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  • Robin Howard (a.k.a. Fishyrob)

Brighton Inshore Fishing - Catch Report 16th August 2017

With two very late cancellations the previous evening (no biggie by the way. We at BIF know stuff happens in life and plans can change... dont be shy to re-book when the world is stable again...) Brian was a very lucky boy. Great tide, great conditions, and the boat for himself. I was happy with that. Plenty of room meant I could flex the fly rod again. And I am very happy I could. Everything for the reason. As something quite unexpected happened...

I pushed BIF1 our of a flat harbor entrance and turned hard left. With the first of the ebb happening, and with first light, this was perfect shore guiding weather. Just because we had BIF didn't mean we couldn't go to those fish. We are called Brighton INSHORE fishing for the reason... Perhaps 300 yards off, I put on the brakes. And we began our quest. Fish were there from the beginning. Straight away the fly was getting hits and hookups. Whilst the shads, and the surface lures, were largely ignored. It got to the point where I had no choice but to ask Brian "Have you done much fly fishing before?". Happily the right reply. "Ive done a bit of reservoir trouting"... I swapped rods with Brian. My concern was that the outfit I use, a #10 greys saltwater rod, smashing an Airflo 40+ shooting head, made of heavy, fast sinkling material, is quite a different beast to a #6 and flicking buzzers to trout. But I neednt have worried. Within just ten minutes, Brian had the beast mastered, and was getting a respectable straight line out, and immediately began to hit fish, whereas now I struggled.

Not just Schoolies either, but some very solid fish. A couple of 3lb fish. The best, 5lb 2oz. With plenty going on around, it was interesting fishing. Especially, as we drifted over some definite bass shoals. The shads would be ignored. The fly would continue to be chased and smashed. This is learning material. Time to change tact on the lure rods inshore. I feel Brice and I need to play small metals at the moment, whilst the predominant food source is whitebait, and not the sandeels and spratt of Spring and early summer.

In the last twenty minures, the action slowed, so we were quite happy when the first session ended, and it was time to head in to pick up coffee, and Phil and Ernest. I was fairly buzzing as I recounted what had been an excellent mornings fishing to our new guests. Coffee drunk, it was time to return to the fish. We headed out, into a completely different sea. The gentle Northerly had swung SW and freshened. and we headed into a slight swell with a bit of chop. Inshore, where the fish had been, the sounder showed empty. We came out to the middle ground. Here, some marks, and we took an hour of drifting, with just a couple of subtle plucks to show for it. Things were not going to plan, and the wind was still freshening, with the newly flooding tide bumping us around quite heavily. There is a spot on the East side of the marina, that is bereft of tidal flow, and when the wind is from the SW, gets some shelter from the marina. I took BIF1 in here for the next hour. Plenty of marks, and here at least a couple of quite tidy bass did us the honour of chasing our lures to the surface, to let us know we were almost getting it right. But still no hookups. As the tide slackened back, I took BIF1 back to the middle ground for the remainded of the session. But apart from a gurnard, that dropped off as it was being swung aboard, this session was a total blank. A complete contrast from the exciting, at times frenzied, morning session. Incredible.

3rd and 4rh sessions were canned due to the wind. But at 18:00, I noticed the wind had swung back to the south, and dropped. I scanned the sea from my garden. Zero white horses. I rang my fly buddy Matt. "BIF1 at 19:00?". "See you there" he responded... We pushed inshore. Very inshore. Close enough to see my clients from previous sessions fishing from the shingle. And again, the fly was working well. The fishing was less frantic, but every drift produced at least a pull. I was using flies Matt had tied for me, but actually have this guy to thank for so much more, as I probably would not have immersed myself into salt water fly fishing at all if it wasnt for his amazing results, attained from stubborn perseverance. In the hour and a half we got, before darkness forced us in, I landed six bass, to matt's single fish. A case of the student beating the master if ever there was one...

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