Autumn is without a doubt the best time for sea fishing in Dorset. We still have all the summer species around, but the winter species are now starting to show, so you never know what your next catch will be. It could easily be a hard fighting Smoothound from Seaton or a tasty Cod from Cogden. Exactly 2 years ago today I landed an 7lb Bass on bait from Ferrybridge in bright sunshine.

The variety of fish that have been caught over the last weeks has been incredible. Mackerel are still around in significant numbers as are Bream. Garfish have turned up and are more than happy to take a small lure or float fished strip of Mackerel. Night fishing adds even more species, as Conger and even Bull Huss make an appearance. James Pritchett had this little one from Abbotsbury, on a Cod bait.

One fish that has been around in surprising numbers these past few days are Plaice. A lot of anglers target them early in the season, when they return in March from spawning. The September fish are normally more numerous and definitely in better condition. Andrew Carter had a number of lovely conditioned Plaice at range. One took a Squid and Lugworm bait meant for Cod.

The Plaice are feeding heavily, to put weight on for their move to the winter spawning grounds. I often find that Lugworm is a better bait at this time of year. Chris Morris was another angler that managed to find a plump autumn Plaice.

It wasn’t the only fish Chris managed to catch. He also managed a few nice Sole and a Cod at the same time. Thats what I would call a good session.

Unfortunately the trawlers are well aware of the number of Sole coming from the beach and have been out in numbers. Lets hope the Sole and Plaice stay closer inshore than the boats can.


Chesil Beach: Calm with lightly coloured water

Portland: Calm with clear water

Portland Harbour: Calm with clear water

Weymouth Bay: Calm with clear water

Chesil Beach forecast: This should be a great week for fishing from Chesil. Conditions are perfect for just about everything. We have a spring tide, combined with calm conditions and the arrival of the autumn Cod. Expect Bream, Gurnard, Trigger, Bass and Cod from the Portland end of Chesil. To the West, we should see Sole, Plaice, Dabs, Rays and Smoothound.

During the day there will be lots of Garfish and Mackerel, with Bass chasing the Mackerel and bait fish. As dusk approaches the Scad will move in and can be caught on float fished strips of Mackerel or even Mackerel feathers and lures.

Portland Harbour: Bass and Garfish can be seen chasing the bait fish around Ferrybridge and Castletown. Large shoals of Mullet can also be caught from the area between Castletown and Portland Marina.

Get out there with a lure rod and see what you can catch, you will be surprised how effective it is.

Portland: If I was asked to give one mark that you would be guaranteed of catching fish this week, it would be Portland. You can make it easy on yourself and use Ragworm float fished or hard on the bottom for Wrasse, or you could go light and use soft plastic lures for a great sporting experience.

Dawn and dusk will see Pollock caught from most of the rock marks. Use a white sidewinder or Metal X Bubblehead lure for best results.

Weymouth Bay: The harbour should still have plenty of Mullet in it, but they will soon leave to move to open water. The piers are good for numbers of smaller fish, but Mackerel and Bass often show.

Guiding: I have a number of slots that I have opened up for guiding over the next couple of weeks. Bass, Wrasse, Garfish and Pollock on lures and fly, or just about every species on bait.

I specialize in lure fishing and I am offering Fly fishing this year as well. I am still more than happy to go after the multitude of species in this area with bait, whether that is big Wrasse, explosive Smoothound fishing or targeting the tastier fish such as Plaice and Bream. If you want to book a session or find out more information drop me an email at

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