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saltburn pier (image)

Piers to fish from - the choice is great here in the United Kingdom.  We have had over the years a love affair with anything to do with piers. It stems right back to Victorian times when many were first built.  Today unfortunately, a lot of the piers have deteriated into disarray or disappeared altogether, most left to the ravages of the sea, councils or authorities not bothered enough to keep them maintained. Of course we shouldn't forget the jetties either, there are plenty of those about, like Skinningrove Jetty just north of Whitby.

That happened to one of my local piers at Saltburn, back in the 70's.  The local councilors just let it go rather than maintain it, the same as another attraction the 'Half-Penny Bridge' as it was known locally, they just let them get into a state which was beyond repair and the sea did for the pier and the bridge over the 'Valley Gardens' had to be blown up it was that unsafe!  The area could now really do with the benefits that these structures brought to the district, like tourism etc.
The pier is now only a fraction of it's original length and the 'half-penny' bridge no longer exists.

The pier did get some lottery funding and it was refurbished but wasn't extended, now, it is left high and dry on the big tides and you can actually walk around the end of it!  It is such a pity as pier fishing seems to be getting more popular now than it ever was, mainly because I think more people are turning to fishing as a hobby as more and more folk are made redundant.  This certainly appears to be true in the N/east and pier fishing or fishing from jetties and the like make it easier for anglers to fish into deeper water than they would normally be able to reach from the beach, especially the novice.

saltburn pier from the promenade (graphic)

Saltburn pier as it is today.

Half-Penny Bridge (image)

The Half-Penny bridge the day it was blown up in 1974.

A great number of the piers around the country you can still fish from but sadly not all.  Personally I think all piers should be preserved and returned to their original state, the longer it is left, the more it costs to do the work. They all belong to our national heritage - a fraction of what we have GIVEN the banks and building societies would do all the work that is needed.
MP's feel OK claiming expenses to clean their own moats or paper their houses etc, it's a pity they can't find the time or energy to devote to keeping something as important as our piers for the generations to come before it is too late to do anything as the local politicians did in my home home town back in the seventies!
I would like to think that my grandchildren and their grandchildren would be able to take a stroll where I have had the pleasure of doing so.  Literally following in Granddad's footsteps!   How nice would it be to know that one day someone might just say, "My granddad used to say that HIS granddad used to fish here."

whitby lifeboat entering the harbour (graphic)
Whitby Lifeboat coming into harbour between both piers.

Whitby pier is a great pier or should I say BOTH piers! Though neither is the traditional pier we normally think of, they are both made of stone, they are called 'piers' and are more like jetties I suppose. Both great places to fish after a good blow and stir up from the north.  Unfortunately the East pier isn't accessible onto the far extension due to sea damage, hopefully Scarborough and District council will someday repair the damage and it will be fishable once again.

Piers to fish from in Kent has Deal Pier - one I visit quite frequently - that's if I don't head in the other direction and end up on Whitby pier.  That is one good thing about living as I do now in the middle of the country, I can travel in any direction and fish in more counties than most folk can, though I would prefer to be living by the sea rather than at least 125 miles from it!

Deal pier has just lost it's funding for the £25 prize for the 'Fish of the Month' competition provided by the council because of the current financial climate and the cut-backs.  What has happened recently is that the 3 local fishing tackle shops, of which Fred Leach at Channel Angling at the entrance to the pier is one, the others being Pleasure Angling just up the road and John's in Walmer have each put up a £10 voucher for the 'Heaviest Fish of the Month'.  Now the winner gets £30 worth of vouchers for doing what he or she enjoys doing most, catching fish!

There are many and very varied piers around our coast that you might not be aware of, from Dunoon and Rothesay on the west coast of Scotland down to Llandudno and Bangor in Wales, across to Clacton and Walton-on-the Naze and then down to our most southerly surviving pier at Falmouth in Cornwall.
There are a lot more besides, too many to mention here but if you fancy fishing or just visiting any of the piers around our great coastline then please follow these links Surviving Piers and Lost Piers.
They will take you to a website devoted entirely to our glorious piers, run by the National Piers Society, where you will also be able to get information about which piers to fish from.

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