Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Planes & Boats & Fish

The Red Arrows,

It was amusing to note that on a poster in the town announcing "Weymouth Carnival, Red Arrows 16-30 Today, some wag had written underneath; "If Wet in the Pavillion".

People crowding the vantage point of the Nothe.

The Stavros S Niachos
Wild Fronteer


Tub Gurnard

Tony Sibson (Black Bream), Andy Lindsay (Black Bream) & Yours Truely (Black Bream & Brill)

What a fantastic 24 hours? As reported yesterday Andy and Glen arrived late afternoon, so we headed straight for JD Weatherspoon's for a pint and a steak. There we had an unplanned meeting with my old mate Tony Sibson who was paying one of his frequent visits to Weymouth. Tony, as some of you may remember, was British, European and Commonwealth Middleweight boxing champion in the 70's & 80's and won a Lonsdale belt outright in that division. Later he went on to fight Marvelous Marvin Hagler for the undisputted championship of the world. Having put up a gallant performance, he fell to a sixth round technical knockout, but still remains a firm friend of Mr Hagler visiting him almost annually in his adopted home in Italy. Tony took little persuading to come fishing with us today, so at 08-00 this morning we rendezvoused aboard 'Wild Fronter', skippered by Clem Carter, just down from the town bridge. A most glorious day, the sea was like glass and just a gentle breeze as we steamed out of the harbour watching the throng already gathering for the annual Weymouth Carnival. A small 'wager' had been struck before casting off, and it was decided there would be a £5.oo bet by each of us, going to he who caught the biggest fish, and similarly for the most different species. We concentrated our effort on or around the Shambles Bank all day with a steady catch of fish coming aboard. Mackerel, for bait, was the first species landed, but on my next 2 casts I hauled in a Poor Cod followed by a Red Gurnard, the species prize was off to a great start. From that mark we moved a little further south and hit into a few good sized Black Bream and a few Pout Whiting, with my tally reaching 4 species, followed by a very promising sized Bream. The other 2 lads in the boat, not part of the wager, waded in with a Dogfish and a species I don't remember encountering before a Weaver. Slack water, at the top of the tide, was about mid-day so we spent the next 2 hours drifting from the East Shambles Buoy to the WSB picking up both sizable Brill and Turbot. By 16-00 the fishing was over but not before I scored with another first record for me, a Tub Gurnard. With the most species and the biggest fish the Weymouth lad cleared up the dosh as we headed for a much needed Strongbow. Another harbour-side mate of mine sold us 4 lobsters (which Andy and Glen are taking home on Friday) along with all the Bream which are now lying in the freezer. Back at 'Slight Return' I cleaned and cooked 2 dozen scallops, which we ate with the 3 Red Gurnards and a decent size Pout Whiting, helped down with French bread and white wine. Bird wise it had been quiet with just Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls, Fulmar, Gannet, Shag, Cormorant and a fly-over Arctic Skua in the log. We are suppose to be going out again tomorrow in Cobra skippered by Richard English but the weather could still curtail that. As we returned to port, the 2 master Stavros S Niachos lay in Weymouth Roads, The Nothe and Stone Pier were swathed with people and the bay was full of small craft awaiting the arrival of the Red Arrows, who did their stuff as we steamed towards the berth.