My recent relocation and the fact that Christmas is coming has meant that the frequency of my fishing trips has nose dived. So, when my Dad asked me if I fancied wetting a line on the weekend I jumped at the chance, even if it meant using a beachcaster rather than a match rod. I haven’t sea fished in years, so I was quite excited. Not only would I be fishing a new venue (Seatown, near Chideock), but I would also be using a multiplier reel and some fairly hefty hooks, weight and line. All in all a very big change to what I’m use too!
|Seatown was a very nice, quiet beach to visit.
Arriving at the beach just before 9 meant we were the first ones there. The main car park wasn’t open yet (winter opening times are a little later), but fortunately there was a space near the public toilets where we could park up and make our way down to the beach. Access down to the beach was fantastic, with just 2 steps down onto the pebbles. Having done no pre-reading about this venue, we walked down to the right about 30 yards and set up. I have since learnt the “best” area is apparently to the left of the car park but, the beach as a whole can fish well anywhere. High tide was at 10:40, so we aimed to fish the last hour and a half of the flood and the following 2 hours of ebb. For bait we would be using ragworm, sand eel and squid, and hopefully that would be enough to entice the fish in.
|Hopefully Ragworm would do the business!
We set up our gear and before long we were casting out, aiming for the horizon. I would be checking my baits every 15 minutes regardless of bites. Unlike coarse fishing your bait loses its scent very quickly in the sea, also the fish have a lot of sea to swim in. So my thinking was and is, the fresher the bait the better! First retrieve and my hooks have been stripped bare of ragworm, and there were some significant nips into my hooklengths.
There must be a lot of crabs out there feasting away on my bait. Swapping rigs and casting back out it wasn’t long before my Dad caught the first fish of the day. A Whiting, and not a bad size either.
|Apologies about the angle, he was a feisty bugger!
Unhooking it and slipping the fish back, I saw the tip of my rod registering a very small pluck of a bite. A minute or so later I was winding in my first sea fish in God knows how long, a 3 bearded Rockling.
The next cast saw my Dad reeling in another Rockling. After 15 minutes, I wound in and all my hooks were completely clean. One of my hooklengths had actually been cut. Again I can only assume there were plenty of crabs out there. I was having a fairly quiet morning, the old man on the other had wound in a small pouting!
Sea fishing can be a slow affair and despite constantly changing my baits, a few hours past without any sign of a fish. Frustratingly, because of the gradient of the beach and the height of the waves, every now and again a large wave would catch our lines causing what looked like a phenomenal bite! An hour after high tide saw Dad wind in his fourth and final fish of the day. A dogfish which pooped everywhere!
We fished for another half an hour before calling it a day. I can’t complain as I didn’t blank! But I was slightly envious of the 4 fish, compared to my 1 measly Rockling! Seatown is nice venue, with good access to the beach and a fairly large car park (which was open when we were leaving). It fishes well during the night and early hours of the morning, when the tide is coming in “the flood”. As the access is so good it is definitely somewhere I intend to go fishing again, I may even spend the night as the bay can produce Smooth hounds, Ray and the elusive Bass!
As a rating…
It’s difficult to rate a beach. It definitely looked good, as far as beaches go. Obviously there are no set pegs, and walkers are always milling about. Access was good, but the pebble beach would certainly not allow for your average wheelchair. The public toilets however would certainly be a convenience to any night time angler. During the summer months the beach also has a pub, which can provide the entertainment if the fishing isn’t great!