Angus offers a variety of sea angling opportunities to satisfy the aspirations of the most demanding anglers. The scenery is spectacular and matched by the chance of landing a variety of species together with huge cod. The main season for cod is the winter and the area fishes best in strong on shore winds or the immediate aftermath of a storm. This brings large cod close inshore to feed during the winter months.
Under these conditions, good catches are possible from Arbroath Harbour wall. For the more adventurous angler, the rock marks from Arbroath north to Montrose can offer spectacular catches. Try low water marks like Mary Anne, the Stappers and the Deil's Heid then switch to the likes of the Garret and Dickmonts. High water marks at Windyhills are good for cod in double figures at nights.
Victoria Park at Arbroath offers extensive kelp beds and tremendous summer cod sport during low water. Big conger are also possible but the resident crab population often devours baits before the eels get a chance!
Auchmithie beach is a popular location with cod well into double figures regularly caught during high water. Rocks north of Auchmithie and marks at Rumness and Wrasse bay should offer excellent daylight fishing for cod. Rumness is best over low tide while Wrasse bay fishes well throughout the flood.
Further north, Ethie Haven is fishable in all winds, and long casting can result in large cod. Low water here favours codling. The Lion rock at the north end of Lunan bay is ideal for codling and dabs from the mixed ground. Boddin point brick kilns is a shallow water mark offering codling up to 6 pounds during daylight. Elephant Rock, Black Rock,the Fishtown gulley and the Dyke marks at Usan offer real chances of big cod over 20 pounds.
For juvenile sea anglers, the inner harbour is safe together with Arbroath esplanade. The latter, in the vicinity of Balis, is probably the most famous winter cod mark in the Arbroath area. Further south is the Elliot beach. These provide an opportunity to catch a variety of species such as coalfish, flounder sea bass and recently turbot.
It should be noted that many of the rocky marks are difficult to access with step paths at best. Particular care should be taken when parking on narrow country roads such that access for agricultural vehicles and local people are not disrupted. There have been many examples of inconsiderate sea anglers destroying verges and blocking access. Litter should always be taken back and disposed of properly.
In the summer, Arbroath boat charters approach their seasonal best with large numbers of cod to double figure. Wrasse, coalfish, ling and Pollack are likely but are usually reported as incidentals. Lures carrying lug and mussel are best with orange a popular colour.
Seaton Cliffs north of Arbroath
Baits: Frozen peeler crab is the bait of choice in the early part of the season thereafter lug worm comes to the fore. Razor fish as part of a cocktail can make all the difference.
Tackle: Standard beach gear is ideal for the sandy beaches with spinning worthwhile for summer bass. When it comes to the rocky marks, where there is abundance of kelp beds, stout gear is essential with strong beach casting rods of about 13 feet required. Long casting seldom helps from these rocky marks when there is colour and a heavy sea. Rotten bottom terminal tackle is essential. Stout footwear is vital with good climbing boots a better option than waders.