The magic temperature

Sean McSeveny
  · Sean McSeveny  · April 25, 2014

The water temperature on Chesil Beach has hit the magic 11°c. mark. It is much earlier this year than it has been for a number of years, especially last year. Water temperature is one of the most important factors in sea fishing. It acts as triggers for behaviour such as spawning and feeding. The all important bait fish move with their food source, which can be plankton, which is heavily dependant on temperature to grow. I believe that we suffered from poor fishing last year because the temperatures were so low for so long. I really hope this year brings more Bass, Bream and Trigger Fish to the beaches. Early indications suggest that we will be in for a bumper year for Bream.

This Sunday is the Chesil Champions competition run by West Bay Sea Club. The competion starts at 11am with sign on at Freshwater Holiday Park, Burton Bradstock from 9.30. First Prize is £225 plus optional pools and is open to everyone.

Sea Conditions: 

Water temperature 11.1°c.

Chesil Beach: Calm with a milky tinge, but the water is more coloured to the West (Abbotsbury)

Portland: Calm with  lightly coloured water

Portland Harbour: Calm with clear water

Weymouth Bay: Calm with  clear water.

Chesil Beach forecast: There is a very distinct band of milky coloured water running several miles down Chesil from Chesil Cove. This is caused in the main by the sediment being disturbed in the Cove. The ebb tide is then pulling it along the coast towards Abbotsbury. It only gets a couple of miles before it drops back to the sea floor. This band extends up to 100m from the shore.


Those fishing the competition on Sunday will have a good number of species to target. The windy conditions on Saturday should stir the water up a bit. Not so good for the Plaice but it could bring in some early Bass and if the water stays dirty then expect some Dogfish and Pout.

Portland: The Wrasse fishing is in full swing on Portland, with reports of some big bags of 4lb plus fish caught on bait. I had a walk around Portland Bill at the weekend and talked to quite a few anglers. Those fishing in the right place did very well. You have to fish the right side of the Island at the right time of tide. On the Ebb tide the fishing is better for Wrasse on the West side, and during the flood you are far better of fishing the East side. For Pollock and Bass it is the reverse.

Portland Harbour: This is where I expect the first of the Bass to come from, and to be honest I can’t wait. You can lure or bait fish for them, but I have always found that lure fishing for them is more successful and a lot more fun. Especially if you are using surface lures, where you can see a dramatic explosion of water as the Bass hits the lure on top of the water. I will give more details of which are the best lures in the next week.

Weymouth Bay: Still waiting for the Mullet, but the piers are fishing well. Wrasse, Pollock, Pout and even Mackerel are being caught from the piers. They are normally smaller fish but if you are introducing kids to fishing then you can’t go wrong. Keep it simple, a single hook running ledger is ideal. Bait it with some Ragworm or a bit of Mackerel. If you want something a bit more visual, then set up a float with a strip of Mackerel and you might get a pleasant surprise, as the Pollock that are around at the moment are pretty big.

Poole: A few small Bass starting to show in Poole harbour, along with plenty of Flounder. Regular contributor Leo had another attempt at some Plaice at Sandbanks with his daughters. He didn’t find any Plaice, but his daughters managed a Bass and Flounder between them.



Guiding & Lessons: With the fishing season well under way I am taking bookings for lure and bait fishing guided sessions. I am also offering 2 hour long fishing workshops, for those wanting to learn some of the basic techniques.  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 > The magic temperature


4 Responses to "The magic temperature"
  1. Avatar William says:

    Hi Sean,

    Tried abbotsbury and had friends over at west bexington yesterday, blanked the entire day. Not even mackeral. Any ideas what’s causing this? Arrived at chesil at 8am and fished till 10pm. Used rag and lug worm.

    • Sean McSeveny Sean McSeveny says:

      Most likely the lack of water clarity. We are starting to have May water already. This always has a negative effect on the fishing.

  2. Hi Sean,
    I was out with Pat Carlin yesterday inshore on the race and the shambles / kidney banks. We had a LOT of herring but very few mackerel coming up despite a few guys trying with all manner of feathers to get them. The bream are spawning at the moment so we left them alone and focused on the plaice over the mussel beds. All of the plaice we had were a good size but would only take raw Asda frozen prawn tipped with squid. They’re not taking rag at all!
    A good few turbot were caught with one guy on our boat yanking in an 8lb plus bin lid size chomper. We tried with live sandeels and sand eel fillet flapers but nothing going on, turbot were only caught on half a fillet of mackerel on 4 to 6 foot traces. The plaice were not on the banks either. Pat said that the amount of herring around was a real good sign that the fish will be around portland in good numbers as apparently they havent been around in numbers for a few years. Maybe the storms have whisked up some changes. I understand my wife got in touch to organise a guiding session and i’ll be in touch for a weekday outing soon. Cheers, Chris

    • Sean McSeveny Sean McSeveny says:

      Sounds like a good session Chris. A good tip about the prawns for those going Plaice fishing. I am surprised the Turbot were not on the Sandeels.

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