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Welcome to the blog page of wheretoseafish.com. My name is John and I have been fishing in the UK for the past twenty years. The purpose of this blog is to share with you some of the areas I have been visiting in the recent weeks, sharing images and information on how I have done. You will also be able to follow me on ‘Twitter’. I will aim to post on this page at least twice a week, so the information you will be receiving will be current and detailed. The concentration of my fishing will be done in the South of England, but I hope to twin with at least one other angler who is based in the north. I hope you find the information on here interesting and coupled with the huge database of information this website aims to offer it should improve all anglers of all abilities. As they say when fishing it’s all about “location, location, location.”

Dorset Squid

Squid fishing on the local Dorset Piers is now in full swing with plenty of sport for all those targeting them.

Chesil Cod

Cod have again started to show on Chesil beach over the last few weeks. Check up our write up here


Dorset Squid

It’s that time of year again when the local Dorset Piers and harbour walls seemingly become squid magnets both for the anglers targeting them but also for the cephalopods themselves. These wonderful creatures have seen a large increase in popularity over the last few years and with some of the best spots so close by it would have been crazy not to get out and target them.

Bournemouth Pier was the chosen location for this early season foray. One of the important things to remember when targeting squid is that they are predominantly sight feeders and therefore flat calm sea conditions with good visibility are the correct conditions to be fishing in.

Personally I like to fish for them with a 3000 size reel and a lightish spinning style rod loaded with 15-20lb braid straight through to a single squid jig. To be clear this is purely a preference thing and you will see a lot of others fishing with multiple jigs and often a glow-stick or float. From experience (a little like any lure fishing) if you are prepared to spend a little more on a jig it normally results in better returns, my personal preference is the Yamashita jigs which are available online here as well as in a number of tackle stores. Buy here

The way you fish these lures is almost as peculiar as the species you are targeting with a simple flick out cast and then a very slow lift and drop style retrieve. It wasn’t more than about 20 minutes after setting up and with the light levels dropping fast that I was in to the first of many squid of around 6-9 inches (which seems to be the average size early on in the season). With the smaller squid about in such good numbers the smaller sized squid jigs (65mm-85mm) seemed to out fish the larger sizes.

The seeming abundance of the squid at this time of year seems to add to their popularity with most people on the pier getting amongst a few. I would say that the numbers falling to my lure seemed to be a lot more steady when compared to a lot of the others around me, as I said it seems to be worth investing in a better quality lure as with the above. It wasn’t long before I had myself enough squid not only for dinner but also to freeze as bait qfor when I next needed them.

Despite the large numbers of squid I was bringing in my dad who I was fishing with had a more modest evening but as is often the case he had saved his best till last with the final squid of the evening being comfortably the largest (approx 1.5lb in weight).

These beautiful creatures will be around for another couple of months off of the local piers. If you have never fished for them or never had to much success then I really would urge you to get out and give it a try. Its a brilliant way of spending an evening and a great way of stocking up your bait freezer and for the more adventurous a brilliant source of fresh delicious local seafood.

Details on the piers and when to fish and how to access them can be found here.

Bournemouth

 

Chesil Cod

Its around this time of year that the words Chesil and Cod seem to go hand in hand with something close to hysteria breaking out amongst fishermen when going after these most iconic of fish. Here are wheretoseafish we are no different and are constantly checking weather, wind and tide reports well in advance looking for those breaks in the weather that give the best opportunity for catching. It often seems to be the way that the ideal fishing conditions fall perfectly on the days you are snowed under at work luckily we have a number of contributors to our site. In the last couple of weeks my friend Dave Barratt made the journey down to the mighty shingle in search of those often elusive fish with some cracking results.

There are a lot of people who will tell you that fishing in the evening and night are essential as the fish move closer to shore with the lower light levels. For the most part this is good advice but when there is colour in the water at Chesil you will find that even in the daytime the cod have no issues moving to within 20-50 yards of the beach, as you can see with Dave’s fish these were all taken during the day.

 

With the large numbers of sprats, squid and mackerel as well as the return of the large whiting and pouting numbers the months of August and September are often seen as the best for targeting this brilliant fish. Bait and rigs seem to be less important in these months too with fish falling to black lug, blow lug, squid, ragworm, peeler crab or fish baits with most anglers choosing to fish fairly conventional Pennell style rigs adapted to fish at range.

As you can see from the photos there are some lovely fish coming off the shingle and now is certainly the best time to pack up the car and get down there. Both ends of the beach seem to be working well at the moment so there is plenty of room on the beach for the usual hoards that show up.

If you are new to fishing the beach always remember to be safe fishing here and try to always fish with another angler. The wind and waves can be very unpredictable and dangerous at times. If you are new to the area then please see some of the most common marks to fish at the following link

Chesil Beach

 

Early Season Plaice

An Early Chesil Plaice

So with the first signs of spring and reports from further along the coast in Sussex of the first plaice beginning to show its only natural to start to get itchy feet in the pursuit of these desirable spotty flatfish. As with any fishing at Chesil it can be incredibly hit and miss and when fishing for Plaice visibility in the water is a key factor to determine.

There are a number of places along Chesil beach to target Plaice and other flatfish species but it is widely regarded that West Bexington and Abbotsbury are among the top marks to chose from. Unfortunately I have been unable to get out myself this week but I am pleased to say that we have had this fantastic contribution from a local south coast angler Dave, he writes

If I said that the last few weeks hadn’t been hard work, I would be lying.
To put it in polite terms, February can f**k off!!!!!!

I arrived at Chesil this morning just before low and swiftly launched some smelly black lug, mounted on an up and over wishbone rig, as far as I possibly could. My reels loaded with some new ultra low diameter braid, saw my baits flying through the air like never before.

A steady stream of dogs, rockling and whiting kept me entertained until low when they stopped feeding and left my bait long enough for a Plaice to stand a chance of finding it. A few moments later I noticed a couple of good bites on one of my rods. I held the rod and immediately felt something tapping away. To my surprise a nice plump sole made its way up the bank. My first in daylight, happy days!

 

The next few casts saw a double shot of dogs before a quiet period.
Eventually I noticed a few taps on one of my rods. “Another whiting” I thought to myself…
I lifted in to something but it certainly wasn’t a whiting.
A few nervous moments passed and I eventually caught a glimpse of the fish, a plaice, and a big one. I waited for a wave before carefully pulling the fish to safety. What an absolute door mat. I was suprised to see one so plump at this time of the year. It sent the scales to 3lb 12oz, a new PB for me

 

 A fantastic days fishing I am sure you will agree and Dave was not the only one hitting Chesil in the last few days with plenty of reports from other anglers of decent mixed bags of fish. One of the early visitors much to my surprise has been the Smoothhound and I have had reliable reports of these fish starting to show already along some of the South Coast beaches.

Of course this time of year the ray fishing can really take off locally as well as Turbot from certain beaches. Look out for reports to follow shortly regarding these and hopefully not to far behind them the start of the bass fishing as the waters continue to warm.

Tight Lines

For this location as well as plenty others check out our page on Chesil Beach fishing locations here

Chesil Beach

 

Evening Hill Poole

Evening Hill Poole

 

After the arrival and continued exertions of Storm Doris buffeting the British coastline for what seems to have been an eternity I was please to see a break in the weather on Saturday morning and having read a few reports of Flounder still being caught at Poole I was keen to try for a late season fish. The most important lesson of this story is always always always check the tide table carefully from more than just one source. The tides on Saturday were fairly small by Poole standards and what had been predicted as low tide at 7am actually turned out to be more like 8.30… I was glad I had set that early alarm for this!

Undeterred and with very little water in front of me the lines were in the water and the traps were set. I was fishing simple 2 and 3 hook flapper style rigs on two rods fished as far as I could throw them due to the puddle of water that was sat in front of me baited with ragworm from the always excellent Christchurch Angling Center.

The sun was shining (which made a nice change), the wind was down and all in all it looked like a perfect morning to be out fishing. As is often the case however perfect conditions often do not result in perfect fishing results. I was determined to fish at least the first 3 hours of the tide which I did constantly changing my bait and varying where I was casting to.

 

At the mid way point of the tide I finally had my first interest of the morning and was relived to save a blank with the capture of a very thin small flounder. With other commitments in the day and the wind getting up, plus the increase in dog walkers and runners, I decided to call it a day around 11am.

This had not been the morning I had hoped for but as I have always said it is much better to be out and fishing than sitting at home watching the television or lying in bed. One of the moments I never grow tired of at Poole is the coming and going of the ferries and this was a perfect morning to watch the big old girl leaving for France yet again.

I wasn’t the only person fishing Poole, or indeed Evening Hill itself over the last week Toby White from Southampton came down to Poole to try his luck for Flounders.

 

He reports “So home after a productive trip from down from Southampton after Poole flounders. The good news is that they are still there. Fished just to the right of the pier at evening hill. Another new venue for me. Finally managed to crack to 2lb mark with a flounder just shy of 45cm which was a pb. Finished with 3 in total and a guy about 200m further down had one to. All the fish went back after the session and swam off strongly.”

Three cracking fish photographed below.

Well done to Toby and always good to hear of fish still coming from our local marks around Dorset.

With the milder weather set to continue as we move through March we should start to see other spottier flatfish appearing on our beaches soon and I hope to be out catching these shortly and reporting on it. We should also start to see some of our early summer species returning to our beaches which always gives us a boost to the slow sport we have been contending with for the last couple of months.

Keep an eye on this page for a new report soon.

Tight Lines

For this location as well as plenty others check out our page on Poole fishing locations here

Poole and Studland

Lure fishing January

Lure Fishing in January

Lure fishing off the local beaches around Bournemouth in the middle of winter may not be the first thing that springs in to peoples minds at this time of year however you just never know what might show up. My brother and myself decided to use some free time outside of work to try out some new lures/rods and line we had accumulated over the Christmas period, not particularly expectant of anything showing up but I never need an excuse to get out fishing.

Firstly as you can see from the above picture we could not have picked a less fishy looking day if we had tried. Flat calm seas were accompanied by gin clear water and a cloudless sky…great! All the same the rods were quickly set up and lures rigged up.

With such low expectations it was obvious that any kind of fish would be a real bonus on this kind of day. We fished the very popular long groyne at Hengistbury Head initially before moving around towards the mouth of the harbour past the beach huts and fishing a couple more of the small rock groynes in between. Amazingly it wasn’t to long before my brother was in to the first fish of the day a small hard fishing school bass at around a pound in weight this was followed up by both of us with a couple more fish of a very similar stamp.

Sometimes in fishing it isn’t just about catching those large specimen fish but being out with good company enjoying a beautiful part of the world with the off bend in the rod just to cap things off. Needless to say this was not a day for record breakers but more for enjoying the small things (quite literally in the case of the stamp of bass we caught). We ended the time after a couple of hours chucking a mixture of surface lures, soft plastics and diving lures along that headland of beach with about 5 bass between us to show for our efforts.

The moral of the story… always get out and give it a crack whether you think you will catch or not. Enjoy the company you are with and the amazing places fishing can take you and remember its not always about size and quantity.

 

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