Hartlepool has established itself as one of the top wreck cod venues in the country. For sheer consistency of catches it proves hard to beat. The modern marina complex and has helped attract anglers from all corners of the UK.
WHERE TO FISH
The popular inshore marks along the coast are reef and rough ground with tackle grabbing kelp beds. The fishing over these tends to be done on the drift, though on big tides and strong weather experienced skippers anchor up.
Wrecks dominate the fishing from the port. Some wrecks lay close to shore and offer good supply of smaller fish as well as holding the odd monster! It’s the offshore wrecks past 20 miles, often 30 miles out that give up the best fish and bigger catches.
The main inshore fishing is done with codling in mind. Fish to 3lbs are average, but there is a sprinkling of bigger fish to 10lbs. These are virtually a year round target and are accompanied by coalfish, small ling and even occasional haddock. The summer sees ballan wrasse and pollack over the same ground. Cleaner marks hold whiting and flatfish.
Some tide run over the rougher inshore ground helps increase the catches, so it’s the middle to larger tides that are favoured for general drift fishing. However, the smaller neaps can still produce good catches, especially as seas are settling after a blow.
Over the wrecks, then you must target the neaps as giving the best opportunities. On the bigger tides the boats drift can be rapid with minimal time for lures and baits in the fish killing zone.
Experienced anglers here choose mainly 50lb class rods and reel for all wreck pirk and lure work. With deep water and a good tide run you need all the lifting power you can get.
A 30lb rod and reel combination is okay over the inshore marks for feathering etc, and for the occasional spot of ledgering. The best feathers are the normal white cod type on 4/0 hooks and keep these sharp.
For baited feather work use mussels, lug, rag even crab and clams, with fish a useable but less effective standby.
For the big wreck ling try baiting the pirks hooks with a couple of fillets or a full fresh flapper mackerel. Some of the biggest cod also hit this combination..
Address: Slake Terrace, Hartlepool. TS24 0RU