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Discussion Starter #1
Myself and Quest II co-owners, Malcolm and Paul, headed off mid channel yesterday after a very lazy start we were underway by about 09:00 and pointing more or less due South 25 miles to our first mark.
A gorgeous morning with light Force 2 to 3 breezes saw only a very slight sea and a minimial bouncing as we crossed the race a Portland.

The lazy start was for us to use the tide to our advantage and give us an extra knot or two up the rear end. This was important, Quest II, the poor old girl, has hardly been out since the Summer and was rather scabby underneath, but with the extra tide we still managed a 14 to 15 knot cruising speed comfortably.

Our mornings wrecks had been chosen to still fall inside Poole Bay club waters and then we were to use the slack tide tio head off to the car park of charter boats some distance to the West to fish the flood tide to get us home.
I was using the day to test some new gear, both of which now have reviews on the WSF reviews page.
1) A stunningly built, by hand, rod from Alba rods. http://www.alba-rods.co.uk
StanM on WSF is Alba rods and builds these incredible works of art for the same sort of money as a top end off the shelf product. The rod I was trying is still in it's prototype stages and it was set up to try and be as much of an allrounder as possible. This little girl carries an IGFA 6lb class rating, but it has immense back bone and in "our speak" I would give it a UK rating of 12lb to 16lb class. Stunningly put together I have been pretty objective in my review and offered tips for anyone who maybe looking to treat themselves to something ever so special themselves.
2) Matched with the new rod was a tiny little Avet SX reel.
This baby lever drag offers incredible levels of power in something that is 5500 to 6000 size. Again it really is a little work of art and again the review I have written of it is totally objective.

Back to the fishing.
It was close to 11:00 by the time I backed the engine off and the first of our wrecks loomed up on the zoom setting of the fish finder.
On the zoom feature of a C120 she looked huge, but in reality she only stood some 12 feet off the seabed. Still, plenty of fish seemed to be showing tucked in behind so after calculating our drift I headed 150metres or so uptide, pointed Quest II north and cut the engine.
Drift speed was perfect, we drifted the wreck, nothing. We headed up a further 5 times to drift over the rusting hulk and eventually Paul managed one small Pollack of about 5lb so rather than flog a dead horse we headed a further 3 miles South to a "dead cert"....

....good friend and possibly the countries best charter skipper Chris Caines with a full crew on board "Tiger Lily" were already over the mark so we guessed we were on the money (if he is there then the fish are too!), but as I backed off the engine and settled in for our first drift, he rather despondently waved, started his engine and began steaming North West to the "car park".

"Oh" I thought:unsure:, "doesn't look like this was a wise move after all."
However we still had a couple of hours of ebb tide behind us, 12 miles to steam if we were to fish the car park too and we had come some 28 miles so we thought we'd give it a bash.
First drift and I missed the main bulk of the wreck just skimming down what appeared to be the bow section. Next drift was spot on and we all hit fish just as what I guess was the accommodation block came onto the sounder. Rising some 30 feet above the seabed she seemed full of fish with soundings showing a further 30 feet off her highest point. We each had different lures on. Paul was on a bright orange 6" shad, Malcolm on a very well used red gill and I was using a Berkley "Gulp" fire tail jelly worm. All of us were fishing typical flying collar rigs and it didn't seem to matter what you put down, for a few drifts the fish were simply "avin it".

Initially we were catching small fish in the five to nine pounds bracket. They were all coming just in front and immediately on top of the wreck, but as the tide began to ease a fraction we managed to time it that we missed the smaller fish to drop in tight behind the wreck where I knew the big late winter fish would be hiding.
No monsters, but a succession of fish in the 12lb to 16lb bracket found there way into the landing net. The pictures of fish below are actually to try and show the rod and reel off, but in the net is my biggest of the day at an ounce or two short of 16lb and the one with me holding aloft came in at 14lb 8oz.

After we had a dozen or so fish between us the tide began to ease. It was incredible to watch, but in the space of one drift the whole shoal of large fish that were showing on the fish finder tight behind the wreck moved on mass to in front of the wreck. A the same time they switched off the feed like a clock. I can only assume that they were preparing themselves for the forthcoming flood tide?
One more drift showed all we were to catch now was to be pout so we began a steady steam West to join the melay....

...As we approached the "car park" we could see dozens and dozens of boats in the distance. A few were dotted about individually, but I counted a total of 8 pairs that appeared to be fishing in perfect tandem. As we got within a couple of miles you could clearly see what was going on. Working around the wrecks were 8 separate sets of pair trawlers :schmoll: . I've never seen anything like it they were simply carving their way through everything and working the whole area.
In amongst these sea bed destroyers were quite a number of charter boats from both the Weymouth and Exmouth fleets. We headed a little way past the bundle of boats to fish our own wreck. It soon became clear why nobody else was on it. There were no fish either!
The tide had just turned so at about 15:00 we headed East with it shoving us along at up to 17.5 knots cruising (fast for Quest II and my tight fisted RPM control) to fish a couple of wrecks on the way home. By this time the weather had changed and was getting decidedly breezy with a stiff Force 5 and very chilly bite to it. Our hearts were no longer in it and a few half hearted takes from fish didn't see any in the net so we headed on into Weymouth running tight with Tiger Lily once again.

The charter boats faired a little better than us by all accounts.
Talks of 50 or so fish seemed to be the average for full charter crews. The three of us had a dozen or so to about 16lb, but our morning had been very short and our afternoon little more than a tour of the English Channel.
Hard work, hard fishing with an OK result, but simply great to get back out on the water!!!

Tom

PS: Can someone tell me how to get the pictures to appear in the text rather than as thumbnails below.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Karl

If you pardon the punn, it's a different kettle of fish in the Summer.
Wrecks usually fish right through all the tides (quiet at slack), but with different size classes and species feeding at different times.

Winter wrecking here can be amongst the best in the country.... if you truly know what you are doing.

I am little more than a grockel who keeps his boat in Weymouth and learn a bit more each time out. I like to do my own thing and refuse to simply tail a charter boat, which I am fairly sure I could do withoutthem getting too upset.
When we have a great day it is soooo satisfying, the downside of not tailing the fleet is that when our day is average it is tough! But then that is fishing and simply great just being on the water.
Tom
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Good report Tom, just a shame there were not more fish. You had a few nice ones though and I bet it felt good just to be on the water again. It will be my turn soon, cant wait!
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Good to see you getting out, looks like a summers day compared to what we have had for ages now:uhuh:
Sean,
Beautiful in the morning Sean, but by about 15:30 / 16:00 it was decidedly chilly and blowing a 5
 

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Great report Tom and you found a wreck with some fish left. Yay.

I've only been booked on 6 charter wrecking trips ever. The first one perfect I had cod to 26lb and nothing under 10lb and Ling 10-15lb.

Then the second trip ... called off due to bad weather

Third trip ... spent the day approaching wrecks and spotting netters laying gear around them.. eventually found an inshore wreck which gave some small pollack for the last hour of the trip. (One wreck we dropped on yielded nothing but a 20lb turbot! but not for me sadly)

Fourth and Fifth ... called off due to bad weather

Sixth trip.... no wreck fish

Trip one was about ten years ago and I would love to have a repeat again but doesn't sound like it'll happen if the wrecks are targetted as heavy as you mention in your report. The last trip I was on the skipper mentioned one commercial had actually invested in commercial jigging gear/machine to target the wrecks this year.
 

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i was out wednesday and thursday too with lyle, we did very well also, plenty of pollack and a few big ling to go with
 
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Discussion Starter #11
i was out wednesday and thursday too with lyle, we did very well also, plenty of pollack and a few big ling to go with
Were the Ling taking fish baits or a bycatch on the lures?
I thought about dropping down some meat, but didn't bother in the end.

Another month and the Ling will be thick on certain wrecks.
 
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