The Islands of Guernsey are renowned for their fish. Many restaurants have seafood-focused menus, serving fresh produce caught in the Islands’ waters. Many people also come to Guernsey from all over for fishing trips and angling holidays to enjoy catching the huge variety of aquatic creatures found locally.
Fishing in Guernsey is an incredibly popular pastime, both for locals and visitors, with many people spending long weekends or entire weeks exploring what's on offer in the sea. Whether you'd prefer spending the day fishing from one of our many picturesque marks or deepwater angling on a boat (your own or chartered by a local company), you can tailor your fishing trip on the Islands of Guernsey to your needs.
Species of Fish in Guernsey Waters - When and Where to Find Them
Guernsey is a popular spot for keen anglers due to the sheer number of fish that can be caught in our waters year-round. From the common Bass or Bream to rarer Conger Eels or the famous Guernsey Ormer, there is such a large variety to find. We’ve listed the most common species of fish found in our waters, and where and when you’re most likely to find them.
- Bass can be found in our waters all year, but the best time is April - November. To find these fish, head to Belle Greve Bay, Vazon Bay, Rocquaine Bay, L'Eree Bay, Pembroke Bay, Saints Bay or Havelet Bay.
- The Black Bream can be caught from early summer through the autumn to early winter, with the majority being caught between July and November. Occasionally, some can still be found during December and even on the rare occasion in January. Most east coast marks hold Bream, but notable spots include St Peter Port Breakwater, Bec Du Nez, The Cowhorn and The Lace at Fort Doyle.
- Carp fishing can be enjoyed at Corblets Reservoir, a man-made lake, in Alderney. Please note this is on a strict catch-and-release basis only. Unhooking mats and barbless hooks must be used to minimise the distress to the fish.
- Conger Eels can be caught most of the year but are predominantly an autumn and winter fish. St Peter Port Breakwater holds fish up to around 20lb for practice before trying marks such as Bec du Nez, St Martins Point or one of the many cliff marks for a larger catch. That being said, a large Conger Eel has previously been spotted at La Vallette Bathing Pools!
- Dogfish are caught more often in the autumn and winter months, usually from September through to January, though some will remain for longer. Lesser-Spotted Dogfish can be found almost anywhere, St Peter Port Breakwater being a good place to start. The Bull Huss enjoy places with a running tide, making them difficult to fish for. The better marks for catching this type are on the South Coast cliff marks.
- The Garfish, known locally as the Longnose, are an ever-present species in Guernsey waters, but they are normally targeted between June and December. They are a popular fish in the summer months, especially with younger anglers. Most marks with a reasonable depth of water will produce these fish, but good places to try include St Peter Port Breakwater, Fort Doyle, Le Gouffre or St Martin's Point.
- The main season for Grey Mullet is between May and February; larger fish are found more in the colder months. They are common in our waters and good places to start include La Vallette Bathing Pools, the South Coast cliffs, Bec Du Nez or Fort Richmond Slip.
- Gurnard turn up all over the place but try St Peter Port Breakwater or Fort Doyle for the highest chance of success. They are predominantly captured from August to the start of November.
- Mackerel are summer fish and are present between late May and September. Good marks include St Peter Port Breakwater, Fort Doyle and St Martins Point.
- Plaice are present in Guernsey between March and November, more commonly caught in the warmer months. They can be found at the Guernsey Yacht Club Slipway, just opposite the Model Yacht Pond, the White Rock Cafe and the East Arm.
- Pollack (pollock) can be captured where there is deep water and rocky ground, St Martin’s Point is particularly popular. They are found throughout most of the year but mainly caught in May through to the start of winter.
- Pouting can be found at most marks on Guernsey, such as The Lace, St Peter Port Breakwater, East Arm, Slipper Rock, Cartlines and many more. They can be found throughout the year, but autumn is the best time to try your luck.
- Many different types of Ray can be found in Bailiwick waters but the States of Guernsey prohibits fishing for Small-eyed Rays and they must be promptly released if accidentally caught. Undulate Rays also may not be targeted, with any catches being reported.
- Red Mullet are predominantly caught in September and October at St Peter Port Breakwater, Bec Du Nez or The Lace at Fort Doyle.
- Rockling can be found in the winter months and, although not commonly a target for fishing, they can be caught over ground with boulders present.
- Sole are normally captured from the shore between June and December from the Yacht club Slipway, Fort Doyle or The East Arm.
- Triggerfish can be found at St Peter Port Breakwater, Bec Du Nez, The Cowhorn and The Lace at Fort Doyle in the autumn months.
- Wrasse can be captured all year round, with small fish being more common during the summer months and larger Wrasse often found in the autumn and winter months. They can be caught at nearly every mark on the island; larger fish are found most commonly at the East coast rock marks and marks on the cliffs.
- Ormers are a quintessential Guernsey shellfish found under rocks in the shallows on the Island’s beaches. A decline in Ormer numbers has led to a strictly controlled harvesting, limiting the Ormering season to only 24 days in a year between January and April, on full and new moons. There are also strict guidelines for how big an Ormer has to be before it is taken from the sea, 80mm minimum.
- There is a wide variety of Crabs, Lobsters and Crawfish in our waters. You can take out your own vessel, hire a fishing boat or take a tour and try your hand at catching these popular shellfish in deeper waters.
- Please note that one vessel can only catch up to 5 lobsters or crawfish per day and up to 25 crabs per day, caught by pots or nets, and any shellfish, excluding green crabs, taken as a bycatch can be kept up to a maximum limit of 10% by weight of the total catch.
- If you decide to take your fishing away from the shore and hire a charter or use your own boat to get out into deeper waters, you are likely to encounter a wide number of fish species, including Turbot, Cod, Ling and Brill.
- There are also a number of shark species in Guernsey waters, such as Tope and Basking Shark, but these are to be released, uninjured, should you accidentally catch one on your fishing exploration.
Full fishing guidance and legislation can be found on the States of Guernsey website.
Where to Get Fishing Supplies
If you're travelling by boat and bringing your car or using your own boat, you are welcome to bring your own fishing supplies. If you want to buy new gear or prefer to hire what you need for your trip, there are a number of stores on-Island that provide everything you could need: from fishing rods and hooks to boat supplies and commercial-grade gear.
- Mick's Fishing Supplies: Mick's Fishing Supplies at Aladdin's Cave has everything you could need for fishing in Guernsey. From fishing rods and lobster pots to buoyancy aids and commercial-grade clothing and boots, you can hire or buy whatever you need.
- Takle Direct: Located just off the Bridge in St Sampson, Takle Direct is the only dedicated Tackle Shop and Japanese Lure Specialist in Guernsey.
- Boatworks: Boatworks is found next to the Model Yacht Pond and Yacht Club in St Peter Port, and supplies clothing and fishing gear for keen anglers to buy, such as fishing rigs and tackle.
Charter Hire and Guided Fishing
If you’re new to fishing and would like a guide or some lessons; want to get away from fishing on shore and experience some deepwater fishing; or are keen to charter a boat for a family day out, there are several companies on our Islands that can help you. Offering guided fishing tours, angling trips, charter hire and evening fishing parties, their skippers are knowledgeable and will help you find the best offshore spots.
- Margaret K Chartered Angling: Offering half-day and evening guided fishing/angling trips for groups and individuals. The skipper is Richard Keen, an experienced angler himself, who will help you get the most out of your fishing trip in Guernsey. No prior experience is needed.
- Out the Blue Charter Angling Trips: Skippered by Richard Seader, Out the Blue is fully equipped for fishing trips, with two engines for safety, and can carry up to twelve passengers. Available for group or individual bookings, they offer whole-day tours, evening trips and shorter 3-hour long kids tours, perfect for families with young anglers.
- Avante Boat Trips: Avante Boat Trips is based in Alderney and offers fishing out of St Peter Port. The boat is fully equipped for angling trips and licensed for 10 passengers.