Wednesday, 7 March 2007

The Solent, Hurst Shingle Bank. Milford on Sea.

Hurst Shingle Bank. The white lighthouse is at the end of the spit.

Hurst Shingle Bank is a huge natural feature and runs from Milford on Sea towards the Isle of Wight. If you are approaching from Milford on Sea, take the road signed for Hurst Castle (brown sign) look out on you right for a small lane, it has a sign warning of narrow road, road liable to flooding etc. This road leads down to the shingle bank. Parking is free but on the roadside only, make sure you are behind the yellow line. If you park on the low piece of road past the footbridge there is a risk of flooding and saltwater damage to your car on spring tide highs. Cross over the footbridge onto the bank. In summer many children can be found crabbing in the small creek by the bridge.
The bank is about a mile and a half to the lighthouse at the end. There is a ferry from Keyhaven during the summer months, if you really must go out to the end, this is the way to go. Walking along the top is fairly easy going, the top is levelled and compacted and the shingle is angular and binds together unlike the rounded shingle at Chesil. Tide runs here are fierce, fishing is easiest on the ebb during neap tides. Weed in the water can be a real problem at times. Casting short will help by reducing the amount of line in the water for the weed to get on. There is little difference between one spot and another.... nearest to the car is probably best ! A large number of species can be caught here during the summer float fishing will get gar, mackerel scad, and if you get the depth right, black bream.

Hurst Shingle Bank, Low tide.
There are a few snags and weed patches along the bank, you will be lucky if you get through a session and not loose tackle. Best baits are ragworm, squid, mackeral and sandeel if you are targetting rays. Black Bream like ragworm tipped off with a piece of squid.

Hurst Shingle Bank, The Rocks

In the summer you will be lucky to get a place on the rocks here, it will be covered with people spinning or float fishing. Be careful, the rocks are slippery especially the rocks which are only exposed at low tide.
There are no facilities on the bank. Nearest shops are back in Milford on Sea. There is a tackle shop in New Milton. There used to be a shop in Milford on Sea but present situation unknown.
( please leave comment if you can advise on this)


Pompey Kev said...

I'm spending a week at the end of the month based in Milford-on-Sea. I'd be grateful for suggestions and catch updates in the local area. I'm happy to travel to the Purbecks/Chesil marks if worth the effort.
Also looking to dig/collect my own bait if possible - what are the best local locations?


haddock said...

Hi Kev,
For up to date info join up to the forum, scroll right to the bottom of the page for a link. most of the forum members fish the area from Bournemouth eastwards and they are a helpful bunch.
Also do a search 'hurst' on the WSF forum, link on the right of the page.
Bait can be dug/collected on the 'lagoon side' of the shingle bank.