Charter Boat Reports September/October 2019



Brixham: Optimist: Nigel Lihou

August has proved to be a great month for fishing on the wrecks and on the banks. We have had to travel some distance to some of our wreck marks and have been rewarded with some good pollack, codling and bass including one caught by Gus from Worcestershire on a 4 in sidewinder eel.

The Skerries is still producing some nice fish with a total of nine species in one day including plaice, blonde ray, red and grey gurnard, dogfish, mackerel, scad, pollack and whiting. Caroline from Norfolk bagged a lovely 10lb 11oz blonde ray on one trip, long drifts do produce the fish most taken on a cocktail of ragworm, squid and mackerel.

The reefs are still providing some sport with bull huss and small conger with a few pollack into the mix. The winner of our ray competition pictured is Dennis Phillips with a 16lb 11oz blonde ray taken whilst at anchor on a fillet of mackerel.

We still have spaces throughout the winter months and look forward to welcoming you aboard Optimist. 07817136505

Poole: Silver Spray: Sam Cumming

All too regularly I find myself sat in my lounge on a Saturday rather than taking anglers out after the bass or plaice. It just seems to be our luck that the wind is always blowing just a little bit too much this year. The fish have definitely been keen to get involved when we have managed to get out. Starting inshore the plaice have been good fun on the spinning rods with fish over the 3lb mark coming every trip, not quite hitting 4lb but that can’t be too far away. This type of drift fishing has been hampered by the weather a lot as a light westerly is best, but we seem to always have 15 knots or more to contend with resulting in an unnatural drift speed.

Out on the bass grounds the fishing has been brilliant with most of the fish coming to lures. Plenty of small fish in there of about 2lb heading back for next year and a nice one for the table for everyone that wants one. On the smaller tides tope have provided great sport mixed in with all types of rays, some congers, huss and even the always welcome bonus turbot. I always try to have a shark rod out on a float whilst tope fishing, all the large mackerel flappers going up and down through the tide sets up a pretty handy chum trail.


Shark attack!

A few weeks ago, it was it was clearly well worth a go when the first conger up to the boat was bitten in half by something with big teeth. After a few hours knocking out the tope the clicker screamed off on the shark rod and the lads were rewarded with a nice porbeagle of about 6 feet in length. A good sign for our upcoming shark trips if we can get the weather. On a Shark fishing trip off Dorset we had one thresher and four porbeagles. Smallest was about 70lb and the largest estimated 450lb. The thresher was a two-hour fight and was well re-oxygenated before release.

 Our last wreck trip of the year turned out to be one of the best for cod with one small wreck producing all the fish. Along with ling and congers at anchor I think good fun was had by all.

2020 bookings are up to date for Alderney and Guernsey trips so get booking now.

Call on 07787 375386 to get booked up.

Plymouth: Size Matters: Kevin McKie

We had four days in August fishing at anchor for conger and ling. We boated 202 conger to 54lb
(all returned) and 23 ling to a massive 39lb 8oz and a new boat record for Size Matters!!!

On our best day the lads boated 72 Conger with four over 50lb with the biggest at 54lb and 8 Ling to a massive 39lb 8oz!!! The massive ling of 39lb 8oz was caught by Jason Morgan from Tintern well done to Jason.

Tony McQuillan caught two conger on the same trip over 50lb with the best tipping the scales to 54lb, this was his personal best conger and it was his birthday too.

Sadly, the wreck fishing on the drift with lures and bait is extremely poor, just the odd small pollack and ling showing.

Contact us on Size Matters (Plymouth) 07999628511.


Minehead: John Sherlock

August started with unseasonally high winds causing the boats to lose the first weeks fishing and continued with a few scattered days of high winds. However, when the boats did manage to leave harbour all the summer species were still caught in good numbers. Close to the harbour the ray fishing has been superb with 50+ fish being boated on some days and several bass also being caught, the best being a fish of 7lbs to Steve Dawe fishing on Teddie Boy.

Further afield many huss and tope have been boated with the huss running to double figures and the best tope a superb fish of 51lb.  A new boat record black bream was set with a fantastic specimen of 5lb 10z by Glen Slater. On a 4hour trip aboard Osprey two juniors, Billy and Archie landed cod of 14lb and 9lb. With reports of early cod being caught from the shore further up the channel could this be the start of a good cod season.

 Teddie Boy Charters – 07894 536672 –

Osprey Charters – 07967 362132 –


Paignton: Our Joe-L: Sean Pedley

Weather, weather, and weather, you could say it has been too good and too bad recently! Conditions have been very up and down with windy weeks causing difficulties when we wanted to get offshore, but we have also seen some flat calm days to really enjoy the days at sea.

Luckily we still managed to go ahead with another Devon Sea Fishing Holiday, our second 18 hour Hurd’s Deep trip of the year, several quality charters and the St Peter Port edition of our Channel Islands Fishing Holiday.

Devon Sea Fishing Holiday No 9 for 2019 aboard Our Joe-L and our very own Parkholm Hotel.

A very windy week saw us only steaming offshore to the wrecks on the Thursday when we had some decent amount of pollack and only one ling to 11lb. The rest of the week was all within three miles of the shore species fishing where the best day was ten species plus an octopus, the first one I’ve ever seen on rod and line! Species caught include pollack, thornback ray, bull huss and gurnards.

The Guernsey Fishing Holiday was my second journey across to the islands this year after our successful trip to Alderney was cut short in June. We managed all 4 Days this time and had some brilliant sport fishing! Including the first ever brill caught aboard Our Joe-L followed by the second the drift after, the same thing happened with the first ever chub mackerel too!  The bream fishing was on top form with strings full of fish coming aboard at times but only up to around 2lb 8oz.  At times we struggled to catch bait on feathers as the bream were getting there first! Fishing the banks for flatties was hit and miss though. This was probably because of the small (ish) tides and the time of year but we still managed to catch decent fish each day and had a good morning on turbot and brill before heading back across the channel for the journey home that afternoon. The trip home certainly was one to remember too as we saw bluefin tuna feeding on the surface on two separate occasions and locations.

Having learnt a hell of a lot more this year I am now taking bookings and have put dates aside for two Channel Islands Fishing Holidays in 2020 along with our usual Devon Sea Fishing Holidays and Charters. A big thanks to The Captains in Guernsey and Simerock Guest House in Alderney for accommodating us and of course to fellow skipper John Saunders who was one of a few to be very helpful with sharing a bit of knowledge form his years fishing the islands.

The 18hour Herd’s Deep trip saw some very welcomed decent wreck fishing with most fish above double figures and fighting all the way up from well over 100 meters down! Ling was top fish of the day with more of them than anything else, even pouting! Ling, cod and pollack were all caught on one drift and made for a brilliant photograph!  One angler tried his luck on a bream rig and had a nice one of over 3lb before swapping back to ling. The conditions allowed only a short spell at anchor using nearly all of the 1400ft of rope we carry. Species caught that day included pollack, ling, cod, tub and red gurnard, black bream, bull huss and pouting. No Coley though!

The conger charters have been very productive most of the time with eels up to 65lb released at the side of the boat. The only down-side to the August for me personally is that a lot of our black bream wrecking trips have been changed to inshore due to the weather, so I’ve not managed to get out as much as I’d like to before the Torbay Fishing Festival this September. This festival we have been booked and have fished everyday the weather aloud, every year for the past 20+ years!  Bring on 2019 Festival!

Now Taking bookings for all Trips & Charters throughout Winter 2019/20 sailing from River Dart.

Our Joe-L Charters & Fishing Holidays  Social Media @PaigntonBoat 623 054

 Weymouth: FlamerIV: Colin Penny

The South Coast Angling Club trip.

Angling Trust activist, Reg Phillips and some of his angling friends finally had their annual five-day Angling Break, the first date of which was cancelled in April and re-scheduled for August. Flat fish were the main target species, but several species were caught: turbot, brill, tope, bass, undulate ray, blonde ray, conger, dogfish, mackerel, gurnard, scad etc…

Mike Walker, Eathan Straker and Paul Baxter were all Turbot Virgins when they started but were soon broken in. These guys certainly know how to charm the skipper, they gave me a gift of 20 bags of black and red wine gums, so thanks guys. They should last me for a while.

On another day Reg was the star of the show catching an 8Ib bass along with several turbot and a brill. In the end they got three days on the water and the Flamer IV Catch of the day trophies were won by John Straker with a 4Ib brill, Mervin Rees a 20Ib tope, Reg Phillips with his bass.

Lee Warlow, and members of the Master Baiters SAC from Swansea, enjoyed their two day angling break aboard Flamer IV and caught 22 species over the two days which included turbot, black bream, small eyed and undulate ray, red Gurnard and many more. The guys did well on the first day in breezy and choppy conditions catching black bream, turbot and rays while drift fishing. On the next day the weather was better but they had to be patient as the fish were playing hard to get as we anchored a few reef marks and did some drift fishing.  Flamer IV catch of the day trophies were awarded to Lee Warlow on day one and Zac on day two, they were both pleased with their trophies.

In other news reef and bank fishing continues to be good on Flamer IV with plenty of species being caught.Steve Wells from Worthing caught a 3Ib 12oz black bream which he caught on a flowing trace with a Sakuma size 1/0 hook baited with squid strip.David Hewitt from Suffolk landed his first ever undulate ray which weighed 15Ib on a mark to the East of Weymouth, the ray was returned alive. Ten-year-old James Smith and his dad Colin did well on their first trip.  James stole the limelight with a 6Ib 8oz small eyed ray and a 10Ib 8oz undulate ray, both rays were returned alive.  James won a Flamer IV catch of the day trophy for his efforts.

Contact Colin on 01305 766961Mobile Telephone: 07968 972736

 Tyne and Wear: JFKII Allan Skinner


Some great ling fishing in late summer off the north eastcoast. AlanBlack had a nice ling of 21lbs and Davy Collinson joined in with a fish of 18lbs he also had two more weighing over over 30lbs

Contact Allan on 07808684358 or  0191 2764863




Irish reports

Wicklow: Wicklow Boat Charters: Kit Dunne

There are plenty of bue shark, porgies and tope for Wicklow Boat Charters.

There has been a massive improvement on the Shark front throughout the summer. The sharks were a bit slow early in the season, however, recent trips produced some great numbers and some big fish. One produced seven blues from 70lb to over 100lb. Dublin angler Joey Brady claimed his second Irish specimen blue shark this year with us. Joey had a blue of 193cm followed by another at 185+. There are not many anglers can say they’ve one specimen blue shark let alone two. Another Dublin angler, John Stevenson claimed his specimen blue at 190cm. Among the blues we’ve had many porbeagles, mostly around the 60lb mark but a couple have tipped the 100lb mark, the bottom fishing has produced many haddock, whiting and gurnard but no monsters yet. While the shark fishing has been improving so too has the tope fishing. Recent trips produced great numbers of pack tope between 25 and 35lb, with the occasional 40lb+ fish for good measure. Numbers of pack tope have soured this year while the really big females are due inshore now.

Kit Dunne, Wicklow Boat Charters, +87 6832179

Galway, Ireland: Brazen Hussey2: John Fleming

Late summer here on the west coast of Ireland has been a very frustrating one. Very, very poor weather from the start of August. This put fishing on hold on some days and on others keeping us inshore, which made sharking extremely difficult. We had some nice fish when we did get out at least. Although the catch rates were in lower numbers than usual for August but average size was up. Inshore the fishing was good with nice days on tope and huss along with plenty of pollock, wrasse and most days throwing up three species of gurnard.

Here’s to hoping for a better autumn to come. Fingers crossed at least.

Email.  Phone. 00353(0) 877571320

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