Shore Fishing from Sharkham Point
Sharkham Point is a rocky outcrop located not far from St Mary's Bay Beach. You can be rewarded with some very good fishing indeed. During the summer months, mackerel and garfish are prolific and can sometimes save the day. Sliding float tackle or feathers will bring you success with the mackerel. Garfish will be caught more on the float.
Sharkham has been a hotspot for the greater spotted dogfish, also known as the bull huss. Fish of over 10lb in weight are caught here on occasions. Any type of ledger equipment baited with crab, fish or calamari squid will catch bull huss. They can be caught all year round but are most prolific during the summer and autumn. Make sure you use quite a hefty beach caster with a fairly strong line. Remember, this is a very rocky area so tackle loss should be expected.
Large wrasse are often caught in the Sharkham Point area. Sliding float tackle is often a very good way of catching wrasse. Try and establish how deep the water is and then use such bait as prawn, crab (peeler or hard back), ragworm or even shellfish. Step up your tackle from mackerel fishing. It is possible to catch wrasse up to 8 pounds from the shore. A strong size 1/0 hook with a minimum of 15lb bs line is recommended. If you are bottom fishing for wrasse, a sturdy beach caster and large reel loaded with at least 20 -25lb bs is advisable. A Paternoster rig is always a good idea over rough ground as you should only lose your weight rather than your hook and potential fish if you do become stuck.
Conger eel can also be taken in this area. Please read this section on how to approach catching Conger.
A normal hardback crab is not a particularly good bait. However, at certain times in a crabs life, they are probably the best bait for fish. Lots of fish love this type of bait, you'll catch flatfish, Wrasse, Pollock, Bass and countless other fish using peeler crab. In order for crabs to grow, they need to shed their shells every few weeks. When this happens you have two types of crab bait, a peeler, and a soft backed crab. A crab becomes a peeler just before it sheds its hard shell in order for it to grow. A soft backed crab is a crab that has already shed its hard shell but its new shell is yet to harden. Peeler crabs are readily available at most bait shops and can be bought singularly, or in batches, alive or frozen.
As the name suggests, a peeler crab needs to have it's hard shell removed before you can mount it on your hook. You can also remove the outer shell from the claws and legs as well as these also make excellent bait. Once you have removed the outer shell, you will be left with a very soft bait indeed. Using a fairly large hook, using either the whole crab or half depending on the size, push the hook through the crab two or three times so that it is mounted on the entire hook and shank.
Because the crab is very soft you may need to secure it on your hook if you had fishing at a distance. Shearing thread has always been a favorite with many anglers to secure crab on the hook . Shearing thread is readily available from any haberdashery. Basically, it's stretchy cotton that you wrap around the crab & just pull it tight, you don't need to actually tie any knots. You can treat soft backed crab in exactly the same way. You can use crab on the float or bottom, it will work just as well either way.
You could pay anything up to £1 for one crab, so it may be more economical to harvest your own crab. Because they are so vulnerable they always hide whilst they are shedding their shells. If you go to your local rock beach, you're sure to find peeler crab hiding amongst the weed and rocks. Peeler crab is easy to recognize. Look at the back of the shell, you will just see it starting to reseed revealing the soft shell underneath.
Sharkham Point can provide some excellent fishing at all times of the year. If you intend on fishing there at night, I would strongly recommend going with someone. This is not the sort of place to fish on your own at night. If something was to go wrong, you may not be able to get help.
St Mary's Beach
If you fancy fishing the beach at St Mary's Bay then expect to catch mackerel and garfish, the odd bass may be roaming the area. Either end is rocky so there is no reason why Conger and wrasse shouldn't be taken. Using worm and crab bait could easily pick up small flatfish such as dab, flounder, and plaice.
Sea Fishing Forum and Website
If you're looking for a friendly forum where everyone will make you really welcome then you can't really go any better than sea-fishing.org.
I can see Sharkham from my house so give me a wave if you go there