Picture: Giles Tipping
Species you can catch: Mullet, Bass, Eels and Flounders. It is best fished on the low tide as there is less water for the fish to swim aroud in and the tide is less strong. To work out the low tide for this spot is slightly different as its inland so it is behind the shore tides by approx 2hrs. The easiest way to work out low tide is to take 4 hours away from the high tide time at sea. The only baits to use at this spot is Red rag, Peeler Crab and live Prawn. These can all be collected from the river or river bank although digging reds is now not permitted.
The first thing about fishing Southease is that you will need wellys and old clothes that you donít mind getting dirty.
The best time to fish Southease for all species is on the low tide and fish it while the tide is going down and coming in. At high tide the current is too strong to fish plus there is more water for the fish to swim in. The best bait is red rag which you can dig on the river bank (although you are not allowed) so just check to make sure the people from the environmental agency arenít about. the best thing i do is to dig in short bursts and get enough worms for a few bait ups at a time. then fill your holes back in and stand on them a bit to make it look like its just foot marks, if that doesnít work then put some sea weed over it. i know it sounds silly but it stops you getting told off and it helps keep the river bank in good order. i would suggest taking a fork as this is the best way to dig red rag but take it in a rod holdall as it hides it from view. I know im making it sound covert but its not that bad at all.
When targeting Mullet you will need a couple of small rod stands and 10-15lb line. Size 6 or 8 hooks. Mullet will also take a fly that sits just under the surface.
There are two methods to use when targeting mullet at Southease. there is spinning with a bubble float and mepps spinner or using a sliding float with a mepps spinner. for either set up remove the treble hook and replace it with a single hook. In front of the spinners you should place 4 or 5 bright beads, I use yellow. Firstly to use a bubble float you need to fill it half with water as this acts as the weight and then tie a stop knot above it, then slide a small bead onto the line and then a swivel. after that you attach about 4-5ft of thin 15lb or lower line. at the end you attach the mepps spinner. you then cast it out to the opposite side of the river and let it float down stream and retrieve it slowly. This can be deadly on its day. I have attached a diagram of each rig.
The slider rig is similar but less effort. what you need to do is :
Get a small American snap swivel or clip.
Attach about 1 1/2 ft of line to it.
Then slide a small crimp or stop knot up the line about 2 inches from the swivel.
Then a bead and after that a small float, another bead
A small weight and a bead again.
Then tie a small swivel and tie about 4ft of 15lb line to the other end of the swivel
Slide about 4 bright yellow beads and then tie the mepps spinner.
Once made up you then clip a weight (2-4oz depending on current) only to you mainline and cast it near to the other side of the river bank, about 2 ft away. once the line is tight you then attach the sliding float by the snap swivel and hold the rod high in the air until the float is in the middle of the river, this will keep it in the current and avoid crabs.
Attach a big clump of red rag to the size 6 hooks on the mepps spinners, and you should catch plenty. i had 3 bites and one fish in 3 casts the other day while bait digging.
Where to fish: when you arrive i would suggest walking down river towards the sea, you will see a big concrete object pumping out water fish on the same side of the river. walk about ten yards past it and fish there. it benefits from areas of strong current and stiller areas so it provides a good mix.
Oh and remember try and be quiet as they get spooked. Best of Luck
If you are targeting the other species such as Flounders, Bass or Eels then normal tackle and rigs like a 2 hook paternoster can be used. Put beads and spoons on the bottom hook to attract flounders. If you find that your bottom hook bait keeps being taken then it probably means that there are crabs about so try using pop up beads to keep the bait a few inches off the bottom. You can fish anywhere on the river before Lewis as this is saltwater/brackish water. I would not recommend fishing near the bridge at Southease as its very rocky and full of snags but it if your targeting eels then it can be a good spot.