News and Gallery
Sept 26 '22 - Bycatch and impact
Time to talk bycatch (things caught apart from our target species). After a year of catching bass commercially, this garfish from last week (in the sun!) is literally the very first other 'thing' we have caught. As scientists and consultants, we've studied the catch profiles of commercial fisheries all around the world, and it makes ours the most selective fishery we've ever seen. It means we can confidently say we have minimal unintended impacts on the wider environment, which is clearly a very good thing!
Sept 19 '22 - Another calm day
Flat calm and sunny! Although a bit chilly first thing - hence the full oilskins.... Moving on, what a spectacular fish the bass is - they'll never be anything other than special!
Sept 18 '22 - We're back!
We've not posted for a while as Rob's had some time away, but we've now had a couple of quick goes back in the water with the great weather this week - the pic shows a near perfect calm! In truth, the bass were a little hard to come by, but it was very good to be out so we're aiming to fish (and post) more regularly again through the autumn as weather allows!
Aug 8 '22 - Fishing Wednesday?
Rob's busy working on another tricky Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) fishery. As such, despite the amazing weather, we're not doing very well at getting out fishing at the moment! Still, we're hoping to create the time for a trip on Wednesday... The tide will be low early on, so, as in the pic, we'll have to creep our way gingerly out of the harbour, but get in touch if you'd like a very fresh bass for your tea and we'll keep our fingers crossed for some success!
July 7 '22 - Finally calmer!
I was going to put some pics up of some fish we caught, but in the rush to get them out of the door this morning I forgot to take any... So, next time! For the moment, then, here's the crazily colourful, pre-dawn view of Hurst Point on our way out - not a bad way to start a day!!!
July 5 '22 - Still breezy
The weather isn't making it easy, but we catch bass as sustainably as it can be done, on lines, one at a time, with zero bycatch. We then get the fish into slush ice as quickly as possible to preserve their quality. We sell locally, but we can also have them delivered within the mainland UK, prepared for the oven, by 24 hour courier. If you'd like to try them, please get in touch!
July 1 '22 - Early start
05:00. Out for the morning, until the wind came up. Difficult fishing but we managed to fill most of the orders - with apologies to those who missed out this time!! The forecast looks more promising for next week, though, so those who missed out will be top of the list! Anyone else - let us know if you'd like a line-caught, deliciously fresh bass and we'll see what we can do next time!
June 23 '22 - Fishing Friday!
We wanted to go today but couldn't because of having our iVMS fitted. And we can't go tomorrow because we have various appointments booked. But we are going to try for Friday - the wind is forecast to be up, but it's when we can go so we'll at least take a look. Let us know if you'd like an absolutely delicious, locally and sustainably line-caught bass for dinner this weekend!
June 22 '22 - iVMS fitted
We had our vessel monitoring system (iVMS) fitted this morning - the little black box is wired into the electrics and tells the authorities exactly when and where we are working. They've been required on vessels >12 m for some years, but not on smaller vessels until now. Some fishermen hate the idea of remote monitoring, but we think it's about time - it will help to better value the grounds we use and will better inform managers of the importance of different areas.
June 15 '22 - Fishing tomorrow!
Nothing for ages then two in a row! The forecast for tomorrow looks great (with thanks to the Met office for the image - look at that lovely big High!) so we're going again tomorrow (Thursday) - let us know if you'd like a sustainably line-caught, super-fresh bass for dinner this weekend! Note - we are happy to post fish in biodegradable / recyclable packaging by 24 hr courier for mainland UK.
June 13 '22 - Spring tides
BIG tides today - here we were drifting at 4.2 knots (SOG - speed over the ground) - that's solid jogging pace! Thankfully, the fish put in an appearance, so we do have some available, locally for delivery or we can post (24 hr courier, in Woolcool biodegradable packaging) within mainland UK, also. Get in touch if you'd like an absolutely delicious, line-caught bass for dinner! Thanks.
June 12 '22 - Crystal clear!
Very clear water the last time we fished - the colours in this pic have not been adjusted - 2 miles out and you could see the sandy bottom! After a week of wind it might be more stirred up now, but in any case we are trying again tomorrow - I'll be in touch with existing customers later today, but please contact us if you'd like a super-fresh, locally line-caught bass and we'll see what we can do!
June 6 '22 - Fishing!
So, we went fishing today, and there were bass!! Unfortunately, only in very small numbers, but it was good to get out and keep at least some customers happy. It's forecast to be as windy or windier for the rest of the week, but we'll keep watching and try to get out again as soon as possible. In the meantime, let us know if you want to be added to the list for a fresh bass and we'll see what we can do! Thanks.
May 4 '22 - Not fishing, currently
Rob is currently buried in work assessing several fisheries globally against the Marine Stewardship Council sustainability standard (the blue tick logo that you will see on some fish products in supermarkets). These MSC assessments are keeping him very busy, and whilst he's also trying very hard to get some fishing time in, opportunity and weather aren't combining at the moment!
We had a quick look down at the beach tonight - it was no evening to be out in a small boat. Sill, complaining about weather doesn't change it, and our time to get offshore will come, so thanks to all our customers for your patience in the meantime.
Apr 28 '22 - Disappointing!
Well, to be honest, that was a bit rubbish! It was properly cold and windy and I left my woolly hat at home! Worse, we covered a fair bit of ground but the fish don't like a stiff easterly breeze, either, so nothing was caught of a size to bring home. So, the boat is back on the driveway, the gear is tidied, and we'll just have to look forward to the next trip!
Apr 13 '22 - Testing!
We had a little trip out just to check that everything is working, and it is (hence my look of vague satisfaction!). We also caught some fish, so it seems that the bass season is upon us! Here's hoping for an opportunity in the near future!
Mar 11 '22 - Preparations!
The weather isn't great and the bass closed season is still upon us, but we are still doing what we can to make sure we're ready for the start when it arrives. Part of that is making sure we comply with all the safety requirements, and that includes having our lifejackets tested. This is an annual requirement, and in that regard we are good to go for 2022 - our lifejackets are back and they're signed off for the year.
Feb 21 '22 - Howling!
Sooooooooooo, we're still not fishing....! In fact, we're very glad Imiloa was home and dry on her trailer this last week!. This is our local beach, looking out towards where we'd be working on better days, but it's just not been the weather even to have a boat in a harbour, let alone at sea. Still, Spring is coming, Winter is nearly done - very much looking forward to it now!
Jan 24 '22 - What a waste!
These photos are from an article in the Telegraph (see Yahoo: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/no-10-fishing-row-foreign-134705680.html). It details the dumping of around 10 tonnes of prime bass by a large vessel working in the Channel, just at the start of their spawning season. 10 t is about 0.5% of the recommended total catch for 2022 from the entirety of the stock, and represents something like 4-5 years of hard work for an inshore vessel like ours, or the opportunity for several small fishing companies to make a living next year. Clearly this was an accident - the vessel was not targeting these fish just to throw them away - but it is a massive waste and we need to do better at fisheries management!
Jan 17 '22 - Season over!?
Well, it was cold, but it was also flat and bright, so it seemed near perfect. But, alas, there were no fish! So, with the mandatory February and March bass closed season fast approaching, Imiloa is probably done fishing for the moment. We might have a go for line-caught cod and pollack if there are some calm days that allow us to get offshore, but otherwise we've got some maintenance and tweaks to do to the boat for next season, and we'll then get on with some fisheries consultancy work!
Thanks very much to all our customers - we've loved providing you with fantastically fresh, sustainably line-caught fish, and have really appreciated your hugely positive feedback. Here's looking forward to next season!
Jan 15 '22 - First day of 2022?
It'll be cold, and I've got no idea what the fishing will be like, but I'm looking forward to this view on Monday - my chartplotter in the early morning gloom, showing me heading out from Keyhaven. Here's to a good day with some fish!
Dec 29 '21 - Wind but also swell
The weather really is pretty poor right now - wind, wind and more wind! But, where we fish, we also have to think about swell. With thanks to magicseaweed.com for the image, here is the swell chart for New Year's eve. The orange blob way out in the deep indicates the swell there will be 20' plus, so pretty big, but even for our area up Channel the forecast is for a 6-8' swell. Where we fish, with tide and shallow water, that translates into nasty, breaking, standing waves - it's no place to be in a small boat. Ho hum - hopefully we'll get out soon. In the meantime, stay safe, all, and have a lovely end to 2021 and start to 2022.
Dec 20 '21 - Cold and windy!
Fishing in winter can be cold and windy - this was the tide rip around Hurst Point on my way home today. Even the fish didn't like it - they were somewhere else!
Dec 16 '21 - Christmas cracker!
It's late in the season but there are still some cracking bass around! Whatever the size, though, we take great care to ensure the quality of our fish is maximised by dispatching them immediately they come aboard and then quickly putting them into flake ice. We then keep the fish ice cold until delivering them to customers, usually on the same day they were caught. We look after them properly because we love hearing that the fish were enjoyed - which they invariably are!!
Dec 13 '21 - Fishing Thursday!
The weather has been really rubbish, recently, but we are now planning on going on Thursday. We can't make promises of bass this late in the season, but we'll try, so let us know if you're interested in a fish or two...!
In the meantime, here's a picture we were sent by one of our fantastic customers, of a couple of larger bass that were cooked for a pre-Christmas family get-together this weekend. They look amazing - kinda wish we'd been invited, actually!
Dec 6 '21 - Still no fishing!
"Red sky in the morning, fishermen's warning..." Apparently there is some basis to this - The Met office says "the red sky appears when dust and small particles are trapped in the atmosphere by high pressure, but seeing it in the morning means the high pressure has passed, most likely making way for a wet and windy low pressure system." And hey presto - it was lovely very first thing but now it's raining and blowing hard - not great for a small boat!
Dec 2 '21 - No fishing!
The long range forecast looks a bit rubbish, to be honest! There aren't any days that look really silly, but then there aren't any days that look alright, either. It basically seems like there'll be a fairly steady progression of poor days for the next week or so. So, we'll keep an eye on what's happening, but we don't think we'll be out fishing for a while. Frankly, it's sad times!
Nov 28 '21 - Competition again?!
We ran a competition on the last fishing day, for three people to each win one of these gorgeous, prepared bass. Entry was based on 'liking and sharing' our Facebook post, and was open to anyone in the mainland UK (as we can send fish in the post - more on that another time!). Lots of people seemed interested, and we had great feedback on the fish when it arrived with the winners. As such, we'll definitely run another competition to win a fish in the not too distant future - keep an eye on our Hurst Point Fisheries Facebook page for updates!
Nov 26 '21 - Good morning!
We had to go a 'fair way' out last time to find the fish.... Tee hee! Aaaaaanyway (moving swiftly on!), with the weather the way it is currently we don't think we'll be seeing this bell buoy marking the start of the Needles Channel for a while, but it makes for a nice picture with the Isle of Wight looming out of the morning mist in the background!
Nov 24 '21 - Fantastic fish!
There were some absolutely beautiful fish out there today - here's a couple (a good 2 kg each) with the gear used to catch them - a simple rod and reel. This approach means we've had literally zero bycatch in the three months since starting, and any undersized bass quickly go back alive to grow bigger - it's a really, really low-impact fishery!
These fish went to two different customers - one a regular with young kids who all love to eat fresh fish, and one who wanted to serve up something special for a family gathering. That's top work all round, people!
Nov 15 '21 - Safety
Safety is paramount aboard Imiloa, so this is just some of the mandatory and optional safety kit taken every time Imiloa goes to sea: a certified self-inflating lifejacket with a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) tucked inside that will keep me afloat and bring help to me, wherever I am, an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) that does more or less the same and is registered to the vessel, a marine VHF radio for calling for help that is also registered to the vessel, and a remote, automatic kill switch for the engine that I carry on a lanyard and will stop the boat in the event I fall overboard. There's lots of other stuff as well (auxiliary engine, flares, compass, first aid kit, etc.) that give peace of mind that I will come home, whatever happens!
Nov 11 '21 - Fish as comfort food
The fishing was tough yesterday - there were very few fish around, it was cold, and the sea was pretty lumpy! But what better way to warm up and cheer up than with a delicious fish pie!?!
I did some digging around in the freezer and found some pollack we had caught on a fun fishing trip in the summer. With that as the base, I added some frozen prawns and a few scallops, threw in some bacon and chorizo, swamped it in a rich, cheesy sauce and topped it with mashed potato and a generous sprinkling of cheddar.
That's proper comfort food, that is!
Nov 9 '21 - Why buy from us?
We fish with a rod and line from a small boat, landing our catch on the day of capture. We believe this is good for several reasons:
1) Our method of fishing is highly selective - we literally catch only our target species.
2) We bring our fish to the boat one-at-a-time, and they are very much alive when they arrive, so if a bass is undersized we can quickly release it to grow some more!
3) Any fish to be kept are dispatched as they come aboard. No fish is left on deck to struggle, and the process is as fast as we can make it.
4) We put our fish into flake ice immediately after capture to preserve their quality.
5) We land all our catch on the day it is caught, so our fish is delivered very fresh to our customers!
Nov 4 '21 - Fishing tomorrow
We're heading out again tomorrow, although the weather doesn't look like it'll be as calm as this! But, irrespective, there are fish around and the fishing is still going quite well, so we hope there will be day-fresh, sustainably line-caught bass available for the weekend - get in touch if you'd like to try one!
Oct 30 '21 - Fishing soon?!
Weather and opportunity haven't combined recently, meaning we haven't been out fishing for ages! Hopefully that'll change this coming week, with Tuesday (2nd Nov) looking like the best day currently. We'll update the website and other social media pages as we know more, but please get in touch anyway if you'd like to go on the list for a delicious, fresh, line-caught bass the next time we do get out.
Oct 21 '21 - Weather and fishing
Fishers spend a lot of time looking at the weather and planning their activities. With thanks to the Met Office, here's the latest surface pressure chart for tomorrow lunchtime.
The windy weather we've experienced recently is reflected in the tight isobars sitting over most of north-western Europe, and you can see we've got more windy weather coming next week as indicated by the big low pressure sitting south of Greenland - that'll track our way in due course....
That nice ridge of high pressure centered in the Bay of Biscay is what I'm looking at for tomorrow, though - here's to good fishing!
Oct 17 '21 - Fishing tomorrow!
The weather has been nice and settled recently but we've had lots of other stuff happening so we haven't been able to get out. Now we can get out, the weather is forecast to take a turn for the worse for what looks like a good few days! Anyway, tomorrow (Monday 18th), we'll give it a try. Get in touch if you'd like a fresh on the day, locally line-caught bass for your dinner, and we'll see what we can do!
UPDATE: The forecast changed late on and the wind filled in earlier than hoped, so I didn't go. Never mind - there's always next time....!
Oct 11 '21 - Fishing
Another early start, but we have no complaints when it's as smooth as this! The fishing was somewhat patchy today, so we tried a few different things, some new marks and different approaches. As a result, we did get some bass in the end, and our customers have ended up happy, so we're happy too!
Please do get in touch if you'd like to be added to the list for a fish or two when we next go out.
Oct 7 '21 - Stock status
At Hurst Point Fisheries Ltd., we're interested in the science, and know that many of our customers are, too. This figure is from the 2021 International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) assessment of the bass stock we target. It shows the effect of management changes made in 2015 to reduce the fishing mortality rate (F - the red line), which dropped and now sits below the rate of maximum sustainable yield (Fmsy - the blue line). This is a good place to be, and means we are not contributing to overfishing!
Oct 1 '21 - Bass available!
We actually managed to get out for a short trip in between the worst of the wind. The fishing wasn't sparkling, and we had to spend a lot of time keeping an eye on the waves and dodging the worst, but there are fresh, line-caught bass available now!
UPDATE: Now all gone, but please get in touch if you'd like to go on the list for a bass the next time we go.
Sept 27 '21 - Autumn weather
We've had a nice, settled spell recently, which has been great for a small fishing boat like ours. But Autumn has now started, apparently....! We're very sorry to disappoint anyone hoping for fresh, line-caught bass but, with thanks to the Met Office for the image, it looks like there won't be any fishing this week.
Sept 25 '21 - Bigger fish
There has been a very consistent size of fish recently - a lot have been in the 42-46 cm range with few larger or smaller; this class of fish makes for a fabulous feed for two, and the slightly larger ones will stretch to four fairly comfortably. We've just started to see some bigger fish coming through, though - this was a nice fish of 2.7kg (6lb) - we hope someone makes a very fine meal with it!
Sept 17 '21 - Early mornings
It certainly doesn't always look like this at sea, but on such mornings it's worth taking a moment to appreciate being outside in the open air - what a start to a day.
Sept 17 '21 - Our fish
The current run of line-caught fish are averaging just under 1 kg. These ones are iced and ready to go to market - they make a sumptuous meal for two!
Aug '21 - Registered food business
Hurst Point Fisheries Ltd. was inspected by one of the Council's Environmental Health Officers at the end of August 2021. We're pleased to note that the company is now a registered food business!
Aug '21 - Freshness guaranteed
As part of our commitment to ensuring our fish is supplied at its very best, for 2021 we have invested in new 70l Inkapallets insulated fish boxes and a Scotsman flake ice maker. This means we can chill the catch down immediately after capture to maximise freshness and quality.
Aug '21 - Imiloa refit
In preparation for the 2021 fishing season, Imiloa was pulled out of the water and given a refit. This included fitting a completely new electrical system, replacing the steering and keel band and giving her a fresh coat of paint - she's ready to go!
July '21 - Starting!
Hurst Point Fisheries Ltd is a new venture for the Blyth-Skyrmes. We've spent our entire professional careers working on marine issues, so a fishing company was a natural step. We're based on the southern edge of the New Forest, working Imiloa from Keyhaven, so please get in touch or give us a wave as we're out and about.