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Steep Learning Curve

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A phone call last week from Dave Wilson,Dogfish Dave the manager from Cobbs Quay bought a smile to my face. His usual top team of anglers from Cobbs were on holiday or busy, so could not join his team to fish in an annual species competition for the Poole Chater fleet, and most of the England boat squad to practice and look for selection, along with many other well respected and well known anglers.

Well out of my league but a very kind invitation and I knew I would learn lots.


Our boat which we were drawn on was Ocean Runner skippered by Ryan a really enthusiastic young skipper who could not of tried harder for us on the day. The other team of 4 on the boat for the day were from IOW and Brighton and obviously serious match anglers, there boxes of rigs were unbelievable!!!!

Our team comprised of Dave, Neil Sturt,Kev Cousins and myself, with some cracking bait supplied by MDL and flat seas we headed out to a bank to fish for rays. Things were slow to start with but by a miracle I managed to put the first fish on the boat, a small blonde which settled my nerves a bit! Kev followed with a doggie, every type of fish counted for either 1 or 2 points and the first thing was to try and beat the other team on the boat. The other team were using very long continental boat match rods, something I hadn't seen before but soon learnt why they used them. After about an hour around slack we tried a few drifts on The Sadler but things were still slow. Odd fish coming on board for both teams but with a fair amount of weed in the water Ryan decided off to the Patch to look for some mini species.

Both teams managed to get up to around 9-10 species after an hour at the Patch and we were pretty even, a short stop at Lobster Rock prouduced nothing and Ryan was really pulling out all the stops to try and put us on fish. Off to the secret Ray mark which for the first 30-40 minutes was also very quiet, then Dave had a Smoothound way back off the stern. Neil and I were both up nearer the cabin and struggled a bit with shorter rods how the boat was sitting in the tide, well our excuse anyway!!! Kev had a nice Undie around 12lbs I think and pretty much next drop had a Turbot !!!!! Top man!


While this was happening the other team were creeping up and overtaking us buy 3-4 fish then 4-5, they were using very set tactics and had one angler fishing solely for a Mackerel and Garfish all day! It took him all day but he succeeded in the end. We were just not getting the luck/roll of the dice, or were the other team just better anglers?


We moved to the chain ferry to look for a bass and a pollock, with 15 minutes to go, the other team had a member fishing 3 baited feathers off the stern and within five minutes had caught a bass and a pollock!!


5 minutes to go, off to the Castle, I hooked a Pollock before time up and landed it as our last species.


After adding up species and numbers I THINK we had 16 species opposition had 22, we had 26 points they had 36.


Quick scrub up and followed Neal to somewhere in Poole!!! for the prize giving and a beer and some food.


Winners were the other team on our boat!! I THINK we were about half way ish down the teams of around 25-26 teams.


It was a great experience and a big thankyou to Dave for inviting me and the other members of our team for helping me on the day.


If any one is looking for a charter boat to try, you would be hard pressed to find a more helpful, enthusiastic, nice skipper who made a damn good cup of tea!


Another day they cannot take away from the memory

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Thanks Jerry for the report.


A big thank you to Dave Wilson and MDL for sponsoring the day. Thanks to Kev for the piss taking all day and well done Jerry on your first competition 


A well deserved recommendation for Ryan the skipper of Ocean Runner - who I am sure will very soon be making his mark as one of Poole's top Charter Skippers. A great boat and I am sure that when he gets his new toy he will seriously challenge the rest of the fleet. 


Cheers  - Neal

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A great report Jerry many thanks for the support. It was a superb day and was just great to fish with new like minded team members.  Have to say I found it hard going just one of those days. Ryan was joint top skipper along John Stevens the winning team was also on our boat with our 26 points and the 36 they got Ryan received what he deserved top skipper. A big thanks to Neil, Kev and Jerry for giving up a work day to go fishing, will be doing more of this sort of thing to thank the boats that support the marina with our comps.  One thing I am thinking of, is for MDL to hire two commercial boats Ryan will be one of them, putting 8 anglers on each who have boats in the marina and just having a day out fishing as a  group of berth holders who enjoy fishing. If I have the take up I will organise this, let me know if interested.     

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