Fishing At Boulby

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Fishing At Boulby

Of all the marks on the North East Coast perhaps no-where is more well known and talked about than the set of marks at Boulby.

Marks such as the Boiler hole and Boulby Gulley are amongst the more well known marks here, but there is so much more to the area with a multitude of small gullies and kelp filled holes providing superb cod fishing in most conditions throughout the winter.

Boulby Cliffs

Boulby as a fishing venue borders with Hummersea to the north and Staithes to the south. The set of marks that make up Boulby as a larger venue were once renowned for being the very best marks in the whole of the north east.

The majority of the top local rods often fished Boulby in the daytime open matches and many local club records were set here.

The main reason that these marks were so prolific lies with the local potash mine who used to discharge their waste into the sea just off Boulby.

Although the mine is still active they no longer pump the amount of clay discharge into the sea, the knock on effect of this being that Boulby no longer colours up in the way it used to 10 years ago.

Despite the water colour situation here, the marks can still be prolific on their day and many big bags and big fish are still caught here every year.

With the exception of Boulby Boiler Hole the main marks at Boulby do not favour big seas. Moderate to light swells are all that’s needed here and many of the marks will produce good bags with only a very slight swell running through.

The days following a dieing northerly are often the best in terms of catches here.

Boulby will produce on most tide sizes and states, but perhaps the best sessions are to be had over a medium to large ebb low tide. With the exception of a few marks, neeps are not as good here as they are at other local marks.

Boulby can be accessed at low or high tide by a serious of ropes from the cliff top just to the north side of Boulby Village where parking is plentiful but care should be taken not to block in the locals.

Although the cliffs are by no means steep (In comparison to other marks) be warned that these are the highest cliffs in the country so the climb can be difficult on the thighs at times.

Boulby Firemans Hose Rope

Boulby Firemans Hose Rope – Five Minutes Walk To The North Of Boulby Village

Anyone not happy with a cliff decent can access the marks by walking from Staithes along the scars at low tide. However it would be advisable to seek the assistance of a local guide as the cut off points are numerous and the walk itself is roughly 30 minutes both ways for the relatively fit.

Staithes To Boulby’s Firemans Hose.

Taking the marks in order of south to north, the first main Gulley you arrive at when coming from Staithes is the Boiler hole which is roughly half way between Staithes and Boulby.

Unlike the marks slightly further north, Boiler hole can fish in bigger seas, and a large Northerly has been known to throw out good bags and big double figure cod on both neep and spring low tides.

Best fishing at the boiler hole is usually 2 hours before low tide and one hour into the flood tide.

Boulby Boiler Hole

Foreground : Boulby Boiler Hole And The Horse, With Boulby Gulley Behind

At the mouth of the Boiler hole on the north side is a set of small gullies that run off at diverse angles.

The most well known of these gullies being named “The Horse”. These runners are best fished on a slightly larger ebb tide (1.2 or better in Whitby tide book) and fish well with a very slight swell creating white water in the surrounding area.

Although these gullies look like nothing special they do give up some fantastic bags of cod at times and can produce in the late season when many other rock marks have stopped fishing (i.e Feb-Apr).

Next up is the well known Boulby Gulley which lies directly below the village. This mark will not tolerate a big swell.

Medium seas or a dieing northerly will give best catches. Although fish can be caught 2 hours either side of low tide, perhaps the very best time to be here is the first hour of a flood tide when the cod can come thick and fast.

The gulley can be fished from either side and viewing the mark on a good ebb tide will show the mark is split into 2 narrower gullies. Although some people do fish this mark on neeps, by far the best time to be here is over a spring low tide.

Boulby Gulley

Boulby Gulley – On A Big Ebb You Can See It Splits Into 2 Separate Gullies. The white line down the middle highlights the split.

Between Boulby Gulley and the “Fire Man’s Hose Rope” are several very narrow kelp filled gullies.

A slight swell is all that is needed here and the marks are easily identified by black runners surrounded by white surf on either side.

If you are unable to find the runners, then look for the 2 landslides at the back of the cliff and you will know you are in the right area.

Again spring low tides are best and these marks can fish late into the winter season when other marks have died a death.

Boulbys Firemans Hose To Whitestone Area.

The area around the bottom of the fireman’s hose rope and 500 yards either side can be fished over high tide. Simply descend the rope and fish at the bottom.

The fishing over high tide can be good, however once again the best fishing here is 2 hours either side of low water. In front of the rope are various channels and gullies.

These can be difficult to pick out but are best spotted with a slight sea running when dark patches in the white water highlight the presence of the deeper gullies.

These marks fish best on spring lows with a slight swell running. Do not come here in real rough conditions as you will be wasting your time.

Some match anglers who know the area well are able to get good bags here on neap tide and in rough conditions. However the average angler would be well advised to stick to spring lows and slight swells if he wants to do well.

On the scars to the north of the fireman’s hose are some lovely runners fish-able on spring lows. Look for tides of 1.2m to 0.7m in the Whitby book and these marks will produce.

Again the marks are not easily identifiable, although the first is highlighted by the presence of a large mushroom shaped rock at the waters edge. Dark patches in surrounding white water is the best way to find these marks.

Further north still and you start to come into the area known as Whitestones. Fishing is largely over low water, although those in the know are able to cut themselves off on the cliffs from where they fish the marks over high tide.

Fishing is from big boulders into kelp, gullies or scars. Fishing is good on spring lows, however this mark can also produce on neap lows.

Tackle And Bait For Boulby Cod Fishing.

Winter cod fishing at Boulby is over very rough ground. Rock rods are essential with 7000 size multipliers filled with 30lb mono being the way to go. The long rod and braid combo is also useful here.

Best baits are peeler in the early season. Cocktails come into their own in December, and worm baits or black lug and white ragworm can be deadly in late season when frozen velvet peeler also works well.

Further Reading On Fishing At Boulby

Boulby Sea Fishing Gallery


By | 2018-03-23T08:50:38+00:00 September 7th, 2011|Cod Fishing, Featured, Marks|1 Comment

About the Author:

Site Administrator Glenn Kilpatrick has a passion for all types of sea angling. Past winner of the Whitby Sea Anglers fishing club on 2 occasions, Glenn now mainly focuses on summer fishing with bass and pollack being his favoured target fish. Glenn now also prefers Kayak Fishing over any other type of Sea Fishing.

One Comment

  1. Alan Jackson [ big cliff ] September 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    I would say the best time to fish boulby gulley is the last 1.5 hrs
    of the EBB , the best sized tide is 1 mtr , the best conditions are
    just a bit of swell on , but not alot , it can fish very well during
    the hours of daylight as well as dark

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