Disgusting behaviour

Sean McSeveny
  · Sean McSeveny  · December 4, 2015

The humble Dogfish is no great sporting fish and can often be a nuisance when you are trying to target some of the more prized species, but there are days when a single Dogfish is more than welcome to help avoid a blank. That is why I am sickened by the reports I have read this week on the BBC news, about a large number of Dogfish that have been found dead on Chesil Beach. They were found on a 200m stretch towards Portland by Steve Trewhella. Some of the Dogfish had been slashed along their backbone.

I have another witness to the event and he tells me that he had inspected the Dogfish and they did contain holes in their mouths that could have been caused by hook damage.


Dogfish butchery

I have read a number of pathetic excuses as to who is to blame. Some have claimed that it was a group of Asian’s that cut the fins off for soup, or that it was most likely a commercial boat that had just dumped them. Lets stop pretending, we all know in our minds that it was a bunch of mindless idiots that claim to be anglers. I say a bunch of idiots, because given the number of fish involved, it is highly unlikely to be a single person that is responsible for the mindless killing of at least 40 Dogfish.

If I see anyone mistreating or unnecessarily killing any fish of any species I will photograph and shame them. There is no excuse for it and it only gives the anti’s more ammunition to use against the majority of us that are responsible anglers.

Rant over! lets get back to what has been happening this week and what to expect over the next few days. For almost a week Chesil has been uncomfortable at best and unfishable for most. My mate Paul Black managed a trip to Abbotsbury where he had a couple of nice Cod. He reported a number of other anglers had also managed to successfully get their baits out far enough to catch a few Cod.

Portland Harbour has produced a number of Bass this week. Dean Rook followed my example of getting out in the wind and managed a couple of Bass himself.

Bass Dean

For those that didn’t see my short video of a rather blustery fishing session last Saturday I have included it here.

I had hoped to get out on the beach this morning but the window of lighter wind that I had expected has not arrived. So Bass fishing it will be on the lures.

Sea Conditions: Water temperature 12°c

Chesil Beach: unfishable for most of the weekend

Portland: Huge swell on the West side making it unfishable, but the East side has a large but fishable swell with coloured water

Portland Harbour: Wavelets and lightly coloured water

Weymouth Bay: Calm with lightly coloured water

Chesil Beach forecast: Unfishable at the moment. There is a potential break in the wind on Sunday morning. If it does break for a few hours then the target will be Cod and Bass.

Portland: This looks like a no go for the West side, but the East side should produce Conger and Bull Huss. Church Ope has a fair amount of weed in the corner, but it is fishable and should produce Wrasse and Pollock.

Portland Harbour: The harbour will provide shelter. Small tides are not very good for Bass, but there may be some still around. Flounder are easy to catch in the shallow sandy areas all along the harbour.

Weymouth Bay: Another good mark in the SW winds. The piers will produce lots of species and the odd decent sized fish. Preston Beach remains my favourite mark in these conditions. Rays, Bass, Whiting and flat fish are all on the cards.

Guiding: I have now moved into my winter guiding. This can be a great time to fish with lots of different species around. We are still very much in the best part of the Bass season, especially with lures. I will also be offering Wrasse fishing both on Lures and with bait to target the Big Wrasse that we will start to see soon.

Cod sessions will be starting from the 1st of November, as will general bait fishing sessions. Why not think about a short lesson to improve your casting and fishing skills.

If you don’t want to come to Chesil or Portland then how about choosing one of the other Fishing Tails Guides. Leo covers shore guiding in the Poole and Purbeck area and Anth Constable will be covering the North East. I also hope to add a guide in the Plymouth area very soon. If you want more details then drop me an email to [email protected]

Fishing Tails > All Articles > Reports > Chesil Beach > Disgusting behaviour


20 Responses to "Disgusting behaviour"
  1. Avatar Clive says:

    With regard the Dogfish, what kind of moronic mind thinks this kind of slaughter is acceptable?
    Ok, we all know as has been said, they arn’t any kind of sporting fish but to do this and think it’s the way to treat any fish caught by accident is the thing to do, it truly beggars belief.
    I’m no green tree hugger who drinks only Squirrel tears and cycles everywhere, I’m a lifelong angler with other interests in other fieldsports and yes, I kill fish for the table along with Rabbits and birds that I have shot etc, but all are treated with respect and care if unwanted, none are killed for the sake of it and actions and pictures of the Dogfish in that state shows not only a lack of respect for the fish but also the rest of the angling community, truly awfull.

  2. Avatar robin says:

    Hello Sean,
    unfortunately i have seen eight dogfish obviously deliberately thrown high up on to
    the bank at chesil, towards the bridging camp. such a mindless shame. I will also take photos and let you know
    if i see anything more.

    Robin Wheatley

  3. Avatar Chris says:

    I’m glad this has been brought up as the last couple of times I’ve been down to Chesil I’ve found dogfish fighting for their lives on the beach that have quite clearly just been taken off hooks and left on the beach…disgusting…sure these same people will be moaning where’s no fish left in the sea

  4. Avatar Mike says:

    40 is a large quantity, what about long lining and dumped over the side? 200m is quite a distance for them to be spread over.

    • Sean McSeveny Sean McSeveny says:

      Lets not kid ourselves, this was done by so called anglers. There are no long line boats operating in Weymouth or Portland that I know about.

  5. Avatar Pete says:

    Truly unacceptable. Last year I saw a guy drag a doggy up the bank to his igloo, shout to his mate about his utter disgust for the poor thing, then instead of walking to waters edge to release it he kicked it several times in the direction of the water.
    I’m not sure if the fish made it to the sea or not. It was likely dead anyway. It took all my strength not to go and kick him into the sea. These guys need to be stopped. They bring a bad name to the decent anglers out there.

  6. Avatar martin mccarthy says:

    Sickening to these fished dumped like this NO EXCUSE ! probably the same mindless fishermen who leave behind their empty bait packets and rubbish that gives us all a bad name.

  7. Avatar David Storton says:

    I’ve fished since I was 8 years old and I’m 61 and have never seen anyone kill a dog fish (Except to eat) in a maliciuos way and I agree with you Shaun this is disgusting behaviour. Along a 200 yard stretch sounds like a very large bunch of anglers (I use that term lightly maybe it should be hooligans)

  8. Avatar Derek Jefferson says:

    yes, this situation gives all “sensible and keen anglers” a bad name and goes nothing for our sport.
    Plus as you say, we have all been please to catch a dogfish to save a blank day on more then one occasion.

  9. Avatar Stuart says:

    Like most decent members of the human race I do try to live my life to some simple and basic rules. One of them is to treat everyone I meet and this very much includes animals however big or small, shape and size with respect. Looking at the truly pathetic picture of the Dogfish dumped on Chesil Beach is just about the single most sickening thing I have seen in a long time. Do the cretins who did this not stop to think of the potential (justifiably) backlash that such actions can have on our sport across the whole spectrum of angling. When you see mindless acts of totally unnecessary brutality I do draw a little comfort from the indisputable fact that : YOU CAN’T EDUCATE PORK.

  10. Avatar subbuteoles says:

    I,m shocked and totally sickened that a so called fellow angler could even consider doing this terrible act. We had a simular thing happen on the Bristol Channel a few years back when a group of anglers left a number of undersized thornback rays they had caught to perish on the beach. No need for that sort of behaviour at all.

  11. Avatar joe hooton says:

    Hi, I am 69 years old and have been on chesil all my life, NEVER have I seen anything like that !!! B******S.I have thought for some years now that a warden system or something amongst the regulars may do some good,its bad enough in the summer with they idiot mackerel bashers but that is beyond any reason again B******S

  12. Avatar Steve says:

    Absolutely disgusted with this, the good old doggie is the backbone of nearly every shore club in the country, and is a welcome catch and release for points, ect. Many a young angler will get their first fishing catch experience from them.
    It’s up to every sensible angler to either say something to the offending persons at the time, or get the fish back in the water, at least shaming them into stopping this deplorable act, well done Sean for highlighting this.

  13. Avatar Dave Breame says:

    1. Not sure from the reports and the lack of details what to think. If approx 40 plus dogfish were found over a 200m stretch up the beach, it points to a number of anglers not just one. With that in mind, and the amount of anglers out at the moment fishing for cod, someone must have seen this group on the beach concerned. I just don’t want to think of a group of anglers with the total lack of respect for our fish or fellow anglers committing a crime such as this?
    2. If this number were found along the shoreline, there must have been double or more out in the sea. you could be talking of 100 plus. If this is the case it would point to a longliner. A longliner could be retrieving his line of hooks and killing any dogfish taken and dumping them overboard. This might go to explain why they were found over just a 200m stretch. This would have to take tide and direction into account.
    3. The only other exclamation I could think of for this sick action, is that is was done on purpose for the publicity it would surely bring with the media. For what intention, I don’t know. Perhaps for whatever reason they want fishing banned along the beach. Who would gain from that? That is why I don’t think and pray is was not anglers.

  14. Avatar Martin says:

    This is a group of guys (I refuse to use the word anglers)
    Who are having sickening competition and they don’t give a …….
    They won’t read this blog and they don’t read magazines . We can only reach out to new anglers via the stores. This is the first and possibly the only contact people will have.
    But not once in all my years have I been giving any advice or handed a leaflet when being sold a rod or reel. The industry needs to advise newcomers and the old, the fun but also the responsibility we have . Where to get advice on discorging and when suitable, dispatching of fish.
    The commercial fleet will have as much fun with this photo as the environmentalists

  15. Avatar Pat says:

    Really sad picture. Sea angling has come a long way since the 70’s with widespread catch and release, huge angling boat catches of dead fish a thing of the past and only killing of anything sizable if you want to eat it. This sort of thing is appalling and doesn’t belong anywhere today. However, I still think some anglers and occasional fisherman make a distinction between “noble” fish like bass, plaice and cod but others are less worthy of respect such as dogfish, mackeral, pouting whiting etc whose catching is also considered a less worthwhile activity – yet actually make up much of what most folk catch these days. Perhaps we all need to think about how we talk about the fish we catch i.e. “its just another xxxx” . An rather older guy I was fishing next to a couple of years ago corrected me when I congratulated him on a sizable catch “decent fish” I said cheerfully. “They are all decent fish” he said smiling. Sound words.

  16. Avatar Neil says:

    Fishing up by bridging camp 2 weeks ago, 2 guys dropped short and had left before me walking back.
    When I past there spot there were dead dogfish thrown sll over. I stopped counting at 15.

  17. Avatar John cady says:

    I have seen photos similar to this before, on Facebook I think.The same person thinks its clever to shoot huge amounts of wildlife.The world would be a lot better without these sad losers.

  18. Avatar Ian Hodge says:

    A couple of weeks ago I fished Abbotsbury over low tide and found that dogfish were being washed up alive.
    I managed to return about a dozen or so until I got a boot full. They all appeared to be in good condition so it’s been on my mind as to why this occurred.

  19. Avatar Borris Morris says:

    I must admit I havent seen this type of thing before but I can honestly say I am sickened by the sight of it. I boat fish the Bristol Channel and however much a pain in the ar5e a woofer can be they always go back with the least amount of stress and harm I can get away with.

    Whoever did this isn’t a fisherperson they are a complete scum bag!

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