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Charter Boat - Optimist | Published by: Nigel Lihou | Skipper of: Optimist
Member of: The Professional Boatmans Association

Image of the charter boat Optimist
Image of charter boat skipper Nigel Lihou

Nigel Lihou

Boat Details

TypeOffshore 32
Power400hp Turbo Diesel
LicenceMCA 60 Miles
Pax10 + 2

Skipper Details

SkipperNigel Lihou
Address 47 Lichfield Drive
Town Brixham
County Devon
Post Code TQ5 8DG
Phone01803 882623
Mobile07817 136505
About Optimist   'Blog' Last Updated 2nd Jun 2017 at 9:55 am

 Offshore 32

• Powered by a 400hp Iveco Engine
• Large deck area for maximum fishing space
• Moored at Brixham, Torbay, South Devon
• 60 mile code of practice
• All safety equipment and up to date electronics
- Hot Drinks available

Some of the Trips we do: -
• Bespoke Charters
• Wreck Fishing
• Skerries Bank fishing

Optimist Charters offers a variety of Fishing trips from 2 hours Mackerel fishing to half and full day Wreck, Bank or reef fishing to 3, 4 or 5 day Channel Island Trips

For further information on our fishing trips please visit our other website: -
• Mackerel Fishing
• Bay Cruises
• Wildlife Watching: - We offer a variety of trips in Torbay and the surrounding area and can if so required employ the services of a local wildlife guide, whose vast knowledge can enhance your trip.

NEW FOR the winter of 2016/17 Bird watching trips around Torbay, Following on from the successful PELAGIC BIRDWATCHING TRIPS in 2016 we now offer more of these in 2017 see our website: -

• Dive Charters
• Survey Work
• Workboat Duties including filming see our website: -

Optimist charters are based in Brixham but offer customers a personalised package tailored to their needs. Given our fantastic location and knowledge we have a wide selection of wrecks, reefs and sandbanks, within an hour's steaming and can fish mid channel. We also have strong links in the channel Islands meaning we can also offer 3, 4 or 5 day bookings where we can fish the reefs and banks around Guernsey and Alderney. We can operate out of our home port Brixham or can pick you up in Paignton, Torquay or Dartmouth and Tide permitting Babbacombe or Teignmouth.

About the Skipper:
Our friendly skipper Nigel, has been fishing for over 40 years and was brought up in Guernsey before moving to the UK in his 20's. Since then he has continued fishing (much to the frustration of his wife) and has skippered many boats over the years and is very experienced. Nigel holds Qualifications from both the M.C.A. and the R.Y.A.

Optimist offer's a service from Brixham and Torbay, our charters are planned to your requirements and nothing is too much trouble (we can even arrange bacon sandwiches early morning, or pasties lunch time on day long trips, so really do have you in mind...)
Nigel and his crew have an extensive knowledge of the area and are happy to help out the complete novice or provide a service for the more experienced fisherman.

We look forward to catching some good fish with you soon.

Member Of:
• Professional Boatman's Association (PBA)
• R.Y.A. Instructor
• R.N.L.I. Coastal Safety Advisor (Torbay Team)



  Skippers Blog


Blog image  Fishing has been good at the moment, with some nice fish on the Banks, Plaice and Ray of reasonable size and quantity. The Mackerel although late again this year have started to show but not in quantity and are sometimes few and far between. The wrecks have been producing some nice table sized Pollack but we have yet to see a double figure one this year. Rough ground has seen catches of Wrasse and some good sized Bull Huss. We look forward to welcoming you aboard for some good fishing with plenty of individual spaces available.

Although Optimist is out of the water for two weeks it doesn’t stop me getting out with friends for a bit of fishing in between the job list to be done. The Skerries are still producing well with good sizes of Ray, Blonde, Small eyed, Spotted and Thornback with smooth hound the odd Plaice and some good size Whiting there are still a good variety of fish about.

On the wrecks we have been seeing a fair amount of Pollack nothing of vast size but in the 3lb to 6lb range which is nice for those who would like one for the table.

Bookings are trickling in for 2017 so if you have a particular date in mind check the tides and give us a call we will do our best to put you on the fish.

For those of you more interested in watching our wildlife than catching fish we are now running regular bird and wildlife watching trips on Sunday mornings with a local accredited guide, but these do book up fast so best to give us a call, Optimist is still available for charter in the afternoon and for full days Monday to Saturday.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard in 2017.


 October 2016

First of all an apology as I haven't let you know what Optimist has been up to for the last few months but things have been a bit hectic.
Fish has been steady on the Skerries with a good species count on most trips, the Plaice are still around and getting plumper with the usual appearance of a Ray or two aboard on most trips mainly Blondes although we have had spotted, small eyed and thornback aboard (not all at once). The Gurnards appear with good regularity and mackerel seem more prolific on the banks than where they normally are around the headlands we have only seen one Garfish so far this year and quite a small one at that. Turbot and Brill have both been boated over the last couple of months with the biggest about 5lb and on the last trip out we managed a first for Optimist with a small starry smooth hound also on the same trip it was great to bring a Bass aboard a rare occurrence this year although we nearly lost it as it spat the hook in the net.
We continue to monitor the wreck situation which has been dire all year with very few decent fish, mainly pouting and small Pollack, but the sounder has been showing large balls of bait fish very close to the wrecks not good if you are trying to attract a fish with a plastic lure.
We will continue to be afloat for the majority of the winter and hope that the weather is a little kinder than last winter
Don't for get to give us a call if you fancy some good fishing

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Kevin with a 1lb 8oz Skerries Starry Smooth Hound

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Anton with a 2lb 12oz Skerries Bass

 Fish over the last month: -

The Skerries are still producing some good fish along with the Plaice and Ray's we are seeing Turbot and Brill and even the Gurnards have started to appear. Out on the wrecks things are a bit hit and miss at the moment with Pollock still around but smaller in size and quantity we have also seen Ling and pout although no Bass yet but due to the regulations we have not as yet been targeting them. Inshore things are much as they have been for most of the year with mackerel still scarce and very tide dependant. We still have plenty availability for the rest of the year with some good fishing out Brixham

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Les from East London 9lb 14oz Ling

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Andy Rudd from Chelmsford 9lb 14oz Blonde

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Del Boy from london 7lb 12oz Bull Huss

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Some Happy Anglers

 Plenty of Fish

Some really good fishing at the moment, the inshore wrecks are producing some lovely Pollack around the 5lb mark and the last trip produced 4 or 5 on every drift in near perfect conditions (wish it was like that every day) see the photos. The skerries are fishing well too with Plaice, Brill and Turbot among the species being caught along with some very nice Rays Why not join us for a day out and some good fishing aboard Optimist

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Tony Holmes with a nice Pollack

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Father and son, Richard and Gary with a nice pair of Pollack

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Tony with a nice Pollack

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Happy Anglers

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Happy Anglers

 April 5th,

A great days fishing on the Skerries Bank with a variety of species coming aboard and as usual a few surprises. There were Plaice although not plentiful they were still of a reasonable size, Blonde Ray made an appearance with the usual fight to get it aboard. We also had Launce for bait on the banks edge with Herring and Silver Whiting. The biggest surprise of the day was line caught Spider crab of a good size brought aboard by Matt Crisp from the midlands not once, not twice but three times the third one returned as it was a berried hen he now proudly boasts the title of "Spiderman" Once again the Skerries Bank produces a great days fishing with a twist, sadly towards the end of the session the wind gained in strength and made the last hour rather uncomfortable but due to its direction made for a speedy ride home. Why not join us for the day and be the one to boat yet another surprise species that is all in a day's fishing on Optimis

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Matt Crisp with the first of three Spider Crabs

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Matt Crisp with a 10lb Blonde Ray

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Tackle Shop Graham's Blonde

 Winter Fishing

Optimist has remained afloat during the stormy winter months, grabbing the small windows in the weather to get out and on the fish, these have generally been midweek as most weekends have seen winds of force 4 - 6 and above making the opportunities to get out very slim. When we have managed to dodge the weather we have found Pollack on the wrecks when we have managed to get through the Whiting which have been there in large quantities and of reasonable size. The Skerries is still producing Rays with a few Plaice and there is some good fishing to be had with a drift on the Skerries. The inshore marks and reefs are catching well with Bull Huss, Conger, the inevitable Dog fish and Whiting which seem to be everywhere at this time of year. Optimist still has a few available spaces for the summer of 2016 and is looking forward to catching some good fish contact us for further information. .


  06/Sept/2015. Some excellent fishing over the last few days on the Skerries Banks.
We have been Spot on with the rays as evidenced with the photos and also hitting the plaice with a smattering of Gurnards and Dogfish but it's been the rays that have provided the sport all returned to fight another day. Our local tackle shop owner Graham managed a decent Blonde earlier in the week and the Skipper although confessing to not really trying was Spot on with an 11lb Blonde ray followed by another and an Undulate Ray (sorry no photo) and yet another Blonde on the surface before the trace snapped. The Wrecks are still a bit quiet but with some spectacular fishing on the Banks we are certainly bringing the fish aboard and keeping the customers happy and thanks for the text's "Thank you for your boat trip today. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience on your friendly boat. Will definitely book again. Cheers" We have more trips planned, we would love to welcome you aboard to enjoy some 'spot on' fishing with a knowledgeable crew.
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Waynes Plaice 1lb

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Dominic's Blonde 6lb 4oz

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Tackle Shop Graham's Blonde

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Tony's Plaice

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The Skipper's Blonde 11lb


Another fantastic session on the Skerries Bank with more than enough plaice many released to come back another day, also Ray Spotted's up to 4lb 11oz and a Blonde to the boat estimated at between 15-20lb as it bit the trace just as we were lifting it, also Gurnards (Red and Tub), Launce, Mackerel.

Also now Pelagic Bird watching trips see our website Many Shearwaters, Manx and Balearic, seen as well as Gannets, Terns, Guillemots, Razorbills, Gulls of many types and Common Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise. All seen on the last two trips with our experienced guide.


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Nathan from Swansea 3lb Spotted Ray

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Cai from Swansea 4lb 11oz Spotted Ray

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Ceri from Swansea 4lb 3oz Spotted Ray

 1st weekend in August

Lovely three days on the Skerries Bank with lots of fish, species included Plaice, Dab, Launce, Mackerel, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Silver Whiting, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Spotted Ray, Small Eyed Ray. The variety of fish and the sport provided some really good fishing with the banks producing the best fish at the moment. More trips planned in the coming weeks with the promise of some good fishing

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Anton 8lb 6oz Spotted Ray

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Shay 2lb 10oz Small-Eyed Ray

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Anton 4lb 14oz Spotted Ray

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Harry 1lb 2oz Dab

 Sorry folks that I am a bit sporadic with updates on what Optimist has been up to this year
But things have been a bit hectic on the home front. Anyhow here's a resume of what's been fishing: - several trips to the Skerries this year have produced some very nice fish with Plaice up to 3lb and the usual mix of Gurnards, Whiting and mackerel even the appearance of the odd Cod over the dips, there has been some very good fishing on the bank this year so far depending on what is being targeted. Half days have mainly been on the inshore wrecks with a large amount of Pouting and a handful of Pollack up to about 6lb and some very good sized Whiting but on the whole not as productive as the Skerries but certainly some good sport. Mackerel as yet have been few and although catches have been reported from the shore we have been struggling from the boat.
Having already apologised for lack of reports I thought as we spent 3 days in Alderney last week I had better write an update. A good trip across to Alderney via the SW Casquets Bank where we had some good sized Turbot and Brill with some Tope reaching the surface only to snap the anglers trace as it was not strong enough the biggest Turbot of the day was sadly lost due to crossed lines and braid severing the trace. Day 2 filled up with bait fish just outside Braye harbour even a small Bass put in an appearance on feathers it was then of to the Banc de la Schole with some good Turbot and Brill and even managing to boat a small Tope there was also a mix of Gurnards and Mackerel, returning to a mark outside the harbour there was some very large Scad and Mackerel. Day 3 brought NW winds of force 4 - 5 some fishing was not good but tucked up in the SSE Casquets bank proved very unproductive with just a handful of Gurnards the sounder showed why as the bottom was very stirred up and the next day we found out a pair of French trawlers had been down the bank the night before cleaning it of Fish. Homeward bound was a bit of a rollercoaster but all safe and sound
Trips are planned and spaces available for Skerries and Wrecks just call for details and as always we are available for charter for what you want to fish for at competitive rates.
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Joe Cox and 2lb Brill

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8lb Turbot Joe Cox

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3lb Tope Rob

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3oz Launce

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Grandad Scad with Joe Cox