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  • Robin Howard (a.k.a. Fishyrob)

Catch report - 24th May 2017

Smiles... Guaranteed...

As promised, the musings now BIF1 is "online" will become much more catch reports. And today's one, will be a very quick one, coz after 15 hours on the boat I am shot... Today's plan was to get as many people on the boat as possible. Daft? not so... It is very much the case that whole boat charters with four clients plus the skipper of the day are popular. So much so, that we have zero availability until the middle of September, factoring in that everything falls on Capt Bruce whilst I am away in Russia, where I have a three month appointment as head guide for the Belousiha River Lodge. And so, we needed to see how it works. This morning began with a meeting in Mcdonalds, with regular client Steve Robers, and Saltwater Boat Fishing Monthly editor (among many other roles... Tim takes fishing very seriously...) Tim Mcpherson. Tim had already been out on BIF1 on a very may rotten day to film some sequences for a project he is working on. But today he had come back to fish, and I was very excited for them both, as with excellent viz and perfect tide state for one particular inshore mark, I simply knew we would be into fish from the off. I predicted a 5lb fish within the first hour, which was way off the mark. But we were into fish straight away, if only small. Steve Roberts was particularly relieved for his first schoolie, as it was his first of this year.

Steve Roberts with his first bass of 2017

It became apparent there were a lot of small fish. A good thing as they have been very much missing. But after five fish to the boat and no signs of anything bigger, I made the decision to leave the feeding fish, and go chase something bigger. We chugged out to the outer reefs. If 25 kts is chugging...

That man Steve Roberts adding to the BIF1 species list

The first mark was slow. Bruce had left a rig baited with HTO stink pots on board, and I asked Steve if he had caught black bream before. When he replied to the negative I passed him the rig. "Try that" and instructed him how to fish it. First drop down, and his rod was arched. Not a bream, but the first Horse mackerel aboard BIF. And another important food source for the bass. A couple of drops later he got his bream. And then we lost the rig...

That man again, with a typical outer reef wrasse

We took a few drifts on the mark, but with little showing on the sounder, and nothing coming to the rods other than a couple of wrasse, it was time to bounce to another patch of reef. This is the beauty of a boat such as BIF1. Its very similar to how I shore guide. You make a decision. If everything comes together, then great. If not, you attempt to assimilate whatever clues you have, and try another spot. The big difference from the boat, is the sounder tells me if I have got it right quicker than I can tell from the shore. We moved further west. The pair trawlers came to say hello.

Pair trawlers dragging chains on the softer side of Looe Gate

When they hauled their nets later in the day, the noise from the seagulls was quite deafening. At least something is happy with this ultra destructive method of extracting black bream. A short move added pollock and pouting to the species count for the day. Then it was time for a crew swap. Off went Tim, on came my old mucker Steve Smith. A quick re-fuel (BIF1 is about a zillion times more expensive on fuel than Scooby. And far less manouverable. But also far faster,happier in a sea, and the best laid out angling boat for fly and lure fishing that I have ever come across...) and we were back out. I fancied with the ebb tide a look at an inshore reef to the east. Still issues with sediment here, although more dredger related than may rot I think. Just one take, but at a little over 3lb it raised spirits rather.

Steve Smith with his first fish of the day,.. nice way to start...

We tried a little longer, but with not much happening, after another port call to add Luke Fenelon to the crew (now all four fishing. More room than on most charter boats I have fished on...) we headed offshore once more. We went as far west as I have been, to find plenty of fish marks but very little prepared to attack. The tide had dropped to hardly anything. Steve mentioned he knew of some very heavy ground in shallow water. We went to have a look. Amazing. And stacks of fish marks, although most likely pouting. And with bright sun, clear seas, and less than 7 feet of water at times over the top, not much happening. A place to investigate another tide for sure though. The flood had begun while we were messing about. I knew I wanted to go back to the inshore reefs when the pace got going. But with only a light flow, we went back to the offshore reef that had showed zero signs of fish on our first visit. The difference was amazing. The place was lit up with baitfish. And we began to find quality bass, one or two per drift.

Not just bass...

However, I really really wanted to check out an inshore reef whilst the tide was ripping. So, we flew back in to test the theory. The theory was good, and one or two fish a drift was happening. Not just bass either. I was very happy to land a good sized, proper old warrior looking wrasse. Only the second time I have done that here. The fishing continued until a large (40') gin palace came into the marina entrance at perhaps 20 kts. That rattled the fish, and they moved. The sun was setting. It was time to come back in.

Inshore Wrasse...

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