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  • Robin Howard (a.k.a. Fishyrob)

Catch report 10/06/2017

Best of five...

The ironies of life. You will often see me use the word "Irony". It seems my world is quite covered in it. Especially at the moment. We drove up to Southampton and walked our commercial endorsements through. Finally, we can take people on BIF1 and charge. So, of course, Neptune thought he would intervene once more. We have spent the week cancelling customers. The lot of a charter boat in modern times, and very frustrating. The wind has been very unseasonably hammering us. More like February than June. Always silver linings though. The may rot has been annihilated. The coloured sea was bright with sand, rather than olive with algae. And with a 40 mph gale forecast originally for today, I had got very excited for... yes, I still got it in me... a BAIT session on the rocks... With huge energy, certain stretches of reef harbor good bass, coming in to look for things damaged by the swells. At this time of year, the casualties are often peeling spider crabs and lobsters.

One of the biggest problems with bait fishing, is organising and storing the bait. Especially now, when I rarely guide on bait. In the good old days, I ran prawn and pouting tanks, my bait fridges were rammed with crabs, and I could get results at a moments notice. These days, I am simply not set up to guide bait. So, one of my clients, Michael, arranged for fourty crabs from Prime Angling. Crabs are currently pretty scarce from local sources, and these Essex crabs, although smallish, were going to do amazing things. Plus I would go hunt some velvets once my guys were fishing. Well, that was the plan..Snag is... Forecasts are often changing...

A glorious evening, despite the swell.

It seemed ok all day. I popped out with the dog to assess the River Adur. Very coloured with flood water coming from above, and heavily coloured seas flooding into it from below. I fished for an hour, mainly because I had my Akita / Shepherd cross Hasina with me, and she LOVES fishing. More obsessed and enthusiastic for it than me. And the wind was blowing, and building. Until perhaps high tide. Then, it moderated quite quickly. By the time we went down to the mark, at around 16:00, we found colour, but absolutely flat seas. "We will catch a lot of eels..." I said, apologetically already. "or..." "Or what?" Richard enquired. "We could go out on BIF1". Enough said, and five minutes later we were back at Fishyrob HQ swapping bait gear for lure tackle.

There was still a bit of lump. I probably would not have taken "Scooby" out in it. Simply too uncomfortable. But with BIF1, and the way she sits so stable even on pretty bouncy stuff, I was more than content. Colour was an issue on all my inshore spots, so we really only had once chance. The reefs offshore. Happily, they were a good half a mile seawards of the heavily coloured and weedy currents sweeping the shingle. I was also concerned that we had, of our proposed five hours fishing, just two hours with any flow. Normally, I explained, we would use the slack tide period to turn around crews, or pop back for a hot coffee and a bacon sandwich. However, this hastily arranged session, we would just see what we could do. Michael and Richard were happy with that.

It started very well indeed. We arrived and still had some reasonable flow for the first drift. And on the very first cast on the very first drift, of our very first paying customers, I missed a slamming take, and Michaels rod buckled over to a reasonable fish. About 5lb, it was to be the biggest of the session. Next drift, I nicked out a schoolie. Next drift Michael nailed a mackerel. And then we lost the flow. We didnt lose the fish. I found them well inshore of the main feature, and we knicked another two out, both small. And then, we drifted them, working our lures furiously for the next hour and a half, without much more than the odd very soft pluck. Clearly they werent in a feeding mood. "They should switch on with the first of the flood" I offered...

And they did. They got so switched on they totally vanished. I had two choices. East or west. But actually, with only an hour of light left, I only had one choice, East, towards the marina. We drifted a reef on the way back in. Very little showing on the sounder, although Richard did managed the fifth and final bass of the session, again small.

Show me the way to go home...

With two more drifts and no action, I suggested we go back inshore, which was looking a lot clearer. And it was with viz of about three feet. But not quite enough. I did find fish, the sounder showing me the raising lines of feeding bass. But the viz wasnt quite enough I feel for the fish to find the lure. We headed east, but there the viz was poor, and the weed was intense. We headed offshore to a bit of scrubby ground. Viz was better here, but already the sun was setting. Time to head in. Not amazing fishing, but it showed some potential. Tuesday is looking amazing, and we have custom to run all day. In the meantime, the viz should improve, as although we do have some stiff wind coming it is nothing compared to last weeks storm. Hopefully, the seas, and the rivers will clear and normal service will be resumed.

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