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African Queen
8 Chestnut Grove
South Devon

2016 Monthly Report/News

For anyone who is interested, you can find previous years diary's here.
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

February 2016, Have had the new boat for a year now and she has proved to be a very worthy craft. We have enjoyed some excellent fishing through 2015, both on the Skerries for the Plaice, Turbot and Ray and we have had some of the best wreck fishing for years, lets hope for plenty of the same this year with a bit better weather. I have had the boat lifted out at Noss marina for her winter refit this month, new anodes, anti fouling wash and brush up etc. and am now back in the water looking forward to a new season. I shall leave a few pictures up from last year just to give the page some colour and as a tempter for any one thinking of booking a trip. Don't forget you do not need to book the whole boat as a group, we take individuals or small groups up to a maximum of 12 persons per trip. We are now taking bookings for the 2016 season and hope to welcome back our old customers and continue to meet new ones.


Some pictures of the new boat being lifted out of the water at Noss Marina, power washed and in a nice cosy shed for refit.

March, Not a lot to report on the fishing front at the moment, any trips we have had booked so far have coincided with poor weather again. You may have heard on the news of a French trawler that sunk in Dartmouth Harbour, if not you may be interested in the story, here is a link to the news story. and a few pictures below.

March 23rd. A small break in the weather allowed us to venture out on to the Banks with a few anglers. We had only just seen the winds come out of the east so the water was still quite dirty and with the tide a smidgen on the big side I have a couple of legitimate excuses for only seeing about 30 Plaice and all of them small, far less than we would normally expect at this time of year. We had a few Doggies, Whiting, Mackerel and Herring to keep the lads interested but nothing much to report, just nice to be out fishing after another long Winter. We hope for better things next trip.

March 31st. Out with the Kingfisher Club today, 40 Plaice and one small Turbot. No real size to the Plaice again but still waiting for some settled weather.


A graph printout from our wave buoy in Start Bay, overnight from Easter Sunday to Bank holiday Monday. 5m waves. Click the picture to enlarge

Tuesday 5th April, better fishing by far today. We were out with only 6 anglers but boated over 50 Plaice with the biggest a tad under 4lb and one close behind at 3 1/2, both caught by the same angler. Lots of Herring, a few Mackerel and our first Gurnard.

21 1/2 lb Blonde Ray

Mid to end of April. fishing is still hit and miss depending on what the weather gods throw at us. Days post Easterly winds can produce low numbers of fish but if the weather is allowed to settle a little then the numbers are up, with the average size up as well. Quite a few Ray now showing, they are always fun when they are caught drifting on Plaice tackle but we have had some good fish up to 24lb when we have anchored up for them. We have got a couple of dedicated Ray days that are booked in the diary coming up soon, it will be interesting to see what they produce.

Saturday 30th April, excellent day, a small tide meant the fishing was slow but we still managed to end the day with 54 Plaice caught. We also had 4 small Turbot, all returned but nice to see so many of them around, only a matter of time before we see a bigger one or two I reckon.

May, and the fishing is a bit slow at the moment. We have had lots of East winds coupled with some pretty thick water caused by the May weed/May water bloom. It gets us every year to a certain extent and this year has been particularly bad, but we are expecting it to soon clear. Although the numbers of Plaice are down on what we would normally expect at this time of the year, and certainly down on what we were getting this time last year, we are still managing to catch a few nice fish. Patience is what is required. Still seeing good numbers of small Turbot, lets hope this is a sign of good things to come.

Had our best day out on the wrecks so far this season today with one of our regular crews. A very foggy but calm day saw us out on the Channel wrecks looking for a few Cod. After a false start on a non productive wreck we found some really nice fish feeding well. All the Lads and the one Lass on board caught well all day with Cod up to a very pleasing 13 1/2 lbs. A few decent Pollack in the mix for good measure and a very good day was had by all. Here are a few pictures to be getting along with, and more to follow when the lads email some to me.

Saturday June 4th, Question: How old do you have to be to go wrecking on the African Queen? The answer, given some decent weather and an adventurous Dad, is, in these 2 Girls cases, 8 and 10. Dad Ron booked the boat for his 2 girls and himself for a spot of wrecking, neither Cici or Mia (I have no idea if I have spelt their names correctly) received any physical help at all (apart from netting their fish) throughout the entire day. To watch a determined small girl hanging on to her rod with a decent sized Pollack diving back toward the wreck was a joy to watch, there was the inevitable competition between the 2 sisters but the day was shared with honours even. To cap a fantastic day we did not lose a single lure, hook, or weight all day (experienced wreck fishermen will know this is an almost impossible ask) The only moans I heard from the 2 girls all day were some well justified "my arms hurt" although thinking about it now I reckon it was more a statement than a moan. Some days I just love my job! Well done girls and well done Dad.

Middle June, Funny old thing this fishing, we have had a 3 day run of decent weather that coincided with 3 days bookings which is as good as its been for us this season so far. The fishing on Friday was pretty good, Saturday was about the same, Monday very poor. Same weather, same bait, same ground, that's why they call it fishing. Had a mixed group out on the Banks Monday, no great numbers of Plaice but a few caught along with a cracking Dab of 1lb 4oz for Andy, Haley's first Plaice and her first Mackerel so she gets 2 pics up. Lulu with a small Blonde, David with a brace of Plaice and the fellah who fished on the back of the boat with a Spotted Ray.

We also had 3 small Turbot , we are getting loads of these this year and as I keep saying if they are allowed to grow a bit will be good sport for the future. Our size limit of 35cm means although we have caught many we have yet to take one of size. Why am I hearing reports of lots of small Turbots being sold in fishmongers shops? I guess the trawlers can't help catching them same as us, the only difference is we can put them back.

Wrecks still fishing very well when we can get out there, plenty of Cod and some decent Pollack, the Banks are also starting to pick up with a few more decent Plaice showing and some very nice Ray, the odd decent Turbot also. If only we could find some settled weather I am sure the fishing would be more consistent.


July/August, fishing still a bit inconsistent but we always manage to catch, when we have a good day it can be very good, One of our best days of late that stand out was a tally of 55 Plaice, 6 Turbot and a Brill. Not so shabby. Plenty of big Mackerel on the Banks and as always they can be a pain when fishing for flatties as they are constantly picking up the baits. Some nice Gurnard now the Summer is well and truly here and most days we manage the full set, Red,Tub and Grey, the odd decent Whiting in the deeper water.

Some nice Ray to be caught at anchor and some reasonable fish taken on the drift. We regularly pick up good Ray on Plaice gear when drifting, always guaranteed to give a bit of excitement on the light tackle we use, but we can normally get them to the net in spite of the fine hooks if they are not bullied too much.

Had a family group fish for a day with us and they caught some lovely Plaice, looking at the pictures it would appear that the Ladies were again the more successful anglers. One of the nice things about fishing the Skerries is the sheer variety of the fish we catch, especially in the Summer months when we have seen at least a dozen different species every day, a real treat for anglers and holidaymaker's alike.

Jacks 83rd birthday fishing trip, not sure if I've got this completely right but Jack used to be in charge of a fishing club for a Bus Drivers union or company so he decided to celebrate his 83rd birthday by inviting his old mates out on a fishing trip. They all caught good fish and a good time was had by all, I shall look forward to your 84th Jack, Happy Birthday

Late August/September. Our normal run of holiday maker trips with the odd competent crews in between. It's amazing how many good fish come to anglers that have not had too much experience but are prepared to listen to advice on the day and have the patience to concentrate on the job in hand, their reward is often a quality fish and good memory's to take away. You can see from the pictures that the Girls are often good listeners.

Still getting some cracking Turbot and Brill! Plaice up to about 3lb, loads of Gurnard and the odd Whiting. September can be the best month of the year if we have settled weather.


1st. week October. We ended September with some very good and varied fishing and was looking to complete our Skerries season with a few good last trips this Month, but then the weather Gods stepped in and gave us a whole week of very strong Easterly winds, not pretty to look at on the weather chart, here is the wave buoy readout for Wednesday 5th October, a day I was booked to go to sea. No fishing for us for a while i'm afraid.









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