January 2022 marks the end of a significant era: the charter boat Moonshine will no longer be seen around the eastern Solent skippered by Pete Churchill. Pete and Moonshine have been together for 31 years and together they built a tremendous reputation in the charter fishing community.

Even if they don’t know Pete Churchill, many boat anglers will be familiar with the blue and white 10metre Starfish charter boat which would often be seen on the usual marks, fully booked with parties of very happy anglers. Moonshine was based in Southsea Marina and Pete Churchill has been active member of the Southsea Marina Angling Club.

Sadly, all good things come to an end and when Pete decided to finally retire from chartering, it was also time for Moonshine to go to a new home.

In early January, Moonshine was loaded onto a transporter for the journey to her new owner in Grimsby. This was rather fitting because the SMDAC boat Lady Elsa, often berthed alongside Moonshine came to Southsea from Grimsby. Maybe they compared notes.

It is sad to see Moonshine go and it must be a real wrench for Pete, but we will still see him around Southsea Marina. He has bought Seabiscuit with SMAC member Bill Arnold. We look forward to following their joint fishing adventures and I’m sure they will carry on competing with each other for the SMAC competition prizes as they have done so successfully before.

Here’s one of many testimonials from happy Moonshine customers:

“Moonshine is a 29ft starfish skippered by Pete Churchill, in my view one of the better skippers around. Pete and Moonshine are responsible for plenty of big fish including two 80+ Tope one a British record breaking 84lb, Blonde rays over 38lb, many Smoothhounds over 20lb, lots of 20+ Cod, massive Plaice, lots of tea, and the list goes on. He even caught a juvenile Thresher shark on Mackerel feathers!” – FishyNige