The Fishing

Sally Ann Jo is based in Weymouth Dorset.

Fishing off the Dorset coast from Weymouth is rich and varied. Within easy distance are the Shambles famed for its Turbot and Bill. Just off the Shambles there are the mussel banks renowned for their large plaice. Portland Race is known for its excellent Bass. Through the spring, summer and autumn large numbers of black bream can be caught. The wrecks hold numbers of Bass Pollack and Cod along with Ling and Conger Eel. Throughout the year large Blond Rays and Undulate Rays are caught. In the winter large Whiting and Cod are caught at anchor. There are however many more species to target throughout the year and there is always something to catch. No undersize fish are allowed to be kept and I would encourage anglers to take only what they will eat. If you need to, please feel free to ask about what tackle will be suitable for the target species on the day. The boat has rods and reels for hire and a selection of tackle to buy, if necessary, at cost price.

Plaice are caught drifting the banks from spring until late in the year. Light rods are suitable and baits are generally worms tipped with squid or prawn and traces decorated with a variety of attractors including beads and spoons.

Turbot and brill can be caught drifting the banks with live sandeel or cut fish baits on long traces. Tackle does not need to be heavy.

Bass can be caught throughout the summer and autumn using a variety of methods, most often drifting with lures or live baits. A 6 or 12lb class rod is suitable to make the most of this powerful sporting fish. End tackle will depend on where and how we are fishing. When drifting with live baits its best to have six or less on the boat. Please note that from 1st March until the 30th November 2020 there is a bag limit of two bass per angler in EU waters.

Bream can be caught on bait from the reefs at anchor and on the drift but later in the year big specimens can be targeted at anchor from the wrecks. Light tackle, small hooks and worm, squid or mackerel strip are the order of the day for this excellent sporting fish.

Cod can be caught throughout the year. Through summer we catch them on lures from the wrecks in the winter we catch them on baits at anchor. Fishing with jelly lures allows the use of a lighter tackle (12 to 20lb class or an uptider) on the wrecks, but even when using pirks a 20lb rod will be sufficient. When fishing at anchor baits can be cuttlefish, squid, worm or fish. December and January see the biggest fish on baits at anchor.

Conger eel can be caught on bait at anchor from the wrecks or reefs throughout the year. Night fishing can be particularly productive. Fresh fish or cuttlefish baits are the order of the day. Unless wanted for the pot I would encourage all congers to be returned.

Ling can be caught on the offshore wrecks, most will be to fish baits but occasionally they will take a lure.

Pollack can be caught from the wrecks throughout the year although February to May is favourite. Tackle would be 12 to 20lb class rods or an uptider with lures fished on a long trace.

Rays, many species of ray can be caught at anchor and occasionally on the drift from various marks throughout the year, usually on fish or squid baits, on inshore marks a 15 to 20lb class tackle is enough to handle these fish but when targeting blonde rays a heavier set up is required.

Tope can be caught from May through to October. Tackle should be no more than 20lb class and an uptide outfit is ideal. Baits are generally fresh mackerel, though eel sections and other fish baits can work well. All tope are returned.

Whiting can be caught in the winter months, usually on the same ground as cod and similar tackle is called for.

Porbeagle shark can be targeted in July to November.

Other species encountered include Gurnard (tub, red and grey), mackerel, scad, wrasse, garfish, pouting, dab, bull huss, trigger fish, john dory, coalfish, sole, squid and cuttlefish to mention just a few with the chance of a bonous lobster to boot.