LOCOMOTION SEA ANGLING CLUB
On a Friday, early in June, we all met in Whitby and lowered our gear down to the deck of Chieftain. Further information about Chieftain and her skipper John Brennan can be found by clicking here.
A 36 hour trip consists of about 12 hours spent travelling to the fishing area, 12 hours fishing and moving between marks and, finally, a further 12 hours travelling back to Whitby.
The Friday night outward journey was far from pleasant. Despite the wind of the previous days having dropped, the swell caused by the wind had not abated. Although Chieftain coped well with the swell, the anglers did not. 'Mal de mer' is far from pleasant and, perhaps suprisingly, many boat anglers suffer from it. Some of us were actually sick and most were quite uncomfortable. The swell also made our outward journey somewhat slower than the skipper would have liked.
Fortunately, by dawn the swell had begun to die down and the fishing began before breakfast. By this time we were about 110 miles offshore, about as far north as Berwick. On our first drop most of us were into fish in seconds. For Tim this started with three cod, one on the jigger and two on muppets. By the end of the drifts over the first two wrecks the fish boxes had begun to fill.
Barry fulfilled his main hope of the trip, catching a double-figure cod. It tipped the scales at a very pleasing 16 lb.
The remainder of the morning was less productive as the skipper explored wrecks that Chieftain had not fished before. This is somewhat time-consuming but is part of his plan to have enough marks that he only needs to visit each wreck once a year.
An excellent lunch followed and, since the sea had calmed and the sun was shining, most of us had got our appetites back.
One highlight of the day was provided by mammals rather than fish. A small number of dolphin began to play alongside and under the bow of Chieftain. They were clearly visible as they swam with stunning speed and agility alongside and in front of the boat.
From the pale markings on the sides and the back of the dolphins, I believe that they were white beaked dolphins. These are common in the North Sea.
The beginning of the afternoon was also quite slow as far as fishing was concerned. By mid afternoon however, the skipper put us over a number of productive wrecks and one area of rough ground. The fish boxes began to fill again. The skipper's mate did sterling service, filleting all the gutted fish taken to him.
Chris, the youngest member of the party had a slow start, but then began to catch some very pleasing fish.
In view of the slow middle of the day, the skipper decided to fish a little later than usual. Just before the last wreck we were called to eat again - an excellent roast beef dinner, followed by fruit and ice cream. The last couple of drifts added quite a few more more fish with all ten anglers being 'in' at once.
The journey back to Whitby began with a quiet sea and little wind.
We reached Whitby just in time for the 5:30 a.m. opening of the swing bridge.
The largest fish caught was an 18 lb cod. Several others broke the 10 lb barrier. A few coalfish and ling added to the many cod between 3 and 10 lb. Although no accurate count or weigh-in was taken, the average bag appears to have been between 25 and 30 lb of fillets. I understand this is not a particularly good figure for a 36 hour trip on Chieftain but we had lively sport, good company, tasty food and a pleasing quantity of fish for the freezer.