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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone fished there recently? To avoid the 'Mackie bashers' on the West I was thinking of trying my luck one day off the lower deck. I'm guessing Billet, Codling and the odd Pollack might be on offer. Back in the day (40-50 years ago) mussel was always the 'go to' bait although worm seemed to do well after the New Year. I fancy trying some soft baits for the Billet and Pollack at this time of the year. Is there chance of a Wrasse because of the rough ground ?
 

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Don't think may folk can be bothered with the walk although I think that will change once the mackerel make an appearance.
I had a couple of hours on the west the other week. It was a bite a chuck ending up with 15 dabs & a plaice. I only fish light with a 7ft rod (so I can cast on the bottom deck), & 1oz bomb with a single hook flowing trace using cast & slow retrieve to keep the crabs off. Like you mussel was always the go to bait, from the hut with the old lady sat in the back shelling them. Never seen anyone do it as fast as she could. These days I tend to use mackerel strip or frozen blacks as I have them in the freezer. I found I hooked the flatties in the mouth with mackerel but they took the worm right down. One lad was knocking small billet out on squid strips. I have seen the odd small wrasse on the west but the ground is definitely more suitable on the east. With so little fishing being done on that side I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't a few decent pollock lurking.
The other year I fished half way down the west as the end was crowded out with tinsel tossers, I had 4 mackerel and dropped as many off. The crowed at the end had nothing & couldn't work out why I had fish while they blanked. I was cursing at catching them as I was experimenting for a little turbout (and succeeded).
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Bob. You must almost be as old as me! We used to get a jar (the big Nescafe glass ones) full of mussels for 50p. Like you I also shy away from the crowds and don't mind experimenting with different tactics for other species. One summer on the West lower pier I caught lots of Launce on the harbour entrance side with mini Hokkai's, so I hooked a live one a ledger rig and cast out onto the sands. I was thinking maybe a Mackerel might go for it, but was rewarded with a 2lb+ Billet. Always worth mixing things up a bit.
 

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You never know we might have met up as kids on the pier. Me & my mates were down there nearly every weekend usually on a Sunday. Wish I'd had some sabiki's the other week the launce were hammering into sprats & sandeels in the slack water at the end of the pier.
Back in those days we fished just before low & a couple of hours into the flood in the harbour for flounders. Was plenty over 1.5lb in those days our best was over 3lb. When it went quiet in the harbour we'd head onto the pier for the billet these were fish to just over a pound. Bait was a few peelers that we found for the flatties & mussel from the hut on the way to the pier.
 

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Them were the days Bob!
We would get on the bus and go to Whitby for a day's fishing.
A carton of mussels for bait from the harbour stall.
We used to catch tons of fish using that: billet, flounders, and others.
I've caught launce between the piers on small mepps spinners.
I need a billet and a dab for my species hunt, so I might venture 'up North' when all this madness is over.
 

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Just back in after a trip to Whitby East. If anyone is worried about social distancing then I would advise you to keep away from Whitby full stop. I got dropped of near the swing bridge to walk to the pier, the crowds from there to the 199 steps tried to walk through you not round. Quite funny as they patiently queued 2 m apart to go into shops with people passing by inches away. I was surprised by the number of anglers on the bottom deck of the pier, in fact I think there was more people on the East rather than the West pier. Again distancing seemed to be an issue with most being the "mackerel fraternity", I walked about 3/4 the way along before finding a spot. I was surprised at the state of the safety rails, being steel cables they have either rotted to the last few strands or gone completely.
Bait was my usual standby of frozen blacks & mackerel strips. First cast was harbourside I had a couple of quick taps & that was it for the night. No matter what I tried or where I couldn't coax another bite. I saw a couple of small coalies caught on spinner & tried that myself but nothing.
The tide seems to run stronger along that pier than over on the West. I went with optimistic enthusiasm & memories of fishing it as a lad & came away a little despondent. You could always catch small fish straight down the side but there was nothing. I think it may be a while before venture on there again, it's the first time for a few years that I've fished Whitby & blanked.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the report Bob. Surprised to hear that the fishing was not what you and I remember from days gone by. I think I will pay a visit in the next fortnight for an early tide (6-7 am) and try a few methods. I am sure during the winter months the Codling will be there.
 

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Talking to a few local lads before I left they said a matee had fished an early tide last week and had some good whiting & mackerel. Yes in the winter you are casting on to kelp covered rock. Noticed one of the local potters has dropped his gear within easy casting range of the pier.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Talking to a few local lads before I left they said a matee had fished an early tide last week and had some good whiting & mackerel. Yes in the winter you are casting on to kelp covered rock. Noticed one of the local potters has dropped his gear within easy casting range of the pier.
Luckily I remember where to cast off the top deck to avoid the worst of the rocky ground during the winter months. Having said that I'm still going to make up some extra rotten bottom rigs and get a bucket full of spark plugs from my mechanic friend.
 
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