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An Introduction to Spinning

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

The good thing about spinning is that you will be continually moving. This will help to cover more areas, increasing the chance of you landing your lure in front of a fish. No bait is needed for spinning, therefore, anglers can decide to go lure fishing at short notice without having to buy fresh bait. Using spinning lures for fishing goes brilliantly with light tackle, and hooking a wrasse, coalfish or trout on light gear is one of the most thrilling types of fishing to be found, and even a small, single mackerel can give great sport if hooked on the right gear.

man holding a fishing rod and reel
fishing rod and reel

Understanding Seasons

The major drawback of spinning is the species that are being targeted are primarily summer fish. The reason for this is because species such as pollock spend winter offshore in deeper water and come into shallower water and within range of the shore angler in the summer months. Salmon will only come up rivers in salmon season (late summer) therefore the number of fish species that can be targeted in different months are slim.

Although, if the winter is mild and the spring warm it may be possible to catch summer species in late April/early May. However, you will need to be lucky. A colder spring may mean that it is necessary to wait until the start of June before summer species are around in any number. You can still catch these types of fish in late October

Spinning Gear and Types of Lures

Due to the small amount of gear needed for spinning tit is relatively cheap compared to a beach casting setup or flyfishing setup. Usually, anglers choose lighter rods and reels to have stronger, funnier fights with the fish they catch. Additionally, a lure fishing session involves repeated casting out and reeling in, and using a heavy rod for this is extremely tiring.

Setting up a spinning rod is easy as the spinner can simply be tied direct to the end of the mainline and then cast out. Spinners are so-called because they spin, wobble or revolve as they are reeled in which mimics the movement of a small fish. There are a wide variety of lures on the market. We discussed the materials previously. I would usually recommend a heavier small metal lure/spinner. The reason for this is that larger lues are harder to catch smaller fish and metal can be cast much further without a lead weight. Larger fish will still take small lures. I would recommend the colour silver with a small amount of reflective red to catch mackerel and gold for pollock.

Rods are usually between 8 – 10ft long and is capable of casting lures of 1oz – 2oz. Using a 15 – 18lb line is recommended. Usually spinning rods are cheap, a very good spinning rod costs approximately £100. An average rod can be purchased for £35.

Species to Target

There are a wide variety of species available when spinning. The following species can all be caught by anglers using spinners, feathers, daylights, jelly lures or plugs:

Mackerel - easily caught on feathers or anything silver Pollock - common in summer Bass - can be more difficult to catch Wrasse - a large wrasse is approximately 3lbs Sandeel - can be caught and used as great bait Coalfish - similar to pollock with a straight lateral line running through them Weever fish - extremely dangerous, poisonous barbs on back, return to the water immediately Sea trout - brilliant fighting fish Salmon - can grow to extremely large sizes, very powerful fish Cod - can be caught on spinners in the winter.


Light rock fishing uses extremely small lures while spinning to catch miniature species. This can be brilliant fun on an extremely lightweight flexible rod

Spinning Locations

An issue with spinning is that you will need deep watermarks. This means fishing from beaches can be difficult/impossible. Piers, jetties and rock marks are the places where lure anglers will most often be found, although there are a number of steep shingle beaches where it is perfectly possible to catch fish on lures when spinning..

static home with flowers at the front
static home

river bank with grass and steps leading to the water
river bank

Caravan 8 berth with private fishing

Witham Bank chapel hill, Lincoln, LN4 4PZ, United Kingdom –

Spinning Tips

A large amount of trial and error is needed to get good at spinning. Depending on the species you choose to target will alter your goals and methods. If you are spinning for mackerel you can purchase ver very cheap silver lures.

They are extremely aggressive and will go for almost anything. If you are targeting coalfish different colours of shiny lures may be needed. FIsh do not just chase using sight. Some fish will be attracted to movement in the water and some to smellier lures. Choosing the correct ton will be unique to the type of fish you wish to catch. A good way to start from the shore is to start with small lures close in and progressively cast further out with heavier weights. Birds are a great indication when spinning. Birds will dive onto shoals of fish giving you a good indication of where they are. Sometimes fishermen will say the water is @boiling@ this means mackerel have attacked smaller baitfish and they are rising and churning the water. You can also use this as an indication of where fish are.

by Daniel o'Neill

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