MEET THE TEAM
"Fish for your fridge, not your freezer!"
Skipper of San Gina II
Director and Owner of Swanage Sea Fishing Limited
I moved to Swanage from Surrey when I was eight years old and at that time I’d only done freshwater fishing with my dad and grandad. Once I discovered sea fishing, I never wanted to leave Swanage. I then trialled for the England Junior Under 18s Angling Team.
Since the age of 13, I had been working on San Gina during school holidays and at weekends, then I bought my first boat (San Gina) when I was 16. I couldn’t fully skipper the boat until I could take my skipper qualifications at 18, so the boat’s former owner, Gerry Randall, stayed on and skippered for me.
Over the years I have been fortunate to expand Swanage Sea Fishing, buying a second boat in 2006, San Gina II, and Three Wishes in 2019.
I thoroughly enjoy welcoming newcomers who have never fished before, particularly kids and teaching them how to fillet and gut fish as well as learning about where the fish they’ve caught have come from. I also get a huge buzz from seeing seasonal anglers catch a personal best. It’s great to witness their joy.
"No one day is the same, there’s always new stories and people to talk to. You’re out at sea, doing what you love in the best office in the world!”
Swanage Sea Fishing is now very much a family business. Me and my wife Charlotte married in 2013, and have since had two wonderful boys, Lawrence (5) and Oatis (3), both full of energy and enthusiasm for being outside, on the beach and most importantly out at sea.
In the spare time that I have, I am a committed volunteer at Swanage Lifeboat Station. I joined in 2000 and now serve as 2nd Coxswain and Assistant Mechanic. The crew are like my second family, and again, all the time spent training and on lifeboat shouts with them, is a privilege.
Doug (Captain Jack) has been fishing for as long as he can remember, regularly spending time with his parents fishing the canal and River Avon. At age 13, his dad bought his first boat so they could fish from Swanage on holidays and spare weekends.
"I really enjoy being a skipper for Swanage Sea Fishing because you get to meet new people and catch up with old faces that have been coming for years. I know of twins who were only 6 years old on their first trip out with me, and that was 14 years ago. They still come out now, with the rest of their family, and it's always a pleasure to see them."
Doug first met Tom when he was a young teenager at the local fishing club. At that time he was winning all the junior trophies, however his 6-year old daughter, Gemma, came along and gave him a run for his money, making sure there was at least one trophy he never got his hands on! This led to a great friendship, more like family. Doug's son Davey, has also helped out on the boat and in the angling shop, so fishing runs in the family.
Tom asked Doug to skipper San Gina in 2007, but living in Wilshire at the time meant spending the summers living onboard the boat. For 12 years he did this, and we are forever thankful, and then 2 years ago they fulfilled their dream, and moved to Swanage permanently. He says "It's nice to have a shower now without boiling the kettle, although I do sometimes miss being rocked to sleep."
"I just love being out on the water and it's always nice to catch something fresh for tea. I also enjoy passing on my knowledge onto new anglers, and its wonderful to see smiles all round, when someone catches their first fish."
Skipper of San Gina
Doug truly believes his most impressive catch is his wife Rose, that let him come away 6 months of every year and do this.
In his spare time, he still enjoys recreational fishing but prefers to be with his customers, with the anticipation of not knowing the next species to be landed onboard. It's safe to say that him and the family enjoy a good beach barbecue outside their beach hut, and spend 6 weeks of the winter in Gambia, where they are involved with the charity, Foni Project and Beyond. Two years ago, they raised money and drove an ambulance to Gambia, which is now being used as a mobile clinic out in the remote areas. Doug is now currently working on converting a camper, and doing some travelling all around the country and possibly further afield to Gambia again and Norway (both of which have some good fishing!)
Geoff Marsh joined Swanage Sea Fishing in 2020, and is the previous owner of Three Wishes.
Like the boat, he had been potting in the English Channel for the past 35 years and is the 4th generation of Marsh's out on the sea.
Commercial Fishing is a truly tough job in many ways, and although Geoff thoroughly enjoyed his years potting at sea, it’s safe to say he is now more than happy to back onboard, offering a more laid back approach to spending time at sea.
He has always been a keen angler and having been a crew member of the Swanage Lifeboat for many years, there is no safer pair of hands to run the boat for us.
Geoff is an exceptionally family orientated man, and has two boys Adam and Steve, with his wonderful wife Elaine. In their spare time, they also like recreational fishing, spending it on the water if they can, and lots of time with their lovely grandson Logan.
Skipper of Three Wishes
"I love finding a good fishing mark"
Part-time skipper of San Gina, San Gina II and Three Wishes
Kev became a regular angler onboard San Gina II many years ago, having met Gill and Martin in the shop whilst on holiday. After a couple of years, Tom asked him if he would like to skipper the boat every now again to help out, and 8 years later we are so glad he said yes. He also states the best part about being a skipper, is seeing someone catch their first ever fish.
Kev's dad got him into fishing at 6 years old, and its always something he has been passionate about. On a lake, by the river, on the beach or out on a boat, you name it.
His favourite fishing is targeting Bream, using light gear and his most impressive catch is a triple figure porbeagle shark. In his spare time he likes to be out with his daughter, Charlotte, or riding his Harley Davidson!
"Being a skipper is a rewarding job, giving holiday makers or seasonal fisherman a great day out, and I love the banter with the customers."
Gill & Martin Higgs
Owners of Swanage Angling Centre
Gill & Martin took over Swanage Angling Centre back in 2010, after holidaying in Swanage for many years with their family. It just so happened that at the time they made the decision to move, the shop came up for sale.
They both share a love for sea fishing and get out on the boats as often as possible.
Working long hours in the shop to help support Swanage Sea Fishing, is something we are so incredibly grateful for. They both LOVE their dogs, everything spaniels in fact... You will always be welcomed by one of them in the shop. In their spare time, if they aren't busy visiting their grand children, Gill likes spending time with her horse and Martin likes going shooting.
"We love to be out on the boat catching Bream, and you just can't beat the company."
Marketing and Accounts Manager at Swanage Sea Fishing Limited
"I feel extremely lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world, and have unlimited access to time out on the water. I am passionate about growing the family business, just as much as going fishing with my husband and our two boys."
I grew up in London and spent many wonderful holidays down in Swanage with my family in our holiday home. My dad introduced me and my brother to sea fishing when I was just 11, and from then on we booked a trip every holiday. We often went out on San Gina when it was previously owned by Gerry, and also spent lots of time fishing off the pier. All of this was a huge contrast to what I did in London, as I love the arts, musical theatre, photography and was studying to be a Make-UP artist in television. In 2007, I made the best decision of my life, to move to Swanage and start a new chapter with Tom...
We have spent many holidays abroad trying out the local ways of fishing, for example, on our honeymoon in Tanzania, we fished for Tiger Fish on the Rufiji River (amongst the hippos and crocs!) then we later headed out to sea on a Dow boat in Zanzibar, to fish with handlines with the locals. We have visited Gillhams Fishing Resort, Krabi, Thailand and spent 4 days waiting to catch monsters, literally, including Arapaima, Mekong Catfish, Siamese Carp and Amazon Redtail Catfish. We were lucky to land a Barracuda in the Dominican Republic, and even though trying inshore fishing in Cuba, Greece and Cyprus didn't bring anything big, it's still just as exciting every time.
Since having our two boys, time, experience and child care has allowed for me to come onboard the family business officially, and I am excited for the future.
Crew on San Gina II
Summer has been crewing with us since 12 weeks old, and she is definitely a salty sea dog.
She is a chocolate sprocker-spaniel, and has a wonderful temperament, and especially enjoys the attention of children on board.
*Please note - If you have a dog that needs to come onboard, please speak with the team at the time of booking, so we can arrange for Summer to help out in the office that day instead, thank you.
"I just love a cuddle!"