Hartlepool marina & Middleton pier.

This time of the year on our piers we tend to get codling, coalfish, some flatfish, lots of whiting and the odd rockling. Together with the ever present LS scorpion fish and shannys we were hopefully in for a good night’s fishing armed with plenty of lures and some rag worm that was kindly donated to us.

A session that started in Hartlepool marina when it was light and ended in the dark on Middleton pier produced plenty of fish but sadly nothing that stands out as a “rare” catch or anything substantial. Saying that though it was a really enjoyable night, warm with a slight breeze, really high tide and great chat.

At 3pm my daughter and I started fishing in Hartlepool marina, we were soon joined by Aidan and his daughter. Fishing with ragworm and squid we all caught a good number of coalfish, whiting and small codling. Aidan and his daughter couldn’t stop catching coal fish with his daughter easily out fishing him.

4pm and my daughter and I had caught quite a few between us, she’ll cast out, reel in and I’ll unhook the fish for her. She likes to throw them back but for some reason she doesn’t like little codling.

It got to 5pm, Andrew joined us and Chloe got picked up to go home. Aidan left and Andrew and I moved to a different spot. After not getting a bite in 30 minutes we decided to head to Middleton pier. It was almost high tide and we were straight in to fish. Dropping down the side in to some rocks we started catching coalfish, they take you by surprise and put up a great fight on a 5g rated rod.

The scorpion fish and small codling showed up soon after and casting out a little bit helped us get a few whiting. The whiting were small and after an initial fight they seemed to just give up, its  still good to catch them and see them go back well. All fish we caught look in great condition and seemed to be feeding well.

It started getting dark so we called it a day. Everyone had a great night and its really good to see our daughters catching fish and enjoying it. 

You can follow me on Instagram Kev_goes_fishin to see what else I’m catching and join Hartlepool lure & LRF for local catch reports, hints and tips

Also, while you’re on this site please  check out the other amazing blogs, written by some amazing anglers.



Guest Lure Sea

Hartlepool marina.

Hartlepool is situated on the north east coast of England. Its a small town with a beautiful coast line, passionate football fans, a memorable nickname (monkey hangers) and a marina. The marina can hold up to 500 boats, hosted the tall ships event in 2010 and is again in 2023. It has pubs, restaurants and hotels surrounding it too. It’s also home to a lot of fish, of at least 20 species.

I fish it on a regular basis with the rest of the admin team of a Facebook group I help run called Hartlepool Lure & LRF. Kie, Aidan, Andrew, Andy and Paddy. Between us we’ve caught some cracking, strange and unexpected fish from here. If you read on you’ll find out what some of those fish are and what time of the year we caught them.

The sea scorpion. We have long and short spines in there, these are one of my favourite fish we catch out of there. the long spined are there all year round but the short spined are quite rare and we’ve only seen them caught in December and January with Paddy and Kie catching the biggest.

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Kie admiring his awesome catch.
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Paddy, looking like he wanted to eat this huge SS sea scorpion.

The plaice and flounder are caught pretty much all year round excluding February and March when we think they breed because they would swim past, under our feet and ignore everything we put in front of them. Aidan has caught some huge plaice.

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Codling range from about 4 inches long up to 2-3lb. We seem to catch the larger ones in the colder months, the small ones are there pretty much all year round. Andy and Andrew have caught the biggest.

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We have 3 different species of wrasse that turn up in the summer months and disappear in the colder ones. We get goldsinny wrasse, corkwing wrasse and ballan wrasse. Fishing a splitshot rig with a small hooks is definitely the best way to catch them, fishing with either isome type worms or ragworm works really well.

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Whiting and coalfish seem to be ever present,  sparce in the summer months but plentiful in the Autumn and winter. These can be caught on hard lures, isome type worms and bait. Throwing a prawn in with entice a coalfish before anything else, ragworm or squid seem to attract the whiting.

We also get other fish that are a little bit rarer and don’t get caught as often as the others. Leopard spotted goby, common blenny, eel pout, butter fish, thornback ray, haddock big eels and lump sucker.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our little marina, if anyone has any plans to come and fish it anytime don’t hesitate to ask for a few spots and pointers.

Thanks again for reading.

Instagram: Kev_goes_fishin

Facebook: Hartlepool lure and LRF.


The big lerf weekender is an LRF species hunt, held over almost 3 full days and organised by Richard Salter, Ben Bassett and Joe mole. The main aim of it is to achieve the highest accumulative total of different species caught with lures from anywhere in the world. There is also other elements such as best international catch, most species caught by a junior, most species caught on metals and a few others.

I started at 11a.m on Friday at a local, free pond. My plan was to go there and catch a perch and hopefully a gudgeon. I decided to fish with my lightest metal which is a 0.6g Nano-aji. I was straight in to a perch after a few casts, and caught a few in quick succession. After seeing a few silver flashes in a bit of murky water which I was certain were gudgeon I dropped a metal in it and soon had a fish on. I pulled it up, seen it was a gudgeon and quickly got it on the bank.

A short walk away was my next spot, along a cliff top, down a few steps and on to the beach. I headed towards the rock pools with the same piece off pink isome and split shot rig. Thankfully the rocks where pretty dry, the pools deep and the fish easy to find. I only managed to cover half of them before I had to leave but in the time I had a I managed to catch two more species to take my total to 5. I caught a few long spined sea scorpions and lots of common blennys.


Day 2 started early in search for bass and mullet, with the wind in my face and a feeling that it wasn’t going to go well, I moved on quickly. Driving to my next spot I could see birds diving for sprats or sandeel so knew a mackerel was my next target. Overloading my 5g majorcraft solpara slightly I put on a 7g metal and started searching for a mackerel. Retrieving the metal slowly, my rod bent over and I was into a fish.

I took a short break for some lunch, I waited for the tide to come back in and made my way to Middleton pier.

While I was here I caught 3 new species. First up was a small codling, caught my dropshotting a natural coloured 2inch gulp sandworm. The next species caught was my first whiting in over 7 months, this greedy little fish fell for a full Berkeley gulp camo. I switched to a metal and immediately started catching coal fish. 3 more species in half an hour taking my total to 9.


Day 3 and I was aiming to get some wrasse and hopefully a rockling. When I arrived there was people in the spot I was hoping fish so I fished a different spot for a while. I managed a few small coalfish and watched guillemots destroy a huge shoal of whitebait. I could eventually get in my spot, dropping a 2 inch sandeel between some rocks I soon had a fish on, it was a corkwing wrasse. My 10th species. I tried for about an hour to get a rockling with no luck, catching a couple of Long spined sea scorpions and another corkwing kept me happy till I had to leave though.

Thanks to the guys for organising such a cool event and I cant wait to see what they have planned for the future.


Instagram: Kev_goes_fishin.     

Facebook: Hartlepool lure & LRF.

Guest Lure Sea

South shields

Setting off at 8 a.m with a friend, heading towards some rockpools that we’d never fished before. Expecting nothing but hoping for everything, or at least a new species. It turned out to be harder than we thought it would be, more frustrating than we thought it would be, warmer than it was meant to be but still very enjoyable.

We had to really work for our fish in these rockpools. Slipping and stumbling over the seaweed and rocks, I dropped my lure in every little bit of water I came across. It was tough going so we split up to try and find some occupied pools. Eventually, after about 45 minutes of searching I found a small pool that was deeper than the rest, dropping a lure in I immediately had a take.

A very welcome common blenny or shanny. Just as we were about to leave the rock pools, I found a big stone that created a ledge: it looked very “fishy”. These small fish are very fast and another common blenny shocked me by taking my lure as quick as a flash, back into his little shelter. It was safely put back after a quick photograph.

Our next location was about a 10 minute drive and as equally frustrating. We decided to fish the river Tyne for the first time, we were quickly getting small bites on our dropshoted gulp/isome but hooking up seemed difficult. We soon realised why when I pull up a small but cool looking codling, the fish were tiny. After a few more fish, Andrew changed to a smaller hook and pulled out one of smallest Long spined sea scorpions we’ve ever seen. I changed to carolina rig to try and tempt a flatfish but had no luck. We moved on.

South sheilds pier is a mile long and our next spot. The last time we fished this pier we caught one fish between us so anything over that and we’d be happy. We got the car parked and headed off, stopping before the gate to try for a mackerel. Half way up the pier it became apparent that we would be catching plenty of coalies today. Infact that’s all we caught for the next hour. Different techniques caught different sized coalies, small metals and isome doing the job.

We had to head home, walking off the pier I was itching to throw my metal out again as I’d seen a few mackerel brought in. We stopped at the same spot we fished when walking onto to the pier to have a try. First chucking and I was into a fish, I instantly knew it was a mackerel. Tightening my drag, I could enjoy the fight. Hoping that it wouldn’t come off I lifted up the side of the pier, thankfully it was hooked by an assist hook that a good friend made, it had no chance of coming off. 

Thank you


Kev_goes_fishin. Hartlepool lure & LRF

Guest Lure Sea

Brixham and Plymouth LRF

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During my long and awful 10hr drive home from Brixham to Hartlepool, I had time to think about the fishing I had done and the people I had met. While my family slept and gazed out of the windows at mostly stationary traffic, my mind wandered to the week we’d just had, specifically the fishing.

Arriving on Friday I was keen to get out and see what I could catch, searching for spots that a local angler had giving me. I was excited to wet a line. The first spot I fished was underneath a small pier, on slippy, seaweed covered rocks. Using a 1.5g jighead and a small length of pink isome. I was straight into what I thought was a lot of small pouting, these turned out to be poor cod, a new species for me.

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My first poor cod.

The second day I was up early to fish another mark and started to find more species. Corkwing wrasse were everywhere, aswell as small pollock and more poor cod. My 4th species that morning was another new one for me: a rock goby. Easily identified by the yellow/orange tip on the first dorsal fin. All of these fish were caught using a small length of Berkeley gulp, camo in colour, fished on a dropshot rig and a size 12 hook.

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Corker of a corkwing wrasse.
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Rock goby

I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to fish Plymouth after all the great fish I’ve seen caught from there. So, when we went to visit the National marine aquarium there I took my rod and managed about an hour fishing on a small pier on some steps. I was fishing in 2ft of water so I wasn’t hopeful of getting anything but after a few casts, some definite interest and some positive follows I was into an unfamiliar fish. A common dragonet, another first for me and definitely my favourite of the trip.

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A common dragonet.

After a couple of days without any fishing, enjoying family time, some nice drinks and amazing food, I met up with Brixham regulars Richard Salter and Jon owens. Charlie lerfer also made the long journey to join us for the day. We fished Brixham breakwater, starting at the base and ending up near the end. We caught a lot of fish between us and a total of 10 different species. I arrived before anyone else and before any of the guys turned up I had already had a goldsinny wrasse, corkwing wrasse, rock goby and a small pollock. Jon turned up next and pointed me in the direction the black gobys, I caught one straight away. Richard and Charlie turned up soon after this and we fished the same spot for a couple of hours.

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Goldsinny wrasse.
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Corkwing wrasse.

We moved on to the end of the pier, I switched to a Carolina rig. I started to catch a few Ballan wrasse, all on a small length of pink isome.

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Me, standing over my first and biggest Ballan of the day.

Unfortunately, Charlie had to leave us to head home. Jon, Rich and myself fished on for few more hour. Once the quiet patch had passed, the tide started to turn and rise, we were back in to fish. Each of us catching wrasse, pouting and small pollock. Rich had caught a couple of tompot blennys, a species which I’ve never caught yet. I changed back to a drop shot rig to target one, Rich caught another and I had no luck. Definitely my bogey species. I finished the day with 8 species: Ballan wrasse, corkwing wrasse, goldsinny wrasse, pouting, pollock, poor cod, black goby and rock goby.

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Black goby.

We had a 20 minute spell searching for mackerel until we called it a day. The Devon heat had gotten to all of us. It was great to meet up with these guys, I learnt a lot. Including how to rig and use a “stinger rig”.

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The “stinger rig”. Pretty simple really. A cheb weight, this one is 3.5g. A size 12 long shank hook or similar and a tango hook. Designed for and used to catch the smaller fish the nibble the end of a lure/ isomer type worm.

Going back to the 10hr drive home, I remember saying to my wife Sam “never again, its not worth it”. I regret saying this because it is worth it, every second of travel. If you like LRF wether you’re a beginner or an experienced LRF angler, give Brixham a visit, you won’t be dissapointed.


Kevin Benton

Instagram: Kev_goes_fishin

Facebook: Hartlepool lure and LRF