Deep Sea Wreck Fishing

Our deep sea wreck fishing trips are run throughout the year and the main species caught on the wrecks are Cod, Pollack, Bass, Ling and Conger Eel depending on the season.

If you are new to wrecking or deep sea fishing you can simply turn up, hire the tackle from us and enjoy your day – we’ll show you what to do. If you’re bringing your own tackle or simply want more advice about how we fish the wrecks here in Brighton, read on!

The wrecks we fish are generally lying in depths of around 45 – 65 metres and most are reached within 60 to 90 minutes from Brighton Marina, which maximises your fishing time.

Fishing in the Deep Sea

Fishing in the deep sea is not for the faint hearted! You’ll be working your lures non-stop in the depths and the fight you’ll get from a fast diving Pollack or a powerful Cod has to be experienced to be believed. It can be very exciting fishing, with excellent catches on the cards, but it’s physically hard work! If you’re a beginner or simply looking for a relaxing day out you might be better off choosing a ground fishing trip instead, although we’ll happily show you the ropes if you’re new to wreck fishing and want to give it a go!

Big haul of Cod whilst Deep Sea Fishing
Part of a big haul of Cod whilst deep sea fishing – this was just one drift on a red letter day!


Wreck Fishing – Drifting with Lures

For most of the year we are wreck fishing on the deeper offshore wrecks by drifting with lures in search of Pollack, Cod and Bass. We stop the boat uptide of the wreck and drift over it working our chosen lure up and down by winding the handle (typically 20 turns) then dropping down and and repeating the process until the end of the drift. The Skipper will then motor up the tide again to repeat the process. It’s usual to visit several wrecks on such trips as the skipper will have a plan based on the tides for the day.

early season Wreck Fishing
An early season wreck fishing trip with lots of BIG Cod including a 30lb 4oz whopper for Warren Slatter – all on lures

Lures used include Shads and Jellyworms with Sidewinders and Redgill Evolutions being by far the most popular and effective in use today. For Cod and Pollack the reliable colours are black firetails, rhubarb and custard/sunset (which are red/orange), white and blue or pink. For Bass the other type of lure to consider are the Savage Sandeels which are really doing the business!

Wreck Fishing Bass
A good Bass of 8lbs caught on a lure whilst wreck fishing

Most anglers use lighter sporting gear with rods in the 12-20lb class range, matched to a 7000 size multiplier and braid. Your braid should be around 30lbs with a 25lb mono rubbing leader attached of 2 rod lengths or so. Simple flying collar rigs (boom-bead-swivel) are ideal, as are Portland Rigs and French wire booms. With the modern weighted lures your hook length snood should be around 8ft of 25lb mono or better still fluorocarbon . If we are “hopping” for Cod shorten this to around 4ft. Unweighted lures such as traditional Jelly Worms benefit from a longer hook length of 12ft or more. As for weight you’ll need around 8 to 10oz of lead depending how fast the tide is running and its important that everyone aboard is using broadly the same amount of weight to reduce tangles.

For more information on specific species caught whilst drifting the wrecks our pages on Wrecking for Pollack and Cod Fishing are well worth a look.

Summer Deep Sea Wreck Fishing
Summer deep sea wreck fishing at it’s best!


Wrecking at Anchor – Fishing with Bait

From around July to November wrecking at anchor and fishing with bait is often more productive than lure fishing on the smaller neap tides. On these trips we target big Conger Eels, Ling and Cod. We can also fish for the specimen Black Bream that reside on the wrecks at this time of year after spawning on the inshore reefs. We’ll be fishing hard on the bottom with Cuttle Fish and Mackerel baits, the latter we catch fresh on the way out to the wrecks.

24lb Summer Wreck Cod
A cracking Cod of 24lb caught by Stacey Manwill in summer whilst bait fishing at anchor on the wrecks!

Once we arrive at the wreck the skipper will motor up the tide and drop the anchor, the skill is ensuring that the boat settles in exactly the right position just uptide of the wreck with your baits fishing back into it, hard on the bottom. Weights will be heavier than when drifting, typically 12oz to 1.5lbs depending how much tide is running, to keep your large baits nailed to the seabed.

Because we are using more lead and targeting larger fish it’s wise to step up your gear to 20-30lb class rods with suitable reels spooled with braid. The days of using broom sticks for rods are over and a reasonable 20-30lb class setup will handle will handle even the biggest Congers if you play the fish with care.

24lb Deep Sea Ling
This cracking Ling of 24lb was caught on a deep sea wrecking trip

For rigs we follow the K.I.S.S principle (Keep It Simple – Stupid!) and all you need is a simple running ledger using a zip slider or similar, a bead and a strong swivel. For Conger and Ling your hook length should be around 4 feet of 150lb to 250lb mono with an 8/0 to 10/0 O’Shaughnessy hook. If Cod is the primary target you can step down to a 6/0 pennel rig with an 80lb trace. If you fancy targeting the big Bream that reside on the wrecks step down to smaller paternoster rigs or simply use baited feathers. But for a rig that will handle Cod, Ling and Conger just stick with the large O’Shaughnessy hook to 150lb trace and be done with it!