Whitby is the cod capital of the UK with the record cod a massive fish of 58 pounds 7 ounces being caught here from Stu Johnston’s boat Sea Trek. There are 2 main ways to catch cod from Whitby and they are from a boat or from the shore. If its boat fishing for cod that your interested in then you will find all the information you require immediately below.

Boat Fishing For Cod At Whitby

The Whitby Charter boats :

There are numerous boats offering fishing trips to sea from Whitby all year round. From 3 hour trips for beginners and juniors, to full day trips on the famous Whitby Wrecks and Reefs for anyone wanting longer at sea, Whitby charter skippers association can meet all of your needs. Rather than giving lots of information here about the association and its boats I will direct you to the Whitby charter skippers association website where you will be able to find all the information you need to book a boat fishing trip from Whitby. Please click here to go to www.wcsa.co.uk

Methods For Catching Cod From A Boat :

Pirking For Cod

Traditional terminal tackle in the summer months at Whitby is a 1 pound jigger / pirk with a string of hokeyes above. The jigger is lowered to the bottom and worked up and down in a fashion known as jigging. As Noel Cook found out when he hooked into his 58 pound record cod there are some huge fish in the north sea at Whitby. Tackle has to be up to the job so a 50 lb class boat rod and a good strong boat multiplier filled with 70 Lb+ braid is advised although many of the old timers still recommend the tried and tested Scarborough reels. If you pay a visit to either of the Whitby tackle shops they will be more than happy to advise and supply whatever gear you require. In more recent times the anglers at Whitby have started employing even lighter tackle with many anglers now using 20/30lb class rods and using shads to tempt the cod.

Redgilling For Cod – Whitby boat fishing

In more recent times again mostly in the summer months anglers have been experimenting with red gills, jelly worms, and shads and have enjoyed success with many good fish taken on lighter rods and line. The small imitation worms or fish are lowered to the bottom with a six ounce weight and wound to mid water before being lowered again if a fish hasnt taken. Again the two Whitby tackle shops will be happy to advise and supply whatever tackle you require.

Using Shads To Catch Cod

In recent times shad fishing has really taken off amongst boat anglers. Shad fishing has been around for a long time over in the united states but its relatively new to boat anglers this side of the ocean. This illustrated article outlines the tackle needed and describes how simple it is to set up a rig for shad fishing. Full details are also given on the method of shad fishing where you simply drop the shad to the bottom and start to retrieve at a slow and steady pace. To read more about shad fishing Click Here.

Bait fishing For Cod At Whitby

In summer Bait fishing is usually done over slack tide when the fishing with the pirks or redgills becomes less productive. It is one of the best methods for catching the bigger fish that often frequent the wrecks. Throughout the winter months bait fishing is often the only way to catch fish. When the water colours up due to winter storms the cod loose the ability to feed by site and search out their food by scent. At these times the best method for taking fish is to use squid baits on a 6o Oshaunessy hook lowered to the bottom by a 1 pound lead. In the summer months a Mackerel Fillet fished in a similar way can be deadly especially on the wrecks.

Uptiding For Cod At Whitby

One of the most productive and enjoyable methods of fishing for cod off Whitby is uptiding. Often fishing no more than a mile to sea, fish as big as 30 pounds have been taken from Whitby using this method of casting a bait away from the boat with a 6 ounce lead. The tackle used usually consists of a 9 foot uptiding rod and a 7000 size multiplier filled with 25-30 pound line. The best baits are often squid and lug worm. For more information on uptiding please click here. Please use your browsers back button to return to this site.


Shore Fishing For Cod At Whitby

Whitby is also one of, if not the best area for catching cod from the shore. With it’s many kelp filled rocky gullies and shallow scaurs Whitby has the perfect ground for catching cod from the shoreline. At times the cod here are often no further than 20 to 30 yards from where you have cast.  It is still easily possible to locate cod from the rocks and beaches at Whitby.

Winter Cod Fishing At Whitby And The Surrounding North East Coast

Autumn and winter is predominantly the best time of year to target cod from the shore at Whitby with the hours of darkness being the favoured time of day. The first autumn storms dislodge crabs and worms from their hiding place under boulders and in the sand. The increased food source close to shore entices the  cod to rush in from deeper waters for a feeding frenzy. The days immediately after a dieing storm with onshore winds is therefore the perfect time to target cod from the rocks and beaches around Whitby.

Equipment For Winter Cod Fishing

Rods and Reels for cod fishing from the shore

The north east coast sea fishing venues are extremely rough, so your tackle will need to be robust to say the least. North east rock anglers use the stiffest of rods often between 12 and 14 foot in length – rods to look at include those from Greys (apollo , nitra , syntra and triplex), Centuary (kompressor, and tip tornado) and Zziplex (Dymic, hst and bullet). Reels are usually of the  abu 7000 size filled with line of around 30 pound breaking strain (also look at Slosh 30 and slosh 40 from daiwa, or the penn 525 and penn 535 reels). Although the keen shore angler will use gear that is relatively expensive it is possible for the novice angler to find a rod and real suitable for learning the art of rock fishing for under 70 pounds. A visit to one of the local tackle shops for advice on what is available would be a good idea. Alternatively the second hand market has been known to yield a bargain or 2 on the equipment front in the past

Terminal tackle for cod fishing

A 6 ounce lead (grip lead for sandy areas or a plain lead for the rocks) attached to a pulley rig or standard paternoster type rig is the way to go. A 4, 5 or 6? hook will enable you to use a decent sized bait to attract those winter shore cod. Rotten bottoms may also be useful for those who want to fish the heavier ground.

Cod Fishing Baits

Peeler crabs, lugworms, ragworms, squid, mussels, hermit crabs and razor fish are only a few of a multitude of excellent cod baits for the shore and rock angler. Each bait can be effective on any day, keeping an eye on other anglers fishing the same marks is one way to find out what baits are working on any particular day. Carrying as many baits as possible and trying each on their own and in combination with others (cocktailing) is another way to find out what the fish are feeding on.

Where to fish for cod from the shore

There are literally thousands of places where you can fish from the shore to catch cod in the Whitby area. The coastline from Filey Brigg to the south up to the North gare to the North of Whitby is littered with rocky bays and beaches. I am not about to tell you which are the best areas (cod anglers are very secretive). But to give you a start  I would suggest you pay a visit to this page which details some north east cod fishing marks.

Health and safety for shore fishing

Angling from the shore in the uk is very hazardous to say the least. Every year lives are lost whilst pursuing our fascination with angling in the sea. Anglers of all levels of ability need to be very very careful indeed. At this point I would like to offer a few words of advice to anglers.

  • Never attempt to fish a new area without the help and advice of someone experienced in fishing that area.
  • Always check the tide and ensure you will be safe to access and exit your chosen area. Watch out for cut off points. If unsure don’t go. Its not worth it.
  • Be aware of the weather forecast. Conditions can change fast.
  • Don’t access closed areas, eg piers whilst the storm gates are shut.
  • Carry some form of communication.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you intend to return. Ask them to raise the alarm should you not return.
  • Do not fish heavy seas. Its very dangerous and your wasting your time anyway, fish don’t like really rough seas. Leave it a day or 2 until the sea is dieing.