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Places to fish near Swanage

Discussion in 'UK & Ireland' started by molva, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. molva

    molva New Member


    My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Swanage this weekend. We'd like to do a bit of spearing (weather permitting!) Can anyone recommend sites nearby? Preferably shore access though we've got a battered squidgie that might be still seaworthy.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Mr. X

    Mr. X Forum Mentor Staff Member Supporter Forum Mentor

    You could try PM'ing Milk_man, he spears round that area. I was planning to explore the area this year - thought I noticed a reef off the main beach (I might be wrong though). The bay visible beyond (east) is a popular angling mark -- bit of a yomp along the beach, the boat might help. The head at the other end of Swanage (forget the name) might be worth a look - watch out for currents. Or the pier if there aren't too many anglers around (a scuba diver friend dives round there sometimes). If you go to nearby Durlston Park, there is Tilly Whim. If more adventurous, you could try further along under the Swanage cliffs, Dancing Ledges, etc. the boat might be handy, if sea worthy & conditions are flat. A little further around, you could try Kimmeridge - the main bay is a often a bit too shallow, but either side is probably worth a look, it has a slipway too. If the wind is up from the S or SW, you might need to stay in Swanage for shelter...the south coast is fairly exposed. Let us know how you get on;).
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  3. UK Spearo

    UK Spearo Crystal Vis team

    35-45pmh gale force southerly winds forecast for Dorset this weekend. might be better staying at home!
  4. molva

    molva New Member

    Yeah, I saw the forecast. Maybe I'll leave it for this weekend! Cheers for the info though, I'll give it a go when the weather's a bit kinder. At least it give me a chance to work on the boat. Well, gives him a chance to work on the boat!
  5. the_milkman

    the_milkman Totally addicted to bass.

    All good info Mr.X! Hi, Molva, in general swanage is very good for spearfishing, it is protected from westerly winds and has viz when exposed spots do not. My advice is to jump in if it looks good as it probably is! A couple of caveats though: there is a race off Peveril Point (visible behind the pier as you look east towards the Isle of Wight) often very choppy with breaking waves...that is because of the current. VERY FIERCE, do not try to spearfish there. Tilly Whim can be downright dangerous in any form of swell. Check here Bournemouth Area Reefs Surf Report, Surf Forecast and Surf Webcams
    before you go and if the swell is over 1 foot, don't bother, unless you enjoy being smashed into limestone cliffs! There are also strong currents that switch direction with the ebb and flow, so don't tire yourself out as you may end up finning against a very strong flow to get back to the water exit/entry point so be careful. The pier holds fish, but DO NOT SPEAR there if there are tank divers in the water - it causes a lot of bad blood. Beware boat traffic -very busy all times of year so use a float, and be extra aware.

    Also, if you explore the area a bit, there are secret gems to be had ;)

  6. Mr. X

    Mr. X Forum Mentor Staff Member Supporter Forum Mentor

    Good point. The guy I know who dives there is 6' 2" & heavily built (250-300lb?) -- you wouldn't want to spear him (but if you did, might make catch of the month!).
  7. molva

    molva New Member

    Mmmm, as much as I love seafood, I can't abide the bungy in my teeth.
  8. KWM

    KWM Well-Known Member

    Swanage, lovely place. But Brighton and Sussex has some of the best spearing to offer in the whole country. (when there is not a 6cm of snow on the ground)

    Kev (member Sussex spearfishing club.)
  9. Mr. X

    Mr. X Forum Mentor Staff Member Supporter Forum Mentor

    ..and Bognor?
  10. KWM

    KWM Well-Known Member

    Mr X, Bognor is a national treasure that should not be spoken about openly.

    Regards Kev
  11. the_milkman

    the_milkman Totally addicted to bass.

    haha, yeah! Also in my experience, divers are interested in looking at fish, not spearing them, and they really HATE spearos for that reason. It's misunderstanding mainly, as most spearos are very ecologically aware, but lots of tank divers just think we're fish murderers and dive ruiners...also they think we're dangerous because we have hardened steel spears that fly about underwater, which is actually a fair point. Although I have to say my fish ID is good enough not to confuse dichentarchus labrax with homo sapiens...lol
  12. David P

    David P Active Member

    I hate to butt in - but I read this forum avidly not 'cos I spearfish (never have, never will) but because my main interest is photography (and S Dorset is my main area) - see eg Picasa Web Albums - David P - UW-F30-UKBest - and principally freediving rather than scuba. There's an awful lot in common (apart from the killing and eating end of it). I've learnt a lot (about stalking fish...) for reading stuff here and elsewhere. I admire your skills... even though I'd give anyone with a speargun a very wide berth indeed! And it's great to get feedback on local conditions (I live near London - and pick my moments to escape...)

    So yeah, there are conflicts and differences - but certainly, some non-spearos share very similar goals to yours. No doubt some of our paths will cross one of these days.

    David P.
  13. fearthespear

    fearthespear Poke and hope specialist

    Smashing photos David, and in some amazing viz too.
  14. foxfish

    foxfish Silver Smoker Staff Member Team Leader

    Hi David, you dont need to be a spearo to be very welcome on db - great pics.
  15. the_milkman

    the_milkman Totally addicted to bass.

    Yup! Nice to have you on board David - brilliant photos. Were the shots of the mullet taken *ahem* quite close to some, er, rocks in a firing range to the east of Lulworth cove by any chance? Looks familiar - the bottom there is very good for reflecting the light up...

    btw, comments about diver / spearo conflict just meant to warn people about Swanage pier in particular. I have no issues at all with divers...
  16. David P

    David P Active Member

    Nah - though I think I know where you mean (if it's the little bay with the ... er ... cave, I've seen them there too). The mullet were at another similar secret spot just a little west of Lulworth... (I imagine you can guess where I mean) - I've normally seen them there, usually close inshore round the rocks. Saw a biggie last weekend but just the one and only from the surface - so they're about. I've seen them in just a few feet, round Durdle Door and Man o'War, pretty much swimming around people's ankles...!

    Damn - I'm sharing all my wares but see also


    (I just disturbed a whole shoal kinda resting; bigger versions at Picasa Web Albums - David P - Misc)

    Also a short video at David P's web site which has some amazing non-shy mullet round the rocks just west of Durdle Door. One of these days I'll update it!

    Appreciate the point about Swanage Pier! I'd only go there in company, bit too busy. S Purbeck I'll happily explore as and when I want.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2008
    Mr. X likes this.
  17. badlander

    badlander Registered Cruiser

    Great video,i wasn't really thinking about a dive today but having watched that i may have to.
  18. Mr. X

    Mr. X Forum Mentor Staff Member Supporter Forum Mentor

    Great images. Kind of frustrating looking at those mullet though - inflammed sinuses & a new speargun:(. I rarely encounter visibility that good -- nice when it happens though (although the fish usually see me first!). Particularly impressed by the crab & lobster pics. I've seen lots of spider crabs but only one brown/edible crab & lobsters only in pots so far. The video was good - kept my attention all the way through.

    I meant Shoreham (or was it Christchurch?);)
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2008
  19. UK Spearo

    UK Spearo Crystal Vis team

    great pics and video David - nice one!