Plaice have long been a desired catch by anglers boat or shore, they are also a stunning looking fish. The colour of these fish can vary from brown, green and grey, depending on what kind of bottom that they are living on. Their skin is very smooth with very small scales and distinctive orange spots. There is also a pronounced ridge of four to seven bumps running across the back of the head.
Plaice are most commonly caught/targeted by anglers around March and then again around September/October . The fish earlier in the year tend to be in poorer condition having spent the winter feeding very little. These early season fish can be keen to feed and will take a variety of offerings such as, ragworm, black lug, and various crustaceans.
The three rigs that I believe are best suited to targeting plaice are; the three hook clip down rig; a wishbone pulley rig and a wishbone up and over rig. The three hook clip down is essentially a flapper rig but the hooks are clipped down – as the name suggests – to the weight. This makes the rig more streamlined which enable you fish at a greater distance. Both of the wishbone rigs will present two baits side by side, they both clip down, however the up and over will give the bait more movement and be below the lead. When tying your rigs adding some beads and sequins can boost your chance of catching, green/black or yellow/oragne are the most popular choices.
The best beaches to target plaice locally are, the Milford on Sea, Barton – on – Sea, Hengistbury Head and Southbourne, for somewhere a little further afield try Sandbanks and Chesil. When boat fishing locally anglers tend to head of around North Head Buoy or heading to weymouth fishing the shambles, anglers often enjoy yearly trips to The Channel Islands as well. A good number of plaice are caught over sand but fishing in the mouth of harbours on deep mud can be a good option as the fish will be drawn to these areas to seek out food items. The baits you can use when you are targeting place depend on where you are fishing. The main baits for targeting plaice are worm, crab and mussels, this will vary on location and season.
I hope you have a great plaice season and catch a few specimens.