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Fishing in Dorset is a much enjoyed pastime, particularly sea and shore fishing along the Dorset coast. Chartered angling boats can be found around the pretty harbours of Weymouth, West Bay, Lyme Regis, Christchurch and Poole and in coastal towns like Swanage. Fishing straight from the beaches of West Bexington and Overcombe, or from Weymouth Stone Pier should definitely feature on your holiday itinerary should you be staying in one of our self-catering Dream Cottages. No matter what your level of expertise, it is a wonderful way to spend the day.
The area around Weymouth and Portland offers some of the best shore fishing in the country. This stretch of the Jurassic coast offers the best beaches, harbours and rock fishing locations, which all produce great fish for people of all levels, from the novice fisherman to the more experienced angler. In fact, many fishing boats from Chesil beach and Portland hold British records for shore caught fish. Chesil Beach, which links Portland to Weymouth, is an iconic spot amongst British fishermen. The key to fishing here is to have knowledge of the tides, so is more suited to experienced fishermen. The long stretch of Chesil Beach includes some spots where you will find some great fish. Abbotsbury, famously attracts large cod and if you fish from the best spot, where the large blocks of concrete protrude from the beach like teeth, you may be lucky enough to catch some. Fish during the night for more luck! West Bexington is another hotspot, famous for large numbers of cod and plaice. This area is popular with locals, so can get busy in the summer. Beach fishing here requires nothing more than a beach rod and reel set up; think quantity rather than quality with regards to the fish that you’re likely to catch. The Portland Bill is another favourite with fishermen and there is the added bonus of the possibility of spotting a dolphin swimming off this area of coast. Fishing off the piers of Weymouth is also fantastic, particularly during the summer months. The stone pier is perfect for kids since they can fish down the sides of the pier and catch the smaller wrasse, blennies, scorpion-fish, black bream, pout and pollock. Most people float fish from the piers for mackerel and Garfish and after dark, pollock. Of course, there is always the option to enjoy some good old fashioned crabbing around Weymouth harbour too! Weymouth Pleasure Pier is good when the weather is too bad to fish on the beaches. It is also one of the few places in the UK where you can find huge metre long squid from late September to early November.
Fishing off Swanage pier is perfect for children since it has excellent access to the abundant sea life that this area is well known for, yet it is safe. Since it is a popular spot for fishing, they charge a small fee per rod but it is well worth it. Swanage Pier is a diver’s paradise, particularly around the remains of the old pier, which is a magnet for pollock and large wrasse. Float fishing with bait such as mackerel or worms is perfect for here and great for beginners; you are practically guaranteed a catch! A walk down Swanage beach to the quieter part (away from the pier and Swanage Town Centre, will also find you a fantastic fishing spot. It doesn’t get any more beautiful than fishing underneath Old Harrys rocks!
Mupe Bay and Worbarrow Bay between West Lulworth and Tyneham, are great spots to catch larger fish. Mupe Bay is tricky to get to and is not reachable by car, which makes it all the more wonderful in our opinion. A half an hour walk east from Lulworth Cove, Mupe Bay is a beautiful sheltered cove, absolutely perfect for a sunrise swim before catching your breakfast. Mupe Bay attracts big bass, conger eels, rays and pollock and the key to catching the big fish is to fish at night with big baits. Worbarrow Bay, again, can only be reached by walking, but once there it is a picture postcard bay with some great fishing and stunning views. Here you can either fish the far-east or west to catch the bigger fish or in the middle of the bay to catch the smaller and more plentiful varieties.
Boat trips operate from Weymouth, Portland and West Bay and make the perfect family days out. You can go on a Wrecking trip and explore the deep water wrecks in the middle of the English Channel, which attract huge pollock, cod and ling, or perhaps a Predator Trip, where you specifically target sharks such as the porbeagle, mako and thresher sharks with heavy shark gear. Most of the boat trip companies offer night fishing trips and reef fishing. Simply head to the harbour and chat to the fishermen about the trips that they offer. Enjoy!