The question on everyones lips is can we go fishing again? Unfortunately the Prime Ministers speech last night left a lot of us scratching our heads in confusion, myself included. In all honesty it raised more questions than it answered. Facebook was flooded with differing opinions on people interpretations of what was said, so I decided to dig a bit deeper and get confirmation of the answer.
Whilst the Prime Minister glossed over many of the aspects, there is a document that details what is going to be allowed in this new phase of the lockdown. It seems that the government has implemented many of the recommendations put forward by the Angling Trust and fishing will be allowed from Wednesday. The most important thing to remember is keep your distance and only fish with family members that you live with, or fish on your own. That doesn’t mean you can go fishing with your best mate or your brother that lives in a different household. There is no limit on how far you can travel to go fishing England. The rules for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are very different, where the devolved governments are sticking with the stay at home message and do not travel unless it’s necessary.
I have to admit, I am very happy that we can get out fishing, but I can see quite a few problems facing us. One of the major ones is that the tackle shops won’t be open. Not such a huge deal when it comes to tackle, as we can order that online, but what about bait? Unless you can dig some worm you are restricted to catching Mackerel for bait if you are lucky. This is something that you all might want to consider when you buy your tackle online. If you don’t support your local tackle shops then they will close and then where will you get your bait and bits n pieces? One of the other problems I see is that there will be so many people going fishing, that many marks will become overcrowded. Consider carefully where you are going to fish and is there a possible alternative. This might be the time to check out some of those marks that you have always thought could produce, but you have never tried before. Just remember that if everyone acts like an idiot and floods the marks, we may find ourselves facing further restrictive measures again.
Chesil Beach fishing reports and forecast has finally resumed. After months of no reports, you can now look forward to many more. One thing is certain, there will be many newcomers to fishing, as they use it as an excuse to get out on the beach. My personal opinion on this is that it can only be good for the sport and for the tackle shops, just as long as people ensure that they practice social distancing.
I wrote an article last week on some of the species we can expect to see when we start fishing again. If you haven’t already read it this link is here – Fishing after lockdown One notable species that I deliberately left out of that article was Bass. We are just coming off the back of a set of spring tides and the set we have just had, normally heralds the first large influx of Bass to the shore in this area. Most of the Bass that turn up at the early part of the season are normally the smaller fish, but they can still provide a lot of fun, especially on light lure gear.
Water Temperature: 11.9°C
Chesil Beach: light winds and calm with clear water
Portland: slight swell with clear water
Portland Harbour: calm with clear water
Weymouth Bay: 1m surf, with lightly coloured water.
Chesil Beach forecast: With a north easterly wind blowing most of the week, the beach should be pretty calm which will allow for good long distance casting. The target species will be Plaice, early Gurnard, Rays, Dogfish and Mackerel. We often have Herring in amongst the Mackerel shoals at this time of year. I love eating Herring, so I deliberately target them when I can. Small Sabiki lures are best, with a small weight. The Herring are normally fairly high in the water, so don’t allow the weight to sink before working it.
Normally I would suggest that Ragworm would be the best bait, but that will be hard to come across, so if you have any Squid or Mackerel in your freezer then use small strips of that. As the light falls the Ray fishing improves. Once again Mackerel is a good bait for them, or if you have any then try Sandeel.
Portland Harbour: This is my go to mark for Bass during this week, but as the tide starts to become smaller as the week progresses, the Bass fishing will drop off. It is not unusual to get Wrasse and Garfish around Ferrybridge. The Garfish will take small lures and float fished strips of Mackerel.
Top marks to fish in Portland Harbour are Hamme Beach and the reefs around the Sandsfoot. Wrasse, Flounder and Mullet can also be caught in theHarbour.
Portland: I love fishing the Island and alway look forward to targeting Wrasse now that they have moved back inshore in numbers. They can be caught on float fished Ragworm, or my preferred method which is of course lure fishing. Every Wrasse is a different colour and look stunning, as well as providing a good fight on light tackle. I love this picture from Virgis Ruksnaitis, showing how beautiful they can be.
Its not just the Wrasse fishing thats good on Portland, the Pollock fishing can be brilliant, especially at first and last light. Once again lures are the best choice for Pollock and the occasional Bass that you get at this time of year. White Savage Gear Sandeels are brilliant.
Weymouth Bay: We can’t forget the Mullet in Weymouth Harbour. They are now back in large numbers, with some big fish in amongst the shoals. Both Thick and Thin Lipped Mullet are present.
One area that will probably be popular amongst new anglers and probably a good place to avoid, will be the two piers. Lots of small Pout, Pollock and Wrasse can be caught by dropping a bait down the side of the wall. Garfish and Mackerel often make an appearance as well.