Coal Fish

Coal Fish

Coal fish are all around the Britain’s shores although more plentiful up north and around Scotland’s shores and can be caught with a variety of ways whether bait or lures from the shore or boat. Coal fish are not particularly fussy feeders but a larger hook size may be wanted as smaller coalfish in certain areas can be like whiting when smaller and rob your baits intended for larger quarry. Legal take home catch size is 35cm/ 14 inches.

Pulley rig: 60lb Rig body & 40-60lb hook trace double or just a single hook rig hook size 2/0 - 4/0 Strong hook pattern

Clipped down Paternoster: 60lb Rig body & 40-60lb hook trace 2/0 - 4/0 strong hook pattern

Running ledger: 60lb Rig body & 40-60lb hook trace 2/0 – 4/0 strong hook pattern

Small fish: Like small sardines, sprats hooked through the head or in through the mouth and have the hook coming out just past the gill plates.

Prawns: Hooked through the tail second or third section, live even better!

Sand eels: slide on the hook via the mouth and thread it up the line with the hook point coming out half way down or ¾ of the way down. Live bait hook up through the jaw and out the nose so it stays swimming.
Mackerel: Mackerel strips work well anywhere from the size of your thumb upwards.

Bluey: Bluey whipped strips to the hook just like mackerel anywhere strips from size of your thumb upwards ( use bait elastic to hook to the hook due to the soft nature of the flesh coming apart.)

Lugworm & Ragworm: two of each threaded up the hook or whip all together and allow rag too wriggle to create a visual prey drive strike.

Artificial lures: Perks, Jigs and rubber sand eels are probably the favoured artificial lures here.


Coalfish are normally hanging around the rough ground marks and rocky places although they are known to travel across open or sandy grounds at times. The best chances of success are rocky areas so strong line and hooks that can bend out are normally a good start up like an uptide Viking hook and probably first choice of rig due to the grounds would be a pulley rig to keep the lead up in front of the fish clearing any snags on your way in.