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Chichester and Langstone Harbour

Chichester and Langstone Harbour By Adrian Farley

These two harbours form special areas of interest for all forms of wildlife.
They are particularly popular with serious ‘twitchers’ who travel from many parts of the country to see the migratory and resident bird-life, which includes a Little Tern nesting area, hundreds of Common white Egrets, Herons, Curlews and Redshanks.
Both Harbours are very tidal with up to a 5 metres low to high water. Most of the marks described can be fished two hours either side of high water, although the harbour mouths can be fished from low water up.

Northney Marina

This is found by turning left after Langstone Bridge on the A3023 to Hayling Island. There is free parking alongside the public slip way.
This is a limited mark in so much as angling is not allowed in amongst the boat berths. The large green dome at the entrace to the Marina is fishable and is an excellent mark for thick-lipped mullet from June to September. Coarse ‘waggler’ gear works well with fish averaging 2 – 4 pounds. Mashed bread is essential to get the mullet to feed.  Bread flake on a size 8 hook presented near the bottom should score. Take a landing net with you as the banks are steep. Using mud-rag (‘maddies) or small small king ragworms should bring mixed bags of eels, bass and flounders.

Northney Marina (main channels)

Drive into Northney Marina and park to the far left. Walk down to and you will see where 3 or 4 channels meet together. This is a mark for 3 hours up to high water and down the ebb. This can produce mixed of flounders, bass and eels by using a two or 3 hook flapper baited with small ragworms. A long cast is unnecessary as the ragworm beds are only 30 – 40 metres out from the shore. A 4oz grip or plain lead should hold bottom and best sport is had using a light ‘flattie’ or bass rod. Bass up to 5 pounds and the occasional mullet or eel make up bags here. The best time for the flounders is November until February, although numbers of flounders and eels are drastically down on ten years ago.
By contrast, grey mullet and bass are ‘booming’.

Langstone Bridge

This is the bridge, which joins Hayling Island to the mainland near Havant. It has recently special angling ‘bays’ along its length. There is ample parking at either end of the bridge. Traffic is very busy here and youngsters, in particular, need to be aware. The mark is best known for its summer time after-dark fishing over high water. Small bait-fish are attracted by the street-lights and bass, mackerel and scad accumulate here. ‘Shrimp-like’ lures work well under the lights as does ragworm fished on a ‘flapper-style’ paternoster and kept on the move.  Float fishing and ‘redgilling’ is a good bet during the day. In winter, try a float-fished spoon close to the bottom for some excellent flounders.

Eastern Road Jetty

A comfortable place to fish and it is found by following the Eastern Road signposted to Southsea (A2030). There is a turning to the left into the car park just after the Harvester Restaurant and opposite the Golf Course. This again is a summer venue for school bass and eels and is very popular in winter for flounders. It is one of a few marks in the area, which offers some shelter from westerly gales. Ragworm is again the main bait. There is a gravel-ship channel  far out from the end of the jetty and this is the first area to hold flounders on the flood tide. As with most of these rather shallow marks, stick to two hours either side of high water.

Southsea Marina

Follow the Southsea Eastern Road to Fratton Park football ground and turn left at the roundabout. Follow the signs to Southsea Marina. Turn into the narrow marina road and use the free car park on the right after the marina entrance. You have plenty of choice here. The West Winner bank is located after a short walk past the old sewer pipe. There is excellent bass fishing here especially after a storm and using slipper limpet bait.
There is access to the old sewer pipe platform from which it is possible to catch black bream (mostly small), scad, pollack, bass, mackerel and garfish. Adjacent to the car park is a steep beach and youngsters need to be warned about the very fast current when the tide is running out of the harbour. There have been several fatalities when people have been foolish enough to swim here. These marks are best fished from low water up.  It gets very busy here in the summer with jet-bikers and boats. It is best fished early or late. In the summer there are plenty of mackerel and scad on lures.

© Adrian Farley 2010


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