Some of the best sea angling in Scotland for Flounder and Plaice can be found at Glencaple on the Nith at the start of the estuary. Other varieties such as Sea Bass, Dogfish and Thornback Wrays are also found further into the estuary, around Carsethorn.
Flounder and Plaice
Flounder, a chunky flatfish with eyes on one side, is the most popular species amongst sea anglers since its preferred habitat - shallow sandy mud - is in abundance. It can be caught at close range as can Plaice, a close second, with its distinctive red spots. The occasional mullet with its large scales and large round mouth, can also be found although these are by far a more challenging catch.
Both Flounder and Plaice, gently fried with breadcrumbs, is a delicious choice amongst sea anglers.
Where to Fish
The best place to fish at Glencaple is generally considered to be off the pier end and is quite a hot spot. The river edge south of the village is also popular. Flounders can be predictable - they like to stick to the line between beach and sand and accurate casting can result in an excellent catch.
Fishing is free but anglers are advised to seek advice from the Glencaple shop on the pier end. All but the most experienced local angler must check tide times before fishing as, with quicksands and a fast flowing tide, it is very easy to be caught unaware and be cut off by the tide.
When to Fish
Sea fishing can be done at any time of the year but the best time to fish is in the Spring through to Autumn on an incoming and ebb tide. Fish tend to be smaller and fresher in April but by September/October time, much heavier fish arrive in larger numbers. Recent reports of between 20 and 30 Flounders caught in one tide are not uncommon
Hooks and Bait
Generally, smaller hooks are ideal (size 2 and 4) although with larger bait a 1/0, for example, may be better. Any sprung rod or beach caster will do the job, however, the Continental long rod/fixed spool is becoming fairly common.
Recommended bait in this area is mackerel strips, lug worm, ragworms, shrimps, mussels, cockles and fresh peeler crabs. Because of the murky water, flounders wait on the sea bed and are attracted by both movement and smell. Lugworm or ragworm tipped with specially cut strips of mackerel are particularly successful here. Fresh peeler crabs, lugworm and ragworms can be found at Carsethorn and Southerness but frozen bait can also be purchased at the Glencaple shop at the pier.
Beads, sequins, small blades and even spoons, to be fixed above a baited hook, are often useful additions to the sea angler's kit bag.
Remember, BEWARE of quicksands and fast flowing tides. ALWAYS check tide times before fishing.
Flounder tramping is an old tradition which is still performed in the Nith by Glencaple at low water - a great way for all the family to spend an afternoon!