For many fishing enthusiasts, the prospect of a memorable fishing holiday presents a great escape from the usual routine, bestowing a chance to cast their lines in some unfamiliar yet bountiful waters. When considering the best times to embark on such an adventure, special mention goes to Dorset, a county located in South West England that boasts a rich variety of fishing venues. Yet, the question remains: what would be the best season for a fishing holiday in Dorset?
Before delving into the specifics, it is crucial to remember that the optimal timing for such a trip greatly depends on the type of fish you are after and the fishing method you prefer. Dorset is renowned for its vast coastline that features plentiful beach, rock and harbour fishing spots, not to mention its freshwater locations like rivers, lakes, and commercial fisheries packed with carp, bream, and roach to name just a few. Fishing times fluctuate significantly based on these variables.
Spring (April – June) in Dorset unveils the countryside in its fullest bloom. It is an absolutely mesmerising period when the sea starts warming up, initiating the annual coastal spawning for many species. This season is prime for anglers aiming to catch sea bass around the rivers and estuaries alongside the Dorset coastline, especially around Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon. Moreover, the county’s rivers and lakes begin teeming with coarse fish such as carp, tench, and pike. While commercial fisheries are open throughout the year, many river fishing seasons commence on 16th June in England.
Summer (July – September) presents excellent opportunities for fishing, with warmer waters inciting an increase in fish activity. Mackerel become abundant due to warm sea temperatures alongside bream, garfish and smooth-hounds. Pollock and wrasse are also plentiful around rockier sections of the Jurassic Coast. On the freshwater side, the long and warm summer days are perfect for fly fishing, with a large population of trout and grayling present in the chalk streams of the Frome and Piddle rivers.
Autumn (October – December), although often overlooked, can still be a bountiful period for angling. The sea temperatures remain relatively warm into October leading to an extended window for mackerel, bass, pollock and other summer fish. Later in the season, winter favourites like cod and whiting start to show. Autumn also signals the culmination of the carp season in many of Dorset’s lakes, offering the chance to land a big catch. However, bear in mind that some river fishing seasons often end on 30th September.
Winter (January – March) in Dorset is mostly going to be around saltwater fishing off the coast. The colder waters attract sizable cod, whiting, rockling and occasionally conger eel, providing a rewarding challenge for many robust anglers keen on braving the chill. Winter freshwater fishing can be tough, with reduced fish activity owing to colder temperatures. Nonetheless, the dedicated and patient anglers can still derive pleasure from the serenity it provides.
In essence, each season in Dorset carries its own unique allure for fishing. It is virtually a year-round affair considering the multitude of fish species available in varied types of fishing venues. Hence, the best season for a fishing holiday in Dorset boils largely down to your fishing preferences, the species you aim to catch and your resilience to weather conditions. Equally important is to be aware of the local fisheries regulations, including closed seasons, catch limits and size limits, to ensure fishing holidays dorset a respectful and mindful fishing journey.