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Portland Fishing - Cheyne, Freshwater Bay & East Weares

The area known as Cheyne stretches from Church Ope Cove to Sand Holes and is number four on the British Conger Club list of Conger Eel hot spots in the UK. There is also excellent Wrasse fishing from the cliffs and the area is sheltered during south-westerly winds. Fishing in this area is predominantly onto rough ground so expect to lose gear but there are clear patches, sand holes, which is where the southern end of this stretch gets its name. There are several excellent and flat marks on the cliff edge from which to fish for Wrasse, one of which is Sand Holes Crane, the most northerly working crane. The high angle of the line when fishing from the cliff helps when hauling hard diving Wrasse from the kelp but please do look after the fish and lower them back into the sea using a drop net rather than throwing them as I have witnessed far too many times.

When Conger fishing from these marks you will need to get down to the sea to fish. Be very careful and never fish alone. The cliff paths can be treacherous, especially at night. Please tell the Coast Guard where you will be fishing and let them know when you return as there have been many alarms raised by walkers in this area after seeing fishermen's lights at the waters edge and thinking it was a boat in distress.

Conger to 50lb plus have been caught from both Cheyne and Pulpit Rock so give it a go and be safe.

Cheyne Section Sea Fishing Mark is a rugged mark lying on Portlandís eastern flank that provides some excellent sport throughout the summer and autumn.

It is a flood tide venue that offers fishing from lofty ledges some 40 feet above the sea, but it is also possible to scramble down to the waterís edge near the old pipe at the access point.

This is a noted mark for producing some really big fish. Expect ballan wrasse to 7lb, corkwing wrasse, pollack and many mini species by day. When darkness falls the real heavyweights appear. Conger eels to more than 40lb have been taken, along with big rockling, occasional bull huss and a few double-figure bass.

Ragworms will pick up lots of smaller wrasse and pollack, but for the big fish switch to peeler crabs, hermit crabs or a good chunk of a velvet swimming crab. For the conger eels and bass use a big mackerel bait. Rockling will take a peeler crab or smaller fish baits.

A fairly robust rod and reel are required with the latter loaded with 25-30lb line straight through, along with a rotten-bottom system on your lead weight. Stick to a one hook rig. A size 2/0 or 3/0 short-shank, wide gape hook is normally used for the bigger wrasse, while a size 6/0 Pennell is favoured for the conger eels and bass. If you want lots of bites and smaller species, switch to a size 2 hook.

Go towards Portland on the A345 and pass through Easton to Southwell. Then take the road towards Portland Bill for just 100 yards. There is some free parking
on the left before the yellow lines. Access to the Cheyne section is along a footpath through an old quarry. The better ledges are a few
hundred yards to the south.


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