Weybourne, England, located on the north Norfolk coast, serves as a popular destination for anglers looking to fish along its long pebble beach. In the summer, these anglers seek bass and flatfish. In the winter, they catch cod, codling and whiting. For a chance to catch bigger fish, the adventurous angler would do well to avoid the crowds and walk farther down the beach, and he should carry the best bait.
Most Weybourne anglers fish lugworms, which are large--up to 9 inches--sea worms commonly used for bait. They live in a U-shaped burrow that is exposed during low tides on sandy beaches. Although an amateur digger will rarely find a lugworm in the Weybourne area, local bait shops carry both fresh and frozen. To fish lugworms, set up a pulley rig with 3/0 pennel hooks and load the hooks with lugworms.
Many Weybourne anglers add strips of fresh mackerel to their lugworm setups. The mackerel's oily meat makes a pungent attractant for whiting. When fishing whiting, switch to 1/0 or 2/0 pennel hooks loaded with lugworms and topped with mackerel.
Although not as popular or as effective for all types of fish as a lugworm, the rag worm used on two-hook flapper rig with 1/0 or small pennel hooks attracts flatfish.
During the fall and winter, topping a lugworm setup with squid often produces cod. The squid should be cut into small strips. It's easiest to cut the squid either just after thawing or, if fresh, after chilling on ice. Leftover squid can be frozen when packed with salt.
Live vs. Frozen
For saltwater fishing, it's best to catch the bait where you're fishing says longtime fishing researcher Dan Eggertsen on his website asksaltwaterfishing.com. Catching the bait ensures that the food in the water is the same as that on the hook, and the fresh oils and blood from freshly killed bait attract fish. When fishing from the beach, it becomes difficult to catch live bait; this makes frozen a good option. Frozen is easier to take care of and although not as firm as fresh bait, a little extra care when hooking the bait should guarantee it stays on the hook.