Winter fishing on the River Mersey is excellent, particularly at Seaforth rocks and the Alexandra and Gladstone docks.
Seaforth’s container terminal is the most seaward dock of the Liverpool system and the boundary wall on the River Mersey is built from enormous stones that have created a superb fishing platform.
Alexandra and Gladstone dock walls probably give the best chance of a large cod, but fishing is from 40 feet or more above the river, so a drop net is essential. The river has become shallower, so longer casters have the best chance.
Many anglers prefer the docks for general fishing because of the easier casting into deep water at every stage of the tide. Avoid the biggest tides though because the current becomes very strong and severely restricts fishing times. Three hours before and two hours after high water at night are favoured.
Fishing on the dock estate requires a permit from the North West ASAC. They are available to all anglers aged 16 or over, whether or not they belong to NWASAC and allow fishing from the dock walls at Alexandra and Gladstone docks and Seaforth rocks.
Application forms are available from Alan Marklew, 6 Corona Avenue, Lydiate, L31 4DX, tel: 0151 526 0697, or send a letter with your name, address, age, passport photograph and a cheque made payable to the North West ASAC.
Permit costs are £3 per year (two years £6), juniors £2 (must be accompanied by an adult permit holder) while OAPs go free. Day tickets costing 75p are available from local tackle shops.

Dave Houghton


There is year-round fishing but the main interest is in the whiting (September until February) and codling (November until January).

Black lugworms are best for both the whiting and the codling but you’ll need plenty of them to catch the cod. Lug can be tipped with a piece of mackerel, crab or mussel.

Use a conventional beachcaster and multiplier reel loaded with 15lb to18lb mainline, plus appropriate shockleader, with grip-leads from 5-7oz.
Whiting are best targeted with two and three-hook rigs using size 1 hooks, but ambitions towards a bigger cod could justify a Pennell rig with size 2/0 hooks to carry a big bait. You may need a drop net.

Anfield Tackle, 119 Oakfield Rd, Liverpool, tel: 0151 260 8223.
Fisherman’s Tackle, 179 Laird St, Birkenhead, tel: 0151 653 4070.
Johnson’s Angling Centre, 469 Rice Lane, Liverpool, tel: 0151 525 574.
Maghull Angling Centre, 160-162a Liverpool Rd, Lydiate, tel: 0151 531 8619.
Taskers Angling, 25-29 Utting Ave, Liverpool, tel: 0151 260 6015.

The direct route is to arrive through Liverpool on the M57 or M58 as both motorways end at the same point (Switch Island). Then take the A5036 in the direction of Seaforth.
When you arrive at the end of the A5036, which is underneath a flyover, turn right at the roundabout and the entrance to Seaforth container terminal is on the left.

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