January 2008. Another quite start to the
year, we had a couple of trips booked for the Christmas/New
year holidays and lost both of them to the weather again.
We look forward to seeing our old customers again this
year. If you fish regularly with us it is important to
book your trip early before all the best tides have gone.
We are taking bookings for this season and the best weekends
are filling fast. Roll on March when we hope to see the
Plaice back on the Banks again. Last year was the best
Plaice fishing we have had for a few years, we live in
hope that this year shows the same improvement. We seem
to start every new year with a potential bit of Government
legislation that will have a serious impact on our business,
this years fear is the proposal that all sea anglers will
have to pay an annual licence fee to allow them to fish.
This will probably not be a problem to the regular sea
anglers who will pay their £25/30 per year and just
get on with it, just as all fresh water anglers currently
do. My problem is understanding what will happen to the
majority of our business, which is the holiday anglers
who only fish once or twice a year when they are on holiday,
and the groups who book a once a year fun day out with
work colleges or for birthdays, stag days etc. If the
Government want to take £25 off of each of them
to allow them to go fishing with us, I think they will
find something else to do. We will have to wait and see.
As I often do when there
is nothing to report, I will put up a copy of the wind
report from our local weather monitoring site. Here it
is for this weekend, nuff said! This was the weather at
Rickham, last measured at 13 Jan 2008 15:15 GMT
In the previous 15 minutes the wind averaged South, at
Gale Force 8, gusting to Storm Force 10. More properly,
in the previous 15 minutes the wind was mainly from 170
degrees true, at an average wind speed of 40 Knots. It
gusted to a maximum of 55 Knots. The maximum wind speed
recorded in the last 12 hours was 64 Knots (Hurricane
Force 12) at 14:44 GMT
January 27th. Trip out in good conditions
for a change. Only had 3 anglers, but took advantage of
a days calm, even the Sun shone. Not a huge amount of
Fish on the wrecks we tried, but had pollack to 10 1/2
lbs. February 3rd.
This was the weather at Rickham, last measured at 03 Feb
2008 17:00 GMT.
The maximum wind speed recorded in the last 12 hours was
64 Knots (Hurricane Force
12) at 15:22 GMT. March
10th. This was the weather at Rickham,
last measured at 10 Mar 2008 11:00 GMT In the previous
15 minutes the wind averaged WSW at Strong Gale Force
9, gusting to Hurricane
Force 12. More properly,
in the previous 15 minutes the wind was mainly from 258
degrees true at an average wind speed of 41Knots. It gusted
to a maximum of 69 Knots, with a minimum of 30 Knots.
The maximum wind speed recorded in the last 12 hours was
69 Knots (Hurricane Force
12) at 11:10 GMT
The African Queen
has been out of the water for the last 4 weeks for a long
overdue refit, work has included the fitting of a new
false keel, re fixing of her garboard planks ad re caulking
of her garboard seam. The re fixing has required some
470 silicone bronze screws (235 each side) @ 71p each.
I have also had to take out 10 tons of ballast, clean,
paint and re stow every single piece. The ballast is made
up of 50-150lb blocks of pig iron. 3 coat's
of anti foul under the water, 2 coats of gloss on the
hull, service 100 other bit's of kit and we are ready
for the new season, woe betide anyone who bangs their
lead weight on the side of the boat. If you are interested
click on this link for some pics of our re-fit.
Refit 2008 3rd.
April First day out on
the Plaice, all our previous booked trips have been cancelled
because of the weather, and what a cracking start it was
too, 7 anglers, 74 Plaice caught.
Best fish were 2 at 3 1/2 lbs 2 at 2 1/2lbs several around
the 2lb mark and the best of the rest 1- 1 1/2lbs. A few
smaller fish were returned to come another day. See piccys
on left, click to enlarge.
5th. April Another day on the Banks, after
Thursdays bonanza every one was looking forward to another
great day on the Plaice. We left with the promise of a
blustery day with strong and cold Northerly winds, these
coupled with a big tide meant we only ended the day with
25 Plaice, the best another cracker at 3 1/2 lbs. We had
our first Mackerel of the year.
April Got out for 3 days
on the trot with the Brighton Lads who come twice a year
for a week at a time. In the Spring, and then again for
the Autumn run of Plaice. We had 3 good days weather before
the East winds hit with a vengeance and stopped some of
the best Plaice fishing we have had in many years. Sunday
saw 64 Plaice boated, Monday we had 50 and Tuesday 111
yep that reads 111, a Boat record for us. Not many big
fish but enough over 2lb to keep interest up. We do not
really expect to see many big fish at this time of the
year, they normally show with the Autumn run of fish.
Still, we had plenty
of decent size Plaice which on the right tackle will give
good sport. The Lads had to cut short their Spring holiday
as the winds got up to 6/8 from the East and kept us confined
to harbour. We will have to see if the fish are still
there when we can next get out. 25/26/27th.April
getting good fishing, a day with only 3 anglers on board
saw 45 Plaice boated on Friday, Saturday we had 58 with
a crew of 9. Sunday was a day out with inexperienced anglers
who still got 14 Plaice between them in just a few hours
fishing on a very small tide. We spent half the day over
a wreck with them all catching some nice Pollack.
Half the crew were young ladies who showed the men how
it should be done. Well done Girls. May
Plaice fishing still excellent,
Thursday 1st. we had 56, Friday 64. then a run of what
we dread, East Winds. Trips cancelled, and when we can
get out we get rolled around and the fish don't want to
Only 29 on Saturday, will have to wait and see if they
are still there when these Easterly's have gone. Sunday
we decided to anchor a wreck and take advantage of the
neap tides, 5 Conger with several big fish lost, 3 Ling
to 16 1/2lbs, and 25 Pollack. 16th,
Plenty of Mackerel and some Herring around, still finding
some Plaice, but they are hard work with the E winds,
22 Plaice on Saturday and our first Bass of the year,
it never stopped raining all day.
Plenty of nice Whiting about, Bass are now starting to
show but lots of small ones. We had 30 in a couple of
hours the first time we went out with live Sandeel's but
only 3 were over the size limit, with one good un at 4
1/2lbs. (Most were in the 13-15" bracket) Good fun
to catch but not what we wanted, or what we used to get.
We left the little ones alone to fish elsewhere, but left
an armada of private and commercial rod and line boats
hammering them. I did not see one other Bass returned
to the water on that mark.
We are getting some reasonable fishing on the wrecks.
Good numbers of Pollack, Ling to 16 1/2 lbs and a few
Conger. The water is still quite cold at only 12 degrees,
it was 15 degrees at this time last year, I don't think
the Conger have woken up properly yet. We have been catching
quite a few Plaice that have been minus their tails this
year, all healed up and still getting about, I suspected
small Tope were the culprits, but we do not get them on
our bit of coast generally. We fished a 5 Boat competition
recently when one of the Guys caught a Plaice with a chunk
bitten out of its side, again all healed up (see piccy
above) then lo and behold we had a small Tope on the hook,
the first ever in our experience in this area. We managed
to win 'Best specimen fish (Gar fish) and 'Best flatfish'
(Plaice) for 2 of the lads fishing on our boat. The Ray
are starting to show with a nice one at 10 1/2lbs for
Paul Lingham. 18th.- 26th.
June, We have lost every trip during this
period. Gale force winds have been battering us and stopping
us getting out. Friday 27th.
Still got plenty of wind but the forecast is improving
for the next week. This morning we went and fished in
the river mouth, in frustration at not getting out more
than anything else. We thought we would have a go at the
Thornback Rays, we had 6, none huge, the best at 6 1/2lbs.
(all returned) Loads of Mackerel, small Pollack and the
requisite shed load of Doggies, Sand Sharks as they are
politely known down here. So, enjoyable fishing to be
had, even if we can't get to the offshore grounds.
Well, so much for the weather improving. Still got plenty
of wind and having to find shelter to be able to fish.
Had a group of lads down from Yorkshire, fished for Ray
and managed some nice Small-eyed and a cracking Thornback
at 13 1/2lb. Plenty of Gurnard and other stuff to keep
things interesting. They put every fish they caught
back in the water, except for a few Mackerel that were
used for bait. Well done lads, very commendable.
July 1st/7th. South or SW Gale 8 going
on 10, another week and another weekend lost, when will
summer be here?
few nice Cod
Small-eyed for 'Miss'
trips cancelled, still blowing like mad. 14/18th
July. Dartmoor College kids for 4 days,
had some fun with plenty of Skate, Plaice, Whiting, Mackerel
etc. This is an annual event now for us, and one we really
look forward to. The youngsters are all well behaved and
respectful, a credit to their teachers.
managing the odd trips between the winds. When we can
find some calm conditions we are managing to find a few
decent fish. Conger, Pollack, Cod on the wrecks, plenty
of Whiting on the banks with the odd Plaice coming up.
with this littl-un
summer Holidays. Our
annual run of half day Mackerel trips for the holiday
makers. We can normally expect to work for weeks at a
time without a break at this time of the year, 3 years
ago our record without a break was 32 days straight, this
year we have been lucky to get 3 days in a run, the strength
of wind and its persistence are something I have never
experienced before, climate change ? I'm not sure, I hope
Small-eyed for Adrian
Regatta. We always
look forward to Regatta week in Dartmouth, it usually
comes at the end of a long spell of work for us and gives
us a welcome break from Mackerel bashing with the kids,
well this year we have had no long spells of work but
the Yacht racing is still good fun. Plenty of wind about
eh ? you've guessed it, The
first 2 days we had light breezes, Third
day, Saturday, flat calm, and I mean calm, not a breath.
All racing cancelled for the first time ever. 164 years
they have been running Regattas in Dartmouth apparently,
and this is the fist year ever that anyone can remember
a whole days racing abandoned because of no wind. Sunday
saw us cancel the first 2 races but they had a go in the
afternoon with a light breeze. The Red Arrows were cancelled
on the Saturday night because of thick fog in Dartmouth,
and the fireworks a disaster for the same reason. Monday
we had anglers coming to stay on the boat for the whole
week, you guessed it, cancelled because of high winds.
We never got out at all. You couldn't make it up.
September. Started to see a few more Plaice
on the Skerries at last, last trip out we managed 26,
not as many yet as we were picking up in the Spring, but
better quality fish, which is what we expect in the Autumn
run. We are still struggling with these high winds, losing
more trips than we are getting out on.
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 directly 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'