Fishing at Hopes Nose in Torquay for Dabs
During this time of year I used to head down to a local headland in Torquay named Hope Nose to try my luck at fishing for the local flatties, as there known, Dabs, Placie and Flounder.
Without a doubt, it's this time of year that's best to target the flat fish from this great Torbay fishing spot, especially the Dabs and Plaice. The Dabs seem to be in the waters off Hopes Nose throughout most of the year, and the Plaice show up around spring time after spawning. The Plaice are not always in the best of shape during this time, so if your catch is a little on the thin side then please put it back.
The best place for Dabs at Hopes Nose is directly on the front as you walk down the slate path to the headland. This is a great spot but can ONLY be fished on small tides so you can hold bottom. I say this, as directly in front of the headland there is deep water, but to get to this water you must cast you baited rig at least a good 80 yards to clear the reef and rocks that lay out of sight at your feet in the deep water. This reef has claimed many thousands of lines over the years and been the cause for many a lost fish, you have been warned.
This reef is the reason why you will also need a quick retrieve reel to get your gear back over the reef. Even with a Dab hooked and a bit of tide it can be very tiring and take it's toll on your fishing gear. I suggest a reels like the ABU range which is a good casting reel with a high geared retrieve. I have had Dabs and Codling from this spot but it can be frustrating if you have not got the correct sea fishing gear with a bit of backbone.
If your fishing gear is up to the job of fishing the front of Hopes
Nose you will normally need to get to the mark early as the spot always
goes quick during this time of year. Many a local sea angler would like to get
his hands on a nice Plaice or some fun Dab fishing, so go early and go
The front, high ground of Hopes Nose is a great spot to fish but is not the only place to consider. As you walk down the track to Hopes Nose, looking out to sea, there are other great spots to your left as you look down on the headland. Fishing here into the cove can, and has produced some good fish and this spot has produced some of my best days. You can fish this side of Hopes Nose on any tide as the tidal pull is not so great. I did find the best times to fish on this side of Hope Nose were on the bigger tides which allows for deeper water close in as the depth of water on the left hand side of Hopes Nose is not as great as the front area. The deep water at this mark is always good but that is not a given, as I always used to fish over the low water and as the tide started to push in, seeing some really nice Plaice, Flounder, Dab and mixed bags come in from this spot.
As with the previous spot mentioned, always try to fish early in
the day to give yourself the best chance of catching. Nothing is
guaranteed with sea fishing today but the two spots mentioned above
have certainly produced for me over the years.
Use small baits for Dabs for the best results
If fishing for Dabs, there is one lesson I have learn't the hard way over the years and that was bait size. Bottom fishing rigs are a must for any flat fish from this rock mark but I used to use large baits, thinking that there would be a good sent in the water and fished with such baits from Hope Nose for a long time with varied success.
I mention bait size as I fished Hopes Nose one day and watched a couple of lads bringing in Dab after Dab from the high ground at the front of Hopes Nose and I had nothing but expensive gear and sun burn. After talking to these guys, as they brought in Dab after Dab, it bacame apprent I was doing one thing wrong when it came to Dab fishing. . BAIT SIZE. . . BAIT SIZE . .BAIT SIZE.
Dabs have very small mouths and just could not take the baits I was casting out for them. An inch of Lugworm with a tiny centimeter of Mackerell strip on the end of the hook was all that was needed. I was not convinced of this but once I swapped over my tactics to include smaller baits it worked like a dream and as soon as I swapped baits I started to catch Dabs, I will never forget the day.
Using small baits will not guarantee you success, but if you are fishing Hopes Nose for Dabs, just use the small baits mentioned above, one of the area at Hope Nose I have mentioned above and it will certainly increase the fish you see at your feet.
One of my Hopes Nose Dabs
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