At last, a 42cm Minimum landing size for Bass

Sean McSeveny
  · Sean McSeveny  · July 3, 2015

At long last the powers that be in Europe have seen fit to agree to increase the Minimum Landing Size(MLS) for Bass to 42cm. The current size limit for most of the UK has been 36cm. At 36cm Bass are still too immature to spawn, so they never even have a chance to increase the stock. Although the commission has agreed to the increase, they have not set a date as to when it will come into force, but if the last changes are anything to go by, then it will be implemented very quickly.

With the additional measures of limiting recreational anglers to 3 fish per day, and a total ban on trawling between January and April, introduced earlier this year, Bass stocks should start to increase over the next few years. This is not something that we will see the benefits of next year, or maybe not even the year after, as the Bass are so slow growing. However the year proceeding that should be much better, and I for one look forward to some great Bass sessions then.

Patrick with a 9lb 2oz Bass caught whilst fishing for Bream


So what on earth has happened to the fishing on Chesil? To say it has been rubbish this week is an understatement. Even the Mackerel that are normally prolific at this time of year don’t seem to be around. So much for my prediction last Friday of exotic fish. It would be nice to see any fish, that is how bad it is. I have only heard of a few Gurnard and the odd Plaice. I fished Portland Bill earlier in the week and I didn’t see any bait fish. Even the little Terns that are nesting at Ferrybridge, are having to fly about a mile offshore to get bait fish.


The water close inshore looks like it is suffering from another Algae bloom, similar to May Water. Looking at it this morning, it does look clearer than it has been all week. My advice to those traveling from afar, is to give it a miss this weekend.

Sea Conditions: Water temperature 15.2°c

Chesil Beach:  Calm and lightly coloured water

Portland: Calm with almost clear water

Portland Harbour:Calm and clear

Weymouth Bay: Calm and clear

Chesil Beach forecast: With a spring tide upon us, the fresh water coming in from the Atlanatic should push the algae bloom out quite quickly, allowing us to get back to the fishing we would expect at this time of year.

Don’t expect to see many Mackerel, but Gurnard seem to be happy enough to stay around. If the water does clear then expect to see some Plaice and Bream. I think that the sea state will increase to being a bit choppy over the weekend, so the Smoothound wont like that much.

Portland: As there seems to be no bait fish around the Pollock are also staying offshore. However the Wrasse are in plentiful numbers, especially on worm and crab baits.

I am going out this morning to attempt a lure Grand Slam. That is catching Bass, Pollock and Wrasse, all on lures in one day.


I have been continuing to fish for salt water species on the fly, which I am really getting into. I caught this little Corkwing the other day, it is only small, but it is another species that has fallen to my Tubeology System of tube flies.

Corkwing Wrasse

Portland Harbour: One or two small Bass falling to surface lures around the Harbour, but the big tides should see the number of Bass in the harbour increase. Flounders and Wrasse can be found along Sandsfoot castle area, especially if you cast between the sandy gaps in the reef.

Weymouth Bay: Some good catches have been reported from Stone Pier, with Pollock up to 2lb and some nice Garfish. There are lots of Mullet further up in the harbour, with some monster sized fish amongst the shoals.


I am now taking bookings for plaice trips as well as some basic fishing workshops for the next month. In the workshops I teach all sorts of skills, that will give you a good grounding for your fishing adventures for the rest of the year. I am happy to do lure or bait sessions and the workshops are 2 hours long and limitied to 3 people. If you are thinking about booking a guided lure or bait session for the later on in the year, then now is the best time to do it, to grab the best tides.

This year we will be offering boat guiding sessions from your own boat, from Weymouth and Portland and shore guiding in the Poole and Purbeck area. If you want more details then drop me an email to [email protected]

Fishing Tails > All Articles > Reports > Chesil Beach > At last, a 42cm Minimum landing size for Bass


9 Responses to "At last, a 42cm Minimum landing size for Bass"
  1. Avatar Lea says:

    I had 5 big mackerel earlier this week, 3 of which were really close in. So spent the latter part of the week with lure rod over chesil, nothing. Stopped at the bridge on my way home, not even a nibble. Its all my fault as I bought a new rod and reel last weekend, sorry 😉

  2. Avatar Dan says:

    Probably way off the mark but having heard that there have been a fair number of dolphins spotted are they likely to chase off the mackerel from the shore line?

    • Sean McSeveny Sean McSeveny says:

      Most likely not Dan. If anything they might push them towards the shore. I think the bigger problem is the new Algae bloom.

      • Avatar Jerry Hill says:

        Makes sense, we’ve just been in Cornwall – we saw some dolphins while rock fishing – usually plenty of mackerel on the mark but a fair distance out but on this occasion we caught them within an easy cast with a light spinning rod targeting pollack. Great fun as they were a good size. Later, a seal popped up under our feet so guess he was taking advantage of the opportunity too! Went back a couple of days later to find a trawler working a few hundred yards off, not so good. Also saw barrel jellyfish down there, as well as plenty of small ones (light and dark blue).

  3. Avatar Liam says:

    Last summer me and my mate had thrashed the water to a foam with lures around Portland bill and Ferrybridge with no success for the bass, we used fiiish black minnows (every colour and size), surface lures, shallow lures etc. you name it we tried it. When you say Portland harbour is that around by Portland Marina? have we been wasting our time at Ferrybridge, it just looks bassy to me?

    • Sean McSeveny Sean McSeveny says:

      It is all about being at those marks at the right time. In a 6 hour period I would fish all three of those marks and then some.

  4. Avatar Mark says:

    Great info many thanks , any idea what the water clarity is like a bit further east ? Solent maybe ?

  5. Avatar David Storton says:

    I had quite a good night on the Nothe the other night with 6 Pouting (they were that similar I was wondering if it was the same fish six times) 3 Wrasse (one about 2 and a half pound) a tiny silver eel and a rockling. After dark the Nothe fishes it’s head off, bite after bite for hours, the trick is to fish small and light (number 6 hooks)

  6. Avatar Dave says:

    I think bass measures are only temporary for this year.
    Bass management plan next year?
    ICES have also recommended a large reduction in total EU landings for 2015.

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