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  • Robin Howard (a.k.a. Fishyrob)

Catch report - 29th May 2017

Approaching "Proteus"

Today was supposed to be a write off. As I finally got to sleep last night, it was to the sounds of a storm, and at some point in the night I woke to hear a howling wind on the house. So, when I got out of my bed at 08:00 (actually to go fish on my mate Steve Green's Cat "Proteus") I had my tea and was inspecting my email when something occurred to me. The trees were not even thinking about moving... I hastily swallowed my tea, texted capt Bruce, and rang Steve with my apologies. Every day that BIF1 can be out, she must be out. We are learning so much, and so fast, and our results with the May rot mostly out of the way are rather proving that. And today I wanted to check out my "L" or "H" shaped reef a little more, even if there was only an hours window before the wind came in again.

First fish of the day... Very hungry...

Sadly, Capt Bruce was preparing for a family trip to Ireland (where he will be continuing R & D in similar depths from the shore) and unable to attend. I thought about who to drag along, but decided that, with the wind due at any time, it probably wasnt worth it. I even skipped Mcdonalds, instead grabbing a couple of sandwiches, and far more importantly some superglue, before boarding BIF1. I must admit as well, every time I single hand on BIF1 my confidence grows. Which is very important as post Russia I will be absolutely responsible for peoples lives on board.

On leaving the marina, with the early flood, I decided to just make sure my inshore bass were there. And they were, plenty showing on the sounder. But once more, I could not get them to take anything. I am thinking two things. Either the constant boat traffic on a perfect weather bank holiday weekend was unsettling them, or they are feeding obsessively on something and refuse to look at anything else. Unlikely actually, as bass are such adaptable creatures. Part of the reason I admire them so much. But they do react to boat noise. I have seen it often. I decided to push offshore (...) and begin mapping out my new discovery.

More bronzy...

First drop down, on the ledge, and a fish of about 2lb. It was to be the smallest fish of the day, bar a solitary pouting. And very encouraging. With zero wind, it was very straight forward to plot a drift. Indeed, with the new flood, I could run all the ledge AND push across the north to south reef. I was quite excited as I reached it. Would they be there.. would it still be there or was it simply a plug of seaweed built up... It was still there... but the fish were not. I was suddenly sad...

They love their food...

I lined up the same drift, but one of the things that I suspected,, and was proven in the absolute windless conditions. As the tide hits these ledges, the water is sent all over the place. I caught a slightly different current, and mostly ran along the shallow side. If I was only able to fish under the boat, this would be a problem. But the beauty of shore luring afloat, is BIF1 can be up to sixty yards from where we suspect the fish are. Our standard approach, especially in shallower water, IS to stay at least 30 yards off. Boat shadow can make them twitchy, and onboard noise can make them scatter. Please remember that if you find yourself out with us. We would much prefer you to be wearing trainers, than stilleto's,,,


Pretty much bang on target, another fish, maybe four pounds. And on the same drift, a very pretty wrasse. The casting wasnt quire going to plan. With a very big tidal coefficient, I should really have swapped over to a heavier shad. But with my confidence in the HTO Mighty Minnow sky high at the moment, I adjusted, and by slipping a little line sometimes as the lure dropped, to reduce the tension and by default lessen the parachute effect, I was still able to get it down.

Best fish of the day

Next drift, and what was to be the best fish of the day. I didnt bother weighing it, but it was somewhere over 6lb.. I checked my North-South spot again. Still nothing. The next three drifts, another three fish, all in the 3-4lb range. And then, I lost the pace in the tide. It was suddenly much quieter. But not without takes. I knew exactly what they were, as they left their tell tale calling card. My shads were coming up without tails.Black bream. I was suddenly very happy for the spare bodies that come with it. Especially as I had remembered to bring along some Superglue. I also had an incredible thirst as despite having bought along a large bottle of lucozade, the intensely humid conditions left me parched. I could see Steve and "Proteus" out the back breaming so made the decision to hang out over there, having quickly called him to see if he had spare water...(cheers Steve.. it was either come beg or go in... and I was having fun...) until I got a bit of ebb going again. The fishing there was mad. Every drop the sharp taps of bream. Perhaps ten spare bodies forced into duty. Just one wrasse landed, but one fish that the hook pulled from as I tried to stop it diving. I suspect a nice reef pollack.

Bass poo... They seem to be loving the squat lobsters...

Then the GPS showed the speed of drift increasing, and to the west. Time to get back on it. Another plus of BIF1. We can skip around marks very quickly. Part of the reason we feel we can offer quality fishing with some degree of consistency. The fish have to be somewhere. If we dont find them initially we will find them on another mark. With travelling time at an absolute minimum, it leaves plenty of time for fishing. As I thought about where to start my drift, I decided to get the North South out of the way. Without expectation, I set up to cross it, and brush the ledge further down. I began the drift, casting a good sixty yards up the tide, to get two stabs at the sweet spot. Keeping the lure attractive as it came down the tide, it got hit savagely, really catching me quite by suprise. Not a huge fish either, at around 3lb. But every fish scraps so hard on this mark, desperate to get back to their rocky refuge. I unhooked, returned, dropped down almost in one flowing motion, as I could see the sweet spot coming quickly upon us. I tapped bottom, lifted, and got slammed. By a wrasse... Not a bad one, but I felt robbed of an opportunity.

Warrior Wrasse...

I set up for another drift. Nothing casting ahead this time, but slammed by a 4lb fish as I passed over it. Nothing on the ledge this time. I ran back up the tide to set another drift, when I noticed something not quite right... the horizon had vanished... As I carefully studied ahead, I noticed a fog bank rushing in from the Newhaven direction. Having experienced sea fogs many times, and although I both know my bearings back to the marina and have GPS, I decided I wasnt comfortable. I also wanted to check out the inshore bits again. So I headed back to the marina. A fish first cast on the first one, so I left that spot to check on another. One drift, and the fog really caught up. With much colder air in attendance. Time to return to dock. Total for the session was 12 feisty bass,to approx 6lb, and those lovely wrasse. Had I bought bream lures on board, I am sure it could be have been a much bigger fish count. But, I think if we can deliver that kind of fishing to a customer, he will be a very happy customer.

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