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  • Robin Howard (a.k.a. Fishyrob)

Brighton Inshore Fishing - Catch report 27/08/2017

Christian, with the best fish of the day at 4.5lb on the ever reliable Spook

Full boat first sailing. Which is excellent for playing catch up on all those lost days to wind this month. But it also means I hardly fish. Usually just when it gets a bit harder, to help work out what is going on down there. And happily, I didnt fish until the last hour this morning. Not stacks of marks, but enough solitary bigger fish, to make it interesting. Plenty of missed takes, some from 5 plus fish.

From left to right... Dean, John, Christian and Alex...

As the sun climbed in the now totally clear blue sky, the ultra clear water (over 15' of viz today, I hope the dive boats are rammed. Water temperature inshore also just below 21 degrees) allowed its penetrating rays, and suddenly everything was much quieter. A poke around all of may favourite spots showed nothing but interest from Cuttlefish and Gars. Back to the east side. But I think we only added another two fish in the last hour. Best fish, landed expertly by Christian, I weighed (to see if it exceeded our max 5lb kill rule) in at 4.5lb. Dean and Christian were very happy for this. They were cooking it in their minds even before I slipped the net under it. John had a sister come off just beyond the range of the net. But I think the biggest fish we saw repeatedly did not get the hang of the hooks on Alex's "sit up" slider.

Callum kicks off the catching ...

Next session I was very anxious about. A family adventure. Bruce is actually the main man for these, as he has amazing parenting skills, whereas my daughter has currently disowned me... Enough said. But I think young Connor and Callum, with their dads Warren and Stuart, tolerated my interpersonal skills, usually reserved for less fair ears... And I compensated, because they were here to catch fish. And fish I know...

A black bream for Warren

Actually though, it started slower than I had hoped for, especially after Bruces amazing results on the last two. Possibly part of the reason for my anxiety. Bruce is a master of scratching. Ive been bass and big predator obsessed for the last six years. Hardly touched a small hook.... What if it turned into a complete disaster... Charter skippering is not quite the stress free environment I had part expected. Perhaps even more onus to produce results than my shore guiding of the last twelve years. I used the turn around time to stock up on Isomes...

Connor, left, and Callum, right. Quality plaice fishing on ultralight tackle.

We met at the usual place in front of Zizzi. And down to the boat. A slow ride to the fuel pontoon and then onto the open sea. With everybody securely seated, I took BIF1 up to 25 knots for the short sweep across to the inshore plaice mark. Or where I understood it to be. We drifted... we did not catch. I was quietly devastated... Plan B. Off to deeper water, to a good spring plaice drag... We dragged, and Callum caught the first fish. A gurnard. Then Stuart pulled up a small plaice. At least the kids were becoming captivated. A mackerel added to the tally, and another small plaice. This set the scene, but I wasnt happy. I rang Capt Bruce to ask again about the exact location of the inshore plaice drag where he had done so well. He confirmed that I had been 100 meters too far inshore. "Ok, reel up" I told my crew. "We have a new mark to try".

Stuart I think really enjoyed the flattie bash...

Happily, for the last hour, decent plaice were very happy to be caught. We ended up with ten, just the three early ones too small. Back ups with a couple of mackerel, and some very cute little bream, and we returned a very happy family back to dry land. A complete success.

Callum bags a cracker...

I am a very results driven skipper. Getting the most fish out of the sea possible on the day, is pretty much all I think about. But as this beautiful family walked away from the boat. I tried putting myself in young Callum and Connor's shoes. A powerboat trip, helmed by a crazy guy in a skeleton mask. Rods, fish, Fun, sun and sea. I remember every single one of the very few boat trips when I was a lad. And they were on smokey old plodders. Often with just whiting and flounders to show for it. But I remember every moment. Indeed, I still hold a grudge for the two men that meant my first ever Jersey charter boat trip was cut short due to their previous nights excesses. All have become cherished memories of my childhood. I hope that today becomes a cherished memory for both these kids. I think, it already is for me. Lets hope Bruce cant make a few more family adventures.

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