Top 5 Sea Fishing Baits for Shore Anglers in the UK


Shore fishing in the UK offers a diverse and rewarding experience for anglers, and selecting the right bait is crucial for a successful catch. The variety of sea fishing baits available can be overwhelming, but seasoned shore anglers have identified five top choices that consistently prove effective. In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 sea fishing baits embraced by shore anglers around the UK.

  1. Lugworms: The Time-Tested Classic

Lugworms are a staple in the arsenal of many shore anglers, renowned for their universal appeal to a wide range of fish species. Found in sandy and muddy shorelines, lugworms are easily sourced or can be dug up by anglers themselves. Their natural scent and lively movement in the water make them irresistible to various sea fish, including flatfish, bass, and cod.

Lugworms are versatile baits that can be presented in different ways, such as whole on a single or multiple hook rig, or as strips to create scent trails that attract predatory fish.

  1. Ragworms: The Dynamic Attractor

Ragworms, known for their vibrant colors and enticing scent, are another favorite among shore anglers. These segmented worms come in various species, with the king ragworm being a popular choice. Ragworms are effective for targeting species like bass, flounder, and cod, and they are particularly favored during the warmer months.

Anglers often use ragworms on multi-hook rigs, with variations such as the Pennel rig proving effective for larger species. Their lively wriggling motion in the water mimics natural prey, making them a go-to choice for enticing bites from hungry fish.

  1. Mackerel Strips: The Flashy Allure

Mackerel strips are a flashy and effective bait that shore anglers frequently rely on, especially when targeting predatory species such as bass and pollack. These strips offer visual appeal and a strong scent trail, making them enticing to fish patrolling the shallows.

Anglers can present mackerel strips on a variety of rigs, including feathers, flowing traces, or even as part of a larger bait combination. Their versatility and ability to mimic the appearance of smaller baitfish make them a valuable asset in the angler’s toolkit.

  1. Squid: The Versatile Temptation

Squid is a versatile sea fishing bait that has proven effective for a wide range of species, including cod, bass, and rays. Its durability and ability to stay on the hook make it a reliable choice for shore anglers facing strong currents or rough conditions.

Anglers often present squid as whole or cut into strips, either on a single hook or as part of a bait cocktail. The scent and texture of squid make it an excellent option, especially when other baits might be less resilient in challenging conditions.

  1. Sand Eels: The Natural Forage

Sand eels, resembling small slender fish, are a natural forage for many sea species, making them an attractive bait for shore anglers. Bass, in particular, are known to be drawn to the appearance and movement of sand eels.

Anglers can use sand eels on various rigs, including float setups or as part of a larger bait presentation. Their lifelike swimming action in the water and the appeal to predatory fish make sand eels a valuable addition to any shore angler’s bait collection.


In the world of shore fishing around the UK, the choice of bait plays a pivotal role in the success of an angling expedition. Lugworms, ragworms, mackerel strips, squid, and sand eels emerge as the top 5 sea fishing baits, each offering a unique set of advantages to entice a diverse array of sea species. Experimenting with these baits and adjusting techniques based on the target species and prevailing conditions can lead to memorable catches and an enriched angling experience along the UK’s picturesque coastlines.

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