Catch report & fishing forecast for Dorset including Chesil Beach, Portland & Weymouth

Sean McSeveny
  · Sean McSeveny  · May 11, 2013

10 Degrees Celsius! The magic number has finally been reached. This is the temperature that I have been waiting for, for over a month now. It is the trigger point for many actions within the marine world that effect the fishing in the UK. For me the most important one is that the Bass will move inshore now. I know that a few Bass have been around and you will always get stragglers all year, but this is the start now. The warmer water brings the bait fish and prawns into the shallower water. That combined with the start of the Peeler Crab moult and the Bass know that rich and easy pickings lie in wait for them in the inshore waters. The main influx will arrive wen the temperature reaches 11 degrees and shoals of School Bass hit the estuaries and harbours.

I will dust down my lure gear and make a concentrated effort on some of my favourite Bass marks. Over the next coulpe of weeks I will write a number of articles and with some luck some video tutorials highlighting lure fishing and some of my favourite lures and techniques.

I feel sorry for you, if you were looking to come down to Chesil for a Plaice fishing session today. COnditions are far from ideal, with large waves sometimes exceeding 4m. This should calm down over the next 24 hours, but the water will be pretty coloured, which will make Plaice fishing very difficult.

Sea Conditions: 

Water temperature 10*c.

Chesil Beach: Rough with 2m waves sometimes exceeding 4m . The water has a lot of silt in it..

Portland: Rough with 2m swell and coloured water.

Portland Harbour: Wavelets and clear.

Weymouth Bay: Calm with a slight tinge to the water.

Chesil Beach forecast: If you do com down to fish Chesil today, take great care. There are large waves with a long surf backwash that make it difficult to land fish. Weed is building up in Chesil Cove. It is unlikely that you will be able to catch many Mackerel due to the water being coloured. Bass are a posibility close in with a live Peeler Crab, large Mackerel or squid bait.

Portland: It will be hard going around the Bill today, but CHurch Ope should be fishable as long as the weed stays out  of it. I have had an email from Dan from Weston Supermare who asks the following: When can you actually fish regarding tides?

The tides down Portland are always in and not like Weston super mare where it goes out about a mile, so there you fish the incoming tide. With Portland – say high tide was 8pm today, at what point is it worth fishing? – I guess every 6 hours the tide changes, so my hunch would be working back 6 hours from 8pm, so the current is pushing the food towards shore?? I’ve always only fishing 3 hours before high tide, but am I losing precious fishing time in not fishing earlier?

This is a very good question Dan, and hopefully the following will be able to answer your question: The tides flow down the East side of Portland from Weymouth Bay for most of the ebb tide. Once slack water has occurred at the Bill, the tides switch direction and run from Chesil Beach towards the Bill on a flood tide. Depending on what type of species you are after, will determine when and where you fish. Bass and Pollock lik the fast flowing currents to bring the food to them, so the Bill is a good mark 2 hours either side of high water. Marks down the East side of the Island fish well during the Ebb and the West side on the Flood. If you are targeting Wrasse and Conger (at night), then you want t fish periods of slacker water. Marks such as Pulpit Rock are great for wrasse 2 hours either side of low water. Once the flood starts to push through with force, then it is time to move to the East side of the Bill. This little video clip shows how fast the water is flowing around Pulpit just after the start of the flood

So in short Dan, you can fish most stages of the tide around Portland Bill, as long as the weather is suitable. I will go into more detail the baits and lures what work best at different marks around Portland, but that is one of my future projects. Most likely to come out in July.

 

 

Portland Harbour: I have seen a lot more bird activity within the harbour over the past two days. Expect the Bass soon. I have spotted some small shoals of Mullet up the Fleet and around the marina.

Weymouth Bay: Plenty of small fish coming from Stone Pier with the odd decent one amongst them. You should start to see Garfish and Mackerel being caught on light float tackle from now on. I have not heard of anyone fishing Preston end of Weymouth beach, but with small tides you are only likely to pick up a few Flounder.

Boat and Kayak report: Not great for the boats today. Lets hope some of the charter fleet get out tomorrow. Small boats and kayaks should be good around the harbour.

Guiding & Lessons: At last I can see some light at the end of the tunnel for the Bass and other predators that love lures. I know they are not in yet, but they wont be far away, With that in mind, I will be filling up my diary for guiding sessions from the last week in May. Next Thursday is the next date for  the River Cottage Shoreline course, and I believe there are still a couple of places left on it..  Have a look on the guiding link at the top of the page or drop me an email for more details to [email protected]

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