Fishing for Flounders at Reighton sands

Reighton sands is a long sandy beach on the north Yorkshire coastline, just north of Bridlington. It is also home to a large Haven caravan site, which is where I found myself on holiday for a week.

The cliffs surrounding the bay are a mix of soft mud and pebbles and are gradually being eroded by the sea, which means when the tide comes in it really comes in!
Not knowing much about this shoreline I asked about and was told to have a go for the big numbers of Flounder which patrol the beaches daily.

After getting a couple of bargain Mackerel from the local supermarket for about 80p I headed down to the steep path and on to the beach about 2 hours before high tide. Already, the sea was almost up to the muddy cliffs so I really had to get a move on to get to the spot I had chosen earlier in the day. Top piece of advice here, choose a spot with an escape route back up the steep cliffs!

I arrived at my spot and went about setting up my rods. I cut the first strips off the mackerel and added them to my simple rig and grip lead setup. On looking up though I noticed a few 3-4 foot wave sets rolling in which was a little disconcerting!


I cast my rig just past the breaking waves, which to be fair was about my limit of casting, and settled back in the now warm sunshine peering through the clouds. As I sat there looking about at the amazing coastline my eye would catch the rod-tip bouncing about as a breaking wave would pull on the line, so watching for the slightest knocking in between these waves was the key.

About an hour later the tip was bouncing all over the place and I had a fish on. What was it though? Always a great moment on a new beach as you never really know!
After a spirited little fight a lovely Flounder came out of the surf and up on to the muddy bank. It was fin perfect and you could just imagine it lying on the bottom, camouflaged in the sand waiting for a meal. It’s amazing to think they don’t actually start out flat but develop into flatties while they are young fish. The plaice I had caught was also just big enough to go with chips!


After a few more hours of watching waves crashing against the shoreline, creating a brown slick of muddy water heading out to sea I called it a day and went back for tea, yes Flounder!

The following evening I went back again but this time a little further up the beach, which turned out to be a trip in itself after deciding to follow a maze of paths from the cliff tops to the beach! The waves at this spot were hitting the shoreline so hard that the ground would shake, and I feared I was probably wasting my time. But a few hours in, and about the time when the rain started pouring down, I managed to get another similar sized Flounder on the mackerel strip. The weather beat me though and I returned to the site wet and cold but happy to have caught.


Reighton sands might be hard work but is a good place for Flounder!

Helpful books:

“The Sea Angler’s Step-by-step Guide to Bait and Rigs

Sea Fishing (River Cottage Handbook)

Categories: fishing, Flounders, Sea

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