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GosportGosport is a true peninsula, which forms the western side of Portsmouth Harbour. The town is steeped in naval history and is traditionally the home of British naval submarines. There are some excellent exhibits and museums in the town. Access to Gosport is from the A27M junction 11 via Fareham and the A32. For the Stokes Bay marks, take the B3385 to Lee on the Solent and follow the coast road to the left.

1. The Millenium Pier

This is adjacent to the Gosport  High Street and there is adequate parking signposted. Dave’s Tackle shop is at The Precinct nearby. The pier can be found behind the large blocks of flats opposite the pedestrian shopping centre. Something is always happening here as it forms part of the  entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. Opposite can be seen HMS Victory and more modern Naval vessels. Bottom fishing, float fishing and lures produce mackerel, pollack, wrasse, bass and bream. The larger bass fall to live joey mackerel or small pouting. Nearby pontoons also harbour some big bass. The best bit is that it is free fishing!

2. Haslar Wall

Haslar Wall does exactly as it says on the can. It is a concrete harbour fortification which forms the western side of Portsmouth Harbour. Turn left down Haslar Road after the flats and it can be found behind Haslar Hospital. There is a small car park which presently has a ‘Road Closed’ sign attached to it, but it still affords access and parking for the Wall. It is a very popular mark for summer mackerel. Other species include good thick-lipped mullet on bread and with float tackle and cod and whiting in winter. Expect to find foul ground occasionally here. Early morning and late evening is the time to try spinners and plugs.

3. Gilkicker Point

This is the most southerly extension of Portsmouth Harbour. Access involves a half mile walk from Stokes Bay Inshore Lifeboat Station. Walk to your left when facing the sea from the car park.. The point is next to Fort Gilkicker which cannot be missed. A fairly deep venue where strong tides can be experienced. On a spring tide expect to hold bottom with 8 ounces of lead. Smaller tides can be fished with a 5 ounce breakout. Many species are encountered here. Thornback rays, smoothhounds, bass and mackerel in the summer and double figure cod are taken every winter.

Ragworm is the favoured bait, but lugworm and squid account for most of the cod. Peeler is productive for the ‘hounds’.

4. The Inshore Rescue Lifeboat Station

Access is best from the Lee on the Solent end. Just continue through Stokes Bay till a painted roundabout is found, just west of the Military Training Camp. Turn right towards the sea. To the left is Fort Gilkicker. The Stokes Bay beaches are packed with holiday makers, so pick your times. From August till October this is a fine sole mark . Use small hooks (2s and 4s) with ragworm bait. Plaice appear in April and May and cod and whiting in the winter. Generally on Hampshire marks, ragworm is the summer bait and lugworm is the winter bait. Four or five ounces of lead will hold bottom at this mark barring a winter Force 5 or over.

5. Alverbank Wall

This is a concrete wall opposite the entrance to the Alverbank Inn and in the middle of Stokes Bay. Getting to this mark is easier via Lee on the Solent and turn left when you reach the sea. A good mark for bass and sole and frantic on calm summer days for mackerel. Fish squid or pout close in for bass after dark. Fish two hours around the top of the tide. Car parks are plentiful throughout Stokes Bay and are free through the winter months.

6. Browndown

This is the point just East of Lee on the Solent. Getting there involves a walk from Stokes Bay Western Car Park and which is found as soon as the B3333 leads you to the sea at Stokes Bay. Walk about a kilometre to the point where deep water and strong tides produce numerous species. There are large cod and good whiting in the winter and big shore smoothhounds in the summer. As with Gilkicker, expect to use eight ounce ‘grippers’ in rough weather. Dogfish, rays and bass all turn up at this deep water mark.

Tackle Shops:

Dave’s Tackle (Dave Ellis and Bev)
1 The Precinct
023 92529 107

© Adrian Farley 2010

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