Two Waterdance Skippers Shortlisted for Fisherman of the Year Award
March 30, 2023
Two of our skippers have been named in Fishing News’ shortlist for the Over 10m Fisherman of the Year award.
Richard Carroll, skipper of the Winter of Ladram, and Adam Cowan-Dickie, skipper of the Margaret of Ladram, sit among three others in line to win the award dedicated to ‘outstanding contribution to the industry in 2022’.
With three older brothers already fishing, it was perhaps inevitable that Adam Cowan-Dickie would follow suit. “It was just a natural progression for me to go to sea,” he told FN. Thirty-eight years of fishing later and now the skipper of the Margaret of Ladram E 198, Adam’s passion hasn’t diminished. “When you start catching, and you hit the fish, there is no better feeling in the world.” Adam is keen to embrace new technology and methods, and has recently trialled the Sumwing beam trawl, which showed a number of benefits, including improved catch quality. “People want to know where their fish comes from, and how it’s caught. We’re trying to fish for the future, and want people to know this. With the Sumwing, there’s minimal impact. The fish are top-quality – there’s not a scale off them. “We’ve got to think of the future. I’m coming to the end of my fishing career, and I want to leave something behind.” That legacy will include port and vessel records: last year Adam and his crew broke the Brixham port record, landing 277 boxes of sole which sold for £155,000 – breaking his own previous record, set in 2019. On hearing of his nomination, Adam said: “I’m really shocked. I feel very proud just to be nominated. I’m blown away, to be honest.”
With more than 30 years in the industry behind him, Richard Carroll’s love for the job hasn’t diminished. “I absolutely love fishing,” he told FN. “I’ve got a month off now, but I can’t wait to get back to sea.” Richard’s career began out of Newquay, following in the footsteps of his father. “My dad was a fisherman. I wasn’t doing great at school, and back then we were allowed to leave at a younger age – so I went fishing.” Following an early career on deck, while also playing rugby for Cornwall, Richard gained his skipper’s ticket. In 2019, he joined Waterdance Ltd to skipper the new-build 15m vivier-crabber Nichola of Ladram. Last year, following three highly successful years with the Nichola, he moved to the new Winter of Ladram E 24, in the design of which he played an instrumental role. In his nomination, Richard is described as ‘the most driven of skippers, rarely missing a single day and taking on all weather’. “His approach to the job is highly professional, and he manages the gear supply, preparation, fishing plans and sales relationship of the two crabbers. Richard is the complete skipper package of tenacity, organisation, people management and skill,” the nominator said.