Fishing At Scarborough

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Fishing At Scarborough

sea fishing at scarborough, marine drive, scalby mills, holbeck, cornelian bay, cayton, bempton


Scalby Mills is where the worthwhile marks are the ‘Bulge’ on the promenade and the New Wall which are best from half ebb to half flood.


Moving South we come to the well known MARINE DRIVE at Scarborough.

The first marks here are Shop hole and The Corner where you will find sand behind the rock scars and which are very productive on Winter night tides with a Northerly sea.

Fish the bottom three hours of the ebb.
A few yards further on is Marine drive proper which has the added attraction of car parking all the way along it’s length. This deep rock and kelp mark holds cod and billet but it fishes best on high water spring tides with settled weather.

fishing at scarborough marine drive

Above: Scarborough Angler Mick Chadwick With A 15 Cod From Scarborough Marine Drive


The East Pier comes next and is the only place in the area where you know you are fishing on sand. It produces small coalfish, flatfish and mackerel in Summer with some good bags of codling in Winter when a coloured swell is running on big night tides.

Fishing this venue can give shelter in large north westerly seas.


The scars at HOLBECK fish well on the flood during an onshore blow when the fish move out of the kelp beds. Access is via the garden path on the Esplanade. or from the cliff top car park.

The main marks in this area include horshoe basin which is an excellent cod fishing mark.

This area contains lots of shallow scars and fishing is best with a moderate swell running. Do not be scarred to cast into the shallow and white water as this is often the most productive area at Holbeck.


fishing at cornelian bay

A mile to the South is CORNELIAN BAY which can be reached by turning off the A165 into Cornelian Drive and then into a cart track which runs down to a pine copse where there is space for parking. Follow the path down through the wood to the beach.

To the North of Cornelian there is a rocky outcrop called Clark’s Island which forms a gully running the full length of the bay.

This can be hit with a short cast from the high water mark. The island protects the gully from the full force of a Northerly sea, and that’s when the fish come in to feed.

Fish from half flood to half ebb but take care when moving at high water because the sea comes up at the back.

When the tide ebbs then try the Basin and Horshoe Gully to the North of the path and also Roundabouts – a rock scar in front of the Basin which can be fished at low water. Take care not to get cut off.


This stretch of coast offers some superb fishing stations – unfortunately many require detailed knowledge of cliff descents and so are not suitable for a visiting angler unless he is prepared to spend plenty of time checking them out.


CAYTON BAY probably offers a ‘newcomer’ his best chance with access via a steep concrete path down the cliff near Wallace’s car park. While the sandy beach does produce a few fish, by far the best mark is to the right at Calf Allen Rocks where a gully at low water can be reached with a 70-80 yard cast. Fishes best after a rough sea.

The other worthwhile mark is to the North where Cayton Bay meets OSGOODBY POINT. At high water try near the blockhouse, and at low water fish the scars and gullies.

Yons Nab to Chimney hole is next on the map and is a piece of coast which rewards knowledgeable locals with some superb fish in rough weather.

The entire area is rough scar with dozens of gullies known locally as runlins which can be covered with a short cast on the ebb.

However, access down the cliffs can be tricky so it pays to seek local advice before attempting the descent with ropes.

Likewise the next stretch from Chimney Hole along the cliffs to FILEY BRIGG is all but inaccessible to everybody but locals. Access is restricted and potentially dangerous for anyone who doesn’t know the area.


fishing at bempton cliffs

Nesting gannets, kittiwakes and herring gulls rule out the cliff tops around Flamborough during Summer but come Autumn, after the birds have flown, the towering cliff marks become the angler’s domain.

The 450 foot cliffs East of Reighton are unfishable, but good low water fishing can be enjoyed (if that’s the word) after a two mile hike along the shore. You will lose lots of leads because the area is one huge area of boulders and kelp bed tangles – but the cod and coalfish love it.

Give yourself lots of time to walk back because you could find your route cut off at high water. A Northerly swell will make your predicament even worse.

Moving South the next point is BUCKTON CLIFF which has it’s nearest access point from the Bempton Bird Sanctuary car park. The sheer limestone cliffs rise 350 feet out of the sea so it’s essential to use tackle capable of lifting fish and weed.

A 20 foot long aluminium pole with a pulley on the end is used by locals to keep the line and fish clear of the cliff face.

When the fish is hooked the line is looped over the pulley and the pole pushed out over the edge.

One angler stands on the landward end of the pole while another hand lines the fish to the top.

A reel in the ABU 9000- 10 000 class is another must – to hold the 250 yards of line required to reach cliff bottom marks.

BEMPTON seems to fish best in South Westerlies and at high water because the base dries out on spring tide lows.

Moving South we come to the famous chalk cliffs of FLAMBOROUGH HEAD which range in height between 100 feet and 60 feet and in places let the angler get right down to the waters edge.

THORNWICK BAY either from the cliff top at high water or the scaurs at low tide by following footpaths from the cafe.

fishing from the cliffs at flamborough

Flamborough’s North Landing is just round the corner and produces it’s best bags of cod and coalfish – known locally as billet – during a good Northerly swell. The next cliff top mark is SILEX BAY which has to be fished at high water.

Access is easy, footpaths run from the cafe car park. However any angler who plans to fish the cliffs should make sure he wears good grip climbing boots.Never wear wellingtons or plimsolls which slip too easily.

Top baits are mussel, lug worm or peeler crab whipped onto a 6/0 bronze forged hook which won’t bend out of fish when they are lifted up the cliff face.

Double figure cod are taken off these marks but landing them is a long hard struggle: the angler has to show plenty of care and patience bringing them to the top.

Health and safety

Angling from the shore in the UK is very hazardous to say the least. Every year lives are lost whilst pursuing our fascination with sea angling. Anglers of all levels of ability need to be very very careful indeed – having fallen badly myself last year I’m as aware as anyone of the dangers of rock fishing. 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.

By | 2018-03-23T08:52:03+00:00 February 11th, 2010|Cod Fishing, Marks|0 Comments

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.

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