chesil beach

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chesil beach

Post by lee1038 »

How quickly the weather changes, it was only four days ago I was sat on Chesil beach in shorts and T-shirt and now I'm packing the kids off to school with a coat and brolly. It just goes to show you have to make the most of every opportunity to get out as the weather can change as often as the south coast fishing reports.

That's what I told the family as I put the rods in the car and strapped a kayak to the roof on Sunday. We had planned a family day to Weymouth, however with good fishing reports and fine weather I had promised myself an evening of fishing afterwards. To compromise I did take the tandem kayak so I could take the kids out during the day.

After an afternoon paddling around Portland harbour and the fleet with the kids watching the small flounder and shoals of sandeel they eventually tired and hunger set in.


Off they went for dinner giving me a couple of hours until sunset to try and catch a plaice. The initial plan was to launch the kayak directly in front of the fleet car park however the warm weather and shoals of mackerel had attracted a number people to have a 'chuck' and the thought of paddling out with so many loose leads flying through the air was a little off putting.

With the kayak still in the fleet I loaded the fishing gear and paddled past the bird sanctuary and along the chesil to clear the crowds. The plan was to stop opposite camp road but it was such an easy paddle I had reached littlesea holiday park before I finally came to a stop. Having dragged the kayak over the pebble bank I stopped to catch my breath and watch the pattern of the waves to plan my launch. The Channel Kayaks Tandem bass has fixing to allow me to position one seat in the centre of the kayak for paddling alone, once adjusted it was time to launch. I've always found the best way to launch on the Chesil is to get in the water and push the kayak out past the surf into deeper water and then climb in as you would when you self rescue. It takes a little effort but it is easier and safer than climbing in and hoping to paddle through the surf only be thrown back up the beach.

Once out on the water I set up with a 9ft Abu medium weight bait caster and Abu C3 multiplier, I use bait casting rods for most of my kayak fishing as the short rod butt makes it easier to handle whilst sat on the kayak. Having paddled the kayak out just 200 metres from the beach the plan was to have one long drift along the beach, wherever I ended up I knew I could just paddle back to the beach, drag the kayak and kit back across to the fleet and have a leisurely paddle back to the car.

With half a pound of rag and a couple of squid already prepared and cut into strips I set up with a running ledger with a wishbone and black/green bead combination. bead colour is always a personal choice and may make little difference however from previous boat trips out of Weymouth a black/green combination has always out fished other colours for me. First drop and five minutes into the drift I had my first rattle on the rod tip, I quickly set the reel to free spool so the bite could develop only to find the wind had blown the braid around the bottom ring stopping the line from releasing. Line released I reeled in rebaited and dropped back down again. over the next hour I had three good bites and unfortunately hooked and landed three dog fish (i'm sure I'll be grateful of dogfish when there's nothing else left in the sea!). Finally the sun set and it was time to pack up.


It's always frustrating to read the fishing reports online when you don't have chance to get out and fish. Although no plaice came to the kayak it was good to get out for a few hours and have a go. Having fished the Chesil for over 20 years now it's not often you come up with new ideas. After many years of carrying enough kit for a whole night fishing for miles along the beach, I'm taking the kayak and paddling down the fleet next time!

Anybody wanting to launch a kayak from the Chesil should do so with caution. I'm an experienced kayaker and know the Chesil very well. Always launch with another kayaker, check the weather and take a throw line in case one of you get into difficulty when launching.

Next week I plan to fish Exmouth and target another flat fish, the Turbot. Not the first place you think of when fishing for Turbot but you have to set yourself challenges (I may change it to dogfish on the day!)


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Post by eccles »

Nice post Lee but very unlikely you will find turbot at Exmouth. I lived there for 15 years and never heard of one. Bass. pollack and mullet are the usual catches with dabs occasionally on the sand banks to the west of the estuary. Used to be some silver eels too but not so sure these days. Think you will have to move further west for turbot - around the Dart estuary I believe.

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