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Fishing out of Wells

Michael Frary
Deputy Harbour Master and former fisherman

The fishing fleet in Wells now stands at eleven commercial crabbers and three angling vessels. The crabbers usually work approximately fourteen hours-a-day but two boats often do trips of twenty-four hours. Boats haul anything up to 1000 pots and work as far off as 40 miles from the Harbour.

Catches are sold locally in hotels and restaurants or processed at Cromer Crab Factory. Velvet crab and some lobsters are transported to Spain and Portugal in Vivier lorries after being sorted in the Wells Fishing Shed at the East End of the Quay. Two of the fleet have their own outlets, one being the Fish Stall on the Quay and the second, The Wells Crab House restaurant on Freeman Street.

Prior to crabbing, Wells was one of the major Ports in the United Kingdom for whelking. There are two or three boats still carrying on this practice in winter when the crabs and lobsters hibernate. The brown shrimp seem to have disappeared this year so the fishing boats from Leigh-on-Sea have not visited. Musseling in and around the Harbour is going from strength to strength with the beds being reseeded to ensure winter work for some of the fishermen.

The angling boats have had a good year inshore for Bass and Mackerel and further offshore decent catches of Tope and Smoothound have been made. During the summer small boats can be seen heading to sea to try and catch their own free fish supper of Mackerel or Bass.

Documents and downloads

Adobe PDF document Fishing from Wells (map & guide)
A new guide to commerical fishing from Wells
4 Feb 2010 14:17
  Open   Download
Fishing boats on Wells quay
Unloading on Wells quay
The new shellfish handling facility
Boy Michael passing the Pool buoy