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Plaice fishing from the shore

Fishing for plaice has become one of my
favourite sessions, to both plan and fish.
Through the spring, plaice move into
shallow coastal waters to feed after a
winter of spawning offshore. It’s during this
time that my annual plaice hunt begins,
usually mid march. Carrying on until early
november usually.
This flatfish species are usually found on
sandy banks and muddy/sandy beaches and estuaries throughout the
UK. I have found sunrise and daytime hours to be most prolific fishing
times, although it is noted by scientists studying natural behaviour that
plaice are most active at night, laying still in the daytime hours, burying
themselves into the seabed for camouflage.

Baits

● Peeler crab
● Black lug 
● Ragworm 
● Squid strips 
● Mussels 
● Clams 

Small lugworm or ragworm baits, tipped with a small piece of a peeler crab is by far my favourite bait for plaice, but your choice of bait should match what the fish are feeding on in the area you’re fishing. I’ve also found lugworm tipped with thin strips of squid to be productive.

fresh popping peeler crabs!

fresh live rag worms!

this flounder was tempted by some beads and an added spinner blade “bling” as we call it.
Plaice

Rigs

Shore fishing rigs for plaice are generally either flapper rigs, or 1 up 1
down rigs. The wessex rig being a variation of the 1 up 1 down and often
my go to. I like a rolling lead, with weight depending on where I’m
fishing.Hook size is down to your discretion, but between size 4 and 1/0 are the general sizes usually associated with plaice fishing. Long shank aberdeen hooks are ideal for plaice as like flounders, they have a tendency to completely inhale baits and are often deep hooked. You will often find the bite indication of a plaice to be a low nibbling bite, whilst the fish settles down next to your bait and eats it. With the bites not being massively positive, you may find yourself leaving it a little while to develop. It’s because of this that flatfish will often take a hook down deep. A long shank hook makes disgorging easier, and can also aid in bait presentation. As this is my
take on plaice fishing, I’ll say that my usual hook size is a size 4, as I usually keep what plaice i catch for the table or freezer.

There is a fair bit of debate over whether
“bling” on your hook snoods is necessary,
with many anglers preferring to keep their
snoods clear of beads. Personally I’ve
always used 8 to 12 beads above each
hook, usually black and dark green. It may
be my imagination but i’ve always found
this colour combination to attract fish,
especially plaice and Flounder ( pictured ).The addition of a spinner blade can also add extra
attraction.

Before concluding this article I’d like to mention a few differences
between plaice and flounder, as the two species can be hard to tell
apart. There is a lot of variation within the two species of colour, bony
ridges and lack of spot density and how bright their spots are, and the
easiest way to tell is shape.

Pictured here is a flounder. With its very faint
spots, long paddle tail and almost diamond
like body. Underneath they are a bright white.
Occasionally you may find a double sided
flounder, which is white both sides or doesn’t
have a white side at all.

plaice.

Pictured here is a Plaice. Notice it has more
defined red spots. The spots can be even
more vivid than they are on this fish. It also
has a narrower, less squared off tail and the
body shape and fins are a more rounded
shape. Underneath they are a more off white
colour compared to the bright white
underneath of a flounder.

So to conclude this article on my take on Plaice fishing, i’d like to thank you for taking your time to read, and i hope you find something within this article that helps you in the future targeting this fun fish.

Tight Lines all.

Kyle Stubbs.