Poole & Studland Sea fishing Locations
Poole homes the worlds second largest natural harbour. This allows for some fantastic fishing locations. The bass, mullet and flounder fishing is some of the best anywhere. The area also allows a tremendous variety of fishing. Studland is a beautiful stretch of beach,owned by the National Trust, with the iconic Old Harrys Rocks to the West and the mouth of Poole Harbour to the East. All in all this is an excellent place to come fishing, and is where I have caught several of my personal best fish.
Poole Harbour Entrance
Poole harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world. It has 8 tides a day as a pose to the normal 4. The mouth to this huge harbour is relatively narrow with a chain ferry running from one side to another. The tide here is very strong and therefore fishing here should be done so with due care. This area is a hotspot for bass in particular and fish are taken out all year round. You have the option to fish on the Poole side or go over the ferry and fish the Studland side.
Bait: Plugs and lures, ragworm, sandeels, mackerel and squid
Tactics: My favourite way to fish this area is using lures and spinners for the bass and mackerel. If fishing with lures use something that can dive fairly deep, and fish a slack tide to avoid the mountains of weed that come through the run. If you want to ledger fish try the Studland side of the run and fish with single hook rigs with worm or fish baits.
Getting there: From Poole take the A35 heading towards Parkstone and Bournemouth, Turn right on to Fernside Road, then left on to Commercial Road A35,slight right onto Park Road, slight left on to Sandbanks Road and then turn left to stay on Sandbanks Rd, follow Ferry Way to car park on the left.
Poole Harbour (Evening Hill)
Evening Hill is one of the most scenic parts of the whole south coast. This exquisite hill overlooks Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island. The place to fish at Evening Hill is the promenade that runs from the sailing club heading towards Poole. You have to fish at distance on a fairly high tide to maximise this location.
Bait: Ragworms, lugworm and peeler crabs
Tactics: My preference would be to fish two rods here. One on a two or three hook flapper rig the other with a pulley or running ledger. The best bait is locally dug worms, which can be done yourself or brought from local tackle stores. Fish at range here on the incoming tide during low light conditions. A cast of 100 yards is necessary as there is a gulley that runs close to the boats that are moored here.
Getting there: From Poole take the A35 heading towards Parkstone and Bournemouth, Turn right on to Fernside Road, then left on to Commercial Road A35,slight right onto Park Road, slight left on to Sandbanks Road. Evening Hill starts at the East Dorset Sailing Club. Fish anywhere along this promenade.
Holes Bay is situated on the north side of Poole Harbour very close to the town centre of Poole, in fact Holes Bay road runs alongside the promenade where the fishing is done from. The location is a typical flatfish location with relatively shallow water throughout the whole bay with a muddy bottom. The area is famous for producing very big flounders every year, with a fish of 3lbs a very real possibility.
Bait: Ragworms, maddies, lugworms and peeler crabs
Tactics: Fish along Holes Bay Road casting to the boats moored in the Bay. The key here is using the right bait, worms, maddies are best, and fishing them with a lot of attractants on the rigs, beads and spoons etc. Fish 2 and 3 hook flapper rigs. Large beach rods are not necessary here as you rarely have to cast more than 50 yards.
Getting there: Holes bay road is the main road out Poole heading west. It can also be accessed from the A35 heading out of Poole towards Dorchester. You can also catch the train to Poole station and the bay is right outside the station.
Rockley Park is found at the North West corner of Poole Harbour. The area is synonymous for water sports and as a caravan park, with the marine headquarters also in the area. However the fishing is also very good in the area. The main quarry here is mullet and bass, and although boat fishing is not allowed there are fantastic shore locations. If you are a bass angler the fly and lure fishing can be awesome in the summer.
Bait: Ragworms, lures, lugworm, bread and peeler crabs
Tactics: The best way to fish the area is with a box of lures or a fly rod, making sure to pack a pair of waders to allow easy access. Try surface lures and diving lures, with sandeel and mackerel colours seeming to work best. This area is predominately a summer fishing location. There is the option to try classic ledger style fishing here as well. Fish with 2 or three hook rigs, with beads for the flounders as attractants. You will catch bass here ledger fishing with ragworms and peeler crabs working best.
Getting there: Leave Poole on the A35 heading towards Dorchester. Once past Holes Bay in Poole you will see the left turn signposted for Hamworthy and Rockley Park. From here follow signs for Rockley Park Caravan Park, and then Rockley park slipway. You can fish here or walk round towards the small wooden pier, close to the lake.
The Holly Bush
The Holly Bush is a slightly confusing name for this area of Poole Harbour, as indeed there does not seem to be any Holly Bushes in the area at all. The area concerned is the stretch of promenade that runs along Banks Rd the B3369 on the spit that connects Sandbanks to Poole, harbour side. The area is very popular with windsurfers, kayakers and kite surfers making fishing occasional very difficult. This is a very picturesque area with fantastic bottom and lure fishing if you are prepared to don the waders.
Winter Species: Flounders
Bait: Lures, ragworms, lugworms and peeler crabs
Tactics: For the bass the best way to fish is with shallow diving and surface lures. You will need to take some chest waders in order to access the best areas but the fishing in the summer can be explosive with fish over 5lb commonly caught. From the promenade use a couple of beach rods fished with either worm or crab baits, the biggest problem with fishing this location in the summer is that the crabs tend to find your bait long before the fish. For the mullet try free lined bread as they are incredibly spooky, using a bread ground bait mix to increase their confidence.
Getting there: From Poole follow sings for sandbanks. Banks Road runs between Lilliput and Sandbanks. Parking is available on both sides of the road but is pay and display.
Baiter Park runs between Poole Park and Poole Quay and is a favourite location for dog walkers and joggers. The area is noted for boat users as having an easy access slipway with convenient parking in a large pay and display car park and street parking. The area is a popular match fishing area and also a prolific flounder shore mark. A superb location for easy access and comfortable fishing the area has toilets close by and plenty of benches.
Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, peeler crabs and sandeels
Tactics: Fish at relative range during the day and close in during the night, here with worm baits seeming to work best for the flounders. The key during the summer is to avoid the crabs and boats that accommodate themselves in the area. The hotspot in this area is to cast a bait near to the entrance of the Poole Park Pond. Fish standard flapper rigs with plenty of beads and spoons for attractants. The bass will take most baits, but if you find a quiet summers evening try surface fishing with lures or flies for some spectacular results.
Getting there: Follow signs from Poole Quay for Baiter. Drive down Labrador Drive before coming on to Catalina Drive, either park on this road or in the large pay and display Car Park close to the slipway.
Jerry’s Point is accessed from using the chain ferry from Poole over to Studland. The area is part of Poole harbour but can only be accessed from the Studland side of the ferry. The area is an area of outstanding natural beauty and requires a short walk to get to. Jerry’s point sits in Brand’s Bay a particular area of Poole harbour. The area is popular for beach users and also for shellfish farming. A short walk from Ferry Road the area is relatively easy to access and offers something slightly different to most of the Poole locations.
Winter Species: Flounders
Bait: Ragworms, lures, lugworms, peeler crabs and bread
Tactics: The area at Jerry’s Point is very shallow ground and therefore should really only be fished at night or in the evening. Standard beach fishing rods and reels fished at range work well here. Use simple flapper rigs mainly fished with worms although try peelers if you can get hold of them. Very early mornings and late evenings when the light levels are low, can allow you to fish shallow diving and surface lures in the area for bass, although don’t expect the really big fish in this area, if you do try lure fishing be sure to wear a good quality pair of chest waders and be careful where you tread as there can be some sticky mud around.
Getting there: From Poole take the chain ferry across to Studland and then park on the left or right side of the road about a quarter of a mile down the road. Take one of the numerous footpaths on the right side of the road towards the harbour. Jerry’s Point juts in to Poole harbour and can’t really be missed.
Sandbanks Stone Groynes
Sandbanks beach close to the Hotel and beach shop is one of the south coast’s most popular beaches. To the far west of the beach are a set of long rock groynes that jut out in to the sea. These are brilliant fishing locations for both beginners and experienced anglers. The area is best fished during the night as to avoid the large numbers of people on the beach during the day in the summer.
Bait: Spinners, ragworms, sandeels, mackerel and peeler crabs
Tactics: This area is superb for beginners and you can catch a lot of micro species very close to the groynes on float fished ragworms. The area also produces plenty of mackerel on spinners and feathers and float fished mackerel strips. During the night you can expect plenty of action at range with the area particular famed for producing smoothhounds at the back end of summer in particular. Pulley rigs and Pennell set ups work well here with standard beach fishing gear. During particular tides and times of the year there can be a lot of weed in the area.
Getting there: From Poole take the A35 heading towards Parkstone and Bournemouth, Turn right on to Fernside Road, then left on to Commercial Road A35,slight right onto Park Road, slight left on to Sandbanks Road and then turn left to stay on Sandbanks Rd, follow Ferry Way to car park on the left. From the car park take the slightly rusty ladder to the far end of it and follow the path round to the groynes.
Poole harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world. It has 8 tides a day as a pose to the normal 4. Poole quay is situated in the town of Poole itself and is a popular destination for tourists, crab fisherman and families in general. Whilst this location may not appeal to all anglers it is a perfect place to take children or people with a disability due to its convenient access. Summer is the best time to visit and fish here with numerous micro species available to catch.
Winter Species: flounder
Bait: Plugs and lures, ragworm, sandeels, mackerel and squid
Tactics: This area is fished best using float fished worm or fish strips or very simple running ledger type rigs with a small size 4 or 6 hook. There are plenty of small wrasse and blennies to interest the kinds here and can be really fun sport when using light rods. It can also be worth fishing the quay in the evening with spinners or lures in the hope of picking up a bass. Flounder fishing in the winter can be done with simple flapper style rigs baited with worm cast to the main part of the channel.
Getting there: Poole quay is right in the heart of Poole centre. There are numerous pay and display car parks and fishing can be done anywhere along the quays length from the top of baiter park right up to the bottom of holes bay.
Studland is a classic holiday hotspot. The large golden sandy beaches attract many hundreds of people most weeks of the summer. There is an old anti-landing wall that runs around 100 yards out from the beach towards the west end of the beach, put in place during the first world war to stop potential landing craft. The best fishing is on the east end of the beach close to the mouth of Poole harbour, or to the far west close to Old Harry’s Rocks.
Bait: Ragworms, lugworms, mackerel, sandeels, peeler crabs and lures.
Tactics: For the conger fishing here you have to head to the far west of the beach close to Old Harry’s Rocks and fish during the night with large fish baits. At the mouth of the harbour fish a couple of standard beach casters at mid or close range with one or two hook rigs. The biggest problem with the area is the amount of weed. You can avoid the worst of it by fishing the slack water between tides. Fish during the evening for best results, and for the big fish use big baits close in and keep quiet.
Getting there: From Poole follow the signs for Sandbanks. On the road around the harbour keep left after the mini roundabout to drive across the ferry. The ferry runs throughout the summer and winter. You can park for free on the main road after the ferry. From here walk across the dunes to the beach.