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Selsey East

Selsey EastSelsey is situated on a peninsula jutting out into the English Channel about eight miles south of Chichester. It's shores can be fished on both the SE and SW sides, which provide some shelter from the prevailing winds. Nearby there is also the Lifeboat pub, toilets, RNLI shop, childrens play area, park and, if you can't catch your own, there are fresh fish for sale!


The East Beach

Access is via a left turn as you enter the town of Selsey. Follow the signs to East Beach Car Park. The beach is a very short walk from the car park to the promenade. A word of warning here: always check your fishing spot in day-light as there are boats and moorings all the way to ‘The Point’.
Strong tides and ‘snaggy’ ground mean that 6 oz grip leads are necessary on the bigger springs. Casting distance need not be more than 50 yards.
Be prepared to put up with plenty of weed, which comes and goes throughout the tide. Species include mackerel, bass, small thornbacks, black bream, gurnards and smoothhounds in the summer and cod and whiting through the winter months.
Very good bass fishing is found here on calm summer nights when pout and mackerel baits are free-lined or lightly anchored no further than 30 feet from the shore. Stealth and quiet are required.

The Lifeboat Station

Again this is found from the left turn to East Beach, but instead of following these signs look for the directions to The Lifeboat Station.
There is limited parking at the end of the road in a cul-de-sac opposite the Lifeboat pub. The ground here can be very ‘snaggy’, but, a large peeler bait may be taken by a big bass or smoothhound if the angler is brave enough to cast close to the ironwork. Distance is not required just lots of leads and rotten bottom links. A 35 lb stingray was caught at this mark last year.
General fishing with worm baits will produce school bass, bream and gurnards. Early and late spinning or feathering can be successful for bass and mackerel. Bass anglers are again very successful, fishing at ultra-short range at night. Fresh mackerel or large peelers are the best baits, by far.

Selsey Bill/The Point

This is Selsey’s best-known landmark. It can be found by driving straight through the town as far as you can go.
On the left at the seashore is a ‘pay and display car park. Local knowledge counts for plenty here; there is a very strong tide-rip which creates unpredictable sea conditions. This is a very productive mark but is not recommended for younger children, unless under close supervision, as one slip could mean loss of life.
Two hours after high water is a good time to spin or plug for bass and mackerel. On the whole, the top of the tide is too strong for bottom fishing. Many cod, codling and whiting are taken over low water in the winter.
It is probably the most reliable shore mark for winter cod in central-southern England; because of this the best tides are often crowded here. The cod are frequently taken on one or two squid on a large Pennel rig, but lug and squid works well too.
In summer, some huge smoothhounds are taken here with a few ‘twenties’ turning up mostly in the hot calm conditions of July and August.
Peeler, peeling spider crabs and even small hardbacks the size of a 50p piece are taken with relish. Surprise bass are often a bonus when fishing for ‘smoothies’. Simple pulley-rigs, one-metre paternoster and flowing-rigs are all effective when baited with crab and a strong 2/0 – 3/0 hook is required.
Local anglers think nothing of using 50 lb snoods, which makes landing the fish much easier. Please return these fabulous sporting fish and preserve a special piece of sea angling for future generations.

Type of ground

This is a mixed ground beach of rocks, sand and shingle. Around the Lifeboat station itself is a tackle graveyard but if you are confident in your ability to fish close to the structure you might pick up a big bass. The depths on East beach and Selsey Bill are considerable and long casting is unnecessary. Tides are strong on springs and you should expect to have to deal with lots of weed although this usually disperses after high water.


Bass, Black Bream, Wrasse, Mackerel, Smoothhound.


Selsey is signposted from the A286 and B2145 junctions on the A27 south of Chichester. Parking is either on the road adjacent to the Lifeboat station or in the East Beach car park nearby. The beach is a short walk from the car park.

Nearest tackle shop:

Southern Angling Specialists, 2 Stockbridge Pl, Stockbridge Rd, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8QH 01243 531669


Raycraft Tackle, 119 High Street, Selsey, West Sussex 01243606039

Shoreline Angling, 7 Shore Road, East Wittering, West Sussex 01243673353

Sporting Fish recommended retailers in this location:

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