Fishing / Angling at West Bay
Fishing at West Bay has been a historical trade through the centuries. Indeed, small fishing boats can still be seen unloading their catch at the harbourside, closely watched by hovering seagulls waiting for the chance of a free meal. Other boats can be hired to take enthusiastic sea anglers out into Lyme Bay with the opportunity of an experienced local to direct them to good fishing grounds.
But what about the century old tradition of fishing off the ends of the east and west piers at the harbour entrance? The much needed harbour improvement scheme at West Bay has given us a refurbished east pier, a new improved west pier (The Jurassic Pier) and a new outer harbour with slipway and boating facilities. However, it has severely restricted access for sea anglers due to the extensive rock armouring used to protect West Bay's new harbour.
Junior members of the West Bay Sea Angling Club competing in a club match at East Pier
West Bay Fishing Jetty
A fishing jetty was planned for construction along the seaward side of the new west pier. However, this has hit a financial obstacle. West Dorset District Council paid for the pilings (jetty supports) to be laid; these are now in place and sit proud of the rock armour. The remainder must be paid for by other means, donations, grants, etc. The West Bay Sea Angling Club have taken on this formidable task, in excess of £150,000 being required. If you wish to help, go to our links page where you will be able to access their website. Note that you will be asked to honour your pledge only if they are successful in securing the necessary funding.
All is not lost as there are still places to fish.
The Jurassic Pier and East Pier
It is still permissible to fish off the end of the East Pier and along parts of the harbour side of The Jurassic Pier as long as you either float fish or use a hand line. However, you must not fish in the harbour channel along the East Pier. Signs clearly indicate on the pier where you may and may not fish.
West Bay Beaches
Fishing from the beaches either side of the harbour is an option, especially during out of season months or at night. Please do not fish while holidaymakers are on the beach as it can be both irritating and dangerous. It is also dangerous to fish from the rock groynes, as a slip could cause yourself serious injury, not to mention the risk subjected to others in rescuing you!
Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock
To the east of West Bay is Chesil Beach, extending over 16 miles to Portland Isle. Anywhere east of Hive Beach near Burton Bradstock is considered unsafe for holidaymakers to bathe due to strong undercurrents. This is ideal for fishing; indeed many sea angling matches are held along this stretch of beach!
Just west of West Bay is Eype. This is a fairly quiet beach where holidaymakers tend to congregate at Eypemouth, near to the road access and car park. A short walk along the beach should reward you with a quiet spot for fishing. Do not attempt to access this area from the end of the West Bay esplanade and over the rock armour protection!
West Bay Harbour
You will always find the young (and not so young), fishing and trying to catch crabs from within the harbour itself. However, due to the lack of safety railings etc., children must be monitored at all times.