Fishing in Dungeness: All You Need to Know

Studying Time: 9 minutes

Everytime you think about what your British fishing journey will seem like, there’s in all probability some rain concerned. That is the UK, in spite of everything!

Nonetheless, we’ll guess you’ve by no means pictured casting your line in opposition to a backdrop of dystopian energy stations and a desolate shingle seashore, surrounded by the skeletons of historical drift boats. You could even encounter an previous sea-dog or two in your journey. They’ll inform you loads of fishing tales that’ll ship a shiver up your backbone. 

Though this ambiance could appear spooky, we’re truly speaking in regards to the good sort of spine-shivers – these of pleasure! Make your approach right down to South East England for a day of fishing in Dungeness, Kent, and also you’ll expertise an journey like by no means earlier than.

It might not suit your concept of what a typical fishing journey seems like, however this space has a stark, barren magnificence that’s all it’s personal. It’s a really distinctive place to discover.

What’s even higher is that it’s not simply the bizarre surroundings you’ll have the ability to soak up. The waters surrounding this headland are residence to world-famous fish, and also you don’t even have to board a ship to get to them.

Due to its distinctive geographical options, Dungeness juts greater than 5 miles out into the English Channel. Which means that deep sea waters, in addition to a complete plethora of unimaginable species, could be reached from shore.

On this put up, we’ll define the highest catches you’ll find in Dungeness, how one can catch them, and a few of our favorite locations to forged a line within the space. Sure, it covers solely 12 sq. miles in whole, however there are some hidden hotspots (generally known as “marks” in England) that you simply received’t wish to miss out on!

Prime Catches in Dungeness

There’s one factor we’ve to clarify earlier than delving into the fish on supply. Regardless of sharing a reputation with this location, you’ll be able to’t truly discover Dungeness Crab right here. This crustacean truly will get its title from the port of Dungeness in Washington state within the US, the place it’s critically plentiful.

Kent’s Dungeness greater than holds its personal with regards to providing up some prized fish, although. There’s a complete mixture of species you’ll be able to goal right here, which makes Dungeness powerful to beat within the angling stakes. What’s biting at any given time varies rather a lot relying on the season. 

We’ve divided the highest species right here up into winter and summer season classes, as these are usually the best months in Dungeness – and England as a complete! That approach, you’ll be able to plan your go to accordingly. Let’s discover out precisely what you might catch under…

Winter Species: A Phrase on Cod

Ask native anglers dotted throughout the Kent space to explain Dungeness’ winter fishing scene, and there’s one phrase you’ll in all probability hear greater than another: “It was once Codtastic!”

This backside fish is world-famous for its scrumptious style and is a staple with regards to that widespread British meal, fish and chips. It was once extraordinarily plentiful in Dungeness between October and April – which made the UK the right place to come back and hook a giant one.

Sadly, time has seen Dungeness’s Cod inhabitants turn out to be depleted, which implies your probabilities of hooking a big fish as of late are significantly decrease. Don’t fret, although – these waters aren’t utterly Cod-free, and it’s considerably frequent to search out “Codling,” which is a Cod weighing six kilos or much less, on the finish of your line.

Though these varieties could appear much less spectacular than their outsized brothers, they’re the right catch to practise your beach-fishing expertise in opposition to – they usually style simply as scrumptious, too.

Winter Species: The Relaxation!

A way more frequent winter catch in Dungeness is Whiting. This smaller fish exhibits up round October, and makes for nice angling motion for those who’re new to the game, or wish to introduce the little ones to fishing. It’s additionally scrumptious, for each people and sea life alike, making it an excellent bait fish.

For you Flatfish fanatics, you’ll have to attend till spring or summertime to go after Dover Sole. Nonetheless, there’s one other species you’ll have the ability to goal throughout winter that will nicely fulfill all of your Flatfish wants – the Dab. Its title may now be barely overshadowed by the viral dance transfer, however make no mistake, this fish is loads of enjoyable to catch (and eat). 

The Dab is most plentiful in November/December time and prefers to lurk round sandy estuaries and shallow inshore waters, in addition to brackish waters. Which means that just about any mark in Dungeness will do the job! Prepare for some heavy lifting, too – species usually attain dinner plate measurement right here.

Along with Dab and Whiting, you’ll additionally have the ability to goal forms of Rockling, Flounder, and Pouting. Native anglers say that everytime you forged a line in Dungeness’ waters, you’re by no means fairly certain what you may pull out. That goes for the summer season months, too!

Summer season Species

A British summer season is something however predictable. Can’t depend on the climate throughout your Dungeness fishing journey? There’s one factor that received’t allow you to down – the species on supply!

We could have waved goodbye to the odd Cod or Codling in April, however summer season sees us welcoming in some new fish. The preferred catch throughout this time is Seabass.

This backside fish is a detailed relative to that well-known species, the Striped Bass. It’s honest to say that it causes as a lot pleasure in UK anglers because the Striper does throughout the pond!

One thing to concentrate on, nevertheless, is that, as tasty because the Seabass could also be, it’s additionally closely regulated. From 1 April to 31 October, anglers can harvest and preserve just one Seabass per day.. 

Between July and August, it’s frequent to search out enormous shoals of Mackerel proper by Dungeness’ shoreline. Though these are thought of bait fish quite than goal species by most anglers, they’re nonetheless loads of enjoyable to catch, particularly for youngsters and newer anglers. 

We talked about Dover Sole earlier, and Flatfish followers shall be happy to see that this species makes an look throughout this season. A late-summer journey in Dungeness’ Rye Bay presents up the most important varieties!

Casting Your Line: The place and The way to Fish in Dungeness


One thing that makes a Dungeness fishing journey much more uncommon is that, often, you received’t be stepping foot on a ship. Though it’s attainable to hop aboard one of many few charters within the space for a guided journey, the most typical approach to discover these waters is on foot.

Why? Properly, for one factor, there’s Dungeness’ measurement. This headland offers ample angling alternatives, and you’ll attain all the hotspots on foot.

“On foot fishing” usually entails fishing piers or marinas, however Dungeness actually goes again to fundamentals – or, extra precisely, custom. The commonest approach to fish right here is by merely organising your rods and reels on the shingle seashore.

In the event you’re newer to angling and this sounds overwhelming, make use of the numerous bait and sort out retailers within the space. These outfitters supply fishing gear on the market or hire and are used to serving to out visiting anglers and vacationers. They’ll have the ability to advise you on the perfect gear in your goal species, in addition to learn how to set it up.

The place?

Dungeness is small, however there are many treasure troves to be discovered –very appropriate for a spot that was once generally known as a smuggler’s paradise because of its bevy of waterways!

Jury’s Hole. Fish this huge storm seashore (a seashore shaped by significantly fierce waves) throughout excessive water. Forged your line in summer season when the surf’s up for Seabass. Backside fish for “flatties” (Dover Sole) throughout late summer season.

Galloways. This southwest-facing seashore is a hotspot through the winter months when the spring tides flood it out. It’s your finest guess with regards to hooking the more and more uncommon Cod. Visiting in the summertime? Wait till the drowsy late evenings, and forged your line for flatties, Bass, and Mackerel.

Denge Marsh

Denge Marsh. Generally stylised as Dengemarsh, this large shingle seashore has earnt a reputation for itself as a Sole fishing hotspot. July–September is very plentiful. Within the winter it’s a hotspot for Codling and Whiting, particularly in its easternmost “Diamond” space. That is the place waters get very deep. 

Dungeness Seashore. Seeking to hooking a combined bag of Dungeness’ fishy favorites? Go to its eponymous seashore. A second-to-none deepwater location, you’ll discover every thing from the uncommon enormous Cod to Sole, to Bass, and lots extra. An area favorite spot is ‘back-of-the-boats’ close to the lighthouse.

Again-of-the-boats, close to the lighthouse

The Level. This hotspot is residence to deep, quick waters, a robust tide, and a critically large drop, so it’s higher left to extra skilled anglers. Prepared to check your expertise? Head right here throughout excessive water, and be sure you spend money on a 6 oz breakout result in keep away from line breakages!

The Pilot. Situated reverse the Pilot Inn, this mark is a should for anglers trying to hook some summer season Bass. After you’ve forged your line to your coronary heart’s need, head to the Inn for some local-style fish and chips!

Taylor Street. Very like The Pilot, this mark can also be a hotspot for Bass fishing. Head right here throughout a rising tide to fish over excessive waters. It is a good place to begin for guests unfamiliar with the realm, as there’s parking conveniently positioned proper close by.

Littlestone Wall. That is one other high-water mark, and is just like Dungeness Seashore in that every one native species could be hooked right here. Simply be sure you look out for the realm’s ‘groynes’, that are low partitions or limitations constructed into the ocean.

Pirate’s Bay. Just like Littlestone Wall, you’ll discover a entire host of Dungeness’ favorite species on supply right here. You’ll even have entry to the waters round St Marys Bay, in addition to its seashore. Not like the remainder of Dungeness, it’s sandy! If the climate fits, pack your self a picnic and finish your fishing journey right here.

Guidelines and Rules

By now, you’re hopefully nicely in your approach to getting ready your good Dungeness fishing journey. You recognize what you wish to catch, the way you wish to catch it, and have famous down all of the marks you wish to go to. Nonetheless, earlier than you go additional, you in all probability have to know what the native guidelines and rules seem like!

Merely put, fishing in Dungeness is classed as “sea fishing.” You aren’t required by UK regulation to have a licence in an effort to sea fish.

All you want to concentrate on earlier than heading in your journey is the assorted guidelines and rules that encompass bag and measurement limits for sure species.

In the event you’re planning on combining your Dungeness fishing journey with some freshwater motion, learn up on England’s freshwater fishing rules.

It’s obligatory to buy a fishing licence for freshwater fishing. As we talked about, this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re solely planning to fish in Dungeness’ saltwaters.

Planning your journey round Galloways? It is a sizzling fishing mark, but in addition has a completely completely different operate. The Ministry of Protection generally makes use of it for reside firing practise!

Due to this, be very cautious about approaching this space at any time when crimson flags or crimson lights are proven. Yow will discover out extra right here.

Dungeness: A New World

In addition to its conversation-worthy angling motion, one other primary focal point in Dungeness is the ‘Prospect Cottage’. It has attracted loads of native and nationwide consideration resulting from its uncommon decor. The cottage is painted black and has the poem ‘The Sunne Rising’, written by John Donne, painted alongside one facet.

In addition to famously demanding that “No man is an island,” John Donne additionally as soon as wrote, “Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone.” We expect that is truly the right sentiment for Dungeness! 

Unusual, desolate, and starkly lovely, visiting this headland actually does make you’re feeling you’re stepping foot into a brand new world. It’s not like something you’ve skilled earlier than. Fishing – and life – in Dungeness is about appreciating what could be discovered within the pockets of nature we frequently overlook.

In the event you’re looking for a really distinctive angling journey, what higher place to forged your line than this bizarre, wild, and great panorama? Sea-discoverers, unite – and prepare to discover this thrilling new world!

Have you ever ever been fishing in Dungeness? What did you catch? Any attention-grabbing tidbits or suggestions and methods that you simply’d prefer to share? Tell us within the feedback under.