The Reinvention of Whitby.
Britain's consistent number one charter fishing port. Quite an accolade, and quite a bold claim to make which takes some pretty strong backing up. I can think of a few venues that would most certainly be in the running, and right up there with them would have to be the North Sea port Whitby. I'm confident that few boat anglers would seriously argue with that. But, even a venue worthy of that level of status is not immune to its ups and downs on occasions as has happened in the past. The trick is in Whitby's case, that in climbing back up after one such a blip, it has completely re-invented itself in the process to the extent that anglers who fished it back in its halcyon days of the late 1970's through to the early 1990's would barely recognise the fishing in terms of approach. Tactically, it has had a total face lift, and one of the main architects here has been 'Sea Otter 2' skipper Paul Kilpatrick.
I remember fishing Whitby in the days when angling cobbles left the harbour here, and for that matter most other ports along the Yorkshire coast, loaded up with sacks of fresh mussels which the skipper would be relentlessly shelling for bait throughout the day. Long drifts over hard ground with bait were the order of the day back in those early years. Then the offshore wreck fishing exploded onto the scene with jiggers and muppets replacing bait, and huge Cod and Ling hauls, including records, replacing the more mundane catches on the mussel closer in. As a result, Whitby became a place of pilgrimage and rightly so as it added the Coalfish record to the Cod and Ling titles it had already claimed, and life in that corner of the North Sea had never looked more rosy.
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