The fishing last weekend in West Dorset, was pretty much like the typical bank holiday weekend; rubbish! Unfortunately the Bass that I had hoped would turn up, didn’t, despite fishing in almost perfect Bass conditions on Preston Beach. My hope is that they will make an appearance on the next set of spring tides.DSC_0612

I am not embarrassed to say that I didn’t have a great weekend myself; over 3 short sessions I only managed some Mackerel and a couple of Dogfish. I know others had better results than myself, including my mate Paul, who came along as I was leaving the beach at West Bexington. He managed Plaice, Dogfish and a couple of Smoothound. Leo also reports that the fishing over in Poole is picking up. Have a look at his report from the weekend, you will find it at the bottom of the article.

One thing this weekend did allow me to do was test out some new rods and reels in different conditions. As I mentioned last week, I am going to spend most of the next few months fishing Continental style. The more I looked into this style the more I realised that I would have to radically change my approach. Not just with rods and reels, but everything down to lines, leaders and terminal tackle. Two rods that I am currently testing are from Trabucco; the Serenity, is a light rod rated up to 160g, with the flagship of the range, the Poetica KW designed for heavier work and rated up to 220g. My first impressions are that both rods are amazing, and I can’t wait to use them throughout the summer. Expect a full review in the future.


I am hoping to be able to announce two new contributors to Fishing Tails tomorrow. Between them, they will be able to report on a large area of the South Coast. If all goes well we can expect the first of their reports and articles on Friday, but check back in tomorrow to find out who they are.


Sea Conditions: Water temperature 11.3°c

Chesil Beach:  3m waves with larger ones exceeding 4m. The beach is currently unfishable.

Portland:  Large and dangerous waves on the West Side, dying off to 2m swells on the East with coloured water

Portland Harbour: Wavelets and lightly coloured water

Weymouth Bay: Calm with lightly coloured water

Chesil Beach forecast: The beach is currently unfishable and will remain so until Thursday morning. Once it dies down you are only likely to catch Dogfish and Pout until the water clarity improves. Unfortunatly by the time it does that on Friday evening, the forecast strong winds will return making the beach unfishable again on Saturday.

Portland: Forget fishing anywhere on the West side of Portland today, as the swell will be to big. However it should die down enough tomorrow to allow for some Wrasse fishing on bait. Pollock don’t like coloured and rough conditions, so they will have moved offshore a little.

Coloured conditions are ideal for Conger and Bull Huss on the East side of the island. May can produce some huge Conger from marks such as Cheyne and Durdle Pier. Neither of those marks are suitable for novice anglers.

Portland Harbour: You can find a number of sheltered marks within the harbour, that will provide an opportunity to catch Flounder, Thornback and maybe even a Bass.

I have heard of reports from Cornwall of anglers there catching Gilthead Bream. It makes me wonder if it is worth having a go for the Gilthead in Portland Harbour yet. Gilthead Bream love Mussels, Peeler Crab and Lugworm. Like Black Bream, they have fairly small mouths, so small circle type hooks on Flurocarbon snoods are ideal.

Weymouth Bay: Another mark that is ideal in strong SW winds. The piers as usual continue to produce small Wrasse, Pollock and Pout. Try float fishing with a strip of mackerel to catch Garfish, Mackerel and Pollock.

If you prefer an open beach, then head to Preston, where you have a good chance of Dabs and Flounder.

Guiding: 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 limited to 3 people. May is when I start my lure guiding sessions, where I will be targeting Bass, Pollock and Wrasse. These are my most popular guides so book up early if you want to get on one.

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

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