When there is a good southerly wind blowing this is a good location to escape the worst of the weather.
Bait: Maddies, ragworms, peeler crabs and bread
Tactics: This is a location that can only really be fished at high water and therefore be sure to check the tides before you head to the area. For the mullet fish with ground bait and bread fished with a bubble float or with course fishing gear. The bass and flounders can be caught on ragworms and maddies on multi hook rigs. Don’t expect record breaking fish from the location although a good sized flounder is always a possibility.
Getting there: From the A27 (Portchester road) turn off at Shearwater Avenue. Park as far down the road as you can before a short walk to the location.
Lee On Solent
Lee on Solent is a popular beach for both holiday makers and anglers. This is a fantastic all round fishing beach throwing up many surprises each year. With easy access and convenient parking this is a popular destination amongst many. The favoured area to fish is in front of the arcade and this is where most of the locals will fish.
Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, squid, sandeels and mackerel
Tactics: Lee on Solent is a good all round fishing location. The area fishes fairly well throughout the year and produces plenty of species on plenty of methods. The main attraction of the area is the ray and smoothhound fishing in the spring and summer months. The best method for fishing for the rays is with conventional pulley rigs or something similar fished with sandeel. The smoothhounds can be caught on rag and on crab baits. Beach caster gear is the order of the day with the better fish tending to show at range. This is a busy area during the day but a lot quieter at night which is when the majority of the fishing is done.
Getting there: From the M27 come off at Fareham and follow the B3385 south. Pass the golf course heading south on Broom Way. The B333 runs parallel to the beach and parking is available.
Browndown is similar to Lee on Solent and is another easily accessible brilliant all round shore mark. Although the area is more popular during the summer months fishing can also be done during the winter. The area is probably most famed for its sole fishing during the autumn months and the plaice fishing during the spring. A good location for anglers of all abilities with a mixed bag of fish always likely.
Bait: Sandeels, ragworms, lugworms, mackerel, squid and peeler crabs
Tactics: Being just down the road from Lee on Solent means that Browndown fishes very similarly to it. Again this is a fantastic all round location producing a lot of different fish to good sizes during both the winter and summer months. Fishing here should be done with beach fishing gear and a good cast is handy. The flat fish can be caught on flapper rigs and similar rigs with sequins and beads for added attraction. For the bigger fish use pulley rigs and running ledger style set ups and be sure to fish in low light conditions for the chance of good sized hounds, rays and bass.
Getting there: From the M27 head off at Fareham and follow the road south. Once you have arrived on the B33 3 (the beach road) head east until you reach Browndown. Parking is available close to the beach.
One of the most popular locations in the Portsmouth area Stokes Bay is a superb shore fishing location. A fantastic location for bass and sole during the summer months this is probably the best known shore mark west of Portsmouth. Stokes Bay can be fished during the summer and winter months and a surprise is always around the corner when fishing there.
Bait: Ragworms, peeler crabs, sandeels, squid and mackerel
Tactics: Stokes Bay is a fantastic summer months fishing location. The area is famed for producing good sized hounds and bass each year. To fish for the Bass fish with large baits such as squid and mackerel. As with all bass fishing distance casting is not required more the patience to be prepared to blank. Fish with pulley rigs or running ledger style rigs with large size 3/0 or bigger hooks. The hounds can be caught using simple pulley style rigs with crab or rag as bait fished at range for the better fish. In the winter try flapper and other multi hook rigs with size 1 or 2 hooks for the Whiting and flatties
Getting there: Just along from Browndown follow the same instructions but find Stokes Bay located slightly further east.
Gillkicker Fort or Gillkicker Point as it is often known is the most southerly point of Gosport. It is therefore an excellent fishing location. With big tides often making fishing difficult expect a lot of weed during certain times of the year but also expect good sized fish. The area is particularly famed for producing cod over the winter months a genuine excitement for many shore fishermen.
Bait: Lugworms, lugworms, squid, mackerel and peeler crabs
Tactics: During the winter months you have two choices. Either sit it out for the cod or fish with small hooks for the whiting and smaller flatfish species. The cod can be caught on all manner baits but a favourite of mine here is straight black lug worm or peeler crab. Mounted on size 3/0 or larger hooks, fixed to a pulley style rig fish out as far as you can get, be aware of the big tides however. 2 hours either side of slack water seem to produce the best results. During the summer fish with worms or mackerel on standard beach fishing gear. You can really expect a good mixed bag of fish here.
Getting there: As the most southernmost tip of Gosport the area is easily found as is parking close by. A short walk to the best marks puts you on the fish.
Haslar Sea Wall
Haslar Sea Wall is located midway between Gillkicker Point and Gosport town centre. This is a great shore location particularly famed for its bass fishing, although a great all round venue. The area is well fished by locals although perhaps not as popular as other locations around Portsmouth such as Stokes Bay.
Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, squid, mackerel, sandeels and lures
Tactics: This area is a great chance to catch a good sized bass and therefore consideration should be taken before fishing the location. Your best bet for catching a bass is with live baits or lures during low light conditions, either very early morning or late evening. If you can get hold of live sandeels fish them on a long flowing trace with a small amount of lead. Various lures and spinners will also work around the area. A good tip is to not be afraid to move around the area in an attempt to locate the fish. During the winter and spring fish multi hook rigs like the flapper rig for the smaller species such as whiting and flounders.
Getting there: From Gosport head south west out of the town centre. Haslar is well signposted directly between Gillkicker and Gosport. Parking is readily available close by.
Millennium Pier is a brilliant location right in the heart of Gosport. The pier suits the needs of all ability of anglers and caters brilliantly for children and those who struggle with access. Many species are possible here, a particularly good location for catching micro species such as small wrasse and blennies.
Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, squid, mackerel, sandeels and lures
Tactics: Fishing for the micro species is great fun to do during the summer months with family and friends. Float fished mackerel strips or worms seem to work best for the wrasse, mackerel and garfish found here. For the other species try flapper rigs with worm as bait fished a little way off the pier particular if targeting flatties. The mullet can often be seen close to the structure and can be caught using bread or mackerel.
Getting there: Millennium Pier is in the heart of Gosport and can easily be located by following sings for the front once ion Gosport. With pay and display parking close by this is a perfect location for good access and good fishing.
Buds Farm is a great fishing location for those happy to catch a few smaller bass and flatties. A not so well known spot in Portsmouth this a great mark for escaping the hustle and bustle of the other more popular locations close by. For those in there mullet fishing this is a great mark for catching in the summer months. Make sure to fish at high tide as there can be a lack of water this far up the harbour.
Bait: Bread, ragworms, maddies and peeler crabs
Tactics: Buds Farm is a typical harbour/creek venue. To fish for the mullet use course fishing gear with light line and a either a bubble float or stick float set up. Make sure you ground bait the area and then fish with bread on a size 6 or smaller strong hook. The bass and flatties can be caught using ragworms or harbour worms on a size 1 or 2 hook. For the better fish try peeler crabs for bait which can be found around the area under the stones and weed that cover the area during low tide.
Getting there: Buds farm is an area of Portsmouth just north of Hayling Island. Easy to find once you have come off of the A27.