Going to kick off the 2015 boat fishing series of articles with one about the Rocket out of Poole which in fact was my last trip of 2014.
The Rocket charter and dive boat is big ! plenty of fishing space as you can fish all round the wheelhouse and inside it’s comfortable with all mod cons microwave, cooker, hot water heater for your tea all day, table to eat your sarnies oh and toilet too, total angling luxury in my book.
The Boat is owned and skippered by Trevor Small who is fully qualified and has many years experience fishing that part of the Dorset coastline and as well as being into his fishing he is also a divemaster providing excellent diving charters and the boat is equipped for both fishing and diving. Not only does he know what he’s doing he’s a thoroughly nice guy too with a wicked sense of humor so even if fishing isn’t keeping you amused the skipper will.
All the latest electronics, radio and safety gear on board and fully insured and licensed so all in all a very complete package for angling or diving and it’s fast too with twin Iveco diesels driving the catamaran twin hull design boat.
So all that said what’s the fishing like ? very good in fact I have enjoyed many days out on the Rocket summer and winter fishing. My PB Pollock was taken on that boat a 19+lb fish using a new test seaboom lightweight 1mm rigged with #2 swivels and fishing a short trace with a twin tail 4″/100mm lure and one of my jigheads loaded with a 2/0 hook. Very light rig on test effectively and I hooked into this bad boy while drifting the Rips, a reef out off Poole.
The fish gave a good account of itself and the rod I was using was also on test, a 7’6″ cheapy 12lb class selling for less than £30 and still using it now with plenty of good size fish on it. Reel an old Shakespeare Sigma Series 3:1 multiplier loaded with 30lb braid I do love to fish on the cheap gives me a real buzz landing good sized fish on cheap gear ! It’s a head thingy. Fish in the net and weighed at just around 19.5lbs give or take a few kicks from it.
That day saw plenty of Cod and Pollock being boated all taken on a variety of shads, worms and eel pattern lures. No specific colour stood out as the best to catch so it was more technique of getting down amongst the fish and working the lure. I use two methods to work my lures either touch bottom and hop the rig i.e. lift the rod to full height and slow down again to stay in touch with the seabed. Using this method the lure can swim up and down in effectively 10ft of water so on the drift you cover a good area were the Cod should be feeding.
Other option is using the flying collar rig of Seaboom and longer trace and then reeling up as much as 50 turns to see where the Pollock are feeding as they will be at various depths not necessarily on the bottom. Changing the speeds of wind up and the drop back can induce takes, the key to this is if you feel a take DON’T STRIKE !! just keep winding and keep the rod constant no jerking, make the lure appear as natural as possible and the fish will hook themselves and then run so make sure your reel clutch/drag is set up.
All the anglers that day were well switched on and all caught fish, Skipper likes his food too so in the afternoon the gas BBQ was lit and some cracking hot dog rolls made can’t ask for better than that can you. Other trips have been similar with good mixed fishing either on the drift or at anchor and the area provides plenty of species to hunt winter and summer.
My last trip was a Jolly with Trevor and his brother Martin who is a very competent saltwater fly fishing angler and maker of some excellent saltwater flies. First time I’ve seen saltwater fly fishing to this level and the bug hit, obviously as there were just the three of us on the boat it was safe to fling the flies as I put it and Martin could certainly do that.
I freshwater fly fish for trout on the lakes here in the Cotswolds and know the feeling when you get a take and it runs with your gear, watching and learning from Martin was a good experience. With his flies designed for catching Bass, Pollock, Mackerel and Mullet, he recently tried a new bread flake fly made from goats hair to take some Mullet in Poole harbour and you will see the pictures below, British bone fish must have been great playing them.
So it’s penciled in for a session soon with Martin and Tevor to try out and hone my saltwater skills, shoot some good pics and HD video and show off the techniques used for saltwater fly fishing and of course take some good fish. I’m itching to fly fish just for some mackerel on light fly gear I had one recently over 16″ / 40cms and that went like a train on much heavier gear so the buzz on a fly rod must be great.
That day produced a mixture of fish with whiting the main species and conger following on all on ledgered baits, weather was a tad breezy with a December nip in the air and the winter sun shone during the day. An excellent day out with two very amiable and knowledgeable guys and with recent talks with both skipper Trevor and brother the fly tier Martin about more Jollies only this time I will be armed with my fly rod and having a bash.
The gallery shows the Rocket and some good catch images plus some of my lures we tested and the video was shot on the day I had my PB 19+lb Pollock so you can experience what it’s like to fish on the Rocket charter boat out of Poole. You can book the whole boat or you can do invidual days and fish with other guys, that is always a good learning curve, if you visit the Charterboats web site and search the Rocket you will see his diary, what’s available and how to contact the Skipper Trevor Small.
Video featuring the Rocket angling and dive charter boat out of Poole Dorset.