[BOAT TRIP REPORTS]    [SCOTLAND 2004]    [SUFFOLK 2003]    [IRELAND 2002]    [CHIEFTAIN 2002]



Club member John Dinnewell, living near York, is not able to take part in many of our regular trips. He is, however, a very keen sea angler. Some months ago he arranged to charter Chieftain from Whitby, for a 36 hour trip. He invited other members of the club to join him and some friends on this marathon trip far into the North Sea.

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.

Anglers relaxing aboard Chieftain

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.

A typical fish box after a couple of good marks.

Barry fulfilled his main hope of the trip, catching a double-figure cod. It tipped the scales at a very pleasing 16 lb.

Barry with his 16 lb cod but which has the biggest grin?

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.

A dolphin paces the boat just ahead of the bow.

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.

This dolphin surfaced briefly alongside the bow.

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.

Stan with one of his larger cod.

Chris, the youngest member of the party had a slow start, but then began to catch some very pleasing fish.

Chris showing us one of his best cod.

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.

Shortly before sunset, the Sun dipped behind a bank of cloud, as a lone fulmar skimmed the wave tops.

We reached Whitby just in time for the 5:30 a.m. opening of the swing bridge.

This was our view of Whitby as we completed our long, but smooth, journey home.

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.

[BOAT TRIP REPORTS]    [SCOTLAND 2004]    [SUFFOLK 2003]    [IRELAND 2002]    [CHIEFTAIN 2002]

Locomotion Sea Angling Club