Where to fish in Dorset if Chesil is too rough.

Sean McSeveny
  · Sean McSeveny  · October 22, 2013

I don’t know how many of you got out over the weekend, I didn’t as I decided that as the weather was so poor, I would make some headway on the huge list of jobs that the missus had for me, that I had managed to put off for months. I had a couple of emails from a few anglers saying that they had braved  some pretty challenging conditions and had been rewarded with Bass, Codling and even some Bream.

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I am sure most of you would have woke up this morning to a gale, those of us living in Dorset certainly have, with South Westerly winds blowing straight onshore. Chesil is unfishable, but you have booked a few days of work to go fishing, so where can you go instead? Don’t despair, as there are still plenty of options. The chance of a Cod is much reduced, but at this time of year there are plenty of other exciting species around if you know where to look.

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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 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, 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

I will be doing an in depth article on each of those marks in the future, but if you want to find some of your own marks I have found the book  Inshore Along the Dorset Coast
a great source.

I would like to say is a big thank you to everyone that signed the petition to save Weymouth Angling Society (WAS). As of this morning there are over a 1000 signatures on it. The guys at WAS have been very busy since Friday, whipping up support and lobbying councillors. The Angling Trust has agreed to help and is sending a representative to this mornings meeting. The WAS committee believe that this may be a prolonged fight to save the club.

For those of you that don’t know what I am talking about, have a quick look at the petition below. Just click the sign petition link and you will be taken through to a page that describes how Weymouth and Portland Council are trying to push through a proposal to demolish WAS and turn it into more car parking spaces.

A few people have said that they have been asked to give a donation for using the petition. This is obviously iPetitions way of trying to make money by hosting these petitions. I just want to say that you do not need to donate anything, and if you do neither myself or Weymouth Angling Society will receive anything from iPetition.

Sea Conditions: 

Water temperature 15.4*c.

Chesil Beach:  Waves exceeding 5m with very coloured water.

Portland: 3m 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: The same as yesterday. 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: Despite October being one of the best months for lure fishing for Bass, I still have quite a few days left.  Have a look on the guiding link at the top of the page or drop me an email for more details to [email protected]

Fishing Tails > All Articles > Reports > Chesil Beach > Where to fish in Dorset if Chesil is too rough.

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2 Responses to "Where to fish in Dorset if Chesil is too rough."
  1. shaun milldd says:

    Talking about conditions at chesil i managed to get a session in last saturday afternoon early evening before weather was due to get worse again.it looked like it would produce a bass so i set up one rod with a running ledger with a pennel rig,3/0 hook at the top and 5/0 at the bottom.iloaded up with half side of mackerel and lobbed out no more than 10yds.i perservered for about 3hrs before i noticed the rod tip twitching.i picked up the rod a leaned into a fish. Turned out to be a thick lipped mullet of about 2.5lbs.quickly followed by one of 3lbs and 3.5lbs.wondered if this happens often when fishing chesil

    • Sean Sean says:

      Hi Shaun.

      It doesn’t happen too often, but at this time of year it is a lot more common. The Mullet are moving out of the harbours and feeding aggressively in an attempt to put on as much weight as they can for the winter.

      I love catching Mullet from the beach.

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