Atherfield is on the south-west of the Isle of Wight and provides easy access to deep water and a varied sea bed. The middle section of the beach offers generally clean ground, the ground to the west is rougher and deeper while it is very rocky at the eastern end, known as Atherfield ledge.


Ballan wrasse are caught from Atherfield ledge, congers on the rougher ground and rays from cleaner sections. Painted rays are the most common, but others also put in an appearance. Bass, pouting and dogfish are taken.


Use fresh mackerel and pouting for congers. A sandeel, alone or with a squid wrap, gets rays. Ragworms and crabs for wrasse. Bass take most baits. A surfcasting outfit suitable for mixed ground should be used. A 5-6oz wired lead is fine in most conditions though 8oz will be required if the swell is heavy. Distance casting with a clippeddown pulley rig with hooks around size 4/0 catches wrasse.

Other species can be caught closer to the beach. Bass are often in the breaking surf. Atherfield ledge offers scope for the plug and lure angler.


Shepherd’s Chine offers the easiest access. This is located at the western side of the Atherfield holiday camp on Military Road (A3055). Car parking is on the grass verge.