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Portland Bill Links

Fishing The Chesil
Weymouth Angling Society




Portland Fishing - Portland Bill

For the area to the east of Portland Bill click here.

Extract from "Fishing The Chesil" by Martin Nash

The very best Portland fishing is found at Portland Bill - big Bass, large Wrasse, terrific night Congers - come from the most difficult and dangerous rocky sections of the Bill, where beginners or anglers not accustomed to rock fishing should never venture. Portland Bill's tides rip around the rocks ferociously, the rocky points themselves are often precarious, and unless you have equipped yourself for climbing and rock fishing, and have mastered the techniques required, it is safest to stay away from these places. With Mother Nature constantly hammering the Bill - with men taking away bits of stones, admittedly in nice, even shapes, leaving convenient platforms behind the anglers - it is a rugged place, with many tons of rocks scattered beneath the rocky platforms above. No wonder there are many big fish among the rocks. With just two days left of 1976, one Portland Bill Conger enthusiast, Jim Hadwin, took a 47lb Conger from his favourite mark - and that's typical.

Portland Bill offers the sea angler a wealth of marks to explore either with legering, float or spinning gear. The area to the east of the point has dozens of rock ledges and is generally calmer unless the wind is from the east or southeast. There is excellent sport to be found for the regular and holiday angler alike with Mullet, Wrasse, Bass, Pollack, Garfish and Mackerel. Any method can work at Portland Bill.

Juniors - Portland Bill is an excellent place for youngsters to practice their fishing. There is a wealth of small wrasse and Pollack along with the odd rarity such as red scorpion fish. Below are two pictures of my niece with her first wrasse. She was float fishing with Ragworm near to Pulpit Rock. As always please make sure that children are supervised and safe.

Click the images to see full size.

Float Fishing - The area is an ideal spot to leisurely watch a float for the evening. Use light gear at different depths with thin Mackerel strips, rag worm or bread to tempt the smaller fish. Try ground baiting with mashed up bread and Mackerel to bring in the mullet, Mackerel, Wrasse and garfish.

Below is a picture of my son Tyler with a lovely Garfish taken on float fished mackerel strip. Garfish fight like the devil himself on light gear.  Click the image to enlarge.

Saltwater Fly Fishing - Mullet and Bass often come in close to feed on insects that thrive on the washed up weed that gathers in the inlets. It is worth turning over the weed and throwing great armfuls of it into the sea during late afternoon to release the insects into the water. Then use a #8-9 weight fly rod and grub shaped fly. And you thought trout fishing was fun, just wait until a mullet takes your offering!

Lure Fishing - See my page on lure fishing, click here.

Ledgering - Portland and Chesil Beach are considered to be the best fishing marks on the south coast. The majority of anglers use ledgering tactics from Chesil for all species, see the Chesil Beach page and links. Portland Bill offers the angler excellent Wrasse and Pollack to bottom fishing methods. The ground is very snaggy and tackle losses will be high so use a rotten bottom rig and do what the local do and use nuts, bolts and spark plugs for weights instead of expensive lead. For Wrasse the area of deep water around Pulpit Rock is the best when fished with crab and worm baits, but don't ignore other marks such as Church Ope and Chesil Cove.

Below are some pictures of the area around Portland Bill, click the image to see it full size.


A view towards the Trinity House obelisk from Pulpit Rock.



Pulpit Rock after a storm.




Pulpit Rock at sunset.



The rock ledges between Pulpit Rock and the Qinetic establishment. The cliff in the distance marks the end of shore fishing on the west of the island between here and Hallelujah Bay. The cliffs from here northwards rise to several hundred feet and while there are paths to the sea it is treacherous to attempt them with fishing gear.




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