The Great Outdoor Store

The Great Outdoor Store

Fishing Northumberland

Fishing in; Berwick, Northumberland and the Scottish Borders

There is a public right, dating back to the Magna Carta, which permits free fishing to everyone in the Sea and tidal waters. However, there are also Acts of Parliament governing the Tweed System, including up to six miles out to sea and many miles up and down the coast with regard to migratory fish. This means anglers are not allowed to keep any Salmon and Sea Trout they catch. The tidal waters of the Tweed extend six miles upstream to the village of Horncliffe. Anglers are allowed to fish by all legal methods for all fish with the exception of Salmon and Sea Trout up to this point.


Close to the mouth of the river, there is the odd Bass, but there are more of these at Torness Power Station, which is about half an hour North on the A1. The main catch upstream is generally Brown Trout and Grayling. The rules on tidal water also apply to the tidal stretch of the Whiteadder. However please note that the Tidal water on the Whiteadder does not go up to Canty’s Bridge, it ends about 400 yards downstream of the bridge.


In inland waters in Scotland, written permission (Permit) is required by law for all angling. This permission must be from the owner of the fishing rights and must be carried by the Angler at all times when at the water. Permits for fishing further up the Whiteadder are available at Game Fair's store in Berwick.

In England you need to have written permission AND a rod license for all inland waters, with a very small number of exceptions. Exceptions locally means waters that eventually drain into the Tweed system which are classed as Scottish Waters. Rod licenses can be obtained at the post office.

Freshwater vs. Sea Fishing?

Sea Fishing

This popular pastime is free to all and a big draw for the region. Carr Rock is a stone jetty next to the Lifeboat Station and is about a mile as the crow flies from this shop. A hundred yards downstream is the “Little Beach”. A sandy beach inside the estuary and is fairly sheltered - Catches include; Flounder, Pollock, Mackerel and the occasional Mullet can sometimes be caught around high tide, in the Summer months. The main beach at Spittal sees catches such as; Large Flounder, Cod in the Winter and an occasional Bass.

As a rough guide, the fishing to the south of the town (Berwick Upon Tweed) is mailnly beach and to the north of the town it is primarily rock fishing. One of the best spots is in front of the Golf Clubhouse at Eyemouth, which is 8 miles north of Berwick. Catches off the rocks here are usually; Wrasse, Codling, Pollock & Flounder.

Game Fair sells the following frozen bait and tackle, which are popular with sea anglers in the area;

  • Mackerel
  • Razor Fish
  • Sandeel
  • Crab
  • Lugworm
  • Wide selection of Lures and Spinners

We now also stock LIVE ragworm


Freshwater Fishing

The vast majority of freshwater fishing in this area is Fly fishing for Trout and Salmon. Grayling are often fished for by the Trout angler too. There are very limited places to fish using coarse fishing methods,as there are very few coarse fish in the area and no tradition of fishing for them.

Almost all the river Trout and Grayling fishing locally is by fly only and this is strictly enforced. The normal season is from the 1st of April until the end of September.

Trout fishing is inexpensive with the average Season Permit costing £25. These are available in the Towns and Villages along the 90 miles of the Tweed. You need a different Permit for each area (Permits available at Gamer Fair for Whiteadder).

For instance, you need a Kelso permit for the 10 miles of fishing they control and a Peebles ticket for the 20 or so miles they have and so on throughout the length of the Tweed and its Tributaries. Salmon Angling can be expensive particularly in the Autumn, which is high season. Other seasons can be cheaper but there is very little good Salmon Angling available on the main river for less than a £100 a day.

Beach and sea fishing along the Northumberland coast is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike.

  • Coldingham Loch - This is a 22 acre loch located 25 minutes north of the town. A brilliant spring fed water with prolific insect life.
  • The Whinney Loch - is right next door to Coldingham. This is a small 3 acre intimate fishery with excellent facilities and is fairly sheltered.
  • Chatton Fishery - three 4 acre ponds and lovely views of the Cheviot Hills. It is permanently staffed and you can buy food and drinks there, just 25 minutes south of Berwick.
  • The Watch Reservoir - This is a large 120 acre reservoir located 45 minutes north west of Berwick. It is situated up on a Grouse Moor and has wild Brown Trout and stocked Rainbows

Prices for all the above are fairly standard. Around £16 for six hours Catch and Release fishing. More to take fish home.