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Sixteen of us made our way to Weymouth on Thursday 3rd September with both beach and boat fishing in mind. The group consisted of the following people. Rob (proprietor of Porters Tackle), Peter (our driver), Manny (bait supplier extraordinaire and king of the rotten bottom), Mel (drain blocker), Al (the rudest man Manny has ever met), Maurice (Al's mate), me ("fat" according to Manny), Spencer (dirty boy), Mick (Uncle Fester), Phil (born to fish, forced to work) Darren (train wrecker), Josh (train wreckers apprentice), Martin ( laughing boy) and Gary (shocked by our behaviour).

We arrived at 10 o clock and once we had settled in we went to the breakwater to start our species hunt. We had been told by Phil that we had to catch at least 16 species between us over the few days we were there. We started off well catching a variety of species including various wrasse, mackerel, pollack and garfish plus other mini species.

Next day, I was out in the boat Top Cat, skippered by Ivan, with most of the lads, while Phil, Mick, Martin and Gary went to Church Ope Cove. The wind was horrendous so we had a species hunt in the lee of Portland. We drifted and anchored over various types of ground and steadily racked up the species, nothing of any great size, but there wasn't much we could do with the howling gale that was blowing. To make things a little more interesting, Ivan was keeping score with his points for species and numbers system and we all put a quid in just for a bit of fun. Top man was Peter, who beat me by four points (oh for one more doggy) and third was Mel. Prettiest fish was the baby bullhuss caught by Manny and I had a female cuckoo wrasse which was a new species for me.

We got back into find that the others hadn't done all that well, but had managed a few more species. Phil was handicapped by having his beach rods and tripod loaded onto the boat by mistake that morning and he didn't want to use my gear without my permission. I told him he should have. He did at least have a spinning rod and 6 piece rod to use and he had the sense to use my tripod.

Next day I swapped with Martin, who went out on the boat with the others to go after better fish, as the wind had dropped and went to the wreck at Chesil Beach with Phil, Mick and Gary. We had a fairly stiff westerly in our faces and weed was a bit on and off, but things weren't too bad apart from the fishing which was pretty poor to be honest. I managed nine fish, including pouting, poor cod, schoolie bass, dogfish and a red mullet which was another new species for me and another one to add to the tally. Mick had a pollack, Phil a pouting and Gary blanked, although he did improve his casting after a quick lesson from Phil.Top rig for me on the day was a Bomber rig with 3/0 circle hooks stuffed into a D-gripper, which went out really well into the breeze.

We got back to the harbour to find that the other guys had done really well, with a 25lb conger for Maurice, a 12lb plus turbot for Al and a 6lb plus brill and near 4lb bream for Manny. Plenty of smaller turbot were caught andeveybody was happy.

Now that the fishing was over, we added up the species and it turned out that we had managed 24 species, so we seriously exceeded our target.

There was only one bad thing that happened during the trip and that was on the first night which started off with Peter getting served a dodgy, cloudy pint of beer and getting a frosty reception when he returned it. They decided to eat at the same establishment and Manny was served up the most disgusting meal ever made. It was a chilli con carne and it tasted like it someone had emptied and entire packet of salt into it. Again complaints were made to another frosty reception, but they never recieved the money for it. It turned out, according the locals we talked to, that the place is one of the worst places to go in Weymouth. I won't name it directly but it's namesake once slayed a dragon, supposedly.

The after fishing drinking went well, with various people making fools of themselves and all this has been captured on video by Manny, plus lots of fish Photos. He's a bit busy at the moment, so it may be a little while before the photos appear along with the youtube links.

All in all a great weekend and we are already planning next years event, which will hopefully see Phil on the boat, which is entertainment in itself.
 

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sailors return good for a beer, finns good for a late nite out, good live music too.
 

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I'm now full recovered (thanks for asking !!)

I would not wish swine flu on my worst enemies - its a horrible condition and takes a long time to recover from.
 
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