Wreck Fishing – Deep Sea Wrecking Trips

Deep Sea FishingBrighton Marina is one of the premier south coast ports for deep sea fishing trips in the UK, with over 200 offshore wrecks in this part of English Channel within easy reach. Come and enjoy a day’s fishing with one of Brighton’s top wrecking Skippers aboard Grey Viking II.

Our wrecking season generally runs from January until November, with the main target species being Pollack, Cod, Ling and Conger. There is also some excellent Black Bream and Bass fishing to be had on the wrecks in the summer and autumn.

If you are new to wreck fishing or deep sea tactics 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 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!

Wreck Fishing

An early season Wrecking Trip with lots of BIG Cod including a 30lb 4oz whopper for Warren Slatter – all on lures


Wreck Fishing – Drifting with Lures

For most of the year the year we fish 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.

red letter day

Part of a big haul of Cod and Pollack whilst deep sea fishing – this was just one drift on a red letter day!

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 fish coloured. For Bass the other type of lure to consider are the Savage Sandeels which are really doing the business!

Wreck 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 6ft of 25lb mono or better still fluorocarbon . If we are “hopping” for Cod shorten this to around 2ft. 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.

Bass and Pollack

Bass to 10lb 4oz and Pollack to 16lb 4oz caught early in the Wrecking season using Redgill and Sidewinder lures

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 Cod

A superb summer Cod of 24lbs for Stacey Manwill caught whilst wreck fishing at anchor on a whole Mackerel flapper bait

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 30lb class rods with suitable reels spooled with braid. The days of using broom sticks for rods are over and a reasonable 30lb class setup will handle will handle even the biggest Congers if you play the fish with care.

21lb Ling

A decent Ling of 21lbs caught by Will Johns on a large Cuttle bait

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 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 50lb to 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!


Booking Information

If you’d like to book a sea fishing trip with us or to find out more please call 07850 171722 or use our contact form to send an email. To check availability our calendar is updated daily and for what it’s going to cost have a look at our prices page. For boarding times, how to find us, free parking, what to bring and much more please have a look at our booking information page.