Fancy a days fishing in the Bristol Channel? Listed below are a few of the popular local marks with details of how to get there and what you may catch.
The Bristol Channel is subject to the second highest tidal range in the world and therefore a degree of care is needed on some marks. Fishing at high tide is normally fine but if you fish some of the low tide marks you must be fully aware of the rising tide and ensure that you exit is not cut off by the incoming tide.
The upper channel marks are particularly dangerous and we would not recommend venturing out on to any of the mud banks and sand bars without expert local guidance.
Great Local Fishing Spots
Exit the M48 at Junction 1. Take the A403 (Severn Beach) and after approx 1/4 of a mile turn right. This minor road takes you towards the sea before bending to the left and running parallel to the shore. The easiest place to park is just as the road turns back in-land. Access to the foreshore is through the gate and then walk across the fields to the sea. Fishing is anywhere between the bridges but be prepared to get a bit muddy!
IMPORTANT - There are some low water spots in the Aust area but these can be extremely dangerous and we would advice leaving well alone unless you are fishing with a local who has considerable experience of the area.
Tides:Springs offer the best fishing but very large tides are best avoided as they push too far up the grass. Best times are 1 1/2 hours either side of high water.
Species:Codling, flounder, sole, eels, whiting, conger, mullet and occassional bass.
Spot:Severn Beach and New Passage
Access:From the motorway take Junction 1 on the M48. Take the A403 (Severn Beach). Follow signs to the Sea Front, approx. 4 miles from junction 1. Alternatively follow the coast road northwards from Avonmouth. Reasonably comfortable fishing from the sea wall means that this is a popular mark especially on autumn evening tides when some good bags of codling can be taken.
New Passage is the area of sea wall to the north of the second severn crossing and can be reached by either walking up from Severn Beach or Parking in the small Village of Redwick (signposted off of the Severn Beach road). Parking in the village is limited so please be considerate with where you park. Fishing is much the same as Severn Beach.
Tides:Fish on spring tides 2 hours either side of high water.
Species:Codling, flounder, eels, whiting, conger, mullet and bass.
Spot:Rockingham and the Tanks
Access:Rockingham and the Tanks is the general term for the area of peat ledges and mud between Avonmouth and Severn Beach. At one time it was a bit of a secret mark but with the advent of online forums it has now become a very well known and popular area. The main draw is the codling sport with autumn normally seeing the best catches. It is not a noted big fish mark and most of the codling are less than 3lb but what they lack in size they make up for in numbers and bags of a dozen plus fish are not unheard of. Some years will also see a reasonable spring run and these fish tend to be of a bigger average size.
The A403 Avonmouth to Severn Beach road runs along this stretch but access points are quite limited as the Severn Beach rail link runs between the road and the sea. Trespassing onto the railway line or private industrial land is not a good move but there are a few access points where you can go over or under the line. The mud here is very soft so fishing is limited to about 2 hours either side of high tide.
Species:Codling, flounder, sole, bass and whiting
Access:The most famous mark in Portishead is Battery point which is noted for the big cod which have often been caught here. Access to Battery Point is as follows. Leave the M5 at Junction 19 and follow signs to Portishead and Sea Front, Parking is available along the sea front near to the open air swimming pool. The Point is clearly visible to the left (light) and fishing is possible from a number of spots from the Point back towards Bristol where a large sandbank uncovers at low water on Springs.
Heading south you reach a couple of other noted marks, the Slipway and Black Nore Point. Both of these are good, if muddy, spots for codling and rays. There are a number of other possible spots along the coast between Portishead and Clevedon and a walk along the coast path can lead to some quieter fishing marks.
Tides:Battery Point is best on neaps while the Sandbanks should be tackled on springs.
Species:Cod, codling, thornbacks, whiting, conger, sole and dogfish.
Access:Leave the M5 at junction 20 and follow the signs for the sea front. Once you get to the sea front you cannot miss the pier. Free parking is available along the sea front or in one of the many side roads. Fishing times on the pier are restricted but day tickets can be bought at a quite reasonable price and as you would expect access is very good. Clevedon Pier has it's own club and their website www.cpsac.co.uk/ is very imformative. The club organize regular matches, mainly on Sundays and Wednesdays, and on match days the pier can get very busy. If you are planning a visit it may be worth checking on their website to see if your visit will clash with a cometition.
Tides:Can be fished at most times but 3 hours either side of high water on a neap to mid range tide would be the most popular time to fish and the ebb is often the best time for codling
Species:Noted for whiting, codling and dabs but allsorts can turn up with conger, sole and dogfish reasonably common. Bass and smoothhounds can at times be present during the summer (Picture courtesy of TSF)