January 2007. Another quite start to the
year, we had 2 trips booked for 28th/29th December and lost
both of them to the weather again. We look forward to seeing
our old customers again this year. Roll on March when we
hope to see a few Plaice on the Banks again. Some good news
for anybody that has followed our diary page through 2006
and saw that I was moaning in December 2006 that it looked
like we were going to lose the 'Red' diesel, and the tax
derogation (get the duty paid on it back) that goes with
it. This turned out to be scare-mongering, certainly the
leisure fraternity are going to have to pay more for their
diesel but the Government have said that charter boats can
keep the derogation. A huge sigh of relief for our industry.
Customs and Excise explanation
for anybody who is interested. Tuesday
a day out today looking for an inshore Cod, no such luck,
loads of nice Whiting and not a lot else. We had a little
dabble around a couple of wrecks, but the Pollack seem to
be late in this year, probably because the water is still
quite warm at the moment by our usual Winter standards.
One thing we did witness out there that was very distressing,
was an awful lot of oiled Guillemots, most already dead
and many more dying. I guess the oil must have come from
the wreck of the Napoli, beached 30 miles up the coast from
us. February 2nd Went
out with a few local lads on a rare fine day. We tried a
local mark as I'd heard there were a few small Bass about,
we could only manage to catch some Winter Mackerel a few
Whiting. Next stop was the traditional Cod grounds which
were again devoid of anything other than Whiting, which
seem to be everywhere at the moment. As the big tide slackened,
we went offshore to try a couple of wrecks, we caught very
little apart from an unexpected Conger Eel of 53lb that
gave Sean O something to brag about when we returned to
Dartmouth in ever freshening Easterly winds. See piccy on
left of page. The two pictures below were taken on the way
home, Sunset over Start Point, click all pics to enlarge.
March 4th. When is it all going to end?
I took this directly from the Rickhanm Weather site this
morning. This was the weather at Rickham, last measured
at 04 Mar 2007 09:45 GMT In
the previous 15 minutes the wind averaged SSE at Strong
Gale Force 9, gusting to Storm Force 10.
More properly, in the previous 15 minutes the wind was mainly
from 162 degrees true at an average wind speed of 43 Knots.
It gusted to a maximum of 51 Knots, with a minimum of 12
Knots. The maximum wind speed recorded in the last 12 hours
was 61 Knots (Violent Storm Force 11) at 07:40 GMT The
air temperature was 10 Celsius (which is 50.0 in Fahrenheit).
Allowing for the effect of wind chill, this will feel more
like -3.4 Celsius (or 25.9F) and
again Monday evening. This was the
weather at Rickham, last measured at 05 Mar 2007 20:45 GMT.
the previous 15 minutes the wind averaged SSW at Gale Force
8, gusting to Storm Force 10. Saturday
Took out a group to fish the Skerries for an early Plaice,
the conditions were once again not ideal for Plaicing as
the continuing rough weather had clouded the water on the
shallow banks, and from experience we knew it was going
to be an uphill struggle to catch a Plaice. As the conditions
deteriorated to a very lumpy sea we opted to shelter and
anchor on an inshore reef in the hope of catching a decent
Bull Huss. The
end result was an enjoyable day, basking in some glorious
Spring sunshine, and the lads competing with a pack of very
obliging Dogfish (Sand Sharks as they are known locally)
total catch 48. All returned bar 4 for the pot. Friday
Plaice trip of the year, conditions were superb, light winds,
sunny and warm, we had a nice Plaice on the first drift,
and then picked up 1 or 2 per drift after that untill the
tide turned, the wind picked up from the North, the temperature
dropped to resemble Siberia and the fish went off the feed.
We only managed 8, but its early season yet, and nice to
see them. Sat/Sun17th/18 March.
Another weekends fishing gone, again I took
this from the Rickham weather site. "This was the weather
at Rickham, last measured at 18 Mar 2007 13:15 GMT. In
the previous 15 minutes the wind averaged WNW at Force 5,
gusting to Strong Gale Force 9. The maximum wind speed recorded
in the last 12 hours was 52 Knots (Storm Force 10) at 12:20
GMT. April 1st
This was the weather
at Rickham, last measured at 01 Apr 2007 08:45 BST In the
previous 15 minutes the wind averaged ENE at Force 6, gusting
to Gale Force 8. 4th.This
was the weather at Rickham, last measured at 04 Apr 2007
09:45 BST In
the previous 15 minutes the wind averaged NNE at Force 5,
gusting to Force 7.
6th.-Friday 13th. Some decent weather to
coincide with the Easter break. Some very good Plaice fishing
with 101 Plaice caught over the first 3 days. As the tides
eased and the weather turned more to the East later in the
week, the numbers of plaice caught dropped off but we still
managed to find plenty to keep everyone happy. The best
day was 43 with the worst only 11. A nice Spotted Ray of
6 1/2lb, some Mackerel and Herring. Best Plaice 3lb with
lots between 2lb and 2 1/2lb.
14-22nd. April Spent 4 days working on the
boat pre major survey for insurance and M.C.A. I have not
had the report yet, but talking to the surveyor he seemed
to think the boat was ok, apart from a list of jobs to action
re new safety legislation (2 jubilee clips on every pipe
on the boat is now required, guards on fan belts, cooker
no longer complies etc etc) Anyway glad that's over. Fishing,
15th. 20 Plaice
to close on 3lbs, plus bits, saw lots of Dolphins again,
we have seen more Dolphins this season already, than we
have seen in the last 5 years. Click the piccy of the dolphin
on the left to see some video. 16th.
Went to Dart Harbour Board meeting to plead our case against
this years new pricing policy in the harbour. They have
put the fee that they charge us for using the wall in Dartmouth
up by 70%. The African Queen has used that spot for her
Summer trading for the past 18 years. This year they expect
us to pay £468 per month. This is on top of our mooring
fees and harbour dues. Our business just cannot stand these
increased costs. We will let you know the outcome. If you
are regular customers of ours, and do not see us on 'the
wall' where we have traditionally been, rest assured we
are still trading, but you will have to give us a ring to
book. 22nd. Plaice
fishing slow today so targeted the wrecks for some Pollack,
did manage a few Plaice late on in the day, with a nice
brace for Tony, see piccy on left.
6th May. Another windy day,
but at least we are out. Fishing's hard because of the speed
of the drift but we did manage 15 nice Plaice, see piccy
on left for the best of the day. 9th.May.
This was the weather at Rickham, last measured at 09 May
2007 10:00 BST In the previous 15 minutes the wind averaged
WSW at Force 6, gusting to Strong Gale Force 9.
12th May Still not getting
out,The maximum wind speed recorded in the last 12 hours
was 37 Knots (Gale Force 8) at 11:25 BST 14th-22nd
Getting out on a few trips, still getting
some nice plaice but the numbers are thinning out as expected
at this time of year. Bass are showing in good numbers,
evening tides are better than the day. 22 has been our best
bag over the last week, for just a couple of hours fishing.
Most fish not huge with a lot just on the size limit, but
plenty in the 3-4lb bracket. Whiting still showing in good
numbers on the banks with some cracking fish among them.
Summer fish starting to show, Gurnard, Garfish etc. 23rd.
Fished as part of a 9 boat competition down
here. An annual event for a transport workers union, bus
drivers mostly, from all over the country. We had guys (and
Gals) from Plymouth and Dundee fishing with us on the African
Queen. A great time was had by all, the competition was
scored on a points system with most fish being returned.
We came third out of the 9 boats with 207 fish (top boat
had 222) so very pleasing for us, but even more so, was
that 3 separate anglers on our boat won individual prizes.
term week so plenty of half days with family's and kids,
plenty of fish for everyone and lots of fun. See piccy on
left of young Master Pyne with a nice Pollack caught from
rough ground on feathers. June
Another windy Month with a lot of trips
cancelled again. We have managed to get out on the odd day
with mixed results. A nice Conger for Alan at 56lb, a Ling
for Kim at 18lb. Still some Plaice about on the banks with
all the other Summer species now putting in an appearance.
Bass are here today and gone tomorrow on all the marks,
but we can normally find a few for the better anglers if
we persist. The wrecks are producing some nice Conger on
the smaller tides when we can anchor them, with a lot of
fish up to 50lb showing. Pollack are on the inshore wrecks
but are generally on the small side. 5
July This was the weather
at Rickham, at 23:15 BST. In the previous
15 minutes the wind averaged WNW at Force 6, gusting to
Strong Gale Force 9. 7/8th
Decent weather at last. Had
a group from Bristol down for the weekend. We have not managed
to get out for a couple of weeks so were out of touch with
what fish are about. Went to our favored Bass mark but didn't
manage to find any, so went to the Skerries to see if we
could find any Plaice. Managed 16 between the boys with
loads of Whiting, Gurnard, Mackerel, Doggies etc. Sunday,
fished an inshore wreck in the morning at anchor. Lots of
Pollack on artificial's but only to 5-6lb. The lads who
opted to fish for Conger could only manage to hook 2 with
one good fish lost on the surface. In the afternoon we decided
to go back to the Plaice on the banks. We managed 11 nice
fish with the average size much better than Saturday's,
with fish to 2 1/2lb. A box of Mackerel caught late in the
day, to go home with nice and fresh, at the end of the day
we waved goodbye to 11 happy anglers.
Spent 2 very enjoyable days fishing
with a group of students and 3 of their teachers from South
Dartmoor Community College, as part of their Enrichment
Week 2007. They caught loads of fish including
Mackerel, Whiting, Cod, Pollack, Plaice, Black bream, Bass,
Red Gurnard, Tub Gurnard, Scad, Weaver, Ballan Wrasse, Dogfish,
Sandeel, Dab, Pouting & Poor cod. 17 species. See the
photo's on left, one of Jordan Mowatt with a superb black
bream just an ounce under 4lb, and one of the teachers,
(Miss) with a Pollack caught from African Queen. Jordan
also managed a nice codling as a bonus for his day. 30th
July/5th. August What a week,
decent weather, full bookings and over 200 Bass landed.
The fishing has been superb. Individual anglers have had
up to a dozen Bass on a tide. A lot of the fish are only
in the 2 1/2- 3lb bracket, but with some fish to close on
6lbs. We encourage our anglers to return all Bass under
our size limit of 41cm (16") The legal limit
of 36cm (14") we feel is too small, as these fish have
not reached maturity and consequently not yet spawned. 7th.
August, 33 Plaice to 2 1/2lbs,
stacks of large Whiting plus all the other usual Summer
bits and pieces. Another very enjoyable day.
and September, Sees us enter into our busy
Summer holiday period, lots of half day inshore fishing
trips with the Devon visitors. Some weekends and only the
odd day spent with our more competent anglers. These trips
were often worthwhile with some good fish being caught.
The highlights of the Summer included a 4 day run when The
Brighton boys, (who come and stay onboard for a week at
a time) landed 259 Plaice to 4lb. A lot of their fish were
returned. We have been catching a few nice Black Bream to
close on 5lb. you need patience, but they are there if you
are prepared to fish for them.
We had a huge Weaver
fish, the largest I have ever seen caught. We did not weigh
it, and returned it alive. When I looked up the record,
it is only 2lb and a few drams. How I wished I'd weighed
it. Look at the photos and tell me that fish is less than
2lb.!! The first of the Autumn Codling came as a suprise,
we just hope that there will be a few more on the Banks
than showed up last year.
Click this link if you want to add
your vote to a worldwide protest petition against Inhuman
Japanese fishermen killer scum, who insist on massacring
thousands of Dolphins every year because they say the Dolphins
are eating too much of THEIR fish. I advise caution if you
want to click on the appalling video evidence that is on
this link page. Dolphin
Massacre in Japan If you
haven't got a strong stomach, then bypass the video and
go to the petition page link directley to register your
disgust. Think of this lot before you buy your next Japanese
gadget or car. Oh! bye the way 15 of these Dolphins will
be 'spared' to be taken alive to various 'Marine' parks
around the world. Think on that the next time the kids want
to go and see 'Dolphin World'