Fishing can be a great day out for families, couples, parent and child, or even solo. Whether you are new to the activity, or you have brought all your gear on holiday with you, there is something for everyone on holiday in Hampshire.
Hampshire is a great place to fish. It is home to two of the south coast’s biggest cities which are two of the best spots for shore fishing in the UK. Southampton and Portsmouth are situated on the Solent, which is famed for its Codling in the cooler months, and its Bass in the summer months. In addition to these obvious places, there are a number of smaller harbours and estuaries in the county which are great to set up the rods. All over Hampshire too, there are angling shops, with locals who can give you their top tips and will relish the chance to do so. So let’s start with
The record for the biggest British Bass was caught here, which means it is increasing in popularity as an angling centre. There is a large harbour, but the South Parade Pier is probably the best location for all ages and abilities. Fishing is good here all year round too, with Mackerel, Pollack, Bass, Mullet and Bream flowing in abundance. A light spinning rod and a float fish is a good tactic for this area.
However, Portchester Castle is a more scenic place to fish. This is near the harbour, and a good place for Bass, Flounders, and Eels, all of which are attracted to Ragworm bait. There is also Port Solent, where you can catch Plaice as well. There are many crabs in this area which can make excellent bait, but can be a bit irritating! For lure fishing head to Eastern Road Pier, a little less well known, but a fishing point that doesn’t disappoint.
A large port town, it is surprising that the fishing there is fabulous. There are creeks, and beaches, and harbours, and lots of places to get your fish on. The most frequented spot for fisherman is the Town Quay. It is great as you can just park your car and get on with it! Dover Sole are the prized fish in this area - for Flounder head to Weston Point, as this is a good spot for springtime fishing.
The Chilling Spit is a spectacularly pretty place, at the south of Hook Nature Park at the mouth of the river Hamble. The water and beaches are clean, but you will have to walk a while to find the right spot. Hythe reclaimed land is an interesting setting too, as it once was an industrial complex but it has been returned to its natural beauty therefore bringing a lot of fisherman this way.
A great choice for the fishing enthusiasts out there - due to its popularity as a beach location in the summer, it is a fabulous choice should you wish to night fish. Night fishing is a great experience, and brings with it a whole set of interesting challenges. The Hayling Bridge is a good place to set up camp, and there are fishing platforms accessible at high tide. The tide in this part is strong, so be cautious. Close by is the Old Hayling Billy Line which are old concrete blocks leftover from a railway that once existed. This is where the locals like to head in all weathers so it must be good! Then there is good old Langston Harbour. Here you have to pick the right tide, and if the weather is windy you may not have much luck.
The New Forest
Not necessarily the first place you would think of but there are so many great spots from Hurst Castle all the way round to Calshot which is near to Southampton. Lymington Harbour is a great place to head out on a boat if you want to try sea fishing, but also on the shore you will get some great Mullet. Pennington Sea Wall is a popular spot too for Bass and Bream. Bucklers Hard and Beaulieu are a great day out in themselves for their maritime history, licences are required in the area but it is well worth it. Don’t forget Calshot and Lepe too!
As you can see there are many great spots to cast a line in Hampshire, we hope this has given you a good flavour of what to expect.