The Mackerel and Plaice are here, but how long will it be before we see the return of some of the other summer species? Well the good news is that I have had reports of Bass being caught from Kimmeridge to Portland Harbour. They are not around in large numbers yet, but I expect that may well change from this weekend, as the water temperature is close to the magic 11°c that seem to be the trigger for the Bass to move in. They normally come in with the start of the crab moult, when Peeler crabs are numerous. So with that in mind, I would say that Peeler Crab has to be a favourite bait. However unlike at other times they are not fixated by one particular food source, so they will take other baits, and more excitingly for me, they will happily take lures.

Lure Bass1

I have yet to hear of any Bream coming from Chesil yet, but I don’t think it will be long, as they have started to get a few from the charter boats, as well as reports of some coming from the shore marks slightly to the east. Bream are one of my favourite species to target during the summer. This year I am going to adopt a very continental approach to targeting them, in the hope that my catch rate will improve. Our Mediterranean friends often fish in much clearer waters that ours, so need to make sure that there rigs and presentation are more refined than many of the rigs we use. I am going to be following there example, and have ordered a load of rig making components and tackle that I hope will help me achieve a good catch rate over the next few months.  Those that book bait fishing guides with me this summer will get to use the latest tackle and rigs, that I believe will be common place in the future of UK shore fishing.  Each week I will write an article on the latest advances in these techniques and tackle.


It might be a little quiet on the shore fishing side at the moment, but not so on the boats. Luke Pettis, skipper of Snapper out of Weymouth has been doing well on the wrecks, with some lovely Pollock. As the Bass have now arrived, he is out this coming weekend targeting them, as well as Pollock and Bream. He has a few spaces left, so if you fancy catching some fish like these below then give him a ring on 07833 492948 11160158_807285319361577_1718399611_n




A big apology to all those that have tried to contact me through the contact page over the past 6 weeks. We only just realised that the emails were being routed to an unused email address. This has now been fixed and I am going through the list of people that I missed during this period.

Sea Conditions: Water temperature 10.8°c

Chesil Beach:  1m swell with almost clear water

Portland:  small swell with clear water

Portland Harbour: calm and clear water

Weymouth Bay: Calm and clear water

Chesil Beach forecast: Light onshore winds for most of the week should keep the water fairly clear. Which is good news if you are looking to target the Plaice. Unless you are looking to go for some Mackerel, I would keep to the western marks of Chesil such as Abbotsbury and West Bexington.

I find that the Portland end of Chesil is normally better for the early Mackerel. If you are looking to try and get an early season Gurnard or Bream, then once again go for somewhere like the Chesil visitors centre near Ferrybridge.

Portland: Conditions are pretty much perfect for Wrasse and Pollock fishing on Portland. As the week progresses the tide will increase in strength, and high water will be around dusk, giving you by far the best chance of catching some hard fishing Pollock on lures and float fished Mackerel strips.

Portland Harbour: I have spotted some huge Mullet at Castletown, the sailing academy and Sandsfoot sailing club. Combine this with Bass starting to show in the harbour, and you could be looking at a very good mark to fish over the next few days.

Weymouth Bay: I find Preston beach to be a bit quite at this time of year unless we get an easterly wind, which is what we have forecast for later in the week. When the Bass arrive they often hit Preston Beach in numbers when there is a good surf running. Please remember that the minimum size for a Bass is 36cm and you are only allowed to take 3.

As usual the piers are still fishing well for small fish, but expect better sized Pollock at night, as well as Wrasse during the day.

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

Related Posts