With the latest Atlantic storm battering the South West you could be excused for thinking that it might be a good idea to just stay at home this weekend and give fishing a miss. If you do then you could well miss out on a great fishing opportunity. The wind on Saturday is due to drop considerably and switch to the NW. Whilst marks like Chesil will still be uncomfortable they will be fishable with care and could well produce some good Bass and Rays. However you will need to be a reasonable caster to get out past the surf, otherwise you will just end up having your gear buried in the shingle and ultimately lose it.
If Chesil isn’t for you that think about looking for alternative venues. Poole Harbour and Sandbanks could well be worth a look if you are in that area. As I like to stay fairly close to home most of the time, I look for sheltered spots that will produce some decent fish. Portland harbour has several marks such as Hamm Beach, Sandsfoot and Castletown that produce nice Flounder and Bass at this time of year. Ferrybridge can be very good for early season Bass in May and the big Garfish often show.
The East side of Portland can produce some good Pollock and Wrasse, but if you are looking to use bottom fishing techniques, you will probably end up losing a lot of tackle. I would recommend float fishing Ragworm or if the water is clear enough then use lures.
The further round the East side you go the clearer that water is normally, and the swell never seems so bad. You can fish from the ledges that are a good bit above the water, so you are pretty safe. Obviously it goes without saying, that you need to take care when you are on the ledges not to fall.
Water temperature 11.6 °c.
Chesil Beach: Rough with coloured water. It is currently unfishable, but will be fishable from Saturday morning
Portland: Rough on the West side and 2m swells on the East, with coloured water, clearing towards Weymouth Bay.
Portland Harbour: Wavelets with clear water
Weymouth Bay: Wavelets with clear water
Chesil Beach forecast: Use big fish or Squid baits for Bass, Conger and Rays. All are possible during the day due to the coloured water. Expect plenty of Dogfish and Pout and the odd Plaice especially if you are fishing the West Bexington and Cogden end.
Portland: Forget the West side, but the East side is fairly sheltered. There will be a bit of a swell, but not enough to put the Wrasse off. Night fishing can produce big Conger and Bull Huss.
Portland Harbour: If you don’t want to venture on to Chesil then this would be my choice, with a good chance of Bass and Garfish on Lures. Flounder have moved back in after spawning and are hungry and aggressive.
Weymouth Bay: The harbour and pier will produce some Flounder, but the piers will also produce Pout, Pollock Wrasse and Sea Scorpions. If you like LRF then now is a good time to break out those super light weight rods and tackle and try for as many mini species as you can get.
Preston Beach and Bowleaze Cove will produce Flounder, Dab and small Bass. Once again, short casts are much better than blasting a bait to the horizon on these marks.