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Portland Fishing - Church Ope Cove

Once a famous smuggling beach on the East side of Portland, Church Ope Cove is now a favourite spot for beach hut owners looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives. 

Park in the free car park on the right, opposite Pennsylvania Castle just as you drive out of Easton towards the Bill.  Access to the Cove is either down the public footpath next to Pennsylvania castle or via Portland museum (which has a seasonal café nearby). Be warned it is a steep path with a lot of steps, so keep your tackle as light as possible. If you go down the path beside the castle you will go through the old church of St Andrews and graveyard. This path can be quite slippery so be careful. 

Once down in the Cove you have the choice of fishing the beach directly in front of you or the rocks either side. Looking out to sea, the rocks to the left provide one of the few marks on the Island that regularly produce Cuckoo Wrasse. 

The beach is made up of clean sand with patches off rough ground. The rough ground is a tackle graveyard so expect some tackle losses. The main species from the Cove are Pollack, Wrasse, Bass, Garfish, Scad, Dab, Sole, Pout and Dogfish. 

The Cove is primarily a summer venue with Sole fishing in the Autumn.

Sport can be very hectic on a August or September evening with float fished Mackerel producing a very mixed bag in a short time. Lure fishing can also provide spectacular results, especially if there is a good surf running. My favourite lure in those conditions is a large Popper, Rapala X-Rap, or Tempest Sidewinder.

After dark will see the usual Dogfish and Pout as well as the odd Smoothound if conditions are right. A large bait fished close in has taken a good number of sizeable Bass in the past.




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