Southbourne (end of prom to the kink)
As with most of the marks along the Bournemouth sea front which would include end of prom the bistro and the kink, there is probably no real hotspot although most anglers have their favourite mark which in many cases is within easy walking distance of parking,
The beach is made up of mainly sand and loose peebles and has short groynes to protect the beach .In my younger days we fished from the prom itself as the water would lap the base of the wall and many a good fish were caught in the back wash from the prom!!!
Nowadays things are different the beach has been built up by the local council and this has changed the fishing somewhat. Now we have two gullies with a sandbar in between them, the first gully stretches the whole length of the beach and is about 10 mtrs out from the end of the groynes the second is about a further 100 mtrs and the fish tend to swim up and down these features. The depth of water is not great perhaps 10 mtrs at 120 mtrs but deeper in the gullies.
If you visit the venue at a low tide spring with some wave action you can see these features for yourself as well on a nice calm day with the sunshine at high tide you can pick out the dark deeper water of both of the gullies
During the early part of the year the fishing is slow with rockling and pout however as always a decent fish can turn up as witnessed by a 5lb sole taken on sandeel in january. As the weather improves so does the fishing with the arrival of the plaice and a few flounders mainly taken in daylight . the UK shore plaice record of 8lb was taken in this area!!!!
As we get into summer the beach is impossible to fish in daylight hours as its full of the holiday makers unless you make an early start, for the mackerel and rays as well as spinning from the groynes.
However this area comes into its own from dusk onwards once the sun is off the water then you will have a good chance of catching sole flounders dabs smoothhound bass(close in in rough weather) dogfish with the match angler taking garfish mackerel and scad using light and long rigs with floats or pop up rigs. The area used to be prolific for rays and I have had some nice small eyed up to 10lb and although a few are still caught each year with small thornbacks and undulates they don’t seem to be as many as there used to be..a few cod do turn up but are caught by accident you would not class this area as a cod hotspot.
Tackle required is a normal beach caster 12 to 14ft long with a multiplier or fixed spool with 12 to 15 lb line balanced to 4 ozs and 50 lb shockleader with rigs and hooks to match your target .
Distance casting doesn’t seem to hold any advantage in fact more fish are caught within 60 to 80mts than at long range . I prefer to fish two rods one in each gully and most of the time the close rod out fishes the long range one. I like to fish and hour either side of high tide on a medium spring tide however other anglers may have other ideas on tides!
Baits to use are worm for most fish, crab for the smoothhound, bluey and sandeel for the rays and the occasional turbot and sometimes after a storm slipper limpet that has been washed up can be deadly fished close in for bass.
To sum up Southbourne will never set the world alight with large bags of fish but it is an easy beach to fish with a little tide flow and normally weed is not a problem. Parking is free out of season and the beach is busy at weekends.