I know I am not the only one fishing Chesil at the moment, but I seem to be one of the few that is fishing down the Portland end of the beach. A few hardy souls have been out at West Bexington and Abbotsbury, but with the exception of some Dogfish and Whiting, very little has been caught.
One thing I have noticed is that there seems to be more Bass on the South coast than Cod. Normally when the water temperature reaches 9°C the Bass head of out to the South West approaches to breed. So far they have not shoaled up there, as the French Trawlers that normally massacre them at this time of year are coming back with almost empty holds.
I have been keeping a close eye on what has been happening in other parts of the South coast, as certain marks give good indicators as to when to expect different species to arrive on Chesil. I was down in Brighton on Monday, where I went to check out how the Plaice fishing was going down there. Because the water is very coloured in that area as well, it was hard to get a true indication of the Plaice fishing. However I did see a couple of anglers take a few thin looking Plaice. A good indicator that the Plaice will start to arrive on Chesil in about 3 weeks time.
The next question is where on Chesil will these Plaice turn up? The beach has been changed so much it is hardly recognisable. The picture below that was taken by Nina at Underwater Explorers, shows an almost sandy beach at Chesil Cove. Those of you that know Chesil Cove, will know that it is normally where the largest of the pebbles are on Chesil. Now it is a mixture of some pebbles, clay and course sand. If you want to see more great pictures from Underwater Explorers and Chesil Beach have a look at their Facebook page Chesil Beach Watch
Fish are startign to show in other areas such as the Bristol Channel and the Solent. Reports say that a number of marks in the Channel are so full of small Codling, nothing else is getting a chance to get to the baits. This is great news for the future of Cod fishing. Thornback Rays have started showing in the Solent, with some double figure fish coming from Lee-on-Solent and Hillhead. I will ask Lorraine our Solent contributor if she will write and article on the Ray fishing there. It is with great pleasure that I can announce Lorraine Lolly Perry has been selected for the women’s England shore angling team. We wish her all the luck.
Water temperature 8.7°c.
Chesil Beach: Rough with 2m waves. The water is heavily coloured, and there is a long surf run off.
Portland: Rough with 2m waves with coloured water.
Portland Harbour: Wavelets with clear water
Weymouth Bay: Small waves The water is clear
Chesil Beach forecast: Fishing on Chesil at the moment is very poor. Even the Pout and Dogfish seem to be staying away, especially down at the Portland end of the beach. Further to the West it seems that there are plenty of pin Whiting and Rockling coming from West Bexington and Abbotsbury. A few Dabs and Flounder have been caught at West Bay from the harbour wall, but very little else has been reported. That will be due mainly to the lack of anglers fishing.
Portland: We have a few days of settled weather ahead of us. If the colour drops from the water fairly quickly, then we might see some Pollock around Portland Bill. Failing that, you could try using large fish baits to target Bull Huss and Conger. At this time of the year some of the large baits get picked up by large Rockling.
Portland Harbour: With the water temperature now well below the magical 9°C mark that Bass will have moved off, but there are still plenty of Flounder and a few Dabs in the harbour. All we can do now is wait for spring again.
Weymouth Bay: Quite a few anglers fished Preston Beach at the weekend. I didn’t hear of any great catches, but at least it was fishable. It should continue to produce flat fish and Whiting for a few more weeks yet. Due to storm damage, the Stone Pier is closed. I do not know how long it will be until they reopen it. The pleasure pier remains open.
Guiding & Lessons: Now that we are well and truly in the grip of winter, most of my guiding trips for the next few months will be bait fishing trips. If the weather settles and the water clears for a week, then I will go for Pollock and Wrasse on lures. If you are thinking of booking a Plaice fishing trip, I am going to be running those from the second week of March. Until then it will be Wrasse from the rocks and Cod trips if the weather allows. Have a look on the guiding link at the top of the page or drop me an email for more details to firstname.lastname@example.org