Return to the River Douglas

Early Morning Sun Sea Fishing the River Douglas, Hesketh Bank

After what seems like, and in fact is, ages I managed to get out sea fishing this past weekend. Admittedly it was only to the local River Douglas but with the weather fair if a little chilly it was time to dust the cobwebs off my gear that had accumulated over the past 5 months and get out there and do a bit.

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last wet a line but the records don’t lie and the last time we went out was October last year to Anglesey. No wonder I’ve been getting a little twitchy.

So keeping it simple I emptied the fridge of some vintage frozen black lug, circa October 2011 and a well past it’s use by date Mackerel and drove the whole 5 minutes down the road, parked up and was on the bank 1.5 hours before high water and setting up less than a quarter of an hour since setting off. Sometimes it’s good to stay local…

Sea Fishing on the banks of the River Douglas

There were a few other keen anglers braving the icy North Easterly wind and it didn’t take long until I noticed the flash of a white bellied Flounder from further down the river.

River Douglas Flounder

About half an hour before high water and after missing a couple of good bites, I managed my first fish of the year, a plump River Douglas Flounder which fell to the manky old Mackerel. quickly casting out again I managed another, this time on lug but tiny, so tiny I’m amazed it got the hook in it’s mouth.

Things died down a bit over high water as the flow lessened but it did give a few barges chance to travel the Douglas down to the River Ribble where at slack water they are able to cross into the Lancaster Canal. The tide turned and I managed one more good sized fish, which was returned along with the others as I’m not a fan of eating Flounder as in my opinion they taste a bit ‘earthy’ out of our local river.

River Douglas Barge

First sea fishing session of the year, lovely sunny day, a few fish and back home in time for lunch, what a great way to start off my 2013 season even if it is a little late getting going.

Venue Directions

The venue is in Hesketh Bank, Nr. Preston and is easiest to find by going through Tarleton from the A59. At the main A565/A59/Tarleton lights head into Tarleton village, go past the Cock and Bottle pub on the right, then right at a mini roundabout, keeping the Village Inn to the left then take the next left into Hesketh Bank. Stay on this road for about 2.5 miles until it goes round a sharp left bend down a slight hill. Almost immediately after this bend take the next right onto Guide Road then after about 200 meters take the track on the right. Park at the end of the track remembering to leave space for farm vehicles, go over the style and the river is in front of you. Fish it on a medium sized tide otherwise the flow is too strong.


  1. millsy said:

    Great report as usual Stu,hhow are you both keeping.

    April 11, 2013
    • Stu said:

      We’re doing great thanks Ian, might be joining you BLAS lads for a few sessions soon, just need this bitterly cold easterly to go away first though 🙂

      April 11, 2013
  2. john melling said:

    Hello Stu,

    I have read your new fishing report…. definately want to go down and try fishing there for a change.

    following your directions.. are there any issues with driving down that track i.e. parking, farmers

    cheers John Melling

    April 11, 2013
    • Stu said:

      Hi John

      I’ve never had any problems, just be careful when you get to the end, as I get nearer I spin the car round and reverse down. I go past where I want to park with the window down looking for bumps then drive forwards onto the edge. So long as the farm vehicles can get past you’ll be OK.


      April 11, 2013
  3. ash said:

    Hi stu,
    Just stummbled across your site and thought I would drop you a line. Just wondered if the sea fishing club is still on the douglas where you fish. Ive been fishing the area for around 20yrs but noticed since ive been back that the ” shed” at the end of keepers has gone but a metal container is in its place.

    If the club has gone do you think in your opinion that setting up a new club would be an option. Something I may look at doing to get a few people together and a bit of friendly fun.


    May 12, 2013
    • Stu said:

      Hi Ash

      Sounds like a great plan, be nice to have a few lazy sessions on the Dougie with human company instead of sheep or cows.

      May 13, 2013
  4. Ste said:

    Hi mate,
    Fairly new to sea fishing, do you need to pay to fish this stretch?

    June 15, 2020
    • Stu said:

      Hi Ste, you generally don’t need a license to ‘sea fish’ anywhere so long as the section of the river you are on is tidal. The only deception to this would be if you were targeting salmon or sea trout in which case you’d need a migratory fish license.

      June 15, 2020

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