Fishing Guide to the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight’s 64 miles of coastline has some of the best fishing in the country. Almost all the sea and freshwater fish that can be found in UK waters can be found on the Island’s record lists.
When to fish
Although a year-round fishing destination the Isle of Wight’s slowest months are February and March with flounders being the best bet from the shore at this time whilst Blonde Ray and late Cod can be taken from a boat.
Spring and summer brings good shore sport for Smoothhound, Bass, Rays and Dogfish, whilst many spots for lure fishing for Bass are easily accessible for the visiting angler. Boat angling picks up through spring with inshore Bream, Bass and Ray.
Boats venturing out to the Mid-Channel wrecks will find excellent spots with Pollack, Summer Cod and Conger. Winter sees the start of the Flounder season from the Shore, and, if you’re lucky, Cod, however, for the best chance of a Cod you need to be afloat.
Where to fish
Chale Bay is the best beach for ray fishing on the Isle of Wight and you can catch thornback, blonde and small eyed rays, but is best fished during the day as access is via a steep cliff path. Specimen small eyed rays can be fished with frozen sand eel from late March through September, especially after a storm when the sea is coloured. Other species from this mark include bass, conger and mackerel in summer.
A number of record fish have been taken from the Atherfield stretch, and the shingle beach, scattered with rock. Fishing after dark produces bass, rays and pout to mackerel, squid and cuttle baits and crab bait produces smooth hounds. Ragworm fished over the drying ledge to the far left of this mark produces large wrasse and bass to fish baits. There are large cod here in late autumn.
Brook has a shallow sandy beach and is a favourite for bass and smooth hound with the odd ray. It has a very shallow water mark which fishes best when the sea is coloured. Other species taken from this mark are conger, bass, pout, plus cod in autumn/winter.
Ventnor has great fishing but if you don’t survey the mark at low tide expect heavy tackle losses. The beach consists of a series of rocky ledges and gullies best fished with a rotten bottom rig. Expect bass, conger, pout and rockling when night fishing and wrasse and mullet during the day.
Freshwater has very easy access and produces pouting, bass, small pollack and few conger, but be sure to fish from the middle of beach when it is rough. You can survey at low tide and then fish after dark.