Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Chesil, Ferry Bridge.

Ferrybridge is the name given to several locations, there is a pub, The Ferrybridge Inn, on the right-hand side as you leave Wyke Regis towards Portland. You can get access behind the pub to fish The Fleet which is the area of water between Chesil Beach and the mainland. The main quarry here is bass although some fish the area for flounder.
The next Ferry Bridge is a concrete bridge carrying the road over the inlet to The Fleet from Portland Harbour. There are several places that you can access here to spin or float-fish with mackerel strip or sandeel for gar, mackerel, bass or pollack...... depending on season. The tide pulls strongly through here and fishing is best a couple of hours each side of high. You can bottom fish for the same species although small wrasse will feature most in your catch if you use ragworm.

Under the Ferry Bridge, spinning for bass
Be careful when walking on the sloping concrete apron, it is very slippery where it is covered by the tide and has weed or algae growing on it. The fringes of the water have weed patches so care is needed not to get snagged when retrieving a fish. This venue is quite safe for children and the bridge gives shelter if it rains.

Ferry Bridge, looking west back towards Weymouth.
Wheelchair access is possible to this area via the area to the rear of the pub or via a ramped access at the Portland side of the bridge.( I will have to check if there are any steps, I can't remember seeing any). Some people fish from the bridge itself, this brings the problem of catching the boats that pass in and out of The Fleet. Nearest facilities are at the Ferrybridge car park a few hundred yards east. Don't be tempted to park on the road or in the access roads or tracks. It is usual for a few vehicles to be parked on the grass verge though.
Chesil 'Ferrybridge', looking over The Fleet at low tide from the car park.

The next Ferrybridge location is the car park containing an Information Centre, a snack bar and toilets. The car park is an area levelled by US forces during WWII as part of the D-Day build up. It is now a race track for chavs in the evening and a source of revenue for the council. Pay especial attention to the charges board when you get a ticket.... charges are steep and apply 24 hours a day.
The best fishing spots are said to be to the right, in the above photo you can make out a small structure far to the left. Walk out to here, along the bank of the fleet is easiest ( at low tide you can take a short cut), and then up the bank near to the fenced off area. The fences are to keep people out from the bird nesting area. There are a few noted marks that are wrecks that can be reached by big casters who know where they are. The 'Landing Craft' and the 'Adelaide' are found by following the detailed instructions on this
All manner of fish can be caught in season along this stretch, indeed it would be easier to list those that cannot be caught. Favourite baits, ragworm, mackerel, squid and sandeels. Most likely catch... dogfish.
The area is very popular with holiday-makers bashing out mackerel during the summer and by cod hunters in the winter.
The nearest tackle shops are here.

on and under bridge only.