Are the Mackerel back on Chesil yet? Oh yes! Forget the Plaice, the Mackerel are back 🙂 To say I am happy to see the first of the Mackerel return after winter is an understatement. I know many of you are fixated on Plaice at the moment, but to me the return of the Mackerel is the highlight of the fishing calendar.
The Mackerel proceed almost all of the summer species, most of which depend on Mackerel in one way or another. The larger predators such as Bass love to follow the Mackerel shoals. It’s not just the Mackerel that other fish feed on. When the Mackerel batter the shoals of bait fish, many of the dead or injured ones sink to the bottom. This creates a feeding pyramid.
The crabs, prawns and even worms feed on the dead and decaying bait fish. This in turn attracts other species in to feed on those worms and crustaceans. Bream, Gurnard, Plaice and even Trigger fish to name but a few are all reliant on that feeding cycle.
I have to give congratulations to Chris Buxton, who is one of the first anglers this year to catch some of the new season Mackerel.
He also managed Whiting, Herring and a couple of nice Plaice. Most interestingly was that he was fishing for Plaice at the time and the Mackerel were taking the baits intended for the Plaice. They were most likely attracted to the beads on the rig.
At the early part of the season the Mackerel arrive in huge shoals, and break into smaller ones as the weeks progress. So if you locate the shoal, you will probably find that they are there for most of the day, unlike in the summer when you have to wait for an hour or more sometimes until a smaller shoal turns up.
I mentioned on Monday that I thought the PLaice fishing would improve as the tides dropped. It seems that is what has happened, with reports of a good number of Plaice being landed through the week. Leo’s Poole report yesterday, tells of some nice ones coming from Sandbanks. Kevin Webb fished there yesterday and managed a personal Best, with a Plaice over 3lb.
I mentioned last week when I wrote the Plaice fishing special article, that I would make a video on how to collect and rig Razor Clams. Well I did manage to get it done and here it is.
Well thats the good news for todays post, the bad news is that the weather looks pretty poor for the weekend, making Chesil uncomfortable at best, if not unfishable due to high westerly winds. This is going to be at its worst on Sunday, with gusts forecast to 50mph. If you have the chance, then take advantage of todays weather. If you are like me and can’t get out today, then take a look at some at this link to find alternative marks
Sea Conditions: Water temperature 8.5°c
Chesil Beach: slight swell and clear water.
Portland: slight swell and clear water.
Portland Harbour: Calm with clear water
Weymouth Bay: Calm with clear water
Chesil Beach forecast: It is almost perfect conditions today for PLaice from the Western end of Chesil. West Bexington seems to be the mark that is producing the most at the moment, but I think as the season progresses they will move in larger numbers towards Abbotsbury. If you want some Mackerel, then today is about your only chance until next week. At this time of year, the Herring normally travel with the Mackerel, so use much smaller Sabiki’s for those. The normal Dogfish and Pout will be around after dark, as well as the chance of a Ray.
Portland: The rock marks will produce Wrasse and Pollock whilst the weather is calm, but once it roughs up a bit there is always the chance of an early Bass.
Portland Harbour: A few flounder starting to show again, and I have seen a few anglers trying with lures from Ferrybridge. So far I have not heard of any Bass coming from there yet.
Weymouth Bay: The marks around Weymouth harbour, and Preston beach will be one of the marks that will be unafected by the winds over the weekend. The chance of Mullet in the harbour should be good. I did see a couple yesterday, and they should build up over the next few days. Most of the Mullet will be Thin Lipped.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org