Brighton Inshore Fishing - Catch report 11th August 2017
A focused Des
I was very excited to meet Des and Ray this morning. Capt Bruce had already skippered for them during my Russian travels, and spoke very highly of how much he had enjoyed the session. Plus factor in they were good fly casters, and were keen to get their first bass on the fly. I even suggested to Des, when I was confirming the session, that it could well be all about fly "popping", which is where a floating line is employed, and small pieces of polystyrene with concave faces and some fluff whipped in for a bit of a tail. And a hook of course. Is it a fly? I guess technically, it is more of a lure. Does it work?
Ray enjoying the dawn...
I think perhaps Des and Ray were doubtful. However, they were trusting and dutifully arrived with said poppers. We rigged up on the floating pontoon, as the fishing would begin quite literally just around the corner. And then we were off. Two minutes later, I was putting BIF1 into reverse. Brakes. And the first drift was on. "The guys began casting, and stripping back. I punched a One knocker well clear of the fly lines to see if fish were about. It was hit after just five feet. "Fish around". I do like stating the obvious...
Des's first fly bass
Suddenly, I could see expectation flicker in the guys eyes. Previously I had noticed plenty of excitement, and definitely lost of enthusiasm in there. But now, quite distinctly, I noticed the focus of expectation... Which was rewarded very quickly. No big fish, but a succession of splashes, missed takes (some of which looked to be from better fish) and basically, for the first hour, non-stop action. I think we managed to get to double figures, and although the fish were only up to the 1lb mark, any bass on fly popping gear is guaranteed to bring smiles to the faces. A few mackerel added to the tally.
Ray's first fly bass...
As the sun finally cleared the clouds, the tide hit dead low, and the fish suddenly vanished. Time for a change. We went out to have a look at the outer reefs on the lure rods. Here, lots of commercial activity. The most I have seen all year. Nets as well as pots, which makes me suspect that it is possible there are some cod around. It rather messed up my intended drifts. I found some clear space at the furthest set we fish, and we found plenty of mackerel and horse mackerel happy to snaffle our big shads. But bass, wrasse, cod and pollock were sadly absent. After a few drifts, we returned to the East side. Here we went on to sinking lines and "gummy minnows", prospecting for anything. But other than a couple of pulls it wasnt happening. I am quite sure the fish were there, but with the wind now quite strong from the west, we were pushing across the tide quite badly, meaning presentation at the business end was difficult. The wind increased more and more, and 30 minutes before the 6 hour charter was due to end, I called it over.
Such lovely customers, Bruce came down to meet us to say hello. He took the guys off to Wetherspoons while I hosed down and flushed the engine. And then a pint of Greene King IPA (just £2.19 in Wetherspoons at the moment!!!) to complete an idylic morning.