Sea fishing Locations along Chesil Beach

Chesil Beach is probably one of the most iconic names amongst fisherman anywhere around the British Isles. This long stretch of shingle beach starting at Epe in the West and running to Portland in the East attracts thousands of anglers every year. This is a beach where local knowledge on tides and specific spots is key as the beach can be extremely hit and miss. I have tried to highlight the most prevalent and fished areas that year on year produce good bags of fish.

Abbotsbury

One of the south coast’s most famous and popular beach fishing venues. Abbotsbury is a superb area for catching all manner of fish. Every year the area throws up large Cod, rays and exotic fish like the trigger fish. With easy and direct access there is no excuse not to try this venue. Make sure to check the weather before fishing here or indeed anywhere along Chesil as with the right wind the seas here can get very big. The steep shelving beach is perfect for all levels of anglers a must try venue for the serious beach fisherman. The dragon’s teeth are commonly regarded as the hotspot on this stretch of beach with is just a short walk east of the car park. The teeth are in fact large blocks of concrete which were old sea defences

Summer Species: Bass, mackerel, gurnard, red mullet, trigger fish, scad, bream, dogfish, flatties and rays

Winter Species: Cod, codling, whiting, plaice and rockling

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

Tactics: When I fish Abbotsbury I am usually looking to catch big fish not lots of fish, although both are possible. Fish during the night for best results both in summer and winter when the fish can be caught at very close range. I would fish two rods here one fishing a large cocktail bait at fairly close range and the other using a standard two or three hook rig at range wit size 2 or 1 hooks for the more plentiful smaller fish. Make sure to speak to local tackle shops before you fish here as the area really peaks and troughs with its form, they will also advise you on the bait for that time of year. From my experience you can’t go too far wrong with worm baits.

Getting there: Take the B3157 west from Weymouth through Abbotsbury. At the far end of the village take the right left turn signposted Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens. Follow Bullers way all the way to the beach and enter the car park on your left. From the car park follow the boardwalk on to the beach baring left for the Dragons teeth.

Local Tackle Shops: Weymouth Angling Centre, DT4 8AR, tel: 01305 7777771 or Reels and Deals, DT4 8EQ, tel: 01305 787848

West Bexington

West Bexington is an angler’s hotspot. This area is famous for large numbers of cod in the winter and spring as well as a large run of plaice during the spring as well. During the summer you will pick up all manner of species here. Be prepared to have a fairly bust beach of anglers as this area is really popular with locals. The draw of the area is the relatively steep beaches that fall away into deep water. This is a great venue during any season and its easy access all add to its attraction.

Summer Species: Bass, mackerel, gurnard, red mullet, bream, dogfish, trigger fish, scad, plaice, dabs, soles and garfish

Winter Species: Cod, whiting, plaice and flatties

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

Tactics: The whole area of Chesil lends itself to fairly similar tactics. This area is perfect for fishing a couple of beach rod and reel set ups with 2 or three hook flapper rigs, and a cast over 100 yards is really beneficial. This area is famous for quantity, more than quality. Size 2 or 1 hooks therefore should be fine fished with cocktail baits of lug and peeler during the spring and winter seeming to work best. The summer months provide the opportunity for a lot of mackerel on feathers of float fished mackerel strips, with other species falling to standard beach fished tactics. For the chance of the big Cod or rays that do inhabit these waters fish Pennell set ups with 2/0 or 3/0 hooks, with large baits such as Squid, mackerel or Lugworms, also try cocktails.

Getting there: From the B3157 travelling from the east or west look for signs for West Bexington. Turn off at Swyre and follow Swyre road down in to West Bexington, from here take beach road down to the sea front and park anyway around the area.

Local Tackle Shops: Weymouth Angling Centre, DT4 8AR, tel: 01305 7777771 or Reels and Deals, DT4 8EQ, tel: 01305 787848

East Bexington

East Bexington is the stretch of beach between Abbotsbury and West Bexington. Saying that the fishing here on its day can be exceptional. The area benefits from all the similar species to the rest of Chesil yet does not have the angling pressure of some of the other venues. With a coastal road running directly along the beach from Abbotsbury the access is easy and you can find a verge to park on and practically fish from your car. Give this area a go it will surprise you.

Summer Species: Bass, mackerel, gurnard, red mullet, trigger fish, scad, bream, dogfish, flatties and rays

Winter Species: Cod, whiting, plaice and dabs

Bait: Lugworms, sandeels, ragworms, mackerel, peeler crabs and squid

Tactics: Similar tactics to that of West Bexington work here. Remember to always adapt your approach depending on the tides, time and season. Fish with flapper rigs or pulley rigs mounted with worm or fish baits. Fish at range here during the day, and at night bring the baits in closer trying to keep light and noise and a minimal for the chance of a big fish.

Getting there: Take the B3157 west from Weymouth through Abbotsbury. At the far end of the village take the right left turn signposted Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens. Follow Bullers way all the way to the beach and then bare right on to Burton road (more of a gravel track) ignoring the car park on your left. Follow this road about a mile along the sea and then pull in to a suitable verge.

Local Tackle Shops: Weymouth Angling Centre, DT4 8AR, tel: 01305 7777771 or Reels and Deals, DT4 8EQ, tel: 01305 787848

The Fleet

The Fleet

The fleet is the large area of water that separates the mainland of the Dorset country side and Chesil beach. The area behind the fleet fishing off of Chesil is regarded by many as the one of the best marks along the beach. There are of course specific favourite spots for local anglers distinguished by sometimes non obvious features. The fleet itself is also fish-able and contains many harbour species.

Summer Species: Bass, mackerel, gurnard, red mullet, trigger fish, scad, bream, dogfish, flatties and rays

Winter Species: Cod, codling, whiting, plaice and rockling

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

Tactics: From the Ferry-bridge car park anglers walk as far to the west as they require. Some choose a few hundred yards where as others prefer to walk over a mile on the shingle. One thing you can guarantee is the further you are prepared to walk the less anglers you will encounter and the more virgin the fishing ground will be that you are fishing on. Fish large beach casters with 6/7oz of lead to hold bottom. During the winter and autumn the cod fishing can really take off here so expect good numbers of anglers sharing the beach with you. In the summer months plaice and bass can be caught at range or close in on worm baits. Fish for the strap congers with fish baits at night on the ebb tide.

Getting there: Travel through Weymouth following signs for Portland. You will drop down a hill on to the road that runs along Chesil beach. There is a large car park on your right at the start of this road which although pay and display is the best way of accessing the fishing here.

Local Tackle Shops: Weymouth Angling Centre, DT4 8AR, tel: 01305 7777771 or Reels and Deals, DT4 8EQ, tel: 01305 787848

Eastern end of Chesil Beach (Ferry Bridge)

Under the impressive shadow of the Isle of Portland, the eastern end of Chesil is arguably the most scenic and iconic. The fishing can also be superb on the right day, although the area is not hugely popular with anglers. With easy access and only a short walk to the right spot this is another great beach venue along a great beach.

Summer Species: Bass, mackerel, gurnard, red mullet, trigger fish, conger eels, scad, bream, dogfish, flatties and rays

Winter Species: Codling, whiting, plaice and pouting

Bait: Ragworms, sandeels, lures, peeler crabs, black lugworm, squid and mackerel

Tactics: During the summer this area is prolific for mackerel and garfish and fishing with float fished mackerel strip or sandeel can be a lot of fun. You also have the chance to catch pouting and dogfish with relative ease using mackerel on a ledger rig. As with all the Chesil venues time your visit right and the fishing will live up to its reputation. Night and evening is always best with two hours either side of high tide seeming to be the best time. Come equipped with standard beach gear and be prepared to fish at long range whilst there is any light in the sky, with the fish moving closer during night. During the winter months try flapper rigs with smaller baits for the codling and whiting. Big cocktail baits always give you a chance for that big bonus fish at close range.

Getting there: Travel through Weymouth following signs for Portland. You will drop down a hill on to the road that runs along Chesil beach. There is a large car park on your right at the start of this road which although pay and display is the best way of accessing the fishing here.

Local Tackle Shops: Weymouth Angling Centre, DT4 8AR, tel: 01305 7777771 or Reels and Deals, DT4 8EQ, tel: 01305 787848

Bridging Camp

bridging camp

Under the impressive shadow of the Isle of Portland, the eastern end of Chesil is arguably the most scenic and iconic. The fishing can also be superb on the right day, although the area is not hugely popular with anglers. The Bridging camp section is a good hour walk West of the carp park and you would be advised to use the Fleet behind the bank to walk along as apposed to the shingle.

Summer Species: Bass, mackerel, gurnard, red mullet, trigger fish, conger eels, scad, bream, dogfish, flatties and rays

Winter Species: Codling, whiting, plaice and pouting

Bait: Ragworms, sandeels, lures, peeler crabs, black lugworm, squid and mackerel

Tactics: During the summer this area is prolific for mackerel and garfish and fishing with float fished mackerel strip or sandeel can be a lot of fun. You also have the chance to catch pouting and dogfish with relative ease using mackerel on a ledger rig. As with all the Chesil venues time your visit right and the fishing will live up to its reputation. Night and evening is always best with two hours either side of high tide seeming to be the best time. Come equipped with standard beach gear and be prepared to fish at long range whilst there is any light in the sky, with the fish moving closer during night. During the winter months try flapper rigs with smaller baits for the codling and whiting. Big cocktail baits always give you a chance for that big bonus fish at close range.

Getting there: Travel through Weymouth following signs for Portland. You will drop down a hill on to the road that runs along Chesil beach. There is a large car park on your right at the start of this road which although pay and display is the best way of accessing the fishing here. Then enjoy the mile or so walk to the west of the car park to the Bridging camp

Local Tackle Shops: Weymouth Angling Centre, DT4 8AR, tel: 01305 7777771 or Reels and Deals, DT4 8EQ, tel: 01305 787848

Chesil Cove

Chesil Cove

Chesil Cove is to the extreme East of Chesil Beach. Sandwiched between the imperious cliffs of Portland with Portland harbour directly behind. This is a fantastic all year round venue. The area requires a bit of a walk from where you are able to park. With the area being close to the rough ground of Portland the area can throw up something different to the rest of Chesil with good numbers of congers caught each year.

Summer Species: Bass, mackerel, gurnard, red mullet, trigger fish, conger eels, scad, bream, dogfish, flatties and rays

Winter Species: Codling, whiting, plaice, dogfish, rockling, conger eels and pouting

Bait: Ragworms, sandeels, lures, peeler crabs, black lugworm, squid and mackerel

Tactics: For the congers you will need a heavy beach outfit loaded with strong mono or wire hook links. Mackerel is the bait of choice here. During the summer months feathers and lures will catch mackerel, bas and garfish. Fish simple 2 or 3 hook rigs during the summer and spring for flatties and other mixed species, with worm or fish hook baits. For something different try a large squid bait thrown no more than 20/30 yards from the beach at night for the chance of a double figure bass.

Getting There: Travel through Weymouth following signs for Portland. You will drop down a hill on to the road that runs along Chesil beach. Drive to the far end of this road and then park close to the sailing club. The fishing is done as close to the Portland cliffs as you like.

Local Tackle Shops: Weymouth Angling Centre, DT4 8AR, tel: 01305 7777771 or Reels and Deals, DT4 8EQ, tel: 01305 787848

Cogden

cogde

Cogden is situated between West Bexington and Burton Bradstock (see below). Being part of Chesil beach Cogden experiences the same large tides and similar bags of fish. The area is however less fished than areas like Abbotsbury. A great spot throughout the year Cogden is a must visit for any anglers in the area and with it being part of Chesil the next fish you catch here could very well be a new personal best.

Summer Species: Bass, dogfish, mackerel, scad, garfish, mullet, bream, plaice, flatties and rays

Winter Species: Codling, whiting, dogfish, rockling and pouting

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

Tactics: This is an area where you require standard beach fishing gear. A big cast is not imperative although it will often pick out the better fish particularly during the winter months. Most species here can be caught using standard paternoster rigs with worm baits. Larger fish and squid baits will generally pick out the better fish such as larger bass and Cod.

Getting there: Cogden is situated between West Bexington and Burton Bradstock. The area is well signposted as it is part of the National Trust and Pay and Display parking is available.

Local Tackle Shops: Weymouth Angling Centre, DT4 8AR, tel: 01305 7777771 or Reels and Deals, DT4 8EQ, tel: 01305 787848

Burton Bradstock

Bradstock is on the very western end of Chesil Beach. It is the first point where the spectacularly dominant cliffs begin to appear along the Dorset coast again. Although this area is one of the less known areas of the Dorset coast to fish, it does throw up a good bag of mixed fish. If you are looking to avoid the hustle and tussle of somewhere like Abbotsbury in the height of season, this is a great area to investigate.

Summer Species: Wrasse, bass, pollack, pouting, conger eels, smoothhounds, Huss, dogfish, gurnard, mackerel, rays and plaice

Winter Species: Codling, whiting, pouting and flatties

Bait: Ragworms, black lug, mackerel, squid, peeler crabs and sandeels

Tactics: Fish the Cogden end of Bradstock for the majority of species. The ground at the east end is fairly clean, and a cast of over 50 yards will put you right on the fish. For the rays and smoothhounds try crab or sandeels. Fish with a Pennell style set up with a couple of 12 or 13 foot beach rods. A big cast here is ideal and can often pull out the bigger fish. If you fish the west end of Bradstock under the large cliffs there is a underwater reef no more than 50 yards out. You will catch the pollack, wrasse and eels on this ground but also lose some tackle so take plenty of leads and fish a rotten bottom rig.

Getting there: From the B3157 coming from the east or west you will drive straight through the centre of the town of Burton Bradstock. From here take either beach road or cliff road and follow these down to get close to the sea. You can park at Hive Beach Cafe and fish anywhere along the stretch of beach.

Local Tackle Shops: Weymouth Angling Centre, DT4 8AR, tel: 01305 7777771 or Reels and Deals, DT4 8EQ, tel: 01305 787848

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