Shore fishing in Dorset

So, what has Dorset got to offer me?

Well, If you’re looking for an idyllic summer retreat where the evenings are long and lazy, where the warm gulf breeze gently whispers through the sleepy palm trees, and tropical birds puff out their chests for all to see, then you’ve been watching too much of the holiday program – Dorset isn’t like that. What it is like is a pointy shaped county on the South coast of England, where it doesn’t rain (all the time), where there is ample parking (in the winter) and where the pubs give away free beer with every packet of crisps (only in months with a Q in them). But the jewel in the belly button is that Dorset is one of the best places there is for shore fishing.

Ok, what do you catch there?

English fishies seem to like Dorset, most of them spend a bit of time here as they wander around the coast looking for things to eat, except perhaps for Halibut. Halibut are far too flat and heavy to make the long journey from the Northern waters so you won’t catch them here. Another elusive species is the Loud Mouthed Bass as they don’t exist. The main point to note is that most makes of English fish can be caught in Dorset depending on the time of year.

What is the best time of year then?

How long’s a piece of Conger? How tall’s a fat bloke? If you are the sort that enjoys such pastimes as skidding, freezing and catching flu then the winter months of October thru February can prove to be most productive. It is at this time of the year that you stand a good chance of catching fish from the family antifreezius forbloodus, members of this family include Flounder, Cod and Whiting. For the fair weather anglers or ‘blouses’ fishing from June to September, the main attraction to the shoreline will be the prospect of catching Bass, Plaice, Bream, Wrasse, Mackerel, Garfish and Scad.

What happened to March, April and May?

March, April and May are known to the locals as ‘The months that you don’t catch much fish’. In March however there is the sudden appearance of small Codling, the occurence of which is called the spring run. A more suitable name would be the spring swim as Codling do not have legs. There is a considerable difference of opinion as to at what size does a Codling become a Cod. The generally accepted figure is 7lbs however the Metal Team official changeover size is 2ozs. The introduction of this ruling has considerably boosted the teams catches of full size Cod over the past few years and we are currently looking into reclassifying Crabs and Blennies as Cod so as to boost bags even further.

I see, so where do I go to bag up?

The best place to start is the coast as that’s where the sea lives. The good thing about Dorset is the rich variety of shoreline which it offers, there are sandy beaches, there are pebbly beaches, there are clean beaches and there are smeggy beaches (although these are tricky to find), there are steep to beaches and shallow beaches. You can fish from harbour walls or piers, or if it tickles your wos’names you can fish in muddy estuaries. In order to answer the question of where to fish, it will be necessary to to ask yourself what it is you want to catch. Once you know which fish are holidaying in the area at the time of your planned mission, it is possible to choose which make to go for. The model of fish that you have decided to hunt will then determine where abouts in Dorset to fish.

Is that it?

Not entirely, if you think for one minute that I’m going to spend hours of my spare time typing all my hard earned knowledge (often costing several beers) into this dopey computer so that you can visit all my favorite marks and bag up while I’m stuck in here then that’s just bad angling. I’m going fishing myself now, when I get back I might, and that’s a pretty small might, add some more information. Only If you’re very very good though.