In-shore fishing is the simplest and is the ideal type of fishing for the inexperienced. Around Brighton these trips will target certain fish depending on the season.
Mackerel is the simplest catch and for anyone who has never fished before should be the target species. An adult mackerel is 40cm in length but 66cm is considered the largest they grow to. They are fast swimming and constantly on the move. Mackerel breed in May and June and eat voraciously on herring sprat and sand eels. They can be caught easily with lures that replicate the small fish they feed on. Come winter they hardly feed so catches are few. Sometimes other species such as herring or garfish can be caught as they hunt the same prey the mackerel does.
Plaice is a bottom dwelling fish and very recognisable by its orange spots. They are long lived and can grow to almost a metre in length, but an adult today is generally 50-60cm. A breeding female is 3-7 years old. At about 2 years they are 15cm long, when they move to deeper water. They breed in January to March in shallow water. They feed on bottom living animals like shellfish and sand eels. Plaice often lie quietly on the bottom. Catching a plaice uses a trace, designed to move along the seabed with attractor beads or spoons and a hook baited with worm and squid. Red Gurnard, or sole can be an alternative catch using this equipment.
An alternative to these are Black Sea Bream. These fish grow to 40cm in length when adult. The fish breed in April and May. They form nests or depressions in the seabed in which the eggs are laid and looked after by the male. A male in this time often becomes blackish in colour and develops a blue-grey band between the eyes instead of the normal silvery grey colour. During this time they can be caught on the nesting grounds generally near rocky ground or reefs.