Where can I fish today, as it is a bit too rough on Chesil? This is a question I hear a lot when it gets as windy and rough as it is today, so I have decided to tweak a post I wrote last year.
When I got up yesterday I had a look down over Chesil from the West side of Portland and decided that the beach was pretty much unfishable. Although it is not so bad today it is certainly not very comfortable to fish.
I was scheduled to run the River Cottage Shoreline course yesterday, but there was no way that I could hold it on Chesil, so I decided that I would try Preston Beach on Weymouth Seafront, and what a change in conditions that was.
We managed some nice Bass with the best going just under 5lb.
At least you have plenty of other options. You could stay local to Weymouth and Portland and fish the East facing beaches that are much more sheltered. Portland Harbour offers Hamm Beach, Ferrybridge and Sandsfoot Castle that produce Bass and Flounder in regular numbers. You can also catch Mullet, Garfish, Mackerel, Pollock and Wrasse during the spring, summer and autumn. Preston beach is at the opposite end of Weymouth Bay from the Stone and Pleasure Piers can often produce some cracking fishing. Much under rated by locals, this beach regularly throws up Bass (as it did yesterday), Smoothound and Rays, as well as most of the smaller flatfish. The advantage of these marks is you can access them fairly easily.
For some of the other fishing marks you are going to have to get your walking boots on. Head further east and there is a mark that is rarely fished and I believe in these conditions could produce some cracking fishing. The beach between Redcliff point and Osmington Mills will offer some protection especially more towards Redcliff. You have to walk either from Ossmington, or Bowleaze Cove and go down the cliff path to the pillbox on the beach, then head right (looking out to sea).
Next on the list is Durdle Door. Here it is a steep walk down to the beach. In a SW you can tuck in to the shelter on the opposite side of the iconic Dorset landmark.
This can be a good mark, day or night. Wrasse and Pollock fishing can be prolific during the day when the weather is nice. In a gale it can produce Bass, Bull Huss and Conger.
One of the better marks in SW gale is Winspit to the East of St Albans Head. It is a difficult mark to find and get too. You need to drive to Worth Matravers then find the footpath that will take you down to the cliffs. from there is about 3/4 of a mile. When you get to the cliff you need to head left, where you will find a number of ledges. They are a fair way above the water, but the fishing can be amazing. Rays, big Bass, Bream, Conger, Bull Huss are just some of the species that can be caught here
If you want to find some of your own marks I have found the book Inshore Along the Dorset Coast
a great source.
Water temperature 18.4*c.
Chesil Beach: Waves exceeding 3m with coloured water.
Portland: 2m swell with lightly coloured and weedy water
Portland Harbour: Wavelets with lightly coloured water
Weymouth Bay: Calm with slightly coloured water
Chesil Beach forecast: Too dangerous to fish. Just wait for it to calm down a bit, then it should be fantastic.
Portland: The only marks to fish are those well above the water line. Chine is one that can throw up anything in these conditions, including Bass, Bull Huss and Cod. However you will need heavy tackle to compete with the snaggy bottom and the height above water.
Portland Harbour: Hamm Beach and Ferrybridge are good back up marks in this type of weather. Go light and you will have a good chance of getting a Bass or a Flounder. Use lures all along the shoreline and you might be surprised at what might be out there. At this time of year there are plenty of Garfish, Mackerel, Scad, Pollock and bass in the harbour. The best lures are surface lures, or ones that fish just under the surface. I watched Pollock hit the bait fish all along the rocks around Portland Marina yesterday.
Weymouth Bay: As usual the piers will provide a number of different species, though most of them will be small, you can always get a good one if you are lucky. The beach that looks good at the moment is Preston. A good line of surf will have the Bass feeding close to the shore. Go light with a single rod baited with Ragworm and you will get plenty of Small Bass and there is always the chance of a big one there as well.
Guiding & Lessons: I still have a few days left for guiding in the next couple of months. Have a look on the guiding link at the top of the page or drop me an email for more details to [email protected]