Fishing and Boat Charters
Fantastic fishing, year-round
With 64 miles of coastline to explore, along with ponds, reservoirs, and streams, the Isle of Wight is a great choice for fishing trips. Reel in trout, carp, perch, bass, conger, and more during a quick fishing outing or a longer holiday. Or, skip the fishing and just relax aboard a boat charter – there are countless ways to explore our waters.
In February and March, fish for flounder from shore or blonde ray and late cod by boat. During spring and summer, reel in 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, as well as cod from a boat. In November, when cod are plentiful, Yarmouth hosts the annual British Cod Championships.
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, is easily reached via a path alongside Atherfield holiday camp. 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.
Brook has a shallow sandy beach and is a favourite for bass and smooth hounds 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 – be sure to survey the mark at low tide to prevent 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 the beach when it is rough. You can survey at low tide and then fish after dark.
Fishing from Ryde pier, which at 681m is the longest, can produce a wide variety of species; bottom fishing will account for flounder, plaice, bream, smooth hound and the occasional cod. Spinning or float fishing can work well for pollack, scad and bass. The tide at Ryde recedes a long way, so fishing is limited to either side of high tide and a permit is required.
Sandown is the largest of the piers and can only be fished in the daytime. Although the pier is 360 feet long you can only fish from the end, and must carry your gear through the attractions and arcades found along its length. Known for its excellent bass fishing with many high double figure fish caught each year, a UK record bass was caught from Sandown Pier in 2007 weighing 19lb 12oz. Other fish from this mark include mackerel, garfish, plaice, rays and smooth hound.
Yarmouth pier is far smaller but can be fished at night unlike Sandown. Flounder and mullet and school bass can be fished in the harbour and bass, smooth hound, rays, mackerel and bream from pier in summer. This is a notable cod venue in late autumn/winter. Note that the tide can be strong and grip leads may be necessary. Watch for spider crabs and weeds during late summer.
Cachalot Charters in Bembridge offer great fishing on the ‘Robert Mark’, a 34 ft Starfish charter boat, skippered by Chris Solomon, which is licensed for 12. She’s fully equipped for angling and has a toilet and galley with all rods, tackle and bait available and beginners welcome – tuition given. The booking kiosk is located in Bembridge Marina, just off the Embankment Road.
Departing from Yarmouth harbour, Black Rock Charters and Fishing’s boat ‘Alaminta’, Skipper Rob and crew member Nathan will take you out fishing to one of a number of fishing locations that produce various species of fish depending on the time of year. Fishing equipment of Penn braided multiplier reels and Penn 30+ class rods and Terminal tackle and bait is also included in their package.
Fishing in Fresh Water
Isle of Wight’s rivers, ponds and reservoirs hold species including trout, carp, perch, rudd and roach. There are a number of private ponds and lakes, whilst the Isle of Wight Freshwater Angling Company (IWFAC) also has day ticket and membership waters.