Sea Fishing Locations in and around Christchurch, Dorset
Christchurch is situated on the eastern border of Dorset and Hampshire. It has a rich fishing heritage, and has the Royalty and Throop fisherey very close by. It also boasts excellent sea fishing, especially for bass, mullet, sea trout and flounders. I have included 5 of my favourite places to fish in Christchurch, but there are inevitably more. From beaches to estuary’s to harbours Christchurch seems to cater for all.
The Tuckton stretch of the River Stour runs from south of Tuckton bridge in Christchurch down to the top of Christchurch Harbour. Although this is a course fishing area, there are bass and mullet that venture up here. The piece of water is controlled by Ringwood angling club, and a rod licence and day ticket are therefore required, available at Davis Tackle. The area also experiences a run of sea trout and salmon every year.
Bait: Ragworms, ground bait and bread
Tactics: The best way to fish this tidal stretch of the river Stour at Tuckton is with ground bait, and classic course fishing gear baited with bread for the mullet. If you wander along this stretch you will see countless mullet milling around. The key is to get the fish feeding. Use as light a line as you dare anything under 6lb should be fine, as the fish are very wary. You can also catch the mullet on small spinner blades baited with ragworm. There is the chance of a very large mullet along this stretch with fish over 5lb commonly seen.
Getting there: From Christchurch head towards Southbourne. There is a large roundabout at the Bournemouth side of Tuckton Bridge, take the first exit. There is parking available on the left side of this road and on the roads that come off it, which is free.
Stanpit Marsh is a beautiful area at the top of Christchurch Harbour. It boasts some excellent fishing for mullet, bass and game fish. The piece of water is controlled by Ringwood angling club, and a rod licence and day ticket are therefore required, available at Davis Tackle. The area is easily accessed and is a common area for dog walkers and bird watchers. It also makes an appearance on a John Wilson fishing programme, for what it’s worth.
Bait: Lures and fly’s, ragworms, bread, maddies and mackerel
Tactics: This area really is a hidden gem. It produces big fish every year, and it is where I have caught my PB bass. Make sure you possess the required pieces of paper before you fish and then fish with spinners and lures for the bass and mullet, also make sure you have a pair of chest waders. You can also ledger with ragworms or mackerel for the flounders, eels and bass. Take spinning rods, as a long cast is not required and you can enjoy a good tussle with these fish on light gear.
Getting there: Head out of the East side of Christchurch town centre over the towns two bridges. At the first large roundabout take the third exit right. Follow this all the way down, about half a mile, until you see a small car park on your right, soon after passing the local pub. Park in the free car park and walk across the large area of grass through a gate and along a gravel path to your destination.
Mudeford is the small town at the mouth of Christchurch Harbour. The jetty at Mudeford is a mecca for Crab fishing, and wetting a line can therefore be difficult during the high season. The area is used by many local fishing boats for unloading their catch, which for the angler can be very interesting. Be aware of a lot of weed here as well as a fierce tide, as the entrance of the harbour is extremely narrow.
Winter Species: Flounders
Bait: Lures, smelt, feathers, bread, bacon, ragworms and sandeels
Tactics: The best ploy here is to fish for the smelt first, thus having a bucket full of fresh bait, with which you can try for the bass. To catch the smelt purchase the smallest feathers you can find, size 6, 8 or 10 hooks. Jig these as if for mackerel very close to the promenade wall for best results. You may also pick up small pollack, all make great live baits. Attach these live baits to a single circle hook and fish at the far end of the promenade, use as little lead as you can get away with. The bass here have been known to take bacon as they are used to gorging themselves on it over the summer (because of the crabbers). You can also catch on ragworms, if the crabs don’t find them first.
Getting there: Head out of the East side of Christchurch town centre over the towns two bridges. At the first large roundabout take the third exit right. Follow this all the way down, about a mile, until you see signposts for Mudeford Quay. Park in the pay and display car park.
Directly opposite Mudeford is Christchurch spit. The area is essentially the other side of Christchurch Harbour’s mouth. The fishing here is different however to Mudeford, with shallow ground due to the sandbars that run across the harbour entrance. It is also a predominately bass fishing area.
Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, fly’s and sandeels
Tactics: Fish just one rod here because of the tide and amount of weed. Fish with ledgered baits such as ragworms for the bass that run along here. Move further round from the mouth of the harbour on the sea side, to try for the sole at range. You can also don some waders and take the fly rod for the chance of some really good bass fishing off the spit, also give some lures a good go.
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. Once parked walk or catch the land train to the beach huts and then walk towards the mouth of the harbour.
Head east of Mudeford towards Highcliffe and you will arrive at an area of beach called Steamer Point. This area is a great location as it benefits from the tidal flow from the Harbour. With easy access and great views towards the Isle of Wight this is a fantastic fishing location. Predominately a summer fishing location the area can be fished all year round and throws up constant surprises.
Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, peeler crabs and mackerel
Tactics: Take a couple of beach casting rods when fishing Steamer Point. The area can be plagued with weed at certain times of the year, so be sure to speak to local anglers and stores about this. Fish flapper rigs, with a fairly hefty cast often proving to work best here. Use standard fish and worm baits on size 1 or 1/0 hooks and be sure to add beads for the flatfish. At certain times of the year the area can also be plagued with either dogfish or eels, so go expecting one of the two.
Getting there: From Christchurch head out on the bypass towards Lyndhurst New Forrest. At the first large roundabout take the second exit straight ahead. Then at the next roundabout bare right and follow signs for Friars Cliff and Steamer Point. Park in pay and display car park close to the beach.