Bournemouth

Sea Fishing Locations in and around Bournemouth, Dorset

Bournemouth is a beautiful south coast seaside town. Situated in Dorset it nestles between the New Forest to the East and the Jurassic Coast to the west. Bournemouth provides a large number of excellent fishing locations. I have included some of my favorite spots. The area I am concerned with runs between Hengistbury head to the east up to Branksome in the west.

 

Hengistbury Head

Hengistbury Head is a long spit to the far east of Bournemouth. On one side is Christchurch Harbour and on the other side the open sea of Bournemouth bay. The area is a hotspot for anglers from both boat and shore. You also have options when fishing Hengistbury Head whether it be fishing the harbour or the long groyne or the beaches that stretch around the peninsula.

Summer Species: Bass, wrasse, mackerel, Pollack, bream and garfish

Winter Species: Codling, coalfish and whiting

Bait: Ragworms, peeler crabs, sandeels, mackerel and lures

Tactics: Fishing the long groyne in the summer is best done using a float fished with either ragworm or mackerel strips. Fish the harbour side of the groyne for the smaller more plentiful fish. The best results at summer come during the evening. Fish with either mackerel  strip on a size 4 or 6 hook for the bream, or try a large fillet or live sandeel fished off the end for the large bass that patrol the area. Lure fishing can also be worth a go. The beach at Hengistbury Head is again best fished in the evening to avoid the beach goers, try a two or three hook flapper fished with worm and fish baits. A long cast although not necessary is advantageous.   The harbour side can produce mullet on bread using a bubble float or flatties on maddies and harbour rag.

Getting there: From the A338 in to Bournemouth, turn left on the Cooper Dean roundabout, castle lane east. Follow this road all the way to the roundabout, take 2nd exit straight ahead on to Iford lane. Turn right at T junction, then take third exit on the Tuckton Roundabout on to Bellevue Road, take first left signposted Hengistbury Head then follow road to destination.

Local Tackle Shops: Christchurch Angling Centre, 7 Castle Parade, Bournemouth, tel: 01202 480 520 or Davis Tackle, 71-75 Bargates, Christchurch, BH23 1QE, tel: 01202 485169

 

Bournemouth Pier

Bournemouth is one of the south coasts most popular tourist attractions, due to its stunning coastal scenery and closeness to the New Forrest and Jurassic Coast. Bournemouth Pier is situated right in the middle of Bournemouth. It offers some tremendous summer fishing for all sorts of species. A couple of things to mention are that the Pier does have a closing time, usually 10.00pm in the summer, and also a charge to fish on it, approx £3 per rod. Despite this it is still a very popular fishing spot and certainly worth a try if you are in the area.

Summer Species: Bass, smoothhound, mullet, mackerel, garfish, gurnard, bream, scad, rays, dogfish, soles and flounders

Winter Species: Plaice, codling and whiting

Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, sandeel, mackerel, peeler crabs and squid

Tactics: This busy pier can only be fished in the evenings for the best sport, preferably on a incoming tide. Fish two hook flapper rigs for the smaller fish, and float mackerel strip for the garfish and mackerel. Try a running ledger rig for the smoothhounds and bass with a crab bait for the former and live sandeels, if you can get them, for the latter. The best results come from keeping your bait very close to the pier structure, except in the case of the smoothhounds where a cast usually seems to work. The season runs through from June to the end of September.

Getting there: Head south on the A338 towards Bournemouth At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto St Pauls Rd/A35 heading to Ring Rd. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Holdenhurst Rd/B3066 Continue to follow B3066 Go through 3 roundabouts. Turn left onto Pier Approach . Take the 1st left to stay on Pier Approach Destination will be on the right

Local Tackle Shops: 914 Tackle, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH7 6DL, tel: 01202 463313 or Christchurch Angling Centre, 7 Castle Parade, Bournemouth, tel: 01202 480 520

 

Boscombe Pier

Boscombe Pier is a typical pier fishing mark. It offers lots of species, on a sandy bottom. Best results come in the evening. The pier has a closing time usually 10.00pm in the summer, and a charge per rod, approx £3. It is shorter than Bournemouth Pier and therefore you are less likely to catch the deeper water fish such as the rays or sharks.

Summer Species: Bass, bream, mackerel, scad, soles, smoothhounds, garfish and gurnard

Winter Species: Whiting, flatties and very occasional codling

Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, sandeels, peeler crabs, mackerel and squid

Tactics: This busy pier can only be fished in the evenings for the best sport, preferably on a incoming tide. Fish two hook flapper rigs for the smaller fish, and float mackerel strip for the garfish and mackerel. Try a running ledger rig for the smoothhounds and bass with a crab bait for the former and live sandeels, if you can get them, for the latter. The best results come from keeping your bait very close to the pier structure, except in the case of the smoothhounds where a cast usually seems to work. The season runs through from June to the end of September.

Getting there: Head south on theA338. Turn off on Junction signposted Boscombe and football ground. Take third exit on roundabout. At traffic lights turn left on to Ashley Rd. At roundabout take second exit on to Centenary Way A35. Turn left on to St. Johns Rd, turn left on Sea Rd. Park in large car park on left.

Local Tackle Shops: 914 Tackle, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH7 6DL, tel: 01202 463313 or Christchurch Angling Centre, 7 Castle Parade, Bournemouth, tel: 01202 480 520

 

Southbourne Beach

Southbourne beach is one of the best summer bass fishing beaches in the south of England, in my opinion. Although fishing has been affected by the beach replenishment, it still offers some excellent summer sport. Fish a flood tide at night or the evening and you can’t go far wrong. You can fish to the far east at double dykes, or to the west at Fishermans walk, all areas on their day are brilliant.

Summer Species: Bass, soles, pouting, rays, smoothhounds and flatties

Winter Species: Whiting, pouting, plaice, bass and rare codling

Bait: Mackerel, squid, ragworms, lugworms, peeler crabs and sandeels

Tactics: Fish large baits fairly close in at night for the large bass that patrol the beaches. For the smaller fish a simple 2 or 3 hook flapper with worms as bait. The best chance of a ray or smoothhound is at the far east end of the beach using crab or fish baits fished at range on a pulley or Pennell set up.

Getting there:  Head south on theA338. Turn off on Junction signposted Boscombe and football ground. Take third exit on roundabout. At traffic lights turn left on to Ashley Rd. At roundabout take the first exit on to Christchurch Rd. Take right turn on to Browning Avenue, follow road all the way to the cliff top. Turn left on the over cliff road and head east until you reach a roundabout take second exit and turn in to a pay and display car park on right.

Local Tackle Shops: 914 Tackle, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH7 6DL, tel: 01202 463313 or Christchurch Angling Centre, 7 Castle Parade, Bournemouth, tel: 01202 480 520

 

Branksome Beach

The area is famous for its smoothhound fishing. It is very easily accessed from Bournemouth. The beach here has a very gradual slope and therefore a good casting rod and reel set up is essential. This is a very popular beach for tourists during the summer, but equally popular amongst anglers.

Summer Species: Smoothhounds, dogfish, rays, pouting and bass

Winter Species: Whiting, flatties, plaice and very occasional codling

Bait: Peeler crabs or hermit crabs, ragworms, sandeels and mackerel

Tactics: Be sure to fish in the evenings and at night. Fish a pulley or loop rig, the key here is to have fish at a fairly good distance 100 yards plus. The smoothhounds here can be prolific so bring a lot of bait. The better fish will take crab baits. For the rays fish sandeels at range with a Pennell set up. During the winter fish with size 4 or 2 hooks on flapper rigs to pick up the smaller fish in the area.

Getting there: Head south on the A338 towards Bournemouth. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Wessex Way/A35 heading to Ring Rd/A338/Poole/A347/Charminster/Winton/Westbourne/Sandbanks.  At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Cambridge Rd/B3066 Continue to follow B3066 Go through 1 roundabout At Westcliff Rd, take the 3rd exit onto W Cliff Rd Turn left onto W Overcliff Dr Slight left toward W Undercliff Promenade Turn right onto W Undercliff Promenade Continue onto Promenade

Local Tackle Shops: 914 Tackle, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH7 6DL, tel: 01202 463313 or Christchurch Angling Centre, 7 Castle Parade, Bournemouth, tel: 01202 480 520

  1. We welcome any feedback, questions or comments