Is there any Mackerel on Chesil yet? That is the favourite question on everyones lips at the moment, and the answer is yes. Admittedly not as many as there was at this time last year, but with water temperatures down by well over a degree we can’t expect too much. They are certainly in large enough numbers to make it worth while trying for them.
The Plaice fishing was reasonable this weekend, but smal tides are not ideal. It should pick up a bit towards the middle and later part of the week. There have been some nice Rays caught along Chesil over the last week. I have heard rumours of a potential British record Thornback caught and released from Chesil but so far I have not been able to get any confirmation or picture of the fish.
Wrasse fishing has picked up on Portland. I had a session on Saturday and managed a few Ballan and Corkwing Wrasse on Ragworm.
With this many Wrasse around now, it is worth targeting them on soft plastics.
Water temperature 9.3*c. A big jump over the past two days.
Chesil Beach: Calm . The water has a milky tinge to it.
Portland: Calm with almost clear water.
Portland Harbour: Calm and clear.
Weymouth Bay: Calm with a slight tinge to the water.
Chesil Beach forecast: The beach is looking great with calm conditions and almost clear water. Near perfect condition for Plaice fishing. I expect to see the first run of decent Smoothound towards the end of this week when the tides start to pick up. Live Peeler Crab and Hermits are without a doubt the best baits for the Smoothounds. Mackerel and Herring will be all along the beach, and are now in much closer than a few weeks ago. Remember if you are throwing feathers out there with 4 and 5 oz leads make sure you use an appropriate shock leader.
Portland: Plenty of hungry Wrasse and Pollock are around. I fished using Peeler and Ragworm with heavy gear and managed quite a few fish up to 3 1/2lb. They only seemed interested in the Ragworm, so save your money and stick with worms. THe Pollock are being caught on lures and float fished Mackerel strip. I have not seen any Bass caught on the Island yet.
Portland Harbour: I normally use the next set of spring tides that are coming up this week, as my bench mark to start my Bass fishing season. The harbour normally fills up with Bass, mostly School Bass but with some decent ones amongst them. This year however, the water temperature is much lower than it normally is. It is worth trying for Bass on lures in the harbour this week, but I think it is likely we wont see any until the next set of spring tides at the end of the month.
Weymouth Bay: The Stone Pier is producing some Pollock, Wrasse, Rockling, Pout and mini species. It will be possible to pick up Mackerel on float tactics any time now. Weymouth harbour is starting to have more Thick Lipped Mullet every day. The Thin Lipped Mullet will start to shoal up in there again.
Guiding & Lessons: At last I can see some light at the end of the tunnel for the Bass and other predators that love lures. I know they are not in yet, but they wont be far away, With that in mind, I will be filling up my diary for guiding sessions from the last week in May. Next Thursday is the next date for the River Cottage Shoreline course, and I believe there are still a couple of places left on it.. 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