We have some strong south westerly winds heading our way this weekend, but that doesn’t mean I am going to be sat at home! I love it when the wind stirs things up. It can really improve fishing for certain species, especially Bass at this time of year. Yes it can muck up some of your other fishing, such as Mackerel, Bream, Wrasse and Smoothound, but species such as Plaice, Gurnard and Rays don’t seem too affected by rough conditions. Your main problem is being able to cast into the wind and more importantly, being able to fish safely.
I am not saying marks such as Chesil will be unfishable, but they will be uncomfortable, as you can see from the picture above. I find it quite frustrating as I was hoping to fish there this weekend, especially as I know the Mackerel have moved in and some good Bass have followed them.
Alternative venues: One good aspect of not being able to fish your regular or favourite mark is that it forces you to look at alternatives. Over the past year I have been exploring different marks to fish in different conditions and it has made me realise that I have been over looking some really good fishing spots and even driving past them to get to some that are not anywhere near as good.
With a south westerly I would look at marks that will put the wind on your back and one that I have had some good success with recently is Beesands in Devon. A very under rated and almost unheard of beach, although it has had some attention as a good Plaice mark over the past couple of weeks.
It is very similar to fishing the western end of Chesil, with deep water within easy casting range. Many of the species are the same, with good numbers of Plaice, Gurnard, Mackerel and Rays. Just like Chesil it has patches that hold Bream and the Bass fishing can be very good at times.
In the winter it produces Cod, but for me the real bonus is that it can produce huge Spurdogs. They may not be as powerful as a Smoothound but when they hit double figures they put up a great fight.
Staying closer to Chesil another mark that often fishes well in a south westerly is Weymouth Bay. The area from Green Hill to Bowleaze Cove is another over looked mark, but can produce a great variety of species in the summer. Dab and Flounder are present most of the year, but during the Summer Gurnard, Golden Grey Mullet, Red Mullet and various Ray species and even Smoothound turn up. Because of the number of people around in the summer it is often best fished at night.
If you are looking to take your kids or you want easy access to a fishing mark then don’t forget the piers. Weymouth Stone Pier and Pleasure Pier are almost guaranteed fish marks, with loads of small Pollock, Wrasse, Bream, Mackerel, Pollock, Garfish and Pout to name but a few of the species that you can catch. Simply drop an ragworm or sliver of Mackerel down the side and something will grab it. Cast a little farther out on to the sand and Gurnard and Undulate Rays can be found. Be careful of casting to the outside of the Stone Pier. That puts you in rocky ground, where Wrasse are prolific, but tackle losses can be high.