Fishing off the beach in Beer – time to head out again for our latest mini adventure!
On the calendar we have a number of dates to go fishing and this was one of them. Well, to clarify it’s the children that go fishing. Let me explain.
After preparing and eating a large Father’s Day roast dinner I was quite content to relax on the sofa and finish off the bottle of wine! However my youngest daughter had different ideas and insisted that we made an effort to go out, the irony was not lost on us.
HOW IT STARTED
A friend of ours and his children have been involved for a few years with Beer and District Sea Angling Association and encouraged us to go along. So the children are now duly signed up club members.
The events are held once a month from May to December and involve fishing from the shore, off Lyme Regis harbour wall, Seaton, Beer or Branscombe beaches.
Points are added up after each event based on the number, type and size of the fish caught with a winner on the day. Points are totted up at the end of the season for the big prize giving ceremony. I have to admit our attendance has been pretty patchy so we’ve never made it into the final prize giving stakes.
ENGLISH SUMMER TIME!
Anyway that afternoon we found ourselves in Beer fishing off the beach.
I do apologise for the grey pictures – it was a damp afternoon and I was grateful for the little beach tent Dan had brought. As you can see Lucy improvised with the deckchairs.
Beach huts, boats and pebbles
Despite the weather the more often I go to Beer (and I do have this blog to thank for that) the more I like it.
Beer beach is a proper working beach with fishing boats, crab pots and sailing dinghys, as well as lots of wires and ropes to trip over (please don’t mention this place to anyone involved in Health and Safety). Add in the beach huts, deck chairs and cafes (that seem to open when they know people will be there in peak season), plus the stunning cliff hugging location and Beer really has a great charm and I hope it never changes.
Back to the fishing!
Armed with the proper kit, Dan helped our two girls and his son fix the bait and cast out to sea. The rules are that the children have to land what they catch, other help is allowed. We were hoping for plaice or bass, but it was not to be. The line sways and bobs with the surf and then when thoughts of finding a coffee had nearly totally consumed me there was a tightening on the line. The excitement as everyone starred out to sea was palpable! What would it be, was it a fish, was it just seaweed. Action stations!
We were rewarded with a beautiful fish called a ballan wrass – I have to admit my ignorance as I have never seen or heard of this beautiful looking fish before. It was not for eating so after being weighed and photographed it was carefully popped back into sea. Between them our children caught 5 of these and Dan’s son landed the winner of the day a 2lb 4oz specimen that apparently would have been about 8 years old.
The excitement as everyone starred out to sea was palpable!
What would it be, was it a fish or just seaweed?
Despite the drizzle, a significant amount of time starring hopefully out to sea and taking photos, I can conclude that there are worse ways to spend 3 hours. For the children any reason to get out of the house and into the fresh air has to be good.
Dan is a great teacher and if you think you might be interested in a bit of fishing either with or without children then I am sure he or one of the other local fishermen would be happy to advise you. Sometimes you actually catch things you can eat, especially during mackerel season!
For more information take a look at the club’s website.
If you want to buy your own gear it doesn’t have to be expensive, there are shops selling fishing rods and crabbing nets and all the accessories in Axmouth and Lyme Regis.
From Beer beach you can also hire a little boat and take a trip on your own round the bay or try one of the many mackerel fishing excursions in the summer. If all else fails you can buy fresh fish from the shop just before the beach.
Beer is a lovely village to wander around, lots of pubs, tea rooms and walking opportunities if you are feeling like tackling the hills. I have also written about a short walk from Seaton Hole to Beer, which you could of course do in reverse. There are about 30 steps at the bottom of Beer Gardens, (the start of the walk or end of the walk depending on your direction) – otherwise the path is of varying steepness so potentially doable with a pushchair if you can overcome the obstacle of the steps.
On a low tide you can walk right round the headland to Seaton Hole and Seaton – I would advise taking advice on this first though in order to avoid becoming an RNLI statistic.
Finally before I sign off I just wanted to share a few pictures of the little Discovery Centre also on Beer Beach. It’s really not advertised but has a little aquarium, various information boards about the Jurassic Coast and a lovely carved dolphin, a nice little diversion. Did you know that a group of dolphins frequent the bay at Beer most summers? I have yet to see them but it sounds like a lovely thing to see.
Happy travels – Clare