The weather has been fantastic for the past week. I wish I could say the same about the fishing! Bright sunshine and clear waters have proved to be very difficult conditions for some. Even the Mackerel have been difficult to catch. In this post I am going to give you some tips that I hope will help improve your catch rate.

For some reason this year the Daylite Mackerel feathers do not appear to be as successful as they have in previous years. It is well worth trying some different options. I noticed someone put a comment on the site yesterday, saying that regular white feathers with a red section at the top worked well for them. I have been using the silver ones from Ron Thomson. They have been very successful whilst they last. The biggest problem I find with them is they only last about 6 casts before they fall to bits. I am sure some one else makes silver ones.

Another way to improve your chances of some Mackerel are to fish  at dawn or dusk using a metal lure such as a Dexter Wedge, Seaspin Leppe 22, or a Metal X Bubble head. You are more likely to pick up a bonus Bass if you use a lure. I am not a lover of fishing either dawn or dusk at this time of year. I normally head for the beach after 6pm when the sun drops a bit. It is not quite as good as dusk, but it is a lot better than when the sun is at its brightest.

I know Chesil is most peoples favourite beach. With its diversity of species and deep water make catching large and unusual fish a possibility, there are other beaches local to Chesil that can often out fish Chesil. Today, with a strong north east to easterly wind Preston beach should come alive with Bass. It will be possible to fish it with lures and bait, because although there is quite a bit of surf, the water clarity remains pretty good. This is ideal lure fishing conditions. You don’t have to cast far, as the Bass really are within 20m.

Sea Conditions: 

Water temperature 14.9*c.

Chesil Beach: wavelets with a 1/2m slight swell and clear water

Portland: Calm on the West side with clear  water. Church Ope Cove and the east side has waves up to 1m

Portland Harbour: Wavelets with clear water.

Weymouth Bay:  Surf running for 80m with slightly coloured water

Chesil Beach forecast: It is looking good for the weekend. We have a bit of a breeze forecast, so it should make the fishing conditions a little easier. There have been quite a few Plaice caught from Abbotsbury, along with Mackerel, Smoothound and a couple of Bass. Expect more of the same. Further towards Portland the Bream have been showing in reasonable numbers. The size is still pretty small, but the larger ones will move in soon. Plenty of Gurnard around the Ferrybridge area. Mackerel have been a bit thinner on the ground, but I can see that changing at the weekend.

If you want a decent Smoothound or a Bass, then you need to be using Peeler Crab. The crab also catches the better sized Bream.

Portland: Forget trying to get some fishing during the day around the Bill. It will be packed with people throwing themselves in the water. Either wait till a bit later in the day, or fish somewhere like Chesil Cove or Chine. If you fancy a bit of  a scramble past the rocks at Church Ope Cove to get past the swimmers there, then you have a number of good marks to choose from. I prefer to lure fish from them. You can pick up Bass, Wrasse and Pollock on lures. 

Portland Ledges


Portland Harbour: This was another very busy mark at the weekend, with windsurfers and swimmers it will be hard to find anywhere to fish. With an easterly wind the harbour will have a bit of surf which the Bass like. Flounder do not seem to mind it either. It is worth giving the shoreline between Ferrybridge and Sandsfoot Sailing Club a try. It is one of the areas that Gilthead Bream can be caught.

Weymouth Bay: If I get some time today then I will be heading for Preston Beach. THe chance of picking up a Bass from there is higher than anywhere else today. Peeler Crab, Mackerel heads or a full Calamari Squid will make good baits. If you want to try using lures then I would recommend a shallow running lure such as a Seaspin Coixedda, or a surface lure that makes plenty of splashes and noise. Patchinko’s or the Savage Gear Panic Prey copy at 1/2 the price would be my choice. If you like soft plastics then the new Delalande Swat Shads look good. They are similar to the Fiiish Black Minnow that Henry Gilbeys rates very highly, but cost about half the price. I have to admit to not having tried them yet, but I will pick some up today and give them a try. Let me know if you get anything on them.

Plenty of different species coming from the piers. Mackerel and Garfish can be caught on small lures. If you want to use bait then just drop a line down the side of the pier for Wrasse, Pollock, Pout and small Bream.

The harbour is still full of Mullet. I have seen quite a few anglers fishing for them when I have driven past this week. It seems they have been successful.

Guiding & Lessons: If you are looking for Bass guiding in Dorset or any other guiding, then I am opening up the diary again for the next 6 months. Now that they fish have started to show, I should have some good sessions.  Have a look on the guiding link at the top of the page or drop me an email for more details to

Related Posts