Here we are on the first and normally my favourite bank holiday weekend of the year. In previous years I would expect Chesil to be packed with anglers targeting Plaice and even early Mackerel. I am sure that there will be quite a few on the beach, but the results are not going to be as good as normal. The water temperature is getting ever lower and is the coldest I have known it in the 20 plus years I have lived down in Dorset. Strong Easterly winds for most of the weekend except Saturday, will make it cold, but Chesil will be sheltered.

There will be some Mackerel caught this weekend. There have been signs of them close to shore, but very few people have given it a go to catch them. For many this would be their normal first venture to the beach for the year and they will be used to getting a few for the BBQ. Good luck to those that try.

Sea Conditions: 

Water temperature 6.3*c

Chesil Beach: Calm with only a small swell. The water is still very coloured.

Portland: 1m swell and lightly coloured water

Portland Harbour: Surf running on most of the beaches in the harbour with the exception of Castletown.

Weymouth Bay: large surf running for over 100m with a lot of colour in the water.

Chesil Beach forecast: recent reports indicate that there are Plaice,Dabs,  Rockling, Pout and Dogfish being caught during the day. However almost without exception the Plaice have been caught at long range on clipped down rigs baited with Ragworm.

Portland: Normally you would expect to see Wrasse and Pollock being caught on float fished tactics from the rocks. The Wrasse seem to still want to stay in the deeper water. However if we get some sunshine to warm up the rocks they are more likely to start feeding. Ragworm, Crab and soft plastic lures will work for the Wrasse. Ragworm, Mackerel and Squid strips for the Pollock. This evenings tide is a good one for Pollock fishing at Dusk on lures.

Portland Harbour: With surf running on most of the beaches in the harbour it could offer a chance of a Bass. There is not too much weed around at the moment so fishing will not be too hard.

Weymouth Bay: The Stone Pier has produced a few small fish and is always a good back up mark. Preston has the biggest chance of producing a Bass in the surf. Stay light and watch for signs of birds feeding in the surf and follow them if you can.

Boat Fishing: I have just been on the phone to a couple of the Weymouth Skippers who are sat at home today with this wind. They are confident that they are going to get out tomorrow and hopefully Sunday. A few of them still have places left on their trips. They all report that the Wreck and Plaice / Turbot fishing is fantastic at the moment. Chris Caines has done a lot of work on the new look  Deapsea website. I think it looks great and is a lot easier to navigate through. You can find charter boats from all over the country and local accommodation if you want to stay over. Have a look and see what you think for yourself  Deepsea

Guiding & Lessons: Normally I would be looking to book guiding sessions for the next month, but with the water being so cold, I am going to limit the guiding to bait fishing for April and I will start the Bass guiding in May. I am still happy to give lessons in both bait and lure fishing during April, but don’t expect to catch too much on lures until nearer the end of the month. I am starting the first of the River Cottage Shoreline course from the 4th of April.  Have a look on the guiding link at the top of the page or drop me an email for more details to

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