Southampton is one of the largest ports in the UK and is an area steeped in history. The fishing in the area can also be tremendous. With creeks, estuaries harbours and beaches the area provides all of the shore anglers needs. The area is famed for its flattie fishing during the winter months with Codling also regularly caught in the area. The summer fishing throws up most the usual summer species. As with Portsmouth the area of water around Southampton is known as the Solent, a popular location for inshore boat anglers.

 

Town quay

One of Southampton’s most common places to fish is at the town quay. With tremendous access, to the point you can nearly fish in your car, to the good local catches each year, this area is a must fish place if you are in the area. The one point to note if you do fish here is to fish on the right side of the pier not the left, presumably to avoid the sea cat ferry. Long casting is not required here and with a large diversity of species this area is worth a visit to all visitors.

Summer Species: Bass, Dover Sole, Eels, Flounder, LSD, Mullet, Pouting, Smoothhound and Gurnards

Winter Species: Whiting, codling, flounders and dabs

Bait: Ragworms, mackerel, sandeels, live baits, peeler crabs and bluey

Tactics: Tactics here will completely depend on what you are fishing for. The bass keep very close to the structure along the pier and can be caught at night on live pouting or with a large number of ragworms. Fish out in to the channel for the dogfish and smoothhounds with peeler or hermit crab being the best bait for them (do not expect a monster). The flatties can also be caught at range with ragworm tipped with a bit of bluey being my favourite bait, just ragworm works to.

Getting there: Town Quay is situated in the heart of Southampton and is well signposted whether coming from the east or west of the town. A good point to note is that the parking is pay and display but only until 6.00pm when it becomes free.

Local Tackle Shops: Poingdestre’s Angling Centre, 10-12 Cannon Street, Shirley, Southampton, SO15 5PQ, tel: 023 8077 2958 or Al’s Tackle & Bait, 16 Bridge Road, Southampton, SO19 7GQ, tel: 023 8044 6222 ‎

 

Weston shore/ Weston Point

The water ways of Southampton are dominated with estuaries and creeks and harbours meaning for the fisherman the most likely quarry is going to flounders, bass, eels and mullet. Weston Shore is no different. The ground here is very clean and you will find good numbers of flounder most of the year round although winter is best. Fishing at range can dictate the best results here. With east access and good parking this is a great spot for children to come shore fishing. The spring tides are best for fishing here with an hour either side of low water producing good numbers of fish as well.

Summer Species: Bass, flounders, eels and mullet

Winter Species: Flounders and eels

Bait: Lugworms, ragworms, white rag, peeler crabs and maddies

Tactics: The area is really a flounder venue which fishes best between October and February with a good frost often helping the fishing as it gets rid of the crabs stealing your bait. Beach rods and reels are the order of the day with 2 or 3 hook flapper rigs or cascade rigs. There are some good features to cast to like the lugworm bed at fairly short range. The conditions and tides can dictate the range you fish at so change your rig accordingly. Try for the bass with larger hooks and baits fished close in at night as there is a good amount of water here.

Getting there: From Junction 8 on the M27 take the A3025 and just before Itchen Bridge take the left turn before the tollbooths following the signs for Weston Shore. There is roadside parking and large car parks close to the mark allowing for east access.

Local Tackle Shops: Poingdestre’s Angling Centre, 10-12 Cannon Street, Shirley, Southampton, SO15 5PQ, tel: 023 8077 2958 or Al’s Tackle & Bait, 16 Bridge Road, Southampton, SO19 7GQ, tel: 023 8044 6222 ‎

 

Chilling Spit

Chilling Spit is to the south of the Hook Nature Park and lies at the mouth of the river Hamble. The area is made up of a shingle beach and the fishing is done over very clean ground so don’t worry about packing heavy lines. Most of the locals here fish almost solely on ragworms for most species with peeler crab being the other bait of choice. The area is easily accessed although it does require a walk to get to the fishing grounds along a public footpath for approximately half a mile. This deters some anglers but allows others a fairly unspoilt and empty beach to fish from.

Summer Species: Bass, rays, smoothhounds, pouting, bream, flounders, mackerel and eels

Winter Species: Flounders, plaice, whiting and pouting

Bait: Ragworms, squid, mackerel, peeler crabs and lugworms

Tactics: The best way to approach this area is with cascade rigs and flapper rigs with size 2 or 4 hooks, fished with worm baits at fairly long range, this way you are covering your basis with regards to what might show up. If you are fishing for the bass or hounds use a simple running ledger rig with crab being the favoured bait for most. On some tides the mackerel will show and then it is just a case of having a spinner in your bag for them.

Getting there: From Junction 8 of the M27 head east along the A27 towards Swanwick. One mile after crossing the River Hamble, turn right, following directions for Warsash. In Warsash continue south over the roundabout heading for the School of Navigation. Drive past the school and 200 metres after crossing a small river park on the left, follow public footpath to your right for quarter of a mile to the shore

Local Tackle Shops: Poingdestre’s Angling Centre, 10-12 Cannon Street, Shirley, Southampton, SO15 5PQ, tel: 023 8077 2958 or Al’s Tackle & Bait, 16 Bridge Road, Southampton, SO19 7GQ, tel: 023 8044 6222 ‎

 

Hythe reclaimed land

The area of Hythe once housed large industrial buildings but the ground has now returned to something like its original state. The beach to which you fish can be accessed at most tides but on a very high you will be driven back on to the grass area behind the beach. Be prepared to move around a bit as there are lots of favourite little areas amongst local angers although fishing with ragworm you will struggle to go wrong anywhere along this stretch.

Summer Species: Flounders, bass, pouting, mullet and eels

Winter Species: Flounders and eels

Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, peeler crabs and mackerel

Tactics: With casting not a major issue at this location you can afford to fish as light as you like to enjoy the sport. 3 hook flapper rigs and cascade rigs will also work perfectly due to the fact you don’t need distance with the cast. For the bass fish with a simple running ledger rig with a bass over 2lb here being a really good result. Make sure to learn where the rocky outcrops lie by visiting the area at low water otherwise this will lead to tackle loss. The majority of the shore is very clean however.

Getting there: Take the Fawley road from Totton, at Dibden follow the brown local info signs into Hythe, Ferry and Waterfront. At the mini roundabout at the end of Jones Lane, the town and ferry are to the right and the marina to the left. Go towards the marina, under the bridge then turn right, follow it round to the old life boat and park there. Then a quick walk through the gate and you will arrive at the reclaimed land.

Local Tackle Shops: Poingdestre’s Angling Centre, 10-12 Cannon Street, Shirley, Southampton, SO15 5PQ, tel: 023 8077 2958 or Al’s Tackle & Bait, 16 Bridge Road, Southampton, SO19 7GQ, tel: 023 8044 6222 ‎

 

Magazine Lane

Magazine lane is commonly fished when the wind and sea conditions dictate that you can’t fish in some of the preferred locations. Having said that it is a good fishing location in its own right with good bass and flounders caught here each year. The ground here is very rocky close to the sea wall but with a cast over 50 yards you can easily avoid this. Try the venue during late autumn for the best results with sole, bass and flounders.

Summer Species: Pouting, bass and flounders

Winter Species: Dogfish, sole, whiting and flounders

Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, peeler crabs and clams

Tactics: The area amongst many anglers has a bit of a reputation of being a tackle graveyard. The majority of tackle will be lost however when retrieving your rig. To avoid this get yourself a lead lift which should bring the weight above the snags, indeed the ground 50 yards out is very clean and approximately 50 feet deep. Fish with conventional beach tackle with worms for baits on 2 or 3 hook rigs for the flatties and doggies. Step the hook size up for the bass and use a running ledger rig (my favourite rig for bass) Using a long rod will help avoid the boulders and snags also with gripped leads often being vital.

Getting there: Exit the M27 at junction 3 and go towards Southampton docks and then take the A35 heading west from the port. Go over the River Test and then take a left at the first roundabout and left the first set of lights. This leads directly to the waterside. Magazine Lane will be on your left, just past the recycling centre. There is small free car park at the end of the lane and the venue is just 200 yards further upstream.

Local Tackle Shops: Poingdestre’s Angling Centre, 10-12 Cannon Street, Shirley, Southampton, SO15 5PQ, tel: 023 8077 2958 or Al’s Tackle & Bait, 16 Bridge Road, Southampton, SO19 7GQ, tel: 023 8044 6222 ‎

 

Shore Road

Shore road is situated in Hythe in Southampton. The area is a small marsh and mud flat that is just beyond the local sailing club. Local knowledge is vital in this area as it can be quite dangerous at times with the tide and sticky mud. The best end of the beach is commonly thought to be at the Hythe end as a pose to the Esso end. Although not a heavily fished area on certain tides it can be a very tough venue.

Summer Species: Bass, rays, smoothhounds flatties and eels

Winter Species: Flounders and eels

Bait: Ragworms, sandeels, mackerel, peeler crabs and blueys

Tactics: For the rays fish a pulley rig as far as you can chuck it with a size 3/0 Pennell set up. The smoothhounds and bass can both be caught using clipped running ledger rigs baited with peeler or hermit crabs although ragworm can also be good on its day. For the flatties and eels fish with small hooks maybe size 4’s on flapper or cascade rigs fished over the muddy flats you will find here. The key here is to fish the right tides with the ebb considered best but some I prefer fishing on the flood during the night and evenings.

Getting there: From the A326 exit on to Beaulieu Road and follow this until you have gone through Hythe and then join South Street, before turning right on to Shore Road. There is free parking on the road and easy access to the beach area.

Local Tackle Shops: Poingdestre’s Angling Centre, 10-12 Cannon Street, Shirley, Southampton, SO15 5PQ, tel: 023 8077 2958 or Al’s Tackle & Bait, 16 Bridge Road, Southampton, SO19 7GQ, tel: 023 8044 6222 ‎

 


Hamble Common

Hamble Common is a popular match fishing location and is a good flounder fishing location. The area is a clean shingle beach so you are unlikely to lose any tackle here. The key is speaking to the locals regarding tides and seasons. Night is generally considered best for the location.

Summer Species: Flounder, bass, silver eel, plaice

Winter Species: Flounders and eels

Bait: Ragworms, peeler crabs and lugworms

Tactics: Having only fished this on one occasion and having not had a huge amount of luck, I can only write what I was told when fishing the location. I fished two and three hook flapper rigs baited with ragworms and fished at about 100yards out with conventional beach fishing tactics. During spring and autumn fishing can be at its best with Plaice showing in the former. Try a larger pulley rig or something similar for the bass here, peeler crabs being the bait of choice.

Getting there: Leave the M27 at Junction 8 and take the B3397 towards Hamble. Hamble Common is signposted as a right turn in Hamble village and a narrow road runs to the sea. Car park near harbour entrance

Local Tackle Shops: Poingdestre’s Angling Centre, 10-12 Cannon Street, Shirley, Southampton, SO15 5PQ, tel: 023 8077 2958 or Al’s Tackle & Bait, 16 Bridge Road, Southampton, SO19 7GQ, tel: 023 8044 6222 ‎

 

Hill Head

Hill Head is the most easterly point of the Southampton stretch of coastline I will be concentrating on, any further east and the marks between hill head and Gosport are included in the Portsmouth page. Hill Head is part of the Brownwich stretch of coast with many great beach marks. The favoured spot at Hill Head I s where the Brownwich stream cuts through the beach and enters the sea although during the summer the area can be very busy.

Summer Species: Smoothhounds, sole, bass, rays, mackerel, plaice and dogfish

Winter Species: Flounders, bass, codling and whiting

Bait: Ragworms, mackerel, peeler crabs, sandeels and lugworms

Tactics: Hill head is a tremendously popular fishing location. Having said that the area does go quiet from February till the end of March when fishing is considered to be at its worst. This is a great bass, ray and smoothhound venue with turbot and brill always a possible as a bonus fish. For the bass and rays use large 3/0 hooks with large sandeel, mackerel or squid baits. During the spring peeler crab can give you a real edge. The sole fishing during the autumn evenings can also be exceptional use small 1 0r 2 hooks on simple flapper style rigs fished at relative range for best results.

Getting there: Head south off of the M27 towards Stubbington, Hill Head is well signposted to the west of Stubbington

Local Tackle Shops: Poingdestre’s Angling Centre, 10-12 Cannon Street, Shirley, Southampton, SO1 55PQ, tel: 023 8077 2958 or Al’s Tackle & Bait, 16 Bridge Road, Southampton, SO19 7GQ, tel: 023 8044 6222 ‎

 

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