There has been some lovely fish caught this weekend for some, and for others it has been frustratingly poor. I know many anglers headed to Abbotsbury and West Bexington in search of the Spring Plaice. Unfortuatly more went home empty handed, than caught, including myself. However I never see a blank session as a failure, far from it. I try yo learn from them and work out the reason why I blanked. The answer is fairly simple, it is the Fishing Tails motto: How, where and when.

How! Simply I was unable to get the distance that I needed to hit the clay beds that the Plaice were on. My Main rod was in for a rebuild, and when I took my other distance rod out, I found the tip eye was damaged. Leaving me with my light surf rods, I was unable to hit much over 80yds, which was well short of the distance needed.  Tom Jones proved this point, by being able to hit the clay and between himself and a mate they managed 14 Plaice, 1 Dab, a Dogfish and a Ray.


Another good point to note, is a lot of the Plaice were caught on Black Lugworm. One of the baits that I didn’t have.

Where: I believe my choice of location could have been better. Although marks such as West Bexington and Abbotsbury produce some nice Plaice, they become very busy. I have noticed in the past that when it does become busy, the fishing becomes poor. This is especially true of for West Bexington. I should have traveled further to find a quieter spot.

When: Once again, Chesil proved the point that Spring tides are not great for Plaice fishing. On the other hand Sandbanks fished much better, and has done over the biggest tides (check out Leo’s Poole report). With a bit of afterthought, I should have gone to somewhere like Sandbanks, rather than Chesil. Will I remember all this the next time the orange spotted mist descends and I get tunnel vision? Only time will tell.

A few other species made an appearance over the weekend, with a few Mackerel showing, but they were a bit thin on the ground. Some nice Rays were also landed. Bradley Price managed this lovely Spotted Ray.

Spotted Ray Bradley

Sea Conditions: Water temperature 9.1°c

Chesil Beach:  Calm with clear water

Portland:  Calm with clear water

Portland Harbour: calm and clear water

Weymouth Bay: Calm and clear water

Chesil Beach forecast: The tides are backing off now, water temperature is increasing by the day and the visibility is amazing. Now is the time to get the Plaice. Head for Abbotsbury, West Bexington or Cogden for your best chance of getting one. As I mentioned earlier black Lug seems to have been catching more Plaice than the normally preferred Ragworm.

Another species starting to show are the Smoothounds. Bradley Price once again managed to get into them from the same Chesil mark he landed his Ray. 11129570_10155308172170062_1583901898_n

Portland: I fished Portland on Saturday morning on a lure fishing guide, and much to my delight we found the Pollock in good numbers. I wont go into to many details today, as I plan to do a feature article on it later in the week if I have time. The Wrasse fishing has been pretty good all around the Island as well. They are starting to return in good numbers now, but seem much easier to catch on Ragworm than lures.

Portland Harbour: I spotted a lot of anglers fishing Portland Harbour and around Ferrybridge. I asked a few if they had managed anything, and apart from a small Wrasse, they all blanked.

Weymouth Bay: Plenty of action from the piers, with Pout, Wrasse and even some Mackerel being caught. Please note that you are not allowed to feather for mackerel from the pier. It is unsafe for other users.

I know that traditionally we see Squid being caught around November. However I know that there are plenty of Squid being caught from Brighton, which is not unusual in April. I wonder if it is worth giving it a go from the piers?

Guiding: I am now taking bookings for plaice trips as well as some basic fishing workshops for the next month. In the workshops I teach all sorts of skills, that will give you a good grounding for your fishing adventures for the rest of the year. I am happy to do lure or bait sessions and the workshops are 2 hours lonng and limitied to 3 people. If you are thinking about booking a guided lure or bait session for the later on in the year, then now is the best time to do it, to grab the best tides.

This year we will be offering boat guiding sessions from your own boat, from Weymouth and Portland and shore guiding in the Poole and Purbeck area. If you want more details then drop me an email to

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